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Experienced, talented educators are ready to help students discover learning with purpose

Compass Community Collaborative School was designed by a diverse team of experienced, licensed educators, students, business owners, nonprofit leaders, and parents in coworking spaces in Fort Collins. These hubs of entrepreneurship and creativity helped forge us into the innovative school we are today. We are passionate about embedding design thinking and creative, research-based learning pedagogy, and real-world problem solving into secondary education to secure a thriving future for our community.

  • Jan Harrison M.Ed., M.Sc.

    Executive Director

    While I have had many job titles over the course of my career, the thread that binds them together is my passion for learning. I have three master’s degrees, two in science and one in Educational Leadership, as well as a principal’s license. I have been a dedicated public educator for fifteen years in Fort Collins, serving as a high school classroom teacher, a department leader, a Dean of Students, and a district-wide high school interventions facilitator. After serving as the founding principal for four years, I am privileged to now be the Executive Director of Compass Community Collaborative School. I became a teacher to change the world. What better way to create a more just and humane planet for all of us than to help orchestrate a rich learning ecosystem that inspires creativity, develops intellect, and fosters compassionate action around the globe? My commitment to social justice and to public education as a critical foundation for our democracy is matched by my responsiveness to data,research, and the educational demands of our rapidly changing world I am honored to be facilitating the work of a team of creative, thoughtful, and energetic change agents who are committed to writing the next chapter in public education. Compass Community Collaborative School is revolutionizing education for students, for their families, for the city of Fort Collins, and for the world.
    Jan Harrison M.Ed., M.Sc.
  • Jamie McKay, Ed.D.

    School Leader

    I was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, and joined the Army right out of high school. I served four years as a Korean linguist, and two years as a photojournalist in the Florida National Guard. I earned my bachelor’s degree in English Literature, a master’s degree in secondary education, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership. Over the years, I have worked in Korea, Thailand, China, and Vietnam. I worked in New York City as the training manager for the Metropolitan Opera, and I was an innkeeper in Virginia. I’ve taught kindergarten, the elementary grades, as well as middle and high school English and Humanities. I’ve been fortunate to teach and lead independent schools, district schools, and charter schools. While running a group of schools in Bangkok, Thailand, I met a wonderful teacher from Kansas City. We've been married for 16 years, have a young son and a little dog, and we are so enjoying our new home, Fort Collins. I am constantly impressed by the students and teachers at Compass.I love the educational model we work so hard to offer to our students: deep coverage of the knowledge and skills students need, coupled with authentic opportunities to apply this learning to real-world, hands-on situations that make our community a better place.
    Jamie McKay, Ph.D.
  • Pamela Barker, M.A.

    Culture Architect: Social Emotional Learning and Restorative Practices Specialist

    I am an educational psychologist and trainer in Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), a parenting coach, and conflict mediator. I work with individuals, couples, families, schools, and organizations to foster the skills necessary to create and sustain mutually beneficial relationships and make optimal decisions in an ever changing world. I believe that we teach who we are and that learning happens best when intentional efforts are made to foster the social and emotional lives of children and their teachers. I know I am joined with my Compass colleagues in the commitment to helping our students and each other continue to develop these skills.I am certified with Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network to deliver the Self-Science and EQ Matters curricula and SEI Emotional Intelligence Assessments and with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to deliver the Anchors of Emotional Intelligence curriculum. I hold an alternative dispute resolution/mediation certificate with Mediators without Borders,am trained in Restorative Dialogue, and am an advanced facilitator of Restorative Justice practices. My research explores the intersection of SEL, Restorative Justice, and Transformational Learning.
    Pamela Barker, MA, PT
  • Irene Nissen, B.Sc.

    Director of Technology & Operations

    I did not follow a traditional path to working in the K-12 world! I earned my bachelor’s degree in Restaurant and Resort Management from Colorado State University with the intent to work in the hospitality industry. After several years working in hotels and entertainment, I realized that my heart was not in this world as I thought and gradually made my way into K-12 education through the pathway of school libraries and technology support. I have spent the last decade of my career learning and supporting all aspects of technology integration and innovation in the k-12 sector. I firmly believe that by supporting meaningful integration of technology in the classroom I can help to facilitate learning opportunities in which students create meaningful connections, spark lifelong interests, and establish 21st century skills that are imperative for success in the workplace. During my career as a K-12 Technology in Education Leader, I have had the opportunity to provide direction during three separate school expansion projects including interior design work,low voltage and network mapping, and new construction oversight. My other area of passion is within the world of Entrepreneurship and Business Education. While pursuing my master's degree in Educational Leadership, I decided to earn my teaching license for secondary business education. While in high school I was recognized as one of the Young Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship for the video production studio I co-founded and ran for 5 years while I was a student. I have had the opportunity to present numerous sessions on youth entrepreneurship education, technology infrastructure optimizations, effective technology integration in the classroom, cyber safety, and 21st century learning throughout Northern Colorado. I am excited to be a part of the team here at Compass and deeply believe in the school's mission to inspire curiosity & creativity, encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, and foster of life-long love of learning!
    Irene Nissen
  • Debbie Bush, M.Sc.

    Office Manager

    I grew up with a love for science and biology that led me to earning my Veterinary Science degree. I worked as a solo veterinarian practitioner in my country, Colombia. I moved to Mexico to continue with my education where I did a master’s program in Animal Nutrition. I came to the USA to study Epidemiology and worked as a veterinarian epidemiology for several years with the USDA. I paused my career to raise my kids and came back to the work force in the field of education. I feel privilege to see how the middle and high school students are growing, learning, and finding their paths for their future. I feel very fortunate to work with so many passionate leaders and teachers who offer such a unique and rich learning opportunity to the students at Compass.
    debbie bush
  • Marty Wiseman, Certified A and P Mechanic

    Facilities Manager

    I was born in Cheyenne and raised here in Ft. Collins. I am an "old school" mechanic who has worked on a wide variety of mechanical items, from cars to heavy equipment, including high-speed robots and Brewing/packaging machines. I learned a lot from my dad, watching and helping him build and race stock cars. I am a former U.S.Marine and I worked on the Harrier Jump Jets. After my service, I attended aviation school, achieving an Airframe and Power Plant Mechanics Certificate. This led me to several industrial jobs around Ft. Collins. I have found a new life teaching shop classes, and working with the kids, here at Compass and I am so grateful for this opportunity!
    Marty Wiseman
  • Chris Blevens, M.E.M., M. Ed., PMP

    Teacher-Advisor: Mathematics/Science/Engineering

    My career as a teacher is just taking off after a rewarding and challenging career in the Navy. As a native of Sothern Mississippi, I attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated with a degree in Naval Architecture. In the Navy I served on the nuclear-powered submarine USS Tennessee, where I became experienced in mechanical, electrical, and nuclear engineering and submarine operations. I continued my education at Old Dominion University and earned a Master of Engineering Management degree and the Project Management Professional certification. After nine years of active duty, I transitioned into the Navy Reserves and entered CSU’s Master of Education program to become a secondary math, science, and engineering teacher. I am so fortunate to be here at such an innovative school where my talents can shine through, and I get to work with engaged, thoughtful students every single day.
    Chris Blevens
  • Amanda Boeder, M.Ed.

    Teacher: Mathematics

    Growing up in Southern California I always loved math, but I lost my enthusiasm by the time I graduated high school. Not because the content was too difficult, but because the way I was taught was so boring and tedious. In college, I rediscovered how interesting, challenging, and collaborative math could be and I never looked back. I decided to earn my Bachelor's in Mathematics and my Master's in Education so I could change the way math was being taught. I strove to bring my students applicable, hands-on challenges that change the way they think about and approach math. After 5 years, a life pivot took me to Switzerland, and after a year there another pivot landed me here in beautiful Fort Collins. I am so grateful to continue my teaching and learning journey at Compass, where student-centered learning and collaboration are some of the foundational values our school is built on.
    Amanda Boeder, M.Ed.
  • Bonnie Cowen, M.Ed.

    Teacher-Advisor: Humanities/Compass Historian and Yearbook

    After graduating from Kent State University, I moved to Colorado to fulfill a year-long volunteer service commitment. Ultimately, I was hired to develop an adolescent program for a homeless shelter, and it was in that role of teen advocate and school liaison that I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I saw first-hand that having an adult who believed in them was essential to positively changing the trajectory of children’s lives. Equally important, I wanted to inspire in children a desire to learn. As a result, I earned a Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education and a Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership from Colorado State University. I spent the next 15 years teaching social studies, and while I taught core courses (American History, World History, Civics, Sociology), I spent the majority of my career teaching both Advanced Psychology and International Baccalaureate Psychology. I served as Exam Reader/Grader for the The College Boardand Examiner/Moderator for the International Baccalaureate World School and was the recipient of Poudre School District’s Excellence in Education Award. My entrepreneurial spirit led me to start my own business and most recently be a project coordinator in Larimer County connecting systems for young children’s social-emotional development. Now, I am quite excited to return to where my main passion lies, teaching. I am dedicated to Compass Community Collaborative School’s mission and trust that our student-centered, meta-learning approach to education is the most powerful way we can support students in becoming their most authentic selves.
    Bonnie Cowen
  • Kayla Crowe-Stover, M.A.

    Teacher-Advisor: English Language Arts

    I was fortunate to be hired for an English teacher position in Poudre School District immediately after completing my bachelors degree at Colorado State University. Being a young teacher was both challenging and rewarding, but what I discovered early on in my career was that I had something to learn from every student I taught. Each student’s unique story became a part of my own story as we built relationships together. Now, twelve years later I have interacted with students in a variety of different settings: as an International Baccalaureate and general education teacher, as a coach and dance teacher, as a theater choreographer, as a sponsor for poetry and service clubs, as a Compass summer prototype teacher. In that time, I also become a parent to two remarkable children. In each of these diverse settings, I realized that kids want to tell their stories in one form or another. As teachers, we have the privilege to be co-creators in these narratives,and our responsibility is to learn to listen carefully and compassionately to our youth. With this idea in mind, I am passionate about fostering opportunities for ALL people to find their voice, and what better vehicle than through teaching the craft of writing? As a CCC teacher, I am dedicated to researching and implementing the best methods to help students find their voices. My current Masters in English thesis digs deeper into how we can best support students to voice their ideas and help shape these ideas into realities. I look forward to listening, working, collaborating, and ultimately building relationships with the future students of Compass Community Collaborative.
    Kayla Crowe-Stover, B.A.
  • Dawn DuPriest, M.Ed.

    Teacher-Advisor: Mathematics/Computer Science/Engineering

    After working as a software engineer for almost a decade, I followed my heart and became a math, science, and technology teacher in Poudre School District. I’ve been a middle school teacher for my entire teaching career and I enjoy working with students as they grow into who they are as people and learners. During my time attending conferences, interacting with other educators online, experimenting with my own teaching and getting to visit other schools and classrooms, I became passionate about learner-centered education. I always enjoy working on rich and authentic projects with my students, and I can’t wait to make this kind of learning my full-time job. I am a lifelong learner myself.I’m a fellow in the National Education Association’s Teacher Leadership Initiative, and I was the Fort Collins Rotary Clubs’ PSD Teacher of the Year in 2012. I became an Allen Distinguished Educator in 2016, an opportunity awarded to teachers with innovative programs in Engineering,Computer Science, and Entrepreneurship. I make light-up, musical Ugly Christmas Sweaters every year in addition to other geeky crafts. I’m looking forward to being creative along with our incredible Compass students!
    Dawn DuPriest, M.Ed
  • Jenny Findlay, M.A.

    College English instructor and Coordinator for Gifted and Talented Program

    I received my Master’s Degree in Teaching and English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and taught at multiple levels of both middle and high school, in New York and New Jersey, before our family made the move to Colorado. Holistically, my time at Columbia as student, teacher, curriculum-geek, and all-round education enthusiast, refined my educational philosophy and shaped my vision of education in the 21st century. I believe scholarship must be accessible to students of every background, ability, learning style, and modality. I believe excellence in education is based on maintaining a balance among academic rigor, creativity, and plain old fun- through which the urge to inquire about our world and delve into self-discovery is nurtured and valued. I believe in dynamic, experiential, and interdependent learning that fosters solid relationships among students and their peers as well as with teachers, the local community, and the greater society at large.The educational culture and approaches to curriculum that we are crafting at Compass will enact these beliefs. Sir Ken Robinson put it best when he wrote, “We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it's an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.” Compass Community Collaborative school is a ripe and fertile landscape to nurture the growth of the students of Fort Collins, and will undoubtedly become the benchmark model for educational innovation nationwide.
    Jenny Findlay, M.A.
  • Judea Franck, M.Ed., M.F.A.

    Teacher-Advisor: English Language Arts

    Like Jamie, I was born in Syracuse, New York. My family moved us to the wilds of Maine just before I started kindergarten. Some of my favorite memories of growing up involve riding my horse to our country store at the center of "town" with an old barn and a sprawling oak grove on the opposite corners. Growing up in a rural landscape helped me appreciate our deep connection to nature, both its beauty and its harshness. Enchanted by the draw of an endless horizon, I moved to Colorado when I was twenty and attended Colorado State University (twice) for an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and an M.Ed. in Leadership. I joined the Compass team because I love the opportunities we have to connect students to their passions and to real-world problems. We learn best by getting our hands and hearts engaged as well as our minds and I strive to design my classes with that truth in mind. I am also an avid trail runner and I love to give young people the opportunity to challenge their limits through sports.I started the Compass Running Club this year with Chris and we hope to have a Cross Country team next year.
    Judea Franck
  • Allison Horsch, M.Ed.

    Teacher/Advisor: Humanities

    For my undergraduate years I studied human development across the lifespan and I began to develop an interest in early childhood education. This interest ultimately landed me in teaching preschool as well as mentoring college students in the field of education and development at the Colorado State University Early Childhood Center. My school at that time was not like other preschools - we were a constructivist approach, Reggio-inspired school. Among many other things, simply put, we valued community and believed children co-construct knowledge best through play, experiences, and interactions. In 7 years at the ECC, I guided my young students and older (CSU) students in authentic projects based on the interests of that particular group. We utilized photos, videos, work samples - in the form of art or writing - and anecdotal notes to record the children’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the world around them. We shared this documentation with one another, parents,and sometimes the community, creating a beautiful symbiosis of learning, reflection, and celebration. Once COVID-19 hit, I decided to change my teaching path. I had built meaningful relationships with a lot of families at the ECC, and it just so happens that some of the children whom I taught, their parents founded Compass Community Collaborative School. I knew I shared the same values as them - one of which being that schooling can be done in a community based, innovative way. So, here I am! I am now transferring my skills and bringing my values - especially in best practices for social-emotional intelligence and my extensive experience in project based learning - to a different stage of development, adolescence. Although I am new to this, I am constantly growing because I value the community-based, teacher-researcher, co-learner aspect of teaching, with the ultimate goal of supporting students in becoming the authors of their own learning through many different forms of expression.
    Allison Horsch
  • Jyotshna Gunturu, M. Ed, M.A.

    Teacher-Advisor: Special Education

    Coming Soon!
    Jyotshna Gunturu, M. Ed, M.A.
  • Jason Malone, M.Ed.

    Teacher-Advisor: Science

    As a public educator in Fort Collins for the past two decades, I’ve always been focused on not just my students’ learning, but my own. I believe that the best teachers are also lifelong students, which is one of the reasons I’m drawn to the work we are doing at Compass Community Collaborative School. Prior to opening Compass, I worked as an International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator for 10 years as well as an IB Workshop Leader, Consultant and Program Evaluator working with schools all over North America. My collaborative spirit and desire for learning has also led to my work with the Colorado State University Writing Project, a professional organization of teachers working to improve writing and communication skills in K-12 students on the Front Range. This has reinforced my desire to break down walls of traditional discrete subject courses (science, math, history, etc.) and help kids see that education is greater and more powerful than what they often learn in the traditional classroom.Yet no experience has had a greater impact on my view of education than my work as a teacher of high school epistemology – the study of knowledge – for the past decade. Leading students through this course helped solidify my understanding of the power of self in the learning process. To understand the world around you, it is first important to understand yourself; how your personal experiences and beliefs impact the way you see and interpret your world. This honoring of identity and the power of each individual student is at the center of my teaching philosophy and our work at Compass.
    Jason Malone, M.Ed.
  • Dominique Montano, M.Sc.

    Teacher-Advisor: Science and Art

    I was raised in Colorado and growing up in the mountains of Idaho Springs, I fell in love with the natural beauty, activities, and wildlife all around us, and knew from a very young age that I wanted to study animals when I grew up. I yearned to focus on the mysteries of nature and what we did not yet understand, and the immense power we have as scientists to be curious and ask the most important question of 'why?' The ability to understand the world around us, to grow beyond our own perspective and understanding, and to discover tools and mechanisms with which to explore the unknown is a fundamental part of being a scientist, and that ability to be curious over being knowledgeable is an adage I try to impress when it comes to the importance and fun field that is science! I learned these key tools through my degree in Zoology at Colorado State University, working in a physiology lab and growing increasingly interested in the vastly different ways animals move and interact with their environment.I earned a master's degree at CSU and found that I really enjoyed teaching. At the same time, I had a full-time art business, and I was relieved to find that my art and science did not have to be mutually exclusive. Instead, some of the greatest understandings and pieces came when I melded these disciplines together and forged a cohesive understanding of complex science topics in a visual medium. After a full year of art as my primary career, and after working on outreach and collaborative education events independently for six years, I forged my own position as an educational outreach coordinator at CSU. All of these experiences have helped mold me into an educator that adores the exploration process of constantly teaching and being taught, the extraordinary responsibility of allowing students to invest in science and understand that they have the power to form and shape their future, and apply scientific principles through whatever hobby or personality they bring to the table.
    Dominique Montano, M.Sc.
  • Darian Ortiz, B.A.

    Teacher-Advisor: Student Support Specialist

    I was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. As a first-generation Latino male, I learned first hand the struggles of succeeding in the current educational system. Although I excelled academically, I found that the coursework and structure of the classroom prevented me from reaching my full potential, in addition I did not feel an investment in my future from my teachers. Rather than dropping out, I decided to enroll into a local “alternative” high school called Centennial. This school and teachers created an environment where I truly felt valued, revitalizing my desire to learn and grow. Due to the influence of Centennial High School, I can say that I am a college graduate. In May 2018 I graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. Although my education has a focus on children, many of the lessons I have learned can serve any learner. For example, I believe in “not stealing a student’s struggle.” Although I will wholeheartedly support each student individually,I plan to do so in a way that guides them towards success and growth which often includes overcoming obstacles. I also have a great amount of experience working in the community, specifically with underserved students. As a child, I was a participant in after-school and summer school programming through the local Northside Aztlan Community Center. In my teenage years, I was hired on as a support staff in the same programs I was raised in. 15+ years later, my passion for creating opportunities for all students has only grown and I am excited to continue to teach and learn at Compass Community Collaborative School.
    Darian Ortiz
  • Adriana Paredes, M.Ed.

    Teacher: Spanish

    I was born and raised in Mexico City. I was fortunate to attend a truly bilingual school where English was taught every day, half day, and we had different subjects taught in this language. Since I was little I yearned to connect with people from other cultures and believed that the only way to really know a culture and its people, was to live in its country. I came to the States in 1994 with my 8-year-old son. It was going to be a six months adventure, instead, it became a radical change of life for both of us. I have two master's degrees, one in Education, and another one in Psychology. Once upon a time, I was a clinical therapist for children with learning disabilities. I started painting as a teenager and continue to do this every day! I started teaching in Mexico City in 1991 and have continued to do this since then. I have taught in all kinds of schools; private, public, international, Waldorf, charter schools, private lessons, etc. You may even find me as a painting instructor at Pinot's Palette!My purpose in teaching Spanish is for the students to acquire the language rather than dissect its rules and memorize vocabulary. To learn to understand the Hispanic Culture through the eyes of painters, poets, and song composers, its traditions, and its history. I hope that in the end, the students will be able to recognize that every person that arrives in this country has intrinsic value and has something to offer. My teaching experience at Compass has been wonderful. I am enjoying teaching a group of fantastic students.
    Adriana Paredes Espinosa
  • Emmanuelle Roussel, B.A.

    Teacher-Advisor: English Language Arts

    Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. At first, I completed a business degree in Management, mostly to appease my family. However, I went back to school shortly thereafter to get my teaching certification as I knew that was where my true passion lied. Since then, I have never left the classroom. I began by teaching fifth grade Language Arts and Social Studies in the Houston public school system. I then taught middle school English, English as a Second Language, and was an advisor at an International Baccalaureate school for fourteen years. My experience in an international school with nearly 60 nationalities and cultures has significantly reshaped my vision of education. It became clear to me that teaching also meant listening to others and sharing our knowledge in a harmonious balance. We reach our objectives as teachers when others feel good about learning. In an ideal world, teaching would be sharing our passion with others. Nevertheless,seeing students more and more disengaged by the learning year after year triggered in me the determination to find alternative solutions to traditional methodologies. As one gains experience and confidence, it becomes possible to explore varied techniques and strive to reach students more individually, in the hopes of making a greater impact. This has been my quest in education ever since. I began attending many inspiring conferences to find new ways to motivate students. However, within the confines of a traditional school day, I found limitations to fully implementing those promising ideas. Therefore, I feel very fortunate to have become part of the community at Compass. I want to be a guide and collaborate with my students and peers to continue my quest and discover the power of language and education in all its forms.
    Emmanuelle Roussel
  • Wendy Rose, M. Ed

    Futures Counselor (College and Career)

    I had been wondering for years how I can help people find a creative and life-affirming path in an increasingly complex world where the stakes high and we need more innovators. After earning a degree in school counseling, I worked for 16 years in career and pathway planning in higher education at Colorado State University and University of Wyoming. Working at universities, I worked hard to help students stay flexible and confident in who they are, but I always wished students had been given opportunities earlier in their educations to really explore their aptitudes, interests, and career options so that they had what they needed to make informed choices in their courses of study and efforts to find internships. Compass showed me that secondary school education could be different and really prepare students to be both autonomous and compassionate with others and with themselves. I believe students need to learn a lot more than how to take a test or regurgitate information.The focus of teaching needs to lead students to be transformative change makers, entrepreneurs, informed citizens, and successful relationship builders. This summer (2020), I completed my Holistic Narrative Career Professional Certification with Rich Feller and Mark Franklin, two amazing career gurus who have changed the profession with their genius. They have been instrumental in helping me develop a complete curriculum to guide students in crafting and refining their career futures with hope and creativity. In 2009, my husband started Topo Designs, an outdoor clothing and gear brand. Standing alongside an entrepreneur while simultaneously working with interns and curriculum at CSU has helped me see how critical it is that education focuses on community, compassion, and emotional intelligence. Compass is the education of the future. I hope to help Compass students see themselves more clearly, find purpose, express who they are, and be able to work collaboratively with this amazing teaching team to become courageous human beings and life-long learners.
    Wendy Rose
  • Flynn, A.Rf

    School Dog

    My name is Flynn and I love being part of the Compass family! Please pet me and play with me! When I'm not playing with you, you can probably find me napping in Jan's office.