I am excited to be part of the fourth grade team at Polaris Elementary! My undergraduate degree was in psychology, from the University of California, Santa Cruz. My original intentions were to become an attorney, however, after working as a legal secretary for two years; I changed my mind in order to have a less time-consuming career: teaching?!? After receiving my Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University, I taught for three years in the Gwinnett County Public School system outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I took a brief break from the education field after my third year, and moved to Paris, France, where I lived for fifteen months. I returned to the states, moving to Colorado to be close to my brother and his family, and spent the next ten years teaching 1st and 2nd grade at Stargate, a charter school for the gifted and talented in the Adams 12 School District. Always one to continue my education, in the spring of 2010, I earned my Principal’s License, through a program at the University of Colorado, Denver, and three years ago I earned my gifted specialist license after passing the PLACE Exam. I spend as much of my free time as I can up in the mountains, skiing, hiking, camping, kayaking, etc. During the winter, I am a ski instructor at Keystone, where I teach 3-4 year olds how to ski!
Email address: Kristin_Heilbron@dpsk12.org
Hi y’all! I teach 4th grade at Polaris. I’ve been an elementary teacher for over five years. I earned my first degree in Elementary Education from Wichita State University in Kansas and my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction of the Gifted and Talented from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. My hometown is wherever my family is. I love being able to laugh and learn with children. I love music, volleyball, games, puzzles, traveling and spending time with my family.
Email address: Katie_Allen@dpsk12.org
Anne (Ms. Annie) Witwer
(co-teacher with Amy Johnson)
Before becoming a 4th grade teacher at Polaris, I worked at Teller Elementary for 6 years in both 3rd and 5th grades. Before that, I was a stay-at-home mom with my three sons and a menagerie of animals. I became a teacher because I was fascinated with the way children learn, or in some cases struggle to learn, due to learning challenges. My husband, Jim, is a water lawyer and a 4th generation Coloradan. Although not born in Denver, I spent my “cavity-prone years” here (ages 6-13), and moved back in 1985. My undergraduate degree is in Comparative Literature, which is similar to an English degree for folks who love foreign languages. Today, I still love words and dabble in writing poetry, and of course, I’m always reading something. My family loves the Colorado mountains. A goal of mine is to hike the entire Colorado Trail, which covers about 500 miles from Denver to Durango. Crazy? Could be….
Email address: Anne_Witwer@dpsk12.org
(co-teacher with Ms. Annie)
Hello! My name is Amy Johnson. I’m a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but have lived in Denver since 1986. I hold Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Art History from Hiram College. I later earned an M.A. in Art History from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. from the University of Denver in Curriculum and Instruction. I became involved in education when my son Liam was a preschooler. Over several years, I progressed from being a committed school volunteer and PTA officer to working as a reading specialist and paraprofessional. Nine years ago I entered teaching through the Denver Teacher Residence program, a collaboration between Denver Public Schools and the University of Denver. I have taught students from a wide array of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds at the Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment, Gust Elementary (a G/T magnet school in southwest Denver), and Beach Court Elementary. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the motivated young learners at Polaris! My interests outside of teaching include gardening (I am in the process of being recertified as a Colorado Master Gardener), reading, photography, hiking, puttering around my East Denver home with my husband Michael, and visiting family in the lovely Blueridge Mountains near Asheville, N.C.
Email address: Amy_Johnson@dpsk12.org