Preschool Students Graduating
Preschool Students Sing For Parents in Graduation Gowns and Hats.

    Lori Hafner

    Preschool Director


    I am incredibly excited to be stepping into the Preschool Director role at Ben Franklin Academy! I believe that early learning is a great way to begin building the foundation of a child’s future by providing opportunities for development and growth. I encourage positive interactions and relationships with both the parents and the children by providing all families with attention, acceptance, and affection.

    I was so fortunate to have been part of all of the preschool classrooms last year here at BFA and was able to get to know all of the children and their families. I look forward to building those relationships even more next year. I will cheer our Pre-K classes as they successfully enter Kindergarten next year and look forward to seeing so many of their bright smiles in the hall. I can’t wait to see all the growth in our 3-year-olds heading into our Pre-K classes! I am eager to welcome in all the new 3-year-old families, along with a few more Pre-K children and families.

    I have lived in Highlands Ranch for almost 25 years. I live with my husband, Adrian, our 24-year-old daughter, Shelby, our 21-year-old son, Sheldon, and our 17- year-old daughter, Shantell. I look forward to working with our current amazing BFA families and continue getting to know more wonderful new BFA parents in the years to come.  

    I know that we are in a very unknown and uncertain time for how the beginning of the next school year will even look like. Still, I want you to know that I am here to make it the best experience for everyone that is part of the preschool program. We indeed are in this all together, and this experience will only make us better and stronger! I am so looking forward to being part of this outstanding school.

    Faculty Favorites

        Christie McConnell

        Lead Preschool Teacher, Preschool 3’s and afternoon Pre-K 4’s

        Christie McConnell is a Kansas native who has been living in Colorado for 13 ½ years. This will be her fifth-year teaching at BFA. She is excited to be a part of your child’s preschool, learning experience. Christie has been married for 16 ½ years to Anders, and has two sons, Jack 15 and Sam 13 ½. Christie has a master’s degree in Social Work, working primarily in geriatrics, and has over 10 years’ experience. She took a 10-year hiatus, staying at home with her children. During those 10 years she decided to pursue a preschool teaching certificate. She was an assistant at her son’s preschool and fell in love with the teaching experience. Christie’s teaching philosophy is learning comes through play and confidence comes through encouragement. When Christie is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, watching classic movies, taking walks with her dog, Mae, and hiking. She wants her families to know that she has an open-door policy, encouraging any questions that may occur in order to make the parent/teacher relationship a positive one.

            Shannon Olson

            Lead Preschool Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten 4’s

            Shannon is excited to be teaching preschool for her 10th year at Ben Franklin Academy. Shannon went to the University of Northern Colorado and received a degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Elementary Education.  Having taught Pre-K, First Grade, Fifth Grade and Sixth Grade throughout her 20 years of teaching Shannon has a great understanding of the fundamentals that kids need.  Shannon has always had a passion for teaching and enjoys watching the growth that happens in a year.  

            In her free time Shannon loves spending time with her family.  Shannon and her husband, Chris, a high school teacher and coach, have been married for 23 years.  They have two wonderful kids, Kiernan, a 19-year-old college student at UNC, and Kellen, a 16-year-old lover of sports at D’Evelyn Senior High School.  

            Shannon looks forward to welcoming her new Preschool families and helping to build a foundation for BFA students.  


              Leigh Savoy

              Preschool Aide and BASE Director

              Leigh is honored to be part of the Ben Franklin Academy Preschool team.  She loves working with young children because of their openness and willingness to learn.  After operating a licensed home daycare for several years, Leigh went back to school to earn her Early Childhood Education Teaching Certificate.  Leigh has been a member of the Pre-K program for nine years.

              Leigh and her husband Frank have been married for 31 years and have lived many places thanks to the Military.  They have three wonderful children, two sons ages 28, 22 and a daughter that is 17.  They have lived in Highlands Ranch for the last 16 years.

              In her free time, Leigh likes to spend time with her family, playing tennis and spending time a lot of time outdoors in the beautiful Colorado weather. Currently Leigh is a student at Arapahoe Community College furthering her passion in the Early Childhood Education. Leigh is the BASE Director and Co-Director of the Summer Camp program.  Leigh is excited to begin the school year and make a positive impact in your children’s lives.

              Faculty Favorites

                  Krista Schmidt

                  Preschool Aide

                  Krista is very excited to begin her 8th year at Ben Franklin as a Preschool Assistant Teacher.  She loves working with small children and helping them find their” Lightbulb Moments”.  Krista has been married to her husband Jeremy for 20 years and has 3 great kids, Logan (18, US Navy), Cody (15), and Emily (12).  As a family we like to go ATVing and taking trips back to North Dakota to visit family and friends.  

                  Krista looks forward to another amazing year in preschool and getting to know your children.

                  Faculty Favorites