Staff Bios

Adeel Khan, Founding School Director:   Adeel Khan will be the Founding School Director at DSST: Conservatory Green High School.  Mr. Khan is joining us from DSST: College View High School, where he served as Associate School Director.  DSST College View High School was just rated the #1 overall school in Denver and Mr. Khan hopes to continue this track record of excellence at Conservatory Green High School.  See more details about Adeel in a letter from our CEO, Bill Kurtz, by clicking here:  Adeel Khan School Director Announcement 

Maria Cedillo, Office Manager:  Ms. Cedillo will join DSST-CGHS as the Front Office Manager. She has worked with students and parents at both Aurora and Denver public schools. She has a B.S. in Human Services and M.S in School Counseling. She is very excited about joining DSST-CGHS family she is ready to take on challenges and will help support everyone at CGHS. Ms. Cedillo lives in Aurora and loves to spend time with her children, family and friends. She enjoys helping others and learning new things. She likes to listen to music, dance, meditate, walk in the park and watch movies.

Meghan Janci, School Director in Training: Meghan Janci is thrilled to be a member of the founding team of Conservatory Green High School! For the past 3 years, Meghan has been the Associate School Director at DSST GVR HS - before that she spent 4 years teaching 10th grade chemistry. Ms. Janci has her undergraduate degree in the University of Illinois and is working on her masters in Instructional Leadership from the Relay Graduate School of Education. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, cooking, reading and traveling to Chicago to see her family. Meghan is thrilled to be a Hornet next year and can't wait to meet the founding class of 2021!

Mike Perez,  Athletic Director:  Mr. Perez will be moving up to the high school to be Conservatory Green Campus Athletic Director. For the last 2 years Mr. Perez has been the PE teacher at the middle school. Mr. Perez will split time next year at the middle school and the high school. Mr. Perez attended the University of Jamestown on a basketball scholarship and earned a degree in Physical Education as well as Health and Fitness Administration. He has been teaching for 8 years all in Denver. He has taught every grade level from Kindergarten to juniors in high school. He is excited for the challenge and opportunity to bring a great Athletics program to CG High School.

Valerie Wilkinson,  Manager of College Success: Mrs. Wilkinson is joining our team with 7 years of experience teaching with DSST Public Schools and will be teaching Design Thinking. Mrs. Wilkinson is moving up in age from working as an Art teacher at both the Green Valley Ranch and Cole middle schools and very excited to work with high school students. Last year she was named Master Teacher in addition to receiving both culture and academic awards. Mrs. Wilkinson is a Colorado native and earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Metropolitan State University of Denver. In her free time Mrs. Wilkinson keeps very busy with her baby boy/girl twins Oliver and Emerson, and husband Will.

Nichole MacVittie, Special Education Coordinator:  Mrs. MacVittie will join the CGHS team as the Special Education Coordinator. She has taught students in grades 6-8 in Atlanta, GA, as well as undergraduate college students in Virginia. She earned a B.S. in Business at Virginia Tech, a M.Ed. in Behavioral/Learning Disabilities at Georgia State University, and is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Education at George Mason University. Mrs. MacVittie is beyond excited to move to Denver to be a part of the CGHS family. She enjoys learning new things, reading, outdoor adventures with her pup, and trying new food!

Nick Wilsey, 9th Grade Physics Teacher:  Mr. Wilsey will be teaching 9th grade physics. He earned his undergraduate degree in physics at Truman State University in Missouri and MS in mathematics education at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He enjoys mountain biking, backpacking, trail running, and exploring the woods with his two dogs.  Mr. Wilsey helped found another STEM school in Knoxville, TN, where he was earned the “Teacher of the Year” honor. He has vacationed in Colorado every summer for the past few years and looks forward to now calling it home.

Alexandra Medrano, 9th Grade Spanish and Spanish for Native Speakers Teacher:  Maestra Medrano will join the Hornets staff as a Spanish 1 and Spanish 1 for Native Speakers teacher. She has taught high school Spanish, both in second language and heritage language settings. Mstra. Medrano graduated with her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of San Diego. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Educational Equity & Cultural Diversity: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education. She looks forward to sharing her experiences in diverse cultures as a result of being bilingual and passion for Latino culture. In her free time, la maestra enjoys being outdoors, running, playing soccer and hanging out with her dog. She is excited to meet all of her future Hornets!

Nate Reaven, 9th Grade Composition Teacher:  Mr. Reaven will be moving up with the class of 2021 to teach 9th grade Composition! This will be Mr. Reaven's 7th year in the DSST network, and third campus. After spending the last three years at Conservatory Green Middle School, Mr. Reaven can't wait to move up to the wonderful world of high school! Mr. Reaven is a Denver native, who attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he earned an English degree, and certificates in both Education and Leadership. He is excited to share his passion for reading and writing with a group of students that he knows and adores. In his free time, he enjoys reading, camping, traveling, and skiing.

Kelly Meeder, 9th Grade Humanities Teacher:  Ms. Meeder will be joining the Hornets as a 9th Grade Humanities teacher. She started teaching in Baltimore, MD in various grade levels including PreK, 1st grade, and 7th grade. Most recently, she completed her first year as a DSST teacher as the 8th grade reading teacher at Conservatory Green MS. She is extremely excited to continue to work with the AMAZING class of 2021 and sharing her love of reading and learning with each of her students! In her free time, she enjoys traveling, being in the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Sarah Seaman, 9th Grade Math Teacher:  Mrs. Seaman will be joining the Hornets as a 9th grade Math teacher. She has taught students from 7th to 12th grade in Houston, Texas. She earned her degree in Secondary Mathematics and Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2013 (Whoop!). Sarah is excited to share her love of math and passion for knowledge with her future Hornets! In her free time she enjoys long distance running, yoga, reading, traveling, hiking, and hanging out with her house-trained rabbit, Theodore. 

Katherine Dilley, 9th Grade Physics Teacher:  Mrs. Dilley will be joining the CGHS team as a 9th grade physics teacher. Mrs. Dilley received her undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder in Psychology and Sociology. She is currently working on her M.A.T in Secondary Science through Relay - GSE and is a 2017 Teach for America Corps Member. Katherine decided to enter the classroom after working with youth in various programs and recognizing the unique position teachers are in to encourage youth as both students and individuals. Being raised in Colorado, Katherine loves exploring the Rockies through hiking, skiing, and running. She is excited to share her love for science with her students at CGHS! 

Kyla Taylor, 10th Grade Chemistry:  Ms. Taylor will join the Hornet's Nest next year as a 10th Grade Chemistry teacher. Ms. Taylor earned her undergraduate degree in Cellular Biology and Chemistry from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison (Go Mountaineers!), and is currently working toward a graduate degree in Education and Teacher Leadership. She cannot wait to meet her students at Conservatory Green and share her passion for science with them! In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her friends and family, and hiking in the mountains with her German Shepherd, Lola!

Christine Schultz, 10th Grade World Literature (19-20 Senior Academy Dean):  Mrs. Schultz is so excited to continue working with Hornet students as the Senior Academy Dean! With an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado Denver, Mrs. Schultz is excited to continue to pursue her love for equity in education and building relationships with students, parents, and community members in her new role. After 8 years in the classroom, Mrs. Schultz is excited for the challenge of something new and is looking forward to supporting students culturally as they get closer to achieving graduation and moving on to college. She can’t wait to spread joy and love to students each and every day! In her spare time, Mrs. Schultz loves to snuggle her babies Noah and Lily and work up a sweat at Orange Theory Fitness :)

Meriwether Joyner, 10th Grade World Literature:  Ms. Joyner will join the Conservatory Green family as a 10th grade English teacher. She has spent the last four years teaching 9-12th grade English and Creative Writing in Nashville, Tennessee. As an outdoors-enthusiast, she can't wait to move to Colorado. She is a Tiger at heart, as she graduated from Clemson University, but is excited to become a Hornet this upcoming school year! She is eager to meet her new students and to start diving into great literature together!

Kristen Cantin, High School Math:  Ms. Cantin will join the Hornet Nest as a math teacher! She has taught high school math for the last 6 years in Texas before moving to Denver! While teaching, she was named "Teacher of the Year" both by students and staff, and definitely let it go to her head. She now walks with a swagger and has problems fitting her ego through doors. Ms. Cantin earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a Mathematics minor from Texas A&M University! Whoop! She is very excited to share her passion for math and bad jokes with her future Hornets! In her free time, she enjoys eating/cooking, her dog, hiking, skiing, card games, camping, and random paint nights! She is getting married next April in New Orleans, and cannot wait!

McClellan Walcott, Director of Curriculum and Instruction:  Ms. Walcott will be joining the Conservatory Green High School team as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the 2018-2019 school year. Originally from Alabama, she taught high school math for four years before attending grad school to earn her Masters of Education in Language and Literacy. She moved to Denver in 2015 to become a Math Fellow Coordinator in Montbello, where she has worked for the past three years. Ms. Walcott is excited to join the CGHS staff in year 2 to support teachers in continuing to grow in their practice! In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, cooking, and planning her wedding--coming soon in March 2019!

Corey Werner, 9th Grade Math:  Mr. Werner will be joining the CG High School for the 2018-2019 school year as a Math teacher. He has taught middle school math for the past 8 years, including 3 years at DSST. At Conservatory Green Middle School he was recognized with an Award for Exemplary Data. Before teaching, Mr. Werner earned a degree in Art and Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. He rekindled his love of math when he joined Teach For America and taught in Mississippi. In his free time, you can find Mr. Werner hiking, camping, climbing, or snowboarding. If he's not outdoors, he will likely have his nose in a book! Mr. Werner is excited to share and grow his many passions with the high school Hornets!

Zach Carlson, 10th Grade World History:  Mr. Carlson joins the Hive as the 10th Grade World History teacher starting in August 2018.  He has taught 9th through 12th grades and loves the opportunity to work with students as they discover and pursue their passions. Mr. Carlson was born and raised in Colorado, attended CU Boulder, and when he isn't camping, fishing, or hiking, you can find him at Crossfit, the movies, reading, or traveling to new places. History has always been his true love, and he cannot wait to work with his future Hornets as they take the lessons from the past and create a better world.

Lacey Ruskin, High School Theatre: Ms. Ruskin is beyond thrilled to become a hornet in the capacity of founding Theatre teacher. In the past seven years, she has worked with students pre-school through high school and most recently was the founding theatre director at Parker Performing Arts School. Ms. Ruskin graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a B.A. in Theatre, Goddard College with a Master's of Education and is currently pursuing a Master's of Arts in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Musical Theatre is her passion, right alongside working with students, to help them find and use their voices to accomplish their goals and dreams, and to make a positive contribution to their community. She loves dancing to live music, connecting with friends and family and her 13 year-old canine, Crosby.

Jon Caravello, High School Visual Arts:   Mr. Caravello is honored to be joining the Conservatory Green community as the High School Visual Arts teacher. After receiving his bachelor's degree from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York, Mr. Caravello spent the next ten years working as a graphic designer in Marketing and Advertising throughout NYC. Fortunately, he woke up one day and realized his true purpose and calling in life was in education. Shortly after he and his family packed up and moved from Queens, New York to Denver, Colorado, he swiftly completed the Teacher Licensure Program at Metropolitan State University for K-12 Art Education. Mr. Caravello is very much looking forward to creating, exploring, contemplating, experimenting, discovering, and communicating new ideas through the visual arts with students for years to come. Outside of school, he spends his time with his wife, chasing their three sons; Jack (2.5), Alex (1), and Sam (1). In rare moments, he enjoys drawing in his sketchbook and being outside building things in his garage.

Kevin Berstler, High School Spanish:  Mr. Berstler is a Spanish teacher whose passion for language has lead him to DSST: CG. He has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in Colorado, Minnesota, Puerto Rico and Colombia. Mr. Berstler earned his BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Stetson University where he won a scholarship to study in Peru as well as the Robert L. Smith Award for Outstanding Student in Latin American Studies. He earned his MA in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Education from the University of Colorado, Denver with a 4.0 GPA. As well as being a passionate educator, Mr. Berstler loves to play, write, and record music from various styles, including lofi hip hop and progressive metal. He speaks four and a half languages. Ask him which ones they are!

Jack Walsh, High School Special Education:  Mr. Walsh will join CGHS as a special education teacher in the fall. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in International Affairs in 2016.  After graduating, he served 2 years in AmeriCorps with City Year Denver at College View Elementary School and Skinner Middle School.  Outside the classroom, Mr. Walsh enjoys watching and playing sports, heading up to the mountains, and the Lord of the Rings novels.

Ashley Williams, 10th Grade Chemistry Teacher:  Mrs. Williams will join CG Hornets as a 10th grade chemistry teacher. She has taught CHEM=IS=TRY for 3 years in Katy, Texas. Mrs. Williams earned her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from the University of Texas at Austin, Hook ‘em horns! She recently moved to the Denver area for her husband’s job, who is a Reservoir Engineer. Outside of being in the classroom she enjoys spending quality time with her family, which includes their 6 year old son, and golden doodle Milo. She is super eager to begin her journey with DSST Conservatory Green, and to share her knowledge of science with other colleagues and students! 

Elias Heard, High School Math Teacher:  Mr. Heard will join the DSST community teaching math to incoming high school freshmen. He has taught middle school math for the last two years but has tutored students in high school and college for the last four years. Mr. Heard has received a dual degree major. One degree is in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology; whereas the other is in Mathematics from Fort Valley State University. He is excited to bring rigor and excitement for math to the incoming Hornets! In his spare time, he reads, does martial arts, plays the saxophone, and attends the theater.

Carmen Vick, School Psychologist:  I have just moved from Texas where I have practiced bilingual school psychology for 12 years. I have lived in cities throughout Texas but most recently lived in lively Houston where I resided for 6 years. I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology at Texas A&M University-College Station, and my graduate degree in School Psychology at Texas Woman's University. In my free time, I love to practice yoga and go salsa dancing! This coming year, I am very excited to explore Colorado hiking and to connect with the Hornet family! 

Katherine Johnson, MIS Center Program Lead:  Ms. Johnson is joining Conservatory Green High School as a first year teacher. She earned her undergraduate degree in moderate to intensive special education at The Ohio State University. She is incredibly excited to join the team as the Multi- Intensive Severe Center Program Lead and collaborate with the general education teachers to best support the students at Conservatory Green. Originally from Cleveland, she is new to the Denver area. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, skiing, snowboarding, hiking and practicing yoga!

Gabriel Machado, Computer Science Teacher:  Mr. Machado is joining the CGHS team as a 10th and 11th grade computer science teacher. Raised in the Boulder area, Mr Machado is excited to return and support students from his home state. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science and mathematics from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. With a passion for the arts, music, and games, he is excited to explore the applications of programming with his students to help them integrate their passions with their work. 

Elisa Rodriguez, MIS Center Program Paraprofessional:  Ms. Rodriguez recently graduated with my bachelors in Social Work from Colorado State University. Over the past couple of years, I have worked with a range of students from kindergarten through high school. Most recently I worked at an elementary school under the school counselor and got to work with children from all different backgrounds. I love working with kids and am so excited to share my experiences and to be a part of DSST! I love animals, especially dogs! In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family, hiking, trying new restaurants, and being active.  

Thelma Llanas, Office Assistant:  Thelma Llanas will be joining the DSST CGHS Founding Team as Office Assistant, alongside Mrs. Cedillo. She has worked for DPS as a Paraprofessional for grades ECE - 5th grade and within the ELA group. Thelma enjoys her time with her Husband Jorge, three children and a new Granddaughter, plus her volunteer work with different charities such as "A Precious Child" and clean up at Washington Park. She is eager to start her path with the Hornets and start building great relationships with Staff, Students and Parents!