2nd & 3rd Grade CREW

Melissa Kenfield
2nd Grade

Melissa began her career in education sixteen years ago, teaching Kindergarten at a Littleton private school. She's enjoyed teaching both first grade and second grade at Tollgate for the last ten years. Her love for creating experiences where students can engage in constructing their own understanding, become responsible for their own learning, all while helping their crew mates become better people than thought possible, aligns well with Expeditionary Learning's philosophy. She has a B.A in Behavioral Science from Metro State University of Denver and a M.S. Elementary Reading and Literacy. She is a Colorado native and grew up loving all the natural beauty that Colorado has to offer. She has been married to her husband for six years, and they are parents to two adorable pups. On the weekends, her and her husband love to complete around-the-house projects, and head to the mountains for fishing, practicing archery, and enjoy good conversations with close friends around the campfire.

Email: mmkenfield@aurorak12.org

Mindy Bergen
2nd Grade

Mindy grew up in California and came to CSU for college, where she graduated with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She has her Masters in Educational Psychology from CU Denver and has been teaching at Tollgate for 14 years. She has taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, but 2nd grade is her favorite! Mindy loves the community that Tollgate builds. She travels across Colorado and the mid-west following her 2 daughters softball, gymnastics and swimming careers. In her free time she loves to hike with her family.

Email: mabergen@aurorak12.org

Elsa LeGrand
2nd Grade

Elsa is a Colorado native, the youngest of four kids, and aunt to 9 awesome nieces and nephews. She played volleyball at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology. After college, She played professionally in Denmark for ten months. From 2014-2016 she served as a Graduate Assistant Coach for the volleyball program at Regis University where she earned a Master’s degree in Education. In her spare time she loves to play volleyball, travel, and spend time with family and friends. Elsa is passionate about creating positive and memorable learning experiences through connection with crew members and the greater community in order to help students reach their highest potential.

Email: ealegrand@aurorak12.org

Emilie Lehrer
2nd Grade

Emilie grew up outside of Philadelphia and recently moved to Colorado after living in Nashville for 7 years. She attended college at Belmont University where she studied English Literature. She then attended Vanderbilt University where she received her Masters degree in Elementary Education and Culturally Linguistically Diverse Education. Her favorite part of teaching at Tollgate is exploring expeditions with her students and finding new ways to connect learning to the community and beyond. She is grateful because teachers and students at Tollgate never stop learning. In her free time, Emilie loves to draw and cook new foods. She has a husband in the Air Force and an adorable puppy named Rainer. They love to find new hikes to fill sunny weekends!

Email: emlehrer@aurorak12.org

Matalin Binder
3rd Grade

Matalin has roots in Colorado, Chicago, and Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in Elementary and Special Education. She taught K-2 special education in Madison, Wisconsin before moving to Tollgate Elementary. This will be her seventh year teaching 3rd grade at Tollgate. She loves teaching at Tollgate because of the community, students, and passionate staff. When Matalin is not teaching, you can find her reading, playing with dogs, doing yoga, cooking new recipes, and spending time with her family.

Email: mrbinder@aurorak12.org

Kayli Brooks
3rd Grade

Kayli is from Louisville, Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. She has been teaching at Tollgate since 2015. She loves Tollgate's focus on social-emotional learning, exploring the outdoors, and fieldwork. In her free time, Kayli loves to be hiking, doing DIY projects, yoga, taking care of her plants, and watching documentaries. Since she is far from home, she enjoys FaceTime with her family which includes her mom, dad, and 5 siblings.

Email: kabrooks@aurorak12.org

Tori Riches, Third Grade Teacher

Tori Riches
3rd Grade

Tori grew up in Colorado and went to school at the University of Northern Colorado where she studied Elementary Education and Spanish. Tori spent her first three years teaching fifth grade at Dartmouth Elementary before moving to Tollgate in 2017 to teach third grade. She loves working at an EL school. Her favorite parts include seeing students develop a love of learning and teaching alongside such a passionate and hardworking staff. Tori loves being outside exploring the mountains and checking off as many national parks as possible! Hiking and camping are her favorite ways to explore new places.

Email: tariches@aurorak12.org

Robbie Smith
3rd Grade

Robbie grew up in Colorado and loves the outdoors. When he is not teaching, he spends a lot of time with his family and enjoys going on road-trips to fulfill his love for the National Parks. He is a big sports fan and loves playing football and basketball. Robbie attended the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) where he studied Communication. He recently graduated from CSU-Global with a Masters degree in Teaching and Learning. He is so excited to work at a school like Tollgate because of their focus on social-emotional development and hands on learning.

Email: rmsmith@aurorak12.org