4th Grade Teachers

Kristen Donhowe


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Kristen continues her 4th year of teaching 4th grade using the Core Knowledge curriculum. This is her twelfth year teaching having taught second and third grade in Cherry Creek Schools, and then second through sixth grade at Moriah Christian School.  Kristen decided to teach at BFA last year, because she was excited to be a part of the “birth” of a new charter school founded by an amazing board.  She was astonished with the accomplishments Ben Franklin Academy made as a team of parents, students, teachers, staff and board members.  The goals and dreams that were realized last year were far beyond her expectations.  Kristen believes this second year will be even more fun and fulfilling as she hopes to build deeper relationships, expand on past lessons and projects, and continue to make a bucketful of beautiful memories with her students. 

Kristen grew up in Newport Beach, California.  Many of her favorite memories include spending time at the beach with family and friends.  She earned her bachelor of arts in Psychology/Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Kristen’s husband is in his twenty-first year teaching middle school.  They have three children (ages 17, 15, and 12) and two loveable labs (one is a labradoodle).  As a family, they love to spend time in the mountains hiking, fishing, skiing and just hanging out together.  In Kristen’s personal free-time, she loves to read, garden, and go running. 

Emily Ward


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This will be Emily’s third year teaching fourth grade here at BFA and she couldn’t be happier about it! She received her undergraduate degree and teaching license from the University of Northern Colorado and her graduate degree from the University of Colorado Denver where she earned a Masters in Mathematics and Science Curriculum Instruction. Emily has always enjoyed math and science and is eager to share her love for these subjects with the students. Her latest venture is training to become a Certified Academic Language Practitioner, which she will finish in the fall.

When she is not at school, Emily stays busy hiking, biking and doing anything else active with her computer animator husband, Cliff, and their crazy mutt, Gertie. Most of their free time lately is spent working on their new house in Denver, where there are way too many projects! She can never turn down time to relax in the sunshine with a good book or explore her new found interest, photography, though.

Emily looks forward to getting to know everyone and is excited to see what the new school year will bring!

Karen Tenney


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Karen is thrilled to be teaching another year of fourth grade at BFA. This will be Karen’s fifth year teaching fourth grade.  Karen earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix in 2009 and received a bachelor’s degree in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design from Utah State University.

Karen has two children, a freshmen at Thunderridge High School and a seventh grader at Ranch View Middle School.  Karen grew up in Littleton and feels lucky to have a large extended family close by (including several family members who attend BFA).  Karen enjoys traveling, attending her children's sporting events, and reading books by the pool.  She describes herself as the ultimate soccer mom, and some of her favorite things include Coke Zero from Sonic, the beach, pedicures, flip-flops, chocolate, and spending time with her kids.  Karen looks forward to meeting more of the wonderful BFA families and to an amazing school year.

Angie Van Wyk


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Angie is very excited to be teaching fourth grade at Ben Franklin Academy.  Angie went to CU Boulder (go Buffs) and has a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix.  This will be her 8th year teaching. 
Angie grew up in Littleton and is lucky to have a large extended family living close by.  She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Trevor, for 16 years.  They have three boys, one in first grade, one in third grade and one in sixth grade, all at BFA.  She is excited to be teaching at the same school as her boys.
With having three young boys any free time is usually on a baseball field or basketball court.  Angie loves spending time with her family and friends.  She also enjoys watching movies, playing tennis, reading a good book, and getting pedicures! 
Angie is excited to meet her class and share her enthusiasm for learning.  PLAY BALL.