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.
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.
Elsa LeGrand: 2nd Grade
Elsa is originally from Highlands Ranch, and lived in Canada for about seven years through elementary and middle school, then moved back to Colorado for high school. She is the youngest of four kids, has wonderful parents, and a dog (brother) named Chip. She played volleyball at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and earned her Bachelor's degree in psychology. After college, She played professionally in Denmark for ten months. She received her Master's degree in education at Regis University, while coaching volleyball there as the Graduate Assistant coach. In her spare time she loves to play volleyball, be outside, do photography, travel, and spend time with family and friends.
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!
Matalin Binder: 3rd Grade
Matalin has moved around; growing up between Colorado, Chicago and finally Wisconsin! She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in Elementary and Special Education. She taught K-2 special education for a year at Schenk Elementary in Madison, Wisconsin before moving to Tollgate Elementary. This will be her third year teaching 3rd grade at Tollgate. Between the students, the diverse surrounding community, and the dedicated staff, she thinks working at Tollgate is the dream job. When Matalin is not teaching, you can find her reading, loving dogs, doing yoga, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Kaylinn Bonebright: 3rd Grade
Kaylinn 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 for 4 years! She loves how Tollgate focus's on exploring the outdoors and fieldwork. Kaylinn loves seeing all the high quality work students create and the community within the school between students and staff. In her free time, Kaylinn loves to play the piano and guitar. She loves hiking and spending time with her husband. Kaylinn enjoys reading books and doing crafts. Since she is far from home, she enjoys FaceTime with her family which includes her mom, dad, and her 5 siblings!
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. She have been teaching for four years. Tori spent her first three years teaching fifth grade at Dartmouth Elementary before moving to Tollgate 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.