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Address:
9447 Niwot Road
Niwot, CO 80503
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Administration & Faculty

Rocky Mountain Christian Academy Faculty and Staff

RMCA has exceptional and highly trained faculty and staff committed to the spiritual, academic, physical, and social development of each child. They model the virtues they teach. While they are passionate and capable of guiding each child’s growth, our teachers have a comprehensive method which informs their philosophy and practice. It is through the strength of this approach that we are able to maintain consistency across the variety of personalities and backgrounds leading our classes.

As a teaching environment for educators, we believe there is none more well-suited than a school like RMCA. Teachers love their pupils and get to share with them in a growing enthusiasm for learning.  Living, fruitful ideas are engaging at any age. For teachers and fellow learners, it’s an invigorating place to be.

Brandon Byrd

Executive Director/Principal

As Executive Director/Principal of RMCA, Brandon Byrd has the privilege of serving our community through growing the opportunities that a meaningful atmosphere, discipline, and life have for each individual. Key aspects of his role include staff development, student discipleship, parent engagement, and campus enhancements. Brandon’s desire is to see RMCA's community continue to grow as its children and adults realize their unmeasurable potential as persons created in the image of a loving, good God. 

Brandon holds a B.A. in history and English Literature from Union University and a M.Ed degree from from Covenant College. He has also participated extensively in Ambleside Schools International's training.  In his role, Brandon draws on his 18 years of K-12 instructional and administrative experience, including teaching 5th grade at RMCA in 2008-09, and in a number of schools in the U.S. and East Africa. 

Brandon hails from Tennessee and is married to Melissa. They are grateful for the opportunity to have all five of their children at RMCA. They are also grateful to live in a beautiful place and to do good work with God's people.

Erica Schaefer, M. Ed.

Lead Elementary and Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Schaefer joined RMCA in 2014. She is a Colorado University grad. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education. Her Master’s Degree is in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Literacy. She has taught kindergarten, first, and second grade. She has been involved in Women’s and Small Group Ministry. Mrs. Schaefer was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. She and her husband Tyler live in Longmont with their three children. She loves to read, attend sporting events, and scuba dive. She plays on a co-ed, indoor soccer league.

Danielle Depue

1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Depue joined RMCA in 2017. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies and Elementary Education from Crown College in Minnesota. Previously she was a substitute teacher in northern California, taught kindergarten thru eighth grade at a country school in rural Nebraska, and was an instructional aide and tutor after moving to Colorado in 2008. Ms. Depue enjoys nature walks and camping as well as handwork and baking. 

Sierra Caswell

2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Caswell joined RMCA in 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Elementary Education from MSU, and previously has been a guest teacher for Adams 12 Five-Star schools. Mrs. Caswell loves spending time with her husband and daughter camping, gardening, and reading. She and her family have attended Rocky Mountain Christian Church for over 20 years.

Sarah Sandstrom

3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Sandstrom received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical and Theological studies from Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. She comes from a classical teaching background and is passionate about fostering a love for Christ and helping students discover the Creator through the world He has made. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, reading, traveling, camping in the mountains, and training her German shepherds.

Megan Schaffer

4th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Schaffer began teaching at RMCA in 2018. Previously she taught at the elementary level full-time, and taught part-time as a Physical Education teacher and volleyball coach. Mrs. Schaffer enjoys spending time with her husband, Tyler, and three children. In her spare time she loves to run, play sports, bake, and spend time outdoors. She and her family attend church at Valley Community Church in Lafayette.

Tasha Tadewald

5th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Tadewald began teaching third grade at RMCA in 2010. Previously she substituted, taught part-time, and taught full-time in various schools, including Longmont Christian, for many years. Mrs. Tadewald holds a Bachelors’ degree from Colorado State and a Post B.A. Elementary Education degree from University of Colorado in Boulder. Her family includes her husband, Tom, and two adult children (both RMCA alumni). She and her family attend First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Longmont.

Christina Louwers

Kindergarten Aide

Mrs. Louwers began teaching at RMCA in 2018. She received a Bachelor's of Science at Michigan State University. Shortly after, she met her husband, Bob, and they moved to Colorado where they raised their 5 children. She homeschooled all of her children in Charlotte Mason for 14 years. Mrs. Louwers loves to garden, cook, hike, and spend time with her family and church community.

Heather Adams

Classroom and Office Aide

Heather Adams has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Northern Colorado. The Adams family has been sending their children to RMCA since 2011. After many years of being a parent volunteer in the classroom, Heather joined the RMCA staff as a teacher aide and office aide in 2019. Heather enjoys spending time with her family, and cooking yummy gluten free food. Heather and her family attend Grace Church in Longmont, Colorado.

Maria Lopez

Music, P.E., and Elementary Spanish teacher

Maria D. Lopez holds a degree in French and Music from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She teaches Music, Spanish, and P.E. at RMCA. Coming from a diverse multi-lingual and multicultural background, she enjoys traveling, especially back to Geneva, Switzerland where she was raised.  She takes time to sing, draw, and spend time in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado. One of her biggest joys comes from cooking for her family and friends.

Heidi Robinson, M.Ed.

Science & Math Teacher

Mrs. Robinson started teaching preschool at RMCA in 2010. Before joining our Middle School staff, she taught 1st and 2nd grades. Mrs. Robinson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Baylor University and a Master's in Education from Regis University. Mrs. Robinson, who grew up in Alaska and has also lived in Texas and Washington, enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, and skiing.

Sam Strickland

Humanities Teacher

Mr. Strickland originally hails from Alabama. He received his bachelor’s degree from Union University in Christian Thought and Tradition. He previously taught in Castle Rock for one year before coming to RMCA in 2017. Nothing pleases him more than a conversation about Saint Augustine or political philosophy over coffee.

Lori Wurth, M.S.

Logic, Language Arts, & Citizenship Teacher & Student Culture

Mrs. Wurth and her family have been at RMCA since 2008.  Lori’s passion is helping people grow and develop, and she has a heart and a knack for understanding and relating to Middle School students.  She teaches classes such as Christian Leadership, Communication, and Human Resource Management at Colorado Christian University.  She has a Master’s of Science in Management and Organization from the University of Colorado and studied business and psychology at CSU for her undergraduate work.  She attends church at Trailhead, a new church plant in Longmont, with her husband and two kids.

Christy Glaze, M.A.

Spanish Teacher

Christy Glaze has been an RMCA parent for many years and joined our staff in 2016. Mrs. Glaze has a passion for helping students grow in their demonstration of Christ's love for the Spanish speakers in our community and throughout the world through learning some of their language and culture. She has a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction with emphasis in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL) from CU Denver. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Seattle Pacific University. Christy stays active with four sons at home, 1 of whom still attends RMCA, 2 who graduated from RMCA and are in high school, and 1 who went to RMCA and is now in college. Christy and her husband, David, and their family attend Christian Home Fellowship of Boulder.

Maria Lopez

Music, P.E., and Elementary Spanish teacher

Maria D. Lopez holds a degree in French and Music from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She teaches Music, Spanish, and P.E. at RMCA. Coming from a diverse multi-lingual and multicultural background, she enjoys traveling, especially back to Geneva, Switzerland where she was raised.  She takes time to sing, draw, and spend time in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado. One of her biggest joys comes from cooking for her family and friends.

Ashley Bayne

Art TEACHER

Miss Bayne joined the RMCA staff in 2015. Her degree in Art Education is from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, cooking/baking, playing sports or having game nights with friends, and, of course, Miss Bayne loves to spend time drawing or painting in her studio.

Maria Lopez

Music, P.E., and Elementary Spanish teacher

Maria D. Lopez holds a degree in French and Music from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She teaches Music, Spanish, and P.E. at RMCA. Coming from a diverse multi-lingual and multicultural background, she enjoys traveling, especially back to Geneva, Switzerland where she was raised.  She takes time to sing, draw, and spend time in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado. One of her biggest joys comes from cooking for her family and friends.

Stacy Lind

Early Education Director

Mrs. Lind joined RMCA in 2004 as a Mom’s Day Out teacher, and in 2005 moved to the preschool program as teacher’s aide and lead teacher. She holds a degree in Applied Human Science from CSU and Early Childhood and Director qualifications from Front Range Community College. She has been a member of Rocky Mountain Christian Church since 1999, where she has been involved in leadership with MOPS and Sunday School. Mrs. Lind was born in the Chicago area and moved to Greeley in junior high. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Rick, and their two daughters.

Wendy Hunt

Pre-kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Hunt joined RMCA staff in 2018 and became an RMCA parent in 2019. Mrs. Hunt holds a degree in the arts and has completed the Early Childhood Professional Credential. She is currently continuing her education at Front Range Community College working on her Assistant Director of Early Education credential, which she will finish in Winter 2020. She and her husband live in Erie with their two sons. Her family attends Calvary Bible Church where she directed both the MOPS Kids program and the Thursday morning Kids Bible Study. In her spare time she loves to knit, fold origami, bake, hike, and spend time with her family.

Amy Smith

Preschool Teacher

Mrs. Amy Smith received her bachelor of arts degree in Psychology and Biblical studies with an emphasis in Women’s Ministry at San Diego Christian College. Mrs. Smith graduated in 2003 and married her husband right after graduation. Amy and her husband have served in ministry for the last 20 years working mostly with high school & college students. Over the years, Amy has held many different roles in the various churches she worked. Most recently, Amy was women’s ministry director for five years and volunteered with the high school ministry discipling women and youth. Amy had her three kids in a Christian private school in Hawaii where she substitute taught and volunteered for years.  Her hobbies are surfing and shell picking (which are hard to do in Colorado), reading, a yummy latte, and thrifting. She also enjoys paddle boarding, but most of all being with her family at home. Amy is excited to be at RMCA loving on our students.

Elena Shiriaeva

Preschool Aide

Ms. Shiriaeva moved to the USA in March of 2019. Her Bachelor's degree is in Cultures Studies is from Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg. Back in Russia, Ms. Shiriaeva was a graphic and web designer.  She has been volunteering in the Christian Transfiguration Brotherhood of the Orthodox Church since 2006; her ministry was a mission for adults and teens. Ms. Shiriaeva enjoys having conversations about life and God with children through works of art.  In her spare time, she likes reading, learning psychology and history of art, traveling, attending concerts, visiting museums, and making up events with and for friends. She is a parishioner of St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church in Erie.

Jenn Patterson

Preschool Aide

Mrs. Patterson attended Bob Jones University and graduated in 2005 with her Associates in Office Administration and a Bachelors in Practical Christian Training. She has been part of the RMCA community since 2012 and is excited to be part of the Early Education team! Mrs. Patterson grew up in Colorado and can't imagine living anywhere else - she still finds the mountains amazing! She has 3 kids who attend RMCA. In her free time she loves playing with her kids and enjoying new adventures together. She attends FaithPoint church in Longmont.

Ruxy Papineau

Preschool Aide

Ruxy Papineau has lived in Colorado most of her life, which is an easy place to explore her love of Photography. She and her husband, Andre got married in 2009 and have since lived in 4 states! They are now settled in Erie, Colorado, with their 3 girls who attend RMCA. She is excited to be part of the RMCA Family and currently serves in the Preschool classroom. On the weekends, you can usually find her exploring the outdoors with a camera in her hand, cuddled up with a good book, or enjoying game night with close friends and family.

Betsy Weber

Admissions Coordinator/Registrar

Mrs. Weber transitioned to her current position as Admissions Coordinator/Registrar in the summer of 2015.  She began her time at RMCA as a fourth grade teacher in 2005.  She taught third and fourth grades at RMCA for 10 years. Mrs. Weber grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Estes Park, Colorado after graduating from Hanover College, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education.  She taught third and fourth grades for six years in Estes Park before moving to Erie with her family.  She and her husband, Derek, attend Rocky Mountain Christian Church.  Both of their daughters attended RMCA.

Melissa Young

Accounting

Melissa Young grew up in Oklahoma and moved to Colorado in 1991.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor's degree in Personnel/Human Resource Management.  Melissa married her high school sweetheart and they have a son, a daughter, and a domestic farm containing 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 guinea pig.  Both children attended RMCA.  Melissa worked at the school in various roles until she transitioned into her current role in Accounting in 2016.  

Alison Sullivan

Executive Assistant

Alison Sullivan grew up in Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in Communication and a minor in Elementary Education. Before joining RMCA staff, she served overseas on college campuses. Mrs. Sullivan lives in Firestone with her husband and son. They enjoy going to the movies and cooking together, as well as hanging out with their friends. The Sullivans attend Calvary Bible Church in Erie.

Emily Frink

Office Manager

Emily Frink started working as the Office Manager at RMCA in March 2020. Mrs. Frink got her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University. She worked in the field of adoption as a caseworker for about five years before starting at RMCA. Mrs. Frink is a Colorado native and enjoys spending time outdoors and camping with her husband, Daniel. She also loves reading, baking, watching movies, and traveling.

Heather Adams

Classroom and Office Aide

Heather Adams has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Northern Colorado. The Adams family has been sending their children to RMCA since 2011. After many years of being a parent volunteer in the classroom, Heather joined the RMCA staff as a teacher aide and office aide in 2019. Heather enjoys spending time with her family, and cooking yummy gluten free food. Heather and her family attend Grace Church in Longmont, Colorado.

“You, dear people, are torch-bearers, bearing the lights. It is not because we are clever, not because we know more, but because it has been our good fortune that a philosophy of Education has come our way, our vocation has led us.”
Charlotte Mason