Vanderhoof Special Education Providers

Orientation Video


Learning Specialist

I grew up in the Lakewood/Wheat Ridge area and am a JeffCo graduate. I went to elementary school at Slater, Everitt Middle School, and Wheat Ridge High School. I completed my undergraduate at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo with a degree in communication disorders.

In 2nd grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher and some of my first work was with children in the before and after care and summer camp at the YMCA. After my undergrad, it was my work as a 1 to 1 para-educator for a child with autism that really “sealed the deal” for me to work with kids with disabilities. After working with this child for 2 years, I went back to school to obtain a dual license for general education and special education, along with a masters in special education. I am currently in my 18th year of teaching and enjoy it every day!

I am married and have an 8 year old daughter. She is my world because she is kind, has an amazing smile, and makes me laugh every day. Her personality is one of a kind. We also have a dog named Pookie. We enjoy camping, bike rides, family time, playing games, and laughing. I love playing softball and scrapbooking.

Nycole Bennecke

Learning Specialist

I grew up in Southern California and moved out to Colorado in 2011. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Special Education from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am currently working on completing my master’s degree in Reading from Grand Canyon University and I should be finished February of 2021. I am excited to be returning to Vanderhoof for a 2nd year.

When I am not at school, I enjoy reading books, spending time with my family, and spending time outside. My husband and I have three daughters. As a family, we love to go outdoors to take hikes, go to rivers to play in the water, and take family road trips during the summer.

Rachel Switzer

Mental Health Provider

I grew up in San Diego, California and moved to Colorado in 2004 to attend CU Boulder and never left! I taught preschool in Boulder and Denver for 3 years before going to graduate school at Metro State, where I received my Master’s of Social Work in 2013. After graduating, I worked as a social worker doing case management for families living in Section 8 Housing and then became a school social worker in Jeffco, where I have been for the past 5 years. This is my second year at Vanderhoof and I am so proud to be part of this team and community. I became a school social worker because I love making connections and working with kids and their families in a creative and constantly changing environment. I enjoy helping students navigate different challenges and choices while helping them to be successful in school.

I am married to my wonderful husband, Nick, a web developer, and we have a 2-year-old son named Evan, a border collie mix named Zooey, and two cats. We love to spend time together playing with Evan, going for hikes, snowboarding, and visiting my family in Southern California.

Carol Ann Kennedy

Speech Language

I am very happy to have the opportunity to provide speech and language services with children at Vanderhoof this year!! I have had a wide range of experience as a speech language pathologist, working with children as young as three, and adults as old as eighty. I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of children,which fuels me in the work that I do here at Vanderhoof. With each child, I hope to further develop their speech and language skills for communicating, understanding of academics and their sense of self confidence in who they are. I greatly enjoy working with children and always enjoy our time together. The best part is when we get to laugh together!

I hold a Master's Degreee in Communication Disorders from Fontbonne College in St.Louis Missouri where I grew up. I moved to Colorado in 2007 for new adventure! I greatly enjoy living in Colorado and always appreciate the great weather here. When I am outdoors I may be gardening, walking, bike riding, and sometimes just sitting soaking up the sun. Indoors I enjoy reading, trying new recipes, and hope to be able to make more time this year for abstract painting. I enjoy visiting with family when time permits for traveling.