2nd Grade Teachers

Nicole Harms


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Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Nicole and her husband chose to relocate to Colorado in 2004. 

Nicole has been teaching elementary-age children for 13 years. She started in a public school in the Chicago area, and then taught at a Core Knowledge charter school in Littleton.

Nicole graduated from Concordia Lutheran University with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education, specializing in English and Language Arts.

Her eldest son attends Columbine High School in Littleton, while her youngest is at BFA as a third grader. 

 In their spare time, Nicole’s family enjoys white water rafting, biking, fly-fishing, camping, skiing, and hiking.  Nicole loves to cook, do yoga, shop, and to swim. Most of all, Nicole loves to teach children. Nicole describes herself as a very open person and urges you to feel free to contact her.  

Nicole is there for the parents and the children:  “together we are a TEAM!”

Melinda Walter


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Melinda has been working with children of varying ages for the last fourteen years.  She has been an assistant teacher, co-teacher, substitute teacher, as well as a lead teacher. 

Melinda has also pursued her own education.  She has obtained her bachelor’s degree in Child Development, completed a teaching credential program, and earned a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Reading Development. 

Personally, Melinda enjoys spending time with her family.  She has a soon to be four-year old son and loves seeing him becoming his own person.    She spends most of her time finding new and exciting adventures for her son.  Melinda is originally from Southern California and moved to Colorado five years ago.

Kelly Whelan


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Kelly is extremely excited to be teaching at BFA as she begins her teaching career.  She recently received her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with an Elementary Education license from Metropolitan State College of Denver.  She completed her student teaching at a Core Knowledge Charter School. 

Kelly was born and raised in Colorado and is following in her mother’s footsteps (a second grade teacher for many years).  In her free time, Kelly enjoys scrapbooking, snowboarding, hiking, shopping and water skiing.  Kelly is excited for her second year and looks forward to meeting everyone.

Beth Marchisio


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Beth is excited to join the Ben Franklin Academy team. This is Beth's ninth year teaching second grade and she couldn't imagine doing anything else! She believes every child is capable of progressing when offered the appropriate tools and strategies.  Beth moved to Colorado in the summer of 2012 from the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, but loves the comfortable weather and scenic views that Denver has to offer. Beth loves to be in the kitchen and finds cooking to be therapeutic after a long day. She enjoys spending time with her husband Ben and her dog "Marcus" when she is not in the classroom. She is extremely grateful to be working with such amazing teachers, staff, parents, and students this year!

Erica Hildebrand


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Erica is thrilled to be joining the students, parents and staff at Ben Franklin Academy!  After working as a Literacy Specialist the past 5 years, she is excited to get back into the classroom! 

Erica graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in English/Elementary Education.  She also earned a M.Ed. in Reading Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University.  Erica has been teaching elementary students in Douglas County for 12 years.  She has spent the majority of these years working in charter schools. Erica is a Colorado native.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, skiing, cooking and spending time with her husband, three children, and 2 English Springer Spaniels.