Bruce Berning, Physical Education Teacher

BruceBerningI received my teacher certification degree from the University of Denver in 1994 in Elementary Education. I have been teaching P.E. at DCS Montessori School since 1999. From 1995 through 1999 I taught grades third through sixth. Before becoming a school teacher, I earned a Masters degree and worked for seventeen years in Parks and Recreation Administration.

My wife Jackie and I have been married for 35 years and we have two sons, Matthew, 23 and Kevin, 17. I have lived in Castle Rock for 25 years and Colorado for 30 years. I have lived in Arizona, Maryland and grew up in Indiana.

Email:  Bruce.Berning@dcsdk12.org



Sam Carstens, Art Teacher

SamCarstensI graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1998 with a degree in Art Education.  After Graduation I taught art in Adams 12 School District in Colorado for a year. I then moved to New York and worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which helped me gain better understanding and knowledge of art. I then returned to Colorado and taught art in Jefferson County Schools for six years. In 2006 I decided to move again and work on a small organic farm in Washington.  I followed that by travelling around the country and learning so much about other cities and states.  I have also lived in Orlando, Florida and San Francisco, California.  I am excited to be back in Colorado and am enjoying being part of the DCS Montessori team.

I was born and raised in Cheyenne Wyoming.   I am currently living in Downtown Denver, right by the Capital building. I am working on starting a small farm with friends in Wheatridge, where I hope to grow good organic vegetables and fruit.  Similar to many Coloradans, I enjoy camping, hiking and travel.   I have traveled all over the U.S. and hope to start exploring the world soon.

Email:  Samuel.Carstens@dcsdk12.org



Lorraine Cooper, Music Teacher

Lorraine CooperLorraine Bronson Cooper graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO in 1978. She holds K-12 teaching licenses in both Missouri and Colorado. She completed Level I Orff Certification from the University of Northern Colorado in 1995, and has taken many hours of post-graduate courses from CSU, UNC, USC and Regis University. She has 17 years of teaching experience in both the public and private sector. She is an active member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter – American Orff Schulwerk Association and served as the organization’s Treasurer for a three year term. Lorraine spent 19 years in the corporate sector working for Standard & Poor’s with most of her tenure in the Custom Business Unit designing custom programs for investment bankers and money managers.

Mrs. Cooper’s passion is health and nutrition. She maintains an active and thriving nutrition business where she educates clients for optimum health and wellness and coaches others to build businesses of their own. Her desire is to eradicate malnutrition around the world and she donates profits from her business toward that end. She was born into a military family and lived in Africa, Japan and many states in the USA. Her parents retired in Littleton, Colorado, where she makes her home today. She enjoys spending time with her husband of 25 years, her grandson and family, her retired racing Greyhound and three birds. She enjoys walking and hiking Colorado trails, cooking and gardening. Her spiritual life and family life are most important to her and she creates ways to celebrate every aspect of those each day.

Email:  Lorraine.Cooper@dcsdk12.org



Maria Hannigan, Technology Teacher

MariaHanniganI am a K-12 Technology teacher with a true passion for lifelong learning.  I have been a teacher in various capacities since 1992 when I taught English in Japan.  I began my teaching career in the states in 2006 at Castle View High School as a Technology teacher in the E-Media Business Academy.  I hold a Secondary Education License with endorsements in K-12 Instructional Technology, Business and Marketing.  I also hold a Professional Career and Technical Education Credential in Business.  I am a member of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) and the NBEA (National Business Education Association).  I earned a B.A. in Communications, Public Relations from Glassboro State College, (now Rowan University) in New Jersey and a M.A. Education, Secondary – Business/Marketing from the University of Phoenix.  Prior to teaching, I worked as a Public Relations Coordinator at Harrah’s Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and a Public Relations Manager for the Academic software distributor, Academic Distributing, in Dewey, Arizona. It was during my time at Academic Distributing that I gained tremendous experience regarding educational software development.  I became submerged in software technology for education and my love of the Internet grew.  In 2000, I incorporated my Web Design and Development & Internet Marketing company, Barefoot Creative Design, LLC , and was able to work and stay at home with my children.

It’s not all about Technology.  In my free time, I enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Colorado and neighboring states.  My family and I enjoy hiking, biking and camping the summer away.  I have 4 children, 2 Chocolate Labrador retrievers, and a loving husband of 18 years. When she can, Maria and her family travel to their home state of New Jersey to spend time with relatives. She always brings her cell phone, laptop, camera, GPS, and several other tech savvy gadgets. It’s difficult to take the technology away from the tech teacher.

Email:  Maria.Hannigan@dcsdk12.org



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