Meet our Teachers

Meet our Teachers

Meet our experienced staff of teachers and assistants who make Adventure Club a fun and enriching environment.  
Callie Menz Youth Supervisor/Director

Educational background: BA in psychology from Moorhead State University, Moorhead, Minnesota; Early Childhood Education Large Center Directors Certificate, Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, Colorado 
Experience: 19 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education, including teaching and direction.
Plans for future: I have been very fortunate to be part of Adventure Club. I feel Adventure Club Preschool is where I belong! My goal is to build and support this amazing community program!
Teaching philosophy: I believe a strong early childhood education is the foundation for a joy of lifelong learning. It is so amazing to see children grow emotionally, socially and developmentally over the course of a year, and I am so lucky to be part of such a wonderful period of time for each and every child in our program!
Personal information: My (soon to be) husband and I enjoy spending time with my 15-year-old twin daughters, my 9-year-old step daughter and my 12-year-old step son. I also enjoy running, camping, outdoor activities, friends and going to concerts and traveling.


Cari Gillespie Teaching Assistant

Educational background: MEd. in Secondary Education; BS in Business Education; AAS in Secretarial Sciences; 1-year Clerical Certificate, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah
Experience: High school business teacher for 5.5 years. Preschool and Pre-K teacher in my home 4 years. This is my second year at Adventure Club Preschool. Youth teacher and Cub Scout leader in my church for over 15 years.                 

Plans for future: I have enjoyed my time at Adventure Club and plan to stay as long as needed.  I also hope to substitute teach at my children’s charter school next year.            
Teaching philosophy: I believe in building a strong foundation in young children’s education and making learning fun so they will want to continue to learn and enjoy school. It is fun to watch the tremendous growth in these kids from the beginning of the year to the end.  
Personal information: My husband and I are parents to two kids, a girl (13) and a boy (7), both of whom attended Adventure Club PreK and were more than prepared for Kindergarten. I help coach my daughter’s school volleyball team and am a team mom for her club team. I love to read (when I have time). I am finishing my second term on the Governing Board at my children’s charter school at the end of the 2015-2016 year. 

Gina Ordunez Lead Teacher/Teaching Assistant

Educational background: Metro State, Arapahoe Community College for Elementary Education and Adams State College where I received my Early Childhood Education teaching certification.
Experience: I have been with the Town of Castle Rock at the Adventure Club teaching Pre-K and Preschool for 10 years. I am truly fortunate to work with wonderful friends and great families, I love coming to work!
Teaching philosophy: I believe that all children have a natural desire to learn, and it is my job to nurture that desire and make their “first” school experience a great one! I believe that every child is unique in their own abilities and talents and I embrace that individuality. I feel that parents are very important in their children’s education; they truly need to advocate for their children and be hands-on in their child’s educational journey! I believe that all children learn differently, and I feel that as a teacher I need to be flexible in my teaching to adapt to each class and child according to those needs. I love fun, I love silly, I love messy….so you will see a lot of that in my classes!
Personal information: I love scrap booking and reading! In my “free” time I enjoy cooking and an occasional manicure and pedicure! My family consists of our rescue dogs, Miles, Ferris and Cylus, a Chinchilla named Crash, along with our three wonderful, amazing boys, Gabriel 21, Ryan 17 and Halen 14. I have been married to my high school sweetheart and best friend, Dave, for 24 years! We are very active in the community with the boys and their sporting events! Yes…. our youngest son Halen is named after the 80’s rock band Van Halen! 

Davina Nery Lead Teacher

Educational background

: Early Childhood Education Certification through Arapahoe Community College and Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with a focus in Psychology and a minor in Sociology from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Experience: I have been with the Town of Castle Rock with the Adventure Preschool program for 12 years. When I started we had a very small program that was in the child care room, then we had the addition of actual classrooms which was really neat to be a part of.  
Teaching philosophy: Over the years my teaching philosophy has changed, focusing on different areas (social and academic) and learning new things along the way. I feel that it is vital for the children to learn academically and socially. They need to be challenged academically, nurtured socially and most important to just have some fun!!
Personal information: I married my high school sweetheart and we have two amazing children, one boy and one girl. My son is 3 years old and attends the wonderful program here at Adventure Club Preschool and my daughter is 1 who gets to spend her day with her harmae (grandmother) when I am teaching. I enjoy a good cup of coffee, the cool fall air and being outdoors (mostly hiking).

Kendell Black Lead Teacher

Educational background

: BA in History and Elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado
Experience: Worked with children for more than 13 years, early childhood teacher for nine years.
Teaching philosophy: I believe education is an individual endeavor, and students need to be motivated to learn within themselves. I motivate my students to learn through fun and interesting activities that let them use their creativity and make learning a fun and exciting experience. This is just the beginning of their school experience, and I strive to instill the love of learning in all of my students.
Personal information: I love teaching preschool and enjoy being part of Adventure Club Preschool. My goal is to continue teaching and building our program. I enjoy spending time with my husband and my 11-year-old son, Jackson, and our cat, Freddy and our puppies, Juno and Athena. In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking, and yoga.

Mindy Fortin Lead Teacher

Educational background: Graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln (Go Huskers!), Early Childhood Education Large Center Directors certificate
Experience: Before coming to Castle Rock, I taught high risk and special needs preschoolers for Denver Public Schools. This is my 11th year with Adventure Club Preschool program.
Teaching philosophy: I believe that children are unique and learn at different rates and in different ways. I feel that Adventure Club Preschool program provides a diverse curriculum that is child-centered with hands on exploration. I believe in giving children the time and opportunity to learn through play, exploration, curiosity, problem solving and interaction with others. I also believe in engaging children in worthwhile experiences that are meaningful, active, challenging, developmentally appropriate, relevant and interesting to each individual child. I feel it is important to do ongoing assessment and planning according to the child’s needs, interests and skills. Finally, I think that parent involvement is extremely important for a child’s successes in the classroom.   
Personal information: In the future I would love to run my own preschool program for inner city children. But for now, I enjoy spending time with my girls! I have two daughters, Olivia 11, and Lillian 8. I love spending time with my family and friends and enjoying everything Colorado has to offer.

Julie Waggoner Teaching Assistant

Educational background: BA in Social Sciences and Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Experience: I taught third grade for two years and second grade for five years at Coyote Creek Elementary in Highlands Ranch, and I have taught preschool at Adventure Club for five years now.
Teaching philosophy: I believe that all kids have the internal desire to learn. I believe that their desire needs to be fostered and developed by hands–on fun and creative activities. I want kids to love learning and have a very positive first experience with school.
Personal information: My husband, Aaron, and I have been living in Castle Rock for 15 years. We have three wonderful little boys ages 11, 9 and 7. All three of our boys have gone to school at Adventure Club – we absolutely love this school!  I love to spend time with my family doing anything outdoors such as camping and biking. We also spend a large portion of our weekends on sports fields with our very active boys!
Missy Gold Teaching Assistant

Educational background:
Graduated from the University of Northern Colorado
Experience: Before coming to the Adventure Club preschool,  I enjoyed working in the Tykes Toyland and substituting in the Adventure Club.
Teaching philosophy: I believe that children need a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere to grow and learn. 
Personal information: I have had the opportunity to stay home with my children for the past 6 years. I have loved being able to spend so much time with them. In my free time, I am kept busy with many after school activities ranging from football to dance. As a family, we are camping fanatics! I also make yummy chocolate goodies in my free time. I have been married to my husband Nate for 7 years. We have a son, Noah (6), and a daughter, Maddison (4), and our dogs Hazel and Camo, some fish and three hermit crabs.

Sherry Quezada Teaching Assistant  

Educational background
: Associate degree in Child Development from Rancho Santiago College. My background is in Early Childhood Education and I also hold numerous certificates from Rancho Santiago College in California.
Experience: I’ve worked in Early Childhood Education for over 10 years. I began as a teacher’s aide, then became a lead teacher and finally a site supervisor. I now enjoy working as a teaching assistant with Julie in Adventure Club. I also substitute teach at my children’s elementary school here in Castle Rock.
Teaching philosophy: I believe each child is unique and special. I respect each individual child’s ability to develop in their own way.                                           
Personal information: My husband, Louie, and I have been living in Castle Rock for 6 years. We have been married for 21 years. We have three girls ages 12, 8 and 14. I love to spend time volunteering in each of their elementary classrooms.  We fill our spare time with fun family activities.


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