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Natalie Barstatis - Teacher
Contact Natalie Barstatis
BS- Business Management, Northern Arizona University ​

Natalie Barstatis

Director of Finance and Operations

Before moving to Durango from Arizona, Natalie managed multiple law firms, including a Family Law practice and an Estate Planning Practice. Natalie and her husband, who were high school sweethearts, and moved with their son to Durango in 2007, where their family quickly grew to include a daughter. While raising her children, Natalie performed book keeping services throughout Durango and led the Needham Elementary PTO from 2011-2013. She enjoys gardening, running, hiking, camping, and spending time with her family.

Contact Tony Roderick

BS – Journalism, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Master of Arts – Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS)

Master of Arts – Leadership, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS)

Tony Roderick

Dean of Academics

Tony Roderick was born and raised outside of Salt Lake City, UT.  Between middle school and his teaching career, he had a variety of priceless work experiences. He attended Utah State University and graduated with a degree in Journalism. After working in the fitness industry for several years, Tony and his much better half moved to Colorado in 2002. Two years later he changed career paths and went back to school at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to get his teaching license. Tony was offered a job at Jenkins Middle School in District Eleven where he did his student teaching, and remained there for nine years teaching 6th grade language arts and social studies.  In 2012, he returned to UCCS to obtain his principal’s license. He was offered an assistant principal position in D11 in 2015 at Galileo School of Math & Science. Tony and his family wanted to try a different part of Colorado, and moved to Larimer County where he served in the same role in Thompson School District for three years. Not feeling close enough to the mountains, the Rodericks up and moved again in the fall of 2019 after Tony was offered a job as assistant principal at Florida Mesa Elementary School in Durango School District 9-R, where he served through the 2022-23 school year.  In their “spare time,” Tony and his wife, Mandy, are probably on their way to a basketball game for one of their two teenage boys or hopefully hiking, fishing, traveling, or playing golf.

Contact John Lauron


Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy – University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado (on-going)

Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership and SPED Administration – University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado

MA in Special Education – Manuel L. Quezon University, Manila, Philippines

Master of Physics Education – Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines

Master in International Studies – Miriam College, Quezon City, Philippines

BS Physics for Teachers – Philippine Normal University, Manila, Philippines

John Lauron

Dean of Inclusion

Mr. Lauron grew up in the islands of the Philippines.  He earned his BS Physics for Teachers from the Philippine Normal University in Manila, Philippines. He completed three master level degrees in Physics Education, International Studies, and Special Education. In 2021, he completed his Ed.S. in Educational Leadership and SPED Administration from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. Mr. Lauron brings with him 23 years of experience from the Philippines and USA, as an educator, a lifelong learner, an advocate of equity and inclusion, a continuous improvement consultant, and a transformative leader, as he joins the Mountain Middle School team, as Dean of Inclusion. As a Filipino immigrant, who filled the need for teachers in a diverse school district in Colorado Springs in 2015. He grew from a struggling teacher “on an improvement plan” in 2015 at Harrison High School to being awarded as a Teacher of the Year at Sierra High School in 2021.  In the Philippines, Mr. Lauron taught Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Science in Ateneo de Manila High School, a Jesuit high school from 2001 to 2015. In those years, aside from teaching his assigned classes, he also served the school as Student Activities Coordinator, Service Learning and Community Development Coordinator, Assembly of Class Officers Moderator, Summer Enrichment Program Director, Fund-Raising Coordinator, Teenpreneur Challenge Adviser, Academic Standards Committee Head, Disciplinary Board, etc. Fourteen of those fifteen years, he was consistently a recipient of Eagle Award of Excellence in Teaching, given to teachers with outstanding performance, with a corresponding cash award that he used to further his education. Mr. Lauron has co-authored a local Philippine textbook in science for grades 6 to 8, published by the University Press of First Asia (Diwa Publishing). He also served as the Continuous improvement consultant for the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. He designed and facilitated the benchmarking activities, workshops, and training of district officials and school principals, funded by Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organizational Development Facility (PAHRODF). He served as an Organizational Development (OD) consultant of a non-profit organization that partners with local state colleges and universities, especially in facilitating strategic-partnership planning workshops. 

As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy, with the University of Northern Colorado. He is a member of the John Maxwell Team and Toastmasters Club. Mr. Lauron also serves as an adviser to the Filipino-American Association of Southern Colorado. As a SPED administrator, Mr. Lauron served as a District Coordinator of Special Education, in Gallup McKinley County Schools, in New Mexico serving 34 schools before joining Mountain Middle School. Prior to that, he served as Special Programs Coordinator of Third Future Schools. At Sierra High School, Mr. Lauron led the Special Education Department as the Department Chairperson, serving 130 students on an IEP and teaching high school mathematics to students with disabilities. When not working, Mr. Lauron enjoys swimming, reading non-fiction books, and traveling. He is happily married to Marcelle.  They love soaking in the Durango Hot Springs and traveling together during school breaks. Mr. Lauron is excited to support students, parents, and staff of Mountain Middle School, especially in providing equitable, accessible, and inclusive education. He is looking forward to work with Mr. Voss in his pursuit for excellence and continuous improvement. He considers working with Mr. Voss and being a part of a high performing school as a blessing.

Contact Gary Livick
M.A. Educ. Leadership and Admin., Brandman Univ.
B.A. Liberal Studies; Science, California State Univ.
Licensed Colorado Principal

Gary Livick

Dean of Students

Gary has been teaching or leading schools for 18 years. He moved to the Four Corners Region 13 years ago. He loves to raft, hike, ski, camp and mountain bike. Gary is a strong advocate for project-based learning and has seen amazing results when students and teachers are passionate about their work and held to high standards. Most recently Gary served as the Dolores Elementary School principal. Before that, he helped start the 21st Century pilot program at Cortez Middle School, an amazing one-to-one laptop program where he taught science, math, technology and critical thinking in a project-based setting. He has also been a science fair coordinator and mentor for many years. Before coming to the Southwest, Gary taught high school math and reading at Woodlake Union High School in California. He has also taught math to at-risk boys for the Right of Passage Charter School located near Angels Camp, California. Gary grew up in the Central Valley of California where he was often seen helping his father in the orange groves or fixing diesel trucks in his father’s diesel repair business. As an educator, Gary is passionate about preparing students for the information age and showing how to use authority, logic and evidence to analyze and evaluate the massive amounts of information directed at students and teachers every day. Gary enjoys traveling with his wife, 11-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.

Contact Acacia Bryson
Educational Studies, Fort Lewis College

Acacia Bryson

4th Grade Math Teacher

Acacia was born and raised in Durango and spent her childhood skiing, biking, and enjoying the great outdoors. She found a passion for teaching and working with students while working summer camps and tutoring math as a high schooler. She found a particular passion in working with students in math and science while working at the Powerhouse Science Center and found that creating fun and exciting environments to learn creates a love of learning. She stayed local for her college education by attending Fort Lewis College and has had many incredible hands-on experiences through their education program. She is incredibly excited to teach at Mountain Middle School and looks forward to creating a math classroom that inspires a deep understanding and love of math. After a long day, Acacia loves to take her mountain bike out and explore the trails or curl up at home with a good book.

Contact Meredith Beal
BA – University of Oklahoma Elementary Education
MA – Texas A&M Education

Meredith Beal

4th Grade Social Studies/Science Teacher

Meredith Beal grew up in Dallas, Texas where she began her teaching career.  In 2006, she and her husband moved to Denver for a new job opportunity for her husband.  After the birth of her first child and 10 years of teaching, Meredith began her next chapter in life as a stay at home mother.  In 2015, Meredith and her family moved to Durango to be closer to her brother and his family.  After years of being active in her children’s schools and PTO President at Miller Middle School, Meredith is excited to come back to the classroom and teach at Mountain.  In her free time, she loves to attend her children’s sporting events, travel with the family, hike and camp, and curl up on the couch next to her pets with a good book.

Contact Brooke Barton
M.A. Education, University of Nevada
​B.A.  Political Science Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas​

Brooke Barton

5th Grade English Language Arts

Brooke grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and spent her childhood riding horses and snowboarding. She discovered her love of teaching after she joined AmeriCorps and worked as a tutor for at-risk students. Brooke returned to college to earn her Master’s degree in Education and has taught in various elementary grades for the last twenty-one years. She especially loves teaching reading and is dedicated to creating a community of passionate readers in her classroom. In her free time Brooke enjoys going on adventures with her family and can usually be found mountain biking, camping, or reading.

Contact Kimi Hanson
MA – Teacher Leadership Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO

Kimi Hanson

4th Grade Language Arts

Kimi Hanson fell in love with Durango in 1997 when she participated in an exchange program at Fort Lewis College to study Anthropology in the heart of the Southwest.  As that school year drew to a close she decided to  transfer to the Fort the following year and graduated with a BA in History with a minor in Anthropology.  She wanted to work with young people and share the history of the area so she pursued her teaching certification in Elementary Education. She worked in Durango schools from 2005 to 2017 and enjoyed working within the International Baccalaureate framework at Needham Elementary, feeling that learning truly was in the hands of the learners.  In 2015, Kimi received her MA in Teacher Leadership.  The following year she was honored for Elementary Teacher of the Year by the Durango Education Foundation.  She sought out more opportunities for student-led learning and found that at Mountain Middle School with the  Project-based Learning framework. She believes it is vital for students to get out into our community with their learning experiences.  Kimi and her husband Luke love enjoying the outdoors with their daughter and son. Together they ski, mountain bike, camp, SUP, and raft and feel fortunate to live in this incredible community.

Rob Rich - Teacher
Contact Rob Rich
MA – Education Technology, Lesley University
BA – Political Science, Ft. Lewis College

Rob Rich

5th Grade Math

Rob grew up in Littleton, Colorado enjoying the wonderful opportunities the state has to offer. He climbed his first “Fourteener” at age 7. He moved to Durango in 1984 and attended Fort Lewis College. After graduating he held jobs that gravitated toward teaching young people. Realizing his desire to teach led him to become a trained teacher. He comes to MMS with 15 years of teaching experience at Sunnyside Elementary in Durango. Spending time outdoors hiking, rafting the Grand Canyon, mountain biking, and skiing are a few of life’s other pleasures for Rob.

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Contact Chris Keim
BA-Environmental Studies, Westminster College
MA-Art of Teaching, University of Southern California

Chris Keim

5th Grade Social Studies and Science
Chris Keim
5th Grade Social Studies and Science
Chris grew up in Conifer, Colorado and has always had a passion for spending time outside in the mountains. He studied at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. There he discovered his interest in outdoor education while attending a study abroad program through the National Outdoor Leadership school in Patagonia, Chile. Through this program he discovered his love for teaching and inspiring students to follow their passions in life. He has worked as Program Coordinator for after school outdoor programs, has taught environmental science at the Alzar school (Idaho based semester school for high school students), and as a substitute teacher in various school districts. He holds a master’s degree in Education through the University of Southern California. In the summer he has worked as a commercial raft guide, guiding various rivers throughout Colorado. More recently he has worked as a River Ranger for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Outside of school he enjoys whitewater kayaking, backcountry skiing, rock climbing, playing guitar and volunteering with La Plata County Search and Rescue. He is excited to bring his unique experiences and excitement for learning to make a fun interactive class environment at MMS.
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Contact Amanda Evans

BA- Elementary Education and Spanish- Rockhurst University

M.Ed.- Teaching English as a Second Language -Vanderbilt University

Reading Specialist Endorsement- Vanderbilt University

Licensed Colorado Teacher K-6

Amanda Evans

6th Grade Humanities Teacher 

Amanda grew up in Carthage, Missouri with her parents, two brothers, and lots of dogs.  As a child, she and her family spent time camping and fly-fishing. She attended Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri where she double majored in Elementary Education and Spanish. Upon graduating in 2014, Amanda attended Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College where she earned a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. While studying, she added a Reading Specialist Endorsement and worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Doug Fuchs. At the end of her time at Vanderbilt, Amanda had the opportunity to travel to Shenyang, China with Dr. Kathy Ganske to represent the university and provide professional development to English teachers at the local public schools. In 2016, Amanda married her high school sweetheart, David, and moved to Rogers, Arkansas where she taught Kindergarten. After one year, Amanda and David moved to Dallas, Texas where she taught third grade for three years. During this time, Amanda chaperoned two high school service trips to El Salvador and Costa Rica where she was able to use her Spanish as a translator. In 2020, Amanda began working online as a Critical Reading Instructor for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She and her husband took the opportunity to work remotely and travel the country in a fifth wheel with their two dogs. They visited 53 U.S. National Parks and 49 states. When it was time to stop traveling, they thought about all of their favorite places and things to do. They quickly realized that Durango would be the perfect place to call home and they moved to the area in February of 2022. Amanda began working as a Durango 9-R long-term substitute and finished the 2021-22 school year teaching third grade at Sunnyside Elementary. Over the years, Amanda has visited 20 countries across 5 continents.  She loves to travel and spend time with her dogs. She is excited to join the Mountain Middle School team!

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Contact Tanya Burton
BA- West Texas A&M University, Canyon Texas

Tanya Burton

6th Grade Math/Science Teacher

Tanya is originally from Chicago and moved to Colorado in 2011, where she met her husband. After 4 years in Avon, Colorado the two moved to Texas to grow their careers and start a family. She graduated from West Texas A&M with Honors and began teaching 7th grade science and 8th grade astronomy. In her first year teaching, she was recognized as her campus “Rookie of the Year”. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership from UT Tyler. Away from her academic pursuits, Mrs. Burton treasures her time with her husband and their two amazing daughters. Since their recent move to Durango, Colorado, the family has enjoyed a summer of exploring Colorado and all that Durango offers.

Contact Sherri Haldorson
BA – Fort Lewis College, Elementary Education
Licensed Colorado K- 6 Teacher

Sherri Haldorson

6th Grade Teacher Leader

Sherri was born and raised in Austin Minnesota before moving to Durango in 2008. Then, in 2009, Sherri’s dream came true, and she had her one and only daughter. It was at that point that Sherri decided to go to college to get her bachelor’s degree in early education at Fort Lewis College. As of 2016, Sherri graduated at the top of her college class, enthusiastic to help kids enjoy learning in a positive, educational environment. To continue her practical application of her education, she worked in pre-school for the next 3 years. Then in response to the pandemic in 2019, Sherri developed a homeschool learning center to help support working families during the difficult time. After a life altering event, Sherri decided to join the Mountain Middle School 6th grade team in December 2022. Still as passionate as ever, Sherri is delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of the phenomenal Mountain community. In her free time, Sherri and her daughter love to spend time in nature with their dog Cody and horse Chip. They are very active in the 4H community and spend a lot of time paddle boarding and camping in the summer.  

Contact Nancy Wickham
BS- Gender and Women ‘s Studies w/ focus in U.S. History, Fort Lewis College
MA- Education, Fort Lewis College
Teaching License – Secondary Social Studies

Nancy Wickham

7th Grade Humanities Teacher

Originally from La Junta, Colorado, Nancy grew up moving around- a lot. Her family finally landed in Vermont, where she spent the majority of her teenage years in the region known as the “Northeast Kingdom.” Despite the beauty of New England, she always knew she’d one day return to Colorado. After attending junior college in Southern Maryland, earning an Associate’s Degree in Humanities, Nancy headed west, making her way to Albuquerque where she taught preschool. Following a weekend visit to Durango in 2008, she knew she had found “home,” the perfect place to raise her son, Adrian, and so decided to move three months later. Nancy attended Fort Lewis College, earning a degree in Gender and Women’s Studies with a focus in U.S. History. She is currently working towards earning her Master’s Degree in Education and holds a Secondary Social Studies licensure. She LOVES history and is always excited to witness students making connections to the past. Like her colleagues, Nancy enjoys being outdoors and exploring the wilderness whenever possible. Her favorite thing to do is snowboard, and she loves getting to share her passion for the sport as an instructor and coach. Although she’d love to snowboard year round, she’s recently discovered a new obsession: mountain biking. She also enjoys reading, gardening, yoga, and hiking. 

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Contact Jodie Hatcher
LSU BA in Education and Special Ed.
National Board Certified

Jodie Hatcher

7th Grade Math/Science Teacher

Jodie was born in Vallejo,California, while her dad was serving in the Navy. Before starting elementary school,
her family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where she spent most of her summers exploring the lakes and
coastal ecosystems of Louisiana and Mississippi. In 1996, she graduated from LSU with a double major in
Education (Elementary and Special Education) along with a minor in Visual Arts. Before moving to Denver in
2022 for a supervisor position with the Denver Math Fellows Program, Jodie worked as an educator in
Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina, creating and teaching STEAM project-based learning modules for
grades K-8. In 2012, she earned her National Boards for Professional Teachers as a Generalist for grades 4-8.
In addition to reading and learning more about the world around us, she enjoys spending time in her gardens
and art studio, cooking gluten-free vegan versions of her favorite southern foods, and traveling with her

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Contact Jillian Kaulius
BA-Experiential Education, Brevard College, North Carolina

Jillian Kaulius

7th Grade Teacher Leader
Jillian Kaulius
7th Grade Teacher Leader
Jillian grew up in New Jersey, and attended Brevard College in western North Carolina, where she obtained a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. She has worked multiple seasons as an instructor for the Colorado Outward Bound School, where she taught her middle-school aged students critical interpersonal, problem-solving, and life skills while using the wild rivers of Utah as her classroom. Most recently, Jillian has been working in remote Alaska as a backcountry packrafting and ice climbing guide for Kennicott Wilderness Guides during the summer months, and teaching Art at a private boarding high school during the school year. She is working to obtain her Master’s in Education through Fort Lewis College, and is thrilled to be a part of the Mountain Middle School family!
Contact Emma Boone
BS – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Colorado
MA – Fort Lewis College, Durango Colorado

Emma Boone

8th Grade Teacher Leader

Emma is originally from Philadelphia and moved to Colorado to attend college in 2011. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master’s in Education from Fort Lewis College with secondary certifications in science, math and language arts. She is also a certified yoga teacher and aerial acrobatics instructor. Emma has been teaching at Mountain Middle School since 2018. She is passionate about project-based learning and forming meaningful connections with her students. Outside of the classroom, Emma enjoys aerial dance, rock climbing, trail running, reading, drawing and spending time with her sweet rescue pup, Chili Dog.

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Contact Dakota Isaak
BS – Chemistry, Colorado School of Mines, Golden Colorado
MA – Fort Lewis College, Durango Colorado

Dakota Isaak

8th Grade Math/Science Teacher
Dakota was born and raised in the small town of Sedalia, Colorado. She grew up with a passion for science and was always excited to explore the world around her. Dakota graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in Chemistry. She spent the next few years working in various research laboratories studying things such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions using novel catalysts, and genetically engineering algae to create biofuels. She even worked with a small team to develop a hand sanitizer factory in response to the Covid-19 pandemic! She finished her chemistry career working at a start up research laboratory in Idaho, where she worked with a team on developing a novel carbon-fiber based ceramic material for space travel applications. After moving to Durango, Dakota decided it was time for a new career. While science was still her main passion, work in the laboratory was too isolating and not as satisfying as she had dreamed it would be. She found her new path forward by deciding to become a teacher and is currently finishing up a Masters of Education program at Fort Lewis College.
Dakota was drawn to Durango for its wonderful community and great access to the outdoors. She enjoys kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and most of all the wonderful people she has met here in Durango who like to do those things with her. Dakota is extremely excited to be joining the Mountain team and cannot wait to see where this new journey will take her!
Contact Kyle Hilding
BA – Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, MN
MA – University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN

Kyle Hilding

8th Grade Humanities Teacher 

Kyle grew up in Minnesota playing sports and loving the outdoors.  After studying Politics and Philosophy at a small college there, he taught ESL and studied Spanish in Ecuador for over a year, which brought about his passion for the Spanish language and culture.  He then moved back to Minnesota to continue his ESL teaching by starting a small program in Minneapolis for adult immigrants to learn English.  After earning his teaching license, Kyle taught Social Studies at a high school in southern Minnesota for three years.  Then the opportunity for him to move to Colorado presented itself in the summer of 2022, where he was a substitute teacher, coach, and completed his masters degree in education.  Kyle is excited to share his passion for the outdoors, meditation, philosophy, athletics, health, and Spanish.  Kyle would describe himself as a life-long learner of general knowledge and wisdom.  Finally, he is very excited to work at MMS!

Contact Heidi Andringa
BA: Art- University of Colorado
BA: Art History- University of Colorado
Minor: Spanish

Heidi Andringa

Studio Art Teacher

Heidi grew up in Boulder, Colorado and spent her childhood drawing, painting and competing in mogul skiing alongside her brothers. She attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, double majoring in Art and Art History with a minor in Spanish. Heidi enjoys drawing detailed pencil portraits and creating colorful paintings on canvas and shoes in oil and acrylic. She has worked with kids for many years, founding and running her own nonprofit for children with cancer, Heidelore’s Heroes, working as a counselor at Camp Rainbow, a camp for kids with cancer, and teaching mogul skiing at Winter Park. She is excited to help the students at Mountain discover a love of art and to unlock their potential. When she is not doing art, Heidi enjoys mountain biking, camping, and reading.

Tyler Fox

Visual Arts Teacher Leader

Tyler grew up in Utah and Wyoming. He is a multi-medium artist and educator who specializes in multimedia communications and digital media. He has worked with various startups, small businesses, and global brands in different fields, environments, and technologies. With over 15 years of professional experience working as a creative, Tyler has held positions such as head of design, creative director, multimedia developer, senior interactive designer, post production specialist, co-founder, and founder. In 2021, Tyler rediscovered his passion for traditional and multi-medium art. Since then, his focus has been on refining his artwork and creative process while sharing his passion for art and learning with his students. Tyler has worked on many projects both big and small such as producing commercials for the Super Bowl and World Series, directing global marketing campaigns and events, designing action sports products, conceptualizing and building web and mobile apps, and designing projects for countless brands. Tyler is a big picture thinker who’s passionate about creativity while constantly striving to redefine his artistic perspective. Tyler loves spending most of his time with his wife and three children. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys riding his bikes and motorcycles or engaging in anything outside, art, photography, rafting, hiking, snowboarding, and endurance sports.

Eric Hillstrom - Teacher
Contact Eric Hillstrom
MA – Education Technology/Curriculum Design, Michigan State University
BA – Social Sciences/Secondary Education, Minnesota State University

Eric Hillstrom

Digital Media and Fabrication Teacher

Eric grew up in extreme Southern Canada, 14 kilometers north of St. Paul, Minnesota. He has 29 years of teaching experience ranging from at-risk youth, adult education, and teaching internationally. These teaching experiences have taken Eric from islands in the Pacific Ocean to Oregon and SE Asia before arriving in Durango. Prior to MMS, Eric taught technology and multimedia courses at Durango High School. Eric comes to MMS with a focus on Design, “Making”, video/film, visual literacy, and digital fabrication  such as 3-D printing and laser cutting. His interests lie in the outdoors hunting, fishing, and travel.

Mike Madden - Teacher
Contact Mike Madden
MA – Counseling, Adams State College
BA – Psychology, Ft. Lewis College
Nationally Certified Counselor
Licensed Professional Counselor

Mike Madden


Mike Madden grew up in Denver Colorado and moved to Durango to attend FLC in 1991. He received his B. A. in Psychology from Fort Lewis College, and a Masters Degree in Counseling from Adams State College. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been working in the field with young people for 20 years . He enjoys, making guitar string jewelry, skiing, whitewater kayaking, singing, playing the guitar and working with young people.

Contact Bev Shade
BS Geology Rice University
MSC Geology University of Minnesota
BSN University of Texas

Bev Shade

Nurse, Student Wellness Center

Bev grew up in Texas, where she fell in love with exploring caves in Mexico as a teenager. She followed her passion for rocks by becoming a geologist, working with groundwater and endangered species in the giant aquifers of central Texas. After starting a family, she got excited about healthcare and became a nurse. She’s worked in hospital and long term care settings. As a MMS parent, she’s excited to work with kids for a change and be more involved with the school.

Contact Jess Iudiciani

M.S. and 6th Year Certificate in School Psychology, University of Hartford

B.A. Psychology, Central Connecticut State University

Jess Iudiciani

School Psychologist

Jessica relocated to Colorado from Connecticut where she grew up in 2012 after she earned her graduate degree. She lived in both Colorado and New Mexico providing services to students as a school psychologist. Prior to her work as a school psychologist, she worked with children as a nanny and a paraprofessional supporting students with significant needs. Jessica lives in Durango and enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, reading, volunteering in the community, and spending time with her son.

Tami H copy
Contact Tami Hanson
BA-Technology, Elementary and Middle Education-Ball State University

Tami Hanson

Site Manager

Tami Hanson came to Durango from Evansville, Indiana in 2012 with her family.  Before arriving in Durango, she taught elementary and middle school art/computer for 10 years. Her oldest daughter Amiah is a MMS graduate and her youngest daughter, Sadie, will graduate from MMS in 2022.

Tami played soccer through her time at Ball State University and continued her involvement with the sport by coaching select and high school soccer teams in Evansville. Tami’s love of sports is complemented by a great appreciation for the arts having taught art and led an Art Club for many years.

Most days Tami is either outside biking, hiking with her poodle Charlie, skiing, or running the trails. She is proudly a member of the Headlamp Girls who get their words out early in the morning on the trails around town.   When indoors, she enjoys cooking, singing, and learning new things in the art/drama realm.  She is excited to be part of the awesome team at Mountain Middle School and hopes to bring kindness and empathy to the front desk area at MMS.

Contact Jenn Webb

BA- Foreign Language: German, University of Northern Colorado 

BA- Political Science, University of Northern Colorado

Jenn Webb

Assistant Site Manager

Jenn Webb relocated with her husband and three children to Durango in 2020 from Greeley, Colorado. Prior to her move to Durango, Jenn enjoyed working in the same position at a Greeley charter school. She also helped organize fundraisers, after school events, and sports activities while running her small business. When she’s not in her garden or tending to her chickens, Jenn enjoys spending time with her family in the mountains hiking, camping, fishing and hunting.  Jenn is very excited to be a part of the amazing team at Mountain Middle School and looks forward to bringing positive energy and sunshine every day.

Contact Ingrid Peterson

BA University of Iowa- Elementary Education 

MA Educational Psychology -University of CU Denver

Ingrid Peterson


I grew up in the Midwest in a household of educators; I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be a teacher. I earned my BA in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa, during my time there I was fortunate to do my student teaching in Australia. After my overseas experience I knew my time in the Midwest had come to an end so I packed my bags and moved West. I have been living in Colorado for over 20 years. I began my teaching career in Boulder, where I taught for 10 years. In 2006 my husband and I moved to the Navajo Nation and I continued to teach until my oldest daughter was born. A few years later we moved to Durango and I took time off from teaching to raise my 3 beautiful children. During that period I continued to be active in my children’s education, whether it be volunteering in the classroom or running the reading program at my son’s school. My passion has always been engaging learners and watching them make connections, those “lightbulb” teaching moments are the best!  I am excited to be part of the Mountain Middle School community. When I’m not running my children to a plethora of activities, I love to hike, bike, and spend time with friends and my sweet family.

Contact Lesley Iacona

B.S. Communication  Science and Disorders, Florida State University

M.Ed. Communication Disorders, Georgia State University

Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Lesley Iacona

Speech-Language Pathologist

Lesley Iacona was born and raised in Winter Park, Florida. She completed her undergraduate studies at Florida State University and received her Masters of Education in Communication Disorders at Georgia State University. She has been practicing speech-language pathology since 2005. She spent thirteen years of her career in Flagstaff, AZ providing services in elementary, middle and high schools throughout northern Arizona. Also, while living in Flagstaff she had the opportunity to work for Northern Arizona University providing Augmentative and Alternative Communication evaluations for nine years.  This included direct AAC evaluation, training and implementation services to individuals with complex communication needs in schools and within home environments. Her husband and three boys moved to Durango, CO in 2017 to enjoy everything Durango has to offer and for her husband’s job at Mountain Capital Partners. Lesley has been providing speech and language services at Mountain Middle School since 2018.  She also works with high school students, does home visits as an early intervention provider and is home health speech-language pathologist.  She enjoys spending time with her family, skiing, mountain biking and being on the river.

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Contact Devina Gunn

Educational Studies, PCC Southwest, Adams State

Devina Gunn

Devina was born in the Central Valley of California. She grew up on a farm with her brother and sister. Both of her parents were hard working, so the same was expected from the children. The Gonzales family grew almost every fruit and vegetable you can imagine. Her favorites are figs, watermelon and avocados. They also raised horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and many cats and dogs. They lived a very active and healthy life, harvesting from their farm to prepare their meals daily. Health and nutrition are still an important part of Devina’s life. Devina visited Durango, Co in April of 1998, and moved here in July of that same year. She  was immediately excited to become a part of a community where she could continue a healthy lifestyle in the beautiful mountains. Devina’s hobbies include; trail running, hiking, exploring, snowshoeing, pilates, yoga, gardening, botany, home improvement/diy, animals, and volunteering. Devina started working for the Durango, 9-R School District in July of 1998. Devina is passionate  about working with children to support their learning and to help them become confident students. Devina is a strong advocate of Mindfulness. She uses the practice daily and encourages her students to do the same to achieve a healthy balance of mind and body. Devina is excited about her move to Mountain Middle School and instantly feels the sense of community with the exceptional staff at MMS.
Contact Sarah Evans

BA – William Jewell College

MA – Emporia State University

Sarah Evans


Sarah grew up in the small town of Carthage, Missouri. She attended William Jewell College in Kansas City, Missouri where she double majored in Elementary Education and Psychology. While studying at Jewell, Sarah had the opportunity to travel to Honduras and work in area schools to share and learn new strategies for teaching ELL students. It was on this trip where Sarah found her passion for teaching reading. Upon graduating in 2017, Sarah spent three years teaching both 2nd and 3rd grade in Kansas City. Alongside teaching, she earned her masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction through Emporia State University.  After three years in the city, Sarah moved back to her hometown where she taught 2nd grade for three years. Alongside teaching, she also served as the assistant coach for the high school dance team. She fell in love with Colorado at a young age due to many family vacations spent skiing and hiking in the mountains. After her brother and sister-in-law settled in Durango in early 2022, it seemed like the perfect time for Sarah to make her move to officially become a Colorado resident and be closer to her family. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, skiing, being on the water, keeping up with the Kansas City Chiefs, and snuggling up with a good book. She is looking forward to working closely with the students and teachers at Mountain Middle School to continue promoting a safe and supportive learning environment.