we mean by
We recruit extremely qualified, highly trained and motivated educators with decades of experience who will build a relationship with your child, diagnose needs and teach strategies that ensure exceptional results for your child.
Anna Goetz, M. Ed.
Owner Operator - Coach: College - Adult
Anna Goetz has been an educator since 1987, teaching middle and high school and serving as an instructional leader, assistant principal and principal in Mesa County. Anna obtained her National Board Professional Teacher License for Adolescent Literacy in 2000 and retired from District 51 as the principal of R-5 High School. Anna then worked for several districts in Colorado, providing instructional coaching and training for teachers, curriculum leaders and principals. At the request of MCVSD 51, she returned to serve as interim principal for a semester at Wingate Elementary, Orchard Avenue Elementary, and Each Middle schools. She has provided many courses for educators as an adjunct professor at CMU, and currently supervises principal interns for the CMU Education department. She has wide experience teaching grades 6-adult students of all abilities and working with K-12 students in the area of social-emotional and behavioral issues. She loves working with students who experience unique or new struggles in school and helping them discover their strengths and a renewed confidence in learning.
Josh Guddat enjoys supporting people of all ages as they work to meet their goals. He currently does this in many ways. Talking with and helping his four children with their homework is one of his joys! Working with teachers as an Instructional Coach at Orchard Mesa Middle School is another way he fulfills his passion. Over his 20+ years of teaching, Josh has taught everything from high school Advanced Placement courses to intervention courses for low-skilled learners and everything in between. He has coached alternative learners finding their way at R-5 High School, mainstream learners trying to get into top colleges at Grand Junction High School, and students whose 2nd or 3rd language was English at an international school in Dongguan, China. Josh has coached students with ADHD, executive skills deficits, and other barriers to success in hundreds of coaching sessions. Josh is at his best when he is helping other people.
Josh Guddat, M.B.A
Owner Operator - Coach: Middle School-College
Dionne Guddat, B.A.
Owner Operator - Coach: K-5
Dionne is currently a 2nd-grade teacher at Pomona Elementary in District 51. She has spent the last 20 years in education in a variety of facets: eleven years as a 2nd and 4th-grade classroom teacher in D51, stay-at-home mom, coach, tutor, and parent of four successful D51 graduate/students, creative arts and music instructor, and two years teaching internationally to culturally diverse 4th grade students in Dongguan, China. Dionne has been trained through District 51 in Early Literacy Mediation (ELM) and Advantage Math Recovery (AVMR). She finds one of her greatest strengths and joys as a teacher to be the ability to build positive partnerships with parents and families to meet the educational goals of students at all levels. She is grateful for the opportunity to partner with learners and families through Essentials in Learning!
Edith Bigum - M. Ed.
Edith Bigum is certified to teach Elementary Education and Special Education, and she has a Master’s Degree in Reading. She is a Reading Recovery specialist and a certified Literacy Interventionist. Edith was honored with Outstanding Educator of the Month 2007. She retired in May 2020 after 30 years teaching kindergarten and first grade at Broadway Elementary in School District #51. She is excited about the opportunity to work one-on-one with students and meet their individual needs as learners. Edith believes it is critical for children who are struggling with literacy skills to have highly qualified teachers to support them in their early years.
Ruth McKee, M. Ed.
Ruth McKee has a passion for teaching adolescents how to take ownership of their lives and learning in order to achieve college and career goals. She challenges students to develop strong reading, writing, speaking, and thinking skills, knowing that these are vital life skills. She spent 14 years teaching middle school English language arts in San Diego, California, before moving to the Grand Valley where she has taught adolescent literacy for the past seven years and leads as a co-advisor of the National Junior Honor Society. She recently completed her MS, Ed. in adolescent Literacy and Learning.
Julie Hickman - M. Ed.
Julie Hickman has been working full time in education since 1984. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at Adams State College, and then earned her Masters in Multicultural Education through a University of New Mexico Graduate Internship. She currently is a K-5 Math Interventionist at Appleton Elementary and is proud to call herself an Appleton Bookworm. Over the past 30 years, Julie has taught first, second, third and fourth grades in both Colorado and New Mexico. She has also been a reading interventionist and has taught summer literacy programs k-5, art, gifted and talented, and science during the summers. Julie loves seeing learners gain skills and build confidence as readers, writers, and mathematicians. Julie enjoys having the opportunity to work one-on-one with students, as well as building relationships with students and families. She loves being part of the Essentials in Learning team!
Amy Shepherd, M. Ed.
Amy Shepherd has been a professional educator since 1998. She taught grades 1-5 for 15 years before moving onto the D51 Curriculum and Instructional Support Team as an Instructional Math Coach and Professional Learning Specialist. Amy has been a school administrator since 2017, and she has been the Principal at Clifton Elementary School since 2021. Amy continues to provide professional learning and consulting for educators and is an instructor of record for Colorado Mesa University. Amy has significant experience with students who have ADHD, executive functioning, anxiety, and behavioral issues. She believes that education is the "Great Equalizer," and she believes that all children can learn and grow as they engage in meaningful and impactful learning. Through learner engagement in education, this creates the foundation for life-long success.
Tracy Seremak, M. Ed.
Tracy’s experience includes teaching and supporting students in mathematics, study skills, and college preparation in the Chicagoland area (15 years) and District 51 (7 years). Her experiences as a mathematics (middle and high school) teacher, A.V.I.D. coordinator and teacher, administrator, and curriculum specialist have provided her with a wide variety of tools and insights into how mathematics can be learned and understood in a variety of ways. Tracy currently teaches mathematics at Palisade High School. She has a passion for helping everyone feel that they can learn and understand mathematics.
Kelly McGuire, M. Ed.
Maureen Kelly has a MA in Education and ten years experience, eight in the classroom. She has worked in middle, high school, and alternative settings for ages 10 to 21 as well been an instructional coach and content specialist. She has presented at state and national conferences including WIDA, and has served on state committees including the CLDE guidebook committee. Kelly is a Western Colorado native and a strong advocate of education for everyone. She has personal experience living with executive function issues and employing coping skills.
Martha Lynch, B.A.
In education since 2001, I've had the privilege of seeing a lot of light bulbs go on! I started out as an ESL teacher's aid but it wasn't long until I decided I wanted a classroom of my own. I received my B.A from Colorado Christian University and have put it to use since then. I've worked with grades 1-12, but home is 5th grade for now. I've been teaching 5th grade at Appleton Elementary since 2008. Getting kids ready for that big transition to middle school is a challenge I look forward to year after year. When I'm not teaching, I'm teaching! I also teach childbirth classes at St. Mary's hospital. My free time is usually spent hiking with family and friends all around beautiful Colorado.
Kalie Cook, M. Ed.
Kalie is in her 6th year of teaching and just completed her Masters in Teaching and Learning this past May! She taught at an alternative Big Picture Learning high school in Reno, NV for three years after leaving her home state of Michigan, and is in her third year of teaching at the alternative high school here in Grand Junction. Kalie enjoys finding new ways to explain concepts to learners so that they may understand it in a more "real-world/big picture" way. Her goal is to show all learners that they CAN learn math and to make it more enjoyable and understandable along the way.
Katie Dieckmann, B.S.
Katie grew up on the beaches of south Florida where she loved scuba diving and eating seafood. She participated in her high school marching band and winterguard all 4 years. She went to the University of Central Florida where she earned a bachelor's in 6-12th grade Mathematics Education. She moved to Grand Junction in 2016 and started teaching at Central High School. She was there for 3 years and now teaches at R5 High School, where she teaches math through gardening and aquaponics. Katie loves teaching her learners how to study and how to determine if they are understanding the content on their own. She is also passionate about making sure that any gaps in a learners' prior knowledge are filled and that is one of the reasons why she believes she can help anyone learn math. Katie is currently working on her national boards and is always looking for new ways to be successful in teaching.
Debra Roberts-Garske, M. Ed.
Debra is a National Board Certified Teacher with a Masters Degree in Education with a focus on literacy and language. Debra started her teaching career in San Clemente, California and has been with District 51 for the last twenty five years. She has worked with middle through college level students, with most of her experience in the English Language Arts classroom working with struggling readers in reading lab classes and high achieving populations in Pre-AP ELA. Debra is currently an instructional coach, working with teachers to establish goals to better their classroom practice. She loves to read, hike and travel in the Northwest with her family.
Katherine Beeler, B.S.
Math Coach: Elementary-College
Katherine graduated with a Bachelors in youth development from North Central University and moved to Colorado from Minnesota to start a new adventure. She started in education as a primary paraprofessional at Clifton Elementary and for two years spent time working with students in a support role for all content areas and fell in love with teaching. She decided to go back to school to get her teaching license through CCU in their alternative licensure program and was hired as a 5th grade teacher at Clifton Elementary. She soon fell in love with teaching students math in ways they could not only access but also apply and begin to develop a growth mindset towards math. Katherine remained in that role until she became Clifton's K-5 math coach for a year and then moved on to become a Middle school instructional coach with a focus in Math and Science. Katherine says, "It is my goal in every interaction I have with students to make them fall in love with the math they are getting to experience."
Shannon Morlan, M. Ed.
Shannon has been an elementary teacher for 20+ years as well as a teacher coach in Mesa County Valley District 51. Over the course of her time with District 51 Shannon taught all elementary grades except for kindergarten, worked as an instructional technology specialist serving students K-12and providing professional development for teachers, and served on a number of district curriculum teams responsible for selecting, aligning, and writing district curriculum. Shannon is also a National Board Certified Teacher. In her last few years at Broadway she has worked with a number of students who were staffed in the Significant Needs Behavior program. One of Shannon's strengths comes in having taught almost all elementary grades. She is adept at taking a kiddo and helping them move forward no matter where s/he is starting from.
Emily Lintott, B.A., B.S.ED.
Emily is currently employed as an instructional coach for D51, working with teachers and schools to improve student outcomes. She began her journey in education in 1998 and has 20+ years of experience teaching language arts and social studies at the middle school level in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Fruita, Colorado. Teaching and connecting with students of all ages is a true passion for Emily. Her depth of experience allows her to meet each student's unique needs as they build their skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking. She is excited to work with students to grow their skills and achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Emily enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her husband and three daughters.