Don Griffin, PhD
Phone Ext: 1236
Dr. Don Griffin was named Executive Director of Monument Academy in December 2010. As Executive Director, he oversees all operations of the school, collectively with the appropriate administrative staff, including personnel, financial matters, facilities and operations, and other areas as requested by the Board. Dr. Griffin is the sole employee of the Monument Academy Board of Directors.
Currently, Dr. Griffin serves on the Leadership Program of the Rockies Board of Directors as well as the Parents Challenge Board of Directors. Dr. Griffin was elected to the Delta Schools Board of Directors in 2014. He has served on the Colorado League of Charter Schools Board of Directors and as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California as well as the State of Florida Community College System. He holds a Senior Faculty position with Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Griffin is the Teaching Director for Community Bible Study’s Colorado Springs Evening Class and is one of the featured speakers for Community Bile Study’s National Leadership Conferences.
Previously, Dr. Griffin served as the President and CEO of The Schuck Foundation in Colorado Springs and is a nationally known business authority with more than 30 years of actual hands on senior management experience as a CEO. He is often sought after as an executive coach, strategic consultant, and communication expert.
Dr. Griffin’s educational background includes degrees in Industrial Psychology and Economics from the University of Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University respectively. He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration from California Western University.
Phone Ext: 1258
Lis Richard has been with Monument Academy since 2009 and serves as the preschool – 8th grade principal. As a licensed principal, she is the Director of Academics and oversees the entire educational staff. Mrs. Richard works under the leadership and direction of Monument Academy’s Executive Director. Her desire to see every student succeed is the heartbeat of her work at MA as she has placed a high priority to provide excellent training to our teachers and developed a myriad of effective programs for every learner.
For over 28 years, Mrs. Richard has been a passionate educator. She has 12 years of administrative experience and sixteen years in the classroom at elementary, middle and high school levels. Twice she has received “Teacher of the Year” awards and is a recognized education consultant in the Western United States. She is a national presenter in the field of education and has also had the privilege to present at the Core Knowledge State Conference as well as the Colorado League of Charter Schools Conference.
Mrs. Richard has earned two undergraduate degrees in education and theory of education. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado Christian University and is currently a candidate in the Walden University doctorate program with a specialty in K-12 curriculum. Mrs. Richard is an author and presenter for Character First. She also has extensive leadership training including completion of Core Knowledge Leadership Training programs at its Leadership Institute.
Phone Ext: 1227
Mr. Richardson is Assistant Principal and has been in education for 10 years, 9 of which have been at Monument Academy. For the 25 years prior to that, he was part of the management team for a major automotive retail company. He is married with a college age son and daughter. Mr. Richardson enjoys travel, camping, shooting and college football among other pursuits.
Nancy Tive, CPA
Director of Finance
Phone Ext: 1230
Nancy Tive was appointed as Monument Academy’s Senior Accountant in 2009. She currently serves as the Director of Finance for the school and on the board of directors of Monument Academy Building Corporation. Prior to joining Monument Academy, Nancy served as the Accounting Supervisor for Lewis-Palmer District 38. She has also had governmental accounting experience in four Denver area municipalities, as well as auditing experience while employed at a Lakewood, Colorado CPA firm.
Nancy attends the Colorado Department of Education’s Financial Policies and Procedures meetings every year to stay abreast of public school finance issues and completes at least 80 hours of continuing professional education required for CPAs bi-annually.
Mrs. Tive’s educational background includes a B.S. in Accounting from Regis University, as well as an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Finance and Accounting from Regis University. She also holds an active Colorado CPA license.
Director of Human Resources
Phone Ext: 1252
Sherry Buzzell has been employed at Monument Academy since 2005 and is currently the Director of Human Resources. Sherry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organization Management and Human Resources from Colorado Christian University. Prior to coming to Monument Academy , Sherry worked for the Colorado Springs Police Department as a police officer for 12 years before staying home for four years with her three daughters, all of whom attended Monument Academy from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Sherry is a native of Colorado and has been married to her wonderful husband for 23 years, who is also a Colorado native. She enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, hiking, biking, watching her daughters play soccer, and reading.
Instructional Coach/GT CoordinatorEmail
Phone Ext: 1215
Carol Skinner has been a teacher for eleven years at Monument Academy. Ten of the eleven years were in second grade where she was team lead for two years and her last year of teaching was in third grade. This year she is serving as Instructional Coach and Gifted and Talented Coordinator. In her previous life, she received her undergraduate degree from The University of Alabama in Nutrition and was a registered dietitian before becoming a stay at home mom. When her daughters started school, she decided to return to school at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to get her teaching certificate and Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has a passion for helping teachers and hopes to help first year teachers adjust to Monument Academy. She is the mom of Cleone, 20, and Cydney, 18, and enjoys running, reading, and watching British T.V. shows.
Director of Educational Technology / Yearbook Coordinator
Phone Ext: 1214
Traci Trimbach has been in education since 1997. This will be her 5th year at Monument Academy. Before taking her current position as Director of Educational Technology, she was the middle school technology teacher. Both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees were earned from Colorado Christian University.
Traci grew up in Colorado Springs and has lived most of her life in Colorado, except for a five year exile in southern California. She is married and has one daughter. She enjoys many outdoor activities and loves being in the mountains as much as possible.
Administrative Assistant to PrincipalEmail
Phone Ext: 1240
Steven J. Kindermann served 26 years in the USAF as a trumpet soloist and leader–20 years with the premier military music organization, The United States Air Force Academy Band. During his USAF Academy Band career, he performed nationally and in Canada and Poland. Steve performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Opera and Bach Society, The Dayton Ohio Symphony, The Denver Brass, and was a member of the Springfield, Ohio Symphony and The Dallas Cowboys’ Band. He performed with notable music artists such as Al Hirt, Tony Bennett, Doc Severinsen, Babby Mason, and Henry Mancini. His primary teachers include Tom Booth, Phil Collins, and Bill Pfund. Steve performs with the Colorado Brass Arts Group, The Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, The Monument Hill Brass, The American Patriots Jazz Orchestra , and regularly performs with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in trumpet Performance from Southern Methodist University and actively mentors and teaches younger musicians in the Colorado Springs area. Steve and Lisa have been married 28 years. They have a son, Tyler (24) studying at Beeson Seminary in Alabama, and a daughter, Lanae, studying at Pikes Peak Community College with a goal to be a Play Therapist. He enjoys radio controlled models and spending time in the mountains. Steve Loves God and has a passion for drawing others closer to God.
Phone Ext: 1248
Julie has been the Business Manager at MA for ten years. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma. She is married with two children. She enjoys reading, decorating, hiking and hanging out with family and friends.
Assessment Coordinator/Athletics Director, Honors Science Teacher
Phone Ext: 1314
Marty Venticinque was born in Chicago in 1972, and has lived in Colorado since 1995. He received a Bachelor’s Degree of Science from the Metropolitan State College of Denver with a major in Meteorology, and a minor in Mathematics. During college, Marty began working as a Student Assistant at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and upon graduating was hired as an Associate Scientist. During the summer of 1999, he began working part-time as a Meteorologist for KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, and in November of 1999, he began working full-time at KRDO-TV, while continuing as a consultant with NCAR. Marty moved to Monument in early 2000, and continued to work as a Meteorologist at KRDO until July of 2014. In August of 2014 he began working as a Science Teacher and Athletic Director at Monument Academy. Marty has 3 children, all of whom have attended Monument Academy since kindergarten. In his spare time, Marty is a football coach, runs his kids to their activities, works around the house, chases thunderstorms, and enjoys being outdoors.
Registrar and Assistant to Vice Principal
Phone Ext: 1246
Amy Zarkovacki has been a part of the MA family for the last 20 years. She has been employed at MA for 13 years with eleven of those years being spent in the position of Monument Academy Registrar.
Amy was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Colorado in 1992. She is married with two children who attended Monument Academy for their K-8thgrade years. She enjoys boating time with her family, running, crocheting, sun and sand.
Phone Ext: 1246
Director of Facilities / Security
Phone Ext: 1116
Jim Summerfield has been Director of Facilities at MA for the past 3 years. Prior to coming to MA, Jim was Supervisor of Order Processing and Warehousing for a local ministry and was a senior staff member responsible for Materials, Purchasing and Warehousing/Logistics as well as a Certified American Society of Home Inspectors (“ASHI”).
Jim is a United States Air Force veteran and has lived in Colorado Springs for the past 29 years. Jim is married and has 2 daughters, and 6 grandkids, ages 24 to 9. He enjoys spending time with his grandkids, landscaping and woodworking.
Phone Ext: 1722
Jim Cunningham is the school counselor and has been with Monument Academy since 2013. He has also served as a substitute teacher and the Director of Assessments.
He holds Masters Degrees in Counseling from UCCS and Public Relations from the University of Florida.
Jim retired from the Air Force in 2013 after a 24-year career. He is married and has a son and daughter.
Phone Ext: 1722
Front Office / Administrative Assistant to Athletic Director
Phone Ext: 1100
Julie Ritschard has been living in Colorado since 2002. This will be her 9th year at the front desk of Monument Academy. She attended Northern Arizona University working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering.
Julie grew up in Southern California and worked at Disneyland. She is married with grown children. She has a second business of raising suri alpacas. She enjoys ranching, working with alpaca yarn and quilting.
Front Office / Administrative Assistant to Executive Director
Phone Ext: 1234
Courtney has been an MA parent for seven years and also an employee for seven years in several different capacities, including health office and substitute teacher. She loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family.
Phone Ext: 1210
Janice Latendresse has been a nurse since 1986. In her many years as a nurse, she has worked in the Intensive Care Unit, Home Health, Plastic Surgery, Legal Nurse Consulting, Public Health and School Nursing. This will be her 4th year at Monument Academy. She earned her RN Diploma degree from Watts School of Nursing and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Colorado. Janice is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing from Grand Canyon University. She is also a part of the faculty at the University of Colorado where she serves as a clinical instructor in the nursing program during the summer months.
Janice grew up in Virginia but has lived in North Carolina, California, Florida, and for the last 15 years, in Colorado. She has two grown daughters. She enjoys cooking and outdoor activities such as hiking and bike riding.
Technology and Media Support Specialist
Phone Ext: 1256
Business Office Administrative Assistant
Phone Ext: 1244
Karen McKeown has worked for over a decade in education – both as a para and a teacher in various grade levels. She received a B.A. from U.C. Davis in Economics with a minor in Organizational Studies and earned her teaching credential from Cal State Hayward. Karen and her family have been a part of the MA family for over 11 years. She and her husband, Jay, have 2 teenage boys. She loves to read, enjoy coffee with friends, camp, hike and spend time with her family. Her new position of Business Office Administrative Assistant allows her to combine her love for education with her enjoyment of administrative work and helping others.