Kindergarten Team


Judith Cárdenas Room 116
https://kinder116.shutterfly.com/

k_Judith_CardenasJudith Cárdenas
judith_cardenas@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
1986.

Where did you go to college?
University of California Santa Cruz: Graduate Certificate and B.A. with Honors and Colorado College.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
Connection with a caring community.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
Cooking with my family and sharing the food; playing with my small and big kids and enjoying international soccer!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mangoes! …but maybe chocolate and Mexican Quesadillas made in our ‘disco’.

If you weren’t a teacher, what do you think your job would be?
Spanish Bilingual Author and Translator.

Alexis Morof, Paraprofessional Room 116

Cara Havenar & Kari Hale Room 117
https://uparkkinderowls.shutterfly.com 

K_CaraHavenarCara Havenar, (MTW)
cara_havenar@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
My first year of teaching was 2001.

Where did you go to college?
I went to the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!) and Lawrence, Kansas remains one of my very favorite places in all of the land! I make sure to visit my alma mater every year.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
Oh, so many things (sorry, I can’t just pick one)! I feel very lucky to work with Grant Varveris, as a principal really can “make or break” a building, and his knowledge, positivity, and support help make UPark a special place to teach. Additionally, I love the support from parents and surrounding community as their love is felt, appreciated, and needed. Finally, what an amazing number of “pins on the world map” we are able to represent here! The rich cultural diversity is what first intrigued me about University Park when I was applying to schools in DPS.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
I would spend the day baking, watching movies, and riding bikes down the Cherry Creek Trail with my family. And I’d add some alone time at a cafe or spa to the list, too 😉

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pretty sure my part-time teacher funds would never allow for this, but I’d dine on lobster tail and sushi (any seafood!) for my daily meals.

If you weren’t a teacher, what do you think your job would be?
I’d love to be an event planner or a photographer as I feel like I have interest and strengths in both of these professions.

k_KariHaleKari Hale, Room 117 (WThF)
kari_hale@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
I began teaching in 2000 and then took some time off to be at home with my boys.

Where did you go to college?
I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!) and my elementary teaching license from Metro State University of Denver.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
I love the families here and the involvement of parents and community members. Everyone seems to want to work together to constantly improve UPark and make it a wonderful place for our children.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
Watching movies with my family in our PJs.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Anything Mexican!

If you weren’t a teacher, what do you think your job would be?
Probably an interior designer or an artist.

Freddi Gidan, Paraprofessional Room 117

Mallory Moss Room 106
https://mosskindergarten.shutterfly.com/

malloryMallory Moss
Mallory_moss@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
I am thrilled to be the new Kindergarten teacher at University Park this year and I began teaching in 2008.

Where did you go to college?
I am a graduate of the University of Mississippi where I studied Elementary Education.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
If a school day was suddenly canceled I would probably spend it exploring the mountains depending on the weather.  Or curled in my pjs with a book.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My guilty pleasure is a warm pretzel from Wetzel Pretzel.  So if they weren’t so terrible for you, I could absolutely be happy with eating one everyday or my mother’s chicken spaghetti.

If your weren’t a teacher, what do you think your job would be?
If I wasn’t an educator I would love to be a travel nurse.  I love helping people and  have always enjoyed science and medicine.  So to combine that with travel and seeing new places would be amazing.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
My students might be surprised to know that I can play the drums.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
I am a big laugher so I am laughing all the time

amyAmy Walker, Room 106 Paraprofessional

What year did you begin teaching?
2003

Where did you go to college?
University of Colorado, Boulder

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
Reading and playing with my two dogs.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Anything Mexican.

If you weren’t an educator, what do you think your job would be?
Working with plants.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
All three of my daughters went to school at UPark.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
An episode of Seinfeld.

Ann_Cv2Ann Christensen, Room 115

Learn more about Ann Christensen NBCT

What year did you begin teaching?
Oh my, 1977.

Where did you go to college?
I got my BA from the University of Northern Colorado and my MA from the University of Colorado at Denver.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
The feeling of camaraderie among the staff and the wonderful parents who are involved in the school. I can’t wait to meet the children.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
I would make hot chocolate and sit by the fireplace…maybe not all day but as long as I could.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Fresh peaches. Yummy right off the tree or cooked any number of ways.

If you were not an educator, what do you think your job would be?
I think I would be a lawyer who advocates for children and families.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
That I grew up with a sister and 2 brothers and 23 cats.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
Watching my dog, Daisy, trying to catch a fly. She thought it was a flying dog treat.

Betsy Sweeney, Paraprofessional Room 115