Faculty & Staff

ADMINISTRATION-


Jill@hillsidelearning.org

Shortly after graduating college, Jill discovered her passion for working with individuals with learning differences when she accepted what she assumed would be a short-term job at a learning center. There Jill got her first taste of the life changing power that effective instruction holds for the dyslexic learner. As she witnessed the blossoming self-confidence, resilience, and joy her students experienced as they started to embrace their challenges and view themselves as unique and capable learners, she was hooked.

Since then, Jill has worked in a variety of settings designed for students with dyslexia, and has taught ages from Kindergarten to adult. She joined the Hillside team in August 2006, teaching for seven years, then transitioning into administration in 2013. Jill has found a home at Hillside and is honored to lead this group of exceptional educators and administrators in their meaningful and transformative work.

Not one to shirk her Colorado-duties, Jill spends time outside hiking the front range or simply sitting quietly taking in the vast and beautiful Colorado skies. As a parent, Jill currently enjoys swapping new-school and old-school music appreciation lessons with her teenage son and creating an endless amount of art, ranging from glue-gun and toothpick towers to doodle mandalas with her daughter.


Kathy@hillsidelearning.org

Kathy has a had a lifelong, deep and passionate interest in how children learn. At the start of her career, she established the first programs for children with learning disabilities in the United States Dependents Schools, European Area school system.  This experience began a self-driven pursuit of knowledge related to the field of dyslexia and the emotional impact of learning challenges.  After landing in Boulder in 1976, Kathy worked for twelve years as a learning specialist in Boulder Valley Schools. Feeling the need to apply her skills more broadly and to expand her knowledge, Kathy started The Learning Connection in Boulder where she provided diagnostic learning evaluations, worked one-on-one with children, and managed a tutoring staff.  Kathy also published The Teaching Parent, a catalog of teaching materials for parents. In 1995 she co-founded and co-directed Bridge School, a private school for grades 6-12. During this time she became immersed in the burgeoning, exciting research related to dyslexia and the impact of stress on learning which ultimately culminated in the inception and development of Hillside School where state of the art teaching strategies could be effectively implemented.  People often comment to Kathy that starting a school must be very difficult and challenging, but she emphatically lets them know that nothing could be further from the truth. Hillside was a joy from the very beginning because the positive impact on the children was immediately visible in their academic growth and well-being.

Taking advantage of all Colorado has to offer, in 1982 Kathy and her husband Jim designed and built (by themselves!) a passive solar home which they still enjoy.  During the building of the house, their two little boys ages 2 and 4 enthusiastically helped by playing in all the available mud and dirt from the building project.  Over the years a third son was added to the family and the house became a mini-farm of sorts with bees, chickens, perennials and cutting flowers along with a vegetable garden.   Honey, eggs and veggies are regularly shared with all.

In the warm weather months, sitting outside in the gardens under the maple tree is Kathy’s special pleasure.   Let her know if you would ever like to come for some quiet time and thoughtful conversation. . .


Rachel@hillsidelearning.org

A proud Boulder native, Rachel was born at Boulder Community Hospital and attended Columbine Elementary, Centennial Middle School (which was a junior high then!), and both Boulder and Fairview High Schools. Along the way, she had some imaginative, knowledgeable, and just plain fun teachers who inspired her to love learning and to become a teacher herself. Since 1999, she has taught and mentored middle school and high school students from Kansas to Paris, France to New York City to Denver and back to Boulder.

She earned her B.S. at the University of Kansas in elementary/middle school education and special education, and her M.S. in special education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. However, it was at her first teaching job at the Churchill School in New York City when she realized that teaching was really a craft that aligned perfectly with her strengths. Seeing her students flourish in their knowledge of themselves as learners and believe that they could be successful was so life-giving and inspiring that she knew she had found her career.

Teaching at Hillside, with its talented staff and remarkable students and families, has been a highlight in her career thus far. The vibrant Hillside environment inspires her to continue her own education to deepen her understanding of how the brain learns and functions and how to maximize its potential. Since 2017 she has added part-time administrative work at Hillside, focusing on developing a professional development program that shares our expertise in dyslexic learners with teachers in all settings. In her spare time, she enjoys digging in her garden, meeting friends for coffee, enjoying sumptuous meals at the panoply of delicious restaurants in the area, and being a dance mom for her two sweet girls.


Lindsay@hillsidelearning.org

Lindsay has been raising money for independent schools since 2010 because she believes that the solution to many of today’s challenges begins with education. Lindsay grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Lehigh University with a double degree in Journalism and Public Relations. She knew she wanted a job that would serve others and began her career as a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 2010 she took a position as the Associate Director of Development for Vermont Academy, a New England Board School, where she discovered her passion for raising money to support the work of independent schools.

At Vermont Academy she saw first-hand the transformation that can occur when students are met where they are at by faculty who have the resources to do so. She was inspired by not only the academic growth in these students, but their personal growth and the confidence that ensued. As hard as it was to leave Vermont Academy, she and her husband decided to follow their love for the outdoors and move to Boulder in 2014. Lindsay proudly served as the Associate Director of Development and Director of Alumni Relations at the Dawson School for two years where she helped grow the fundraising and outreach programs. She has been leading the development program at Hillside since 2016, where she feels she can blend her non-profit and independent school background to support the work the faculty do to nurture Hillside students to become confident and capable learners.

In her free time Lindsay enjoys being in the mountains, hiking with her family and friends, and spending as much time as possible with her two sons, Camden and Caleb. She also likes to practice what she preaches and donates her money and time to her alma mater and nonprofits she feels passionate about.


FACULTY-

Martha@hillsidelearning.org

I am thrilled to be teaching at Hillside and part of the Hillside community! I had the privilege of being Hillside’s building substitute during the 2020-2021 school year, allowing me to build relationships with Hillside students and experience the varied teaching practices of the incredibly talented Hillside staff. I am passionate about meeting each student where they are at, championing their strengths, and advocating for their academic and social-emotional needs throughout their learning journey.

A native Oregonian, I attended the University of Colorado for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. My husband, Neil, and I have three children and relocated to the Boulder area 4 years ago. That same year, our youngest was diagnosed with dyslexia. While this diagnosis answered our questions regarding her struggles with written language, it opened up an entirely new and overwhelming set of questions about dyslexia and a clear path forward for her and us. I quickly enrolled in two courses with the Oregon Dyslexia Institute, explicitly learning the Orton-Gillingham approach to structured literacy. These courses were a watershed and a catalyst for my passion and action to provide people with dyslexia with the explicit and systematic instruction they need.

After completing my OG training, I am pursuing my Associate practicum with the OGA.  I opened a private tutoring practice and provided math, literacy, and classroom support at a BVSD elementary school. I continuously look for ways to broaden my knowledge base and deepen my practice approach to meet the individual needs of my students, including completing training in Multi-Sensory Math with Marilyn Zecher and in Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) with Dr. Kelli Sundman-Hurley.

Outside of Hillside School, I desperately try to keep up with my children’s activities (and antics!). Our family loves to explore together, both in our own backyard and to new places and experiences. I enjoy cooking and entertaining, losing myself in a book, and taking long walks through tree-lined forests or on the Oregon coast.

Kim@hillsidelearning.org

Kimberly Berry, known to her students as Miss Kim, is a kindergarten through third grade teacher at Hillside Learning.  Miss Kim grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She loves Fat Slice pizza on Telegraph Avenue, ice cream and chocolate at Ghirardelli Square, the Cliff House restaurant at Sutro Bath and bonfires on the beach.

Miss Kim graduated UC Berkeley with a BA in Psychology.  She studied subjects ranging from English to Endocrinology to Education while studying at Berkeley.  Her favorite courses were developmentally abnormal psychology and social psychology.  Miss Kim loves learning and has never stopped pursuing education.  She has done post graduate work in Education, Fine Arts, Journalism and Management.

She taught for the Boulder Valley School District before teaching at Hillside.  Miss Kim has been trained in Orton Gillingham, Fundations, Fountas and Pinnell Literacy, Advantage Math Intervention and Kagan Social Learning.  Miss Kim’s philosophy of teaching is rooted in empathy and creating strong relationships with students and parents.  She believes strongly in leading her classroom with structure, compassion and mindfulness.

Miss Kim is a first generation college student and came from a family of artists and musicians.  As a result, Miss Kim spends her spare time practicing cello, singing, creating fine art and pursuing photography professionally.  Often she brings her fine arts background to the classroom for multisensory learning opportunities and student enrichment.

Nothing makes Miss Kim happier than coming to Hillside to see her students!  Miss Kim is known to also bring her little therapy dog Bailey to class.  Bailey adores the affection the students give her and listening when kiddos read to her.

Drop by Miss Kim’s class anytime to cuddle little Miss Bailey and have warm conversations!


Lisa@hillsidelearning.org

Lisa Duhamel grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and received a B.A. in Business and Economics and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She knew she wanted a career in which she would make a difference and she decided to make that difference in sunny Colorado. She was a classroom teacher for 5 years in Cherry Creek. Following a break to have three daughters, she was hired as a reading and math interventionist and worked with small groups of struggling students and she found her passion. She went back to school and added reading specialist to her certification. She has been working with children with reading challenges for 15 years and at Hillside since 2014.

Lisa loves working at Hillside because she gets to work with children with dyslexia and make a difference in their lives. Her favorite part of her job is helping children who have struggled in school to see their worth, their gifts, and their intelligence. It is for this reason that Lisa got into teaching – seeing children loving to learn!

Lisa also loves to travel, especially to destinations where she can snorkel, scuba dive, and enjoy the ocean. She also enjoys hiking, biking, hot springs, and spending time with her husband and three daughters.

Beth.farling@hillsidelearning.org

Beth has been a teacher at the Hillside School in Boulder for the past six years. Finding a place like Hillside has been the treasure of her educational experience. Prior to teaching at Hillside, Beth spent fourteen years teaching special education in the St Vrain Valley School District. She holds an elementary teaching certification from University of Colorado and a special education endorsement from Keene State College in New Hampshire.

Beth started her career as an elementary reading recovery interventionist before working with moderate needs students in a middle school resource setting. Over the years, Beth has pursued her love of learning through numerous literacy and math trainings and workshops. Hillside has provided her the experience of combining it’s unique methodology with her own areas of expertise and training.

Beth’s love of the outdoors brought her to live and teach in places like Talkeetna, Alaska and Crested Butte, Colorado, before moving to the Front Range. In her free time, you will often find her, along with her husband and son, camping and floating rivers on their raft. Beth also loves skiing, biking, drawing, and planning her next family adventure.

Christi@hillsidelearning.org

Christi began her career right out of college after receiving her undergraduate degree in child psychology from the University of Oregon. She has had a variety of positions working with severely emotionally challenged children; working in group homes and detention centers; and working with teen parent programs. These experiences led Christi to become a teacher. After receiving her masters degree and teaching certificate from the University of Northern Colorado, she taught as an English teacher at the middle level for over 15 years.

She earned her degree in Special Education from Western Colorado University in order to better meet the needs of her students.  Her most recent teaching position was on the Western Slope in Mesa County as a special education teacher for moderate needs students in a middle school where she taught reading and writing intervention for the past 8 years. Her career as an educator has provided her with many valuable teaching skills which she brings with her in the 2021-2022 school year, and her first year at Hillside School.

In her free time, she and her husband spend time rafting, boating, hiking, and playing frisbee with her two dogs. Christi also loves live music, cooking, art, and reading. She is excited to be living and teaching in the Boulder area where she can be closer to family.

Gail@hillsidelearning.org

Gail believes every student has a superpower that can change the world, especially students with learning differences. These students’ brains were structured so that they can work outside of the box. While these differences can create frustration and uncertainty during their educational careers, they required students to learn from an alternative perspective. This perspective allows students to approach problem-solving from their unique angle.

Gail feels it is her job to facilitate students’ beliefs and confidence in themselves. She uses students’ strengths to work around their particular area of challenge. In addition, she reframes their thoughts about struggling; she encourages them to view their struggles for growth opportunities and build perseverance. Developing the Growth Mindset is the key to student success.

Her ultimate objectives are to:

  • believe in the students until they believe in themselves,
  • discover how individual students learn best,
  • give them the strategies and tools they need to reach their academic goals,
  • teach them how to advocate for themselves,
  • and eventually, let them fly.

Gail graduated from George Washington University with a Masters in Special Education and has spent many years teaching in independent boarding and day schools. She loves to spend time with her husband John and their three girls. In addition, she loves to hike, ski, and paddleboard.

beth.g@hillsidelearning.org

Beth and her husband moved to Boulder from New York City in 2014. Beth is a native Californian and has lived in many places, but she’s happy that Boulder is her permanent home.

Beth has always known she wanted to be a teacher, though very early career goals also included veterinarian, chef, and acrobat. Teaching allows her to share her love of reading and writing with students, and she hopes that her own passion for learning is contagious. Everyone at Hillside knows that Beth has a growing collection of t-shirts with nerdy academic themes, and on more than one occasion she has unknowingly cornered hapless people at parties who ask her to explain dyslexia. Beth is devoted to the Oxford comma and loves nothing more than collaborating with students to invent clever mnemonics. Teaching is indeed the ideal career path for Beth, who doesn’t have the balance or flexibility to be an acrobat anyway.

Beth did her undergraduate work at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN, where she stayed after graduation to teach high school English and learned how to use terms like “y’all” fluently. One of Beth’s best college experiences was living in Berlin and studying German, and, eager to see more of the world, she moved to Tokyo after her first year of teaching to teach English to Japanese adults and travel around Asia. Beth moved back to California to coordinate a reading program at a K-8 school and make plans for her next international stint, eventually re-settling in Tel Aviv, Israel, to do freelance journalism and tutor students ranging from eight to fifty-seven years old. Once she was accepted into a master’s program at Columbia University’s Teachers College, she moved back to the US to teach middle school language arts and social studies until her coursework began. Beth stayed in New York City for four more years, conducting neuropsychological assessments at the Yellin Center before landing, at last, in Boulder.

Life has settled down, but Beth still enjoys keeping busy with running, swimming, skiing, hiking, and camping. Downtime to read is very important to her, and she loves to bake and knit as well. And she still travels as often as possible; recent destinations include India, Spain, Jordan, Italy, and Kenya.

Becky@hillsidelearning.org

The importance of education and the love of learning were ingrained in Becky early in her childhood. Her great-grandmother was an example of a lifelong learner who taught on a Navajo reservation in Arizona while in her sixties. After “retirement”  she enrolled in beauty school and was a cosmetician in her 70’s and 80’s. Becky was the recipient of many kitchen perms. When she began playing school with her friends, and later the kids she babysat for, the future was clear. Working as a summer day camp counselor for the Special School District in St. Louis, MO led her into special education.

Becky attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL where she majored in Learning Disabilities and Social Emotional Learning Specialist. She was a middle school resource room teacher in Illinois and Colorado before kids arrived on the scene. After taking some time off to be home with her three boys, she joined the Hillside team. Becky is a member of the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners as an Associate and is working under Karen Leopold to become a Certified member. This summer she began working towards a long held dream of getting her master degree. She is currently enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado in the Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration program.

A transplant from the MidWest, Becky enjoys the outdoor adventures of Boulder and Colorado. Paddleboarding was a passion this summer. If you can get her off the water, you will find her on the trails with her dogs, Wren and Penny. Becky is also an avid reader and is proud to say she has visited all of the Little House on the Prairie homesites. A St. Louis native, Becky is a die hard Cardinals baseball fan and lover of Gooey Butter Cake.

Gretchen@hillsidelearning.org

Gretchen has always loved languages and has studied Latin, French, Spanish and Russian. This interest developed into a curiosity about language acquisition and language-based learning differences, and she was drawn to the field of Special Education. She spent a year working as an assistant in a middle school resource room, experienced the magic of helping students realize their potential, and knew she had found her calling.

Gretchen earned a Master’s in Special Education and has spent 18 years working as a special education teacher in Massachusetts and Colorado, with some time off in the middle to stay home with her son. She loves connecting with her students and providing them with the tools and strategies they need to become independent, confident learners.

Outside of the classroom, Gretchen can be found on her yoga mat or spending time outdoors with her husband, son and their chocolate lab. She enjoys running, hiking, and skiing.

 

Julie@hillsidelearning.org

Julie has loved literacy ever since her mom bought her “Little House on the Prairie” when she was in 3rd grade.  Books and reading have shaped her life as a college student when she majored in English, as a mother reading the Harry Potter books aloud to her two children, and as a teacher at Hillside School.

Julie has an MA in Reading from UNC and enjoys working with students at Hillside and passing on her love of language to them. She loves teaching students the sounds and patterns of English and how to apply them to their reading and writing. For her, the biggest joy of teaching is seeing her students get hooked on reading and writing.

In her spare time Julie loves spending time in the mountains skiing or hiking, riding her bike around Boulder, and golfing as much as possible.

demetria@hillsidelearning.org

Demetria is a Colorado Native; growing up in the Park Hill area of Denver.  She graduated from Denver East High School and went on to get her Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, with a degree in Education.  She has recently completed her Master’s in Education, with a Reading specialty from Regis University.

Demetria comes from a family of educators. She has been teaching for many years; her previous experiences have included 18+ years of teaching in the Denver metro area, in private, charter and public schools. Having discovered a passion for reading early on in life, and after watching loved ones struggle with reading, it became her life’s work to help others find the delight of exploring the world through books. Helping students build curiosity and confidence through humor, music, and hard work are all part of her educational philosophy, and feeds her love of learning and teaching.  Recognizing the importance of reading and the impact it has on a person’s ability to learn and succeed throughout their life, drives Demetria to continue making a difference and striving to grow as an educator.

When Demetria is not at Hillside, she spends her time with her husband Ramón, and their twin German Shepherds, Mocha & Maro. Latte the cat holds down the fort at the family home in Lakewood, as the couple enjoys weekends in the beautiful Colorado mountains; attending summer live music festivals, and hiking as well as winter sports like snowshoeing and skiing. Most adventures are topped off with regular trips to relaxing, warm, soothing, hot springs around the state!

Rachel@hillsidelearning.org

A proud Boulder native, Rachel was born at Boulder Community Hospital and attended Columbine Elementary, Centennial Middle School (which was a junior high then!), and both Boulder and Fairview High Schools. Along the way, she had some imaginative, knowledgeable, and just plain fun teachers who inspired her to love learning and to become a teacher herself. Since 1999, she has taught and mentored middle school and high school students from Kansas to Paris, France to New York City to Denver and back to Boulder.

She earned her B.S. at the University of Kansas in elementary/middle school education and special education, and her M.S. in special education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. However, it was at her first teaching job at the Churchill School in New York City when she realized that teaching was really a craft that aligned perfectly with her strengths. Seeing her students flourish in their knowledge of themselves as learners and believe that they could be successful was so life-giving and inspiring that she knew she had found her career.

Teaching at Hillside, with its talented staff and remarkable students and families, has been a highlight in her career thus far. The vibrant Hillside environment inspires her to continue her own education to deepen her understanding of how the brain learns and functions and how to maximize its potential. Since 2017 she has added part-time administrative work at Hillside, focusing on developing a professional development program that shares our expertise in dyslexic learners with teachers in all settings. In her spare time, she enjoys digging in her garden, meeting friends for coffee, enjoying sumptuous meals at the panoply of delicious restaurants in the area, and being a dance mom for her two sweet girls.

Trisha@hillsidelearning.org

When wrapping up senior year in her undergraduate degree, Trisha was approached to become a one-on-one assistant for a preschool aged student with autism. Trisha’s educational path and studies had always been in general education, but this unique experience sparked a love and passion for working with young students with all types of learning differences. She was advised by her mother, who was a reading interventionist for more than 25 years, about the high burnout rate among special education teachers in the public school setting, so Trisha stayed her course in general education. Following graduation, she enjoyed many years as a public elementary classroom teacher with a strong interest and focus in helping students of all abilities.

Trisha has a deep passion for building trusting relationships with her students and their families that reach far beyond her time with them in the classroom. The most enjoyable part of teaching for her is connecting with students on a personal level and getting to know their passions and what inspires them, then connecting these interests to their learning. She feels incredibly fortunate that she has the opportunity to witness transformative change in her students. This is her third year at Hillside and feels it is such a unique and profoundly impactful place. Through the small class size,Hillside allows students to feel safe to be vulnerable, creating a supportive and trusting learning environment.

As an educator, Trisha has had many various roles. She started as a one-on-one teaching assistant for children with autism, then she taught in a general classroom in first, third and fourth grades. She then worked as a private tutor in all academic areas before landing her dream job as a Learning Specialist at Hillside in the fall of 2017. Trisha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Teaching.

Trisha spent most of her childhood years growing up in Bend, Oregon where she developed a love of the outdoors. This brought her out to the beautiful state of Colorado 16 years ago, and she never plans to leave! You will find her enjoying all things outdoors with her crew, including her two daughters, husband, and shaggy dog.