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.