Superintendent, Dr, Darrin M. Peppard, Ed. D., proudly welcomes new staffulty to the West Grand school district team: “Not only do we have new faces, but we also have some faces we know in new roles. This group brings some great energy and experiences and, along with the new early childhood center crew, they represent a new day in West Grand. This is going to be a great year!”
West Grand k-8 Principal Jack Daly grew up in K-8 principal Wyoming, but has lived and taught in Colorado since 2000. Daly taught social studies in eastern Colorado in small rural districts for 16 years, and he’s worked for the last three years as the 6-12 principal in North Park, Walden. “I was prompted to work for the West Grand school district by the wonderful things I’ve heard about the work happening here and the great staff,” Daly assures. Principal Daly graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2000 with BS in Secondary education-Social Studies and a minor in history and from Adams State University, as well as a Masters in ED- Educational Leadership in 2017. Additionally, Daly currently serves as the director on the Colorado Council of Social Studies. “I am excited to help support the staffulty as they work with the students of West Grand. I bring the experience of working in a rural district and a strong belief in educating the entire child.
It is very important that we support our students as people and help them prepare to learn,” Daly shares. “I look forward to working with our great staff and getting to know the wonderful people of West Grand. In particular,
I am excited to help implement the ideas of the Renaissance in our school and community to help our young people make a positive impact in the future.”
New High School Biology and Robotics teacher, Angie Daly joins the West Grand Biology & Robotics team along with her husband, Principal Jack Daly.
“We come from North Park, but I grew up in Flagler, Colorado, on our family’s farm and ranch,” Angie Daly shares. Daly graduated from Colorado State University with a BS degree in Agriculture Education and has fifteen years of teaching experience, including teaching health, science, language arts, and agriculture education. “I spent last year teaching science at North Park but also work for a curriculum company, CEV, for Career and Technical Education,” Daly explains. Daly is excited for her family to be in the Kremmling community and the West Grand School District, which “Has been so welcoming to Jack, myself, and our girls Emma and Allie.”
Liz Gritschke grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, before attending college at the University of Colorado. Prio to beginningbeginning her career as a second grade teacher for the West Grand school district, Gritschke has taught K-5 in Summit, Eagle and Grand counties since 1995, and she’s called Kremmling home for over 5 years. “I am joyful to be working in the community in which I live,” Gritschke shares. In addition to her vast teaching experience, Gritschke brings her passion for reading and growing fresh organic vegetables and eggs from her Grand River Farm “Just east of town.”
New middle school science teacher, Katie DeBell, grew up in Westminster, and has lived in Kremmling for the last 17 years. DeBell is raising her two daughters, who will be attending Kindergarten and 2nd grade at West Grand Elementary, with her husband, Jim DeBell, on a ranch just outside of town, alongside the family’s two dogs. DeBell brings a wealth of community leadership in addition to her advanced education: “I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with our daughters for the last seven years. During that time, I created and ran the weekly Kremmling Play Group, started and organized the Trick or Treat Street at Cliffview every Halloween, became a Girl Scout Leader, have led a few programs for the Kremmling and Hot Sulphur Summer Reading Programs, and led a variety of field trips to the Kremmling Cretaceous Ammonite Site.” DeBell holds a degree in Geology from the University of Northern Colorado with minors in physics and math, as well as a Masters in Education–secondary curriculum, instruction and assessment–from Jones International University in Centennial, CO. DeBell shares, “I look forward to sharing my love of science with the kids and creating a learning environment that is fun, welcoming, supportive, safe and respectful. I pour my heart into whatever I work on, and I could not be happier to be a Mustang. GO WEST GRAND!”
West Grand’s new high school Vocational Education teacher, Autumn Rompf, has always wanted to live in Colorado.
“I come to West Grand wanting to create a new home for myself and start my career as an Agriculture Teacher,” Rompf explains. Originally from Normanna, Texas, Rompf earned her Bachelors in Agriculture Services and Development with a Teaching Certificate from Tarleton State University. Rompf brings student-teaching and FFA experience to West Grand and plans on participating in the community church and town events throughout the year.
“I am already loving the mountains and getting to explore in my free time,” Rompf smiles. “I am excited to offer the school district my passion for agriculture, to get the school year started, and to see the impact this community has on my life and career.”
Kindergarten teacher, Laura Karbach, decided to join West Grand because, “I wanted be part of a close-knit community both in and out of school.” Karbach grew up in Pennsylvania, where her mother taught school.
“I have pretty much been a teacher all my life,” Karbach shares. Karbach received her Bachelors degree in Elementary and Special Education, as well as a BA in Psychology and Masters in Literacy from Wagner College and has taught students in Brooklyn, New York and Frisco, Colorado, before recently moving to Kremmling.
“I am excited to offer a diverse background in teaching experiences as well as a passion for educating to help the students grow both academically and as community members,” Karbach says. Karbach also plans to coach: “I love sports and have always been an athlete.” (She was a division 1 college water polo goalie and assistant coach.) Karbach looks forward to knowing the community and, “I am looking forward to getting to know my students better and providing them with a fun and safe environment to learn, explore, and grow.
Assistant K-8 Administrative Assistant to the Principal, Theresa Howard, was born in Kremmling, started her education in Summit County, moved to Wisconsin, and graduated college before making a lap around the United States to work for a national restaurant chain as a managing partner.
“I took a period of time off to focus on raising my children, and decided to continue my education,” Howard explains. Howard holds an Associates Degree in Medical Administration Management and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science Administration Degree in early 2020. “I moved back to Kremmling almost two years ago, and you will find me fly fishing on a good day,” Howard shares. Her children are active in robotics and sports,
“So there’s a good chance I will be spotted out and about in the community that I call home,” Howard notes. Howard feels blessed to be part of the West Grand School District: “I am truly looking forward to being part of such a community-driven organization.”
Melissa Siderfin, Kremmling Elementary’s new fourth-grade teacher, worked in pharmaceuticals in England before moving to Colorado and earning a Master’s degree in Education from Western State Colorado University. Siderfin has taught elementary school at Silverthorne Elementary and is honored to bring her experience to the West Grand team. “I am an avid and passionate reader, and I believe that learning to read is the foundation of elementary education,” Siderfin shares. “My core belief is
to encourage all children because they are capable of great things.”
New K-8 music teacher in Kremmling, Misty Lamb, “Moved here for the winter and stayed for the summer.” Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lamb moved to Winter Park in 2006 to work as a ski instructor, but “As much as I love skiing and snowboarding, nothing can top all the summer activities of hiking, horseback riding, biking, and rafting,” Lamb shares. Lamb has been serving Grand County as a substitute teacher and longing to return to teaching music. “When I saw the position open up here in West Grand, I jumped at the opportunity,” Lamb smiles.
“I used to work in Kremmling years ago, as the manager of Bank of the West, so I was already familiar with the community, and I’m excited to come back.” Lamb holds a Bachelors in Music from Oklahoma Baptist University with a minor in elementary education, as well as a Masters in Music with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Baylor University. Lamb has taught music classes and private piano lessons at both universities attended. From there, Lamb continued teaching in Waco, Texas, upon graduation.
“Substituting for East Grand School District these past few years has made me realize how much I want to teach again,” Lamb explains. “I am incredibly happy to offer my excitement and ideas to the district. I work hard to bring fun into the music classroom. We will be doing some concerts throughout the year, and I look forward to the community coming to enjoy those. West Grand is a family that I am looking forward to being a part of.”
Originally from Arkansas, Carrie Brown, West Grand’s new K-8 ELL and Special Education Paraprofessional, has lived in Colorado for nearly five years and recently moved to Kremmling after her husband transferred to the Green Mountain Power Plant from the Estes Power Plant. Brown is excited to bring her six years of experience: “I enjoy kids and learning. I am looking forward to getting to know people in the community, and I am really looking forward to working with the amazing professionals at WGSD.”
Gabrielle Willson, a K-8 paraprofessional, was born and raised in Kremmling and attended West Grand schools K-12. “I want to get into the school that gave me my education and helps the kids in whatever way I can,” Willson explains.
Willson holds an Associate of Science degree, an Exercise Science, Personal Training Certificate (ACSM), and a Coaching Certificate. Willson previously coached a 6th-grade girls basketball team at the B.E.A.S.T facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming. “I love sports have a great passion for helping the kids. I would love to participate in as many sporting events as I can, whether that is as a coach or a volunteer,” Willson shares. “I look forward to meeting all the kids and seeing how they can change my life, and hopefully I will in return change theirs, too.”
Dillan Sammons has accepted the position of Assistant Technology Coordinator, so “Coach Pesch can’t call me a knucklehead, anymore,” she laughingly says. A Kremmling local, she attended West Grand schools and honed her technology schools in the work place. She recently worked for the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort.
Originally from Minnesota, Kelly Moffett holds a bachelor of fine arts from Bowling Green University. Moffett begins this year as the new K-8 Art Teacher, and looks forward to “Seeing all the beautiful artwork the students will be producing.”
West Grand Childcare Staff
A familiar face in a new, prominent role is Rhonda Ilgner, now serving the community as Director of the West Grand Early Childhood Center. Ilgner has been working for the school district for years, most recently as a first- and second-grade teacher and she brings a wealth of experience and education with her. In fact, Ilgner’s career began in 2000 as a paraprofessional, working with young children in Summit County. From that role, Ilgner went on to earn her Bachelors in Elementary Education, a Masters in English Language Learning, and Ilgner currently holds a Director Certificate in Early Childhood Education. Ilgner notes that when Dr. Peppard worked to establish an early childcare center, he sent out an email to prospective staff who might be able and qualified to help, and Ilgner stepped up to the plate, assisting in every step of the process. Ilgner has worked with local and state officials to secure licenses, materials, employees and credentials to bring this much-need service to alleviate Kremmling’s “Daycare Desert” situation. “It was a partnership amongst the entire community to make this happen,” Ilgner insists.
A Kremmling native, Symantha Seltzer, will teach as an Early Childhood Center Paraprofessional. Seltzer chose West Grand because “It’s home!” Seltzer looks forward to working with the “Awesome staff.”
Susan Steuben begins as a Paraprofessional at the Early Childhood Development Center. From Grand Lake, Steuben chose to work at West Grand because of its “Team- and family-oriented reputation, which ripples throughout the community.” Steuben looks forward to having a positive impact on “The littles” of the community. She explains, “I grew up in Grand Lake and have lived in large cities throughout my adult life, but I find I’m at peace being back in the folds of a small-town environment.”
Talea Moore, an Early Childhood Center Paraprofessional, is currently attending courses for her Large-Center Director license and wrapping up her Associates degree. A Colorado Native, Moore was born in Vail and raised in nearby Eagle. Moore serves West Grand as the Lead Teacher for infants at the Early Childhood Development Center and has been working with children for the past seven years. She shares,
“I heard wonderful things about the people and school district, so when my husband and I were looking to move out of Eagle, Kremmling was a top choice.” Moore looks forward to
“Meeting everyone in the community and working with the kiddos.”