Our Team

We are a mission-aligned team who are hard-working, collaborative, passionate, and flexible. We are individuals from diverse backgrounds who thrive in a student-centered environment of respect, trust, and high expectations. We are also individuals who are relational and care deeply about meeting the needs of young parents through a strong academic program. As an innovative public charter school, we enjoy building something where there once was nothing.

Jennifer Douglas, Founder and Executive Director

Jennifer is the founder and executive director of New Legacy. Jennifer has worked in education for 20 years – 18 years within the charter school sector. She has served as an assistant principal in two public charter schools, one of which she helped start (Highline Academy in Denver). Jennifer also has served as a charter school board member. While developing the application for New Legacy and building community, Jennifer completed the Get Smart Schools Fellowship – a leadership program designed for autonomous school developers. Prior to the fellowship, Jennifer worked at the Colorado League of Charter Schools where she served as the Director of New School Development and Director of Operations. Jennifer also worked as a writer and taught English as a foreign language instructor in Asia. Jennifer holds a B.A. in English and Education from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and an M.A. in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Kellie Lisi, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

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Kellie serves as the instructional leader at New Legacy. Kellie comes to New Legacy from Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts (MESA) where she has worked as a Humanities and English teacher since 2009. Kellie held a number of teacher leadership roles at MESA, including department leader, peer coach, and mentor. Prior to her work at MESA, Kellie served as an English teacher at Dakota Ridge High School for five years. Kellie holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in writing and speech communications, and a teaching emphases in middle grades and secondary education from University of Northern Colorado. Kellie enjoys cooking, reading, gardening, and time with her family.

Star Lucero, Dean of Student Culture

 Star Lucero came to New Legacy Charter School with years of experience working with teens through youth organizations such as Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, YouthBiz, and Mi Casa Resource Center for Women. She has also worked as independent consultant providing inclusive excellence trainings. In fact, she offered a training to the founding New Legacy staff before the school opened! Star has a B.A. in Speech Communications from Metropolitan State University of Denver and an M.A. in Diversity and Higher Education from the University of Denver.

Cecilia Reyes, Early Learning Center Director

 team-ceci-reyesPrior to joining the New Legacy Charter School staff as the Early Learning Center Director, Cecilia worked at Mile High Montessori (MHM) Early Learning Center for 16 years. During her time at Mile High Montessori (MHM), Cecilia worked as a Head Start Lead Teacher, Education Coach, and Family Resource Assistant. From 2010-2015, she served as program director of two of Mile High Montessori’s (MHM) early learning centers. Cecilia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from University of Northern Colorado. She enjoys her time working with and assisting students to achieve their goals.

Heather Cutillo, RN, MSN, Director of Health and Wellness

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As the Director of Health and Wellness, Heather is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Coordinated School Health Model at New Legacy. Heather is a pediatric nurse practitioner who has been involved in various types of nursing her whole career, including in schools, hospitals, and out-patient settings. She has worked as a nurse in Africa and in clinics in Chicago, Washington DC, and Denver S. that serve medically underserved patients, . Heather comes to New Legacy from Inner-City Health Center in Denver where she has served as the Diabetes Care Coordinator since 2001. While working at the Center, Heather also served on New Legacy’s Health and Wellness Committee for two years.

Aeron Finley-LaCrosby, ELC Assistant Director

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Aeron has served children and families for the last 17 years in the Metro area of Colorado. Prior to joining New Legacy staff, Aeron worked in the heart of Denver, Colorado at the Open Door Ministry Childcare. While at Open Door, she served as an assistant teacher in a Kindergarten classroom and grew in knowledge and leadership to becoming assistant Director in 2 years. Aeron enjoys walking alongside other to fulfill their full potential. She holds an AAS degree from Community College of Denver in Early Childhood Education and holds a Colorado Center Director License. She enjoys her family and friends and serving her local community.

Joy Hettich, ELC Curriculum Coordinator and Coach

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Joy joins the New Legacy Charter School team as the Curriculum Coach and CTE Instructor. She was the founder and director of the Centennial Christian Learning Center. She led the Centennial Christian Learning Center for over ten years. She has over thirty years of teaching experience which has spanned from infants all the way up to 12th grade. She holds a Colorado Director License and a degree in elementary education from Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She enjoys both volunteer and professional childcare consulting. In her spare time, Joy and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with a great book. Joy is excited to be part of the New Legacy Charter School team.

Jordan De Herrera, Administrative Assistant

My name is Jordan DeHerrera. I started interning at New Legacy Charter School in the fall of 2016. I began helping in the ELC with the directors working on the Child Care Assistance Program and then helped in the office as well when needed. I became a first time mom to my daughter who attends the ELC in December and graduated a week later with my Bachelor’s in Human Services with a Mental Health concentration. After returning from Maternity leave, I was grateful to have become the Administrative assistant in the office. I love that my daughter and I are a part of the NLCS community!

 

Claudia Baylon, Operations Director

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Claudia joined the New Legacy staff in February 2015. Prior to joining New Legacy, she spent 10 years working at Inner City Health Center as a Program Manager where she assisted patients in accessing services and appointments with specialists. Claudia also managed several programs including the Patient Assistance Program, Women’s Health Program, and the Colorectal Screening Program. Claudia is bilingual in English and Spanish and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

 

Britta Carlisle, MSW, Social Worker 

Britta joins New Legacy as the School Social Worker. As the social worker, Britta provides social and emotional support to students and families, as well as community resources for wellness. Britta holds a Bachelor of Social Work and minor in Spanish with an emphasis in indigenous and immigrant populations from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ, as well as, a Master of Social Work and Certificate of Social Work with Latinos/as from the University of Denver. Britta is a fluent Spanish speaker and is passionate about school based counseling and social justice. Britta was born and raised in the Denver area and loves to travel with her husband, camp, ski, practice yoga, spend time with friends and family and take care of the newest member of her family, her puppy, Benny.

Robyn Jackson, Internship and College Access Coordinator

Robyn comes to New Legacy Charter School from Community College of Aurora where she spent three years working as a TRIO Academic Advisor. In that role, she supported first generation college students and helped them transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Robyn is passionate about empowering youth by providing them with tools and resources to access and understand their education options. Her goal is to increase post-secondary access and retention rates among traditionally underrepresented students. Robyn holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.A. from the University of Denver in Higher Education with a concentration in diversity and higher learning.

Heather Kinz, English Language Development & Health Teacher

heather-kinzHeather serves as the Health teacher and as the English Language Development teacher.  Before New Legacy, Heather worked in Literacy intervention for middle schoolers. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts from Pacific Lutheran University, and a Master of Arts from Union Theological Seminary. Heather has lived on both coasts but came home to her native Colorado because it is the best. She loves coffee, the outdoors, reading, and hanging out with her family, friends, and cat.

 

Grace Lenhart, Academic Assistant

Grace serves as the Algebra Intervention teacher, as well as Read 180 Instructor, and overall Academic Assistant at New Legacy for the 2016-2017 school year through the Denver non-profit organization Urban Servants Corps.  Before serving with New Legacy, Grace lived in northern Wisconsin where she worked in direct service to provide food security in rural areas, and empowerment to persons with disabilities. Grace holds a Bachelor of Arts from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. She enjoys singing, swimming, reading, and being creative.

 

Kellie Licking-Murray, Science Teacher

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Kellie joins the New Legacy Charter School staff as the science teacher. Previously Kellie taught high school biology and chemistry in Tucson, Arizona. Kellie has a B.S. in biology with an emphasis on health science from the University of Nebraska – Kearney (UNK). She earned an M.S. in molecular biology, emphasizing viruses and virus research from University of Nebraska – Kearney (UNK). In April 2015, Kellie received the University of Nebraska – Kearney (UNK) Outstanding Master Thesis Award. Kellie is currently pursuing a Master’s in Secondary Education at The University of Arizona. Kellie was born and raised in Seneca/Mullen, Nebraska.

Nathan Malkemus, Humanities Teacher 

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Nate serves as the humanities teacher at New Legacy. A native of California, Nate has taught in the Bay Area for the last 7 years with a focus on drop-out recovery. In addition to his instructional responsibilities, Nate served as the new teacher mentor and lead curriculum developer for U.S. Government/Civics. Nate holds a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from UCLA, and single subject teaching credential from San Diego State. In his spare time, Nate enjoys running, backpacking, snowshoeing, rock climbing, and anything else that involves the outdoors. He is also a proud new father and very excited to start his son, Elliot, at the early learning center at New Legacy.

Jenn Stephens, Parenting Educator

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Jenn serves as the Parent Educator at New Legacy. Prior to joining New Legacy, she served as the Parent Educator at The Program for Women and Families, a social service agency in Pennsylvania. While at the program, she taught parenting classes, facilitated parent support groups and conducted weekly home visits. Most recently, she worked at Emmanuel Methodist Preschool as a teaching assistant. Jenn holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Syracuse University and an M.A. in International Education and Training from American University. Jenn enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, hiking, camping, looking for wildflowers, traveling, and having coffee with friends.

Adam Stewart, Mathematics Teacher

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Adam teaches Mathematics at New Legacy after working 10 years working with teenagers in multiple states and countries including [add state here] and [add country here]. Adam has run after school programs for refugees in Houston, taught at a secondary school in the United Kingdom, and worked as a senior mathematics tutor for the tutoring program, General Academic. Adam has lived in five countries and visited more than 20, helping him develop a very well rounded view of the world. He is thrilled to be able to share his passion for mathematics, culture, and life with the students at New Legacy. Adam holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from The University of Bristol, England. Adam enjoys to scale huge rock faces around the world, perform circus arts, and enter running races.

 Tonya Williams, Special Education Teacher

Tonya Williams serves New Legacy as a Special Education and as a READ 180 Teacher.  She comes to New Legacy with several years of experience working with infant to elementary aged children within the Aurora Public School system.  Also, previously she worked with college aged freshmen students and youth from her church while in graduate school.  She enjoys teaching and making relationships with students all of ages.  Her goal for students is to equip them for post high school success and to feel confident in who they are and in their abilities.   Tonya has also spent several years working as an auditor for the State of Texas and the State of Colorado and has previously done taxes with H&R Block.  She holds a B.A. from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA and a M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in Government.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, walking, and listening to music.

 

 Alexandra Acevedo, Preschool Assistant Teacher  

team-alexandra acevedo Alexandra Acevedo is a Preschool Teacher at New Legacy Charter School. Prior to working at New Legacy, she worked for Denver Public Schools as an assistant teacher for second language learners in Preschool, a tutor for Elementary students, and with Summer Scholars as a STEM Paraprofessional. Alexandra graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in Family Studies, and minoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice. While working at New Legacy, Alexandra has earned her certification for Early Childhood Education. Alexandra is passionate about teaching, learning and growing. Alexandra’s hobbies include reading, writing, and working out. She enjoys all forms of art, exploration, adrenaline, adventure, traveling, and loves being in good company.

Felicia Davis, Toddler Assistant Teacher

My name is Felicia Davis and I have been working in the Early Childhood Education field since I graduated High School back in 2010. I was born in California but raised here in Colorado. I learned early that I wanted to pursue my career in Early Childhood so in 2012 I begin studying ECE courses. I am a mother of three boys and they are ages 7, 3, and 1 years old.  I am currently in school working on my Bachelor’s degree so that I can become an Elementary school teacher. Children are our future and I love making a difference in their lives. I am now working in the Toddler classroom here at New Legacy and it has been such a joy.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Vandrea Gonzales, Infant Lead Teacher

My name is Vandrea and I am one of the infant teachers at New Legacy Charter. I have been working with children for the past five years and have a passion for serving my community. I am proud and honored to be apart of the New Legacy Staff and to be serving our teens and their children to create a successful future. My educational background is in Human Services and Early Childhood Education, I have volunteered with a few non-profit organizations helping those in need from supervised parental visits to drug and alcohol addictions. I am happy to now be at New Legacy Charter where we are guiding our students and helping them learn positive parenting so they can also be successful parents.

Shaquatta Lewis, Infant Lead Teacher

Hello everyone. My name is Shaquatta Lewis and I am a mother of four. I having been working in the Early Education field for over ten years. Prior to me joining the New Legacy family, I was working for Global Village, Cherry Creek, and Kids town in which I helped children gained the knowledge to succeed for the present and the future. I am director qualified and I obtained those accolades by attending Ashford University. I am also certified in many areas like CPR, CCAP training, and Medicine Administration. My motto that drives me is that “Our children goals and ambitions is what drives us to be successful as teachers and parents. My future goal is to become a director and continue to show the passion and desire that directed me to be what I am and love today and that is teaching.

Jackie Mosley, Preschool Lead Teacher

My name is Jacquelyn Mosley, I have been living in Denver, CO for 29 years.  I love the various outdoor adventures available in Colorado (although I do not get to enjoy them as much as I would like).  I met my husband in this wonderful state and we have been married for 28 years and we have 5 wonderful children.  I attended Community College of Denver where I earned an Associate of General Studies in Early Childhood Education and Director Qualification for ELC.  I attended Metropolitan State College of Denver next where I earned a Bachelor Degree in Human Development with a Minor in Early Childhood Education.   I have a passion for all children to know and embody that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, get and use it.

Lynn Replinger, Toddler Lead Teacher  

05 LynnLynn is a toddler lead teacher. Lynn was drawn to New Legacy Charter School by its mission of “impacting two generations at a time.”  She wants to help empower the students and children to prepare for a successful life through a legacy of education.  Lynn has taught in elementary education for the last 21 years, providing enrichment and remedial classes for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She has a master’s in education from the University of Phoenix. When she is not nurturing the infants and students at New Legacy, she enjoys crafting, reading, outdoor activities like walking, biking and sailing, and most of all spending time with her family.

Cristina Tirado, Infant Lead Teacher

Hi my name is Cristina Tirado, I have been working In Early Learning center for 12 years. I work 8 years with toddlers and 2 years with infants. I am married, I have three boys, three girls and one granddaughter. I have lived in Denver since 1999. I love to travel, I am looking forward a new year at New Legacy Charter.