MEET the Teacher & Staff


Carol Woods

This is my 8th year teaching preschool at Red Hawk.  When I am not teaching I love to workout at the gym, go on date nights with my husband, watch movies, shop, and treat myself to the spa.  My husband and I have recently begun to cross country ski as well. I also love my Dachshund and Greyhound. I have two grown Children, Daniel and Amanda. 

My favorite places to eat:  Pumphouse, BJ’s Pizza, West Side tavern, The Old Mine, Longs Peak Pub, and The Roost. My favorite places to shop:  Amazon, Lululemon, The Loft, Lizard Thicket, Sunflower Spa. Movie Theaters:  Regal and Fandango.

Megan Burgess

This is my 5th year teaching at St. Vrain Valley Schools and my 2nd year at Red Hawk. I am originally from Michigan and my husband is a Colorado native.  After finishing up our degrees in Michigan we decided to move out to sunny Colorado, 5 years ago.  In my free time, I love spending time with my husband, our daughter, Mayla (1) and our lab/hound mix, Comet. We love spending as much time as we can in the mountains and hiking!
I love: Amazon, Target, LOFT, Costco and wildflowers!


Barbara O’Donnell-Wright 

This is my second year teaching Kindergarten at Red Hawk. My family has been in Colorado for about 3.5 years; and I love being a part of the Erie community – and walking to Red Hawk!  When I’m not at school, I am usually out walking my dogs, keeping track of my teenage boys, running, hiking, and reading.
I like:  Amazon, Starbucks, Fandango, WalMart, food (especially homemade goods).  I have shelter pets so I love to support local groups like Dumb Friends Animal League, Mother Gaia Animal Rescue, Longmont Human Society, etc.  I also support our local food banks.

Renee Quijas 

Hello! My name is Renee Quijas (key-hoss). I have been teaching in the St.Vrain Valley School District, and Red Hawk Elementary, since 2014.  Ray and I have just entered a new stage in life as “empty nesters,” which I have to admit, is not too bad!😉 We have three daughters, Sophia (23), Micah (21), and Sloane (18) and one English Springer named Wrigley.

In my free time I love to cook, exercise, read, travel in our vintage RV, spending time with my family, and hanging out on our front porch after a busy week! I feel extremely privileged to be a part of the Red Hawk community.

I LOVE Starbucks and Ziggi’s coffee, Target, LOFT, Amazon, chocolate, Mexican food and getting my nails done at The Nail Lounge.

Deirdre Nagle 

I’ve been at Red Hawk since 2014.  I taught 2nd grade before moving down to Kindergarten! I love teaching Kindergarten! In my off time I enjoy spending time with my husband and 2 kids. We like to hike, ski, swim, cook, and go out for local adventures.

My favorites include:  the color blue, coffee, food and home magazines, chocolate, crafts made by my students, local breweries and restaurants 

Stores include: Whole Foods, target, REI, Amazon, local shops, coffee shops, bookstores

Susan Denton

I teach Kindergarten! In my off time I really enjoy taking my dog for a walk, yoga, fitness classes, hiking, taking my 3 year old to the park, really anything outdoors. My favorite places to eat: Lucky Pie, Carrabba’s, Starbucks, Bonefish Grill, Any Place Mexican
My favorite places to shop: Target, Costco, Kohls, Amazon


Patrick Burns 

My name is Patrick Burns (a.k.a. Mr. Burns) and I am stoked to be a 1st grade teacher at RHE. I am an avid outdoor enthusiast who likes to hike, backpack, climb, snowshoe, and travel around the deserts in my 4Runner. My favorite color is purple and I enjoy healthy living, such as spending most of my paycheck on all the yummy food at Whole Foods. Sushi, Pizza, and Mega Salads are my favorite cuisines. I like coffee and I love a tasty Kombucha. My favorite places to shop for the classroom are Amazon, Scholastic, and Target. 

Nicole Neitenbach

This will be my second year teaching 1st grade at Red Hawk! In my spare time, I love to read and take my 2 golden retrievers on walks, hikes or to Coot Lake. I also love to travel and explore new places, I get antsy if I stay in one place for too long! Here is a list of places and things I LOVE: anything purple, Starbucks, Target, Chipotle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Hot Tamales!  

Jamie Ladwig

I have been teaching 1st grade at Red Hawk since it opened 9 years ago. I have lived in Colorado with my husband since 1996 and we have two children. We spend a lot of time as a family at cross country meets and track meets since my kids are avid runners. Many days you can find me walking my dog, Niwot around the neighborhood.
I love teaching, reading, and hiking. 

Andrea Eriksen

I have been a part of the Red Hawk community since 2015! I love working with First Graders and helping them reach their goals and learn new things. Teaching is a real passion for me and I love trying new ideas in my classroom! I have a wish list on amazon for the classroom and a project on Donors Choose!

When I am not teaching little people, I am spending time with my family and dog.


Dana Wiegand 

I am a 2nd grade teacher at Red Hawk. My favorite thing about teaching is getting to know each child individually and building meaningful relationships with each one throughout the year. It’s always amazing to see how much they learn and grow in one year! 
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my 9-month old baby, Levi, and my husband, Chip. We enjoy getting outside into the beautiful mountains of Colorado. I love mountain biking, hiking, yoga, and taking Levi to the park. 
My favorite places to shop are Target, Lucky’s Market, King Soopers, REI, and This Child of Mine in Longmont. I try to buy gently used clothes/toys for Levi whenever possible because he grows so fast. I always appreciate hand-me-downs for him as well! If we get the chance to go out to eat, we like Qdoba, Beau Jo’s Pizza, Smash Burger, or any restaurants in Longmont. I occasionally will pamper myself with a pedicure or massage! Thanks for reading and please know that no gifts are required, but always appreciated. 🙂 

Heather Weber

Hi! This is my 13th year teaching but my first at Red Hawk Elementary. I am the ESL teacher and I am also a 2nd grade Literacy Teacher. I strive to make the learning environment warm, challenging, relevant, and fun! In addition to working with children here and around the world, I spend my time climbing mountains (I’ve climbed more than 30 of Colorado’s 14ers), snowboarding, wakeboarding, crafting, watching soccer and football, and spending time with my amazing husband, Bryon, and our beloved Labrador, Dempsey.
I love: Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Target, REI, Starbucks, and TJ Maxx. I also love green tea, dark chocolate, almonds, wineries/breweries, going to the movies, and fine tipped pencils/pens.

Ellen Mackey

This is my 7th year teaching at Red Hawk Elementary, and I have been teaching in Colorado for 25 years! 
I love spending time in the outdoors and having adventures with my family and friends. We enjoy skiing, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, listening to music and playing in the ocean during the summer. Some of my favorite things are good food, good friends, local art, big snowstorms, ocean waves, sunrise and the sound of birds in the morning.

I Like:
REI, Chipotle, The Movies, Costco, and The Humane Society!


Laura Fitzgerald

I teach 3rd grade! In my off time I really enjoy going to the gym, playing soccer with my husband and spending time with my boys. I love coffee, pizza, and bbq. Some of my favorite places to shop are Amazon, lululemon, Target, and Old Navy. As a family we enjoy bowling and going to the movies. 

Wendy Durst

Hello!  My name is Wendy Durst, and I’ve been teaching 3rd grade at Red Hawk Elementary since 2011 – the year Red Hawk opened.  I love the community here! Outside of working with kids, I love most things outdoors: hiking, backpacking, climbing peaks, cross country skiing / hut trips, and road & mountain biking. I also swim a few mornings a week (and suffer from goggle marks the rest of the day…)!

REI and Title Nine are my favorite stores. (For not being much of a shopper, I do manage to spend a lot of time there!)  I also enjoy Chipotle and Mod Market for a quick meal, Chocolove Peppermint chocolate when I’m treating myself, and all things Iditarod!

Daniel Currie

I have enjoyed working at Red Hawk for the past 7 years. When I am not teaching I am spending time with my wife.  We love to travel to all of the amazing National Parks nearby.  I love nature of all kinds so I spend a lot of time in it.  I especially love my garden, photography, painting, playing chess, and soccer.
My favorites include: Lowe’s Home Improvement, The Flower Bin, and Harlequin’s Garden


Halie Oleszczuk (Mrs. O)

I teach 4th Grade here at Red Hawk! When I am not teaching, I love to hike and spend time with my husband and Golden Retriever, Lacie. Here is a list of the things I love: the colors blue and teal, Starbucks Coffee, dark chocolate, sunflowers, LOFT, Target, and Whole Foods 🙂

Shane Saeed 

I teach 4th grade! In my off time I really enjoy going to the gym, hand lettering, listening to podcasts and traveling. I love Asian cuisines including sushi, Thai food, Indian food, and Pho. My favorite places to shop at are Target, Amazon, and Nordstrom Rack! 

Kelly Ormesher 

Hello, I’m Kelly Ormesher. I have been teaching at Red Hawk since 2014 and love being part of the 4th grade team!  When I’m not working with our fantastic students, I love to spend time outdoors with my husband. We enjoy hiking, fly fishing, gardening, traveling, and birding. A few of my favorites are The Flower Bin, Starbucks, Target, and the Used Book Emporium.

Cody Kemp

Hi! I am Cody Kemp and this is my 8th year at Red Hawk. I truly love the community here at Red Hawk. When I am not here, you might find me traveling with my family, playing soccer, or hiking a trail near the flatirons.
Here is a list of places and things that I love:  Liverpool FC (soccer), REI, The Post, and anything homemade. 


Amy Winstead Powers

I am a 5th grade teacher here at Red Hawk. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family. I have teenagers and a toddler at home so something exciting is always happening. I love to go bird watching and bargain hunt at the ARC thrift store! We reuse and refurbish old things as much as possible. For example, my husband is constantly tinkering on his 1993 (yep, you read that right!) Volvo station wagon. Thanks for reading and please know that no gifts are required, but always appreciated. Nothing is better than a homemade treat. Everyone in my family has a sweet tooth. We grocery shop at King Soopers and occasionally go out to eat. Our favorite restaurant is the Taj Mahal in Louisville. I also LOVE coffee, chocolate, and all things “lavender”!

Haila Mirto

I am a Colorado girl through and through. I grew up right here in Boulder County and went to school in St. Vrain Valley. I love working for a school district I know so well! After I received my degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 2008 in Visual Arts Education, with an emphasis in art history, I went on to do many things in the education arena. I have worked as a 4th grade teacher, an art teacher, and an education coordinator for the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center. I have been at Red Hawk since 2015, and I am excited to teach 5th grade yet again this year! I absolutely adore social studies and history, and I can’t wait to get the students in my class fired up about our past. I also love to teach reading; the moment when you open a new book for the first time is one of the best things in life. When I am not teaching I enjoy being outside doing things like biking, running, and golfing. I like being as active as possible, but I also enjoy relaxing in the garden, drawing, reading, and spending time with my husband and my twins Cecilia and Henry.
Favorite things: Color: orange  Candy: dark chocolate and gummies Restaurants: Old Mine, Jefe’s, Mcdevitt Taco Supply, Oscar Blues. Things: coffee, reading, gardening, golfing, adventure running, and riding my bike


Diane Sherman, Library

My husband, three children and I have lived in Erie since 1992 and have excitedly watched it grow. I enjoy spending time with my family, going to garage sales, playing tennis, gardening, fostering puppies and now raising chickens! I previously taught first and second grades, technology, and now am the teacher librarian. After graduating from Metro State College with a Behavioral Sciences degree, I have added a Master of Arts from CU in Curriculum and Instruction with a Reading Endorsement and most recently graduated from UNC with a second masters in School Library Education as a Teacher Librarian. I am grateful  to be part of the Red Hawk Elementary school family and love my job!

I am now a grandma and love every minute of it! My favorite place to shop are Amazon and King Soopers as I love to cook and bake!

Amy Abbott, Music

This is my 22nd year of teaching, and my 9th at Red Hawk.  (I was lucky enough to be on the original planning team!). I love my job and am passionate about bringing positive musical experiences to our students.  In my time away from school I work out at OrangeTheory, I have a Teachers Pay Teachers business that I work on, I present 4-6 workshops a year nationally to music teachers, I teach in the summer at Colorado State University, attend musicals at the Buell with my husband and kids but most of all, I enjoy time with my family. I’m blessed that all of mine and my husband’s immediate families live within 8 miles of each other!

Some of my favorite restaurants are Blackbelly, Santo and Bacon Social House.  I love to shop at Amazon (really, don’t they have everything?!), Main Street Bella, Playbill Store, Thespian Swag, Target and Whole Foods.  But most of all, I LOVE all things Disney or Star Wars related!

Megan Spirk, PE

HI, I’m Megan Spirk, your PE teacher, who loves teaching students the value of their health. In my free time, I love spending time outdoors; hiking, biking, working out, and laying by the pool. My favorite pastime activity is reading. I really enjoy trying new places, but my favorite restaurants/shops are;  Flower Child, Ta/co, Lululemon, Target and Amazon and Sprouts. As many of my students know, I Love Avocados and all things Bulletproof! 

Lisa Kopplinger, ART

I have the best job at Red Hawk, teaching art! I have a passion for learning all I can about art history and I encourage my students to do the same! This is my 9th year at Red Hawk and have worked for the St. Vrain Valley school district since 2001. I have an Associates Degree from The Colorado School of Art and Design, a B.A. in Visual Arts and a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of Northern Colorado Graduate School of Art and Design. My husband and I have been married since 1988 and are both Colorado natives. We have two grown children and a beautiful granddaughter. I enjoy painting, reading, road trips, watching college football games, and going for long walks around the lake near our home.
A few of my favorite things: Handmade cards, crafts, homemade goodies and anything “artsy” I love socks, scarves, knitted hats and gloves, especially ones with crazy designs on them! I also hold a special spot in my heart for the Humane Society and the Denver Rescue Mission. 

Alicia Hendricks, Technology

Hello there! My name is Alicia, and I’m the new Lab Technician at Red Hawk! I love everything about this school and am really enjoying getting to know all of the kiddos here. I live in the neighborhood with my husband Jason, and our one year old son Oliver. In our free time, we love camping, hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing etc.. I’m also an avid baker, love going to the movies by myself and teach and host a variety of different classes and workshops each month.

Some of my favorites: Target, SEPHORA, LOFT, Crate and Barrel, Trader Joe’s, Tattered Cover, Athleta and REI

Bri Hartman, Speech

Hi, I’m Bri and I’ve been Red Hawk’s speech language pathologist since the 2013-2014 school year. When I’m not helping students build their communication skills, I like to read, watch movies, and relax outdoors (near water or in the mountains). My favorite treat is coffee, my favorite color is mint green, and I enjoy finding beautiful places to hike. During most breaks, especially over the summer, I’m the happiest when I’m with my family (I’m originally from California). My favorite places to shop are Amazon and Target. 

Sidney Mabry-Merritt, Reading Intervention

Hello! This is my 5th year at Red Hawk as a reading interventionist and I LOVE being part of the Red Hawk community. Reading and working with children are my passion. I want students to have the skills to read and be able to enjoy all the wonderful books available.

When not at school I love spending time with my family and my girlfriends. I am the proud mama of Jessica – who followed in my teacher foot steps. Have two step sons too, one of whom is an art teacher. I love gardening, cooking, DIY projects, antiques, hiking, the great outdoors and of course reading!  I really love supporting independent businesses and restaurants.

Jessica Jimenez, Special Education

This is my 6th year teaching special education and my 3rd year at Red Hawk. My husband, Cesar, and I are originally from California, and we decided to move out to beautiful Colorado 3 years ago.  In my free time, I love spending time with my husband, our pets (Bailey and Loaf), and our extended family. We love camping, Jeeping, hiking, kayaking, biking, and cooking.
I love: Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Einstein’s Bagels, cats, plants, and sunflowers. 

Lindsay Conrad, Special Education

This is my 1st year teaching at Red Hawk Elementary, and my second year of teaching! I just recently moved to Colorado from Michigan and am loving being so close to the mountains. In my free time, I enjoy being outside in any way that I can, whether that be hiking, skiing or just reading a book in the sun! My favorite places to shop for the classroom are Target and Amazon. I love candy and good food too!


Brandi Thornton, Health Clerk

I am the Health Clerk here at Red Hawk. When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my daughters Jailyn and Adelyn, Crossfit, running, crafting, reading, and spending time with friends and family. 
Things I like: Amazon, Michael’s, Joann Fabrics and Crafts, Hobby Lobby, Target, Starbucks, llamas, the color pink, washi tape, anything related to craft supplies, pens, stationary, and candles. 

Donna Skonicki – Administrative Assistant

In my off time I really enjoy going to the gym, reading, and playing with my two grandsons. I love coffee, pizza, and bbq. Some of my favorite places to shop are Amazon, Target, and Old Navy. My husband and I love going to the movies. 

Heather Coventon – Office

Hi, my name is Heather Coventon and I have worked at RHE for 5 years as an Instructional Para and Front Office Clerk. I can honestly say I have the best job ever!! When I am not at work, I love spending time with my husband and 2 children, Lilly and Roman. I enjoy traveling, reading, crafting, painting, thrift-store shopping,  and ATV-riding.
I love amazon, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, costume jewelry and makeup

Taffy Nichols – Office

This is my 2nd year as Attendance Clerk at Red Hawk Elementary. My kids went to Red Hawk from opening day, through and on to Middle and High School now.  This is such a great school, I thought I should give back and be a part of the team!

I love Starbucks and Ziggis!