Main Office: 720-423-4300 & Attendance: 720-423-4354
Main Office: 720-423-4300 & Attendance: 720-423-4354

Welcome New JFK Staff!

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MariaJose Ytterberg
Science Teacher

I am a proud graduate of Metropolitan state university Of Denver, class of 2015! And, as a first generation immigrant from the beautiful state of Chihuahua, Mexico I have had the amazing opportunity to bring together the culture of my parents and the culture that I live in. When I’m not teaching science or coaching cross country I love going to concerts, running, biking and watching scary movies. I’m excited about sharing the fantastic world of science with as many students as I can because the world of STEM needs the diversity all of us can bring.

Joseph Marlen
Science/Math Teacher

I was born and raised with the Colorado Rockies lingering to my west, and I have lived and taught in a wide rage of communities everywhere from Greeley to Conifer teaching a a wide range of subjects (English, Social Studies, Science, and Special Education). My career started in the largest male, youth corrections facility in the state, and I am hoping it will conclude here in Denver. I have over five years experience with competency based education, and I am moving over to JFK with the intention to help develop NGSS in the school and district.

Brian Dardis
Math Teacher

I grew up in Michigan but decided to move here when I graduated from college, go blue! I actually started my career at Henry, my first students will be seniors this year at JFK! Due to the closing of old Henry, I’ve spent that last four years at West teaching 6th-9th grade math. Outside of teaching, I love to run and travel. The best trip I’ve ever been on was winter break in Australia last year. Below is a photo from trip, her name was Bella and she was the absolute sweetest thing ever!

Holly Frankovic
Math Teacher/STL

I started my teaching career in Aurora at Hinkley High School then moved to Castle View High School in Douglas County, which is where I spent the majority of my teaching career. I started as a math teacher and worked into becoming a mentor teacher, then a coach. I coached a variety of different subjects which really helped to broaden my horizons! I am married, have one 13 year old step-daughter, and four crazy dogs. My family eats and breaths LSU (Louisiana State); Geaux Tigers! My hobbies include softball, billiards, and watching LSU games.

Derek “Nacho” Nason
English Teacher

I grew up in the Denver area, attending Columbine High School and the University of Denver, where I majored in English Literature and Theatre. I enjoyed a year abroad living in Edinburgh, Scotland. After moving to Brooklyn in 2003 to pursue acting and comedy, I eventually attended graduate school at NYU studying Educational Theatre and receiving my teaching license. I was an English and Theatre teacher at Pan American International High School and Bronx Lab School, two Bronx high schools, for six years before returning to Denver in 2015 to continue my teaching at DCIS Montbello. I am inspired by creativity, passion, humor and the endless potential of my students. In his free time, Nason enjoys music, film, reading, outdoor activities, sports, travel and improvised comedy. More than anything, I love being with my wife, Jackie, my daughter, Alma (4), and my son, Ellis (5 months). I was on paternity leave with Ellis when the quarantine hit, so I have been spending a lot of time with the kids as I remote teach, while my wife has been fortunate to continue her work as nanny for a nearby family. Looking forward to working with everyone, and hoping the best for the start of the next school year!

Eleni Artemis
English Teacher

I was raised in Chicago, IL (but am a White Sox fan, sorry) and went to college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where I majored in English and Secondary Education. After college, I moved out to Denver and taught ELD at Hamilton Middle School. For the past three years, I have taught 8th grade language arts at McAuliffe International Middle School. At both Hamilton and McAuliffe, I coached cross country and volleyball. My hobbies include hiking, reading, snowboarding, and running (I’m a classic transplant). I also come from a large Greek family that is the spitting image of the family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, so if anyone likes Greek food/desserts let me know and I will be more than happy to cook for you 😊 Very excited to join the JFK family!

Ben Pruitt
English Teacher

I was born and raised in Colorado Springs. For college, I started out attending University of Southern California and then transferred back to CU Boulder. I had the wonderful opportunity of studying abroad my junior year in Madrid, Spain, and graduated in May 2010. From there, I lived in Crested Butte for a ski season and then became a paralegal. A year or so later, I accepted an offer to attend grad school at University College Dublin to pursue an MA in literature. After I finished my MA, I decided to forego the PhD route (which was my original intention) and returned to Colorado to become a teacher. I have taught in DPS my whole career. I started as a T.C. at East High School, then worked 2.5 years at Place Bridge Academy and have spent the past 3 years at DCIS Baker. During that span, I taught Middle School ELD, 7th and 8th Language Arts, HS Honors Speech and Debate, and 12th ENG IV. I also coached soccer at PBA and have been the Speech and Debate coach at DCIS the last three years. Beyond reading and writing, I enjoy most mountain/Colorado activities, watching sports and gardening. Also, my lovely partner, Michelle and I love to travel!

Matthew Placido
Social Studies Teacher

I was raised by a theater family in South Florida. Upon completing my thesis for an MA degree in American History from Florida Atlantic University, I committed to a life of serving future generations through education. I taught World History to 6th and 7th graders at a private school associated with Nova University, as well as AICE European History and AP Human Geography at Ft. Lauderdale High School. In 2017 my wife Julie and I packed our three cats into a car and set off to answer the call of the mountains. I taught AP Human Geography and American History at Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences in Denver. We now live in the town of Bailey, and when I am not teaching or planning lessons, I spend time with with my wife usually hiking or cooking, or reading about Russian history or Western Philosophy, or singing and practicing guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

Lynn Spear
Math Teacher

Spear has traversed a path from homeschooling Mama to urban public school Math Teacher through which she works to narrow the opportunity gap and to inspire her students with the art of crafting elegant explanations for mathematical phenomena. She is from an eclectic education including a Master’s in American Poetry, undergraduate studies in Classics and Visual Arts, and some amazing adventures like visiting the California Grey Whales’ Nursery in Baja California and touring the perimeter of the US by bicycle. She is a fan of her brilliant children, gardening, yoga, classical music (especially when played by her eldest daughter), toe socks, cats, and superheroes. Her dream vacation is to visit the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico. Spear is over the moon to be joining the Commander Community.

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