Our School » Staff


Nikki Cucuzza



Achievements - I have been one of the preschool co-teachers here at RMCA for the last two years. I have been working in early childhood education for 9 years and counting. In 2014 I completed my Early Childhood Montessori teaching certificate.

Goals or Aspirations - I hope to continue expanding on my Early Childhood education in future. My life is revolved around caring for children and my pets.

Something quirky about me - I have two dogs and one cat that mean the world to me. In the future I hope to expand my little family and buy my own home.

I love working with children because I am a big kid myself and we are able to discuss all the new Disney movies that come out (they are my favorites).  I am excited to meet and watch your children grow!



Ann Kelly



Achievements - I have had the pleasure of working at Rocky Mountain Classical Academy for the past two years. Previously, I taught preschool in Davis School District, Utah.  I love working with children and have taught and volunteered in schools and church my entire adult life. Teaching is my passion.

Goals or Aspirations - I am currently working on my Child Development Associate Certification. I feel like acquiring knowledge is a lifelong endeavor and I feel so blessed to be helping your child embark on their great learning adventure.  As a teacher, I am always striving to ensure our classroom is a positive and engaging learning environment.

Something quirky about me - I enjoy spending time with my husband, our 2 daughters and 2 dogs. Running is a hobby I love and I’ve completed 9 full and 12 half marathons. During my down time I have my nose in a book or I am working on my latest needlework project.

Thank you for entrusting RMCA preschool with helping your child learn and grow!




Clara Garner



Achievements - I am a proud mom of a little girl and soon to be little boy! I have enjoyed making it through my first year of teaching and loved doing it here at RMCA.

Goals or Aspirations - I plan to continue my education in early childhood education and hope to make an impact on my students lives by helping them create an amazing first experience with school.

Something quirky about me - I love the water and would spend every moment swimming if I could.

I love being part of the RMCA family and can’t wait for the years to come.


Patty Garcia


Before and After Care Teacher

Achievements - Being married to my guy of 28 years. (It will be 29 years, this summer.) We have one daughter who makes up for ten kids and she is our joy.

Goals or aspirations - To continue attending college. I love learning about early childhood education and teaching young children. 

Something quirky about me - I love going on dates with my husband and meeting up with family and friends. We're a rowdy bunch whenever we get together. It's massive pandemonium and memories in the making


Erin Kieffer


Infant Lead Teacher 

Achievements - My 3 daughters! Been an Infant teacher for over 14 years and love it 

Goals - To further my education in Early Ed! To have an infant room where both babies and their

parents are happy and comfortable! 

Something quirky about me - I love being silly and crazy with my kids! I love to dance even though I look goofy and embarrass them.  

I am very into ATVs. My husband and I own one and we like to ride it at our family cabin in Westcliffe, CO. I am a huge dog person. We raise labs and we also foster and rescue dogs when we don’t have puppies of our own.




Aubra McReynolds 


Lead Teacher 

Achievements -  I was the first baby born at the hospital on New Years Day. I bought my first car at 18 with my own money. I completed a Masters degree in Early Education. 

Goals or aspirations - A goal of mine is that every kiddo who comes through my class feels loved, has fun, and is ready for kindergarten by the end of his/her preschool experience. 

Something quirky about me - I don’t like bent or crinkled paper, especially if the paper is mine. 

By day I’m a preschool teacher, but by night I’m a movie/tv watching, weight lifting, drawing/painting, puzzle solving, spending time with friends and family kind of person.



Melissa Cornelius

Front Office

Achievements – My 3 amazing kids! Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Worked at RMCA for 5 years in the front office.

Goals or aspirationsI would love to one day convert all our forms to on online version, and I plan to continue to learn new ways to make the front office run as efficiently as possible.

Something quirky about me - I am a huge nerd and enjoy playing video games and going to Comic Cons! I also really love reading, playing board games, and hiking.

I love working in the preschool, this is by far my favorite job I have ever had!


Claudia Lopez



Achievements - I am a mother of 4 amazing kids and we are a retired military family. I've been in the field of early childhood education for a few years now. I got my associates degree in early childhood education at Midlands Tech College in Columbia, South Carolina.

Something quirky about me - One of my hobbies is running long distance and it's my 2nd year being a part of the RMCA cross country team. I have 5 years coaching Landsharks and I'm loving it.

I am really excited for a new year!



Rebecca Petersen


Co-Director/Half Day Teacher

Achievements - Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education; Over 25 years of teaching experience; 

Goals or Aspirations - I would love to be at RMCA to see our first year of preschool students (2018-2019) graduate from 8th grade! 

Something quirky about me - I find it hard to resist hopping from stone to stone in the "moat" in the hallway at school. 

On the rare occasions our grown children are both home at the same time, you are most likely to find us hiking or playing board games, especially Star Trek Catan.



April Winston


Co-Director/Half Day Teacher

Achievements - Education Degrees; 15 years teaching experience; having and raising 4 children

Goals or Aspirations - To see our preschoolers graduate high school and go on to help make this world a better place! 

Something quirky about me - I cannot resist a swing! Tire swing, baby swing, porch swing…. they are so relaxing and FUN!

I love to run, play nertz, and have coffee with my hubby!



Dacia Coddington


Lead Teacher

Achievements - I have been involved in education in one form or another for 15 years. I graduated from UCCS in 2002 and went on to receive my Montessori Early Education teaching degree in 2004. This is my 2nd year at RMCA and I am thrilled to be a part of the inaugural preschool team. I am passionate about early education and I absolutely love being a part of a child’s first exposure to school.

Goals or Aspirations – My goal is to instill a life-long love of learning, curiosity and fun in my students.

Something quirky about me - I have lived in Colorado my entire life. My husband and 2 boys are my world. Our boys keep us very busy with their wrestling and football schedules but we love it!


I love to travel, garden, and all things crafty. Thank you for sharing your children with me!