Niki joined the Atlas team in 2012 with one goal: to provide the best educational experience to her students. With a strong love of learning, she firmly believes that the key to success is hard work, a strong moral compass, and a community that supports you. Niki earned her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and has also recently earned her M.A. in Educational Leadership to help prepare her for her upcoming role at Atlas. Niki will be the founding principal of the newest addition to the Atlas community, our very own Atlas Elementary School! She looks forward with much enthusiasm to see the path we can put students on starting on the first day they walk into a classroom.
Juliana joined Atlas because she believes that everyone deserves an education and helping a student achieve that would be an honor. Its a change coming from the medical field but a good change. Juliana was born in New Jersey but raised in florida and ended up in Colorado. What a change right? She enjoys being a mommy to her little girl Sophia and watching her grow and learn new things is definitely an amazing experience.
6th Grade Mathematics and Team Leader
Ray joins the Atlas team with a belief that student learning begins with engagement in the classroom with lessons geared towards student interests and real-world application. A graduate from the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota, Ray began his journey into teaching through youth athletic coaching. After excelling in instructor roles in the United States Air Force and as a marketing manager at a consulting firm, he decided to make the transition into a full-time teaching role and received his Master of Education from the University of Minnesota. Ray has interests in fitness, exploring new places, and cooking, and cannot wait to see all that Colorado has to offer.
5th and 6th Grade Mathematics Special Education
Brittany comes to Atlas Prep with the desire to help her scholars take risks and excel in a rigorous yet safe learning environment. At Philadelphia University, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design Communication and went on to earn the Writing for Design award for her work on her senior project Philadelphia Citizen. Upon graduating, she also pursued and earned Master of Education degree while working in special education classrooms throughout Philadelphia. After working in Camden, New Jersey as a special educator, Brittany is now the 5th/6th grade Math Interventionist at Atlas Prep, helping her scholars to close the achievement gap. Outside of Atlas, Brittany enjoys white water kayaking, ultimate frisbee and hiking with her dog.
8th Grade Science
Natasha is excited to be a part of the Atlas team that is also dedicated to creating a safe and accepting community, and she grew up in Colorado Springs and is returning to the area to be closer to family and reconnect with the Springs community. Natasha graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor of Science and continued to live in western Massachusetts for 3 years to teach both Math and Science. Now, she is working closely with Atlas 8th-grade students and their families to expand students’ view of the natural world and all it has to offer them. In her spare time, Natasha enjoys the outdoors and is ready to explore the Rocky Mountains right in her backyard.
7th Grade English Language Arts
Taylor joins Atlas Prep with a desire to encourage and support students in their personal achievements. At Ball State University in Indiana, Taylor studied English Education and Communications. After graduating, she received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant to Malaysia, and she worked to build confidence in her students’ English skills. Taylor is now a part of TFA, an organization that supports teachers and works towards closing the achievement gap in underserved students. When she is not teaching, Taylor spends her time reading, hiking, and enjoying Colorado’s wonders with her husband and dog, Lakota.
High School Personal Finance
Laura joins Atlas with the ambition to engage students in becoming leaders and critical thinkers in our community. She wants students to engage and feel confident about their decisions about personal finance and how they can invest in their future selves so that they may have a life rich with options. After graduating from Boston College with undergraduate degrees in economics and Spanish, Laura pursued her master’s degree in educational leadership from Christian Brothers University. Before Atlas, she taught mathematics for seven years in both Memphis, TN and Chicago, IL while coaching girls’ volleyball and basketball. As an avid lover of the outdoors and sports, you’ll find Laura drinking coffee, hiking, fishing, and cheering on her beloved Green Bay Packers on the weekends.
High School Communications
Kevin is in his 6th year teaching at Atlas Prep. He earned his degrees from Miami University, a bachelor’s in rhetoric, and Colorado College, a master’s in education. He believes that all students can achieve success and self-fulfillment through a simple motto: Do the right thing. He is the head route setter at a rock climbing gym and is working on a crime trilogy titled The Warren Files. Any extra time is spent in the mountains that lay just west of his front door.
Director of Community Programs
Alex is at Atlas because she fell in love with the dream of helping students to not only better their education but also to grow themselves into responsible human beings that give back to their local community, a value Alex also shares being a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelors of Science in biology. While at school, she worked with incoming college freshman in Residence Life. She enjoyed helping students achieve their goals while in college and jumped at the opportunity to help middle and high school students at Atlas achieve their goals as well. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, relaxing with a good book, and playing with her energetic dog, Nina.
Middle School Health Technician
High School Art
The child of two teachers, Hunter has continued in their footsteps at Atlas since 2011. Originally from Texas where he studied Studio Art at Baylor University, Hunter has been with the high school since its doors opened in 2013. Over time the art courses have expanded to include Drawing and Art History, Graphic Design and Illustration, and AP Studio Art. He hopes that these courses accomplish the goal of one of Picasso’s most notable quotes: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
6th Grade English Language Arts
Carina joins Atlas to engage students and families in a nurturing learning environment and to work in a community of outstanding educators. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, Carina moved to Hong Kong and worked at Hong Kong University while getting her teaching master’s degree from North Carolina State University. She has most recently taught in Salt Lake City, Utah for three years before moving to Colorado Springs, where she was an instructor at UC Colorado Springs before joining the Atlas family. In her spare time, Carina is focused on creative pursuits, including block printing and embroidery.
Latrice Colley was born and raised in Southern California. She learned about Atlas Prep School in 2011 online and found a new love for education and working with students. She enjoys listening to the scholar’s share their stories and adventures they have at the school and at home. Her passion is for scholars to excel in new heights and to see them reach their goals. She always encourages the scholars to keep focus and to block all negativity while looking forward to the future. She feels that Atlas not only changes lives, but also makes a difference and she is excited about being apart of that process.
Sarah enthusiastically joins Atlas Prep with seven years of experience as a College Admissions Specialist at Pikes Peak Community College. She passionately works to make post-secondary education both accessible and affordable to all by assisting students and their families locate, apply for, and maintain valuable resources. Born and raised in a small town in Maine, Sarah was one of the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Sarah’s values of family, education, and community led her to Atlas Prep to ensure education is accessible to all students regardless of their situation. When Sarah isn’t helping students to transition to their career-track, you can find her on the trails deep in the mountains with her Australian Shepherd, at the ballet studio, or on the water paddle boarding.
I came to Atlas in 2015 after seeing the advertisement for bus monitors. I have driven school buses for many years prior to working for Atlas, and after retirement, I wanted to continue working with students. It’s rewarding to be available for students when one wants to talk about the day they had. There is a lot of joy on our buses.
Emily comes to Atlas inspired by the team’s dedication to changing lives through education. As an undergraduate, Emily majored in English at Indiana University. She then went on to earn her M.A. in Linguistics at Indiana where she taught English as a Second Language. Prior to moving to Colorado Springs, Emily lived in Chicago and worked in development at the University of Chicago. While living in Chicago, Emily volunteered with an urban charter school network. This life-changing experience ignited Emily’s passion for working to close the achievement gap. She enthusiastically supports Atlas students on their path toward self-fulfillment through education, character, and community. Emily enjoys the outdoors and exploring all the Colorado landscape has to offer.
7th Grade English Language Arts
Anneli is thrilled to be an Atlas educator and work alongside dedicated individuals that are consistently providing quality education to students in the southeast region of Colorado Springs. Graduating from the University of Nebraska with a sociology degree opened her eyes to the injustices our country faces, particularly educational inequity. With a hunger for change she jumped head first into a Teach For America English teaching position in Miami Gardens, Florida and learned that even in the most hopeless situations the smallest positive interaction can move mountains. She is eager to bring a similar zest for literature and life to the students of Atlas Prep. When she isn’t thinking about school, you’ll likely find her walking her mini-Aussie Indigo, in a yoga class, or in the mountain air skiing, climbing, or hiking.
Dean of Students
Anna Dufur came to Atlas Prep after spending the bulk of her adult life committed to public education in the South–namely, Tennessee and Mississippi. Anna taught high school English for four years in Tennessee before pursuing her M.Ed. at Vanderbilt University. She has experienced education from a variety of perspectives, from overseeing district-wide testing for a charter school network to orchestrating test coordinator training at the state-level. Anna is excited to return to the school-level as the Dean of Students at Atlas Prep, where she will apply her skills in project management, data analysis, systems development, and culture building to the task of tracking student behavior and attendance. When she’s not filling in vast spreadsheets or encouraging students to be kinder and more thoughtful humans, Anna is usually working on house remodelling projects with her partner, Sean; hanging out with her best friends; or venturing up into the mountains for an adventure with Sean, their son Elliot, and the best dogs in the world–Sky and Sadie
5th Grade Mathematics
Ben joins Atlas Prep from San Jose, California where he taught 4th-grade STEM for the last 3 years. Prior to that, he worked as the director of the YMCA after school program at the same school right after earning his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in education from Sonoma State University. For his entire career Ben has dedicated himself to working with communities and families to support students in becoming advocates for their learning. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar, hanging out with his pets, and spending time outdoors.
Project Lead the Way High School Science
Anna Ellis joins Atlas Prep with a passion for rigorous, hands-on science education for all students. She moved to Colorado Springs over the summer, after receiving her dual undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Anthropology from Dartmouth College. While in college, Anna worked as a backpacking guide, taking groups of high school and college students to over 15 destinations, in the United States and abroad. Anna also worked for Dartmouth’s Office of Admissions and for the DREAM youth mentoring program. During the most recent summer, Anna taught biological science to students in Houston, Texas. Here in Colorado, Anna spends her weekends trail running and hiking, training for the Pikes Peak Marathon. Anna is excited to share her passions for quality education and outdoor adventure with the talented staff and students at Atlas.
High School Skilled Trades and Construction
Tim joins the Atlas team ready to get his students excited about math and its potential to make them into the future problem solvers of the world. A graduate of Utah State University, Tim has spent the last few years teaching high school math in Charlotte, NC, where he was also the girls volleyball coach. Tim has spent a great deal of time living abroad in Africa, which is where he established his beliefs about the empowering effects of a good education. He believes that Atlas is a place where young minds are effectively prepared to work in and change the world they are about to enter as adults. In his free time, you will most likely find Tim strumming on his guitar or playing with his dog Winnie.
Middle School Math
Pam Fitzsimmons began teaching social studies and geography to middle school students in 1999 at Long Beach Unified School District in California. She relocated to Colorado and came to Atlas in 2009 as one of the founding teachers. Pam has taught in urban and rural settings during her career, promoting high expectations and educational opportunities for all her students. She also taught writing and world history to high school seniors in Beijing, China for two years before returning to teach at Atlas in 2019. A native of Colorado, Pam enjoys the outdoors and traveling, as well as spending time with her grandchildren.”
Middle School Health Technician
Director of Counseling
Atlas Prep provides Danny with a wonderful sense of fulfillment and challenge, something he has always wanted from his work. He enjoys learning about each student and challenging them to reach their full personal and academic potential. He is excited to continue building positive relationships with students, families, and staff members. Danny graduated from King’s College with a BS in Business Administration and worked for Merrill Lynch, and then BlackRock Inc., both in Princeton, New Jersey. He was presented with a terrific opportunity and decided to move to Colorado Springs, attend graduate school, and change careers. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a Master’s in Counseling and Human Services. Danny loves sports, traveling, and the company of family and friends.
11th and 12th Grade Mathematics and Special Education
Colin joined Atlas because he wanted to be part of the school’s passionate and innovative approach toward educating an underserved population. After studying philosophy, mathematics, and theology at the University of San Diego, Colin received his M.Ed from National University and began his teaching career in Southern California. Aside from teaching math at both public and private schools, he has also worked previously as a private tutor and test prep instructor. Ultimately though, he felt compelled to join the highly talented and motivated staff at Atlas, where he sees an extraordinary opportunity to profoundly impact the lives of children in Colorado Springs. Outside of the classroom, Colin loves spending time with his family and pursuing his interests in both photography and music.
7th Grade Social Studies
Kim is excited to join the Atlas Prep community. A Colorado Springs native, Kim is happy to be teaching in her hometown! After graduating from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Kim spent the last 6 years teaching 6th and 7th grade history for Denver Public Schools, but Kim was drawn to Atlas because of the high expectations it set for students and Atlas’ mission to serve all students through a holistic program that helps students become life-long learners that make their community stronger. When she is not teaching or coaching volleyball, Kim enjoys being outside riding dirt bikes, camping, or fishing with her husband.
9th and 10th Grade World History
James joins Atlas because he wholeheartedly agrees with their pillars, in respect that working directly with both family and community is the most direct way to help students succeed in school and what faces them beyond. As a graduate of both Temple University and Delaware Valley College, he built on his focus of social studies and English and used those focuses in teaching inner city students on the East Coast. While working on the East Coast, he helped to establish a student council in which students worked with their local communities in order to better both the community and their selves. He feels that this same practice will be beneficial in Colorado Springs and in helping students at Atlas gain a better understanding of their communities. In addition to teaching, James enjoys playing music, specifically guitar and bass. As well as reading and being outdoors, James cannot wait to embark on new outdoor adventures in the Colorado wilderness.
Sean is a motivated IT professional who strives to keep Atlas Prep atop the constantly changing world of technology. From security systems, satellite installation, computer networking and phone system programming the wide variety of technology skills he provides is valuable asset to the school. Having been owner/operator of his own company for 3 years Sean possess great work habits along with exceptional communication skills. A proud local of Colorado Springs Sean has seen our city expand and flourish over the last decade. Working with Staff and Students at Atlas Prep is a wonderful opportunity for him and he is excited to be part of the team.
Director of Special Education
Coming from the State of Georgia where he taught Special Education, US History, and other Social Studies classes, Brad is thrilled to be teaching in such a unique and beautiful area. He loves the challenge of working in a growing high school with outstanding educators who are always willing to put the good of the school, the community, and, (most significant) the student first. This is Brad’s second year at Atlas and both years have been sent in special education. Among many sports, he have coached football for several years and plans to continue to do so at Atlas Preparatory. When he is not working, Brad enjoys doing most anything outside and exercising.
High School Science
Teo teaches environmental science at Atlas in addition to coaching boys’ and girls’ soccer. When he’s not in the classroom or on the soccer field, Teo is in the mountains camping and hiking.
School Counselor Intern
Dani joins Atlas as part of the Mental Health Team as a Counseling Intern. She is currently studying School Counseling at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs but has worked as an interventionist and a teacher in Connecticut and California. She aspires to create a safe space for students to learn and grow in all aspects of their life and to advocate for their needs. Dani loves to travel and is planning her next adventure. When she is not counseling students, she can often be found hiking or reading. She strives to beat her record of reading seventy-five books in one year.
Middle School Science
With great enthusiasm, Autumn joined the Atlas team due to their philosophies of developing character and fostering academic passion in students. She is eager to join a team of leaders at Atlas that work towards consistently promoting the success of all students. Autumn earned her undergraduate degree in early childhood education at the College of Charleston. After graduation, Autumn joined Teach For America and was thrilled to be selected for the Colorado Springs corps. She is pleased to pursue her passion for equitable education in such a beautiful part of the country that features a lot of rich history. She happily traded in her native South Carolina beaches and biscuits for Pikes Peak and green chili. Outside of Atlas, she enjoys reading novels, hiking trails, and listening to live music.
Director of Special Projects
A proud native of New Jersey, Mike Kerr received his B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. After graduating, Mike taught kindergarten through third grade at Public School 192 in Harlem while also earning his M.A. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from the Bank Street College of Education. Mike then earned his M.S.Ed. in School Leadership from Harvard University and went on to serve five years as the founding principal of the Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY. Next, Mike moved to California to become the founding school leader of KIPP Empower Academy in Los Angeles and principal of The Primary School in East Palo Alto. After stints at the KIPP Foundation and Broad Academy, Mike joins Atlas eager to assist in our elementary school expansion and talent development. In his free time, Mike plays softball, dodgeball, and kickball and enjoys hiking with his dogs, Bella and Sadie.
5th Grade English Language Arts Special Education
Haleigh is thrilled to be joining the Atlas Prep team this year as an interventionist for 7th and 8th grade students. She graduated from the University of Dayton in 2015 with a degree in Middle Childhood Education with concentrations in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. After teaching 6th grade science for two years in Nashville, Haleigh realized that her heart truly lay with those who have specific needs in the classroom, and working in small groups. She earned her Special Education Certificate for grades K-12 from Lipscomb University and taught 7th grade Exceptional Education for another year in Nashville. When she is not teaching or in the classroom, Haleigh enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and snuggling her rescue dog, Rosie.
High School Principal
Adam is a graduate of Gonzaga University and an Army veteran who served as an officer in the 10th Mountain and 1st Infantry Divisions. Upon completion of his military service obligation, Adam was selected as a Teach for America corps member where he worked relentlessly to close the achievement gap as a high school English Language Arts teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. Adam looks forward to leading a talented group of teachers, connecting with student families, and preparing all Atlas Prep students for the rigors of high school and beyond.
Michele joined the Atlas Staff 2 years ago as a bus monitor to ensure the safety of transportation for the children to and from school. As I have joined the Atlas Staff 2 years ago, I have come to help children better improve their education. I am a retiree from the City of Colorado Springs Finance Department with 20 plus years. My husband, Thomas, is retired as well. We have both decided that we wanted to help and make a difference in children’s lives, so we both joined the Atlas family as bus monitors. I graduated from Castlemont High school, Class of 1971 in Oakland California and then attended Merrit College, where I majored in Business Administration. I enjoy spending my free time with our 5 kids and 6 grandchildren doing activities such as camping, backpacking, fishing and traveling.
Tom is a retired manufacturing engineer from Kaiser Aerospace and Electronics. He joined Atlas over two years ago after hearing about Atlas from my eye doctor, Dr. Dean Carlson. Tom and his wife (Michele Madsen) thought they could help make a difference with the students and positively influence their lives by working at Atlas. He enjoys golfing and spending quality time with his family by camping, backpacking and traveling.
8th Grade Social Studies
Miranda joins Atlas Prep with a passion and enthusiasm to provide every student with a deeper understanding of our nation’s history. At Auburn University, Miranda worked with Students for Education Reform and Junior State of America. Both organizations allowed her to pursue her passion of working with students from across the globe. After graduating from Auburn University, Miranda moved back to her hometown in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas where she taught high school humanities. Miranda is ecstatic to be a part of the Atlas team and Colorado Springs community where she enjoys strong coffee and easy hikes.
11th Grade Chemistry
With excitement, Rebecca joins Atlas Prep to facilitate the development of confident and intrinsically motivated students. After studying biochemistry at Vassar College and completing a master’s degree in biochemistry, she worked as a cancer research associate at Macrogenics Inc. in Rockville, MD for 2.5 years. After having her daughter she took just shy of two years to spend time with her at home and is re-joining the workforce as a chemistry teacher at Atlas. When she is not teaching, Rebecca spends time hiking with her husband and daughter and training for triathlons.
Chief of Staff
As a first-year college student, Casey supported middle school students in the AVID program and recruited/trained other college students as tutors. While earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, he continued serving middle and high school students as a youth leader with Young Life and basketball coach at Lindbergh High School. This period provided key insights into systemic educational inequities, the influence of teacher leaders, and the need for whole child and family supports to promote meaningful and lasting student impact. Casey completed a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education at Southeast Missouri State University and began teaching mathematics in Kansas City Public Schools. This is Casey’s seventh year at Atlas, one year of teaching, one year as assistant principal, one year as teacher/assistant principal, and three years as Chief of Staff. He is eager to continue supporting the Atlas mission in the areas of senior leadership, talent recruitment and retention, student activities and enrichment, summer REACH Beyond programming, development, strategic partnerships, new initiatives, and long-term planning.
7th Grade Mathematics
Jason came to Atlas from Houston, TX where he began teaching with the Houston school district. With a degree in philosophy from Baylor University, Jason went into finance after college but over the years discovered a passion for teaching, making an impact on students’ lives. Jason now teaches math at the 7th-grade level and enjoys connecting concepts of finance, engineering, and architecture to the math curriculum. He also enjoys spending time with his children, and they love to explore different parks around the Colorado Springs area. He has several goals for hiking and running that all have the common theme of being outdoors.
High School Math
Hannah McKolay is excited to join the Atlas community after recently moving to Colorado from Detroit. Prior to joining the math department at Atlas, Hannah spent two years teaching Biology, Physics, and providing STEM Special Education supports in Michigan. Hannah holds an undergraduate degree in accounting, with additional concentrations in mathematics and biology. Hannah began her professional career working as a financial analyst for Ally Financial, later transitioning to a role as a Tax Consultant at Deloitte & Touche, LLC. Although financial consulting provided a practical outlet for her numerical passion, Hannah realized how important it was for her to share her love of logic and transitioned to a career in education. Hannah is currently in the process of obtaining her Master’s of Education from Johns Hopkins University, and with any free time she enjoys hiking, completing crossword puzzles, and coaching youth soccer.
School Social Worker
Rosa enthusiastically joined Atlas with the belief of helping and empowering students and their families through education. Originally from Mexico, she understands the struggles immigrant families face assimilating new culture. Also a military dependent, she relates to the challenges of military families and their unique stressors. Rosa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Colorado Springs at Colorado Springs. She also received a Master of Clinical Social Work from Simmons College at Boston. Her experience in the educational system began 18 years ago when she worked as an administrative assistant in a local middle school. During this time, she witnessed how social injustice and inequity affect marginalized populations. She believes that knowledge is the most powerful tool an individual could wield. Rosa completed her field work as a therapist and social worker for two years in a behavioral health system, working with a range of different ages with a strong focus in adolescents. She also worked as a bilingual psychotherapist in a local mental health clinic serving diverse families, children, adolescents, and couples. In her free time, she loves cooking, reading, walking, and practicing yoga.
Family Programs Coordinator
Denise is very excited to be working with the families at Atlas Prep. She conducts suicide and bullying awareness for parents, teachers, professionals, and youth at mental health expos for schools and colleges as a level-II Certified Prevention Specialist, and Denise was previously the Military Liaison for Denver Springs Behavioral Health. She was also the Marketing Director and Director of Case Management for Fusion Health Services. For the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Southeast YMCA, and the Pueblo Youth Empowerment Council, Denise sits on their board of directors. She has been in the Mental Health Field over ten years, and she has experience working with both inpatient and outpatient programs. Denise has built a resource list for Colorado and is very passionate about supporting students, and their families with resources they need to make them successful. Denise is well known in the community for her work, support, and collaboration with different agencies and groups. In her free time, Denise likes to spend time with her family and play racquetball.
5th and 6th Grade English Language Arts Special Education
Meagan joins Atlas because she believes it is imperative to provide educational excellence to underserved youth, and Atlas’ mission embodies her personal belief. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree from The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Meagan went on to earn her master’s degree in Special Education. Within Special Education however her passion for Language Arts has been evident throughout her 10 years of teaching. When not busy teaching, she can be found volunteering as a mentor for students with academic and social challenges. Meagan also enjoys The Colorado Springs Philharmonic as often as she’s able.
Assistant Principal, College Pathway Director, High School Social Studies
Growing up in a family full of educators, Chris has seen from a very young age the positive influence a dedicated teacher can have on a student’s life. After having taught for seven years in a variety of different school environments ranging from rural Oregon to inner-city Washington D.C., Chris has come to believe that children everywhere hold similar levels of promise and ability and that no child should miss out on academic challenge. He believes firmly in the idea of supportive and rigorous instruction and looks forward to hearing from students in decades to come who have gone on to make amazing contributions in their communities.
9th Grade Mathematics
Isao joins the Atlas team in order to dismantle systems of oppression while promoting liberation among his students in his Algebra class. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. After some work regarding economic development and studies of global poverty, he decided to join the fight for education equity and joined Teach For America in 2009. He was placed in Kansas City, MO where he taught for 8 years and earned his Master of Education. He is a huge soccer fan: watching, coaching, playing, and talking about it.
Charles comes to Atlas after a long career as a Tour Manager, Road Manager, Estate Manager and Personal Assistant in the Entertainment Industry. He took a break from traveling in 2003, when he decided to start a family. He worked in the Facilities Department at Academy School District 20 as a Utility Worker and Welder. After 5 years at ASD20, he was offered an opportunity to return to his previous career, but after 11 years on the road decided that being away from his family was taking a toll. He comes to Atlas with extensive knowledge in various areas of maintenance and is working diligently to improve and streamline the maintenance department. He is grateful for the stability this job offers him to be home with his family and for the opportunity to create a new family at Atlas.
Middle School Science
Anna Pepper is a native to Colorado Springs. After getting a Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Portland, she returned home and began substitute teaching throughout the Harrison district. A year later, she joined Atlas as a full time science teacher because of the school’s deep commitment to serving the whole student. She loves teaching 7th grade science because students are intrinsically curious about the world around them. In her classroom, she gets to feed their curiosity and then watch all of the “lightbulb moments” go off. This is her favorite part of the job. Anna loves living in Colorado and exploring all of its expansive beauty. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading on her porch, and going to Trader Joe’s
Elevate Science and Team Leader
Aaron Pomis joins Atlas earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1996 and worked as an award-winning research chemist in Chicago. Pomis joined Teach For America in 2002 and taught middle school science in Durham, NC before becoming program director for Teach For America – Charlotte in 2004, where he helped nearly 200 teachers find success teaching in high poverty communities. Pomis became the founding science teacher at KIPP Charlotte in 2007, where his students performed in the top 10% of all 5th grade science students across North Carolina. Pomis became Dean of Instruction in 2011 and Assistant Principal of the Lower School in 2012, building an academic program that more than doubles state and national growth. Pomis has also served as an elected member of a local school council in Chicago, as chair of another Charlotte charter school board, and on the Mayor’s Youth Employment Council.
Middle School Principal
Rebecca graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and began teaching in New York City as a Teach for America corps member while earning her M.S. for Teachers at Pace University. She continued working in New York City as a middle school literacy teacher and literacy coach, and received an M.A. in School Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University before moving to Colorado. She loves working with the staff and students at Atlas and enjoys the active outdoor lifestyle of Colorado Springs. This year, she will try to attempt the blue runs on the ski slopes!
As a School Counseling Intern, Michael has a desire to significantly impact the lives of the students at Atlas Prep by helping them fight their academic and non-academic personal battles. He will contribute to the mission of Atlas Prep by empowering students to develop personal and professional identities, to find meaning and purpose inside and outside of the classroom, and to achieve post-graduate paths of success. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCCS and will be completing his Masters Degree in School Counseling from UCCS in Spring 2020. Michael’s previous job experience includes a variety of teaching and mentoring roles at UCCS, where he helped first-generation students excel in their academic and career pursuits. Outside of the work environment, Michael enjoys reading, watching sports, hiking, and spending time with his friends, family and his wife Nicole.
Eladia joined Atlas in 2013 first as a Spanish interpreter and then became the office administrator in 2014. She is the first face that parents and students see in the front office when they enter Atlas High School. Originally from Panama, Eladia understands what disparity looks like, and she works daily to combat it here in Colorado Springs by building bridges with parents and students so that they are one step closer to reaching a self-fulfilled life. Outside of Atlas, Eladia enjoys Latin dance and taking walks on the many trails that interlace the city.
6th Grade Social Studies
Kyle came to Atlas in 2013 but was born in Chicago, Illinois. After attending the University of Illinois and majoring in history with a minor in secondary education, Kyle joined the TeachNOLA program and taught high school at Miller-McCoy Academy in New Orleans. He teaches 6th grade social studies and is also the middle school chess coach. On the weekends Kyle is an avid skier and enjoys a good game of basketball.
8th Grade English Language Arts
Megan joins the Atlas team with an excitement and drive to build her knowledge of academically rigorous and culturally relevant teaching and to implement it in her classroom. She has been able to grow as an educator and leader in TFA’s One Day Mission, and she truly believes that working with Atlas’s experienced team will only help her reach her classroom vision. As a graduate from The Ohio State University, Megan began her teaching career in Early and Middle Childhood Studies, working with students age 3-15. She fell in love with teaching and cannot wait to teach a classroom of her own. She enjoys running, playing soccer, and reading outside; Colorado Springs could not be a more perfect place for her! She is excited to teach alongside a dedicated staff, who share the ultimate goal of student success.
Middle School Math
Mr. Scott joined the Atlas team in 2015 as a 7th and 8th grade math teacher after working at a school in Seattle, WA for two years. In 2017, he co-launched a new program at Atlas called Elevate. The Elevate program believes that all students can be successful with the right supports. Elevate offers a space for students to get their homework done at school, as well as a level of accountability that students might not normally receive. Mr. Scott still teaches 7th and 8th grade math, but also leads Friday elective activities that include: personal finance, basic automotive skills, and career readiness. Mr. Scott also is the middle school boys soccer coach, where he has led them to the league championship for 5 consecutive years. Finally, besides being a teacher, Mr. Scott enjoys numerous outdoor activities such as fishing, archery, and snowboarding!
9th Grade English Language Arts
Caitlin excitedly joins Atlas Prep to help students find their voice and confidence in the English classroom and beyond. Caitlin holds a bachelor of arts degree in English with a concentration in professional writing from the University of North Alabama, as well as a master of education degree in teaching and curriculum from Boston University. Previously, Caitlin taught middle school English and history in Massachusetts as a Teach for America corps member. Before joining Teach for America, she was a content writer in Boston. She also has experience working for a private family foundation, focused mainly on improving education in Massachusetts. When Caitlin is not at school, she enjoys skiing and is looking forward to exploring her new home state of Colorado.
Dexter is pleased to join Atlas as the Transportation Coordinator to ensure the safety of Atlas’ scholars, arriving and departing from campus. Dexter brings over 35 years in the Transportation industry covering all aspects of transportation from vehicle maintenance, equipment specifications, management, and route coordination. When not working, Dexter enjoys fishing, camping, and mountain biking whenever he can get away.
11th and 12th Grade Career Mathematics
Brittany is joining the Atlas team with a passion for education for all students. She studied elementary education while attending California State University Channel Islands. Brittany joined Teach For America in 2012 and is beyond thrilled to start teaching CTE math to 11th and 12th grade students. She is also excited about spending more time outdoors and learning all about the wonderful things that Colorado and The Springs has to offer.
6th Grade Science
Michael joins Atlas with a passion for instilling rigorous academic and positive character skill sets into all students. He believes that now, more than ever, students need to have a sense of inquiry with their own education and interpersonal interactions. A graduate and former NCAA Academic All-American at The College of New Jersey, Michael began his journey as an educator by volunteering with after-school tutoring programs in Trenton, NJ. During his Senior Honors Thesis, Michael created and headed the curriculum research department for the nonprofit character education organization Camp Fire NJ. He then joined Teach For America as a means to provide students the opportunities for a life of academic, career, and character success. Now, Michael has come to Atlas Prep to join a team of educators who share his commitment to the same educational values. Michael enjoys running through Garden of the Gods, climbing 14,000-foot mountains, and going snowboarding on the weekends.
High School English Language Arts and Special Education
Kevin joins Atlas with a strong belief that every student deserves a strong learning environment that helps students develop their strengths and opens doors for their future. A graduate from Ashland University in Ohio, Kevin taught for four year in central Florida before relocating to Colorado Springs to join the Atlas team. In addition to looking forward to working with the teachers, staff, and students of Atlas Prep, Kevin is also excited to spend time hiking and camping in many parts of Colorado.
Middle School Science
Anna is joining the Atlas Prep family as a strong believer that having faith in the potential of each child should always be an educator’s number one mantra. After growing up in Portland, Oregon, she relocated to Spokane, Washington to complete her undergraduate degree at Gonzaga University. Anna studied sociology and social justice, and is eager to continue exploring her passions through teaching in Colorado Springs. When she’s not in the classroom, she can be found exploring the outdoors and crafting
8th Grade English Language Arts
Mara joins the Atlas Prep community to prepare students for life after school while offering a rigorous education in English Language Arts. Mara began her teaching career in New Orleans after earning her Bachelor of Sciences degree from Loyola University New Orleans. She continued on to earn her Master of Science in Education from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. She has two years of experience teaching English and ACT Prep. When she is not at school, Mara publishes recipes to her cooking blogs, runs, and enjoys hiking the mountains of Colorado.
High School Psychology
Kevyn joins the Atlas team with the belief that all students are capable of and deserve the chance to pursue the life of their choosing, with the education needed to do so. After attending Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington where she majored in psychology and sociology, Kevyn began her teaching career in Memphis, Tennessee. As a Colorado Springs native, she is looking forward to continuing to teach in her home city, specifically with the great team and students at Atlas. When she is not working, she enjoys hiking and running outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family.
Brittney graduated from Colorado College with a degree in Psychology and Spanish. In the past, she has worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Vancouver and El Pomar Foundation. Over the years, she has developed an interest in marketing and communications, and is excited to apply the skills and experiences she has gained to her work at Atlas Prep. As a first-generation college student herself, she is appreciative of the educational opportunities that she was afforded growing up, and would like to help students realize their potential to become successful, lifelong learners as well. In addition to work, she has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Children’s Literacy Center Tutor.
Athletics and Activities Director and Character Coach
Chris joined Atlas Preparatory School in 2013 and is thrilled to be part of the team. After receiving his bachelors from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, he went on to complete his master’s degree at Northern Colorado in Sports and Exercise Science with an emphasis in sports administration. With an extensive coaching background, Chris values physical education and athletic enrichment in a student’s academic experience. He believes in the mission at Atlas and strives to build character for scholars through athletic participation.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Coordinator - High School
I came to Atlas looking for a new challenge working in education outside the classroom. I am here to help and support students and teachers with everything concerning Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE). Before coming to Atlas, I was a high school Spanish teacher for 5 years, I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Spanish/Latin American History. I enjoy reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, I am also currently writing a sci-fi novel that I hope to finish in the near future. I thoroughly enjoy cooking and love trying new recipes, I hope to own a food truck one day. I also love watching and playing soccer.
7th and 8th Grade Mathematics Special Education
Laura joins Atlas Prep with a deep desire to spark mathematical curiosity and confidence in her students, always striving to provide scholars with equal academic and social opportunities. Originally from northern Wisconsin, Laura graduated the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Secondary Mathematics Education and immediately looked for opportunities to see a broader view of the world. Joining the WorldTeach organization, she taught abroad on a small island in Micronesia where she experienced the flexibility and patience of island life. Now Laura is excited and passionate to work towards closing the achievement gap, providing valuable academic opportunities for Atlas students. When she is not teaching, you can find Laura experiencing the outdoors of Colorado Springs, hiking, practicing yoga, and cheering on the Packers.
High School Social Studies and Team Leader
Firmly believing that we cannot afford to allow so much of our country’s potential to go untapped, Carl is very excited to begin working at Atlas Prep. He began teaching in the Los Angeles area after graduating with a degree in Social Science from Azusa Pacific University. Carl moved to Colorado Springs in 2008. He has spent the past two years teaching at another local charter school and earning his master’s degree from Western State College of Colorado. Carl is looking forward to putting more scholars on a path to academic greatness.
Elevate English Language Arts
Rachel Voris joins Atlas Prep, passionate about bringing excellence in education and social equity to her hometown. Attending Adams State University equipped Rachel with a degree in English Communications, which she used in journalism and ultimately first-hand in the middle school classrooms across the state of Colorado. Rachel has been an educator for 7 years teaching middle school students reading, writing, and English Language Arts. When she is not teaching, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and baking.
Nico de Vries
Head of Schools
Nico de Vries joined Atlas with a deep commitment to ensure that all students at Atlas are receiving the excellent education that they deserve. His passion to lead comes from the joy that he sees everyday when students are pushed to be their best. Nico moved to Colorado after years as a teacher-leader first with the Recovery School District in New Orleans and then at Democracy Prep Public Schools in New York City where his school, team, and students consistently set the standard for transformational education in the US. As a graduate from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in physiology, Nico began his professional career as a project manager and investment advisor for 4 years with UBS Private Bank. He spends his mornings, evenings, and weekends running, hiking with his 2 dogs, reading young adult novels, and exploring all that the state of Colorado has to offer.
7th Grade Mathematics and Team Leader
A founding Atlas teacher now in her 7th year here, Erin has worked with the scholars of Southeast Colorado Springs as an ELA teacher, a math teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal. Before Atlas, Erin taught 5th grade for 4 years on the Zuni reservation in Northwestern New Mexico. She entered teaching as a Teach for America corps member in 2005, inspired to work to close the achievement gap after observing the educational inequalities that were so obvious in her college neighborhood. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Elementary Education from University of New Mexico. Outside of teaching, Erin enjoys the Colorado outdoors reminiscent of the landscape she grew up with near the Grand Canyon.
David joins Atlas with a strong belief that equality in education translates to equality in society. As a School Psychology graduate from the University of Central Arkansas, David began his journey as an intern in a surrounding school district in Colorado Springs. He has spent the last 4 years as a school psychologist and basketball coach prior to his arrival at Atlas Prep. David looks forward to working alongside a team of professionals and serving a student population with needs similar to his own as a youth on the south side of Chicago. He is also excited about the idea of coaching at Atlas and enjoying the many outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Coordinator
Kimberly is excited to join the Atlas Prep community and is passionate about teaching students, inspiring them to reach for the stars. A native of Colorado Springs, Kimberly is happy to be teaching in her hometown. After graduating from UCCS with a bachelor’s in History and a master’s in CLDE, she has taught for one year in Colorado before joining the Atlas team. When she is not teaching, Kimberly enjoys hiking in the mountains and reading good books.
Meagan is excited to join the team and provide speech and language therapy services Atlas Prep’s student body. She graduated from Missouri State University with a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Meagan began her career working with adults and children in an outpatient rehabilitation center in New Mexico and later transitioned into a school setting in Nevada where she developed a passion for working with students with complex communication needs. When she’s not at work, Meagan enjoys traveling, reading, shopping, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals.
Director of Finance and Accounting
Megan joins Atlas with the belief that education is the building block and necessary foundation upon which opportunities are built and as such, believes education is something that should be available to all students, despite their circumstances. Megan earned her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and her Master of Accountancy from the University of Northern Colorado. Megan has four years of previous governmental auditing experience and joined Atlas in the hopes of providing sound financial management and transparency, in order to aid in ensuring that all children have an equal opportunity at the pursuit of self-fulfillment through a quality education. Beyond the numbers, Megan enjoys spending time giving back to the local community and enjoying the Colorado wilderness with family and friends.
High School Computer Science
Tyron Wright joins the Atlas Prep team with a passion to encourage students to know they are capable of achieving their wildest dreams. He believes in dreaming big and pursuing those dreams with relentless persistence and perseverance. If success is possible for anyone else, it’s possible for you, too. Military service brought Tyron to Colorado Springs first as a student at the Air Force Academy, then later as a communications and information systems officer, basketball coach, and eventual academic advisor at the Academy. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in IT management, he’s also served in the local community as a financial advisor, high school math teacher, and basketball coach in Colorado Springs School District 11. He spends his free time coaching basketball, watching his daughters play sports, or watching movies with the family.
High School English Teacher and Team Leader
Chelsea joined the Atlas team in 2016 with the belief that a strong school community enables students to find their authentic voice. It is her goal to empower Atlas scholars to articulate their perspectives, challenge, disagree, and arrive at consensus, so that they may actively participate in our community and world. After earning her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University, she began teaching in Indianapolis in 2012, w[here she completed a master’s in teaching at Marian University. In an effort to continue to grow as an educator, she completed an Educational Leadership and Policy Studies certificate at the University of Denver in 2020. Chelsea enjoys working with the dedicated staff and students of Atlas Prep in beautiful Colorado Springs, but when she is not at work she spends her time rock climbing or snowboarding in the mountains.