Teachers

  • Allyson Granados

    Alyx Hodges

    My name is Alyx Hodges and this year will be my first year at Alice King Community School in the 4th and 5th grade class. I am so excited to join the team here at AKCS for the 2015-2016 School Year! I graduated from the University of New Mexico with my B.S. in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Children's Educational Theatre. I had worked previously at Corrales Elementary and in a 1st-3rd grade classroom at Montessori of the Rio Grande. I also substitute taught for APS at a variety of schools and grades in Albuquerque before taking some time off to have my son and do the Mommy thing full time. I am excited to get back into the classroom and work with the AKCS community. Multiage classrooms and Montessori-like philosophies have been a lifelong passion of mine that I hope to translate into our classroom here. My approach to teaching is very student driven where I put focus into working alongside students to guide them through their learning experience using tools and methods that work best for each student. An interesting fact about me is that I'm a Lindy Hop dancer! I have been swing dancing for over a decade and love breaking a sweat dancing to the sounds of 1930s jazz clubs in New Orleans and Harlem. Feel free to contact me with any questions at any time!

    Amanda Tapia

    This is my third year at Alice King Community School and I love teaching fourth and fifth graders because of their creativity and enthusiasm. I am so fortunate to teach such an amazing group of students and work with an outstanding group of educators. I earned my degree in Elementary Education from Eastern New Mexico University in 2003. I earned a Master of Pedagogy and Learning with an emphasis in Educational Technology from Eastern New Mexico University and National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2012. I am also honored to receive a 2016 Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award . This is my twelfth year teaching. I’ve taught kindergarten, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and math and reading intervention.

    Drew Sedrel

    As a teacher, I was drawn to Alice King's mission of inclusive education. Since coming here, I have been thrilled with the dedication our staff and parents, and impressed by the work and the kindness of our students. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University and spent my first few years out of college working with children in residential treatment centers, first in Chicago and later in Albuquerque. At UNM, I earned licenses in both Special Education K-12 and Secondary Language Arts and Social Studies, both with Teaching English as a Second Language Endorsements. I also received my MFA from National University in Creative Writing, with an emphasis on Creative Nonfiction and the Pedagogy of Writing. I have spent most of my sixteen years teaching intermediate grades (3rd-5th) but have also taught at Capshaw Middle School in Santa Fe and Grant Middle School here in Albuquerque. I am excited to be a part of developing a dynamic and challenging curriculum for our students, with a team of wonderful teachers, parents and administrators. It is exciting to see Alice King offering true enrichment for all. In my private life, I am a parent of two children, and married to a wonderful first grade teacher. I enjoy all kinds of sports and outdoor activities, and have had a chance to coach both my son and daughter in basketball and soccer.

    Erika Penninger

    I became a part of the Alice King community during the 2014-2015 school year. Prior to joining AKCS I taught at an APS elementary school for 10 years working with grades 3rd-5th, Technology, and Math Intervention. I was born and raised in northern Maine, moving to Albuquerque in 2003. I earned a Bachelors in Biology with a focus in Environmental Education from Southampton College Long Island University and a Masters in Environmental Education from Antioch New England. Before starting my teaching career I enjoyed a diverse work experience within several Informal Learning Institutions: Mystic Aquarium, Nature Center, Connecticut Science Center. Upon moving to Albuquerque I obtained my teacher certification through Career Development Program, a cooperative program between APS and UNM. I added an English as a Second Language endorsement from College of Santa Fe in my first two years of teaching for APS. I am trained in Addvantage math and the balanced literacy framework. Learning is an aspect of our lives that happens at every stage, providing us with infinite possibilities. I am passionate about life long learning and joke that I am a perpetual student. Within my classroom I encourage and base learning activities on cooperation with an emphasis on questioning and hypothesizing. I was drawn to Alice King’s multiage classrooms for the opportunity to be a part of a larger community giving me the ability to build relationships with my colleges, students, and their families.

    Holly Tilseth

    I am passionate about the inclusion of children of all abilities and backgrounds and enjoy the supportive and professional community that AKCS provides. This is my third year teaching at Alice King and am working with Kindergarten through third grade students, supporting the General Education teachers. I received my Bachelor’s degree from UNM with a focus in psychology and communication and my Master’s degree (also from UNM) in Special Education. My husband and I are eagerly anticipating the arrival of our first child in March, 2016. I look forward to another year full of learning and collaboration with all stakeholders at AKCS!

    Jeni Pope

    My name is Jeni Pope and I am honored to work with your children! I graduated from UNM and completed my Master’s Degree a few years ago. I have been teaching for 14 years, 10 at APS and this is my 4th year at AKCS. I have a Boxer named Milo and we love to go camping and hiking. I also love traveling and working in my garden and around our home. I work hard to build a classroom and school community where students feel safe, confident and excited about learning.

    Jordan Russell

    I am very excited for my second year at Alice King. I am so happy to be a part of this staff and community for a second year. I am a graduate of the University of New Mexico where I received my bachelors degree in Elementary Education with a focus in Language Arts. I played volleyball at UNM while getting my degree. I was a setter on the team and loved every moment of it. I enjoy the small community of AKCS and have met some amazing families while working here. I love the environment we have created to foster learning and creativity of our students. When I am not at school my hobbies include volleyball, being with family, relaxing with friends, and riding horses.

    Kathleen Weinbrecht

    I am the Technology and PE Teacher here at Alice King Community School. I have been teaching grades K-6th grade for 10 years. I previously worked in the Moriarty School District and Tonya Newton was my Principal. This is my second year at Alice King and I enjoy working with all the different grade levels. I enjoy watching the smiles on the faces of the students when they learn something new and are excited when they discover their own abilities in accomplishing a task. Before teaching and during my early years of teaching, I was an EMT and Wildland Fire fighter for 14 ½ years with the Edgewood Fire Department. It was very rewarding but also humbling working within the Community that I lived in. Now, one of my passions is my horses. I have two rescue horses that I have adopted named Slick & Ruby, and I am currently fostering two other rescue horses named Kasi & Liberty. A third rescue that I was fostering has been adopted with a Forever Home and his name is Hitch. I am always looking for parents that have a skill that they would love to teach our students at AKCS, may it be: any sport, yoga, dance, running, track, etc. Let me know if you would like to volunteer to teach a skill to our students.

    Kelly Powers

    Meeting individual needs while providing efficient support and challenging every learner at their level is the foundation of the multiage philosophy. I strive to meet this philosophy and to build a safe, caring, and consistent environment where students feel that they can advocate for themselves and others and also work together to problem solve. I have a Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters in Education from the University of New Mexico. This will be my twelfth year of teaching. My wonderful husband and I have two beautiful sons, Oliver and Bowen.

    Kelsey Anderson

    This will be my 8th year teaching at AKCS. I graduated from New Mexico Highlands with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in history. I have a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. I also had a volleyball scholarship and played as a middle blocker. I love the philosophy and project based learning that happens at AKCS. I also enjoy the multi-age classroom because it is amazing to see students grow and learn for 2 years. I truly love teaching and strive everyday to meet the individual needs of all my students. I also continue to play and coach volleyball. On many weekends, you will find me playing sand doubles! My other passion is traveling. This is a picture of me in Ireland from one of my trips. I have also traveled to Australia, Egypt, Costa Rica, Italy, Russia, Tanzania, and Peru.

    Kristi Collins

    I am Kristi Collins and I teach 4th and 5th grades. I am passionate about curriculum/instruction and enjoy designing my own curriculum in order to meet individual student's needs. I believe that children learn in different ways and instructional methods need to be varied with the goal of the learner in mind. I strongly believe that an inclusive environment benefits all learners academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. I strive to teach students how to take ownership of their own learning by helping them learn how to set goals in order to monitor their individual growth. Creating a strong classroom community in which students are kind, compassionate, engaged, cooperative, and responsible is a cornerstone of my educational philosophy. I am a strong believer that social-emotional learning is vital in order for students to feel safe and ready to learn. I have been teaching 16 years and have been at AKCS since the 2010-2011 school year. Prior to my time at AKCS, I was at an APS school for ten years where I taught fifth grade for six years (five of which were in an inclusion setting). I also worked as the parent liaison and math interventionist for four years. While in APS, I served as the school’s math leader for nine years, working very closely with the staff to develop a school-wide math assessment program. I have a master's degree in elementary education with an emphasis in reflective practice. I am trained in AddVantage Math and the balanced literacy framework. Currently, I serve as grade level team leader and am a member of the Curriculum Team.

    Laura Brown

    Hi, I’m Laura Brown, I work with Ms. Kristi in our 4/5 inclusion classroom. I am a mother of 6 children and in one way or another (Parent, Teacher, Educational Assistant or Daycare Provider) I have been with Alice King Community School since it began 10 years ago. I love Alice King’s small school, inclusive environment. I also enjoy the focus on community that is fostered at AKCS while being dedicated to educational excellence. This is my 5th year as a teacher. I graduated from NMSU in 2001 with a dual degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. I then taught Special Education for a year in Las Cruces, eventually our family moved to Albuquerque and I was blessed to be able to stay at home with my children until I began teaching again. I love being a teacher (and a parent) at AKCS with all of these wonderful students, teachers, administration and staff!

    Laura Jespen

    Lyanne Silva

    Hello, I’m Ms. Lyanne and this is my 4th year at Alice King Community School. I am so excited to be part of your student's growth and development this year! I received both my Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree from the University of New Mexico. I am dual licensed in Elementary Education and Special Education. I have a wonderful and supportive family. We enjoy spending time outdoors....hiking, camping, fishing, and bicycling along the Paseo del Bosque Trail. I absolutely LOVE baking, reading, and making puzzles! I am very excited to partner with you this year to ensure your child's academic success!

    Mary Kay Ready

    This is my eighth year of teaching K-1 at Alice King Community School. I have taught for over 25 years. My previous experience has been in grades Pre-K through 2nd. I graduated from Lamar University and received my masters degree from UNM. My areas of specialization are early childhood and reading, and I have been trained in Reading Recovery. I love working with young children and teaching at AKCS. This school has a great philosophy: it allows us to take our students beyond programmed curriculum and treat each child as an individual. We have an academically strong program with a gentle, nurturing climate. I love the energy and excitement that these little ones bring to us each day. My assistant this year is Ms. Angela Beauchamp. She is a certified teacher with experience in first grade and she has subbed here at Alice King many times. I am truly delighted to have her with us. We are excited and happy to welcome our new little kinders for their first year of school and to welcome back our wonderful first graders!

    Michelle Gonzalez

    This is my 18th year teaching and I have been at Alice King Community School since the 2014-2015 school year. Prior to that, I was teaching in APS schools in ESL classrooms grades K-3rd grade and was also a Reading and Math interventionist. I graduated from the University of New Mexico with my Bachelor and Masters degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in ESL.

    Sammy Johnston

    This is my fourth year teaching K/1 at Alice King Community School and I am extremely excited to be a part of your child's education! I had the honor of doing my student teaching internship with AKCS, as well, and am truly grateful for a wonderful place to foster my love for children, helping to mold young minds and constantly meeting the needs of every student that walks in our door. I have a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, both from the University of New Mexico. Outside of school, I am an avid sports fan, I love to travel and spend time with loved ones. We are so thankful to have Ms. Annie as our Educational Assistant this year. Annie Gant joined AKCS when it was still NACC, a year after the school was founded. She studied Art and Psychology at the College of Santa Fe, and was a member of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psych students. Annie is the mother of 1 son, JP III, a Firefighter w/ Bern. County, mother-in-law to Danielle, a professional Baker, and proud grandmother to JP IV (Baby J). Her hobbies include music, gardening and New Mexico Literature. We look forward to a wonderful year together, working with our ever growing students.

    Shayna Lazar

    My name is Shayna Lazar and I am excited to be here at Alice King. I was born and raised here in Albuquerque. I have my Bachelors and Masters degrees both from the University of New Mexico’s College of Education. Prior to being at Alice King, I taught fourth and fifth grades in APS. I am looking forward to working with each child in reaching his or her full potential as a learner.

    Tara Bishop

    I am very blessed to be a part of the extraordinary Alice King community of dedicated teachers. I began my teaching practice in 1987. I have a BA in art education and a Master’s degree in elementary education from the University of New Mexico. I have taught numerous grade levels and designed and implemented art programs for children at a number of elementary schools, the City of Albuquerque, the Exlplora Children’s Museum, and the Children’s Art Studio. As your child’s fine arts teacher, I will acknowledge his or her interests and talents in art, drama, and music. I hope to instill a love for the arts that will last a lifetime.

    Valerie Apodaca

    Hello, my name is Valerie Apodaca (Ms. Val) and this is my 10th year at Alice King Community School. While at Alice King, I have taught grades K-3. I love the challenge that teaching brings me each school year. At Alice King, we have the opportunity to create our own curriculum to fit the needs of our students. This means that I can be creative in the ways that I teach children. I enjoy keeping up to date on the latest educational research and strategies and frequently incorporate them into my teaching. Having a strong, meaningful curriculum is an important factor in the success of every child; however, before children can begin to learn they need to feel safe and secure. They need to be in a comfortable learning environment. I strive to create a classroom environment that is calm, nurturing, respectful and thoughtful. I enjoy teaching children how to work together and how to solve problems when they do arise. I enjoy teaching life skills that they will use for years to come as they journey through school. Thank you for choosing Alice King to send your children to. I am tremendously looking forward to working with your child! On a personal note...I have been married for 7 years to a wonderful man named Julian. We have three beautiful children who always keep us on our toes - Ayzlinn (4 months), Andres (15 months) and Angelo (3 1/2 years). Some things I enjoy doing in my spare time are; fishing, camping, crafts, watching movies, cooking, home projects and traveling.