Staff List

Front Office

Kathryn Martinez : Executive Director

Kathryn Martinez

Executive Director

kathryn@odysseydenver.org
Helen Baker-Moon : COVID Coordinator/Office Support

Helen Baker-Moon

COVID Coordinator/Office Support

helen@odysseydenver.org
Colin Hynes : Director of Instruction

Colin Hynes

Director of Instruction

colin@odysseydenver.org
Kim Neal : Office Manager

Kim Neal

Office Manager

kim@odysseydenver.org

I am a proud Denver native. I have been married to my husband, Phil, for 19 years. We have been blessed with one terrific son, Colton, who has recently graduated Odyssey this last spring 2015.

I am honored and excited to be the new Front Office Manager. I have been part of the Odyssey community as a parent for 9 years and have subbed in this position for approximately for 6 years.

I look forward to continuing to be involved in the strong Odyssey foundation, working alongside the amazing staff and to be gifted to work with the children.

Elki Neiberger : Director of Operations

Elki Neiberger

Director of Operations

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!

Ryan Pleune : Director of Culture & Adventure

Ryan Pleune

Director of Culture & Adventure

ryan@odysseydenver.org

 

Teachers/Specialists

Deb Aruca : 1st Grade Assistant Teacher

Deb Aruca

1st Grade Assistant Teacher

deb@odysseydenver.org
Becky Bechthold : Art Studio Teacher

Becky Bechthold

Art Studio Teacher

becky@odysseydenver.org

I’m originally from the Midwest, growing up in Minneapolis and spending summers with my extended family in North East Iowa. I have fond memories of catching fireflies on the porch, camping with family, swimming in the Mississippi River, and roaming the countryside. After moving to Colorado, my love of the outdoors has only grown. Escaping to the mountains for a hike or a weekend camping trip are among my favorite activities. I landed in Denver about 9 years ago, and enjoy all the city has to offer. I am constantly inspired by local artists and exhibitions in both my own work and my teaching practice. I love researching contemporary artists and often get lost in their work, like getting lost in a good book.

I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts, with an emphasis in painting and Art Education, from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Through my studies at MSU Denver, I had the opportunity to participate in several arts programs that allowed me to travel as I learned. Some of which included Plein Air Painting at Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch, and studying abroad focusing on photography and Renaissance art in Florence, Italy.

I have always had a passion for teaching and sharing my love of art with others. I had the privilege of student teaching at Odyssey, and have fallen in love with the Expeditionary Learning model. I am thrilled to be apart of this incredible community and am looking forward to learning and growing along side our wonderful students and teachers.

Emily Bremer : K-3 Literacy Specialist

Emily Bremer

K-3 Literacy Specialist

emily@odysseydenver.org

Hi, my name is Emily and I am a mama to two beautiful souls and I am a passionate educator. After a decade in the K-1 classroom, I began a new chapter with reading intervention. Supporting our readers who need extra practice, confidence, and time has been a beautiful fit and an unexpected gift in my life. This work feeds my soul in countless ways. When not teaching our youngest the foundational reading skills that allow them to crack the alphabetic code and unlock their lives as readers, I am busy playing and laughing with my family. We love skipping stones at our favorite lake, sitting on our porch watching mountain sunsets, and eating too much dough when baking. Parenthood instilled in me the insatiable desire to document my son and daughter’s days, so you may also see me with my camera in tow, trying to capture the unique spirit that is our Odyssey school and community.

Laurie Brockett : 4th Grade Teacher

Laurie Brockett

4th Grade Teacher

laurie@odysseydenver.org
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)!

Lisa Chin : 3rd Grade Teacher

Lisa Chin

3rd Grade Teacher

lisa@odysseydenver.org

I am beyond excited to join the Odyssey community this year as a first 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. Although very challenging, the experience was eye opening and I was hooked on the constant learning and growth the profession demanded. I have taught 2nd grade for the past five years in DPS and I earned my Masters from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2018. I am eager to delve into expeditionary learning and the culture of building life-long learners at Odyssey. The curiosities of our youngest 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, which is quite a lot recently, I enjoy hiking with my dog, cooking new food, biking, and stand-up paddle boarding. My newest hobbies are water color painting and sugar cookie decorating! I look forward to traveling again, within Colorado and abroad, and aim to stay busy with camping and bonfires this summer.

Paul Cindric : 3rd/4th Grade Math Teacher

Paul Cindric

3rd/4th Grade Math 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.  As the Director of Adventure Programming at Odyssey I get the unique opportunity to combine my passions for adventure and education.  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."

Shelby Clarke : Paraprofessional

Shelby Clarke

Paraprofessional

shelbyc@odysseydenver.org
Grace Downs : Kindergarten Teacher

Grace Downs

Kindergarten Teacher

grace@odysseydenver.org
Caitlin Eggimann : 7th/8th Grade Humanities Teacher

Caitlin Eggimann

7th/8th Grade Humanities 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!

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!

Paul Frazier : Middle School Interventionist

Paul Frazier

Middle School Interventionist

paulf@odysseydenver.org
Megan Hebert : 6th Grade Teacher

Megan Hebert

6th Grade Teacher

megan@odysseydenver.org
Hyungjoon Jin : 7th/8th Grade Science Teacher

Hyungjoon Jin

7th/8th Grade Science Teacher

hyungjoon@odysseydenver.org

Hyungjoon (he/him/his) is a humane educator and the 7/8th grade science teacher at Odyssey School of Denver. He has previously taught at international schools in Asia and Central America, as well as worked and consulted for various nonprofit organizations, from supporting professional development of educators to developing permaculture projects. He is passionate about social justice, human rights, and protecting and restoring the environment.

Brian Johnson : 5th/6th Grade Math Teacher

Brian Johnson

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 for another couple decades. I have always been an amateur athlete, first in high school and college sports, then competitive volleyball. Unfortunately 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 rest 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 immediate 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. 😉
Ian McMeeking : 7th/8th Grade Math Teacher

Ian McMeeking

7th/8th Grade Math Teacher

ian@odysseydenver.org
Kate McNamara : Special Education Teacher

Kate McNamara

Special Education Teacher

kate@odysseydenver.org

I have heard so many great things about Odyssey and I am so excited to start this next journey. I am a proud Denver, Colorado native. I have always been passionate about working with students and supporting all students. I started my teaching career in Eastern North Carolina and Washington, DC with Teach For America. I enjoyed my time away from Colorado but always knew that I would come back home. While getting my Masters at CU Denver for special education I learned about Stanley British Primary School. I was drawn towards their commitment towards community and developing a joy in learning. I taught there for 6 years and then found myself drawn back towards public education. I have spent the last two years at Creativity Challenge Community (C3) - a small DPS school. While I have loved C3, I have missed the community aspect of the school with having it so far away from my home. I am excited to be joining a school that shares my values and beliefs and a school where I can become a true part of the community. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and our 3 year old son. We love being outside and enjoying all that our great state has to offer! Biking, hiking, camping, backpacking, skiing – I love it all!

Hannah Metcalf : 1st Grade Teacher

Hannah Metcalf

1st Grade Teacher

hannah@odysseydenver.org
Carlyn Michael : Kindergarten Teacher

Carlyn Michael

Kindergarten Teacher

carlyn@odysseydenver.org
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

 

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.
Emma Pickett : 2nd Grade Teacher

Emma Pickett

2nd 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.

Lizz Rosene : 5th Grade Teacher

Lizz Rosene

5th Grade Teacher

lizz@odysseydenver.org
Rachel Schreier : 2nd Grade Teacher

Rachel Schreier

2nd Grade Teacher

rachel@odysseydenver.org
Kaylie Titus : PE Teacher

Kaylie Titus

PE Teacher

kaylie@odysseydenver.org

 

DPS & Other Outside Support Staff

Jane Jensen : OT/PT

Jane Jensen

OT/PT

jane_jensen@dpsk12.org
Tracy Smith : Nurse

Tracy Smith

Nurse

tracy_smith@dpsk12.org