Middle School Teachers

Our Middle School team works together to deliver a rigorous, integrated curriculum that builds on the Primary regimen and connects across all academic disciplines. Our teachers value creativity and are responsive to the needs of their students in this emergent learning environment, where the learning process is embedded in trust and takes place in the context of relationships.

 

English

  • Elizabeth Bailey

    She/Her/Hers
    Upper School English
    B.A. in English from St. Mary's College of Maryland
    M.A. Teaching with a focus on Secondary English Education, Grades 5-12 from St. Mary's College of Maryland
    Elizabeth.Bailey@du.edu

    Elizabeth comes from Maryland, where she previously taught middle school English in Maryland Public Schools and coached High School swimming. She developed her passion for working with children from spending time with her eight younger brothers. She currently holds a master's degree in Secondary English education, with an endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language. After moving to Denver in the summer of 2020, Elizabeth began teaching at the Ricks Center for Gifted Children. She believes that education should be dynamic, inclusive, and geared to the whole child. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and exploring the local trails.

 

Mathematics

  • Jenn Matteson

    She/Her/Hers
    Upper School Math Teacher/Instructional Coach/8th Grade Advisor
    B.A. in Architectural Engineering, Wentworth Institute of Technology
    M.A.. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Leadership Area in Elementary Mathematics, University of Colorado at Denver
    Certificate in Gifted Education, University of Denver, expected Spring 2023
    Middle School Math Endorsement

    jennifer.Matteson@du.edu

    Jennifer has been teaching for a long time. She received her teaching license in 2005. She has a diverse range of experiences that she shares with Ricks. She has been an elementary math coach, a Montessori lower elementary co-teacher, a Montessori Children’s House Lead Guide and a structural engineer just to name a few. She has taught all grades ranging from pre-k through 8th grade. This allows her to know all levels of development for her students and gives her a unique perspective as a teacher and an instructional coach. She enjoys combining her varied experiences to make meaningful connections for the children in her classroom.

    Jennifer and her husband have 3 children all of which have all been identified as gifted. Therefore, she has made it her life work to teach, support, mentor and guide gifted children of all ages. She and her family enjoy music, reading, and anything having to do with the outdoors. Fun Fact: As a structural engineer, she was the project lead on the University of Denver's Daniel's College of Business building.

  • Jeff Cathrall

    Upper School Math Teacher/Instructional Coach
    B..A. in Mathematics, Stanford University
    M.A. in mathematics, specializing in probability and game theory, University of Colorado at Denver

    Jeff attended Stanford University on a full tennis scholarship and earned an undergraduate Mathematics degree. During that tenure, the tennis team won three consecutive NCAA team championships. Following his scholastics, he played professional tennis and achieved an ATP ranking in the top 400 worldwide.  In 2019, he was inducted into the Colorado tennis hall of fame. For most of his corporate career he worked in the financial industry as a software tester, actuary and mathematics analyst. During that career, he extended his education by obtaining a masters degree in mathematics, specializing in probability and game theory from University of Colorado at Denver.  He was the winner of the Top Graduate Student across all colleges for his thesis work.  Jeff has taught mathematics at the middle school, high school and college level for five plus years.  His approach to teaching is based on the thinking classroom model that emphasizes hands-on discovery learning through exploration of patterns and experiences. He serves as a guide to a collaborative quest for knowledge while developing key problem solving skills.  


    His other passions include soccer, volleyball, bridge, reading and competition math.

 

Science

  • Kevin Walton

    He/His/Him
    Upper School School Science, Athletic Director/Coach
    Upper School Musical Director/Choreographer
    B.S. Biology, University of Colorado at Denver
    Teacher Certification Program, Secondary Science Endorsement
    kevin.walton@du.edu

    Kevin has been teaching for over 30 years here in Colorado. Born in New York City and raised in Southern California with a few years spent in Hawaii, he gets to the beach whenever possible. He played three sports in high school and two sports in college. He also played rugby for over five years in the Southern California area. He umpired professional baseball for over seven years before starting his teaching career. Kevin is a huge fan of all Denver sports teams with a special love for UCLA men’s and women’s basketball, UCLA softball and the UConn women’s basketball team. Kevin spends his spare time now performing in professional musicals over the greater Denver metro area and has been fortunate to be on stage a few times with his talented son, Burke and daughter, Bailey. He loves the relationships he has been able to form with so many Ricks students over the past 26 years.

 

Social Studies

  • Rebeccah Winslow

    She/Her/Hers
    Upper School Social Studies
    B.A. in History Education from Colorado Mesa University
    M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Secondary Social Studies Education
    PhD. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies-In Process
    rebeccah.winslow@du.edu

    Rebeccah is entering her 7th year in the classroom where she has previously taught both middle and high school Social Studies and coached volleyball and basketball. She believes in teaching Social Studies through a critical and responsive lens and making as many connections to the present as possible. Rebeccah grew up in San Diego, California where she met her husband, Christoph. They both attended the University of Mississippi where Rebeccah earned her M. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction. In her downtime, Rebeccah likes to cheer for Ole Miss sports, go hiking with her husband and dog, Luna, and reading any book she can get her hands on.

 

5th Grade

  • Andrew Colella

    He/His/Him
    B.A. Biology and Economics, University of Colorado, Boulder
    M.A.- Education, Curriculum and Instruction

    Teacher Certification Program, Secondary Science Endorsement
    andrew.colella@du.edu

    Andy is a long time Colorado resident, growing up in Northern Colorado. His 28 year teaching career started in the Thompson School District and continued in the Cherry Creek School District before joining the Ricks Community in January of 2022. He has not only taught all ages and levels of students, he has also served as an educational coach and coordinator. Andy, his wife, 3 kids and 2 dogs enjoy spending time together, especially on the ski slopes during the winter and by the pool during the summer. Andy enjoys exercising, playing guitar, DIY projects and movies in his free time.

CTA

Student Support

For students in need of accommodation, discover how our Student Support Team provides tailored strategies in multiple disciplines to aid in the success of our students. 

Learn More