School Office Phone: 970.384.5200

Staff and Faculty

TRCS Teachers and Staff

Kindergarten and First Grade

Amy SpradlinAmy


Amy Spradlin is in her third year nurturing and teaching kindergarten and first graders at Two Rivers Community School. Her teaching career has spanned over twenty years, and her passion for the teaching craft has only gotten stronger. She has taught fifth grade, second grade, first grade and kindergarten. Amy completed a Masters in Reading from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to teaching, Amy spent six years as an academic coach. During this time, she mentored new teachers, provided feedback, and conducted staff development. During the coming year, she is excited to pursue a certification in Mindfulness for Educators as well as begin a second master’s program in counseling. Amy is supported by her husband, Dan Spradlin, who is a local farrier in the valley. In their spare time, they enjoy hiking, road biking, and traveling. William Butler Yeats, sums up Amy’s motto for teaching when he says,“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

Marisa Mills

Email: Marisa.Mills@tworiverscs.orgMarisa

Marisa Mills is in her third year at Two Rivers Community School. She will be teaching Kindergarten reading and writing and K/1 Project Based Learning. A little about Marisa…She is originally from Dayton, Ohio and her father was from Oaxaca, so Mexico became an integral part of her life as she was afforded the opportunity to visit family every summer and thereafter for many years. Marisa graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in elementary education with certification in bilingual education. During college, she spent a quarter working on her practicum in Puebla, Mexico. After college, Marisa’s first teaching job was full-time Kindergarten where she decided teaching younger students was her true passion and craft. She met and married Scott. They started in San Diego where she taught k/1 in a bilingual school. After their first child, Gregory was born, they moved back to Dayton to be closer to her family. Two years later, Michael was born. Marisa was a stay-at- home mom for 8 years but she kept up her teaching license, taught after-school Spanish and Catechism. She was hired as the teacher to start a Spanish Kindergarten Immersion School which has grown and continues today. In 1999, the Mills family relocated to beautiful Glenwood Springs, CO and they easily embraced this fascinating valley for the outdoor life that they still enjoy like hiking, biking and skiing. She taught ELL, first grade and kindergarten at Sopris Elementary for 15 awesome years and for Garfield Schools one year. Marisa completed her masters in Linguistically & Culturally Diverse Education with an emphasis on English Language Learners. She is prepared to dedicate, nurture, and to instill a love of learning for our youngest children in reading, writing and PBL. Marisa is looking forward to getting to know new families, partnering with TRCS families, and working with new staff in our beautiful, new school-it’s going to be an amazing year!

Cristina Mancinas

received_1530442823674805My name is Cristina Mancinas, I was born in a small town in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico. I am a proud mother of two daughters, one son and an adorable grandson. I have worked for the RFSD since 1996 where I gained many years of experience teaching dual-language models. During that time, I taught preschool, kinder, and first grade.  I graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts and Modern Languages. I absolutely love school, and enjoy passing my passion for learning on to my students. When I am not teaching, I enjoy reading, shopping, spending time with my family, and admiring the beauty of this valley.


Second, Third, and Fourth Grades

Alana Houseman


Alana Houseman grew up in Washington, D.C., speaking fluent Spanish in her early years. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Colorado College in History/ Political Science with an emphasis on Latin American and African Studies and a minor in Urban Studies. She later received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from CU Boulder, with an emphasis on Culturally and Linguistically Different Children. For five years, Alana taught third grade at Syracuse Arts Academy, in Syracuse, UT. Here, she focused on integrating the visual arts, movement, music, and theater into the curriculum for her third graders. Previously, she taught second grade for two years in Adams 12 School District on Colorado’s Front Range. Alana grew up vacationing with her family in their home in Marble, where she currently resides and enjoys the outdoors. She has been teaching 2/3 Literacy and PBL at TRCS for three years now. She is happy to help make TRCS a special school where all families, students, and the community feel welcome, and students learn curriculum through hands-on, engaging lessons and meaningful community- involved projects!

Lixy Alcorta 
Lixy Alcorta is excited to be back HOME at Two Rivers Community School!  She completed her student teaching there in 2014, came on staff in the spring, then made the decision to try out Portland, OR for a couple of years.  While in the Pacific Northwest, she taught 3rd grade for 2 years at an Expeditionary Learning school.  However, the Rocky mountains have been begging her to come back!  She has realized how truly special the Roaring Fork Valley is and is delighted to settle back into this magnificent mountain town.  Lixy is supported by her amazing husband (Jerry) and her two beautiful children, Grayson (10 yrs old) and Aubrey (8 yrs old), and her two energetic labradors, Ranger and Castle.  In her free time she enjoys rafting, paddleboarding, skiing, hiking, and hanging out with her family and friends. Lixy has a passion for teaching and focuses on each individual child in the classroom and their educational needs. She believes that students thrive in an environment that allows them to explore through discovery and inquiry.  One of the most important concepts she hopes to instill is a lifelong love of learning!

Tamarah Howard


Tamarah is a GSHS graduate. She attended the University of Colorado Boulder and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Creative Writing. After graduation, she moved to Tanzania in eastern Africa and began teaching in a local elementary school. It was there that she discovered her passion and realized what age group of students she’s interested in teaching. Teaching at a school with such limited resources has taught her how to really think outside the box and be creative using local knowledge to benefit each student. She is very excited to be apart of the community here at TRCS!

Richard Malone


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Richard’s first degree is a Bachelor’s in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Coming from a family of teachers, he went back to school to acquire a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  After working three years as 6th grade teacher on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, he earned his Masters Degree in Technology and Educational Integration with course work in Leadership. Mr. Malone has taught 3rd-6th grades over the past 13 years while working with diverse cultures.  His focus has been on bridging higher level thought through the integration of mind mapping by bridging reading and writing strategies to teach students to become lifelong learners.  He was recognized and promoted to train teachers as part of a leadership team for the Ruidoso School district before leaving New Mexico. Being an outdoor enthusiast, he enjoys exploring, camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and rafting.  Mr. Malone also taught himself to read music and play guitar.  He loves exploring challenges that require commitment, focus and determination in the process of achievement.  Richard enjoys helping others build self-confidence by working through their challenges to enhance their self-esteem. Richard was an avid rock climber for 18 years before leaving New Mexico, which includes American Mountain Guides training and certification for single pitch rock climbing instruction. He is very excited to develop an outdoor movement program that will help kids learn about themselves and help them to challenge their abilities using the surrounding community.

Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade

Joseph (Joe) Puglis

Email:          Joe Puglis

Joseph Puglis is excited to be returning to the middle school team at TRCS.  Though native to the midwest, Joe has let his myriad passions guide his travels and learning throughout his life.  His love of classical music motivated him to study Italian and Music at the Jacobs School of Music.  Saddened by the widening socio-economic gap in public education, he went to work for Americorps as an elementary school tutor and then teacher in an under-resourced Miami neighborhood.  His desire to learn more about the world’s disperate cultures and histories led to various positions including as a teaching fellow for Princeton in Asia at a university in Thailand, a manager on an urban organic market farm in Chicago, and as a math and science teacher at a k-7 one room school house in Kansas City. And his love of the mountains brought him to the Roaring Fork. While guided by his own passions, teaching seems to have remained a constant presence. Joe is thrilled to continue bringing his ideas to middle school PBLs where you’ll often find him taking his students to exoplanets, cooking up explosive chemistry, and telling kids the origin stories written in the stars.

Ben Canady


staff-Ben-CanadySince 2002, when he entered the Masters of Teaching program at Virginia Commonwealth University, Ben Canady has been preparing for a career as an educator. He earned his B.S. in Communications and English from VCU, and has been successful in sales and division management over a long career as an ISA Certified Arborist. His love of travel and cultures has gained him a comfortable use of the Spanish language, and a Yoga Teacher certification through extended study in India. He has written and presented regularly over the years to groups of industry professionals, community groups, and employees, always working diligently to make information accessible and engaging for all learning styles and interests. He earned top honors from the Davey Institute of Horticulture and continues to learn and implement valuable lessons from the study of plants, soils, and food cultivation. He was the Assistant Wrestling Coach at Coal Ridge High School and a long-term Substitute teacher with the Garfield RE2 School District before starting at TRCS.

Ann Rockett Perrin


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Ann’s passion for life and love of learning brought her to TRCS to grow as an experiential learner and teacher.  She loves working with middle school students and especially enjoys the outdoor journeys they embark upon together. Ann’s background in education includes: classroom teaching; ELL Specialist; and STEM Program Developer and Teacher. Her enthusiasm for learning and teaching is fueled by innovative, hands-on problem solving activities. Ann’s drive to tackle new challenges is fulfilled by the  TRCS model of  engagement in active, experiential programs.  Ann loves to travel and experience new and unusual places, like visiting Mars!.  An adventure seeker, she has enjoyed sky-diving, takes to the river whenever possible and can also be found hiking, biking, running and playing her new addiction, pickle – ball!   Ann’s pride and joy are her three kids, Morley, Rockett and Macy Grace who keep her laughing and active.

Jamie Nims


Jamie Nims is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He  has lived in Montana, Washington, Mexico, and Colorado over the years. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Montana and his Master of Education from Framingham State University. Jamie lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for three years prior to moving to the Roaring Fork Valley. He began his career teaching English as a foreign language and eventually transitioned into teaching language arts and history to middle school students at international schools in Mexico. He is happy to be a part of the wonderful community that is Two Rivers Community School.


Deidre Rippy


deedeeDeidre (Deedee) Rippy recently moved to Glenwood Springs with her husband and three children, after spending most of her life in New Mexico. Coming from a family of five kids, Deidre spent much of her childhood at a chalkboard playing teacher, trying to “teach” her siblings. After discovering that mathematics came naturally to her, she became determined to teach math to those who struggled with it (particularly her mother and sisters). She felt that there must be some way to get them to understand mathematics as clearly as she did, not knowing it would become her life’s passion 10 years down the road.

Deidre received a Bachelor’s degree from New York University with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Pre-Med, with the intent of going on to medical school. But after stepping into the classroom on the first day of her “temporary” substitute teaching job, her heart reminded her of where she was meant to be. Deidre dropped her medical studies and turned to her passion of teaching. Deidre taught varying levels of math (from pre-algebra to calculus) to grades 7 – 12 for eight years in N.M., during which she completed a Masters in Education from UNM, helped begin the I.B. program at one of her schools as department head, started up and was advisor for the National Honor Society, created peer-tutoring programs, and directed after school math clubs. Deidre fully commits herself to teaching, making sure every one of her students gains confidence in the subject, and gains an appreciation for the endless applications and the beauty of mathematics that surrounds them.

Although she took a few years off from full-time teaching to be home with her babies, Deidre continued to tutor students who struggled with math in the evenings and on the weekend. Deidre loves to stay active; she grew up riding horses, loves to travel, scuba dive, snowboard, trail run, and explore the outdoors with her children.

Adam Cartwright


profileAdam Cartwright graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor’s of Science in neurobiology. He spent a few years at UT San Antonio’s medical school before realizing that he did not want to be a doctor. He became a teacher in 2014 through the University of Colorado Aspire program. Teaching is the perfect combination of his passion for science and his desire to be a positive impact on his community. Adam has taught 7-12 science at Weldon Valley High School for three years. At Weldon Valley, Adam fell in love with education, and works continuously to share his enthusiasm for science with all of his students. Adam coached JV basketball, ran numerous clubs and hosted a few science fairs.. He is an avid snowboarder, mountain biker and hiker, and Adam believes the Glenwood Springs area has the best scenery in all of Colorado. He currently lives with his adorable husky puppy who consistently pressures Adam into hiking around the area.




Elvia Loya


Elvia Loya is a native Spanish speaker born in Chihuahua, Mexico. She received her teaching certificate from Centro de Actualizacion del Magisterio in Chihuahua. She taught primary school for several years in Chihuahua prior to moving to Colorado. Elvia spent the last few years working on her cosmetology career and working as a full-time mom. This is her third year at Two Rivers Community School, teaching Spanish. Elvia is enthusiastic about enhancing each student’s Spanish-speaking abilities. She has three children, Abril who graduated from Glenwood Springs High School and recently from Princeton University, Grissel who graduated from high school in El Paso, TX. and from the University of Denver, and Brandon who is a fifth grader at Two Rivers Community School. She lives in Glenwood Springs with her husband Omar.

Ruth Herrera


Ruth Herrera grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley. She attended University of Northern Colorado and received a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies Elementary Education with a licensure in Linguistically Diverse Education. She interned at a newcomer program for Burmese and Somali refugees in Greeley, Colorado.  Ruth student taught in Denver Public Schools. After finishing her student teaching she returned to the valley and taught in a kindergarten bilingual classroom in Basalt.  The last three years, she has been a classroom teacher at TRCS. This year she will be teaching Spanish. When she is not teaching Ruth enjoys the outdoors and spending time with friends and family.


Sonia Roldan


IMG_9089Sonia native of Peru, has been in the valley for seventeen years. Sonia graduated in Autonomous Guadalajara University, Mexico City with a bachelors in psychology. Later she obtained a M.S.Psychology from Liberty International University in Florida. She has a rich experience in dealing with families and children teaching in several countries in Latin America before moving to the States.In Colorado worked with Latino families in different programs for the community . She uses her music abilities and expertise to enhance teaching and therapy. For the last ten years, Sonia has been assisting in teaching elementary school children in several schools in the valley. Sonia has been working assisting kindergarten and first grade teachers for two years at Two Rivers Community School. She has two adult children. Her daughter graduated from the university of Colorado in Boulder, and her son graduated from Nebraska University. Sonia is thrilled to join the faculty at Two Rivers Community School in Glenwood Springs and has great ideas to make her Spanish classes a dynamic and creative working environment.


Physical Education / Movement / Maker Space

Crystal Garrison FullSizeRender (1)

Email: Crystal.Garrison

I am proud to be joining TRCS as a movement teacher. I am happily married and have recently been blessed with a beautiful baby girl who I am absolutely in love with.  I have been in education for 15 years and I received my Sports Medicine (Kinisiology) and K-12 teaching degree from University of Northern Colorado.  I continued my  Education at University of California, San Diego.  It was at UCSD that I learned to successfully teach and work with all individuals, regardless of language barriers.  I feel confident that I can teach and bond with children of all age groups, learning styles, ethnic backgrounds and language speakers.    In 2002 I began teaching and coaching track and volleyball at Armijo High School in Fairfield, CA.  I moved to Glenwood Springs in 2007 and loved working as the Physical Education teacher  at Glenwood Springs Elementary until 2016.  At GSES I had the opportunity to facilitate an indoor ropes course which included a zip line and team building elements.  It was there that I truly learned how to motivate students to step outside of their comfort zones.During my time in Glenwood I loved spending my time as the Head Coach of the Springers Track Club. In 2012 I stepped down to become the owner/director of the Beyond the Bell  extracurricular day camp and after school program.   .I have a huge passion for motivating kids to reach for the stars in all that they do.     My goal at a TRCS is to give each child the tools they need to discover who they are as an individuals and find passions of their own that will help them to live a long, healthy and active life.   In movement class it is my hope that your child will have an amazing, challenging, fun experience that will build their self-confidence and stay in their memory forever.I am energetic, have a positive attitude and a deep passion for working with children.  I have experience with working with many small businesses in the community that are able to bring skills to the students that I am not able to myself.I am very excited to move with your children this year.
Terry Muldoon
TerryPhotoTerry Muldoon is excited to join our team of extraordinary teachers as our Maker Space Educator.  She is passionate and committed to creativity thru experiential and collaborative learning. Terry comes to us with over ten years experience in community art thru the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, where she was instrumental in designing and implementing outreach art programs with Mountain Valley Developmental, Glenwood Springs Public Library’s Painted Pages, Yampa High School Art Outreach, RE-2 Fifth Day World Arts Program, our very own TRCS Fine Art Wednesday,  and numerous in-house art experiences and community engagements. She is a graduate of the University of New England, Medical Science School,  Biddeford, Maine, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Minor in Chemistry Degree.  She spent numerous years in the medical field before embracing her passion in the arts.  She enthusiastically supports “The Maker Movement” with a scientific and creative mind.  Her teaching skills and methods as a creativity coach dovetail with our model of rigorous, interdisciplinary, and experimental learning. Terry lives,  creates and collaborates with her partner Charle in their own  “Makers Space” studio, shop, foundry in New Castle, Colorado with their pets Midas, Izze, and PoMo.



Special Education

Andrea Turner


IMG_1678Andrea Turner is very excited to be joining the Two Rivers community this Fall! She lives in the neighborhood and has been watching the school develop and grow from the outside! Andrea grew up in Chicago and is an avid Cubs fan, (World Series Champs, Finally!) She loves the city of Chicago but always knew a slower pace and more time outdoors would serve her well.  She went to college in a small town in central Illinois called Quincy. After getting a degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences, Andrea decided to pursue Special Education and went right to work on her masters.  Her love for working with children of all abilities came from her mom who is a physical therapist in schools. Upon graduating again, Andrea worked in Quincy as a Special Education teacher for multi-needs students in grades 7-9. She worked in that position for 6 years before making the tough decision to relocate to the Roaring Fork Valley to be with her now husband, Eric. Andrea loves all living things, including plants, (avid gardener) and pets including her two dogs; Moose and Stella. Andrea is finishing up her third year at Basalt High School as a Special Ed. Teacher. Although she loves her high school students, she is looking forward to working with younger kids again and is very excited about the many cool opportunities to explore and learn in a student centered environment.  When Andrea is not teaching you might find her cooking, hiking, walking her dogs, reading, enjoying live music, traveling, watching baseball or skiing (a recent adventure.)

Andrew Hays 


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Andrew Hays is a Colorado native and is excited to be able to combine his passion with special education and experiential education at Two Rivers Community School. He has lived in the valley for 5 years with his wife Chanthy, and they are proud parents of their 2-year-old son Arlo Hays. Having a learning disability himself, Andrew has personal experience with special education. He was identified with a learning disability in 3rd grade and has used self-advocacy skills to educate teachers throughout his school career, which includes the start of his graduate program at Teton Science Schools and then the finish with his M.S. in Environmental Education at Antioch University located in Keen, New Hampshire. He then took online classes at Western State and received a teaching certificate in special education and elementary education. When he is not teaching, Andrew enjoys hiking, biking, snowboarding, cooking, going to concerts, and spending time with his family.





Teacher Assistants

Tiffany Axtell

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Tiffany Axtell has spent most of her life in Colorado, either on the Front Range, or here in the Roaring Fork Valley.  There have been a few excursions to exotic places like Utah and Los Angeles, California (during the summer of the Rodney King riots – that was exciting!)  After high school she went to Brigham Young University in Provo, UT and while there was given the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Israel for the Fall semester of 1992.  She came back from that experience a changed person, having a real appreciation for diversity and a love for the wonderful and enriching cultures of the area.  After marrying her wonderful husband, Russ, she finished her Bachelor’s Degree at CU-Denver with a major in History and a minor in Math.  The rigors of college, however, were nothing compared to the experiential learning of raising 5 beautiful children while being a stay-at-home mom for almost 20 years!  She moved with her family to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1997 when her two oldest children were just babies.  As more children came along and they all grew they felt their roots sink deep in the mountain soil.  She had the wonderful privilege of being hired to work with severe needs students at Glenwood Springs Elementary School starting in the Fall of 2013.  She switched to being a substitute teacher for the Roaring Fork School District so that she could manage the different schedules of RFSD and TRCS.  What a great blessing to now be working at TRCS!  She is so excited to be a part of the whole family at the school and be able to help in any small way she can to make the school a great community of learning and life.

Annette Leach

Annette Leach is a retired school teacher from Texas. She moved here several years ago to be near her grandchildren. All five of her grandchildren attend Two Rivers Community School. Annette has taught math classes at Two Rivers Community School the past two years.
Annette received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and English from East Texas State University. She has taught classes ranging from pre-algebra to advanced algebra to grades 7-12 in Texas and Ohio. She loves being a part of the Two Rivers family.


Manager of Transportation and Facilities

Alejandro (Alex) Damaso  (Bio and picture coming up)


Adriana Ayala-Hire, Ed.D

Front Office Phone: 970.319-8865

Adriana Ayala-Hire and Rebecca Ruland-Shanahan co-lead the school. Adriana Ayala-Hire holds a BA in Elementary Education and Spanish, a MA in Curriculum and Instruction, an Ed.S in Educational Leadership, and obtained her Doctor in Education degree in May 2015. Adriana also studied semesters in Spain and Mexico and has taught college classes for Colorado Mountain College and for Metro State College of Denver. Adriana is a Mexican immigrant who came to the US as a teenager. She was the Assistant Principal at Basalt High School for 5 years. Before that assignment, she served as the director of the Roaring Fork Pre-Collegiate Program for 4 years, and prior to that, she taught middle and high school for 12 years. During her tenure as a teacher, she was named ELL teacher of the Year for the State of Colorado. Adriana is bilingual and bi-literate and is thrilled to join the Two Rivers Community School leadership team . Her desire has always been to provide the opportunity for students to learn two languages starting in the early years. She has a son who graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder, a daughter who graduated from Colorado Mesa University, and two grandchildren who attend Two Rivers Community School. She lives in Glenwood Springs with her husband Greg.

Rebecca Ruland-Shanahan, Ed.S

Front Office Phone: 970.384.5200

Rebecca Ruland-Shanahan most recently served as the Principal of Grand Valley Center for Family Learning which is in the process of becoming an Expeditionary Learning school. Rebecca has worked as a school administrator for seven years in the Garfield 16 School District as well as the gifted and talented coordinator for the last three years. Prior to school administration, Rebecca directed a family literacy project for Colorado Mountain College with sites in Carbondale, Rifle and Glenwood Springs. The mission of the project was to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty and illiteracy. She also worked extensively in southern and eastern Africa as an administrator and trainer for the United State Peace Corps Education Project and taught ESL to international students applying to enter university in the U.S. as well as adult learners in Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and Ethiopia. Rebecca taught grades 1-4 in public schools in both Arizona and New Mexico. She studied abroad in Venezuela at the University of Los Andes. Rebecca has a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education and an Ed.S degree in Educational Leadership. She lives with her husband and daughter in Glenwood Springs and her daughter attends TRCS.

Administrative Assistants

Christina Prebble – Finance and Communication

Christina Prebble was born in Concordia, Kansas but was raised in the Roaring Fork Valley.  She grew up and went to school in Rifle. She also attended CMC for her Paralegal Certificate and is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree.  She lives with her husband Cean and their daughter Alysha who just started Kindergarten at TRCS.  Christina loves being outdoors enjoying nature which is why she has stayed in this valley.  She loves being busy and doing a multitude of different things which includes, being a mom, wife, employee, and helping run her husband’s business.  She loves being busy, and loves working at TRCS where she is able to be around children and her daughter every day.

Front Office Phone: 970.384.5200;  Fax 970-384-5201


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Contact TRCS

Mailing Address:
    Post Office Box 188
    Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
Physical Address:
    195 Center Drive  (Map to School)
    Glenwood Springs, CO  81601
Phone:  970.384.5200