Special Education

Alexandra Herrema
Cross-Categorical Teacher 

Hello, this is Ms. Mae. The ‘23-‘24 school year will be her first year as a cross categorical teacher at Tollgate. With this being her first year teaching, Ms. Mae is so excited to be in the Tollgate community and a part of the CREW! She was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado and went to a private school for her K-12 years. Ms. Mae loves everything art and music, plants, exploring new places, being with her two brothers and parents, and being with her friends and her communities! Once she graduated high school, she decided to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. While growing up, she was a student who did not receive much support in special education, so she made it her mission to become a special education teacher who will always provide her students with the care and support that they need. She is ready to teach and see her students thrive as individuals and in their communities!    

Email: alexandra.herrema@aurorak12.org

Kelly Berrigan
Speech and Language Pathologist

Kelly Berrigan was born and raised in Arlington Heights, Illinois, a Northwest suburb of Chicago. She graduated from Illinois State University with her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and graduated from Midwestern University-Downers Grove with her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She moved to Denver, Colorado with her boyfriend and puppy in July 2022 to begin a new life adventure. Kelly believes in Tollgate’s mission to "explore, question, and create”. She is passionate about creating an inclusive and welcoming environment. Outside of school, you can find Kelly whipping up a new dish, reading a good book, trying out new restaurants, or exploring all of what Colorado has to offer! 


Catherine O'Meara
Speech and Language Pathologist

Catherine grew up in South Dakota and attended University of Wyoming for both her undergraduate and graduate degree. This is her third year in education. Catherine believes that every student deserves a voice. Outside of therapy, she enjoys hiking with her dog and husband, baking, and traveling. Catherine is excited to be a part of the Tollgate CREW! 

Email: cmomeara@aurorak12.org 

Sierra Llyod
Occupational Therapist

Sierra Lloyd was born in Boulder, Colorado and grew up in a small town in the mountains. She worked as an inclusive early intervention teacher before working towards her doctorate in occupational therapy and later practicing in inpatient rehabilitation for 3 years. Sierra enjoys and appreciates occupational therapy in the education system because of her passion for inclusion, creative environments, and holistic engagement. She always strives to share a smile and provide a listening ear. Outside of work she loves spending time with her family and fur baby, being outdoors, seeing live music, and traveling for new food and experiences.

Email: sllyod@aurorak12.org

Nicole Johnson
Social Worker

Nicole is a born and raised Colorado native. She attended Colorado State University for her Bachelors in Social Work and the University of Denver for her Masters in Social Work. This will be Nicole’s 11th year as a school social worker at Tollgate Elementary. She enjoys being a trusted adult at Tollgate and supporting the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of her students. Outside of school Nicole loves spending time with her husband Charlie, her son Jackson, and her pets. They enjoy going camping, spending time with family, gardening, and cheering on the Denver Broncos! 

Email: najohnson@aurorak12.org

Madison Peppa
Social Worker

Ms. Peppa is originally from a suburb of Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Kansas. The 2023-2024 school year will be Ms. Peppa’s eighth year as a school social worker. Ms. Peppa started her career working at an elementary school outside of Chicago before she moved to Colorado in 2020, where she worked for three years at an elementary school in Englewood. Outside of school, Ms. Peppa enjoys running, hiking, camping, and skiing. She also enjoys hanging at home with her two dogs, Birdie and Kona, and her cat, Leroy. Ms. Peppa is very excited to be a part of the Tollgate crew! 

Email: mpeppa@aurorak12.org