Faculty & Staff

Accelerated Schools employs carefully screened professionals in every area of administration and instruction. All teachers are certified or eligible for certification in the specific fields of their assignments, and all have a specialty that complements the background of their associates.

Many teachers hold advanced degrees in education, special education, psychology, sociology, mathematics, and reading. Each teacher must also complete extensive independent study courses in behavior and computer classroom management.

In addition to the teaching staff, head teachers and educational counselors with special training in behavior management analyze the education background and factors of psychological motivation affecting each student. They hold regular conferences with students and parents throughout the school year.

Because the faculty holds itself responsible for the student’s education, weekly staff-training and review sessions are held. This allows the entire staff the opportunity to contribute to an individual’s progress.

Georgina Bruce

High School Instructor

gbruce@acceleratedschools.org

Georgina earned her Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences from Trinity College and a Master’s degree in Geology from Colorado School of Mines. She also took classes in Astrophysics at UC Berkeley and spent time at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Georgina has taught geology at ACC and CCD in Colorado, and has taught STEM classes in various high schools overseas and in the U.S.. Her class in ballroom dancing at Bethlehem Lutheran School in Denver was transmitted by a local TV station.


Andrew Ellis

High School Instructor

aellis@acceleratedschools.org

Andrew has his Master’s in economics and an MBA in finance from the University of Colorado. He has taught upper-level math, college-credit economics, and various other subjects for 10+ years in the United States, Latin America, Turkey, and China.


Lori Fisher

Microschool Instructor

lfisher@acceleratedschools.org

Lori has a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Geography and minor in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. She later earned her teaching certificate from the University of Denver. She taught preschool and kindergarten before joining Accelerated Schools as the Art teacher followed by becoming the Microschool instructor. She is married and has one child.


Aundrea McCormick

High School Instructor

amccormick@acceleratedschools.org

Aundrea has a Bachelor’s of Science with a major in Physical Education and minor in Health from the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, AR. She also holds a TESOL Certification from the International Language Institute in Washington, D.C. She is currently pursuing her Principal’s license and Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from CSU-Global. Aundrea spent seven years as a collegiate basketball coach, instructor, and academic advisor. In addition, Aundrea has also been an ESL, English, and Reading teacher. Most recently, she managed an SES program in both Denver and Aurora Public Schools.


Valerie Montano

Music Instructor

vmontano@acceleratedschools.org

Valerie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, Master of Music degree from the University of Arizona, and Professional Teacher License from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. She has taught music at every level, from preschool through college and post-graduate students including Avila University, Jefferson County, Cherry Creek, and Colorado Springs School Districts. She has over forty years of teaching experience. Valerie is the founder and artistic director of the Denver Chorale.


Elizabeth Ryan

Middle School and High School Instructor

eryan@acceleratedschools.org

A Florida Native, Elizabeth received her Bachelors Degree in Strategic Communications from Bridgewater State University. She has been with Accelerated Schools since August of 2018, previously she worked for a residential school in Massachusetts for students with severe learning and developmental disabilities. Her passion for working with children stemmed from growing up with an older brother who has Autism.  Through her educational journey Elizabeth has also become an activist for the allergen friendly community along side Senator Markey. She has also been the leader for domestic violence rights, and has been working towards fighting the Opioid crisis through education and awareness.


Evan Simpson

Middle School and High School Instructor- Activities Coordinator

esimpson@acceleratedschools.org

Evan Simpson is a Colorado native and received his Bachelor’s in English Education from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He has worked as a youth counselor and mentor for traditional schools as well as outdoor education programs and is now in his fifth year of classroom teaching. He works to have students engaged in their own education by helping them find their passions and interest.


Olena Way

High School and Art Instructor

oway@acceleratedschools.org

Olena is an artist and a teacher from Ukraine. She received her Master’s in Linguistics in 2006 from the Ukrainian College or Arts and Sciences. She has taught English to teenagers and Business English to adults, working for private schools in Kiev, Ukraine. In 2015 she started a small business selling her art on greeting cards and teaching sip and paint classes. Olena enjoys the challenges and rewards of working with teenagers and looks for creative solutions on a day-to-day basis.


Jane T. Queen

Executive Director

jqueen@acceleratedschools.org

Jane has Bachelor of Science with a major in Science and a minor in Education. She has been with Accelerated Schools since 1979. Jane was nominated by the Colorado Counselor Association as Counselor of the Year. Jane recruits and enrolls new students and provides academic and behavioral counseling for students and parents.


John Klieforth

Principal

jklieforth@acceleratedschools.org

John holds a Master of Science in Business Education. He completed his Administrative program at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is also a College of Financial Planning graduate. John spent 25 years in public education, lastly as Superintendent of Schools in Clear Creek County, Colorado. He has served as Principal at Accelerated Schools since 1997.


Michelle Tuengel

Senior Associate Director and Admissions

mtuengel@acceleratedschools.org

Michelle earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Metropolitan State College with a minor in Reading. She earned her teaching license in 1994 and has 15+  years’ experience in education. Michelle is the coordinator for the Middle and Elementary schools at Accelerated Schools as well as recruiting and enrolling new students. She enjoys studying genealogy and traveling.


Cale Dunlap

Associate Director, Technology and Recruitment, High School and Middle School Instructor

cdunlap@acceleratedschools.org

Cale earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Banking Management from Stamford International University. He has also studied various subjects like engineering, linguistics, and philosophy at several universities. Cale spent many years teaching Math and Science in Thailand and has used his linguistic skills to assist doctors in providing medical care for migrant farm laborers, to serve as a linguist in the United States Air Force, and to provide foreign language education to students.


Marianna Bagge

Director of Community Outreach and Recruitment

mbagge@acceleratedschools.org

Marianna holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Mikkeli Polytechnic University in Finland and a teaching certificate through the State of Colorado. She has over 25 years of experience in education, including working at Accelerated Schools and owning her own educational consulting company. Marianna also recruits and enrolls new students.


Daniel R. Toomey

Recruitment, Admissions and High School Instructor

dtoomey@acceleratedschools.org

Daniel has a bachelor’s and a masters degree in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. In 2015, he completed an Educational Leadership (Principalship MEd) from Arizona State University. He has been teaching in private schools for the past thirty-three years. He taught at Denver Academy for twenty-eight years, Humanex Academy for six, and had the pleasure of teaching on Hickham Airforce base in Honolulu, Hawaii for a year before he was recruited back to Denver.


Andrea Tovar

Business and Technology Manager

atovar@acceleratedschools.org

Andrea is a skilled business professional with 18+ years of experience in a versatile human resource, operations coordination, and executive administrative skill set. Her past experience also includes partnering with academic tutors specializing in ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, ESL, executive function, and diverse learners to help develop curriculum and professional development training. In addition, Andrea was a main collaborator in establishing Supplemental Education Programs and grant programs for six years with Denver Public Schools, Aurora Public Schools, Westminster School District, and Cherry Creek School District.


Nadean Johnson

Transportation and Security Director

njohnson@acceleratedschools.org

Nadean has been in the security field for more than 16 years. Her training includes TEAM training (Techniques for Effective Aggression Management), de-escalation, first aid, and CPR certification. She takes great pride in keeping Accelerated Schools’ students, staff, and campus safe. In addition, as Director of Transportation she is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all the transportation vehicles, along with scheduling student routes for pick-up and drop-off. Nadean is a Colorado Native, has two cats, two parrots, and enjoys gardening in the summer.


John Delacruz

Chief Financial Operator

jdelacruz@acceleratedschools.org

John has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with Finance and Accounting specialties from Piedmont College. Additionally, he served nine years in the Army and has 15 years of quality administrative experience with various accounting firms and businesses. He is currently enrolled in the University of Colorado MBA program and will be attaining his CPA license in addition to his graduate degree.

 


Ariel Hayes

Administrative Assistant

ahayes@acceleratedschools.org

Ariel is currently enrolled at Arapahoe Community College and plans to transfer to Metropolitan State University to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She is new to Colorado and started her college career at San Diego State University. She handles day-to-day operations in the office. Ariel loves traveling, good food, and art museums.   

 


Craig Havel

Maintenance Supervisor

chavel@acceleratedschools.org

Craig is a skilled tradesman with over 21 years of experience in new home construction. He spent the last 13 years serving as Facilities Manager at Bear Creek Church in Lakewood, Colorado. Craig also worked with special needs students twice a week from the local High School by offering a Community Living course, which helped to prepare the students for living independently.