Samantha Eaton, Kindergarten
Donna Forsythe, Kindergarten
Mrs. Eaton is in her second year teaching at Heritage Heights Academy. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado’s Center for Urban Education Program, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse. Before teaching at Heritage Heights Academy, she worked as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher for a K-8 Core Knowledge charter school in Colorado.
She is excited to be back at Heritage Heights Academy for another great year.
Lesson Plans: Click HERE
Katherine Phelps, 1st Grade
Donna Forsythe is excited to be joining Heritage Heights Academy this year as a Kindergarten teacher. Donna has many years teaching experience. She taught 13 years in a neighboring district in first and second grades, and also worked as a paraprofessional and as a preschool teacher. She has a Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree and a Master of Diverse Learning degree.
When Donna is not teaching, she loves spending time with her husband and two sons. As a family, they enjoy traveling, camping and flying their airplane.
Carly Gullickson, 1st Grade
Katherine Phelps is excited to be back teaching first grade again this year at Heritage Heights Academy. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado-Center for Urban Education Program with an endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education. Throughout college, she worked as a Kindergarten Paraprofessional. She is excited to channel her passion for teaching into her work with first graders here at Heritage Heights Academy.
When she is not in the classroom, Miss Phelps takes any opportunity she can to spend some time outdoors hiking, camping, kayaking, and running.
Masha Carlson, 2nd Grade
Carly Gullickson is originally from Minnesota and moved to Colorado to begin her first year at Heritage Heights Academy in first grade. Ms. Gullickson graduated from The University of North Dakota with her Bachelors of Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, with a minor in Special Education. While in college, she worked as an after school teacher with grades K-5 and in a childcare center working with children from birth to preschool.
When she is not teaching, Ms. Gullickson enjoys reading, yoga, and spending time outdoors with a coffee in hand. She is looking forward to exploring all the beauty and activities Colorado has to offer.
Susan Steranka, 2nd Grade
Masha (Mariya) Carlson is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. She moved first to California at age eleven, and later to Colorado. Mrs. Carlson holds a Bachelor's Degree and Teaching Credential from California State University - Fullerton where she gained valuable elementary school experience in a variety of grades. Since moving to Colorado in 2014, Mrs. Carlson has taught in the early elementary level and has returned for her third year at Heritage Heights Academy.
When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband exploring Colorado, and traveling outside of the United States, watching movies and reading.
Lesson Plans: Click HERE
Lisa Driver, 3rd Grade
Mrs. Susan Steranka has worked in education for over ten years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the American College of the Applied Arts. She worked on her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland and taught in other charter schools prior to joining the team at Heritage Heights Academy.
She is a proud wife, mother and grandmother and when she is not teaching second graders, she enjoys traveling, hiking in the outdoors, and spending quality time with her family.
Lesson Plans: Click HERE
Kelly Donnelly, 3rd Grade
Mrs. Driver is excited to return to Heritage Heights Academy teaching third grade. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Humanities and a minor in Elementary Education. She is a native Coloradan who has taught for several years at various grade levels after beginning her career as a substitute teacher.
She and her family live in Denver and when she is not teaching third graders, she enjoys time with her family camping, boating, biking, hiking, and skiing. When she is not doing these things, she enjoys getting lost in a book, and mysteries and non-fiction books are her favorites.
Lesson Plans: Click HERE
Nicole Grubb, 4th Grade
Kelly Donnelly made the big move from New Jersey to Colorado and is ready for a great first year at Heritage Heights Academy! This will be her sixth year teaching. She has previously taught first grade, fifth grade and seventh grade. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from William Paterson University and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Saint Peter’s University.
When she is not working in school she enjoys reading, hiking, crafting, and traveling. She is looking forward to a super year in the third grade this year.
Erin Seymour, 4th Grade
Nicole Grubb is thrilled to join Heritage Heights Academy this year as a fourth-grade teacher. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English, Sociology and Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Counseling. She spent the last 20 years teaching in Cherry Creek School District and Douglas County School District.
Mrs. Grubb is a wife and mother, and when she is not teaching students, she enjoys time with her family entertaining, attending her children’s sports and activities, camping, fishing and hiking. She is an avid reader and cook.
She knew from a young age she wanted to be a teacher, so she could not be happier getting to continue doing what she loves here at Heritage Heights Academy.
Zak Sloan, 5th Grade
Erin Metzger-Seymour is excited to join the fourth-grade team this year at Heritage Heights Academy!
She is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia College of Education where she earned a Bachelor of Elementary Education degree with a minor in Family Studies and Wellness. Ms. Metzger-Seymour was a member of the Mizzou Swimming & Diving team who swam sprint freestyle and butterfly. She was an individual qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Trials, and the NCAA's in 2017 & 2018.
She grew up in Broomfield, Colorado and is excited to return home to Colorado to begin her teaching career. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys swimming, yoga, cycling, hiking, and skiing.
Jenna Youmans, 6th Grade
Mr. Zak Sloan is excited to join the Heritage Heights Academy staff as a fifth-grade teacher this year. Mr. Sloan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas Tech, and a degree in law from the University of New Mexico. He began his teaching career in fourth grade, then left to attend law school and pursue a career in law. After working for several years as an attorney serving children and families, he left his practice to enjoy time as a professional musician.
He is looking forward to returning to teaching this year in fifth grade and working with our future leaders.
Kris Hinman, 7th Grade
Jenna Youmans is returning to Heritage Heights Academy for her fourth year as a middle school teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education for math and science. Mrs. Youmans previously taught sixth and seventh-grade math and science in a neighboring district for over a decade.
When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys time with her family and watching her sons’ sports, bike rides, and all-around silliness. As a family, they enjoy camping. On the rare occasion she has time for herself, she enjoys quilting.
She is excited to be at Heritage Heights Academy again this year and watching middle school students learn and grow toward their high school years.
Lesson Plans: Click HERE
Jenna Mandelbaum, 8th Grade
Kris Hinman is in her second year here at Heritage Heights Academy teaching seventh grade. Mrs. Hinnman is originally from New York where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degrees in Education. She has worked for several years teaching a variety of different grade levels and online education and tutoring.
Mrs. Hinman and her family moved to Colorado in 2013 and they are avid Colorado Rockies fans! When she is not teaching or attending a baseball game, Mrs. Hinman enjoys reading, walking and spending time with her family.
Lesson Plans: Click HERE
Rodney Larsen, Latin
Jenna Mandelbaum is very excited to be returning to Heritage Heights Academy and moving into eighth grade! Ms. Mandelbaum holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Prior to teaching fourth grade at Heritage Heights Academy in the 2018-19 school year, she taught middle school science and math for three years in another district.
In addition to her passion for teaching, she enjoys traveling, reading, camping, playing with her dogs, and seeing live music.
Ms. Mandelbaum is delighted to be back in middle school and is looking forward to building some strong relationships with students and passing along some of the knowledge and experiences she has gained through her varied interests inside and outside of education.
Kelsey Langston, Physical Education
Rodney Larsen recently relocated to Colorado and is excited to be teaching Latin at Heritage Heights Academy. Mr. Larsen has worked in education for 15 years and spent the last nine years teaching Latin, philosophy, and history at an independent school in Washington, DC. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Classical Studies, as well as a master’s degree in Latin.
When he is not teaching Latin, Mr. Larsen is an avid photographer and enjoys observing and photographing wildlife, exploring and experiencing the beauty of Colorado with his wife, and walking with the family dogs.
Emily McCarthy, Art
Kelsey Langston is originally from Columbia, Missouri but has lived all over the United States. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology Sports Performance Enhancement from Southwest Baptist University and a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the University of West Florida.
Prior to her move to Colorado, Mrs. Langston worked in California where she was the founding Health and Fitness Teacher for a charter school in the Bay Area. She is a certified NASM personal trainer and completed an internship with the University of West Florida working with Division II athletes.
Mrs. Langston is excited to return to Heritage Heights Academy this year to support students to bridge the gap between physical education and health education so they continue a healthy lifestyle in and out of the classroom and become their best versions of themselves.
In her free time, Mrs. Langston enjoys time with her husband and dogs. She also enjoys hiking, traveling, and experiencing new cultures.
Lesson Plan: Click HERE
Shawn Mollenhauer, Music
Emily McCarthy is excited to join the Heritage Heights Academy team teaching art. She is a native Texan from a small, German town called New Braunfels. Ms. McCarthy holds a bachelor’s degree in Theater, Scenic Art from Texas State University. She worked as a scenic artist for a variety of theatrical productions. She also taught at a classical education school for a year in San Antonio, Texas before moving to Colorado.
When she is not teaching or working on theater scenes, she enjoys traveling, hiking and reading a good thriller novel in a hammock.
Ms. McCarthy is very happy to be working with students in the coming year to cultivate their creativity and artistic skills.
Shawn Mollenhauer is overjoyed to join the staff of Heritage Heights Academy. Shawn earned his B.A. in Music History and Theory from California State University, Fullerton, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Riverside. As a graduate student, his work on music and culture lead him to study the music of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the music of the Oromo people of Ethiopia. He has lived and done research in Mexico and Ethiopia, and received a Fulbright IIE grant for the latter.
Dr. Mollenhauer was an adjunct professor of music at Metropolitan State University of Denver for seven years, taught piano privately for fifteen years, and led group summer camps in music composition and theory. Over the course of his education and career he has performed in groups ranging from rock/funk, to jazz, Andean highland, Western Classical, Afro-Cuban, West African, and Balinese. He is especially excited to begin guitar instruction for the middle-school students.
When he is not playing or teaching music, he spends his free time exploring Colorado with his wife and two daughters, and reading philosophy, history, religion, and politics.