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.

Kevin Sanchez, Paraprofessional Room 116
Fred_Sanchez@dpsk12.org

What year did you enter education? 2012

Where did you go to college?
BA, Gonzaga University and MA, University of Denver

What is your favorite thing about being an educator?
Teaching kids to read. Reading is the foundation of everything. Kids keep me young at heart.

If the school day suddenly got cancelled, how would you spend the day?
I would be on a dinosaur dig. I love all things dinosaurs!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hot dogs, especially the Denver Dog; I love green chili on everything!

If you weren’t a teacher/educator, what do you think your job would be?
Paleontologist

What is something your students might be surprised to learn about you? That my first name is Fred.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
Recently, while swimming, I saw a kid attempt a dive but ended up doing a belly flop. 

Cara Havenar Room 115 – 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 115

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.

Anne (Bunny) Jones, Room 117 – anne_jones@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
I completed my first year of teaching in 2018! I had the honor of teaching ELD and Social Studies to 64 talented and motivated fifth graders. Before the 2017-2018 school year, I served two years as a Denver Math Fellow. As a math fellow, I taught small group math intervention to fourth and fifth grade. Last year was my first year at UPark, and I was a Paraprofessional for first grade!

Where did you go to college?
I graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelors in Elementary Education. I am now at CU Denver for my Masters in Educational Leadership!

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher/educator?
Connecting with and getting to know my students! There is nothing better than seeing students thrive at school. 

If the school day suddenly got cancelled, how would you spend the day?
You could find me outside! Either gardening, biking, hiking, or reading in the park!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Easy question- Blueberry pancakes!

If you weren’t a teacher/educator, what do you think your job would be?
If I were not an educator, I would like to be a landscape architect. I love designing and I especially love plants!

What is something your students might be surprised to learn about you?
That my first name is Bunny! My real name is Anne, but I was given the nickname Bunny when I was born and have gone by it ever since!

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My niece! She’s 4 years old and one of the funniest human beings I know!

Patricia Dominguez, Paraprofessional Room 117
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.