Staff List

Front Office

Kathryn Martinez : Executive Director

Kathryn Martinez

Executive Director

kathryn@odysseydenver.org
For over a decade, I have worked in schools that bring learning to life in creative ways - prioritizing the joy and wonder in learning. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago and attending a K-8 school myself, I know the power of crew and the lifelong relationships that can be formed in these pivotal years. I began my teaching career as a Teach For America corps member in Houston, Texas. I then returned home to Chicago to teach and lead at a K-8 single site charter school. I moved to Denver in 2016 and served as an Assistant Principal and then Principal of a single site charter school in Northeast Park Hill. Having found my home in the Odyssey community, being the Executive Director is a great honor. The culmination of my beliefs in what school should look like have come together at Odyssey - meaningful character education, the creation of high quality work that reflects deep learning, and a robust outdoor education program.
The outdoors feeds my soul and when I am not spending time at Odyssey, I love to hike and explore Colorado's mountains. My husband, Nick, and I love to camp with our twins, Max and Charlie, and explore all that Colorado and the surrounding states have to offer. At home, I love to curl up with a good book and share my love of reading with all who will listen.
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Helen Baker-Moon : COVID Coordinator/Office Support

Helen Baker-Moon

COVID Coordinator/Office Support

helen@odysseydenver.org

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Levi Dexel : Director of Adventure

Levi Dexel

Director of Adventure

levi@odysseydenver.org

I am excited to begin my new journey at Odyssey as the Director of Adventure. I grew up in the south west part of Colorado where I fell in love with the outdoors. I completed my bachelors degree at New Mexico State University in K-12 Physical Education. After teaching elementary PE for 4 years in Tucson, AZ I attended Ohio University and received my Masters in Recreation studies with an emphasis in Adventure Programming. I previously worked at CU Boulder for the past 9 years overseeing the Outdoor Program while also teaching Avalanche Education Courses. I look forward to having the opportunity to continue to grow and develop the passion for the outdoors and adventure activities with all the students at Odyssey. I enjoy spending as much time on the water kayaking and rafting during the summer and fall and back-country skiing and teaching avalanche courses in the winter. I also enjoy climbing, mountain biking, and hiking with my dog Bailey and my partner.

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Ike Harvey : Dean of Culture

Ike Harvey

Dean of Culture

ike@odysseydenver.org

I was born in Chicago but raised and have lived in Denver my entire life. I am a DPS alumni who graduated from George Washington High School. I attended MSU Denver where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Sociology and CU Denver where I earned my Master's degree in Learning, Development, and Family Sciences. I taught middle school math at St. Elizabeth's School for five years.

In my free time I enjoy playing and watching sports, traveling with my partner, and riding my single speed bike around Denver. I am excited to become part of the Odyssey crew!

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Colin Hynes : Director of Instruction

Colin Hynes

Director of Instruction

colin@odysseydenver.org

Originally from the Boston area, my wife and I have lived in Denver since 2004. My professional journey has taken me from private to charter to neighborhood public schools, from rural to suburban to urban and from New Hampshire to Massachusetts to Colorado. Most recently, I have served as the Director of Curriculum & Instruction of The CUBE School in Park Hill. I am excited to join the Odyssey crew!

I earned my B.A. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Princeton and my M.Ed. from Harvard's Graduate School of Education. My wife and I have two children, Owen and Maeve, and dog named Oakley. I enjoy cooking, eating, traveling, sports and being a dad. In my spare time, I pretend to know how to coach youth lacrosse.

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Kim Neal : Office Manager

Kim Neal

Office Manager

kim@odysseydenver.org

I am a proud Denver native and a past Odyssey Mom. My beautiful one and only son attended Odyssey K-8 and graduated in 2015. I have been the Front Office Manager for 13 years and blessed to be with the Odyssey community for over 23 years. I continue to enjoy being involved in the strong Odyssey foundation, working alongside the amazing staff and being gifted to work with the children.

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Elki Neiberger : Director of Operations, Title IX Coordinator

Elki Neiberger

Director of Operations, Title IX Coordinator

elki@odysseydenver.org

I am a Denver native and graduate of Denver Public Schools. I attended the University of Colorado, Boulder and received a Bachelor's degree in Film Studies. I have two amazing children, Jack & Maggie, who are Odyssey graduates.

I have worked at Odyssey since fall of 1999!  The Odyssey community is my extended family and I feel so fortunate to watch and participate in the growth and learning of so many awesome young people!

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Teachers/Specialists

Deb Aruca : 1st Grade Assistant Teacher

Deb Aruca

1st Grade Assistant Teacher

deb@odysseydenver.org

Originally from the Washington DC area, I moved to Colorado after graduating from the University of Virginia for a change of scenery and a sense of adventure — I never left. Nowadays, whenever I ride a ski lift with my family, I encourage our kids to look around, take in all the incredible beauty of the landscape, and thank their lucky stars they get to call Colorado “home.”

Raised with a spirit of activism and public service, I was drawn to public education, pursued a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and earned my teaching license in Secondary English Language Arts. Since then, I have been a classroom teacher, consulted as a curriculum specialist, developed community-based educational programs and taught a wide range of learners from preschool to graduate school.

When my children were learning to read, I became fascinated by the process of literacy development and have dedicated all my recent training to early literacy and reading intervention. I look forward to working with and learning alongside Odyssey's 1st grade crews.

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Kenzie Baca : Paraprofessional

Kenzie Baca

Paraprofessional

kenzie@odysseydenver.org

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Becky Bechthold : Art Studio Teacher

Becky Bechthold

Art Studio Teacher

becky@odysseydenver.org

I received my BFA with an emphasis in painting and my teaching certificate from Metropolitan State University of Denver. I love being at Odyssey and helping students explore their ideas, playing with Studio materials and collaborating with others in our shared space.

When not at Odyssey, I am usually escaping to the mountains for a hike, a weekend camping trip or investigating various artist’s work throughout the Denver area.

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Emily Bremer : K-3 Literacy Specialist

Emily Bremer

K-3 Literacy Specialist

emily@odysseydenver.org
My name is Emily and I have been at Odyssey for the majority of my teaching career, first as a K/1 lead teacher and in recent years as a literacy specialist. I love the beautiful and joyful process of supporting students on their journeys as readers.
When not at Odyssey you can find me enjoying time outdoors with my sweet little family. Camping, hiking, exploring, cooking and reading together.
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Laurie Brockett : 4th Grade Teacher

Laurie Brockett

4th Grade Teacher

laurie@odysseydenver.org

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Billy Burch : Music Teacher

Billy Burch

Music Teacher

billy@odysseydenver.org

Billy was born in Rhode Island and grew up in Virginia.  After graduating from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) with a degree in music, he moved to Denver (where his father and grandparents spent much of their lives) to enjoy all that this wonderful city and its surroundings have to offer.  In 2005, Billy began working at the Odyssey School of Denver as a teaching assistant.  After returning to the role of student at UC Denver and earning his Master's degree in education, Billy gratefully accepted the role as a lead teacher of second and third grade in 2010.  He is thrilled and proud to be a part of this committed, driven, adventurous, and compassionate crew of staff members.  Some of Billy's favorite ways to pass the time outside of school include playing, listening to, and dancing to live music, and perhaps above all, skiing through heaps of powder with dear friends (many of whom are also Odyssey staffers)!

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Lisa Chin : 3rd Grade Teacher

Lisa Chin

3rd Grade Teacher

lisa@odysseydenver.org

I am excited to begin my second year at Odyssey as the third grade crew lead! Though I was born in Denver, I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where I enjoyed the great, albeit muggier, outdoors through camping and biking trips with my family. After high school, I studied psychology and poverty studies at the University of Notre Dame. Upon graduation, I found the mountains were calling and I moved back to Denver where I took up teaching as an Associate Educator for 3rd grade at Ashley Elementary.  I have taught 2nd and 1st grade for the past six years in DPS and I earned my Masters from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2018. I am eager to dive deeper into expeditionary learning and the culture of building life-long learners at Odyssey. The curiosities of our primary students fascinate me and I look forward to exploring the natural world with them as they make discoveries about our community and themselves. In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my dog, cooking new food, biking, and stand-up paddle boarding. My newest hobbies are watercolor painting and rock climbing. I am looking forward to learning and growing with my third grade crew this year!

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Paul Cindric : 3rd Grade Teacher

Paul Cindric

3rd Grade Teacher

paul@odysseydenver.org

Growing up in OH-IO as the youngest of six siblings I spent a lot of time trying to keep up with my brothers and sisters on all of their adventures.  After graduating from Ohio University I spent several years teaching in the classroom, as well as guiding and directing various outdoor programs including 5 years as the Director of Adventure at Odyssey.  This will be my eleventh year at Odyssey.  What keeps me coming back is that at Odyssey, "together, students and adults discover they can do more than they thought possible and find aspects of themselves that they didn't know were there.  Odyssey cultivates citizen scholars for life-long learning."

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Grace Downs : Kindergarten Teacher

Grace Downs

Kindergarten Teacher

grace@odysseydenver.org
Hi everyone! My name is Grace Downs and I am thrilled to join Odyssey as a Kindergarten crew lead. I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana where I attended Butler University and studied Elementary Education and Mild Intervention. I then taught Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and K-3 Special Education at a project-based, inner-city public school. Colorado has always held such a special place in my heart, and I finally made the decision to make the move over the summer. I am passionate about early childhood education and I can’t wait to explore, wonder, and grow alongside Odyssey’s youngest learners!
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Caitlin Eggimann : 2nd Grade Teacher

Caitlin Eggimann

2nd Grade Teacher

caitlin@odysseydenver.org

I'm Caitlin Eggimann and am the 7/8th grade Humanities teacher and crew leader! I grew up and went to college in Florida, where I earned my degree in Elementary Education and played soccer at Flagler College. I never thought I could live away from the beach until I discovered climbing and camping in the mountains through a middle school outdoor Experiential Education Science School I worked at in California for a year, right out of college. The love of mountains are what ultimately led me out to Denver, CO.  I have been teaching elementary education to grades 1-3 and 6th for the past ten years, with the last five years at an Expeditionary Learning (EL) school in Thornton, Colorado. Once I learned about EL Education, I will never go back to the same old way of doing things. I love teaching character traits and emotional learning in the classroom. I am passionate about equity in education on all levels, and believe education should be engaging, challenging, meaningful, and adventurous! Recently, I earned my Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas online and took some time to travel the world, climb in beautiful places, soak up different cultures, and spend time with family. Now, I am excited to teach 7th and 8th graders and help raise world changers! Outside of school, I try to be outside as much as possible. I love rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, soccer, park sports, and playing with my pup, Verde!

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Kicha Evans : K/1 Teacher Assistant

Kicha Evans

K/1 Teacher Assistant

kicha@odysseydenver.org

I have been a member of the Odyssey community since 2002!  I'm a Denver native growing up in Park Hill mostly.  I love watching the learning that happens here every day and seeing children grow.  I also love my co-workers!  My family is also growing as my husband and I are very excited to have our first child this year!

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Paul Frazier : Middle School Interventionist

Paul Frazier

Middle School Interventionist

paulf@odysseydenver.org

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Megan Hebert : 5th Grade Teacher

Megan Hebert

5th Grade Teacher

megan@odysseydenver.org

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Brian Johnson : 4th/5th/6th Grade Math Teacher

Brian Johnson

4th/5th/6th Grade Math Teacher

brian@odysseydenver.org
This is my fourth year at Odyssey teaching 5th-6th Math. I love all the opportunities EL presents to teachers and students. I was born in Iowa, raised on a Nebraska farm, and moved here to work at IBM-Boulder for my first career - engineering. After 15 years I went back to grad school at DU to change careers to teaching math. I have always been an amateur athlete, high school, college track, then competitive volleyball post grad. Unfortunately much less as I get older. I backpacked across Europe in college, and saw other parts of the world while traveling and playing competitive volleyball. I still plan to see as much of the world as I can before I’m done. My two dogs and my friends are my family here in Colorado. The rest of my family are spread among Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Maryland. Besides being a movie buff, traveling, and sports, I have gotten more into home remodeling and slowly renovating my 1880’s row house in the downtown area. It’s a labor of love. I have not yet decided where I will be buried.
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Jenn Kloeppel : Kindergarten Teacher

Jenn Kloeppel

Kindergarten Teacher

jenn@odysseydenver.org

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Linnea Krizsan : EL Education School Designer

Linnea Krizsan

EL Education School Designer

lkrizsan@eleducation.org

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Lisa Larsen : SPED Paraprofessional

Lisa Larsen

SPED Paraprofessional

lisalarsen@odysseydenver.org
Hello, my name is Lisa Larsen and I'm happy to be joining Odyssey as the special education para in 4th grade. I am a fifth generation Coloradan. I have my bachelors degree in Psychology and my masters in Special Education. Between my times in school I traveled extensively including teaching English in Japan for 3 and a half years. After getting my teaching license I taught K-2 special ed for four years and then middle school math special ed for two years. I decided to retire early, but I just couldn't stay away, and after one year I'm back. In my free time I enjoy camping, canyoneering, rafting, hiking, snowshoeing, and reading. I am very excited to be working with your students.

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Emilie Lederer : Adventure Associate

Emilie Lederer

Adventure Associate

emilie@odysseydenver.org

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Dawn Loge : Psychologist

Dawn Loge

Psychologist

dawnl@odysseydenver.org

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Kate McNamara : Special Education Teacher

Kate McNamara

Special Education Teacher

kate@odysseydenver.org

I am a proud Colorado native and grew up in the Congress Park neighborhood. I have taught for over a decade and been a part of the Odyssey Crew since 2020. I am passionate about teaching students who may need a little extra support. My goal is to help them find their strengths and understand that their learning differences can actually be an advantage. In my spare time I am usually outside with my family, either biking, hiking, or on one of our many adventures. I have two young boys, James and Liam, who will hopefully become a part of the Odyssey Crew one day!

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Celeste Neusch : Psychology Intern

Celeste Neusch

Psychology Intern

celeste@odysseydenver.org

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Phoebe Novitsky : Special Education

Phoebe Novitsky

Special Education

phoebe@odysseydenver.org
I'm originally from Minneapolis, MN, however Denver feels most like home. My journey to becoming a Special Education teacher started in 2014 when I began managing ski and snowboard based programs for at-risk youth here in Colorado. Through that experience I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to become a teacher and work with exceptional learners, eventually earning my teaching license from CU Denver. I've spent the past few years managing an Affective Needs program in northeast Denver supporting student's academic and social-emotional growth. I love incorporating exploration and movement into my lessons and firmly believe in the power of nature to support student learning. In my free time, you can find me running a trail, exploring the backcountry on my split board or camping with friends. I feel so honored to be a part of the Odyssey crew. If you have a question regarding a student with a known or suspected disability, you can contact me at phoebe@odysseydenver.org. You may also contact the DPS Student Equity and Opportunity Office at 720.423.3437 or sped@dpsk12.org
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Anne Oberdzinski : 1st Grade Teacher

Anne Oberdzinski

1st Grade Teacher

anne@odysseydenver.org
I am thrilled to be one of the 1st grade teachers at Odyssey!  I grew up in the Denver area and went to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  I then joined Teach for America, which brought me to Houston to teach for for three years.  I received my Master's in Education during that time.  It was in Houston where I met Dave, my husband.  We then moved to Chicago, where we have been for the past 12 years.  While teaching for a few years in the windy city, I found my way to Polaris Charter Academy, the only elementary Expeditionary Learning School in Chicago.  I helped start the school as one of its founding teachers.  As a Nationally Board Certified teacher, I have worked with students from kindergarten through 8th grade, both in multi-age classrooms as well as looping with students.  I spent my last three years in Chicago developing the role of High School Placement Coordinator at Polaris, helping students and families navigate the complexities of the Chicago high school application process.  While I loved the opportunity to work with 8th graders get into excellent high schools, I missed the classroom and the wonder and joy of learning new things.
I am so happy to get back to my roots and my passion- early elementary education and mathematics.  I believe that children learn best through meaningful, authentic, real-world experiences and I can't wait to work with some of Odyssey's youngest learners!  I have two lovely and lively children of my own, Jack and Katie.  In our free time, we love to play, read, swim, and enjoy the outdoors.
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Emma Pickett : 1st Grade Teacher

Emma Pickett

1st Grade Teacher

emmap@odysseydenver.org

I am Emma Pickett and I am incredibly excited to continue my career at the Odyssey School of Denver as the new 2nd grade crew lead for the 2021- 2022 school year. I am a Colorado native and grew up in the town of Castle Rock, Colorado.  I myself have a background in Expeditionary Learning, as I attended an EL school as a K-5 student.  My passions for the outdoors and working with children lead me to become an elementary teacher. Graduating from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2018 with a degree in Elementary Education (Go Roadrunners!) My background in Expeditionary Learning as a child has carried into my adulthood and I couldn't be more excited to give back to your children the experiences that shaped me. My life’s work is to make a positive impact on each child I cross paths with.  I believe in an equitable approach that creates a learning environment that is fun, engaging and full of adventure. Outside of school, I enjoy time with family, my dog Jaxson, mountain biking, or just relaxing with a good book and cup of coffee.

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Emily Polster : 6th Grade Teacher

Emily Polster

6th Grade Teacher

emilypolster@odysseydenver.org

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Lee Rains Thomas : 7th/8th Grade Science Teacher

Lee Rains Thomas

7th/8th Grade Science Teacher

lee@odysseydenver.org

 

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Andy Rosen : 7th/8th Grade Humanities Teacher

Andy Rosen

7th/8th Grade Humanities Teacher

andy@odysseydenver.org

 

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Rachel Schreier : 2nd Grade Teacher

Rachel Schreier

2nd Grade Teacher

rachel@odysseydenver.org

I grew up in North Carolina with my parents, my older sister, and younger brother. I went to college at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and graduated in 2007 with a degree in literature and creative writing. After graduating, I moved to Chigasaki, Japan where I taught at a small international school for three years.

I moved to Colorado in 2010 to attend graduate school at CU Boulder. I graduated with a degree in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity in 2012. I have been teaching in Denver Public schools ever since. I am thrilled to be starting my third year at Odyssey and my 13th year of teaching. I love surfing, hiking, and traveling and I have two dogs named Boom and Basil.

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Julie Thornton : 7th/8th Grade Math Teacher

Julie Thornton

7th/8th Grade Math Teacher

juliethornton@odysseydenver.org

 

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Kaylie Titus : PE Teacher

Kaylie Titus

PE Teacher

kaylie@odysseydenver.org

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DPS & Other Outside Support Staff

Tania Garrett Guy : Nurse

Tania Garrett Guy

Nurse

Tania_Garrettguy@dpsk12.org

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Jane Jensen : OT/PT

Jane Jensen

OT/PT

jane_jensen@dpsk12.org