MEET THE STAFF . . .
It takes a team of adults to effectively teach and mentor the students at Crossroads. Here’s a little about some of these wonderful people. In addition to these “every-day” teachers and staff, we have many volunteers who come once or twice a week to mentor students, teach enrichment classes, and more.
Barb Bulthuis, Executive Director – Barb’s experience in education includes teaching high school English, coaching varsity basketball, and serving as Athletic Director and Administrator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Calvin College with a secondary teaching credential, and a Master of Arts in Education from Concordia University with an emphasis in administration. For twelve years she was an administrator at Rocky Mountain Christian Academy. Among other things, she handled admissions and was increasingly concerned about the students the school was unable to accept because of their learning difficulties or other needs. As one of the founders of Crossroads School, she is excited about the opportunity to provide for these students.
Connie Nourse, Principal – Connie has taught school for over 20 years. She graduated from Milligan College in 1990 with a B.S. degree in K-8 education. In 1994 she served as “Team Leader” during the formation of a new middle school, where she continued teaching until 2006. In addition to teaching she also served as athletic director and assistant principal, and coached soccer, volleyball, basketball and track. Her son attended the school as well. When that school closed in 2006 so did her son’s opportunity for private school education. It was at that time that she caught the vision for opening a school that would meet the needs of students who are not otherwise “served” in a typical school. Several years later, she became one of the founders and the first teacher at Crossroads School, and continues to lead the school as Principal.
Konni Keuter, Lead Teacher – Konni Keuter has over 20 years of corporate experience in the demanding energy industry. She was a Director at Ventyx, Inc., the industry leader in energy databases. Besides her corporate experience Konni has raised seven children and fostered several teenagers through private organizations and Boulder County Social Services. She is passionate about meeting the needs of teens and loves the opportunities she has to challenge and encourage students in her classroom at Crossroads. As one of the founders of Crossroads School, she also serves as Lead Teacher and mentor to other teachers.
Allyson Damick, Science Teacher – Allyson holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began tutoring adolescents in science in high school and loves making science fun for others, most recently teaching a homeschool chemistry class. As a mother of two children with unique needs she homeschooled for several years. In recent years she has served at church as a children’s ministry volunteer and interim children’s ministry director. Through her own children and her service at church she says she has discovered her passion for encouraging students who need extra attention.
JamieLee Szalaj, English Teacher – JamieLee Szalaj holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Colorado. She has been involved in five area schools as student teacher and volunteer. She brings her experience working with elementary, middle and high school students on writing and reading projects, as well as working closely with learning specialists to accommodate students with learning differences. JamieLee says the sole reason she became a teacher was to help students who need extra attention.
Desirae Vannorsdel, Math Teacher – Desirae earned her Associate’s degree from Front Range Community College, and was recognized for advanced achievement in mathematics. She continued her studies at CU Boulder, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with honors, and then at Washburn University School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor, again with honors. She has since worked in a variety of residential settings for adolescent girls and senior citizens. In her church she has been a Sunday school teacher, bus ministry helper, administrative support, and more. She and her three-year-old daughter, Violet, live in Lyons. She joined the Crossroads staff, in August 2017 and says that she wants to “make a difference in these kids’ lives that will last beyond teaching them math.”
Alissa Volk, Social Studies Teacher – Alissa Volk is thrilled to join the Crossroads team! Alissa grew up in Longmont, earned her a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado in 2006, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning from Colorado State University in 2015. Alissa’s goal is to develop responsible members of society who have the tools to become successful citizens of the world. She strives to give her students that chance by valuing and developing the following traits: collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and character. Through her teaching practice, and understanding what her students are passionate about and allowing that to guide their work, Alissa will develop within her students a love for lifelong learning.
Wendy Allen, Remediation Coordinator – Wendy is a graduate of the University of Colorado, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She has extensive experience with youth, from teaching Sunday school, to helping with youth group, to working with her own children who span the academic spectrum from gifted to special needs, to volunteer tutoring for many years in public schools. She has participated in a variety of seminars and learning opportunities related to various disabilities for her own son and other students she has encountered. Wendy volunteered at Crossroads for three years, demonstrating her ability to encourage and motivate students and build relationships with them, before she joined the staff in 2015. It is her desire to support students and help each of them find success.