Kate Crespo

    Elementary PE

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    Kate is excited to be starting her seventh year with BFA as a middle school Math Teacher. Kate earned her master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix in 2010, and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Information Technology from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2004, where she played basketball and soccer.

    Kate has been married for twelve years, and has two children, both attend BFA.  Kate and her husband, Jose, also have two dogs named Mufasa and Nala. Kate grew up in New Jersey and feels lucky to have called Colorado home for the past twelve and a half years. Kate enjoys staying fit, taking long walks, watching and playing sports, and spending time with her family and close friends. She can’t wait to help kids have fun learning math at BFA.

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        Janet Harlow

        Life Skills and SPED Aide

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        Janet is happy to be back this year teaching Life Skills in the morning and working with Student Support in the afternoon. Janet enjoys teaching the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders what is necessary for success above and beyond what they learn academically. This will be Janet’s 7th year as a part of the middle school. During the summers, Janet is also the Co-Director of the successful BFA Summer Camp program.  Janet enjoys the constant connection with a large number of students,

        Janet has earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and is currently finishing the student teaching portion for her Master’s in Special Education from Grand Canyon University.  Janet is a mom of two.  Her daughter works full-time in the management field in Portland OR, while her son is a Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps.  As an empty nester, Janet enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her cats, Harper and Tulo.  Janet has lived in Colorado since 2006, after many years in Texas.  Born in Wyoming, she enjoys the wide-open spaces and the mountains. She enjoys drawing, painting, and reading.  She loves watching sports: the Colorado Rockies, college football, and college basketball.  

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          Ali Hinkle

          K-8 Art Teacher

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          Ali has been teaching for more than twenty years. She graduated from Sussex University in England with a bachelor’s degree in Art and Education and went on to teach in England, Spain and Italy for many years before coming to America in 1994. After spending a few years at home with her children, she began teaching again. She has been teaching art in Core Knowledge schools in Douglas County since 2005. She lives in Highlands Ranch with her husband, John, who is  a native Coloradan. They have two children who are busy pursuing their own careers. Their daughter is a Sargent in the Air National Guard working towards her nursing degree and their son is studying engineering at CU Boulder. She loves teaching art and is proud to have been a part of Ben Franklin Academy from the beginning. She is also excited to be able to teach at a S.T.E.A.M. school where art is considered to be an important part of a well-rounded education.

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            Jaime Johnson

            K-5 Music

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            Ms. Jaime Johnson is happy to be back as the K-8 music director at Ben Franklin Academy. She is responsible for directing all performances and after school classes as well as teaching elementary general music and middle school music and theatre electives.

            Ms. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from University of Redlands and a Masters in Music Education from University of Colorado Boulder. Outside of Ben Franklin, Ms. Johnson is the music director for the theatre group Audience of One and sings with Skyline Chorus, a barbershop group. Prior to BFA, she taught band and orchestra at three Douglas County schools and K-8 general music at a charter school in Denver.

            Ms. Johnson truly believes in the power of the performing arts and is thrilled BFA is a STEAM school. Her role as a music teacher is to teach skills that will help students succeed in school and in life such as working with others, listening, storytelling, speaking in front of a group, being a good audience and accepting other people’s interests. Through the arts, she has seen students come out of their shells and embrace learning.

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              Beth Konesky

              Middle School S.T.E.A.M.

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              With a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Creighton University, more than 10 years in the computer industry as a programmer and network engineer, along with many years as a Technology Teacher, Beth has a plethora of ideas and hands-on activities to inspire and challenge students. A die-hard Broncos fan, Beth loves Colorado, the outdoors, her two teenage daughters, and learning new things!

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                Craig Macias

                Middle School PE & Health

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                I am a sixth year teacher and a graduate of Colorado State University.  My course work and life have prepared me to be an informed, dynamic, professional in the Health and Physical Education field. In high school I was on the baseball, football and tennis teams where my coaches taught me the value of hard work, dedication, being a stand up individual and many other life lessons that I hope I can pass along to my students.   I do not only teach Health and Physical Education, I also live it.  I like to think that I practice what I preach!  Some of my favorite hobbies are exercising and playing/coaching different sports.  I have coached elite youth baseball, football and golf throughout the last ten years which has helped inspire me to pursue my dream of becoming a Health and Physical Education teacher and Athletic Director.  I love to try new things and spend time with my family and friends.  Lastly I truly love and have a lot of passion for what I do.  I believe I have the best job in the world, and get up every day thankful that I get to do what I do.  I love working with all my students, and having the opportunity to teach them how to be healthy and physically fit.

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                  Laura Tickle

                  K-5 Technology

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                  Teaching has always been a passion of Laura’s, and she loves being a member of the Ben Franklin Academy staff. Laura has taught for many years. She has taught fourth grade and currently is the K-5 Specials technology teacher. Technology is important to BFA and Laura is able to help effectively integrate technology into the hands of students at BFA.

                  Laura received her Bachelor’s degree in 2009 in Elementary Education from Purdue University. She has her certification in Linguistically Diverse Education from the University of Colorado at Denver, as well as a Masters in Information and Learning Technologies from the University of Colorado at Denver. Laura also received an award for ‘Outstanding Student in the Program’ at the end of her Masters program course work. This ILT program not only allowed Laura to grow with her own personal education, but it helps bring many of the latest ideas and projects related to technology into the classrooms at BFA. Laura also teaches two educational technology courses at the University of Colorado at Denver.

                  A Colorado native, Laura loves working out, watching football and spending time with her family.

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                    Emily Ward

                    K-5 Science Specialist

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                    Emily is thrilled to partner again with the teachers, parents, and staff as Ben Franklin Academy’s Science Specialist. Her goal is to help students reinforce the concepts they are taught in class as well as delve deeper into the Scientific Process. Emily has been with BFA since it opened; she started at BFA as a fourth grade teacher before becoming the Science Specialist in 2014. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities with her computer animator husband, Cliff, their independent young lady, Iris, new little miss, Cerise, and crazy mutt, Gertie. 

                    As our namesake, Benjamin Franklin, said, “The doors of wisdom are never shut.” Emily has always had a passion for science, which has led her to obtain her Master’s in Math and Science Curriculum Instruction. She hopes to instill this love of learning, questioning, and curiosity to the students using meaningful experiments and hands-on explorations. Emily looks forward to continue getting to know the elementary students and fostering their love of science!

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                      Patricia Connell

                      Middle School Spanish

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                      Sra. Connell is very proud to be part of such a great school! Even though this is her first year at Ben Franklin, this is her nineteenth year in the educational field with seven years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and 12 years in Douglas County, Colorado.

                      After graduating from school in Peru with a degree in Tourism Administration, she moved to the United States where she changed her career to education to become a Spanish teacher.  Sra. Connell has taught at all levels and at all ages from Preschool to women’s college at Denver University. She attended Ashford University and also obtained an endorsement in Spanish from Metropolitan state University. She is a member of the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers.

                      Sra. Connell’s believes in learning through hands-on activities and lots of public speaking. She also teaches an adult Spanish class at the Littleton YMCA.