Kristen is a highly qualified individual with a passion for early childhood development. She has a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Services with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She also has more than six years experience as an early childhood director and six years experience teaching at the preschool level. Kristen’s leadership skills are the building blocks for which BFA’s Core Knowledge preschool will become the mark for greatness in early childhood development.Faculty Favorites
Lori Hafner was born and raised on a dairy farm in a small town in North Dakota. After graduating from Valley State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and minors in Early Childhood, Physical Education, and Reading, she ventured out to the west where she taught second and third grade in Nevada for two years. In 1994, she married and moved out to California and taught 1st grade for another two years. She and her husband became blessed with a baby girl in 1996, so a job transfer to Colorado was perfect to be closer to family. That is when Lori decided to begin a whole new adventure. That fall after moving, she opened up her own in-home childcare business. Here she was able to be home to raise all three of her children and still do what she loved to do. As her children entered their school years, Lori turned her childcare business into a private in-home preschool. She loved working with the multi-age children and watching them learn and grow with each. This is where she discovered that her true passion was in early-childhood education. After 22 years, it felt right to begin a new journey and step back into a classroom setting. She is grateful to have been selected to be part of the Ben Franklin family.
Lori and her husband Adrian have been married 25 years and have three amazing children. Shelby, 23 and is attending pharmacy school at Colorado University Anschutz Medical Campus. Sheldon, 20 will be a junior at UNC in Greeley, and Shantell, 16 will be a junior at Mountain Vista High School in fall. Our family loves listening to country music and attending concerts throughout the year.
Lori is beyond excited to begin this new chapter in her life with the children and families here at BFA. She is looking forward to challenging the children to have a lasting love for learning.
Christie McConnell is a Kansas native who has been living in Colorado for nine years. This is her first year at BFA and is excited to be a part of your child’s preschool experience. She will be an assistant teacher in the morning and a lead teacher in the afternoon. Christie has been married for 12 ½ years to Anders, and has two sons, Jack 11 and Sam 9 ½. Christie has a Master’s degree in Social Work, working primarily as a geriatric social worker for 10 years. She then took a 10 year hiatus staying at home with her children. During those ten 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 is excited to be teaching preschool for her 6th year at Ben Franklin. Shannon went to University of Northern Colorado and received a degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Elementary Education. Shannon has always had a passion for teaching and enjoys watching the growth that happens in a year.
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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 three years.
Leigh and her husband Frank have been married for 26 years and have lived many places thanks to the Military. They have three wonderful children. Her daughter Erin goes to BFA and her two sons have graduated high school. They have lived in Highlands Ranch for the last 11 years.
In her free time, Leigh likes to go camping, ride her dune buggy, play tennis and spending time outdoors. When time permits she loves a good book. Leigh also works in the wonderful BASE and Summer Camp programs. Leigh is excited to begin the school year and make a positive impact in our children’s lives.Faculty Favorites
Krista is so excited to become part of the Preschool team. She loves working with small children and watching those little light bulbs going off in their heads. She has worked in various daycare and learning facilities with young children. Preschool is one of her favorite ages because they are so excited to learn. Krista cannot wait to meet all the wonderful families that are entrusting their little ones to the BFA family.
Krista and her husband Jeremy have been married for 12 years. They have 3 children who attend BFA; Logan 6th, Cody 3rd, and Emily will be a kindie!! Together as a family they like to go on camping and hiking trips. Most of their vacations are spent in ND to visit family and friends.
Please let her know if you have any concerns or questions about your little one. She will be happy to assist your family in anyway.