Kindergarten Website


Debbie Kessler

Debbie is excited for the school year and feels grateful to begin her fourth year teaching at Ben Franklin Academy. She is so happy to be a part of the kindergarten team.

As a teacher, she feels that it is her obligation to encourage students to be successful, to give them every opportunity to excel, and to challenge them to their fullest potential. In addition, she believes that it is important to teach and model good character in a nurturing classroom environment.

Originally from Ohio, Debbie’s undergraduate degree is from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus. She moved to Colorado 13 years ago and received her Colorado teaching license and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Regis University. She loves children and enjoys helping them learn and grow.

Living in Highlands Ranch, Debbie has three children. Her older two are adults: one is a missionary and the other is in seminary. Her youngest is a sophomore who attends high school in Douglas County. Debbie spends most of her free time with her family. In addition, she enjoys the outdoors, traveling to the beach and mountains, working out at the gym, attending church activities, and spending time with friends.

Debbie is looking forward to a great school year with her kindergarteners and their families.

Susan Klee

Susan will be beginning her 26th year of teaching and absolutely loves teaching Kindergarten! 
Susan feels very fortunate to be a part of the Ben Franklin Academy Kindergarten Team. Susan received her degree in Early Childhood Education from Iowa State University.

Susan lives with her husband in Parker, and they have four wonderful children.  Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family.  Susan’s interests include sports, camping, hiking, biking, crafts, going to the beach, and of course shopping!  She looks forward to another wonderful year of teaching at BFA.

Kayla Murray

Kayla will be beginning her eighth year of teaching kindergarten this year.  A Colorado native, she attended schools in the Douglas County School District.  She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Elementary Education where she played for the women’s soccer team for 4 years on an athletic scholarship.  She received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix.

She lives in Lakewood with her husband Jay, her son Joel, daughter Blair, and golden retriever dog Jax.  She welcomed her daughter Blair to the world in April.  A newborn and a toddler keep her very busy at home, but she loves every minute of it.   Kayla enjoys spending time with family, watching her son and daughter grow each day, traveling, playing soccer, watching movies, and camping.  She has been teaching at Ben Franklin Academy since it has opened and she feels so fortunate to be apart of the BFA family.  She is looking forward to another great year!

Emily Pitrone


Rhonda Walton

A “true southern gal,” Rhonda was born in New Orleans and grew up in central Mississippi.  She attended Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi), where she received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. 
Upon graduation, she moved to Memphis where Rhonda began her career teaching sixth grade.  She then taught kindergarten for eleven years in Olive Branch, Mississippi.  She created a transition class between kindergarten and first grade and taught that class for 8 years. 

Rhonda moved to Colorado and joined the teaching staff at Platte River Academy where she taught sixth grade for 5 years.  While teaching at Platte River, she attended the Grand Canyon University online program and earned her master’s in Reading Education.

In 2011 Rhonda joined the BFA family. She has truly enjoyed teaching at BFA and is looking forward to another terrific year. 

She lives with her husband and their dog Aja in Littleton, Colorado. Rhonda enjoys running, hiking, reading, and working in her gardens.  One of her favorite things to do is watching football, especially Ole Miss football when she can!

Rhonda has one daughter and 3 “bonus” children, all of whom are now grown.  Rhonda’s daughter lives in Memphis with her husband and their two very precious daughters. Her stepchildren and their families live in the Denver area.