Coaches & Support Staff

Katie Shenk
Teaching Partner

Katie was born and raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but has called Colorado home for the last 20 years. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. Katie first learned about EL Education (EL) while exploring the glaciers and rivers of Alaska and immediately connected to the vision of EL. She spent the first decade of her EL career teaching at the Odyssey School and Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning in Denver. She then joined the EL national staff as a school coach and curriculum designer. Katie is thrilled to have joined the Tollgate Crew as a coach and is inspired daily by the passionate and engaged teachers and students here. In her free time, Katie loves to swim, drink coffee, and explore with her wife Anna and kids, Henry and Hazel.

Email: kashenk@aurorak12.org

Kristin Houser
EL & Literacy Coach

Kristin is a Denver, Colorado native. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelors Degree in Natural Resources Management, then earned her teaching certification through the Stanley British Primary School program. Kristin loves working with the students at Tollgate, and all of the dedicated teachers who make up the Tollgate crew. In her free time, you can find her relaxing with her husband and chocolate lab Sombra, reading books, or enjoying a cup of tea.

Email: klhouser@aurorak12.org

Mary Higgins Price
Interventionist - Primary

Mary is a proud Colorado native and grew in up in Denver. After graduating from Santa Clara University, she moved to San Francisco where she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching at San Francisco University. She spent the next 4 years teaching 1st grade in San Francisco Unified and exploring the Bay Area. Although she loves California, she decided it was time to come home to Colorado and she's spent the last two years teaching 1st grade at McMeen Elementary in Denver Public Schools. Mary loves being a teacher and is so excited to learn more about Expeditionary Learning with the crew at Tollgate! Her favorite ways to pass time outside of school include cooking, hiking, swimming, concerts, yoga, and spending time with friends and family.

Email: MKHIGGINSPRICE@aurorak12.org

Carla Chavez
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE) Teacher Leader

Carla has worked at Tollgate for one year and absolutely loves the diversity and cultures of the students at Tollgate! She has been a teacher for 20 years and worked in Aurora Public Schools for 14 of those. She enjoys being a lead learner, leader, and advocate for English Language Learners. Carla is a Colorado native and is a very HUGE Colorado State University Rams fan and alumni. She has earned two Bachelor's and a Master's Degree. Carla is a PROUD mother of two amazing young men! She has one son who is 14 and will be attending Regis Jesuit High School and another who is 23 and just graduated from Colorado State University. She spends lots of time watching her sons, nieces, and nephews compete in a variety of sports. She loves to travel, go to the movies and sporting events, shop, and spend lots of quality time with family and friends!

Email: cnchavez@aurorak12.org

Brynn Calender
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE) Teacher Leader

Brynn Calender was born and raised in hot, sunny Arizona. There she received her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and her master's degree in Bilingual Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University and began her teaching career. Nine years ago, she moved to Colorado and began working in APS where she felt immediate connection with the amazing students we serve! Brynn loves learning and working alongside teachers to co-create classrooms where students know they belong and thrive. She recently also became a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach with a focus on functional medicine, so she spends part of her time working with clients at a doctor's office, as well. In her downtime you can find her hiking, cheering on the Broncos, or spending time with family and friends. She's so excited to be part of the Tollgate Crew!

Email: BMCALENDER@aurorak12.org

TBD
School Psychologist

Bio coming soon!

Email: coming soon!

Marisa Jordan
Cross-Categorical

Bio coming soon!

Email: mdjordan@aurorak12.org

Catherine Kellar
S
peech & Language Pathologist

Bio coming soon!

Email: cmkellar@aurorak12.org

Cindy Matthews
Interventionist & Gifted and Talented Coordinator

Bio coming soon!

Email: clmatthews@aurorak12.org

Dolores Gonzalez
District Nurse

Bio coming soon!

Email: ddgonzalez@aurorak12.org

Nicole Johnson
Social Worker

Nicole is a born and raised Colorado Native. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins for her Bachelor's Degree in Social work and the University of Denver for her Master's Degree in Social Work. Nicole has been a school social worker for Aurora Publics schools for the past eight years. She has been at Tollgate all eight of those years while also spending time on the district's Behavior, Evaluation and Support Team. Nicole loves helping students at Tollgate as well as working alongside our incredibly talented and dedicated staff. Outside of school, Nicole loves to camp, garden, root on the BRONCOS and spend time with her family, including her husband Charlie, dog Bradley Chubb and two cats, Champ Bailey and Von Meower.

Email: NAJOHNSON@aurorak12.org

Aimee Moncrief
Social Worker

Aimee was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received a bachelor’s of science in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Utah. She then moved to Denver, Colorado and recently graduated from the University of Denver with her master’s degree in Social Work. In her downtime you can find her spending time with her dog, Ralphy, practicing yoga, or reading at a coffee shop. She also enjoys anything crafty such as macramé, cross stitch or painting. She is so excited to be a part of the Tollgate Crew!

Email: AHMONCRIEF@aurorak12.org

Ms. Aimee's Google Site

Caitlin Saar
Aurora Mental Health Provider

Caitlin was born and raised in Colorado until she was about 6 years old when she moved to Virginia with her mom. She grew up in Northern Virginia attending Prince William County Public Schools and graduated from Christopher Newport University (CNU) with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in communications in 2013. While at CNU she was deeply involved with her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha and interned with the counseling department her senior year. After graduating from Christopher Newport University, Caitlin worked at Antietam Elementary as a teacher's assistant in one of their lower elementary special education classrooms for the 2013-2014 school year. As much as she liked Virginia, Caitlin was drawn to Colorado and moved back in 2014. She worked as a Group Living Counselor at Excelsior Youth Center and later a Paraprofessional at Metro Children's Center. In May 2019, Caitlin graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Masters in Social Work. In her free time, Caitlin loves spending time with her boyfriend and their two dogs. She enjoys traveling, hiking, tubing, paddle boarding, and just being outdoors.

Email: CaitlinSaar@aumhc.org

Sarah McKenzie
Kitchen Manager

Bio coming soon!

Email: slmckenzie@aurorak12.org

Lori Carlstrom
Head Custodian

Bio coming soon!

Email: ljcarlstrom@aurorak12.org