Special Education

District Special Education Partner

Photo of Julie and her family
Jenny Pilger
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Jenny Pilger is very excited to join the Governor’s Ranch Elementary community as the assistant director of special education. Over the past 19 years, Jenny has served as a learning specialist, SSN teacher, special education coordinator and director in Sheridan School District. She strongly believes in collaborating with educators, parents, and administrators to build structures and supports for student success. Jenny lives in Roxborough with her family. She has been married for 15 years and is a mother of three children who are in tenth, eighth, and third grade. She loves to spend time with her family and can be found at the soccer fields in her spare time.

Learning Specialists Mental Health Occupational Therapist Physical Therapist Speech/Language SSN

Learning Specialists

Photo of Mrs. Spindler
Lori Spindler
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Lori Spindler is very excited to join the Governor’s Ranch Elementary community as the full time Learning Specialist. Previously, she has worked at Governor’s Ranch for the past 2 years as a .5 Learning Specialist, splitting time between 2 schools. She started her career in special education in Nebraska where she taught for 2 years before moving back to Colorado. In Colorado, taught Severe Special Needs students for 2 years, and has worked with students in elementary and middle school. Her biggest goal in working with students and families is strong communication and prefers a ‘team approach’ to supporting students. She has a strong desire to help students succeed in school both academically and socially.
Lori is a mother of 4 children, all busy doing their own things. One daughter graduated from CU this year, another daughter is ready to graduate from KU in December, another daughter and son are ready to graduate from CSU and CU in a year. She loves to spend time with her family and all the craziness that a big family brings!


Photo of Mrs. Whaley and her three children
Emily Whaley
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Emily Whaley joins us for the 23-24 school year as our second full-time Learning Specialist. Over the past year, she has been working at GRE as a Guest Teacher and Special Education Para. Emily has 8 years of special education teaching experience with Denver Public Schools. She has one daughter and two sons, all of which are current and former GRE students. Emily is a 4th generation Colorado native, a CSU graduate, and married to her high-school sweetheart. She is thrilled to be able to both live and work in a community that she adores.

Photo coming soon
Audra Lewthwaite
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Bio coming soon! 

Photo of Mrs. Shamis and her family
Angela Shamis

Angela Shamis began working here at GRE in September of 2004 when her son Travis started Kindergarten. Although at the time she didn’t have experience working with kids (other than her own), she immediately learned that it was something she was passionate about and almost 14 years later she is still loving getting up and going to work every day! Her current position is the Special Education Building Support Paraprofessional, and her primary job is to work with small groups of students needing extra academic support, and at times working with students one-on-one. She has been married to her husband Mark for 22 years and when they are not working they enjoy spending time with family and friends going camping and taking beach vacations. She has two children Lindsay and Travis, both of whom attended GRE, and two furry friends Dusty and Niko.

Picture of Mrs. Moritz

Veronica Moritz

Veronica Moritz has lived in Colorado her whole life. She graduated from CSU with a bachelor's degree. All of her children attended Governor's Ranch Elementary and she started working here while her daughter was in 4th grade in the fall or 2022. Veronica has a strong connection with Littleton and the Governor's Ranch community. Working with children has brought a new joy to Veronica’s life and she is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Governor's Ranch Elementary team.


Amber Valentine
Amber Valentine - Individual Support Paraeducator

Amber is joining us this year as a para. She has worked with differently abled children since she was a teen. Recently she was a nanny for several families in her area. Amber has lived in Colorado for most of her life growing up in Evergreen and then moving to Bailey. Amber has three children one in middle school one in high school and one who just left for college. Amber loves playing board games and going to escape rooms with her kids.


Mental Health Providers


Michelle Myers
Michelle Myers, Social Emotional Learning Specialist (SELs)
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Visit Mrs. Myer's Web site:  https://sites.google.com/jeffcoschools.us/gre-sel-website/home

Michelle Myers has lived in Littleton since 1999. She has previously worked for the Jeffco Schools Medicaid Program, and as a School Social Worker in Jeffco. Most recently, she has been a substitute Social Worker, and has been substitute teaching at GRE for the past year or so. She spent several years in between her experiences staying home with her three kids. She’s very excited to increase her professional role at GRE.

In her free time, she loves to get outdoors with her three kids, husband, and dog. She especially enjoys mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, hiking/walking the dog, camping, and fishing.

Generally Mrs. Myers works Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Photo of Mrs. Rueschhoff and her family

Kirsten Rueschhoff, School Psychologist
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Kirsten Rueschhoff is so excited to be a part of the Governor’s Ranch Elementary community! This will be her first year at Governor’s Ranch as a part time Special Education Mental Health Provider. Kirsten moved to Colorado from near Pittsburgh, PA (GO ALL THINGS PITTSBURGH) 10 years ago where she worked as a social worker in a residential treatment center. When she moved to Colorado she worked as a Para-Educator in a ASD program in Jeffco Public Schools where she decided she wanted to be a School Social Worker. Kirsten received her Master’s in Social Work at MSU and has worked the past three years at Molholm Elementary. Kirsten enjoys building connections and helping students see their worth.

Kirsten enjoys being outside, skiing, mountain biking and adventuring with her husband and three small children.

Generally Mrs.Rueshhoff works Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Occupational Therapist

Clare Bixler
Clare Bixler
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Clare Bixler is excited to be joining the Governor's Ranch community! Clare graduated from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2014. She has been a school-based practitioner in a rural mountain area since this time and loves working in the school setting. Clare also sees clients in pediatric home health and is so happy to be in the pediatric/school world because she gets to focus on one of the best occupations--play!  In her spare time, Clare enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, son, and dog. She loves taking pottery classes, practicing yoga, and sitting outside reading on a summer evening.

Physical Therapist

Photo of Darla Davis Darla Davis
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Darla Davis is the Physical Therapist for all Columbine, Bear Creek High and Dakota Ridge articulation schools. She support students with physical impairments that may have difficulty accessing the school environment. Darla has been a PT since 1984 and have spent most of her career serving students in schools both here and in Arizona. She has worked for Jefferson County Public Schools since 2016. Darla is married and have together they have two adult daughters.  


Speech/Language Pathologist


Photo of Christina Brittain
Christina Brittain
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Christina Brittain is so excited to be joining the Governor's Ranch Elementary team this school year as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). Christina joins us from Aurora Public Schools where she spent seven years as a PK-5th grade SLP at Laredo Elementary School. Christina graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas with her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Christina enjoys spending time with her husband Blake, their cattle dog Hadlee, and lots of family and friends near and far. She loves to travel and adventure outdoors - hiking, snowboarding, camping. Christina loves working with children. She knows each child is very special and has a lot to share with the world!


Significant Support Needs (SSN) Center Program

Ms. Ladd
Sarah Ladd - SSN Teacher
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Sarah Ladd will be joining the team at Governors Ranch Elementary as an SSN Teacher. She is from Michigan where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in elementary and special education at Wayne State University in Detroit. She began her teaching work in Michigan as a special education teacher specializing in ASD and inclusion work with elementary age students. She moved to Colorado in 2015 and started work for Jeffco Schools at Fletcher Miller as a secondary teacher. More recently she worked at Elk Creek Elementry as a learning specialist and taught 1st grade.
Besides teaching, she enjoys yoga and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training last summer. Through this training, she also worked to complete an SEL certification designed for teachers and school communities. She has a 3-year-old son named Rex and loves living in the mountains.
 Photo of Ms. Gonzalez Lee Gonzalez - SSN ISP

This is Ms. Gonzalez first experience working in education, and she's thrilled to join the GRE team! She moved to Lakewood, CO from Eureka, CA in September 2022 with her mother, Amy, and their dog, Katana. She's been able to explore the Denver area by doing security for an entertainment company at a lot of the big venues here like Empower Field, Denver's Art Complex, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Fiddler's Green, and Ball Arena. Ms. Gonzalez is also a dog walker and sitter. On her free time she likes to spend quality time with the people she loves and cares about, play guitar, read, skate, bike, yoga, and take naps.

Photo of Mrs. Patino and her family
Traci Patino
SSN Para Educator

Traci Patino is very excited to join the Governor’s Ranch Elementary team as an ISP Paraprofessional within the SSN program. Traci graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Elementary Education. She has been a stay at home mom for the last 22 years and a nanny for another GRE family for almost ten years. Traci and her husband have been married for 21 years and have 3 children, Kaylee, Tanner and Brady who are her world. In her free time, she loves spending time with family, being outdoors and trying new things.


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