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 : Office Support

Helen Baker-Moon

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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Colin Hynes : 5-8 Assistant Director

Colin Hynes

5-8 Assistant Director

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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Katie Shenk : K-4 Assistant Director

Katie Shenk

K-4 Assistant Director

katie@odysseydenver.org

I was born and raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but have called Colorado home for the last 25 years. I earned my bachelor degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver.

I first learned about Expeditionary Learning while exploring the glaciers and rivers of Alaska and immediately connected to the vision of EL. I spent the first decade of my career teaching at Odyssey and the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning. I then joined the EL Education national staff as a school coach and curriculum designer. Most recently, I supported Tollgate Elementary School in Aurora as their instructional coach.

I am to thrilled to “come home” to Odyssey and am eager to join this amazing Crew of families, students and teachers. In my free time, I love to swim, arrange flowers, and explore and play with Henry (9) and

Hazel (7), rising 5th and 2nd graders at Odyssey.

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Teachers/Specialists

Deb Aruca : Special Education Teacher

Deb Aruca

Special Education 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.

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Kenzie Baca : 1st Grade Asst Teacher

Kenzie Baca

1st Grade Asst Teacher

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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Culver Benedict : Paraprofessional

Culver Benedict

Paraprofessional

culver@odysseydenver.org

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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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Lisa Chin : 3rd Grade Teacher

Lisa Chin

3rd Grade Teacher

lisa@odysseydenver.org

I am excited to be at Odyssey as one of the third grade crew leads! 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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Lisa Damm : Librarian

Lisa Damm

Librarian

lisad@odysseydenver.org

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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 be one of Odyssey's Kindergarten crew leads. 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 one of the 2nd grade crew leaders! 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 2nd 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 : Paraprofessional

Kicha Evans

Paraprofessional

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 kids are also Odyssey students and love it here!

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Jessica Goldberg : Middle School Interventionist

Jessica Goldberg

Middle School Interventionist

jess@odysseydenver.org

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Megan Hebert : 5th Grade Teacher

Megan Hebert

5th Grade Teacher

megan@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 : Kindergarten Teacher

Lisa Larsen

Kindergarten Teacher

lisalarsen@odysseydenver.org
Hello, my name is Lisa Larsen and I'm happy to be the new kindergarten teacher this year. 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 Coordinator

Emilie Lederer

Adventure Coordinator

emilie@odysseydenver.org

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Dawn Loge : Psychologist

Dawn Loge

Psychologist

dawnl@odysseydenver.org

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Kelly McKinley : 6th Grade Teacher

Kelly McKinley

6th Grade Teacher

kelly@odysseydenver.org
I am so excited to be joining Odyssey as the 6th Grade Crew Lead for the 2023-2024 school year! I grew up in Minnesota, and earned a B.A. in child psychology and Spanish at the University of Minnesota. After graduating I worked in canoe-centered outdoor education and Montessori special education in the Twin Cities area. I also spent 3 years teaching internationally in Valencia, Spain in both primary and secondary schools. I still love to use my Spanish speaking skills whenever possible. In my free time I enjoy exploring the outdoors here in Colorado, traveling to new places, and reading with a strong cup of coffee in hand. I look forward to meeting and growing with Odyssey students and families this upcoming year.

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Kelly McLeod : 6th Grade Math Teacher

Kelly McLeod

6th Grade Math Teacher

kellymcleod@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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Emily Mizuki : Music Teacher

Emily Mizuki

Music Teacher

emilymizuki@odysseydenver.org

I grew up around Denver, but decided to explore the world a bit and moved to California for my college education. I received my BA in Music Composition from Westmont College, and my Master of Arts in Teaching from the Longy School of Music in Los Angeles. After teaching for a few years in California, I finally returned to my home state of Colorado in 2021.

My primary instrument is the cello, but you can catch me singing, playing guitar, piano, ukulele, and any other instrument I can get my hands on! In my free time, I enjoy walks and hikes with my dog, tabletop and video games, and learning new things like rock climbing, martial arts, and cultural music traditions.

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Ali Morgan : 4th Grade Teacher

Ali Morgan

4th Grade Teacher

ali@odysseydenver.org

I joined the Odyssey community in 2000, as an intern teacher through a University of Denver graduate program.  Since that time, I've been captivated by EL Education schools and the engaging, joyful, and meaningful learning possibilities within their walls.  For the last 20+ years, my education journey has included various teaching and leadership roles at Odyssey, RMSEL, APS, and within EL Education.  I am passionate about helping students see how much they matter in the world- their brilliance and effort are already making our world a better, more beautiful place- and they are capable of more than they know.

At my core, I am an ocean-loving New Englander but have now lived in Colorado longer than I ever lived in Massachusetts or Maine.  I feel equally at home in the mountains and I love adventuring close to home with my wife (MB), daughter (Josie), and our friends.  We’re happy biking, skiing, camping, or paddleboarding, and especially enjoy escapades in our VW camper van.  I also appreciate recharging with a healthy dose of downtime- taking care of my plants, being a bit crafty, playing games, baking, meeting up with friends, and reading.  It feels like a dream come true to be at Odyssey again, and I can’t wait to return to what makes my heart most happy- designing and teaching amazing learning expeditions while building community with students and families.

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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 one of the 1st grade crew leads. 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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Colleen Quigley : Psychology Intern

Colleen Quigley

Psychology Intern

colleen@odysseydenver.org

My name is Colleen Quigley, and I am so excited to be joining the Odyssey team! I am originally from Chicago and will be relocating to Denver. I earned BA from the University of Iowa and am working toward my EdS degree in School Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I enjoy long walks and spending time outdoors, and I love animals and have a cat named Nora!

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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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Alora Riley : 7th/8th Grade Math Teacher

Alora Riley

7th/8th Grade Math Teacher

alora@odysseydenver.org

Alora got her degree from CU Boulder in Economics and she minored in French. She is originally from Denver and went to Odyssey as a student from 3rd-8th grade. She loved her experience as a student and felt confident beginning highschool and wanted to come back to be a teacher to facilitate the same passion for learning. She has taught 4th grade for the last three years at EL schools and taught middle school math for two years in New Orleans.

Outside of school Alora loves to travel. She has spent time traveling Europe, SE Asia and the US. She loves exploring new cultures, seeing beautiful landscapes and trying new food. She also enjoys riding her bike, doing yoga and listening to podcasts. She is excited to share some of her passions for the world with her students.

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Chris Robinson : Special Education Teacher

Chris Robinson

Special Education Teacher

chris@odysseydenver.org

I’m a Denver native and Manual High School alum. This fall I will be entering my fifteenth year as an educator and am honored to serve the Park Hill community as a special education teacher at Odyssey.

The best part of teaching for me is sharing my own love of learning. I am passionate about equity in education and about the importance of helping students connect their learning in the classroom to life outside of school.

When I’m not teaching, I’m spending time with my family playing sports, traveling, watching movies, and exploring Colorado’s ever evolving food scene. I’m an avid reader and die hard Broncos fan.

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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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Abby Sherick : Kindergarten Asst Teacher

Abby Sherick

Kindergarten Asst Teacher

abby@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