Diana Simpson 



    Diana has been a part of Ben Franklin Academy since the school opened in 2011.  She is excited to see the founding Board’s mission and vision being realized on a daily basis in the school.  She looks forward to continue partnering with families to make Ben Franklin Academy THE Charter School of Choice in Douglas County.

    For the past twenty years, Diana has been involved in charter schools. Most recently, she served as the assistant principal for fifth through eighth grade at BFA, and before that was the assistant principal for kindergarten through fourth grade. Simpson was a teacher for 13 years, with experience in fifth grade, sixth grade and as a 6-8 grade Social Studies teacher. A self-described “Colorado girl,” Simpson received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado and her Master’s Degree in Administration from Western State University.

    Diana wants to see every child succeed and grow academically.  She wants to make sure that the teachers have all the tools they need to make that happen for each of their students.

    “I look forward to working with students, parents, teachers, and staff to build on BFA’s dedication to meeting the needs of each student and furthering the school’s mission and vision,” said Simpson.

    Diana and her husband, Kevin, live in Parker with their three dogs.  Her son, Kenny, is attending the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and is studying PGA Golf Management.  Her family loves to travel and spend time together cheering on the Broncos and the Rockies

    Faculty Favorites

        Aric Gomez

        Assistant Principal, grades K-4


        Aric feels blessed to be at Ben Franklin Academy, working with an amazing  staff  and students. BFA is an incredible school and he feels honored to be a part of this community.  Aric is a Colorado native and is very proud of that fact, as he was raised and currently lives in Littleton. He has been married for 20 years to Teresa who is a middle school science teacher and they have three amazing kids: Octavia is a 12th grader at Mullen High School, Peyton is a 10th grader at Mullen, and Noah is in fourth grade. When he is not working with students, his own kids keep him busy with singing, church, soccer, cross country, basketball, robotics, baseball, etc.  He enjoys coaching soccer, running, going to church and doing anything with his family.

        This school year will mark his twenty-seventh year in education. Aric has had wonderful opportunities to be at a very wide variety of schools in his professional career. He has been a teacher for 10 years and an administrator for 13 years. He has a unique understanding of education as he has been at all levels of the K-12 continuum. In addition to being a passionate teacher and administrator, Aric has also been a coach, club sponsor and mentor to thousands of students throughout the years. He has a strong belief in the development of the whole child and that every single child is important. He looks forward to building those critical, positive and genuine relationships with all the students and families as they journey through Ben Franklin Academy.

        Faculty Favorites

            Richard Zaccaria

            Assistant Principal, grades 5 - 8

            My name is Richard Zaccaria and I am very excited to be a part of the Ben Franklin team! I have been an educator for the past nine years, working in various types of schools across multiple grade levels. I began my teaching career in New York City, working in both high schools and middle schools. While teaching in New York, I also attended Lehman College, where I earned a masters degree in Social Studies education and curriculum development. In 2018, I moved to Colorado with my wife, and began teaching 7th and 8th grade social studies in Aurora. While teaching in Colorado, I also attended the University of Denver to get my principal license. In my free time I enjoy fly fishing, hunting and being outdoors with my wife and two dogs!

                Lori Hafner

                Preschool Director


                I am delighted to be the Preschool Director and part of an incredible preschool team here at Ben Franklin Academy. I believe that early learning is a great way to build the foundation of a child’s future by providing opportunities for development and growth. I encourage positive interactions and relationships with the parents and the children by providing all families with attention, acceptance, and affection.

                “What did I want to be when I grew up?” The question we ask our little ones at the end of every school year at the age of 5! I can say that I have already known for as long as I can remember that I wanted to be a teacher. I followed my dream and completed a degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood emphasis. My first teaching job took me on an adventure to Nevada, and after getting married, I moved to California and taught for another two years. Wanting to move closer back to home brought us to Colorado. I began an in-home licensed childcare business, so I could be home with my children and still be able to do what I love. After 23 years, I retired from childcare and desired to get back into the school setting. I was excited to step back into the classroom and begin teaching at Ben Franklin and then stepping into the Director’s role in

                I was born and raised in North Dakota; I now consider Colorado my home as I have lived here for 28 years. I love it in Colorado as my husband, Adrian, and I have raised all three of our children here. My oldest daughter, Shelby, and son Sheldon are both in the real working world. My youngest, Shantell, is attending the University of Northern Colorado to pursue a teaching degree.

                I am looking forward to another great school year to meet new families and welcome our returning families back for another fantastic year!

                Faculty Favorites

                    Halsley Hoff 

                    Business Manager


                    Halsley loves being part of the Ben Franklin Academy family. She was involved with our PTO from the beginning initially serving as the Fundraising Coordinator and then as Secretary. She joined the BFA staff in November of 2012 working as the Business Assistant. In March 2015, she moved into the role of Business Manager.

                    She is a Colorado native and graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in Computer Science. Prior to BFA she worked as the Clinic/Grants & Contracts Manager at the Barbara Davis Center. Her oldest daughter was part of the first BFA Kindergarten class and will be a Senior this year, her youngest daughter graduated BFA last year and will be a Freshman.

                    Faculty Favorites