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. 

Karen Tenney


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Karen is thrilled to be teaching another year of fourth grade at BFA. This will be Karen’s sixth 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 sophomore at Thunderridge High School and an eighth 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 9th 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 17 years.  They have three boys, one in 2nd, 4th and 7th, 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.

Cheryl is excited to join Ben Franklin Academy this year. Entering her ninth year of teaching, Cheryl has an undergraduate in Interior Design from Kansas State University and a masters in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix.

Cheryl is a Kansas girl at heart, but loves the beauty of the scenery and people in Colorado. She lives in Highlands Ranch with her daughter Jordan, a sophomore at TRHS and a houseful of furry friends. Her daughter Taylor, who also plans on being a teacher, is beginning her second year as a student at Arizona State University. And apparently Cheryl just can’t seem to get enough of teaching because she is also a driver’s education teacher and tutor in her spare time.

Cheryl is an innovative teacher who believes strongly in the value of an education and in using technology to teach and relate to children in the ever-changing environment they are growing up in. She believes in one-on-one relationships and encourages students to pursue the things they love.

Cheryl looks forward to meeting all the new students and their families and turning all of them into soccer and Broncos fans.