Providing competitive pay is essential to teacher and staff retention. Currently, teachers in neighboring school districts make about $19,000 more per year compared to Douglas County School District.
Not many shine as brightly as “Sparkle” Sue Tymkew. From sun up to sun down, Sue is working for the students of Chaparral High School. She spends her days teaching in the gym and in the classroom. In the evenings, Sue can be found on the sidelines, as the physical trainer for the competing athletes of Chaparral. Sue gives her all to Chaparral, and when she needed them the most, the ChapFam was right there to gave it right back.
He's no stranger to Castle Rock Middle School, as he attended CRMS as a young child. With a deep passion for his community, he now serves as the School Resource Officer for the Blue Knights! Meet Castle Rock Police Department Officer Dave Knight. He recently added a four-legged partner to his routine and Ru, a two-year-old Husky Malamute mix, are quite popular on campus!
Liliana Burke has taught Spanish to Sierra Middle School students for three years. She is originally from Columbia but has called Colorado home for quite some time. Liliana's classes are fun, interactive, and also offer an opportunity for her students to get to know each other through the use of a second language.
Mark Elliot, a social studies teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School, worked in the financial services arena and studied psychology before becoming an educator. He now brings his diverse life experiences to his classroom. It’s Mark’s ninth year at Mountain Ridge and his twenty-third year of teaching. Although for years he was told by friends he would become a teacher just like his mom, he didn’t automatically turn to education as a career.
DCSD roots run deep for Julie Crawford. She attended Northeast Elementary School as a child and graduated from Ponderosa High School, and her own children are Chaparral High School graduates. Julie's 26 years of teaching have only strengthened her love of the Parker community.
Kevin Fopma is a social studies teacher and golf coach at Chaparral High School in Parker. He has been with the Douglas County School District for over six years. Mr. Fopma’s love for teaching is literally in his blood – his grandfather was a government teacher for 30 years and his father worked for a Congressman.
Inspired by his uncle, Timothy Ryckman decided to pursue a career in art at a very young age. He has worked in Douglas County for 25 years teaching different techniques to every grade level at Buffalo Ridge Elementary in Castle Pines.
You might say teaching has been a way of life for Mandy Hill, whose mother was a teacher in Aurora Public Schools for 25 years. “I would help her grade papers and go with her to work sometimes,” said Mandy. “She has always been my hero.”
Catherine Watson has been working in the Douglas County School District for twenty years. She currently serves students, including those with significant support needs, at Pioneer Elementary in Parker. She is passionate about helping her students reach their full potential and preparing them for the next steps in their educational journey.
Anne Burke can hardly contain her excitement when speaking about being a teacher. There’s no doubt in her mind that teaching is what she is meant to do - specifically at Fox Creek Elementary in Highlands Ranch.