I grew up in Southwestern Colorado. If you have traveled to Mesa Verde National Park, the 4 Corners, or Durango you have been near my home town of Cortez. My Bachelor's was obtained at the University of Missouri-Columbia in Elementary Education with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. I began my teaching career as a 1st grade teacher in Kansas City, MO. Since I grew up a Colorado native, and have a love for the mountains I decided to move back to Colorado. There is no place like home! For 7 years I taught 2nd grade in Douglas County. During that time I met my husband Nic and we started a family. Nic and I have a 4 year old son named Hayden. He is the light of our life! In 2012, I decided to work towards my Masters as a Reading Specialist. Teaching a child to read is one of the most critical components in education today. Being someone who thrives on learning and challenge I decided to learn more about the intermediate side of education. During my first year of being a mom I moved to the Littleton School District and taught 5th grade part time my first year and full time my second year.
This year will mark my 13th year of teaching and my second year at Mountain Vista! I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of such a fabulous community. Third grade is a pivotal year and students start to become more independent. As students learn and grow they begin to have more responsibilities both inside and outside of the classroom. Each student is a contributing member of our classroom and school community. They all bring unique gifts and talents and as their teacher it's important that I help them succeed. There is no greater reward than to see students work hard and grow over the course of a year. My goal is to get to know your child's strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Together we will set goals, monitor progress, and work towards next steps of learning. My decisions are based on what is best for children. I set very high expectations for my students. Modeling, encouraging, and praising are all components to allowing children to reach their highest potential. However, before the academics piece can soar every teacher needs to build relationships with each and every student
When I am not teaching I enjoy going to the mountains with my boys to get away from the city life, hiking, traveling, reading, sharing my Usborne Books and More business with others, and playing and watching sports. Of course I am a huge Denver Broncos fan! I also love to follow my fellow alumni team, the Mizzou Tigers.
At Mountain Vista we "Dream, Believe, and Achieve." They will learn how to make safe choices, be trustworthy, show ownership for their learning, stay motivated, and be positive academically and socially. My unique gift is to teach students how to be problem solvers, critical thinkers, along with the importance and relevance to transfer skills and knowledge for the "real world."
Thank you for sharing your special gift with me, which is your child. I look forward to being part of your child's educational journey. We will dream, believe, and achieve together!
Hello Mountain Vista, my name is Christina Russell, and I am excited to be one of the 3rd grade teachers here at Mountain Vista Elementary! I grew up in Colorado Springs (Army kid) and attended the University of Colorado for an undergrad in Public Relations and Film. I continued my education by earning my master's degree, in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. I spent my previous five years as a teacher in Douglas County School District; two of those years were as a third grade teacher and in special education programs throughout the district. I believe that students learn best by "doing," and seek to engage all students by ensuring our learning in the classroom is differentiated and driven by student interests.
When not at Mountain Vista, I enjoy spending time with my four legged babies and husband out hiking, biking, camping, and enjoying all the wonders Colorado has to offer.
I look forward to partnering with our Mountain Vista Community in continuing to build a school where all dream, believe, and achieve! I look forward to shaping a learning community that is focused on academics, success, and best of all kindness.
Hi! My name is Krysta Zayac and I am so thrilled to be a part of the Mountain Vista Family. Having lived in Colorado my entire life, I believe that hiking and yoga are essential to happiness. I am a Cherry Creek School District alumni and value the in depth and enriching education that it has provided. Earning my Master of Arts in Education from the University of Northern Colorado is just one step in my life long journey of learning. Education is my passion and I believe that creating high expectations and a positive environment are essential to success. Fostering a strong classroom community is necessary for students to thrive and challenge themselves at school. My goal is to not only build strong relationships, but to inspire and motivate your children to do their best. I am excited to create a partnership with you and embark on this journey through 3rd