Middle School Teachers
Bri is excited to join Ben Franklin Academy's middle school team, for her second year. She attended the University of Northern Colorado and received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in Earth Science. For two years Bri worked at Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy, in Colorado Springs. Those two years she worked as a 6th grade aide, but also taught her own reading, math, and spelling classes. Bri has always had a curiosity for science. One of her most influential science teachers was her 7th grade teacher, Mrs. O’Connell. This upcoming year Bri hopes to instill a love of learning science in all of her students. Bri will also use creativity, hands-on experiences, and problem solving skills to prepare her students for 7th grade and a successful year in 6th grade.
Jean Fanning - 6th Grade
This is Jean’s third year at Ben Franklin Academy and she is very excited to be the 6th Grade Social Studies teacher. Jean has been in the education field since 2002 and she loves working with children, seeing their growth, and educational development.
As a Colorado native, Jean truly enjoys the different seasons here and the wonderful mountains. In her spare time, she loves to travel, read, and hike. Jean attended the University of Denver where she earned her K-6 Teaching degree and a BSBA in Business Management. Her family includes her husband Cyrus, son Ben, a dog, and 2 cats. Ben is a senior at Regis Jesuit High School; he is in Boy Scouts and loves to play golf. Jean’s husband is a dentist and his practice is in Denver, in the Lowry Town Center.
Please feel free to contact Jean for any reason; she is here for her students and their parents.
Joyce Lewis - 6th Grade
Joyce Lewis is excited to join Ben Franklin Academy as a Learning Specialist for grades 4-8. She has taught in Denver Public Schools for 7 years, primarily at the Middle School level. Prior to that, she worked with kids with special needs and youth at risk in a variety of settings. She loves working with kids and helping them find success! Teaching is Joyce’s favorite job, so far.
Joyce has teaching credentials in Special Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Language Arts and Linguistically Diverse Education. In addition she holds a BA in Psychology from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and an MA in Counseling Psychology from University of Colorado.
Originally from Michigan, Joyce lived in Grand Canyon Village, AZ, and the Florida Keys before moving to Denver. She currently lives with two cute dogs, a lovely cat and far too many books. In her free time she enjoys hiking, traveling and reading.
Christine Svensen - 6th Grade
Christine is excited for her second year at Ben Franklin as a 6th grade math teacher. Christine has taught middle school math and science for 13 years in Aurora Public Schools and Douglas County School District. She received her BA in Psychology and Elementary Teaching License from CU Boulder, and her MA in Education Administration & Supervision from University of Phoenix.
Christine has lived in Colorado her entire life. She enjoys traveling to new sites with her two daughters, who are in 4th and 6th grade here at BFA, and staying active around Highlands Ranch. She appreciates all that Colorado has to offer, including the amusement parks, Denver’s professional sports teams, mini road trips, and especially the mountains with skiing during the winter months. However, Christine dedicates most of her free time to her girls’ sports.
Christine is grateful to be part of the BFA community. She looks forward to meeting all of her students and helping them maintain a love for education.
Kate Crespo - 7th Grade
Kate is excited to be starting her third year with BFA as the Middle School Math Teacher. Kate earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix in 2010 and received a bachelor’s of science degree in Information Technology from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2004, where she played basketball and soccer.
Kate has been married for eight years, and has two children, a son who attends BFA, and a toddler daughter. Kate and her husband, Jose, also have two dogs named Mufasa and Nala. Kate grew up in New Jersey and feels lucky to have called Colorado home for the past eight and a half years. Kate enjoys staying fit, taking long walks, watching and playing sports, and spending time with her family and close friends. She can't wait to help kids have fun learning math at BFA.
Genevieve Gibson - 7th Grade
This will be Genevieve’s second year teaching 7th grade Social Studies. Genevieve has worked for Ben Franklin Academy as a 2nd grade Instructional Aide (IA), a 5th grade IA/math teacher, and a 6th grade Social Studies teacher. A Colorado native, Genevieve attended the University of Colorado and holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Political Science. Before her second child was born, Genevieve worked primarily in the mutual fund industry and uses that background to teach the middle school’s stock market elective.
In her search for a school that was a great fit for her family, Genevieve came across BFA and is proud to be included in BFA’s founding family and the entire BFA community. Genevieve and her husband love to camp and play tennis and basketball with their two kids. In her spare time, Genevieve loves to run, read about history and politics, and travel. Genevieve loves teaching the 7th grade and is very grateful for the opportunity to work at Ben Franklin Academy.
Jennifer Molnar - 7th Grade
This will be Jennifer's second year teaching 7th grade science at Ben Franklin Academy. Prior to joining BFA, she taught for five years in Pennsylvania - first at a high school, teaching Physics, and then at a cyber school teaching online 8th grade Science. She enjoys teaching all aspects of both life and physical science.
Jennifer received two bachelor degrees from Bucknell University: a B.S. in Electrical Engineering as well as a B.A. in Political Science. Upon graduation, she worked in industry for 11 years as an engineer before deciding teaching was her true calling. She also holds a Masters in Instruction from Drexel University.
Jennifer is married to George, her husband of 26 years, and has two children: Evan, starting 10th grade this year, and Julia, starting 8th grade. When not in the classroom, she enjoys reading (especially about science), biking, and hiking.
Katharine Olson - 7th Grade
Katie is excited to start her first year on the middle school team at Ben Franklin as the 7th and 8th grade writing teacher. She is about to begin her second year as an educator after having recently taught high school Drama and English. Katie graduated from the University of Northern Colorado where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Theater Arts.
Having been born in Kansas, Katie enjoys the daily views of the mountains and has taken up snowboarding and hiking as hobbies. When weather prohibits her from spending time outdoors, she loves to spend time on the sofa watching movies or reading books and spending time with her friends and family.
Marty Denham - 8th Grade
Marty is excited to return to Ben Franklin Academy to teach this year’s group of 8th grade students. This will be her fourth year at BFA. Her teaching experience includes 12 years at Cherry Creek Academy (also a Core Knowledge charter school) teaching 7th and 8th grade science, and three years teaching high school science in Byers, Colorado. Marty received her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Science Education, from the University of Wyoming. She has been married 29 years to husband Dave. Their son, Jack will be a junior at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, studying film production. They have a number of pets, including three dogs, a cat, a bird, and many fish. When away from school, Marty enjoys golfing, traveling, crafting, and spending time with family and friends.
She is looking forward to meeting a new group of students and engaging them in lots of hands on physics activities!
Lisa Dychus - 8th Grade
Lisa is excited to return for her third year at Ben Franklin Academy as the 8th grade math teacher. She earned her BA in Mathematics from Lehigh University and completed her MA in Teaching at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. As a teacher, Lisa aims to inspire her students to become critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. She incorporates real-world applications of concepts to help students appreciate the mathematics all around them. Prior to teaching, she put her problem solving skills to the test as a civilian operations research analyst for the US Navy.
Originally from New Jersey, she enjoys spending time outdoors in all seasons and is thrilled to now call Colorado home. When she's not in the classroom, Lisa plays ice hockey, swing dances, and enjoys volunteering and spending time in the mountains hiking and skiing. She is an avid traveler and reader, both of which fuel her passion for learning new things.
Aaron Paul - 8th Grade
Aaron is excited to begin his second year at Ben Franklin Academy as the 8th grade Social Studies teacher. Aaron started his professional career as a Police Officer and served the community for 11 and half years. While serving as a Police Officer Aaron earned his Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice Administration. After a four-year assignment as a School Resource Officer at a local high school Aaron decided he wanted to impact our youth from the classroom. Aaron went back to school and received his Master’s in Education.
Aaron was born in Iowa and moved to the Lakewood area as a child, grewing up in the Green Mountain area. Aaron is married with two children who attend BFA. Aaron enjoys golfing, football, basketball, hiking with his family and attending Bronco games with his brother.
Aaron is excited to serve the BFA community with the same pride and attention to detail that has driven him in the past. Aaron hopes to use his understanding and experience at the high school level to push his 8th grade students to be able to make the transition to 9th grade a smooth one for them.
Cynthia Sieradski - 8th Grade
Cynthia will joyfully be teaching 8th Grade Language Arts at Ben Franklin Academy this year. She has a passion for language arts and loves to bring it alive for her students. Cynthia earned her bachelor of arts in English from the University of California and a Master’s Degree in Education from Claremont Graduate University.
Cynthia has a deep professional and academic knowledge in the field of education. She has over 19 years of experience teaching elementary, high school, and university students both here and abroad. Much of her continuing professional development includes Advanced Placement and gifted learning, academic coaching and counseling, curriculum design, writing workshops, virtual on-line learning, speaking engagements on a variety of educational topics and concerns, corporate and teacher training, leadership, and brain-based learning differences.
After traveling and living in numerous places, including Thailand and India where they ride elephants to school, Cynthia is very happy to call Colorado home. She loves the crazy weather, the outdoor lifestyle, and exploring it all with her family. In her spare time you can find her cheering for the Broncos, working out, traveling to exotic places, gardening, skiing with her family or (gasp!) reading a good book. She loves the beach, good friends, music, dancing like a fool, and laughing,
Cynthia and her husband, Mike, are blessed with raising two wonderful sons; Chase, who will be a sophomore at Mullen High School and Trey, who is an 8th grader at Ben Franklin Academy. Tank, her silly little 9 pound dog, moonlights as the protector of the universe.
*Please see Mrs. Sieradski’s webpage for important information about her class and a great summer reading recommendation for parents!