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.

Roynetta Douglas, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Roynetta (Netta) is New Legacy’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction. She comes to us from Farrell B. Howell ECE – 8 School in far northeast Denver where she has worked as a middle school language arts and teacher leader since 2011. Prior to that, she worked as an English, Spanish, and reading teacher in Tennessee. Her leadership experience at Howell has included department chair, member of the Teacher Leader Advisory, member of the School Leadership Team, and data team leader. Netta is highly qualified in English, Reading, and Spanish and also has a Linguistically Diverse Endorsement. She received her B.A. in English and Spanish from Western Michigan University, her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Union University in Jackson, TN, and is working towards an Ed.D. from the University of Denver in Curriculum and Instruction.

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.

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 specialty services. Claudia also managed several other programs including the Patient Assistance Program, Women’s Wellness Connection, Susan G Komen, and the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. Claudia is bilingual in English and Spanish and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

 

Julie Reyes, Administrative Assistant

 

Cindy Barajas, Health & Fitness Teacher/School Wellness Coordinator

Cindy Barajas moved between Los Angeles, California and Aurora, Colorado since she was a teenager. She studied Psychobiology at California State University at Long Beach, and proceeded to work in the non-profit field as an organizer in higher education, youth programming, and public health. Passionate about advocacy, healthy living, and helping others to see their amazing potential, New Legacy was a natural next step in her career. Her natural ambition in life has given her the ability to promote positive leadership and self-love. In her free time, Cindy loves to play with her daughter, Peace. They both love to explore various forms of fitness and enjoy learning new plant-based recipes to share with everyone. She is also a long-time volunteer for the Aurora Youth Options program, where she is a mentor to an amazing young lady that attends Aurora Central High School. Thankful for this wonderful life experience, Cindy makes sure to spread love, respect, and compassion in her everyday life, no matter what she is doing.

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.

Amber Gardner, School Counselor

Amber is a first-generation high school graduate and was a teenage mother – pictured here in her class of 1997 senior photo taken with her oldest child. She is a passionate P-20 advocate for equitable education and social justice with over 15 years of experience as an educator. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Colorado Mesa University, M.A. in School Counseling from Adams State University, Master’s Certificate of Early Childhood Leadership from the University of Colorado, Denver and is currently completing her PhD in Math Education with research interest in two generational math learning as a tool of liberation. She has taught all ages from infants to graduate level courses and also founded a non-profit school that serves families in a rural community on the western slope of Colorado before relocating to the metro area.

Grace Lenhart, Math Teacher

Grace serves as one of the school’s math teachers. She originally joined the New Legacy community through a year of service through the Urban Servant 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.

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.

Jennifer Irving, Humanities Teacher 

Linda Johnson, Special Education Paraprofessional 

Roxanne Stern, Humanities Teacher

 

 

 

 Alexandra Acevedo, Preschool Co-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.”

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.

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.

 

 

Tania Baez, Infant Assistant Teacher

Linda Appiah, Infant Lead Teacher

Perla De La Rosa, Infant Assistant Teacher

Charlotte DeSouza, Toddler Assistant Teacher

Teresa Flores, Infant Assistant Teacher

Cherrelle Jackson, Toddler Assistant Teacher

Padma Kunapuli, Toddler Lead Teacher

Chantal Rukundo-Karaara, Toddler Lead Teacher

Sha Smith, Infant Lead Teacher