DGS Northfield Staff
Jasmine Abele-Park: Math
Experience: I have taught for 6 years
College: Mills College
Why DGS?: Project based learning - I started using illustrative math this past year. I am excited to craft some engaging activities that deepen students’ understanding of mathematics as well as develop independent learning skills. I also look forward to collaborating to support all students, as well as developing fun and memorable experiences.
How Do Students Describe You?: Funny, nice, strict, caring, and intelligent.
What do you do in your free time?: Hike, yoga, hang out with family and my pets! I have 2 dogs and 1 cat.
Jill Dreier: Mild Moderate Special Education
Experience: I have taught for 20 years
College: University of Wisconsin-Whitewhater
Why DGS?: I am so excited to join DGSN because every detail feels like the right fit for both me AND my son. I want us to be a part of a joyful community that is authentically invested in students and staff and gives all stakeholders a voice.
How Do Students Describe You?: My students have described me as funny, honest, determined, helpful, patient and open-minded.
What do you do in your free time?: Cooking is my passion and I love to tinker in our tiny yard. I also enjoy reading whenever I can and, of course, spending time with family and friends.
What is a book you recommend?: The Power of One- Bryce Courtenay
Erin Miller: Lead Partner
Experience: I’ve taught for 8 years
College: Metro State University
Why DGS?: Having been a teacher at the original DGS campus for the past seven years, I can testify that DGS is truly a special place for students and staff alike. We have done so many amazing things at our original campus and I can't wait to bring these same celebrations and opportunities to a new campus and a new group of students.
How Do Students Describe You?: I just asked them, they said, "you have high expectations, are really loving, and like to joke around with us."
What do you do in your free time?: I'm an avid reader, and love to spend time with my husband and my dog; outdoors when possible! I also love to cook and bake for friends and family and enjoy an active lifestyle; especially hiking, running, and spin classes.
Experience: I’ve taught 7 years
College: Augustana University (South Dakota)
Why DGS?: The mission and vision of Denver Green School Northfield is aligned to so many of my passions and beliefs as an educator. From the excursions, to sustainability work, shared leadership model, and the opportunities for interdisciplinary units of study, there is so much to be excited about.There is tangible joy at DGSN and I can't wait to be a part of it!
How Do Students Describe You?: Calm, "sometimes" funny even though I think I am hilarious, and consistent.
What do you do in your free time?: Hike, camp, practice yoga, run and go on all the adventures with my dog and boyfriend!
Phaedra chaney: Office Staff
Experience: I’ve worked in schools for 2 years
College: Langston University
Why DGS?: As a Denver native I’m excited about working in my community. The landscape of Denver has changed before my eyes abs it’s been rewarding to watch. As a Montbello High School alum I’m excited to be a part of a school leading our community in partnership and relevance. I look forward to being of service to you, Denver Green School Northfield.
How Do Students Describe You?: Students would describe me as fun, energetic, and encouraging.
What do you do in your free time?: In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband and four year old son.
Mike Quintana: Music
Experience: I have taught for 19 years.
Where did you grow up?: Westminster, CO.
College: University of Northern Colorado
Why DGS?: I am excited to share my passion for music with an amazing group of students.
How Do Students Describe You?: Students would describe me as energetic, caring, friendly and talented.
What do you do in your free time?: I spend my free time with family and friends. I enjoy making music and playing disc golf with my friends.
Chris Occhiuto: Literacy
Experience: I’ve taught for 18 years
College: Beloit College
Why DGS?: I am thrilled to be part of a new school with the intentionality and direction of the Denver Green School. From the leadership model to the unique focus on students, and the emphasis to getting outside of the classroom walls while allowing teacher autonomy, there are many things to get excited about.
How Do Students Describe You?: “Always willing to help them while believing that they can achieve and learn. I think students feel safe and seen which gives them the ability to take risks when they normally would not.
What do you do in your free time?: I like to spend time with my family, go on hikes, ski/snowboard, attend sporting events, and read.
Amanda johnson: Autism Center
Experience: This is my second year
College: The University of Northern Colorado Go Bears
Why DGS?: I chose DGS because I knew how important inclusion was for all students and I couldn’t wait to be apart of a community that celebrates everyone for who they are. I am so excited!
How Do Students Describe You?: Students would describe me as someone who knows them and cares for them. Students would say I continue to encourage and help them grow as people and as students. They also would say they have a fun in my classroom while learning.
What do you do in your free time?: In the summer I love to hike with my dog and go camping with friends and family and during the winter I love to head to the mountains and go snowboarding.
Justin Barney: World Language: Spanish
Experience: I’ve taught 13 years in the US, Costa Rica and Mexico.
College: Valparaiso University
Why DGS?: I'm eager to join a school community that values outdoor experiences, environmental conservation, and sustainability as a vital part of their educational package.
How Do Students Describe You?: Interpersonal, empathetic, authentic, fair
What do you do in your free time?: Hiking, yoga, soccer, traveling to Latin America.
What is a podcast you recommen?: The Story Pirates podcast for all families with children - it makes car rides so fun!
Matt Suprunowicz: Literacy
Experience: I have taught for 8 years
College: Loyola University Maryland
Why DGS?: What excites me most about DGS Northfield is the potential to transform Education for Sustainability (EfS) through the integration of student-centered gardening and farming. I am so excited to build literacy curriculum that is centered around relevant sustainability projects that support students thinking about the communities around them.
How Do Students Describe You?: My students describe me as strict and funny. I have high behavior and academic expectations and my ultimate goal is to teach students to love reading!
What do you do in your free time?: I love to go on hikes with my dog, play in the garden, and hunt for vintage projects at estate sales.
Kartal Jaquette: Lead Partner
Experience: I’ve taught for 9 years and been a school leader for 5.
College: University of Colorado at Boulder
Why DGS?: I helped found the first Green School school ten years ago and am still in awe for what this school can do for students and staff alike. The best version of myself is achieved by keeping the mission, vision and values of DGS as my guiding light, and I owe it to myself and others to keep pushing myself using DGS as my beacon.
How Do Students Describe You?: Students see me as being a source of energy and joy for the school but also as someone that cares about them and holds students accountable.
What do you do in your free time?: Ride my bike, cook with my kids, watch basketball, travel and well, with a 1-year old, a 3-year old and trying to launch a new school while still working at the existing school, I don’t have too much free time!
Experience: I’ve been in education for two years.
College: Wilberforce University
Why DGS?: Community education is WHERE IT'S AT! I’m especially excited to be joining such an innovative group. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to help lead waive after waive of talented young people into this next generation, of leaders!
How Do Students Describe You?: Serious. Stern. Compassionate.
What do you do in your free time?: Movies & Ministry!
What is your role at DGS?: The student advisor is sometimes called a dean of students. I check-in with students, help resolve conflict and respond to behavior instances or when a student is not being their best.
Trace Martin: PE/Excursion coordinator
Experience: I’ve taught for 3 years
College: Sam Houston State University
Why DGS?: I am excited to join such an innovative program that prioritizes the community and takes learning outside of the classroom!
How Do Students Describe You?: Fun, energetic, supportive, and patient.
What do you do in your free time?: During my free time my wife and I enjoy hiking with our dogs and riding our bikes.
Movie Recommendation: Interstellar
Kelly Johnson: School Pyschologist
Experience: I have been in education for 5 years.
Where did you grow up?: DeSoto, TX
College: Texas Woman's University & Middle Tennessee State University
Why DGS?: I’m so excited to be part of DGS Northfield! Community engagement is key and I’m excited to be part of a community that includes students in a collaborative manner. I’m all about helping create a positive environment conducive to learning and working collaboratively with parents and teachers to support children’s success.
What do you do in your free time?:I enjoy running, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Ashton Marshall: Math
Experience: I have taught for 2 years.
College: Christopher Newport University (Virginia)
Why DGS?: I started as a student teacher at the original DGS. This year I taught 7th grade math. This school does an amazing job of supporting students and staff in reaching their potential and I couldn’t imagine leaving to start my career anywhere else.
How Do Students Describe You?: My students would say that I care about them, that I build relationships. They would also say that I hold them to high expectations.
What do you do in your free time?: I played lacrosse in college, so I like to stay active. I also like art and to spend time with friends and family.
Tim King: Social studies
Experience: I’ve been teaching for 5 years.
College: Fairfield University
Why DGS?: I'm thrilled to be a part of a caring and collaborative learning environment! Community engagement, shared leadership and student centered learning are all things I value. Also excited to share my passions of theater and music!
How Do Students Describe You?: Kind, caring, curious and fun.
What do you do in your free time?: I practice yoga, guitar and love hiking in the mountains.
What is your favorite drink?: Dark Coffee with a whisper of whole milk (basically a black coffee)