Kindergarten Team


Judith Cárdenas Room 116 – judith_cardenas@dpsk12.org
kinder116.shutterfly.com

k_Judith_CardenasWhat 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.

Francesca Andriolo, Paraprofessional Room 116

What year did you begin teaching?
I started as a Special Education para at Swigert in 2015. Before that, I did my student teaching at Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.

Where did you go to college?
University of Northern Iowa. Go Panthers!

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
I love the diversity at University Park Elementary. I’ve been lucky enough to meet students from all over the world here and I enjoy hearing all of their stories!

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
I would spend the day with my German Shepherd, a nice book, and multiple cups of coffee.

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

If you were not an educator, what do you think your job would be?
I would be a young adult fiction writer.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
I’m a huge Harry Potter fan! I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to it in my living room.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My dog playing fetch with her toy by herself.

Cara Havenar Room 117 – cara_havenar@dpsk12.org
uparkkinderowls.shutterfly.com 

K_CaraHavenarWhat 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.

Kelsey Dunst, Paraprofessional Room 117

Kari Hale, Room 115 – kari_hale@dpsk12.org
sites.google.com/a/dpsk12.net/115kinders

k_KariHaleWhat 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.

Patricia Dominguez, Paraprofessional Room 115
Patricia_dominguez@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching (working in education)?
I completed the Denver Teacher Residency (DTR) Master’s program, June 2018. During my residency year I taught 1st grade at Garden Place Academy. 2018-19 is my first year at University Park.

Where did you go to college?
I attended New York University for my undergraduate degree, New York Medical College for my doctor of medicine degree, and most recently University of Denver for my educational degree.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
University Park is very welcoming and makes everyone feel at home.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
I would wake up late, make pancakes, and stay in my pajamas for the whole morning. Hopefully my family would have a day off too!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would eat pizza, but changing the toppings, so it would be different every time.

If you were not an educator, what do you think your job would be?
I would be a pediatrician.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
Students might be surprised to know that I was a pediatrician before becoming an educator.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
A kindergarten depiction of what not to do at school.

Alexis Morof, Room 118 – ALEXIS_MOROF@dpsk12.org
https://msmorofskindergartenclass.shutterfly.com/

What year did you begin teaching?
I began working as a paraprofessional at University Park in 2016 and started teaching in 2018.

Where did you go to college?
I earned my bachelors degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2013, and my Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Colorado, Denver in 2017.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary? The amazing staff and students!

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
I would spend the day cooking, watching movies, and doing some sort of arts and crafts project. 

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

If you were not an educator, what do you think your job would be?
When I first graduated college I wanted to be a social worker, so probably something in that field.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
I played soccer for 7 years, and then played lacrosse and field hockey throughout high school.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My three brothers and I all live in different places, but we stay connected through a group chat, and usually they send me something that makes me laugh!!

Amy Walker, Paraprofessional Room 118

amyWhat 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.