CIVA Staff Bio's

Betsy Acree McClenahan Community Liaison

Ms. McClenahan (Ms. Betsy to her CIVA students) is the Service Learning Coordinator and Community Liaison for CIVA Charter High School. You can also find her teaching the Yoga and Fitness class as well as facilitating several Academic Coaching classes. When not at CIVA, Ms. McClenahan is the Program Director for Kaleidoscope Arts Project, a program of Imagination Celebration as well at the Artistic Director of Kaleidoscope Dance Project, a semi-professional dance company showcasing the Pikes Peak region’s premiere dancers. With more than forty years of experience teaching dance and theater arts, Ms. McClenahan is passionate about the thriving arts program at CIVA and coordinates performing arts experiences for Ravens throughout the community. In 2010, Ms. McClenahan helped to create the What If Festival of Innovation which now reaches more than 30,000 visitors to the Pikes Peak region and is on the Board of the Colorado Springs Dance Theater and Arts and Business Education Consortium.

Cindy Barnes Registrar/Data Processing

Mrs. Barnes was born and raised in Colorado Springs where she attended and graduated from D11 schools. After working with Special Education Preschool and local medical offices she found her way to CIVA in 2015, where she is the Registrar. She loves spending time outside with her husband and 5 yorkies. She has two adult children that live in western Colorado and visit often.

Keith Benson Math Teacher

Keith Benson is in his eighth year teaching math, economics and computer applications at CIVA. He became a teacher after watching public education take a back seat to most other priorities and knowing that since most problems in our society are rooted in inadequate schooling, wanted to be part of the solution.  Mr. Benson has been fortunate to have traveled to more than 30 countries so loves how CIVA embraces international students. He is proud of the academic success that CIVA has achieved as ACT scores have risen consistently during the time he’s been at CIVA.  Go Ravens!

Melissa Beyer English Teacher

Ms. Beyer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English: Secondary Education from the University of Northern Colorado, where she graduated in 2012. She passionately believes that English/Language Arts is a significant tool for learning how to be a successful human. This is Ms. Beyer’s 5th year of teaching. Teaching is her passion, though Ms. Beyer also enjoys a variety of crafty hobbies.

Rhonda Cameron Music Teacher

Rhonda Cameron is a graduate of the University of Colorado's music education program.  She has 25 years of experience on a wide variety of musical instruments, as well as vocal and music theory training. She has performed around the globe as an ensemble member from Spain to Carnegie Hall. This is her 8th year in public education, and her 5th year at CIVA Charter School.

Krasen Daskalov Social Studies Teacher

Krasen Daskalov is from Sofia, Bulgaria where he graduated from the Spanish Language High School “Miguel de Cervantes” in 1996. He studied International Relations at the University of National and World Economy and pursued his first Masters degree in European Studies at New Bulgarian University. In 2002 he moved to Italy and graduated from the University of Bologna with M.A. in European Policy Studies. He moved to the United States in 2004 and spent the following 12 years in Aspen, CO where he developed appreciation for the beauty and lifestyle of Colorado. In 2016 he finished a postgraduate degree in Education from Colorado Mesa University and moved to Colorado Springs. This is his second year with CIVA Charter School where he teaches United States and European history employing his rich life experiences and passion for history, teaching and world affairs. He uses proven and innovative educational practices in order to prepare our students for the rigors of college, and life.

Sean Dineen Social Studies/English Teacher

Twelve years into his CIVA career, Mr. Dineen has filled many roles:  from teaching music to coaching multiple sports to his current roles in the English and social studies departments.  His bachelor's degree in English education and his Master's degree in religious education make him qualified for the job, but he feels, and many of his students throughout his career have validated, that it is his creativity, humor, and concern for the student as an individual that makes him most effective in his job.  Mr. Dineen actually made his first contact with Headmaster Zimmerman as a parent rather than as a potential employee, and now has a CIVA graduate as well as a freshman enjoying her first year at CIVA.  “I don't think I could give a better compliment to nor express my faith in CIVA any better than by the fact that it's the school I chose for my own kids.  It has been amazing seeing CIVA grow over these past twelve years (including getting top scores on standardized testing and the SAT in the district), and I'm extremely excited to see how we can continue to grow moving forward.”

Kyle Hills Art Teacher

Kyle Hills is a native of Pennsylvania.  He graduated in 2005 from Wilson High School in West Lawn, PA. Upon attending college Kyle graduated Summa cum Laude from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor's degree in Art Education in 2009. He participated in Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field throughout high school and college.

Kyle has taught in schools in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Colorado in elementary, middle, and high school settings. He now proudly calls CIVA Charter High School home.

Mr. Hills teaches art, drawing, painting, sculpture, digital photography, yearbook, and A.P. Studio Art.

Throughout the school year you can spot Mr. Hills running with the cross country team, or training for his next race. The shortest distance he has raced has been the 800 meters (half mile) in track and the longest run he has completed was a 100 mile race known as "Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile" in Steamboat Springs. He also ran the Boston Marathon in 2013 and finished with a time of 2:45:33.

Mr. Hills likes working in all types of medium and doesn't like doing the same thing twice. He likes to challenge his students to explore new methods and mediums in order to grow as artists and to offer creative problem solving tactics as a mean to tackle any challenge one may encounter both inside and outside of the school he calls home.

Mr. Hills lives in Old Colorado City with his wife, son, and two Bengal cats.

Melissa Hills Math Teacher

Melissa Hills is native of Wisconsin where she attended the University of WI – Milwaukee. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education and Mathematics. After graduating in 2007, she relocated to Yuma, AZ where she helped to open a new high school of 3,000 students and was department chair. After 5 years of teaching, she changed careers and worked alongside the Marine Corp. Melissa worked to help develop curriculum for the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, a graduate level flight schoolhouse.

Eventually Melissa relocated to the beautiful state of Colorado. She has a passion for reinvigorating student’s interest in mathematics. Her other passions are coaching the CIVA cross country team, trail running, and enjoying her family life with her husband and son.

Ashlea Johnson English Teacher

Ashlea Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Masters of Education (M.Ed.) from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. After graduation, Ashlea spent 4 years as an Admissions Counselor for a university on the east coast. After moving to Colorado with her husband, Ashlea began teaching at CIVA where she earned the Charter School Star Teacher of the Year award in 2014. Ashlea believes that literature and writing, taught well and with passion, prepares students for college and beyond.   

Joni Landry Assistant to the Executive Director

Mrs. Landry is enjoying her 12th year at CIVA. She was a District 11 ESP substitute for many years.  Spending time with her granddaughters is the highlight of her life.  

Stephanie Reid Dance/Spanish Teacher

Stephanie Reid is a native of Colorado Springs. She holds a Bachelors of Arts from the prestigious performing arts school Oklahoma City University. She was a company member of American Spirit Dance Company under the direction of Broadway Star and Bolshoi Ballet dancer Jo Rowan. She had the opportunity to perform and travel while being a part of this famous company. While a dancer in the company she had the opportunity to be taught by the Assistant Choreographer of the Broadway show Elf. She has trained under Tony award winning singers as well as had acting coaching from the writer of the TBS show Sullivan and Son. She is still an active artist teaching dance and Spanish at CIVA as well as teaching at other local dance studios and continuing to travel as a freelance choreographer.

Carmela Roybal ASL Teacher

Carmela Roybal is CIVA's ASL teacher. Born and raised in Santa Fe, NM, she has lived in the beautiful state of CO for over 20 years now. She has her bachelor's degree from Colorado State University. She has been teaching ASL for over 12 years now, including 3 years here at CIVA. The other hats she wears are Manager/Certified Deaf Interpreter for a local interpreting agency and mentor for 1st and 2nd year interpreting interns at the local community college. She is also Vice-President of the Colorado Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf organization. She is the proud mommy of a 15 year old daughter and the cutest Yorkie dog in the world.

Haley Wolfe Math/Science Teacher

This is Haley Wolfe's ninth year teaching at CIVA. She currently teaches earth science, geometry, and physics.  She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) with a double major in biology and chemistry.  Mrs. Wolfe later received her teaching certificate through BOCES Teacher’s in Residence Program.  Math has always been a great passion of hers; something she even enjoys doing for fun.  She is highly qualified to teach both science and mathematics.