Adrienne was born in Colorado and met her husband Dillon at church when she was 13. They have four beautiful children whom she homeschool for 12 years before discovering Ambleside and deciding to enroll the two youngest. Her oldest daughter also works at Ambleside as an Intern. Besides her family, her next great passion is keeping current on the persecuted church. She takes Hebrews 13:3 as a personal call and loves to pray for those suffering for the Name of Christ.
Her background has been in bookstores which is great, because she loves to read! She is thankful to be a part of the Ambleside staff and is thrilled to learn and grow while working in an environment that serves children in a Christ-centered way.
Mrs. Kristy Sorensen has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications from Grand Valley State University. She is originally from Michigan but has called Colorado home since 2005. She and her husband are parents to three daughters, and she says they have been blessed to watch their children grow in character and knowledge through the wonderful teachers and staff.
“The intention and care that everyone here has is unique, and our children have thrived under their care. We also love the community of families and the friendships that we have made here. I am enjoy working in the office and helping contribute to such a wonderful place.”
Ambleside Colorado can accept many types of assets, including:
IRA Charitable Rollover or Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)
A QCD is a distribution from an IRA which is paid directly to Ambleside Colorado after the IRA owner turns 70½. An IRA owner can make QCDs of up to $100,000 annually. If your distribution counts as a QCD, the amount is not reported as taxable income on your tax return. Amounts that exceed $100,000 or don’t fit the QCD rules are typically treated as regular distributions. QCDs are also sometimes referred to as an IRA charitable rollover.
IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
An IRA owner who has turned 72 is required to distribute a certain portion of his or her IRA every year. This is known as your RMD. If you do need the funds, donating to Ambleside Colorado is a great option.
If you would like additional information about how to provide an IRA charitable gift to Ambleside Colorado,
You may not be aware that if you name your children as the ultimate beneficiaries of your I.R.A. or Qualified Retirement Plan(s), they may only receive one-third of the total assets. By gifting all or a portion of your retirement plan(s) to a charitable organization, the full value is generally passed to the charity and may ultimately make a greater impact. The amount received by a charitable organization will be fully deductible from your estate.
A Bequest made during your lifetime is the most common method of planned giving and enables you to distribute assets to individuals and charitable organizations in the amounts or proportions you indicate. An estate gift also provides the opportunity to make a major gift while preserving assets during a lifetime, with a reduction in federal estate taxes.
A gift of Life Insurance is a simple way to make a legacy gift. You may name a charity as the beneficiary of all or a portion of a life insurance policy. A charity can also be named as the alternate or final beneficiary. At your death, all proceeds would pass immediately to the named charitable organizations. Policies originally intended to protect a spouse, child or even complete a mortgage payment may no longer be necessary. Consider how these policies may be used to help fulfill other needs or causes.
If you would like additional information about how to include Ambleside Colorado in your legacy giving,
Heidi comes to us having previously served as the Director of Academics at a local Christian school, and having served as an Ambleside Fellow on staff at Ambleside Colorado before that. She is a career educator, and has served for years both as a school administrator and as a classroom teacher.
During her recent Masters degree studies in Classical Education at the University of Dallas, she felt increasingly drawn to Charlotte Mason and to serving directly with students in the classroom. She says, “I am drawn to the peaceful atmosphere and curriculum of living books.”
Grade 6 Lead Teacher
Jessica spent several years as an elementary classroom teacher for Denver Public Schools, before leading their Gifted and Talented program for her final two years. She also has extensive experience teaching English as a Second Language and working with local refugees.
Jessica has a Masters in Education from the University of Denver. She is a lifelong learner, an experienced educator, and a deep thinker about education and how children come to know and master new concepts.
Mr. Andrew Hayes re-joined Ambleside Colorado as Principal in 2016 after serving for two years as Principal at Ambleside Boerne (Texas). Previously he spent three years as a Junior High teacher at Ambleside Colorado. Andrew received his Bachelors of Arts in History from the University of Notre Dame and met his wife, Joanna, in French class during his senior year. They have three young children.
Prior to his work at Ambleside, Andrew was the College Pastor for three years at River Valley Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, while also learning the construction trade (just enough to make him dangerous), and spent formative college summers as a counselor and director at Spring Hill Camps in Evart, Michigan. Through these experiences, a passion for academic and spiritual growth emerged in Andrew. The longer he spends at Ambleside schools, the more convinced Andrew is that this is the best way to educate children.
He enjoys all aspects of the philosophy, but is especially drawn to the cultivation of a lifelong love of learning, the growth-oriented mindset for the whole community, the healthy approach to work, and the ways that the ideas in the rich texts are life-giving and formative. He most loves the opportunity to serve Christ, children, and parents on a daily basis. Andrew grew up in Okemos, Michigan, a little town near Michigan State University. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys watching Notre Dame football and the Detroit Tigers, playing baseball in a local men’s league, reading (Russian novelists, history, and science fiction are three favorites), hiking with his family, woodworking, and playing board games.
Mr. Andrew Hayes re-joined Ambleside Colorado as Principal in 2016 after serving for two years as Principal at Ambleside Boerne (Texas). Previously he spent three years as a Junior High teacher at Ambleside Colorado. Andrew received his Bachelors of Arts in History from the University of Notre Dame and met his wife, Joanna, in French class during his senior year. They have three young children. He is currently attaining his second degree from Notre Dame, a Masters in Nonprofit Administration.
Prior to his work at Ambleside, Andrew was the College Pastor for three years at River Valley Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, constructed homes and trained partner families with Habitat for Humanity St. Joseph County, and spent formative college summers as a counselor and director at Spring Hill Camps in Evart, Michigan. Through these experiences, a passion for academic and spiritual growth and helping others emerged in Andrew. The longer he spends at Ambleside schools, the more convinced Andrew is that this is the best way to educate children.
He enjoys all aspects of the philosophy, but is especially drawn to the cultivation of a lifelong love of learning, the growth-oriented mindset for the whole community, the healthy approach to work, and developing healthy, joy-filled families. He most loves the opportunity to serve Christ, children, and parents on a daily basis, and to see his own family benefit from this education.
Andrew grew up in Okemos, Michigan, a little town near Michigan State University. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys watching Notre Dame football and Liverpool soccer, rock climbing, running, reading (Russian novelists, history, and science fiction are three favorites), cooking Greek food, and family board game nights.
Assistant Principal – Grades Kindergarten through 6
Mr. Matthew Perkins joined Ambleside in 2015 and has taught 6th and 3rd grades and serves as an Assistant Principal. Matt previously taught High School English for eight years and coached track in in North Carolina. He earned his BS in English Education from Indiana Wesleyan University and moved to Charlotte, NC, where he taught 7th grade Language Arts for two years.
After marrying his wife, Faith, he moved to Holly Springs, NC, where he earned his Master’s of Education degree. Their growing family moved to Wadsworth, Ohio in the summer of 2013, close to Faith’s family, where he worked at a vocational High School for two years while he and Faith lead the young adult ministry at their church. Through experiencing their four pregnancies, Matt was inspired to write a book about pregnancy from the “man’s” perspective and self-published it in the fall of 2014. Matt is glad to be back in his home state where he can spend time outdoors, share his passion of learning with students, and have his own children attend Ambleside.
Assistant Principal – High School Development and Mathematics
Ms. Candice Whitley joined Ambleside in 2012 and has taught many classes and served as Assistant Principal. Candice has a Masters of Education, focused on meeting the needs of diverse students, from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Mathematics, from Gordon College. She taught 5th grade and middle school math in the greater Metro Denver area for six years.
Candice is passionate about developing relationships with youth, and has volunteered in her church youth group, at a Nashville non-profit organization committed to supporting youth in crisis called the Oasis Group, and as a camp counselor at Kanakuk Kamps for several years. She is thrilled to be a part of the Ambleside community. “I am so blessed and thankful for the opportunity to participate in a learning environment that cherishes the heart and potential of every student.”
Director of Admissions and Communications
Mrs. Rebecca Borger has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (English, Biblical Studies, and Community Development) from Covenant College, where she and her husband Scott met on the cross-country team. After marrying and moving to Colorado, she worked as a grant manager and grant writer for a nonprofit dedicated to youth development and mentoring. After the birth of her children, she was a stay-at-home parent while also volunteering in leadership at her church, MOPS, and Ambleside.
She continues to enjoy giving her time in ways that develop and support community culture. Originally from Georgia, Rebecca had the joy of receiving a Charlotte Mason centered education during her middle school years. That experience made an indelible impact, and she began the search for a similar school in Denver long before her own two children came into the world. She and her family consider it a gift to be part of the Ambleside community: a group of life-long learners committed to growth of the mind, spirit, and character.
Mrs. Marsha Olsen was born in Hawaii but has called Colorado her home for over 30 years. She and her husband have one daughter. Marsha has a background in real estate and marketing as well as in performing arts. She has always loved children, and since becoming a mother, she has become even more passionate about child development and education.
Entering into the Ambleside community, Marsha fell in love with the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. “I am convinced that this is exactly where God wants my daughter, my family and me to be. I am amazed and humbled at how Ambleside has inspired me to grow not only in my relationship with Jesus, but in becoming who He created me to be.” Marsha adopted her official title in January 2019, after ably contributing to Ambleside’s marketing and communication for years as a volunteer.
Mrs. Kamala Strickland received a Bachelors of Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College, London, UK in 2011. Shortly after, she returned to her home country of Bermuda to practice as a veterinary surgeon. Yet, it was her service in the youth ministry of her church that revealed a deep calling to serve children. Kamala gained a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from The University of Sunderland and launched her career in education, teaching 4th grade at a public school in Bermuda.
Two years later, she moved to the US to marry her husband, Jonathan. Kamala enjoys hiking with her dogs, painting, cooking, and exploring beautiful places, like Colorado! She is excited to be a part of the Ambleside community and be immersed in this wonderful atmosphere of joy in learning.
Mr. Evan White joined Ambleside in 2017, after teaching for three years in the Denver Public Schools, mostly 2nd grade. Evan graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2011 with a Bachelor of Psychology and Leadership Studies. He then served as a Team Leader in AmeriCorps in the Western US before moving to Aurora, CO in 2013 to pursue teaching. Since arriving in Colorado, Evan received his teaching certification through Denver Public Schools (DPS) and served as a specialist teacher helping students weak in mathematics, and then 2nd grade.
Throughout his time in Colorado, Evan has enjoyed serving in the Children’s and Hospitality Ministries of his church. He also loves walks with his wife Ashley and playing with their two children. Observing Ambleside originally as the husband of Ambleside teacher, Evan found that the philosophy was different from anything he had seen, and fundamentally good for students. Evan is grateful for the opportunity to work and grow in community at Ambleside, where Christ is at the center of the learning.
Mrs. Heidi Kimball joined Ambleside in 2014. She has taught 3rd grade, 6th grade, and many other classes (such as Science, Art, and Ambleside-for-Grownups) for the Ambleside community over the years. Mrs. Kimball studied opera at Old Dominion University and human resources at Colorado Christian University. She has completed her Master Teacher Training Program with Ambleside Schools International.
Mrs. Kimball is passionate about helping young people grow in the fullness of Christ, create beautiful work, and love ideas, books, and nature. When she is not in the classroom, she can be found reading and writing poetry, walking along the High Line Canal with friends, and finding new bike routes with her husband and three children.
Ms. Kathy Luch taught junior high at Ambleside School of Ocala for three years, and 5th grade for Ambleside Colorado for one year. Prior to this, she taught international students at University of North Carolina, Charlotte and high school students at Tech of Monterrey in Mexico City. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a teaching credential from San Diego State University, she began to work for a non-profit Christian student organization in Arizona, Mexico, and California. During that time she received a Master’s Degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Theology.
These experiences brought out her love of teaching and learning, and after one of her best friends introduced her to Ambleside, it seemed a perfect fit. “I love seeing students inspired by a wide range of living ideas, and to see them come alive as they think critically and come up with new ideas of their own. It also brings me joy to see students grow closer in love for and knowledge of God and others.”
Art Instructor — Grades 1 through 10
Mrs. Lani Whitley has worked at Ambleside since it opened in 2010. Lani has a degree in Art, with an emphasis in illustration, from California State University, Fullerton. She has loved art her whole life and still remembers the thrill of a new box of crayons or paints from her childhood years! Her teaching experience includes 10 years with Monart School of the Arts in Greenwood Village and four more years at the same location with Artful Journey Fine Arts School.
She also spent 2 years teaching art for Heritage Elementary School in Highlands Ranch. “I am very excited to work with fellow teachers and students who possess such excellent goals in mind and heart. I am also glad to embrace the Charlotte Mason philosophy of teaching and apply it to our learning experience in the art room.”
Mrs. Joanna Malm has a BA in Music and has completed a post-graduate Certificate in Suzuki Pedagogy at the University of Denver. She has been teaching music to children since 2003 and is the founder and director of Noteworthy School for Strings. Committed to life-long learning, she has completed teacher training in Music Mind Games with Michiko Yurko, and has studied the Ploger Method of Music Perception and Cognition with Marianne Ploger at Vanderbilt University.
Joanna has performed violin and viola throughout the US and England and is currently the Assistant Principal Violist of the Arapahoe Philharmonic. Joanna enjoys hiking, reading classic literature, and traveling to hear significant pipe organs throughout the world. She is delighted to be a part of the Ambleside community where students are able to grow and expand their personal expression by engaging in music and the arts.
Mr. Jeff Morris is a long-time Ambleside dad and trained as a teacher at the beginning of his career. He is an expert in technology and is excited to be teaching our 6th grade and High School students. Jeff was drawn to the school by the idea of a Christ-centered education. “Ambleside has drawn our entire family closer to Christ through the habits, the curriculum, and the community.”
Grade 1 Aide, Handwork
Mrs. Shannon Walker has a BA in Elementary Education, with Minors in Bible, History, and English from FaithWay Baptist College in Michigan. She has taught 1st, 4th, and 5th grades at an Elementary school, and has volunteered extensively in church children’s ministry. Shannon has also worked with NSK Corporation in an administrative capacity.
Shannon attended an Ambleside Schools International internship and was trained as a teacher at an Ambleside Schools International Institute in 2014. She homeschooled her three children in Florida using this method and curriculum for four years. “Ambleside has an atmosphere of helping others to grow and love learning. I desire for my own growth and to contribute to the learning and growth of children in the Ambleside community.”
Mrs. Faith Perkins joined the Ambleside staff in 2017. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Malone University. During her teaching career, she taught 5th, 2nd and 1st grade. She cherishes the memories of growing up on a dairy farm in Ohio, thoroughly enjoyed the sweet southern hospitality they found in living in North Carolina and is loving the beauty of Colorado. She, and her husband, Matt, have spent much of their marriage leading small group Bible studies and working with young adults.
For the last 10 years, she has been dedicated to raising her four children and building community with other families. She enjoys volunteering, working a home-based business around her family’s schedule, and teaching first grade. “It is a joy to be in the classroom, and a blessing to help students recognize opportunities to learn and to watch them grow, especially in their relationship with Christ. I am thrilled to be able to do that in a community as wonderful as Ambleside.”
Kindergarten Art and Aide
Mrs. Crystal Hollander has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with minors in language arts and health from Calvin College and an Associates degree in physical therapy. She has taught 2nd grade at Highland Christian School in Highland, Indiana. With both her children at Ambleside School, she has enjoyed volunteering and it has given her a new excitement and passion to return to teaching.
She is excited to be part of this wonderful community. “The environment of learning at Ambleside is truly a holistic Christian education. I love how it teaches a discipline of habits and allows the child to learn from a place of joy rather than from a need to get good grades.”
Mrs. Heidi Michael has almost a decade of experience working with children of a variety of ages, which includes working with 4th — 6th grade students in Chicago at the Urban Christian Academy, 5th Grade students at Cherry Hills Christian School, and as a preschool teacher at Ohana School of Early Learning.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Children and Family Ministry from Moody Bible Institute, and is also certified as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Heidi comes from a pastor’s family (she is one of eight children!) and her faith is extremely important to her. She enjoys how Ambleside educates the whole child, not just the mind.
Ms. Caleigh Hill comes to us most recently from four years at Strive Prep Kepner Charter School in Denver, where she served as a middle school teacher and athletics director. Before that Caleigh worked as a wilderness guide, a crossfit and volleyball coach, and a ceramics studio manager. Caleigh has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Francis in Visual Art Education, and played collegiate volleyball during her time there.
She enjoys the outdoors and completed a two-week backpacking hike in Lake Tahoe, where she raised money for Ambleside’s Tuition Assistance Fund. Many of our junior high students know her from Calvary Englewood’s Youth Group, where she is a volunteer. She enjoys teaching in Ambleside’s smaller class sizes, in which she can connect with students to help them learn and grow.
High School Lead Teacher
Mr. Matt Wilcox studied Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he received a Bachelor of Science and has since completed Ambleside Schools International’s Master Teacher Training Program. Matt’s childhood memories include nature painting in the woods behind his home, reading and narrating Treasure Island in the living room, and doing mental math with his mom who homeschooled his family using Charlotte Mason’s methods.
He attended an Ambleside school in Virginia from 2nd through 8th grade, taught middle school at an Ambleside school for five years, and is thrilled to be at Ambleside Colorado. He enjoys the outdoors, and was a backpacking guide in New York before hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with a friend after graduating college. He loves the Ambleside mission that proclaims that education is a life.
Mrs. Kim Larson has coached cross country and basketball for Ambleside students over the past few years and she homeschooled her children for several years before they enrolled at Ambleside. Kim has a BSN degree from Bethel University in Minnesota and was an ICU Registered Nurse for seven years. She enjoys running, skiing, baking, and crafting. She values the Ambleside emphasis on developing students and parents into lifelong learners.
Kevin has recently completed his PhD in Old Testament Theology from McMaster Divinity College in Ontario, and is defending his dissertation this fall. Kevin has extensive teaching experience at the university level, including teaching graduate level courses in Hebrew Language and Hebrew Exegesis.
He also has served as the Director of Worship at Benediction Church, the Worship Leader at True Life Church, and a pastoral intern at Evergreen Community Church in Washington. Over the course of his years in church ministry, he has served and preached in church youth groups, taught children’s Sunday school classes, and worked at Christian camps with middle and high school-aged children. Kevin brings a love of our Lord, His Word, and learning to our teaching team.