- State-Mandated Testing
Middle School Teachers
John Emmons is excited to be officially joining the Ben Franklin Academy family. John received his Bachelors in Elementary Education in December 2015 from the University of Northern Colorado, but he has been student teaching and working as a substitute teacher at BFA since then. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and loves just about anything outdoors. He and his girlfriend of five years live in Aurora, Colorado with their adorable Mini-Australian Shepherd Camden. John is a self-proclaimed geek of earth sciences and could not be happier with the 6th grade science curriculum.
Joyce Lewis - 6th Grade
Joyce is excited to return for her 4th year at Ben Franklin Academy as the 6th grade Language Arts teacher. Prior to teaching at Ben Franklin, Joyce taught in Denver Public Schools for 7 years, primarily at the Middle School level. Prior to that, she worked as a therapist with families and 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 a Masters of Education 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.
Katie Stolk - 6th Grade
Katie is looking forward to another year at BFA and a new challenge in 6th grade social studies. Katie received her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Missouri State University in 2001. She then continued with a master's in Elementary Education in 2004. Katie loves that she's been at BFA since day one and has watched so many students grow and thrive in this school. This year will be exciting and different for her after fifteen years of teaching first, third and fifth grades. Guess it's time for an even-numbered grade!
In her free time, Katie enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, and especially hanging out with friends and family. She lives with her husband, Mike (Mountain Man), her son, Adam (coolest dude ever), and Kaiya (crazy old dog). She and her husband are originally from St. Louis, but have lived in and loved Colorado for nine years.
Christine Svensen - 6th Grade
Christine is excited for another great year at Ben Franklin Academy as the 6th grade math teacher. Christine has taught middle school for 14 years in Aurora and Douglas County School Districts. She received both a BA in Psychology and an 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 staying active around Highlands Ranch as well as traveling to new sites with her two daughters, who are in 5th and 7th grade here at BFA. She appreciates all that Colorado has to offer, including the parks and recreation, Denver’s professional sports teams, mini road trips, and especially the mountains with skiing and boarding 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 third year teaching 7th grade Social Studies. In addition to teaching 7th grade, 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 has used that background in the past 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 to teach 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 third 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 11th grade this year, and Julia, starting 9th grade. When not in the classroom, she enjoys reading (especially about science), biking, and hiking.
Nicole Poleschook - 7th Grade
Nicole is very excited to return to Ben Franklin Academy for her fourth year. This year she will be stepping into the position of 7th grade Language Arts teacher and she is very excited for this new opportunity. She has a passion for learning and knowledge and a deep affection for all things literary.
Nicole has her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Education with an added endorsement in Language Arts. Her favorite part of teaching is making connections with her students and helping them grow with maturity and tenacity. She is really looking forward to working with kids who are a little older and ready to dig deeper into content and also who are determining their individual roles and identities.
When not teaching or coaching Battle of the Books at BFA, Nicole spends her free time with her family. She has two daughters (who also attend BFA), a husband, and a dog. Together they hike, kayak, mountain bike, read, catch Pokémon, and play board games.
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 fourth 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.
Dave Fourman - 8th Grade
Dave looks forward to teaching 8th Grade Students about Social Studies at Ben Franklin Academy as he enters his twelfth year as a teacher. He has previously taught middle school and high school Social Studies in Colorado and Georgia, coached a variety of sports, and worked as a k-12 substitute teacher.
His education includes a B.A. in History from Colorado State University, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Troy University, a Secondary Social Studies Teacher Certification from Metro State, and a Certified Mutual Fund Designation (CFS) from the College of Business and Finance in San Diego.
He has served as an Air Force Officer for over nine years, residing all over the world including South Korea and Hawaii. Dave also worked eight years in financial services as a Retirement Representative.
Dave is originally from Colorado where he enjoys playing tennis, golf, and heading to the mountains year round. He teaches Sunday school at his church and volunteers for his favorite charity, Freedom Service Dogs. Dave is also a diehard Rockies, Bronco, and C.S.U. Ram fan.
*Please check out Mr. Fourman’s website for student and parent reading suggestions.
Cynthia Sieradski - 8th Grade
Cynthia will joyfully be teaching her 4th year of 8th Grade Language Arts at Ben Franklin Academy. She has a passion for communication and for helping students practice good habits of character as well as academic and personal excellence. 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 knowledge in the field of education. She has over 20 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, laughing, and dancing like a fool.
Cynthia and her husband, Mike, are blessed with raising two wonderful sons, Chase and Trey; both are graduates of Ben Franklin Academy, and now attend Mullen High School. 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!