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Kelly Molinet, Head of School and Executive Director

Kelly earned a BFA in Art History and Music from Syracuse University. She began a lifelong career in education working with urban youth at the Rescue Mission. Over the past two decades, Kelly has worked with nonprofit organizations in the U.S., Honduras, Russia, and Costa Rica as an educator, advocate, fundraiser and program director. After teaching music, history, and Latin at a private school, she earned a Masters in Inclusive Special Education from Syracuse University while completing the prestigious Syracuse Urban Inclusive Teacher Residency. She taught at an inner city school in New York before moving to Colorado in the fall of 2015.

Kelly has lived out her personal passion for music as a performer, voice teacher, choir director and has written and directed numerous musicals for young people. In her free time, Kelly hangs out with her six children playing and coaching soccer, having dance parties in the kitchen and exploring Colorado.

 

“I am eager to combine my experience in nonprofit work and education to support and further the mission of September School: progressive, relational education in a supportive community that fosters lifelong learning.” —Kelly

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Dan Beliveau, Mathematics Teacher & Academic Dean

 

Dan carries a Bachelor of Science in Traditional Mathematics from George Mason University along with many years as a tutor and assistant teacher in mathematics. Dan’s diverse interests and advanced knowledge also enable him to tutor students in a wide range ofother subjects including science, Spanish, and SAT and ACT prep.  His contributions play a key role in helping keep students stay on track and succeed academically.

 

Too many students are taught to approach the subject of math with disdain and apprehension. Math can be a lot of fun if taught correctly.” —Dan

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Angela Beloian, Art Teacher

 

 

Angela Beloian received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has exhibited her work throughout the United States. Her paintings are included in public and private collections and her work has been displayed on the exterior of the Performing Arts Complex in Denver, Colo.  She served on the Visual Arts Committee for the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder and the Teacher Advisory Committee for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Her involvement in September School includes teaching Studio Art and Yearbook  as well as leading students on trips to Santa Fe, Chicago and Patzcuaro, Mexico.  Angela also leads our Visiting Artist Program.

 

Watching students grow as I coach them in their studio practice brings me an immense amount of joy and inspiration.” —Angela Beloian

 
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Rob Donoho, Science Teacher

 

Rob holds a degree in geology from the University of Colorado and a BFA from Boston University. He has been a big part of September High School since 1988, teaching courses in physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, photography, outdoor education, and more.  Rob is a former mountaineering instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is certified as a Wilderness First Responder through the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. In addition to providing reliably rigorous and engaging instruction, Rob has long shown his commitment to September High School by leading students on school trips around the country and the world.

 

We have a strong sense of community among the staff and students. Alternative educators need alternative students.” —Rob Donoho

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Eitan Fire, Social Studies Teacher

 

Eitan earned his undergraduate degree in liberal arts at St. John’s College, the nation’s third-oldest school. He lived in Israel, where he had the opportunity to solidify his understanding of Hebrew. Eitan pursued his interest in teaching by working first at The Santa Fe Children’s Museum and then at a Boys and Girls Club in Portland, Oregon. He gained critical tools to become the best teacher possible by earning his Masters in Teaching at Lewis & Clark College. Since then, Eitan has returned to his hometown of Boulder and spent five years teaching in the public school system including three years in the Boulder Valley School District.

 

“I strive to ensure that all of my students feel supported and valued by me regardless of where they are in terms of understanding, their values, and/or beliefs. I work with all of my students to help them grow into confident adults and positive role models.” – Eitan Fire

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Leslie Gustason, Guidance Counselor

 

Leslie brings an Master of Arts in counseling and 30 years experience in counseling and education to September School. She focuses on genuine, authentic and trustworthy relationships. Leslie creates a safe, open atmosphere for students to freely discuss their thoughts and feelings in both one-on-one sessions and larger gatherings. In addition to providing support to our students, Leslie teaches classes such as Mind-Body Wellness and Group Class to promote positive growth, stress management and well being. While our students navigate the turbulent teen years, Leslie offers support and encouragement and works with students’ parents, guardians and therapists to better understand and assist our students.

 

Students begin to trust and share, explore their thoughts and feelings, and learn how to have compassion and respect for themselves and others.” —Leslie Gustason

 

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Jeff Hamilton, PE, Health and Performing Arts Teacher

 

Jeff backs up his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Anthropology with a black belt and 25 years teaching martial arts.  Our performing arts instructor since 1993, Jeff also teaches basketball and weightlifting along with classes like Chi Kung, Art of the Sword,  and Human Issues. Jeff’s wilderness and leadership trips often prove to be life changing for our students, and his daily all-school community class is part of the fabric of our school program.  “I have the freedom to be who I really am here,” Jeff says, “and I love that I have the opportunity to form real, authentic relationships with my students.”

 

September School offers the chance to help students establish and solidify their values at a time when they’re questioning the reality of everything in their lives.” —Jeff Hamilton

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Eve Halpern, Guidance Counselor & Mindfulness Teacher

 

Eve Halpern completed her undergraduate degree in 2000 at Tulane University in New Orleans, where she majored in Spanish and Gender Studies.  She continued in interdisciplinary studies, receiving her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York, N.Y. in 2004, and completed 30 credits at University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) in the History of Consciousness PhD program. Currently, Eve is enrolled full-time in Naropa’s Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Psychology MA program.  Eve has worked extensively with adolescent, and children.  She has run leadership camps for 10-16 year-olds for almost 2 decades, has worked with undergraduate college students as a teacher’s assistant in the UCSC Education Department and has taught high school for almost a decade over the past 15 years.  She has lived abroad in both Spain and Mexico and has traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe and beyond.   She loves teaching at September School and enjoys the creativity of her position and the deep connections she gets to form with students.

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Sarah Leversee, Finance and HR Manager

 

Sarah has extensive nonprofit management experience, and years of success in providing finance, marketing and organizational support to a variety of small businesses and nonprofits.  Sarah holds a BS in Advertising, a BA in Studio Art, and a Minor in Dance from CU Boulder. Her diverse resume includes: Communications/Events Specialist for Dairy Center for the Arts; Operations Manager for Griff/SMC Communications and Adjunct Professor in Dance at Red Rocks Community College.  Sarah is the Artistic Director of Art as Action, a collaborative community of performing Artivists in the Denver and Boulder communities, which she founded in 2002.  Striving to be a “functional artist”,  Sarah places a high value on passion and creativity in process and is also deeply committed to efficiency and excellence in results.

 

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Liz Rhodes, English Teacher

 

Liz Rhodes earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her Masters in Education at University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to finding a home at September School, Liz taught secondary English in St. Vrain Valley School District and in Mapleton Public Schools. Liz chose to teach English because she believes studying literature has the power to help readers contemplate diverse points of view and explore new ways of viewing and living in the world. While she believes that the ability to read and write effectively is crucial to students’ future success, Liz’s primary reason for becoming a teacher is to be a positive, reliable, and deeply caring presence for students fighting through difficult school years. She loves teaching at September School because of the community’s focus on meeting each student where they are and because of the close, genuine student-teacher relationships. In addition to teaching, Liz loves to travel, read, and go on outdoor adventures with her dog.

 

“Students learn best in an accepting environment that allows them to explore, take risks, and try new ways of living in the world. September School community members give one another permission to show up as their authentic selves, allowing deep learning and personal growth to occur. ” – Liz Rhodes

 

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Robyn Trent, Development Coordinator

 

Robyn earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in English. After teaching in independent schools and colleges, she began working in the corporate world. She was an assistant vice president for an investment banking firm and corporate communications manager for a publicly held company. After leaving these businesses, she returned to education, where she was director of development for several schools. She has also served as a development consultant for schools, a hospital, a library, and start-up nonprofits.  Robyn and her husband moved to the Boulder area in 2013.

 

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with September School’s outstanding faculty, staff and students.”– Robyn Trent

 

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Risaun Simmons, The Lunch Lady & Culinary Arts Coach

 

Her name means, “One Who Inspires”. Risaun Simmons is an inspired visionary and culinary artist whose passion for food began at a very early age. As she stood counter height in her Nana’s kitchen, she curiously observed the preparation of many meals. Growing up, Risaun always experienced high levels of love and gratitude whenever she enjoyed good food. As a result, her passion for creating flavorful food infused with love and gratitude has been the driving force behind all that she creates and serves.

Risaun is passionate about inspiring and raising up a new power generation of visionaries and culinary artists who will be naturally devoted to infusing their own unique flavor into the world. She says, “So many people talk about how to change the world. How we show up to the world (our own neighbors and local community first) magnetizes what shows up for us. I enjoy showing up in state of love and gratitude while creating experiences that radiate the essence of classic hospitality accompanied by the contemporary flare of beautiful creativity.”

Risaun is a devoted wife to her husband, Moxxy, and mother of four daughters. She possesses a deep love for the city of Boulder and humanity united as One.

 

“I enjoy sharing my flavor of love and gratitude. I cook and serve with a bright attitude. Be bold and share your flavor too! Our world is more beautiful as we all do.” - Risaun

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Sean Kloppenburg, Health and Social Studies Teacher

 

Sean is working on a master’s in education at Naropa and has a Bachelor of Science in Heath and Exercise Science from Colorado State University. He is a certified Health Education Specialist and has taught in Boulder Valley School District. Sean teaches the Life Skills (health and financial literacy) and Cultural Geography courses.

 

“My peoples shall pry into no book… till they’re able not only to comprehend what they are to read, but also distinguish perfectly well, good from bad; truth from falsehood, reality from chimera; and probabilities from absurdities… my pupils shall never believe what I tell them because I tell it them, but because their own senses and understandings convince them that is true.”  -Joseph Neef

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Art Atkison, English Teacher

 

Art earned a Bachelors and Masters in English. After teaching English in independent schools and colleges for 30 years, Art became headmaster of a large, independent school. Upon retirement, Art and his wife moved to Florida before relocating to Boulder in 2013.

 

“Education is life itself…the self is not ready-made but something in continuous formation through choice of action..the person who thinks learns as much from failures as from successes.” -John Dewey

 

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(G)nosis, Music Teacher

 

(G)nosis is a celebrated artist using the abundance of his time and talents to change the world. He has worked extensively in the entertainment industry and with nonprofit organizations worldwide, for over the past two decades. He began his career at the age of 5 years old dancing on stage with MC Hammer where he would solidified his genuine love for music, and the culture of entertainment. Over the years, his career would lead him to become a solo artist, published poet, national television host, director, CMJ Hip-Hop Top 40 artist, philanthropist and teacher. (G)nosis’ music has been licensed through MTV, VH1, Oxygen, Discovery Network and more, having the the pleasure of working with artists ranging from Richie Sambora to the late Heavy D. After years of being in the music business, he realized that artists are only built and destroyed by their lack of self-understanding (their message) - prompting him to spend the last five years creating and teaching a class he calls “The Art of The Artist”. While his background may be nontraditional, (G)nosis’s experiences have given him an authentic advantage of what it means to stand in your truth as an artist, in a world of critics. (G)nosis teaches through the universal language of music and has an unwavering passion to give back - inspiring artists to become the artists that they probably never knew, they already were.

"You have everything you need, at every point, or every day... Trust the process!" - (G)nosis

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Melita Gump, Math Teacher

 

After earning her Mathematics and Secondary Education degree from CU, Melita went straight into teaching High School in Boulder. Her favorite classes to teach are Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus, with Arts and Crafts close behind.  Melita's experience with diverse students in alternative settings makes her a great addition to the September School community. 

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Helen Satchwell, Spanish Teacher

 

Helen earned B.A. in English Pedagogy while living in Santiago, Chile, graduated with a B.A. in Linguistics from CU Boulder, and recently finished her MA at CU’s Spanish & Portuguese Department. Climbing, cats and code-switching are her passions.  

When Helen isn’t teaching, she rock climbs and hangs out with her cats. It is her dream to form a women’s climbing team. Helen also loves television, performance and cooking and is known to binge-watch George Lopez’s stand-up while making curry or cookies. “George Lopez plays with code-switching between English and Spanish in a way that is unique to the people he gives a voice to. He’s a hilarious genius!”

Helen has always wanted to be a teacher and help others express themselves. She strongly believes that learning another language is not only a useful skill, but an empowering one! 

 

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” - e.e. Cummings 

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David Cumming, Director of Administration

 

After writing for newspapers and magazines in New York City, David zig-zagged from Colorado and California summer camp and outdoor education programs looking for inspiration and community. As a journalist and photographer, he constantly seeks to understand the stories that drive our day-to-day. And through mentoring and training staff, coaching youth and adults, he's seen a lot of transformation by living and learning in community. These moments are most important for him as an educator: when someone feels an internal shift and understands their own power to change their worldview.

“I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment." - Joan Didion