Third Grade - Sixth Grade

Ruth Dwyer

Email: rdwyer@aurorak12.org

Third Grade Math/Science

I am very excited to join the team of educators and families that will open Harmony Ridge P8! I currently live in the community and have eagerly looked forward to the establishment of Harmony Ridge with a STEM focus! I’ve always known that I wanted to be a teacher and I started my career as a preschool teacher for HeadStart. I then worked as a Cultural Liaison and Spanish Translator for Cherry Creek Schools. During my time as a liaison, I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and Teacher license from Regis University in 2009. I obtained a position in the Cherry Creek School District as an intermediate elementary teacher. In 2015, I moved to the Aurora Public Schools boundary area. Soon after, I obtained a position at Peoria Elementary and Jewell Elementary where I have taught grades 3rd-5th.
I grew up in Denver and moved to Aurora in 2005 where I have lived ever since. I have absolutely loved living in Aurora! In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, dancing, coloring, going on walks, biking and just enjoy watching the Colorado sunsets. I love living in the plains where I can enjoy wildlife and wide skies. I have two children (one in high school and one in middle school) who enjoy playing family games and trying new recipes.




Kylie Hammond

Email: kmhammond@aurorak12.org

Third Grade Literacy/Social Studies

Hi!! My name is Kylie Hammond and I am so excited to be joining the 3rd grade team at Harmony Ridge. I grew up in Colorado Springs, where I have been teaching for the past 7 years, both at a Title 1 and charter school. I am moving to Aurora to start my life with my finance Ethan. We will be getting married in September and I cannot wait! I attended both Colorado State University (GO RAMS!) and UNC in Greeley where I received my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. I have lived in the Springs my whole life and most of my family lives there too. I am the oldest of three kids- my sister is married with two sweet little girls and my brother graduated from the USAFA and is stationed in Missouri. My family means the world to me, which is why I am so excited to help cultivate the community and family-like culture at Harmony. When I’m not teaching, I love boating at the lake, seeing country concerts, doing CrossFit workouts, watching football, and spending quality time with my friends and family. I believe in tough love, singing songs to remember things, and teaching the whole child. Let's make this an amazing year!! :)


Genesis Reeves

Email: gareeves@aurorak12.org

Fourth Grade Math/Science

Greetings! I am excited to be joining the Harmony Ridge P-8 Teaching Team this year. Committed to the profession of teaching and learning, I have developed the philosophy: “All students can learn, achieve, and succeed”. I look forward to serving the Harmony Raptors Fourth Grade Scholars!Originally from California, I have always enjoyed and had a passion for learning. Throughout my schooling, my favorite subjects have been reading, math and science. After high school, I decided to serve my country and joined the United States Air Force Reserve, where I have had the privilege to travel and instruct on various levels both in the United States and abroad. At the end of my military career, I completed my studies at Grand Canyon University where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education then furthered my studies at Concordia University where I earned my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. With over 10 years of combined educational experiences, I have enjoyed instructing at all levels and in various academic settings. When it comes to education, my passion for creating an environment where learning is not only equitable, but opportunistic and student centered, has positively impacted my students at each grade level. My infectious enthusiasm for education drives me to ensure students are engaged, encouraged, and equipped to not only flourish but excel at all educational stages in life. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, taking walks with my husband, trying new restaurants, and cuddling up with a good book or action movie. Looking forward to serving and building strong partnerships with my Harmony Ridge students and families. Counting down the days to meet you!


Shannon Fay

Email: snfay@aurorak12.org

Fourth Grade Literacy/Social Studies

Hi! My name is Shannon Fay and I’m so excited to be teaching 4th grade literacy at Harmony Ridge in the Fall. I will be starting my 6th year in the classroom, after spending my first 5 years in Denver Public Schools teaching 3rd and 4th grade. I received my undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2014 with a degree in Behavioral Science with a focus on Elementary Education. This May, I graduated with my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Reading and Writing from the University of Colorado Denver. Teaching is my absolute passion and I look forward to continue doing what I love at Harmony Ridge.
When I’m not teaching, I love being outside and attending live sporting events. I like hiking and running around our beautiful state with my puppy (she just turned a year old in June!), Penny, and my fiancé, Brian. I’m a giant sports fan (especially the Rockies and the Broncos) and can often be found at the games or watching them with friends. Also, I love bears and have been known to call my students bears. I can’t wait to meet you all!


Dena Leslie

Email: deleslie@aurorak12.org

Fifth Grade Math/Science

Hi there! My name is Dena Leslie and I am over the moon that I will be joining Harmony Ridge as the 5th grade math and science teacher! I am so excited that our new school will be STEM focused as hands-on, project-based learning is such an amazing way for all students to gain and retain knowledge during the learning process!
I was born in New York, but from the age of four grew up just east of Aurora in the small community of Strasburg. I graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with my BA in English Literature. After graduating from CU, my husband Kirk and I moved back to his home state of New Jersey and I was given the opportunity to teach 3rd grade at a Montessori school. That is where I fell in love with teaching and knew I had officially caught the teaching bug! After that school year, I immediately went back to school and earned my degree in Elementary Education from Seton Hall University. Most recently, I earned my Master’s in Educational Leadership from WGU.
During my time as a teacher, I have taught 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. However, most of my time has been spent teaching 4th grade and this past school year I specifically taught 4th grade math and science. Although, as a book worm at heart, I strive to incorporate reading as much as possible into our daily lessons. I am super excited to have the pleasure of teaching our 5th graders this coming school year and look forward to the challenging yet fun math we will learn as well as the discussions and projects we will conduct in science!
In my free time I love reading a good book, hiking with my husband Kirk, or playing with our two new heeler puppies! We are both teachers, so in the summer, we like to travel and go on road trips. I look forward to meeting all of our students and having a memorable year of math and science! See you soon!




Evan Hall

Email: ephall@aurorak12.org

Fifth Grade Literacy/Social Studies

It is with great excitement that I write this letter introducing myself! My name is Evan Hall and I will be teaching fifth grade literacy and social studies at Harmony Ridge. I am looking forward to developing lasting relationships with the Harmony Ridge P-8 communities and to better prepare all students for their future!
Originally born in Fort Collins, Colorado, I was raised here in Aurora. I graduated from Eaglecrest High School in 2005. Afterwards, I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix in 2015 and my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in 2018. I have taught 4th grade for four years and 5th grade for two. I am so very excited to be returning to Aurora Public Schools, having spent the last year teaching 5th grade in Cherry Creek School District.
In my free time I love everything related to soccer (Go West Ham United!). It’s my first love and I have played since I was eight years old. I also love to spend time with my family. I have two younger brothers and an older sister. During the summer you can see me hiking, camping and doing anything else outdoors with them and their families. I look forward to the honor and privilege of being a part of the Harmony Ridge community!


Joseph Kahana

Email: jkkahana@aurorak12.org

Sixth Grade Math/Science

Aloha! My name is Joe Kahana and I am excited to be a member of this outstanding team of teachers here at Harmony. GO RAPTORS!!!
I have been teaching for 14 years. After receiving my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, I began to teach in the Hawaii Public School System for 9 years at Palisades Elementary. In seeking new opportunities to expand my teaching skills, I decided to become an Instructional Technology Specialist at the Kamehameha Schools where I mentored fellow colleagues to successfully integrate technology into their classrooms. However, my passion was, and continues to be, teaching kids. I missed the students. So I returned to the classroom where I was teaching Math to sixth graders at the Kamehameha Schools until this February when my family transitioned to Aurora.
When not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my family, exploring the outdoors, surfing, snowboarding, and cooking. I look forward to meeting all of you this upcoming year.

Nicole Kaiser

Email: nmkaiser@aurorak12.org

Sixth Grade Literacy/Social Studies

I am excited and honored to introduce myself as the 6th grade Literacy and Social Studies teacher at Harmony Ridge P8.
As a Colorado transplant, moving from Illinois, my family and I have made Colorado our home for the last nine years. I began my teaching journey in Illinois, at Governors State University. It was there that I received my BA in Elementary Education with an endorsement in middle school mathematics and language arts. After teaching for five years, I decided that I wanted to continue my schooling and began classes for my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction through Grand Canyon University. After having a baby and taking a slight break, I graduated December 2019.During my eight years of teaching, though first in the Aurora Public School system, I have taught literacy, social studies, and mathematics to grades ranging from third to sixth. I found that sixth grade attracts me the most as it is at this age that students truly discover who they are in the educational world and what they want to do with that knowledge. I have taught at schools with a wide range of student capabilities, languages, cultures, and passions.
Through my journey, I have noticed that all students are capable of succeeding and all students deserve the chance to prove it. My goal at Harmony is to have students rediscover a passion for reading and writing, all while discovering their growing passions outside of the classroom.
During my free time, my husband, Brad, and my son, Orion, and I love to bike ride, snowboard, and hike. We absolutely love being outdoors when the weather allows, which we all know that Colorado allows that most of the year. As my son grows, I also enjoy watching him figure out the world. He has so much innocence in his eyes and it makes me appreciate life so much more. When enjoying the outdoors is not feasible, I paint and rearrange my house, as I love to stay busy, and read a good book to relax.