HS Staff 2016-2017
HS Staff Phone/Email List


Glenn Hard

Mr. Hard has been working at Manitou Springs High School since 1995 and has served as Science Teacher, Director of Athletics and Activities, and now as the High School Principal.  He received his B.A. in Biology and an M.A. in Education Leadership from Adams State College in Alamosa Colorado.  He is a 1986 graduate of Manitou Springs High School and is a lifelong resident of Colorado.

Email Glenn Hard


Jesse Hull
Assistant Principal

He also coaches Wrestling and Cross Country. A New Jersey native, Jesse received his Bachelor of Arts in History at East Stroudsburg University and then earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education Social Studies at Georgia State University and soon after, he earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at Walden University. Jesse is married with two children. Email Jesse Hull


Kolleen Johnson Assistant Principal

Kolleen serves as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Manitou Springs High School.  In this role she works with teachers to improve instruction, is in charge of all testing to include ACT and PSAT, and all Section 504’s.  Kolleen works with the Student Support Team, Intervention Team, Concussion Team, and the M-Term Committee to increase relationships, and opportunities for students. She has been in education since the 1997-1998 school year working with students from 3 years of age to 21 years of age. Kolleen grew up outside of Chicago and attended Ripon College in Wisconsin where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree. Kolleen also earned master’s degrees from the University of Colorado in Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction.  When not at school, Kolleen enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and following politics. Email Kolleen Johnson






John McGee
Athletic/Activity Director

John also serves as the Head Football Coach for the Manitou High School team. He received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education at the University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo and then received his MA in Educational Leadership, at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. John taught many subjects including high school math, drafting and woodworking. He was the Principal at Holy Trinity in Colorado Springs and Dean of Students at Holy Family High School in Broomfield, CO. He has also coached other football teams and girls basketball. John is married with three children. Email John McGee

Michele Mandel

Michele is the School Counselor for grades 9-12, for students whose last names begin with A-Z.  She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three children. Michele received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Adams State College, her Master of Education from Lesley University, and her Master of Science in Counseling from the University of Phoenix.  This is Michele’s fourth year as a High School Counselor.  Prior to being a School Counselor, Michele was a teacher.  Michele has taught the upper grades in Elementary School, and English in Middle School.  When not wearing her School Counselor hat, Michele enjoys spending time with her family, enjoying the outdoors, baking/cooking, traveling, and reading as many books at one time, as she can.

Email [email protected]

Alisha Strupp, Counselor

Alisha Strupp Counselor
Alisha is the School Counselor for 9-12th grade students with the last names M-Z. She assists all students with Academic, Career and Personal/Social needs. Alisha has been a school counselor since 2012 and has worked with students 7-12th grade. She is a Colorado native who grew up in Woodland Park and received both her BA and Master’s Degrees from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. When not working she enjoys spending time with her family, finding great deals at yard-sales and exploring Colorado. Email Alisha Strupp


Wendy Skokan Principal’s Secretary

Wendy Skokan is the Principal’s Secretary, Greeter and Public Relations Information Specialist for Manitou Springs High School. She lives in Chipita Park and is married to Manitou Springs High School alumni, Dan Skokan. Dan and Wendy have three wonderful children: Justin, Jessica and Crissy, although when asked by outsiders how many children she has she often jokes that she has 510 or the number of students currently enrolled in the high school. She started in the District as a Manitou Springs Elementary School employee for six years and has been with the high school for ten years. Wendy’s “extra” duties include Volleyball and Basketball scorekeeper, Hospitality Hostess, and Manager/Spiritual Advisor/Team Mom for the Wrestling team for eight years. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, shopping, traveling to South Carolina to see their daughter Crissy, and spending quality time with her husband at their cabin. Email Wendy Skokan



Meleah Perkins
Counselor Secretary

Meleah Perkins is the Counselor Secretary for the High School. She was born in Minnesota and moved around a bit to finally establish Colorado as her home. She lives in Colorado Springs with her incredible husband and youngest son. They have 3 wonderful sons and a special greyhound named Beau. She and her husband just became grandparents to a beautiful grandson the end of May. Michael her oldest son is a 2008 Manitou graduate who lives in Manitou with his fiance’ Katie. Kyle, her middle son, graduated from Manitou in 2012 and is a Marine. He and his wife Whitney, who also graduated from Manitou in 2014, live in North Carolina with their son. Then there is Benjamin, also known as oops, who is 9 and attends Manitou Elementary. Meleah has been with the school district for 15 years. She started as a secretary at the middle school and then moved up to the high school. She enjoys hiking, horseback riding, scrap booking, gardening, cooking and most of all traveling/spending time with her husband and kids! Meleah Perkins






Angie Glass
Athletics/Activities Secretary

Angie was hired in the Fall 2013 as the new Athletics/Activities Secretary.   Angie is a 1996 graduate of Manitou Springs High School and is married to Joe Glass, 1995 MSHS graduate.  Angie’s mom, LaNita Norris graduated from Manitou Springs High School in 1974 and was the first female to receive a letter jacket.  She also has two sisters, Danielle (1999) and Tyler (2011) who graduated from Manitou as well. Her two daughters, Mahlia and Lily, are currently at Manitou Springs Elementary School and are 3rd generation Manitoids.  Angie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University.  Before becoming employed with District 14, Angie worked with high-risk youth at juvenile detention facilities, residential facilities, and group homes.  She also spent 10 years as a stay-at-home mom.  Angie enjoys spending time with her extensive family, mostly watching Broncos football or playing games.  She also enjoys staying active by running, hiking, playing softball, dodge ball, volleyball or riding her mountain, street and dirt bikes.  Angie lives in Manitou and is thrilled to back in her old stomping grounds! Email Angie Glass

The Math Department


Julie Gardner
Math Teacher

Julie Gardner teaches Geometry and Precalculus in the high school. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington in 1990. Then she was awarded a teaching fellowship at the University of Northern Colorado where she earned a Master’s Arts in Math Education and a teaching certificate in 1992. Julie began her teaching career at Manitou Springs High School in the Fall of 1992, where she sponsored many activities and and coached several sports. Currently, Mrs. Gardner is serving as the Math Department Chair. She loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoys hiking, swimming and playing the flute. Email Julie Gardner Website  Mrs. Gardner – Math



Andrea Geraci
Math Teacher

Andrea Geraci teaches Algebra I and  II, Geometry and Personal Finance at Manitou Springs High School. She attended Quincy College and received her BS degree from DePaul University and her Masters in Education from Governors State University. She began her teaching career at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago. Mrs. Geraci and her husband built their “dream mountain” home in Manitou Springs and moved to Colorado in 2005. Andrea enjoys the beauty and mountains of Colorado with her husband Jim and their two dogs, Heimdall and Thor. In her spare time Andrea enjoys watching old movies, hiking with her husband and exploring Colorado. Mrs. Geraci still has strong family ties in Chicago and returns often to visit her family, especially her three children and four beautiful grandchildren. Email Andrea Geraci






Steven Blocher
Math/Computer Programming

War Hero, Computer Scientist, Mathematician and Connoisseur of fine Video Games. Steven Blocher has been teaching Algebra I/II, Trigonometry and Video Game Design/Development at Manitou Springs High School since 2011.

Prior to Manitou, Steven flew top-secret mission for the US Navy all over the world. During this time, he got to hang out with George Bush in the Oval Office, received free pizza for a year from Dominoes and even had the sword Excalibur passed to him from Ross Perot and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After the Navy, he attended Appalachian state University, where he attained a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics(magna cum laude).  Post graduation, he received a Software Engineering job from Lockheed Martin and moved out to Colorful Colorado! During this time he developed an inventory management system for the company and had the good fortune to work with some incredibly outstanding people. Several years later, he decided to make a career change to education and has been happy with the decision ever since.
Steven loves exploring out west, hiking, BBQ, video games and making people laugh.

Email Steven Blocher Website Mr. Blocher – Math



Mike Talbott, Math Teacher

Mike Talbott is in his third year teaching as a mathematics teacher at Manitou Springs High School. He currently teaches Pre-Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus. He is committed to educating future leaders of our society in mathematics by showing students how mathematics is key to developing better critical thinking and problem solving skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. He assists students to learn and enjoy mathematics by sponsoring the Math Warriors club which focuses on competing in various mathematics competitions. He is a retired Army officer who lived in Korea and the United Kingdom. He deployed multiple times in Iraq, Afghanistan as well as Kuwait, Somalia, and Grenada. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1980 with a major in electrical engineering. He was commissioned into the Army as a military intelligence officer and served in the 82d Airborne Division; in intelligence units in Korea and England; and served several assignments in special operations units countering terrorism. He earned two Masters Degrees – in Systems Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in 1989, and Strategic Studies at the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in 2003. He taught Calculus and Discrete Dynamical Systems at West Point, where in his final year at West Point, he was the course director for the core Calculus course that all freshmen had to take. He retired from the Army in 2010 and then, after moving to Colorado, served in Afghanistan for two years as the senior strategic advisor to the four star Marine generals commanding forces in Afghanistan. His wife and he have been married 36 years, and have three grown children and four grandchildren. His hobbies are hiking and numerous sports (especially baseball). He received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star (six times), and the Distinguished Superior Service Medal. Email: [email protected]


Reginald Haas
Math Teacher

Reginald Haas has been teaching since 2009, and has been a member of the teaching staff at Manitou Springs High School since 2013. He is a native of Spokane, WA and graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in Mathematics with a focus on Education in 2009. Upon graduation, he moved with his family to central Colorado and has been teaching here since. He has received his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington and spends many evenings tutoring students throughout El Paso County. He has worked over the years with students in all four of the core academic fields from the 6th grade through college level courses. Email [email protected]

Robyn Bucher
Math Teacher

Robyn Bucher teaches Statistics and Advanced Mathematical Problem Solving (AMPS) at Manitou Springs High School. She is originally from Albuquerque, NM, but moved to Colorado Springs in 2003. She attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and two Master’s degrees, in Applied Mathematics and in Curriculum & Instruction. She taught at MSHS for five years. Then, accepted an opportunity to teach math at an international school in Nagoya, Japan, where she lived for one year. She has also previously taught math and math education courses at UCCS and Pikes Peak Community College. She recently got married to her wonderful husband, Stephen, with whom she enjoys hiking with their golden retrievers, Cloud and Murphy, and volunteering at their church. Email [email protected]

The Social Studies Department


Brian Brown
History Teacher

Mr. Brown joined Manitou Springs High School in the fall of 2003 after spending six years in Wisconsin.  Presently he teaches World History, World History Honors, and Geography Honors to the freshman and sophomores of MSHS.  Mr. Brown currently coaches 8th grade volleyball in the fall and freshman boys basketball during the winter.  This past summer Mr. Brown completed his 15th student tour, this time to Italy.  These tours have been an important part of his educational and personal life as each tour provides new opportunities for the class room and personal growth.  Brian spends his free time “tinkering” around the house. Email Mr. Brown







Ken Vecchio
Social Studies

Ken Vecchio
* Started teaching in the Social Studies department and coaching at Manitou Springs in 1986
* Taught and coached for 7 years in Wyoming before coming to Manitou
* Attended the University of Wyoming on a basketball scholarship, graduated in 1978
* Currently serves as the Varsity Boys Basketball Coach and the Boys and Girls Varsity Golf Coach
* Married to Brenda
* Son Brian also teaches and coaches at Manitou Springs
* Recently awarded the Tom Sutak Award by the Colorado High School Coaches Association for contributions to high school basketball in Colorado
* Hobbies include working out and playing as much golf as possible
Email Ken Vecchio  Website Mr. Vecchio – Social Studies




Karen Hegg
Social Studies/ PE

Karen Hegg teaches Social Studies and Physical Education in the High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Karen was the Assistant Volleyball Coach from 1985-1995 at the school. She is married to Rick and has two children who both graduated from Manitou: Josh in 2003 and Cody in 2007. Email Karen Hegg  Website Mrs. Hegg – Social Studies







Tyler Jones, Social Studies

Tyler Jones started teaching social studies at Manitou in 2013 and believes education is about developing the whole student (mind, body, and soul).  Before he came to Manitou he attended University of Northern Colorado where he traveled extensively and had an opportunity to play some rugby abroad.  He achieved his masters in curriculum development in 2013 and is currently perusing a second masters in educational technology. In his free time he enjoys playing the banjo and practicing yoga as a teacher and student.  Email: [email protected]

The English Department

Jessica Doudna-Robinson
English Teacher

Jessica Doudna-Robinson
Jessica is an English teacher at Manitou Springs High School. She has been an educator for 17 years, in elementary, middle, and now high school. She has earned a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership, a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. While she grew up in Southern California, she has lived in Colorado for 12 years and loves being part of the Manitou community. Outside of school, she enjoys motorcycles, when the weather permits, photography, yoga, and spending time with her lovely family, including her menagerie of pets. Email: [email protected]

Amanda Kerrigan
English Teacher

Amanda Kerrigan
Amanda teaches English courses at Manitou Springs High School.  She began her career in inner city Kansas City before
moving to Colorado Springs and teaching at Mesa Ridge High School in Widefield for 8 years.  Amanda taught in La Veta, Colorado (population 900) in Huerfano County for 5 years as well after moving for her husband’s job.  Amanda lives on a small farm in Fountain, Colorado with her husband Brian, who works for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, her sons Benjamin and Liam, her cat Karma,  two burros (Pancho and Lefty), and various nameless chickens.  Amanda has a heart for social justice, marginalized people, and feels that listening and critical thinking are some of the most important skills in the Language Arts.   Amanda is a graduate of the University of Kansas (BA English, BS Secondary Education, MA Education), so when March Madness roles around each year, she gets a little crazy.  Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!!!!!!!!!!!!  In her “free time”, Amanda enjoys reading, traveling, camping with her wild boys, eating dark chocolate, and watching college basketball. Email [email protected]




Mark Searle
English Teacher

Mark Searle has been teaching English since 1998. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education. He started teaching in large, diverse high schools in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada and eventually adopted the state of Colorado in September of 2001. After teaching in the rural school district of Gunnison, Colorado for many years, Mark relocated with his family to Manitou Springs at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Mark teaches English, serves as the English Department Chair, works as a member of the school’s Intervention Team, and sponsors both the GSTA organization and the Book Club. When not teaching, Mark enjoys skiing Crested Butte in the winter, traveling to the beach in the summer, hiking, riding motorcycles, and spending time with the family. Email: [email protected]






Pierce Gillard
English Teachers

Pierce Gillard is an English teacher at Manitou Springs High School. A recent graduate of the University of Wyoming, he is a Colorado Springs native happy to be back in his home state of Colorado. As one of the newer members of the community at MSHS, he is excited to continue learning alongside the other teachers and students he gets to interact with in the Manitou community. Outside of school, Pierce enjoys hiking, biking, reading good books, going to see movies and obsessively following the news. Email: [email protected]







Jennifer Nagel
English Teacher

Jennifer Nagel teaches English and Mass Media classes at MSHS. She is truly passionate about education and the kids at Manitou Springs High School. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University in Indiana. Currently, Jennifer is working on a master’s degree in curriculum design. She has lived in Colorado for a decade now. She is married to husband, Todd, and they have four amazing children who have grown up in the D14 school system. In her free time Jennifer enjoys supporting her children in their many activities like wrestling, basketball, soccer, football and golf. When the weather is nice she enjoys long walks her her husband and dog, Piper. Email [email protected]

The Science Department

Ben Mack
Biology Teacher

Ben Mack is teaching Biology at Manitou Springs High School. He also serves as the current varsity boys soccer coach, and assists the girls soccer team as well. Originally from Anchorage Alaska, Ben developed an appreciation for the outdoors and natural processes at a young age. After High School, Ben received a scholarship to play soccer at CSU-P where he earned his undergraduate degree cum laude in Biology (emphasis molecular genetics) with a double minor in Chemistry and Anthropology. As a senior at CSU-P he was involved in published research that examined the role of aminopeptidase genes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and their implications on cell regulation for the eukaryotic genome. After earning his undergraduate degree, Ben went on to UCCS in Colorado Springs, where he earned a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction through the ALP program. Ben currently teaches Biology I, Biology I Honors and Biology II (AP Curriculum) at the High School, where students learn a variety of biotechnological techniques such as PCR, light spectroscopy, DNA extraction/purification and gel electrophoresis. Ben is a member of Alpha Chi National Honors Society, the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) and the Pikes Peak Skeptics Society. Ben currently resides in Manitou Springs with his lovely wife, two beautiful daughters and his squirrel/corgi hybrid. Ben enjoys travel, soccer, hiking, kayaking, reading (especially geeky science stuff!!), and “trying anything at least once.” Email Ben Mack  Website Mr. Mack – Science



j roberson

Jacklyn Roberson
Physical Science

Jaclyn Roberson, teaches Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology at Manitou Springs High School.  She has taught in Manitou since 2009 and began as an educator in 2004. She also coaches cross country, advises the National Honor Society, and is the co-leader for building health and wellness.  Jaclyn studied biology and chemistry at Alma College and UCCS, then completed her MSc in Science Curriculum and Instruction at UCCS.  Since 2010, she has represented the Space Foundation, helping to bridge the aerospace industry with education.  She is also a member of the AACT and CCTA. Additionally, Jaclyn assists the yoga teacher training for Pranava Yoga Center.  In her spare time, Jaclyn runs trails and rivers on foot or on boat. Email Jacklyn Roberson






Jonathan Nishimoto Physical Science

Jonathan Nishimoto is teaching Physical Science and Physics at Manitou Springs High School. He is a native of rainy Seattle, Washington and moved to Colorado in 2006. During this time Jon joined the ranks of the Manitou Mustangs at MSHS. Following this, Jon completed a B.A. in Biology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with his wife Katelyn Carew  (who is currently a science teacher at Galileo Middle School). During his free time Jon works in the outdoor education industry as a rock climbing guide/instructor. He also enjoys biking, hunting, backpacking, fishing, knitting, reading, speed skating, and traveling. Email: [email protected]







Zach Brown is a High School Science teacher, and covers a wide variety of subjects including Environmental Science, Biology, Physical Science, and Astronomy. Zach has been in education since fall of 2015, where he first started out teaching 6th grade science at Harrison School District 2. Mr. Brown is a graduate of Manitou Springs High School (class of 2010). He then went on to UCCS to graduate with degrees in Geography and Environmental Science, Geology, and Geographic Information Systems. Mr. Brown is recently married and enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs. Email: [email protected]

The Word Language Department


Alice Stoneback
World Language

Alice Stoneback currently teaches French and Student Council at Manitou Springs High School. She has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in French and a minor in English from Alma College in Alma, Michigan – where she grew up. She recently obtained a Master of Arts in Teaching from Colorado College. Alice coached the Mustang Cheerleaders from 2004 to 2013 and has been the Student Council Adviser since 2005. When she’s not spending all of her time at school, she likes to read, run, bike and hang out with her husband Matt and their son, Seb. Email Alice Stoneback







Terrence Batson, World Language

Terrence Batson is a Spanish and German instructor whose goal is to assist students in developing a practical knowledge and proficiency of these World Languages as well an understanding and appreciation for culture, while preparing them for next steps in pursuing more advanced study in their language of choice. Terrence’s teaching career bagan a decade ago in Germany in Department of Defense Schools during his wife’s tour with the United States Army and soon after completed his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. Since then, Terrence has taught World Language, Social Studies, and College Readiness in a wide variety of educational settings and has found a home in Manitou Springs School District. Terrence sponsors an after-school baking club and spends his free time with family. He enjoys traveling, physical fitness, international cinema, and is thrilled to be learning and teaching both Spanish and German. Email [email protected]






Elizabeth Lockard serves as one of two Spanish teachers. She is currently teaching levels 1 and 2 at the high school. Additionally, she serves as a part-time coach for the boys and girls track team. She attended Wartburg College in northeast Iowa to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Spanish Education. As a part of her studies, she traveled to Costa Rica and Argentina where she lived with host families and took classes. She completed her student teaching through the Denver Public School System in the Winter of 2016. When not teaching, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as spending time outdoors. Email [email protected]

The Art Department


Paul Bonner
Art Teacher

Paul Bonner grew up in the wilds of Alaska where he spent numerous hours catching salmon or traipsing around the woods. He eventually migrated south and attended college at Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado. Mr. Bonner majored in both Art and in Sports and Exercise Management while competing in collegiate wrestling. Besides teaching Art Mr. Bonner has also taught high school Weights.  He also has almost twenty years of coaching experience under his belt; Mr. Bonner has coached Wrestling, Cross-country, and Football. This is his nineteenth year of teaching in Colorado. When asked about his favorite type of art to make he says he likes it all but probably photography and sculpture. His favorite subject matter would be animals. When not teaching he likes to camp, hike, fish, and just about any outdoor activity. Email Paul Bonner





Erin Gocinski, Art Teacher

Erin Gocinski
Erin is an Art Teacher for Manitou Springs High School. She teaches Painting, Printmaking, and Beginning Art. She is CTE (Career and Technical Education) certified, and plans to bring Metalsmithing to the students at Manitou. Prior to teaching at Manitou she taught Metalsmithing to adults in Wyoming and North Carolina for continuing education classes. She grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and graduated from Edinboro University with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing /Jewelry Design. After graduation Erin spent a few years exploring other paths working in wilderness therapy with at risk youth, working in a group home for abused and neglected children, and being an aid for children with special needs. When she is not in the art room she enjoys being creative, hiking, working on her house, and traveling. Email: [email protected]







Brad Borkowski
Industrial Technology

Brad Borkowski, Industrial Technology Teacher Manitou Springs High School
Brad Borkowski, Industrial Technology Teacher Manitou Springs High School.  He was born in Sioux City, Iowa and went to high school at Sgt. Bluff-Luton High School.  Mr. Borkowski graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA degree in Industrial Technology Education and Training.  He is currently teachings Introduction to Cabinetmaking and Advanced Cabinetmaking. Email Brad Borkowski


The Music Department


Terry Leve
Music Education

Terry serves as the Director of Instrumental Music for Manitou Springs High School.  With this position, Terry directs the MSHS Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and String Ensemble.  These groups perform at many activities including football games, basketball games, after-school concerts, parades, state festivals and contests, and more.  This is Terry’s first teaching position, and has been here at Manitou since the 2014-2015 school year.  Terry was born in the Los Angeles area, but has also lived in Dallas, Nashville, South Africa, and now beautiful Colorado.  Terry earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!!!).  When not directing music, Terry enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Staci, watching sports, and cooking. Email Terry Leve

The Physical Education Department


Brian Vecchio
Physical Education

Brian is the Physical Education Department Chair and teaches all Athletic Conditioning classes at the high school. Brian is the assistant boys golf, boys basketball and girls golf coach as well as runs the Summer Conditioning Program. He was born in Laramie, Wyoming but grew up in the Colorado Springs area, attending Manitou Springs Schools K-12. Brian played basketball and golf at Manitou and graduated a member of the National Honor Society. He attended Colorado State University-Pueblo on a basketball scholarship from 2001-2005 earning a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Education while graduating Magna Cum Laude. Brian ranks 16th on the all-time scoring list at CSU-P with 1,183 points. Brian has a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Adams State with an emphasis in Principal Licensure. He enjoys playing golf, cycling, basketball and working out in his spare time.  Email Brian Vecchio


Brandon DeMatto
PE/Health Teacher

Brandon is teaching PE/Health at Manitou Springs High School. He also serves as an assistant varsity football coach and an assistant varsity baseball coach for the Mustangs. Mr. DeMatto grew up in Colorado Springs, graduating from Widefield High School in 2006. After high school, he played two years of college baseball (Trinidad State Junior College and McCook Community College) and began his coaching career, thereafter, as an assistant football and baseball coach at Widefield High School. After graduating in May of 2012 from Colorado State University-Pueblo, with a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion (Physical Education emphasis), Mr. DeMatto took the 8th Grade Science position at Manitou Springs Middle School, where he served for four years. He enjoys anything related to sports and physical activity. He especially enjoys the time he gets with his beautiful wife, Beth, and his English Bulldog, CoachEmail Brandon DeMatto





Nick Nunley Athletic Trainer

Nick Nunley serves as the District Certified Athletic Trainer.  In this role he works with athletes to insure safe participation in sport and also treats and rehabilitates a variety of injuries. This is his first year in education and is teaching introduction to athletic training and advanced athletic training. Nick grew up outside of Chicago and attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in athletic training. Nick was also the punter for the football team all 4 years. Nick also earned his master’s degree from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in Sports Medicine. When not at school, Nick enjoys spending time watching Chicago sports.  Email  [email protected]

The Special Services Department


Liz Tindall
Special Education

Liz Tindall is a happy member of the Special Education team at Manitou Springs High School and has been since 2009.  She is a native of sunny southern California and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from the fabulous Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Though sad to leave the Evergreen state and her Gonzaga basketball team, the great Rocky Mountains and Colorado sunshine lead Liz to pursue her teaching career here. She also managed to squeeze in some time to earn her Master’s Degree from UCCS in Curriculum and Instruction. Liz spends most of her time at playgrounds and digging in the sandbox with her son.  She loves to run and hike with her husband and enjoy the quiet when their son goes to sleep. Email Liz Tindall







Jill McCracken
Special Education

Jill is a native of Colorado and Teller County. She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Jill has been teaching special education since 2002, in both Teller and El Paso counties. Jill spent many years as a track and field coach at the varsity level, and is an avid athlete herself who enjoys competing in sprint triathlons. She also has a passion for gardening, and particularly enjoys the challenge of high altitude gardening at their home in Woodland Park. Jill and her family, her husband and their two sons and daughter, adventure in the outdoors as much as possible, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking and camping. Recently, Jill and her husband have been exploring various national parks with their children in the summer. Email Jill McCracken






Debra Holmes
Special Education Paraprofessional

Debra Holmes is a special education paraprofessional. She assists the students in maximizing their academic achievements. Debra was raised in a military family and spent most of her younger years in the Northwest. She received her Associates of Arts Degree from Spokane Washington Community College in Spokane, Washington. Her husband (Joe) took a job in the energy business after graduation from Eastern Washington University, which took them to Houston. They had both of their children in Houston. After spending 10 years in Houston they moved back to Idaho (where they still call home). Debra volunteered in the public school system, big brothers big sisters, was an election judge, helped a friend run a yearly baseball tournament (in her son’s memory), and participated in other volunteering activities. Debra was always a stay at home mom until she became an empty-nester when both of her children went off to college. She began working full time in the Boise Public Schools. Her husband took a job at Colorado Springs Utilities and so they ended up in Colorado. Her daughter Megann recently completed her B.S. at Colorado University and took her first professional job in Washington, DC. Her son, Joseph, is studying in Graduate School to become a medical physicist in California. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, snowshoeing, cooking, hiking, and reading. Email Debra Holmes





Linda Brown
Special Education Paraprofessional

Linda Brown is a Para Professional in the Special Education Department. She was born in Pennsylvania and moved to California in Jr. High School. While in California she earned a degree in Fine Arts and returned to school for her Early Childhood Certification. She taught Preschool in California and Colorado. She was Director at Mt. Lake Children’s Center in Green mountain falls, CO for 15 years. In 1997, she started working at Ute Pass Elementary with severe needs students. After 7 years she worked with Kindergarten students at Manitou Elementary and came to the High School in 2007. She Lives in Green Mountain falls with her husband and two daughters who attend in the district. She enjoys spending time with her family and working with kids. Email Linda Brown







Jana Fournier, Para

Jana Fournier is a SPED para at Manitou Springs High School working with severe needs students.  Jana has spent 14 years in education primarily as an elementary school music teacher.  She has a Bachelors degree in Music Education K-12, general, vocal, and instrumental.  She is licensed in that as well as just having earned her special ed endorsement.  She is currently waiting on the results of her elementary ed endorsement.  Jana’s taught in Colorado, California, and Texas.  Jana is married with 3 sons ages 13, 10, and 8.  She also served our country for 8 years in the U.S. Navy. Email [email protected]



Ben Gilliam
Director of Manitou Abound Program (MAP)

Ben Gilliam began his career in education by teaching for an alternative high school in Gunnison, Colorado.  Ben earned his B.A. from Fort Lewis College in 2007, and his teaching license from Western State College in 2009.  Within the educational realm, Ben’s passions are: alternative educational models, at-risk youth, outdoor education, and of course, language arts; beyond the realm of education, he enjoys: whitewater, mountains, listening to music,
walking his dog, taking photographs, and spending time with Whitney. Email Ben Gilliam Website Mr. Gillam – English


Amy Rockenbach
GT Coordinator (6-12) College and Career Education Liaison

Amy Rockenbach, After graduating magna cum laude from Texas Woman’s University, Amy Rockenbach began her teaching career in 1995 at Northwest High School in Justin, Texas, where every day for the first week of school, one of the history teachers asked for her hall pass. Amy has since taught all levels of secondary English from 6th grade through 12th, including AP and gifted and talented. With a BA in psychology, Amy has also taught AP Psychology and served as a faculty consultant with the Educational Testing Service, scoring the College Board’s AP Language and Composition exams. Amy’s students have won essay and poetry contests in Texas and Colorado, including the prestigious Dana K. Barber award from the New Jersey Writing Project of Texas. A recovering overachiever, Amy has served as English department chair, English Vertical Team chair and member of the District Education Improvement Council for the Northwest School District, JV and varsity cheer coach, dance studio owner and teacher, and is a member of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society and Service Fraternity, and Alpha Phi National Sorority. Most recently, Amy enjoyed teaching middle school English (and Bible … and math … AND yearbook …) at Colorado Springs Christian Schools’ Woodland Park campus where she learned that 8th graders are special in a very special way and she loved them for it! Her greatest honor to date, however, is the privilege of being wife to Randy and mom to Caleb and Grayson who are in 6th grade and 3rd grade, respectively, at MSMS and UPES. Email Amy Rockenbach

The Support Staff


Lesley Blyth
Computer Technician

Lesley Blyth is the Computer Technician for the High School and SILC buildings in District 14. She grew up in the Midwest on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She enjoyed many years at the University of Madison with a Fine Arts curriculum but decided to pursue a Graphic Arts career instead. She obtained her Associate of Arts Degree at the Madison Area Technical College and then moved to the mountains and settled in as a Graphic Designer in Colorado Springs.  She started as a computer technician in 2006 at the school and still enjoys her interaction with both students and staff.

Lesley lives in Manitou with her husband Dave and their adorable furry kid Jebediah. She enjoys hiking, sewing, gardening and eating all the great food her husband prepares!

Email Lesley Blyth


Gabrielle Waters
High School Media Tech

Gabrielle Waters is a 3rd generation Colorado Springs native. She studied Art, Graphic Design and Early education at UCCS. She previously worked in the medical field supporting radiologists and staff for 14 years. She is super excited about the iPad project and is looking forward to getting students excited about reading! Gabrielle lives in Manitou with her life partner. She loves traveling, creating art, reading and generally just enjoys spending time with friends and family. Email Gabrielle Waters




Manitou Springs High School