New teachers for the 2015-2020 School Year met school board and other staff at brunch on Monday morning. The school board served breakfast to the staff at the La Junta Jr/Sr High School. The breakfast was followed by a full staff meeting.

The 13 new teachers supplied some biographical information to help us get acquainted with them.

WHITNEY BELEW

Whitney Belew is acting as a student advocate in her role as a Teacher on Special Assignment. This is her first year as a teacher. She attended La Junta High School and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Colorado State University at Pueblo.

She is looking forward to growing her involvement in the community and establishing strong connections with students and staff.

She has two beautiful daughters, who keep her on her toes but are her greatest blessing.

KELLIE BUHR

Kellie Buhr will be teaching secondary language arts. She has 20 years experience in teaching. She attended La Junta High School and received her BA and Master of Arts at Adams State University.

She looks forward to returning to her home district as a teacher and reconnecting with the students and families here. Go Tigers!

Her husband is Dan Buhr, and she has four children - Sidney, Wyatt, Weston and Sadie, and one grandchild, Waylon. She loves spending time with her family, especially outdoors. She and her husband stay busy supporting their kids in their activities - music, sports and 4-H. Kellie also loves to read and exercise to relax.

CINDY DURAN

Cindy Duran will be teaching sixth grade social studies. She has more than five years teaching experience. She attended Air Academy in Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for her Bachelor of Science in business administration. She attended the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley for her elementary education studies.
She looks forward to getting to know the kids and her co-workers.

She has two grown sons, a daughter-in-law, three grandkids, a dog and two cats. Her hobbies are music, playing clarinet with the Ark Valley Chamber Orchestra, gardening and hiking.

GINA GRIFFY

Gina Griffy will be an instructional coach at the Intermediate School. She has 20 years of experience in education. She attended high school at Adams City in Commerce City. She attended Colorado State University in Pueblo.
Griffy looks forward to working closely with the teachers and the other buildings.

She has been married for 11 years, has five children and one grandson on the way. She likes to read and travel. She has been to 40 states and several countries abroad.

HEATHER ESTRADA

Heather Estrada will be an Intermediate Physical Education Teacher. This is her first year in teaching. She attended Swink Jr/Sr High School, Otero Junior College and received her BS in biology, Associates Degree in chemistry.

Estrada looks forward to working with kids to live active and healthy lifestyles and teaching studens skills for future athletics.
She is the oldest of seven kids and the daughter of Ulises Estrada and Scott and Angela McElvoy.

She enjoys plying basketball, working out, reading and spending time with family.

TRISTON FREDRICKSON

Triston Fredrickson will be teaching high school math. This is his first teaching job. He went to high school in Fruita, at Fruita Monument High School and graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins with a BA in natural science.

He is looking forward to getting to know the students and the community.

His parents and sister live in Fruita. He enjoys motorcycle riding, water skiing and working on anything mechanical.

ELLEN FROMAN

Ellen Froman will be teaching at Tiger Trades Academy. She has 24 years experience in education. She attended Crowley County High School, has her BA from Regis University and MA from Adams State.

She is looking forward to the new and exciting opportunity at TTA, meeting the needs of the students and giving encouragement for success.

She and her husband Mike have three boys, married with families. She said, “The best part is having six grandkids to be a part of our lives.”

She loves to sew and craft, enjoys her yard and being with the grandkids and their busy lives.

TONI GONZALES

Toni Gonzales will be a fourth grade teacher. She has eight years of experience. She attended Colorado Technical University and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

She looks forward to meeting her new students and their parents, helping her students succeed in the fourth grade and preparing them for fifth grade.

Gonzales has three daughters, the oldest 21 and living in North Carolina. Her middle daughter just graduated at Central High School and lives in Pueblo. Her youngest daughter will be a sixth grader at the Intermediate School.

She enjoys camping, fishing, hiking and spending all of her free time with her family and her daughters.

JESSICA HERSHEY

Jessica Hershey will be a fifth grade teacher. This is her first year to teach. She attended Fowler High School, then two years at Texas Tech. She finished at West Texas A & M University in Equine Industry and Business.

She looks forward to getting to know all the kids individually and having a fun year.

She has a husband, Tate Hershey and two dogs, Tess and Timber. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, working on the family ranch and reading.

REGAN MORLAN

Regan Morlan will be a fourth grade teacher. She attended La Junta High School and Otero Junior College. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

LANCE MOSNESS

Lance Mosness will be the assistant principal at the Intermediate School. He has been in education for 21 years. He attended Eaton High School and Aims Community College, where he earned an Associate of Arts. His BA in chemistry,  secondary education and coaching is from the University of Northern Colorado. His master of arts in administration and supervision is from the University of Phoenix.

He looks forward to working with a great group of administrators and staff. His family is Dana Snyder, his fiancee, and four children - Jessica, Andrew, Alexandria and Lance Jr. - and one granddaughter, Addison.
His hobbies are golf and coaching.

MARTA OQUIST

Marta Oquist will be a kindergarten teacher. She has seven years of experience in education. She graduated from La Junta High School and the University of Northern Colorado, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

She looks forward to being closer to home and back to the school district she came from.

Zach Oquist is her husband, and they have a son, Alden. Her hobbies are crafting and swimming with the little one.

MEAGAN SHOEMAKER

Meagan Shoemaker will be a kindergarten teacher. This will be her fifth year of teaching primary school. She just moved to Colorado from California. She attended Brea Olinda High School and Cal State University at Fullerton.

She looks forward to meeting new people in Colorado and new experiences. Her boyfriend is Brent White. She enjoys hiking, camping and snowboarding.

bmcfarren@ljtdmail.com