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Lots of new at BRE in ‘23

group of kids and teachers in school gym

Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) school Principal Jen Murdock-Jacoway gets help from students at an all school assembly the first week of school.

Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) has many new faces in the halls and classrooms this school year.  Every grade has at least one new teacher.  Kindergarten, first and fourth grades each added an additional class and teacher bringing class sizes down respectively in those grades.

The new classroom teachers for kindergarten are Rachel Hildreth and Kathy Hoover.

Hildreth is a Colorado native, born and raised in Littleton, has worked with students for seven years and enjoys the outdoors.  Hoover is a teaching veteran with 25 years under her belt. She has seven children and loves the beach.  Both women say they love to teach kindergarten.

Mia Tricarico is the only new first grade teacher.  She attended UNC and is looking forward to her first year of teaching.  Tricarico loves the outdoors, crafts and reading.

Tina Clinton is the new second grade teacher.  She grew up in New York; she loves all things Disney and has run two half marathons at Disney World.

Miranda McClintock is the new third grade teacher.  She has a military spouse and four daughters.  The McClintock family recently relocated from South Carolina.  McClintock has 15 years of teaching experience so far, and her career has spanned all grades from kindergarten through fourth grade.

Mary Vu and Carrie Acosta each have several years teaching behind them and are the new fourth grade teachers at BRE.  Vu’s teaching experience includes a total of 11 years teaching with this her eighth year teaching fourth grade.  She hails from Colorado and enjoys traveling abroad.  Vu’s two children attend BRE.  Acosta has taught all grades in elementary school and some at the middle school level.  This year marks her seventh year in education.  She grew up in New Mexico, and like many of her fellow teachers, she loves the outdoors.

Caroline Stout, the new fifth grade teacher,  has two grown children.  She loves fitness and world traveling.  Stout’s teaching experience includes time in front of the class in Europe and here in the United States.   

Two new Severe Special Needs educational assistants were also hired.  Brian Chastain – SSN EA IV – is from Oklahoma and has been a school administrator for 23 years.  Sofia Appel – SSN EA IV – was involved in competitive swimming for eight years.  A California native, Appel has lived in Colorado for 14 years.

BRE added a new physical education teacher and library specialist, as well.  Sarah Harding brings her love for the outdoors to her role in the gym.  She is from upstate New York and has taught PE for nearly a decade.

The new library specialist, Aimee Valuck, also has an extensive teaching background.  She taught third and fourth grade for 12 years.  She then stayed home with her children and is now ready to get back into the classroom.

Also new at BRE is a new school-wide collective focus and theme.  This year it is summed up by the acronym PURPOSE: Passion, Unwavering, Refuse to quit, Preserve, Overcome, Smile and Endure.  These values and goals will be taught, modeled and discussed on a regular basis throughout the school year.  PURPOSE builds on last year’s mission and theme of A HERD behavior (Academic excellence, Honest, Empathetic, Respectful, Dedicated).


By Celeste McNeil; photo courtesy of Kris Littlejohn



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