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Meet the team! See teacher bios below!

Mrs. Lefferts

About Me: I grew up in Basking Ridge, NJ, and attended Alvernia College, in Reading, PA, where I majored in History, minored in Secondary Education, and earned a certificate in Secondary Education. I am starting my 21st year teaching, and am excited to start my second year at Mrachek Middle School. My husband works in the DTC and our children continue to be an integral part of our lives. Ian is starting 8th grade at Sky Vista Middle School. Anya is starting 6th grade at Sky Vista Middle School, and Duncan is starting 1st grade at Mountain Vista Elementary School. I look forward to working with the Mrachek community to ensure every student has the opportunity to shape his/her future. Website


About me: I grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa attended Marist Brother’s College from grade school all the way through high school. My professional education started at Dower College of Education where I received a Bachelor of Education majoring in Math and History. I subsequently finished a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Port Elizabeth with majors in History and Psychology. My teaching career began in South Africa where I spent 12 years teaching History, Math and Literacy to 8th-12th grade before moving to the US. My teaching experience includes instruction at all three school levels, namely elementary, middle and high school. In 2000 I moved to the US and taught 8th grade science and social studies for the first two years at Mrachek and then moved to Denver Public schools to pursue permanent residency. It was in Denver that I started teaching middle and high school math at Bruce Randolph 6th-12th. I returned to Mrachek in 2008 as a 7th grade math teacher.

I am married to my wife Michelle and we have two daughters who have just finished their schooling. Michelle works at Public Service Credit Union as a financial consultant. Melissa, my eldest daughter aged 25, completed her second degree (nursing) at CU Denver and works at University Hospital in the NICU. Kelly, aged 23, completed her Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and has started working as a therapist at a women’s correctional institution.

Job description:

My job is to accelerate learning for every student every day. I do my job by ensuring that each student increases in his/her ability towards proficiency in Math. My community needs me to do my job.

Vern John Mize

Position: Eighth Grade Literacy Instructor

Education: Metropolitan State College of Denver- Bachelor of Arts

University of Colorado in Denver- Certification in Secondary Education

About Me: I was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Shortly thereafter, I began my lifelong pilgrimage that has traversed no less than twenty different states in this great nation. I met my wife of fifteen years in years in Gainesville, Florida, in 1996. Together, we moved to Denver in 1997 so that she could pursue her Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Colorado at Denver. Bronwen’s desire passion for teaching was so infectious that I too decided to pursue a career in teaching, and so after receiving my bachelor’s degree from Metro, I also attended the University of Colorado at Denver to become certified as a secondary teacher. We have two children, Goran Alexander(12) and Hadrian Augustus(9), whom are also students in the APS district. I started teaching at Mrachek in 2012, and served as a sixth grade literacy instructor for the next three years. I am highly excited to move to the team structure this year while inspiring students to realize the power of reading and writing when performed with purpose.

Job Description: My job is to accelerate learning for every student, every day. I do my job by fostering viable relationships with students in order to encourage them to recognize and achieve the peak of their potential. My community needs me to do my job.

Mrs. Katie Nellis - Science

My name is Mrs. Katie Nellis and I will be guiding our 8th grade scientists along their science journey this year. I am a proud resident of Aurora where I live with my husband and our two young sons. I was born and raised in Northern California, and I have lived in Colorado for over 20 years. This year, our 8th grade scientists will explore many exciting topics in Physical Science. Our year will include Project-Based Inquiry encompassing the topics of energy, the nature of motion, and weather.

My job is to accelerate learning for every APS student every day. I do my job by leveraging the unique strengths of my students, being a part of the community, and demonstrating a love of learning. My community needs me to do my job.

Please visit my website for class content.

Mr. Morken - Health

Hello and welcome to Health Class! This is my first year at Mrachek and we are having a great time! The parents, staff and of course the students are great!

I live nearby in Parker with my wife and two rambunctious boys. We enjoy living in Colorado for all the distinct seasons and all the endless outdoor activities. The objective of my class is to give students the skills they need now as well as for the future to make healthy decisions and live their lives to the fullest. I want to brighten their day and look forward to coming to each class feeling better when they leave than when they came in.

I want to help them realize their individual responsibility for their own health and start to take ownership of it. I want to thank all of the parents for their support for all the activities we do in class to make the class as real world as possible. It is going to be a productive and fun year!

"Running water never goes stale: so you gotta just keep on flowing!" -Bruce Lee