Dana Caplinger

Dana Caplinger

Elementary Ed Tech Coordinator, Tech Integration Teacher

Deborah Hulting

Elementary Art Teacher

Adam Kidd

Elementary PE Teacher

Elizabeth Laird

Elementary Spanish Teacher

Nicole Lemme

Elementary Music Teacher
Rebeca Novotny

Rebeca Novotny

Elementary/Middle School Spanish Teacher
Cristin Patterson

Cristin Patterson

Strings Teacher


At Monument Academy,  we believe in teaching the whole child. The whole-child approach to teaching supports and nurtures all areas of a child’s development. It enhances our students’ learning and thinking by responding to their individual understandings, interests, and abilities. With this approach, our teachers are better able to encourage students’ natural curiosity, and foster their eagerness to discover and learn more. In this way, we hope to instill a life-long love of learning.

We use a cross-curricular approach that aims to connect the arts with other subjects. We understand that more meaningful learning occurs when relevant content areas are combined. A focus on Aesthetics is a part of our arts integration, and is defined as an appreciation for beauty and a feeling of wonder. Our teachers  can help develop children’s aesthetic senses by introducing them to works of art, music, dance, and literature, including those of other languages and cultures, and by involving them in the arts community. Through this integrated approach, children enhance their aesthetic appreciation and can learn to explore their environment in a manner that encourages divergent thinking.

The following subject areas are some of the ways our teachers encourage their students’ aesthetic growth as a valuable part of their overall education:


Art education gives children the opportunity to develop an appreciation of beauty and wonder and to observe the world more closely. This process of careful analysis and study teaches students skills that are the basis of critical thinking. In addition to fostering creativity, students learn about color, layout, perspective, and balance, all techniques that are necessary in presentations (such as visual and digital) of academic work. Studying art is also a wonderful way to connect students with their own culture as well as with the wider world.


Music education is an important part of integrated learning, and has been shown to benefit students in other areas of study. Children who study music tend to understand fundamental math more readily. In addition, music builds social and fine motor skills, relieves stress, and creates a foundation of discipline. Our students develop skills that can carry over into many other areas in life, open doors to travel and careers, and generally foster a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence.


P.E. class activities, like other areas of aesthetic development, help improve academic performance, instill positive behaviors, reduce stress, and develop social and leadership skills. Active, healthy children are more receptive to learning, and also better able to retain knowledge. Physical Education helps children to become more aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This knowledge can help them to make wise decisions concerning their safety, health, and well-being, setting them up for life-long health and fitness. 


The advantages of teaching children a second language are diverse and well-established by research. Our Spanish program helps improve cognitive functioning, academic performance, and increases cultural knowledge and awareness. The empathy and cultural understanding that children learn from studying a foreign language can help them in all aspects of their education and throughout their lives.