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.
School LeaderWhile 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 as a district-wide high school interventions facilitator. I am privileged to now be the School Leader 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 are 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,
Jason Malone, M.Ed.
Assistant School LeadAs 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.
Pamela Barker, M.A.
Culture Architect: Social Emotional Learning and Restorative Practices SpecialistI 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,
Director of Operations/Office ManagerI 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.
Bonnie Cowen, M.Ed.
Teacher-Advisor: Humanities; Compass Historian and YearbookAfter 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 Board
Kayla Crowe-Stover, B.A.
Teacher-Advisor: English Language ArtsI 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,
Dawn DuPriest, M.Ed.
Teacher-Advisor: Mathematics/Computer Science/EngineeringAfter 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,
Adam Fallik, M. Ed.
Teacher-Advisor: Special EducationIn 2002 I got a job working with adults with developmental disabilities, with an emphasis on community accessibility and recreation. For more than ten years I worked with these incredible individuals and it changed my life. I learned how to be patient and practice gratitude in every endeavor in my life. Working with adults with disabilities taught me how to make a contribution in people’s lives. In 2011 I graduated from The University of Northern Colorado with a Master’s Degree in Special Education. I began working as a special education teacher at Reflections for Youth in Loveland while attending graduate school full time. I also worked in middle schools focusing on significant emotional disabilities and Autism. For the last two years I worked as a Social Worker for a Guardian Ad Litem and did one to one mental health therapy. I learned how the system affects disenfranchised youth and families and want to work hard to make sure that our students and families don’t fall through the cracks.
Jenny Findlay, M.A.
College English instructor and Coordinator for Gifted and Talented ProgramI 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.
Sam Gleeson, B.Sc.
Teacher-Advisor: Math/ScienceI have been a teacher in Fort Collins for four years. Over the last three years I have worked to bring more opportunities to my students by creating projects such as bringing in CSU ecology students to mentor students on an authentic ecology research project, launching weather balloons, engineering devices to clean unsafe water, and building electrical power generators. I have searched out a variety of roles outside of the classroom to continue building positive relationships with students. I have been a soccer coach, a club sponsor, and last year I coordinated a trip with students to the Galapagos and Ecuador. I look forward to continuing my learning and my travels with students at Compass by organizing international trips, outdoor excursions and other exciting, immersive experiences for our students. Last summer I was able to teach the prototype for Compass with a terrific group of kids. The process of teaching students about climate change, writing and the art of filmmaking was great fun and very affirming of our educational model.
Teacher-Advisor: SpanishI moved to Fort Collins from Colombia in 2009. After 10 years of living here, I can say that I love this community and I found a home here. I have a Masters in Spanish Languages and Cultures from Colorado State University where I learned to teach Spanish as a Second Language and worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. I also taught Spanish at Front Range Community College, and 5 years at a High School in Weld District. I believe that my role as a language teacher is to challenge my students to open their curiosity about other languages, countries, and cultures, and ultimately about other people. I want to help them become lifelong learners and better communicators so they can make a positive impact in the world as they grow as individuals. I love culture in all of its different forms: I like to listen to different kinds of music, read Spanish and English language literature, watch movies and TV series from different countries, and learn about different traditions.
Karen Karppinen, M. Ed.
Teacher-Advisor: Mathematics/Science/Computer ScienceA Michigan native, I have been teaching since 1999 in private schools, charter schools, large public schools, and online. Since I have taught math, science, computer science, and Latin, I have enjoyed a wide variety of educational adventures! Some of my favorites include running math competitions, taking students to national underwater robotics competitions and national Classics conventions, watching elk with students in Estes Park between rounds of annual quiz bowl tournaments, building egg-safe rockets and setting up mock crime scenes for Science Olympiad. I enjoy building competitive academic teams (such as MathCounts), as the process encourages students to invest time in a subject and see that their stronger effort leads to much stronger skills, new friendships, and a greater sense of personal accomplishment. My goal in teaching is to understand my students and lead them to connect intellectually and emotionally to the subject matter, enjoying the discussions and thought processes as well as the destination.
Katie Malone, M. Ed.
Teacher-Advisor: Science; Project CoordinatorHaving been in education for 12 years, I take my teaching philosophy from my ecology background: All of our destinies are intertwined and, as such, we all play a role in creating our best possible future. I have extensive experience in a variety of educational programs, from outdoor education, special education, AVID and Discovery to the International Baccalaureate Program, both Middle Years and Diploma. This work has pushed me to believe that all students are brilliant- they just need an atmosphere and community that recognizes that. Over the past few years, in designing and teaching Project-based Learning science courses, I’ve come to realize that it’s time for educators to change their perspective and begin to help kids find their voice and passions. We are all stronger when our students are empowered to be active citizens in their community and pushed to realize their potential, both as students and teachers. That is our purpose at Compass Community Collaborative
Teacher-Advisor: Student Support SpecialistI 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,
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.
Teacher-Advisor: EnglishGrowing 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,
Facilities ManagerI 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!
Shamayim Watson, M.Ed.
Humanities Teacher-AdvisorI am a Third Culture Kid with incredibly itchy feet, who has lived all over the world – both as a teacher and a learner. My passion for education in international contexts has derived not just from this, but also from my experience of going to school in Jerusalem in a time of conflict. As well as moving around between countries and cultures, I have also popped in and out of university along the way; my undergraduate degree in Archaeology from UC London was followed by my Master’s in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford in an attempt to pursue Education policy to make significant and long-lasting change in the lives of students. It was a challenging and thrilling experience, but I missed being around students, and so after working for educational consultancy ‘Plommer Watson Associates’ for a year I moved to Maharashtra, India where I completed by first teaching qualification in secondary education (specializing in Theory of Knowledge (TOK)).
Katherine Zaunbrecher, Ph.D.
Teacher-Advisor: Mathematics and ScienceI fell in love with the prospect of being a lifelong learner while studying physics at the University of Louisiana. Studying how the universe works led me to realize that there is an innate sense of wonder that humans can experience and further cultivate even though it is often neglected in many traditional learning environments. More often than not, this can begin with simple questions such as, "why?". I strive to foster that curiosity in my work as an educator and human, teaching others that wanting to know why is often more important than knowing. From working on solar cells and advocating for renewable energy to teaching, coaching mountain biking, or cooking for a roomful of friends, I enjoy sharing my passions and learning from others.
School DogMy 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.