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Administrative Team

Beth Steklac

Head of School
Beth Steklac, Head of School, joined Mackintosh Academy in 2003 and is a parent of two Mackintosh graduates. She holds an MBA from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Beth taught in both our primary and middle years programs and held several administrative roles prior to becoming Head of School. Beth is passionate about the learning styles and social emotional needs of gifted children. She particularly enjoys getting to know Mackintosh families and welcoming them to our unique community. Beth is also an avid traveler and loves to explore our local and global communities with her family.

Annie Slothower

Director of Enrollment Management
Annie Slothower, Director of Enrollment Management, has been part of the Mackintosh Academy community since 2015. Annie is both a current parent of a Mack student and an alum parent whose son graduated Mack in 2021. She also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for six years. In addition to her deep understanding of and commitment to Mack’s mission, Annie brings a professional background in development and marketing to this position. She earned her undergraduate degrees in business administration and communication and is currently enrolled in Regis University’s master’s program for Nonprofit Management. Knowing firsthand the transformational power that is possible when finding the right environment to support a child’s unique learning profile, Annie could not be more grateful for the opportunity to partner with families and students who will benefit from Mack’s caring culture and gifted programming.

Sharon Muench

Director of Curriculum &
Middle School Director
Sharon Muench, Director of Curriculum and Middle School Mathematics Teacher, is responsible for curriculum coordination and daily teacher support in the areas of curriculum and instruction. Ms. Muench has been affiliated with Mackintosh Academy since 1994 as a lead teacher, a co-teacher, curriculum coordinator, and the technology coordinator. She holds a Masters certificate from the University of Colorado in Web-Based Instructional Technology. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa in English and holds a certificate in Secondary English Education. She is passionate about her position and highly invested in ensuring the tenets of the International Baccalaureate program and educational philosophy of Mackintosh Academy are fully embodied on our campus.

Paige Wohlert

Office Manager
Paige Wohlert, Office Manager, handles everything from managing an endless influx of packages to greeting campus visitors to providing care for kids with ouchies or sniffles! Paige joined Mackintosh in the fall of 2023; she loves the school’s vision of nurturing each child’s unique natural brilliance and looks forward to supporting both parents and children in her role.

Paige holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Colorado State University. An avid cook, she worked for Williams Sonoma for many years. She also managed the office for Anderson Greenscapes, a local landscaping firm. Paige and her husband are parents of three children and a Great Pyrenees dog named Petal. In her spare time, Paige enjoys playing tennis, creating, reading and hiking.

Espineira Kristi

Kristi Holmes Espineira

Director of Marketing
Kristi Holmes Espineira, Director of Marketing, has been involved with Mackintosh Academy in a number of roles since 2003 (parent, teacher, board chair, director of advancement). She leads marketing and social media for the school. Kristi has an AB in English from Stanford University, and graduate degrees in English from the University of Arizona and UCLA. Prior to joining Mackintosh, she ran her own communications/social media consulting firm for small businesses and helped to run a technology startup firm with her husband. She enjoys putting her writing and communications skills, and her deep passion for gifted education, to work in the service of spreading the word about Mack! Her two children are Mack grads and are are alumni of the University of Denver and New York University.

Tami Vinson

Director of Development &
Community Engagement
Tami Vinson, Director of Development & Community Engagement, joined Mackintosh in Fall 2019 and is a parent of a Mack student. Tami leads the development program and philanthropic efforts for the school. Prior to joining Mackintosh, Tami was a fundraising consultant with Dini Spheris, where she worked with various non-profit organizations including more than a dozen independent schools. Tami brings over twenty years of fundraising experience and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Auburn University, a Master’s degree in Management in Non-Profit Organizations from the University of Georgia, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Philanthropy and mission have been in Tami’s vocabulary since she was a young volunteer. Today, Tami still gives her time actively to various nonprofit organizations including serving as Chair of the Steering Committee for the Institute for Leaders in Development program at the University of Denver. A program for which Tami is also a graduate. Tami has also served as President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Colorado Chapter and National Philanthropy Day Chair.

Tami is thrilled to be a part of the Mackintosh community where she can merge her professional experience and personal life. Tami comes from a family of educators and is inspired and fueled by Mackintosh Academy’s mission of keen minds, compassionate hearts and global action. Tami, her husband and their daughter, Zoe, are excited to have found this wonderful community.

Brogan Smith Arleen

Arleen Brogan-Smith

Business Manager
Arleen Brogan-Smith, Business Manager, began working at Mackintosh Academy in 2003 after a successful career in public accounting. She is accomplished in finance and accounting with experience in a wide range of accounting, financial management, internal controls, risk management, IT, payroll, HR and benefit functions. As a Certified Public Accountant she served private, public, and non-profit organizations. She compiled corporate, not-for-profit, partnership, and individual income tax returns, and audited private, SEC, and not-for–profits. She has owned and operated her own private company and worked with local CPA firm. She received the Bachelor of Science, Accounting, with highest honors and has been a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Arleen is active in the local art community. When not working at accounting, she can be found playing, walking and training her dog, planting and weeding in the garden, or in her studio painting.


Denise Sironen

School Psychologist &
SEL Coach
Denise Sironen, School Psychologist & Social Emotional Learning Coach, has spent her career working with students and staff in a school mental health capacity. She has twenty-eight years’ experience as a licensed school psychologist working with all ages of students. Denise has also worked as a district coordinator of behavioral and mental health services. In addition to her work at Mackintosh she provides training for teachers and parents around social-emotional issues, runs parenting classes (including those for parents of gifted and 2E), and is a parent coach. Denise earned her Master’s in Educational Psychology and her Bachelors in Psychology, both from the University of Colorado. In addition to her mental health work, she is the proud mother of three young men and the not-so proud mom of two naughty but loveable dogs. She enjoys riding bikes with her husband of almost thirty years, spending time outdoors, and is a voracious reader.

Stacey Anderson

Learning Specialist
Stacey Anderson, Learning Specialist, returned to Mackintosh Academy in 2018 after a three-year absence. Stacey taught at Mackintosh for nine years beginning in 2002 and then worked as an administrator at Mack for three years. Always searching for a challenge, Stacey taught part-time at Asbury Elementary in Denver for two years, working with teachers and students in grades K-5, focused on interventions and accommodations to aid students in being fully engaged in their classrooms. Prior to 2002, Stacey taught in the Cherry Creek School District for ten years, both in elementary and special education.

Stacey has a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary and special education and a Master of Arts degree in special education. She holds a current Colorado Professional Teaching License and a certification in English Language Acquisition. Her passion in education revolves around student success in accessing and engaging in learning. Spending time with her family (all three of her children attended Mackintosh – Evyn graduated from DU, Reid graduated from CU and Isabella graduated from CSU) and playing tennis are her two favorite hobbies. Stacey and her husband, Wayne, spend lots of time in the mountains.

Anne Wolf

Learning Specialist &
DEI Coordinator
Anne Wolf is the Learning Specialist for our 5th-8th grade educational team. Anne has over 30 years of experience in gifted education, both in the classroom and in leadership roles. She earned her Master of Science in Education at the University of Southern California and has worked most recently as Associate Director of Curriculum at the Ricks Center for Gifted Children in Denver and the Gifted and Talented Facilitator at Arrowwood Elementary in Douglas County. Ms. Wolf collaborates creatively with our 5th/6th and 7th/8th Lead Homeroom Teachers and Curriculum Coordinator in serving the needs of our gifted middle-school-age students. In her spare time, Anne enjoys textile arts and reading.

Ocean Sehlmeyer

Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Ocean Sehlmeyer, Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher, earned her early childhood education director’s certificate at Arapahoe Community College in 2016, and in 2020 she completed her master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Colorado Denver. She is currently completing additional graduate work in educational coaching to be a supportive resource for fellow educators. Ocean’s teaching philosophy is rooted in the inquiry-based educational model that promotes creative thinking, independence, and problem-solving. As a teacher she intentionally provides moments and materials that spark curiosity and a love of learning while also building a community of compassionate students.
Ocean lives in downtown Littleton with her husband Jesse and their two daughters, ages 18 and 15. As a family they care for several pets and travel, both locally and abroad, whenever possible.
Uta Letbetter

Uta Letbetter

Pre-Kindergarten Associate Teacher
Uta Letbetter is a native of Colorado and joined Mackintosh Academy as a part-time teacher associate in the PreK classroom in January 2022. She is currently earning her Associate of Arts Degree to become an associate teacher/director with plans to earn her master’s degree in early childhood education. She is a Fulbright Scholar and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and German and a Business Minor from the University of Denver. Prior to joining Mackintosh Academy, Uta worked as a co-owner and primary administrator of a Denver-based retail and wholesale import/export business for 25 years.

Uta lives with her husband, their two energetic teenage boys and Rooney, their family Cockapoo. She has lived in Germany and Shanghai and has many volunteer hours in both the public elementary school and British International elementary school where her sons attended. Uta is passionate about creating and supporting a joyful and creative environment which instills a joy and passion for learning among our youngest students. She loves to spend time with her family and friends, and likes to hike, canoe, snowboard, read, travel and write.

Uta Letbetter

Hope Martins

Pre-Kindergarten Associate Teacher
Hope Martins holds an early childhood assistant teacher certificate and is pursuing her early childhood teacher certificate along with an associate’s degree. She found her passion for teaching during her senior year of high school while participating in the Teacher Cadet Program, a college-level course where she worked hands-on in kindergarten classrooms as a teaching assistant. Hope has also worked as a camp counselor and enjoyed helping to help build courage, confidence, and character for the campers. She coaches the Heritage High School junior varsity dance team. Hope also enjoys travel, thrifting, and antiquing.

Greg Ashworth Fanch

Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Greg Ashworth-Fanch, Kindergarten Lead Teacher, received his teacher’s licenses through CU of Denver in 2005 by completing the teacher training master’s program at Stanley British Primary where he co-taught under the supervision of two mentor teachers in a multiple-age classroom. Mr. Ashworth earned his BA in journalism with a minor in anthropology through Metropolitan State University. He has also completed nearly 2000 hours of study in therapeutic massage, half of those spent in anatomy, physiology, and neurology, and is a certified massage therapist. Greg has been at Mackintosh Academy since 2005 and has taught all age groups in addition to supporting campus health and safety. His passions in life include his family, sharing a love of learning, photography, music, and mountain biking.

Pilar Ricke Zegers

Kindergarten Lead Teacher &
After Care Director
Pilar Ricke Zegers joined Mackintosh as a Kindergarten Lead Teacher in fall 2023, co-teaching with Greg Ashworth. Pilar also serves as our After Care Director and teaches Spanish to our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. Pilar was born in Chile and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Art from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Her journey as an educator began as an art teacher in elementary schools, during which time she pursued her master’s degree in International Education at Melbourne University in Australia. Pilar’s dedication to education led her to specialize in the Primary and Middle Years Programme under the International Baccalaureate.

During her teaching experience, PIlar realized the remarkable impact of arts on children’s learning in all subjects, prompting her to further her expertise in elementary education and to obtain a teaching license. At Northwestern University she earned endorsements in Spanish, Visual Arts, and Bilingual and ESL education. Her master’s thesis focused on creating an educational environment that fostered hands-on experiences with natural materials, investigating its influence on students’ curiosity. Pilar is now eagerly prepared to impart her knowledge and equally excited to learn from her future students, as she admires their boundless creativity and imagination.

Beyond the classroom, Pilar finds solace in the great outdoors, often engaging in hikes, mountain biking, and skiing. Also as a ski instructor she is very excited to get to know all that Colorado has to offer. When indoors, she indulges in her passions for baking delicious treats, drawing, and sewing.

Delaney Monroe

1st Grade Lead Teacher
Delaney Monroe, 1st Grade Lead Teacher, started her teaching career after college by leading after-school inquiry based science lessons for mixed-age groups. She loved creating the environment and watching her students make discoveries on their own. Her joy in educating her students led to her earning a Colorado K-6 teaching license through the Friends’ School of Boulder in 2014. She began working in a Title I school serving a high needs population: She had experience teaching both 5th grade and 1st grade. In 2018, Delaney decided it was time for a change and found a position in a Waldorf school as a Kindergarten assistant. This experience in a private school was refreshing and led to extra time to deepen her craft. Delaney returned to school in 2020 studying art and added the K-12 Visual Arts endorsement to her teaching license.
When not teaching, Delaney can be found hiking or skiing in our beautiful mountains. Or maybe she’s sitting with her cat, Sherman, reading novels, writing poetry, and creating art.

Brynn Jaouen-Starr

2nd Grade Lead Teacher
Brynn Jaouen-Starr has both a Master in Arts in K-8 education and a Bachelors in Communication and Theater Arts, as well as over 20 years of experience in the classroom as a teacher, teacher-support resource, and administrator. Brynn is also the parent of a current Mackintosh student.

Sarah Schultz

2nd Grade Lead Teacher
Sarah Schultz joined the Mackintosh team as a parent in 2018 and as office manager in 2019. In 2023, she joined our teaching staff as 2nd Grade Lead Teacher. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College and a master’s degree in education policy from the University of Colorado School of Education. Prior to coming to Mackintosh, she was the Director of International Programs at Colorado College, where she advised students interested in study abroad, worked with faculty to design new overseas programs, and provided support to the international students on campus. She has two children, one of whom is a middle school student at Mackintosh Academy.

Teresa Solomon

1st/2nd Grade Associate Teacher
Teresa Solomon, first and second grade associate teacher, holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Metropolitan State University of Colorado. Recently, Teresa worked in Denver Public Schools in Special Education and Affective Needs. Prior to that, she worked in Field Conservation at the Denver Zoo. Her son attended Mackintosh Academy, and Teresa is passionate about the importance of gifted and twice-exceptional education and the corresponding social-emotional needs. Outside of school, she loves hiking in the Colorado Mountains and the deserts of Utah, traveling (locally and globally), music, and spending time with her family.

Lara Pausback

Lower School Director &
3rd/4th Grade Lead Teacher
Lara Pausback, Lower School Director and 3rd/4th Grade Lead Teacher, holds a Colorado teaching license as well as a Colorado Reading Teacher license. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado Boulder as well as a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado Denver. She is also trained in the Orton-Gillingham reading approach. After graduating with her BA, she traveled in South America with her future husband Joe Pausback, who is now one of the 7/8 grade teachers at Mackintosh Academy. While traveling she practiced her Spanish and was inspired to become a teacher. Upon returning to the United States she enrolled in a teacher licensing program in Durango, Colorado at Fort Lewis College. After receiving her Colorado Teacher License she moved back to Denver where she taught in public schools until she and her husband started a family. Ms. Pausback worked as a learning specialist helping children with reading difficulties until she came to Mackintosh Academy. She is the mother of two Mackintosh alumni.

Elise Jones

3rd/4th Grade Lead Teacher
Elise Jones, 3rd and 4th Grade Lead Teacher, holds a Colorado Professional Teacher License in Elementary Education with English Learner and READ Act Designations. Elise earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Davidson College and a master’s degree in Learning, Developmental and Family Sciences from CU Denver. During her graduate studies, Elise concentrated on human learning and development and completed her culminating research on the efficacy of gifted programming.

Elise is a third-generation teacher, but took a circuitous route to the profession, by way of a first career in the business and startup worlds. Her personal teaching philosophy is that learning is inherently joyful and that classrooms can and should be places of joy, curiosity, and wonder. She especially enjoys teaching math, as an incredible teacher helped her to see its beauty and approach math problems with confidence and creativity. Elise taught previously at Mackintosh’s sister school in Boulder as well as in the Denver Public School system.

Lisa Lewis

3rd/4th Grade Associate Teacher
Lisa Lewis earned her BA in English from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and has worked as a paraprofessional in public schools since 2013. Ms. Lewis is Orton Gillingham trained and has worked with youngsters as a camp counselor for several summers and has a strong background in graphic design. She was attracted to Mackintosh for its mission-driven approach to working with gifted students and brings strong communication and relationship building skills and flexibility to this new position.

Nancy Muhich

5th/6th Grade Lead Teacher
Nancy Muhich, 5th/6th Grade Lead Teacher, is originally from Toledo, Ohio. She was originally educated at Miami University, OH in Marketing, but came to teaching as a second career.  She learned her teaching trade through the Stanley British Teaching Program, and is completing her Masters in Education at CU Denver.  Nancy started teaching at Mack in the fall of 2013.  The strong culture of kindness at Mackintosh was a terrific fit with Nancy’s natural disposition, and she loves teaching her students through units of inquiry in the International Baccalaureate program.  Nancy loves children and dogs, she dabbles in crafting,  and is a roller coaster enthusiast. She has found her happy place teaching in the 5/6 room at Mackintosh.

Roger Chow

5th/6th Grade Lead Teacher
Roger Chow, 5th/6th Grade Lead Teacher, holds a Colorado teaching license as well as a Colorado Reading Teacher license. He earned his bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Middlebury College in Vermont as well as a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Denver. He is trained in the Inquiry-Based Instructional approach by Dr. Lauran Resnick from the Institute for Learning out of the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating with his BA, he traveled the globe to seek out unique experiences and people. He began as a paraprofessional in Broward County, Florida, then moved to Denver where he taught in Denver Public Schools until he moved to Tacoma Washington to take on the role of Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Mr. Chow returned to Colorado and served as Executive Director of Secondary for Pueblo City Schools.

Samantha Walker

5th/6th Grade Associate Teacher
Sam Walker has over 14 years’ experience as a Response to Intervention (RtI) instructional assistant with additional duties in progress monitoring and lesson planning as well supervising children throughout the school day. She earned her Bachelor of Science, Psychology degree from Colorado State University, has raised three children, and is now ready to bring her experience and abilities to our students at Mackintosh.

Joe Pausback

7th/8th Grade Math &
Science Teacher
Joe Pausback, 7th/8th Grade Math and Science Teacher, known affectionately as “Mr. P”, began teaching at Mackintosh in 1998. He received an undergraduate degree in anthropology and history from the University of Colorado in Boulder. After a brief career as a field archaeologist in Alaska and New Mexico, he returned to school and earned a secondary social studies license from Fort Lewis College. He later earned a Master’s Degree in elementary education from the University of Colorado at Denver. His Master’s thesis was a justification for teaching the concept of randomness to upper elementary students as part of their studies of statistics.  Mr. Pausback is passionate about his family and outdoor recreation. He is a very enthusiastic rafter, mountain biker, skier/snowboarder, and traveler.

Darrah O'Flaherty

7th/8th Grade Language &
Literature/Humanities Teacher
Darrah O’Flaherty, 7th/8th Grade Language & Literature/Humanities Teacher, is a Colorado native who moved to North Carolina to study business and leadership at Elon University before moving abroad and transitioning to a career in teaching to fulfill her passion of working with kids. She taught 6th grade in Thailand for two years, 5th grade in the U.S. for one year, and most recently, kindergarten for one year in a support capacity. Darrah earned her Masters and Teaching License in Elementary Education at Regis University.

In her free time, Darrah is an avid traveler and lover of the outdoors who enjoys rugby, hiking with her rescue greyhound, camping, reading, and snowboarding. Darrah feels lucky to enjoy the creativity, inquisitiveness, empathy, and sheer joy that children bring to their studies and daily lives.

Josh Onderdonk

Physical Education Teacher
Josh Onderdonk, Physical/Health Education Teacher, has a teaching license in both Physical Education as well as Health Education in Colorado. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. After graduation from Canisius, he spent a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, which serves underprivileged groups in the greater Northwest United States. Josh served as a volunteer at St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana. This school serves the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian reservations. His position was to serve as the academic support to all the high school students, as well as a substitute teacher when needed. After his year of service, he stayed at St. Labre as the PreK-8 Physical/Health Education Teacher. After three years of teaching at St. Labre, Josh moved to South Bend, Indiana (Go Irish!), where he spent the next five years teaching at Success Academy Charter School (K-5th Grade) in downtown South Bend.

When not teaching at Mack, Josh is doing something pertaining to sports or outdoor activities. He loves hiking in the mountains with his wife Sam, and takes any chance he can get to hit the links. Josh and Sam are also the proud parents of a 140 pound St. Barnard/Great Dane mix.

Nick Vialpando

Visual Arts Teacher
Nick Vialpando, Visual Arts Teacher, was most recently the gifted arts coordinator for Colorado Early Colleges (a high school program that allows students to concurrently take college level classes).

A Colorado native, Nick attended Colorado Mesa University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art. He then went to The University of Mississippi for graduate school, earning a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis in sculpture and three-dimensional media.

Outside of the classroom Nick is a professional artist using metal casting as his main medium. He’s also team captain of a trading card team sponsored by a local game store.

Kelly Kates

Performing Arts Teacher
Kelly Kates, Performing Arts Teacher, was born in Montreal, Canada and raised in Nigeria and Northern British Columbia. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. She is very excited to share her passion for service with the students in her additional role as Service Learning/Community Service Coordinator. Kelly shared her teaching expertise at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Association’s conference in a presentation entitled “The Power of Play in Helping with Anxiety and Perfectionism.”

Kelly was a counselor and teacher for ten years at Options Alternative High School, where she led the school drama, dance and choral programs. Kelly has worked as an actress and choreographer in Denver for over twenty years, receiving recognition from the Denver Post and the Colorado Theatre Guild. She loves sharing her passion for the performing arts with children and youth. She founded the children’s program at Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton. Before coming to Mackintosh, she taught musical theatre and tap dance for Centennial Academy of Fine Arts Education and the drama enrichment program for Wilder Elementary. Kelly and her husband live in Littleton and have two dancing daughters. She enjoys international travel with her family, and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador and Canada.

Maria Cardona

World Languages Teacher - Spanish
Maria Cardona, Spanish Teacher, completed her Social Communication Degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia and has taught in Ohio and in the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. Maria has worked for Cherry Creek Schools both in the classroom and as a translator and interpreter. She is very passionate about languages and the Hispanic culture and loves education.  Always pursuing new challenges, Maria teaches Spanish to PreK through 8th grade students.  Maria has been part of the Mackintosh Academy community since 2010. Maria loves exploring Colorado and the Rocky Mountains.


Val Steklac

Design & Technology Associate Teacher
Val Steklac, Design & Technology Associate Teacher, is an alum of Mackintosh Academy. They attended Mackintosh from 2001 through 2008, and have maintained a relationship with the school since. They have tutored students in math and time management, worked as a substitute teacher, and run an afterschool program dedicated to making connections and nurturing skills through tabletop games. Val studied psychology at Landmark College in Vermont, and worked in the service industry for around 6 years.
When not diving into news around the latest computer technology, Val enjoys searching for new and exciting tabletop games to learn and share.

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Mackintosh Academy Littleton