5th Grade Teachers

Katie Murphy 


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Katie completed her thirteenth year of teaching this past year.  She has worked with students in grades three through five for the majority of her career and has taught fifth grade for twelve years.  Teaching is her passion, and she loves every minute she gets to spend in the classroom.

Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Painting from the University of Missouri Kansas City, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver, and a Master of Science in Special Education from Western Governor's University.

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Katie moved to Colorado in 1999.  She lives with her husband, Patrick, and their three children, Lillia (5th grade), Aidan (2nd grade) and Charlie (kindergarten), in Highlands Ranch.  Katie spends most of her free time keeping up with her very active children. She also loves to spend time knee deep in a great book or running the beautiful trails throughout Highlands Ranch.  Katie and her husband also enjoy gardening (she works on the flowers, and he grows giant pumpkins).  As a family, they enjoy being outdoors, family game and movie nights, trips to the mountains and visiting her family in Wisconsin.

Katie looks forward to her fourth year of teaching at Ben Franklin Academy and working with her amazing fifth grade team!

Kevin Knudsen


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Kevin is excited to begin his fourth year of teaching.  He joined BFA as a second career teacher, having spent the past several years in business.  He looks forward to providing the education, leadership, and guidance to assist with each student’s present and future success. Kevin is also the boy's soccer coach and the girl's and boy’s basketball coach.

Kevin graduated from Colorado State University and later earned his master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix.

Another Colorado native, Kevin lives with his wonderful wife, Sarah, and daughters, Chloe (age 5), Carly (age 4), and Charlotte (10 months)  in Parker.  Kevin looks forward to another great year at BFA.

Paula Harrison


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Paula has been teaching at Core Knowledge Charter Schools for the past 14 years.  She has spent her time being a Reading Specialist, teaching technology, and teaching third through fifth grades with the majority of those years with fabulous fifth graders.  

Paula is from Illinois and a graduate of Southern Illinois University.  She moved to Colorado 14 years ago and would not want to live anywhere else.  When not teaching, she spends her time with her two children, Nicolas, a Heritage High School graduate, and Jenna, a Senior at Heritage.  She also loves to read, hike, travel (when given the opportunity), and do anything that keeps her busy.

Lyndell Dunn


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Mrs. Dunn is joining us from the other side of the Rocky Mountains, where skiing is better (so says her husband, at least).  For the past 15 years, she and her family have lived in various suburban towns in Utah, south of Salt Lake City.  She and her husband, who met at BYU, never expected to stay in Utah so long, and they are excited to come to Colorado to have new adventures and make new friends! 

Mrs. Dunn does not really claim a hometown, as her family moved extensively when she was little, but she does reminisce fondly of her high school days in sunny San Diego.   She has always been involved in sports; namely gymnastics, cheerleading, and volleyball.  She enjoys trying new things, and is not afraid to get a little dirty in the process.  She believes that seeing and doing things is a better way to learn, so her classroom tends to be a hands-on place.

Children and teaching have always been a passion for Mrs. Dunn.  Being the second of six children, she got plenty of practice working with children.  Now she is a mother of four children, ranging from seven to fifteen, and has been blessed to teach hundreds of children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.  She first got involved with charter schools in 2007, when a spot opened up for her son’s enrollment.  She began teaching in one the very next year and hopes to be able to do so indefinitely.

Mrs. Dunn is very pleased to be joining Ben Franklin Academy- her #1 school of choice!