Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

Sunset Middle School New Spartan Staff


August 23, 2018

Vicky Dorvee

Staff members preparing for their first school year at Sunset Middle School are from left to right, Anthony Barela, principal, Tanya Gaurmer, language arts teacher, JoAnn Rosebrock, art teacher, Jenna Steffan, science teacher, Stephanie Texera, director of bands, Katie Silverberg, special education teacher, Mary Ellen Graziani, assistant principal. Not pictured, Misty Hernon, psychologist, Adriana Solc, registrar, and Patti Grubbs, attendance clerk.

Sunset Middle School (SMS) is welcoming 10 new staff members to its team this school year, starting with the top two administrative positions in the school - principal and assistant principal. Additional new staff members coming onboard include language arts, science, art and special education teachers, a new band director, a new school psychologist, attendance clerk, and school registrar.

Anthony Barela is SMS’s new Principal. He grew up in Durango, CO, earned his master’s degree in educational administration from California State University in San Marcos, CA, and has been an educator for 20 years. Prior to coming onboard SMS, Barela was the principal at Vista High School in Vista, CA. Under his administration in 2016, Vista High was one of 10 US schools awarded an XQ Super School title and in 2017, he was recognized as Principal of the year in San Diego County.

Sunset’s new assistant principal is Mary Ellen Graziani. Graziani has been a part of the St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) community for over 14 years and has spent the last five years leading technology integration and innovation as an instructional technology coordinator. She has nearly 10 years of experience as a social studies teacher at both Frederick and Silver Creek High Schools. Ms. Graziani has a master of arts in instruction and curriculum from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Tanya Gaurmer joins SMS’s staff as an eighth-grade language arts teacher. She’s a native Coloradoan hailing from Westminster and she graduated from Adams State University with a bachelor’s degree in history and government, along with degrees in curriculum and instruction and educational leadership. Gaurmer has been a teacher for nine years.

This is JoAnn Rosebrock’s fourth year of teaching in the SVVSD. Her professional career started in the corporate environment of her family business. Rosebrock went back to school and earned her masters of arts degree in education and human development at UC Denver so she could pursue a career in education. She will be teaching art to all grade levels at Sunset.

SMS’s newest eighth-grade science teacher is Jenna Steffan. She relocated to Colorado from Illinois this summer where she taught high school biology and anatomy for the past five years. Steffan holds an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree in recreation management from the University of Idaho and a master’s of arts in teaching from National Louis University. She is also a certified athletic trainer and has trained high school athletes.

New director of bands at SMS is Stephanie Texera. Texera was the director of bands and the visual and performing arts academy coordinator for Skyline High School before joining SMS’s staff. For the past five years Texera has also been the director of the Front Range Youth Symphony in Arvada, and she is a frequent guest clinician and conductor at various venues throughout the state.Texera has a bachelor’s of music education from Florida State University and masters of music degree in instrumental conducting from CU Boulder. She has 21 years of experience teaching orchestra and bands in both Colorado and Florida.

Katie Silverberg is SMS’s new seventh and eighth-grade special education teacher. Silverberg grew up, attended college, and began her teaching career in Minnesota. She earned her master’s degree in special education with a focus on Autism Spectrum disorders at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN. She has taught special education for the past five years in Minnesota. Silverberg relocated to Longmont this summer.

Misty Hernon will be joining the team at SMS as the new school psychologist. She has worked at Niwot High School since 2013 as the special education facilitator and school psychologist, and has been a mentor for other special education facilitators throughout the district. She will be working at both Niwot High and SMS. Hernon earned an Ed.S in School Psychology from Denver University and worked for over nine years with Northern Colorado's Centennial Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.

Adriana Solc will be the new school Registrar/Counseling Secretary. Patti Grubbs, former SMS health clerk, will be the school’s new attendance clerk.


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