3rd Grade

Abby Ludens

Math
Abigail_Ludens@dpsk12.net

Hello, Carson community! My name is Abby Ludens, and I will be the new third grade math teacher. I am so excited to be joining the Carson community and I’m looking forward to an amazing school year!

This will be my second year as a classroom teacher. Last year, I taught second grade in St. Vrain Valley School District. I was part of their online program called LaunchED, which was fully virtual all year. It was an incredible experience! We more or less created the online program as we went, and got to develop our best practices for student learning, engagement, and social-emotional support during a really tough year. That experience really solidified for me that relationships with students are at the core of everything we do as educators. In such uncertain times, strong connections allow students to make the most of even a difficult situation.

I am very excited to be back in DPS, which is where I first fell in love with elementary education as a paraprofessional at Steele Elementary. As a para, I worked with students from first to fourth grades, but I spent the most time in second and third grade, which became my two favorites! I earned my Master of Arts in Teaching in 2020 from the University of Northern Colorado, including doing my student teaching at Bromwell Elementary from January to May 2020. It’s been an unusual couple of years in the education world, including learning how to teach on Zoom, and I am beyond excited for what this coming year will bring.

I live here in Denver with my husband, Ben, and our dog Freyja. We have been married for just over 4 years, but we first met in high school. We are both originally from Fort Collins, and I completed my undergraduate degree at Colorado State University. When I’m not teaching, I love reading, traveling, and knitting. I also love spending time outside, whether it’s gardening, hiking, or skiing, to enjoy the beautiful state we live in!

I am thrilled to be joining the Carson community and can’t wait to get to know you all more as we get started with this new school year.

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Amanda Caldwell

Literacy
Amanda_Caldwell@dpsk12.net

I grew up in Cleveland, OH, and moved to Colorado to attend CSU. I earned my degree in Natural Resources, Recreation and Tourism and my first years in education were leading outdoor programs on the environment. I later earned my teaching certificate from Humboldt State University. This is my 14th year teaching and my 7th year at Carson. I feel so grateful to be part of this community. I am currently completing a program to become a certified Mindfulness instructor. I enjoy incorporating mindful techniques into our daily classroom activities and hope to inspire students to use these skills in their daily lives.

When I am not at Carson, I enjoy spending time with my two kiddos, Olivia (14) and Owen (12). We love to read, play games, go for hikes in the mountains and we’ve recently started skiing! We are so lucky to live in beautiful Colorado!

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Desirae Souza

Science and Social Studies
Desirae_Souza@dpsk12.net

I received my BA in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education from the University of Colorado Denver. I will receive my Masters in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education May of 2021 from the University of Colorado Denver.

I have a strong passion for equity, social justice, and diversity within education.

My hobbies outside of work are reading, cooking, and spending time with my large family.

I have worked in DPS for 5 years and I am happy to be at Carson!

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Saralyn Voltz

2/3 D/HH
Saralyn_Voltz@dpsk12.net

I grew up in rural Illinois and attended Illinois State University where I got my Bachelors in Deaf Education and Special Education. Upon graduation, I taught K-2 at a behavioral school before moving near St. Louis to teach in deaf education. After deciding it was time for a move, I came out to beautiful Colorado. I have been teaching at Carson for 3 years and pursuing my Masters in Deaf Education.

In my spare time, you can find me enjoying the great outdoors hiking, skiing, or camping, swing dancing, at the theatre, or enjoying community with friends.

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Erica Kouzmanoff-Vymyslicky

D/HH STL
Erica_Kouzmanoff-Vymyslicky@dpsk12.net

I have been a teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing here at Carson since 2014 and a Senior Team Lead since 2016.  Through my career experiences as a teacher leader, MTSS coordinator, special education generalist, and teacher of the Deaf, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting students with a diverse range of skills and needs at the K-5 and 6-8 levels, from students receiving consultative services to those in a center-based placement.

I value creative problem solving and a strengths-based approach to designing engaging and individualized instruction for every student and apply this thinking to support the general education setting as an inclusive space by default. I love to take my lifelong interests of experiential and authentic learning, the scientific approach, and taking a risk to cultivate a community of learners who are curiously courageous and empowered through their learning.

Outside of school, you can find me busy making, breaking, and fixing things — fiber arts, assorted crafts, cooking, home improvement, gardening, furniture restoration…nothing is off limits. And also (of course!) being outdoorsy.