2nd Grade

Glenda Baack

1:1 Paraeducator

Tara Dudenhoeffer

1:1 Paraeducator / School Technology Representative

Hi, I’m Tara! After living in the Austin, Texas area for almost 20 years, I relocated to Denver in 2015. I graduated with a degree in Social Work from Texas State University. I have held many positions as a Social Worker, but my favorite ones were always the ones where I worked with kids. I began working as a guest teacher with DPS in November 2016, and I was the designated guest teacher at Carson during Covid. I became an official Carson Cougar in 2021. I am currently a 1:1 in 2nd grade Math, and I am also the school technology representative for our school. This is my third year at Carson, and I cannot imagine that I could be happier anywhere else. I am proud to be a part of this great community.

When I am not at Carson, I enjoy traveling, reading, watching live music, and hiking with my dog, Nova Diggs.

Jess Piel

1:1 Paraprofessional

Another Colorado native and also Ms. Jenn’s youngest daughter!

Jess is a DPS graduate and Carson Alumni! She brings a special knowledge of the school and it’s character education program as well as building relationships with our students and creating a true sense of family.

Gauthier headshot

Emilie Gauthier


I am from Montreal, Canada, and I am native French speaker. I have been happy to call Colorado my home since 2010. I have taught at the elementary level for the past 13 years. I have a M.Sc. in Sociology as well as an endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education. I am a lifelong learner and I long to share my learning passion with my students. This is my fourth year at Carson and I feel so lucky to work with this amazing community!

In my free time, I enjoy spending family time with my husband Mike and our two boys Felix (9 years old) and William (6 years old), running and hiking.

Terri (Ryan) Ruffennach


I am a semi-native to Colorado. I attended Regis College and earned a BS in Business Administration. I worked in Commercial Real Estate as a Property Manager and Assistant to the Controller for three years. I quickly learned that the business world was not for me and returned to school at the University of Northern Colorado to earn my MA in Elementary Education.

I started my teaching career at Aurora Public Schools. After three years there I took a position at Clayton Charter School as a reading specialist until the school closed. I have been part of DPS for 26 years.

My husband (Bob) and I love to travel and we enjoy attending concerts. We have a crazy, fun dog (Phoebe) and a fairly calm cat (Enya).


Debbie Heinz


Hello. I am Debbie Heinz. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and an aunt. I am also a reader, a gardener, a yogi, a hiker/walker – plus on my best days I try to be mostly healthy, mostly positive, and, of course, mostly mindful and green. But, the most important thing about me is that I have always been a helper and an educator.

I have spent the last 25 years teaching a variety of grade levels in Denver Public Schools. (22 years at Steck Elementary, three years at Whittier Elementary. Prior to that I taught preschool and kinder at the Auraria Center. I live in the north Hilltop neighborhood and have grown to love this community. My three sons and my husband all attended the local Denver Public Schools. I am passionate about strong neighborhood public schools, supporting educators, and quality education for all learners.

I retired in July 2020 to be a helper for my extended family. Since that time I have missed having a school community to sink my roots into. I have missed having a school community in which to grow, learn and thrive. I am pleased to be joining Carson Elementary School this fall as a para educator/helper.


Beth Shuter

Science and Social Studies

I grew up in a suburb west of Chicago (River Forest), and moved to Boulder to go to CU for my undergrad. I have since graduated from DU and UND with additional degrees. The 2022-2023 school year will be my 21st year teaching and I am passionate about instilling a love of learning in my students and making school fun. At home I have a wonderful husband, Kris, and 2 beautiful kiddos that make me smile and laugh on a daily basis. Outside of school I love spending my time in Steamboat visiting my mom, exercising, and attempting to keep up with my energetic kids. Please come say hello, I’d love to introduce myself in person! Looking forward to a great year!