I am starting at Rock Canyon in 2007 and teaching high school science in 1985. I began my teaching career in Phoenix, AZ and spent 22 years teaching Science and some Social Studies in high school. I have taught mostly Chemistry and Human Anatomy and Physiology here at RCHS. I earned a Bachelors of Science at Western Illinois University and my Masters Degree in Secondary Science Education, from Northern Arizona University. I love sports, from coaching to watching, unfortunately not as much participating as I use to do.
My wife (who teaches Math here at RCHS) and I have 4 children, all which are in or have gone through the Rock Canyon feeder system.
I am a native to Illinois and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Integrative Biology and Chemistry. After college, I moved to Chicago where I completed my Masters degree in Secondary Education with a Biology concentration at DePaul University. I taught for three years at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago until my fiance and I decided to relocate to Colorado in 2017. I spent two years teaching Science in Aurora, CO until finding my home here at RCHS. I love being a Jag! For all classes, I use Schoology for a class website and posted materials. I am available during Access and can be reached most easily by email. In my free time I love enjoying everything Colorado has to offer, especially skiing and hiking. I enjoy both playing and watching sports and root for Chicago sports teams!
I use Schoology for my class websites but this is a place to find my contact information and learn a little about me. I began teaching at Rock Canyon in 2009. My passion in education is developing and facilitating inquiry-based labs and activities that expand my students’ critical thinking skills. I have a BS in Wildlife Biology, a certificate in secondary science education and a MS in Epidemiology. Thanks for visiting, please feel free to contact me at any time.
I started teaching at Rock Canyon in 2017 and have been teaching since 2010. I got my degree in Physics and Astronomy at Brigham Young University and completed a Masters in Science Education at Boston University in 2010. I spent my first six years as a teacher living in Boston (note: not a Patriots fan) and teaching at Westwood High School in Massachusetts and am excited to now be teaching physics at RCHS. When I’m not at school you can find me playing strategic board games, making food, dragging my kids on hikes, and doing home improvement projects.
My name is Jeff Nichols. I moved to Colorado in 2014 with my wife Jen and my two children Jack and Ellie. We love the outdoor active Colorado lifestyle and are here to stay. I spend much of my summers taking my children on hikes and biking all the trails we have here in Colorado. We love finding new adventures. I have been teaching since 2006 and have been at Rock Canyon since 2015. I have taught biology, microbiology, physical science, and chemistry. I graduated from Oregon State University (GO BEAVERS!) with a BS in microbiology and a minor in chemistry. I received my M.A.T. from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR in 2006. I am an avid runner and have coached cross country. I have also competed in Ironman triathlons. Most recently I completed the Boulder Ironman in the summer of 2018. Chemistry is an amazing subject that surrounds us in our daily lives. My goal is to get students to think critically about their surroundings as well as be able to problem solve. Science is about so much more than memorizing facts. Most importantly it is about learning how to think your way through a problem and applying that idea to all of life. Remember that according to the Ironman Motto “Anything is Possible” as long as you believe that failure is not an option.
I started teaching at Rock Canyon in 2015. I have taught Honors Biology and AP Environmental Science in Western North Carolina for four years. Before that, I taught middle school science for ten years. I worked as a Park Naturalist in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation center. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology (Purdue University, 1999) and a Master of Arts in Teaching (Western Carolina University, 2003). I enjoy traveling, exploring, mountain biking, skiing and baking.
I am a Colorado native and proud alumni of CSU where I studied Natural Sciences and Microbiology. I have been teaching science since I did my student teaching here at Rock Canyon in 2016. I have been a teacher in both Colorado and California, and have taught Biology, Zoology, and Forensic Science classes. Outside of academics, I am a wife and mother of one little girl. My family, friends, and faith are most important to me. I enjoy traveling, hiking, camping, and all things Colorado. I am a big believer that learning truly can be fun and I am excited to be back here at Rock Canyon with an amazing staff of educators that prove that!
I am a Colorado native, born and raised in Denver. Upon graduating from Littleton High School, I joined the Air Force where I currently serve in the Colorado Air National Guard. While in the Guard, I have worked as a Hazardous Materials Technician, Emergency Manager, and am now a Munitions Systems Specialist. I have served just over six years and look to serve many more to come. After completing basic training in 2008, I started school at Colorado State University in the Spring of 2009. After completing my student teaching here at Rock Canyon High School, I received my Bachelor’s in Natural Science with a concentration in Biology Education in the Winter of 2013. Here at Rock Canyon, I help with the Girls Basketball team, as well as Track and Field. This is not only my first year hear at Rock Canyon, but is also my first year teaching. I will be teaching Biology, Chemistry, and Earth and Environmental Science. Outside of school, I enjoy the outdoors- hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, playing sports, and running in races where I am looking to do my first full marathon. I am thrilled to be here at Rock Canyon and am looking forward to all of the fun this year has in store!
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Welcome to Ms. Hinton’s science classes!! I am a true science “nerd” and I hope to inspire all of my students to appreciate how fun science can be. I started teaching in 2007 in Miami, Florida. I taught honors and regular Earth and Space science for two years before moving to a brand new magnet school in downtown Miami as the lead forensic science teacher. I had the opportunity to teach all areas of science including biology, chemistry, AP chemistry, AP biology and AP environmental science. As the forensic science academy leader, I developed a four year forensic science curriculum for the students that included a dual enrollment certification and a biotechnology certification. In 2016, I decided to relocate to Colorado and was lucky enough to find a home at Rock Canyon High School teaching chemistry and forensic science. On the more personal side, I love to spend time outdoors which is one of the main reasons I chose to move to Colorado. I enjoy spending my free time up in the mountains, camping, and taking pictures. Photography has become one of my passions since I have been here. I can’t imagine anywhere with more beautiful scenery. I also love being in school myself. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in forensic science. In 2011 I went back to school and received a master’s degree in forensic chemistry from the University of Florida. I am currently enrolled in a second masters program through Colorado State University in Natural Sciences Education. Life is short and it moves fast. Find your passion and go for it!!!!!
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Welcome to the exciting world of Biology! I began teaching at Rock Canyon in 2014 after many years teaching in Washington and California. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of California at Davis and have been teaching Science since 2001. I enjoy spending my free time with my two future jag children outside hiking, swimming, or exploring Colorado.
My name is Anna Tesdahl and I teach Foundations of Physics, AP Physics 1 & 2, as well as AP Physics C. I started teaching in the fall of 2000 and have been at Rock Canyon since the fall of 2005. I am originally from Iowa and grew up on a farm. Yee-Haw!!! I received my BA in Physics with a minor in Chemistry from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. Go Knights!!! I also played college softball. I have earned my Master’s Degree in Education from Colorado Christian University. I have two little boys named Tanner and Ryley. I spend my free time chasing them around. I truly believe that Physics is not a subject to be afraid of. I want students to realize that Physics is around them every day and that it can be fun. Physics teaches more than just science, it teaches students to think outside the box and a new way to approach problems which are skills businesses look for in applicants. These skills are not limited to science only, they are applicable to any area that students are interested in. I hope students come to have an appreciation for how much Physics impacts their daily lives and changes the way they think. That’s why I always say ” Fizix is FUN…that’s why they both start with F”!
I am a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado where I received my bachelors in Biology with an emphasis in Secondary Education and have also obtained my Masters in Education. This is my tenth year teaching and my first year at Rock Canyon. I am very excited to be a Jag! I am a native to Colorado and have a love for hiking and camping. Each year my husband and I pick a number of national parks to visit for the summer in hopes to one day visit all of them. This year we took our one year old daughter out for her first national park camping trip. My philosophy in life and in learning is to have fun and to never stop trying to learn new things.
I am the Introduction to Biotechnology teacher at Rock Canyon High School. I started working at Rock Canyon when the building opened in 2004 and have been happily working here ever since! Prior to working at Rock Canyon High School I taught 8th grade in Longmont and Biology in Loveland. Rock Canyon is a wonderful school, second to none, filled with amazing staff and students! I am very fortunate to get to work at this school! I absolutely LOVE teaching biotechnology. It enables me to teach students howscience is being used in the real world to solve problems and conduct research. Students perform hands on activities and labs that are fun, relevant, and meaningful. All the while they develop skills that are enabling them to move forward to compete for jobs and internships. In addition to the Introductory Biotechnology course, I also teach a Research in Biotechnology class called Principles of Experimental Design in Biotechnology. In this course, students conduct their own independent scientific research and go through the entire process scientists follow when conducting research. It will be a great experience for our students and will open many doors for them in the future. Students not only design and conduct their own scientific research, they also write a full text journal article that is published in our own journal and make a scientific poster that they present at science research symposium. There are so many things that I am very proud of as far as my teaching career goes. I have had many students get internships in different areas across the country as a direct result of this course. In addition to this, for two years in a row (2014 -15) I was recognized as a finalist for the Shell National Outstanding Science Teacher Award. I also was recognized in 2013 as the Douglas County Secondary Educator of the Year and in 2012 as the Colorado Bioscience Outstanding Educator of the Year. These and other recognitions I have received throughout my career are very important and meaningful to me. On a more personal level, in addition to being a teacher, I am a mother to two wonderful grade school children. They keep me busy and are so much fun to watch grow up! Nearly all of my free time outside of school is spent with them. We love to hike, geochache, ride bikes, swim, camp, and travel.
This is my first-year teaching at Rock Canyon. Prior to this I was a student teacher for the full 2017-18 academic year at Columbine High School. I am very excited to be a part of the RCHS community. I grew up in Littleton, graduating from Columbine and doing my university work through CSU and Metro State in Denver. I attained my teaching license through Western State in Gunnison, where I am currently working on my Master’s in Education degree. My wife, Amy Hommel, has been a Social Studies teacher here at RCHS since 2014 and my sister, Stephanie Walter, is the school nurse. Suffice to say we are a Jag family! Amy and I have two little boys, Miles and Noah, who love stealing each other’s toys. I look forward to meeting and working with you around RCHS.
I feel privileged to serve as a science teacher at Rock Canyon High School since arriving here in 2006. Prior to that time I served as a middle school science teacher in Jefferson County for ten years, starting “Sea Camp” marine science trips at 3 different schools. I also taught science and coached at a military boarding school in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. After earning my Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry at Iowa State University, I served as a Naval Officer in Pensacola, Long Beach and San Diego, California. Upon completion of my military service I returned to Iowa and earned my Masters in Science Education at the University of Iowa. In addition to coaching wrestling, I continue to sponsor the “Canyon Climbers” and have been climbing safely with students since 1995! I look forward to meeting and greeting you here at RCHS. Go Jags!
Jack Van Natta
My name is Jack Van Natta and I’ve enjoyed teaching Physics since 2015. I am originally from Montana but the Navy has taken our family to every corner of this great nation. I attended the United States Naval Academy and served as a Naval Flight Officer for 20 years. After that amazing career I worked as a consultant to the gas and oil industry until I decided to pursue the teaching profession. I have a BS in Oceanography and an MBA in International Business. My primary goal is to help students understand that Physics impacts their lives all day every day. I also believe that encouraging young people to think critically when confronted with challenges is essential to their success no matter what they pursue after high school.