Anne Upczak Garcia has lived and worked in Latin America and in the United States for more than 15 years with both children and adults learning two languages. She holds a Masters Degree in Multicultural, Bilingual and ESL Education from the University of Colorado. Her passions are her family, writing fiction and traveling to anywhere.
Karla Vazquez was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, and she teaches third grade Biliteracy (Spanish and English as a Second language) and Content (Math, Social Studies & Science).
In Monterrey, Mexico she earned two undergraduate bachelor degrees – one as a Professional Contemporary Dancer & Choreographer, and the second degree in Public Relations at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. In 2000, two years after she immigrated to the United States, she began her career in Bilingual education with the Alternative Certification for Teachers Rio Grande Valley (ACT-RGV) in Texas. After teaching in Texas for two years, she moved to Colorado with her family. Karla worked for Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) for several years and then moved to St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD). In 2006, she returned to BVSD to begin her career at Columbine Elementary School. In 2012, she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity (EECD) from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Karla believes that all children are capable of learning more than one language if given the opportunity and a safe environment. She lives in Boulder & enjoys the outdoor activities that Boulder has to offer. She loves to cook & eat dinner with her sons, Carlos & Zach. Carlos is a CU Boulder student & Zach is a proud Panther at Boulder High School.
Hello! I came to Columbine in 2001. I have a Masters in education, and I’ve been teaching in various capacities for 20 years, including ESL, adult education, and Montessori elementary. I love being part of the team at Columbine, and I love the kids! I also love hanging out with my family, hiking, traveling, learning languages, and reading – anything.
Steve Ollanik has been teaching at Columbine for his entire educational career, since 1996. He has taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. Before teaching he spent 16 years in Silicon Valley as a software engineer and engineering manager. He has a Bachelors degree from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as well as a Masters in Education from University of Colorado. He has also received extensive training in differentiating instruction and teaching English as a Second Language. When not in the classroom, Mr. Ollanik is an avid reader and hiker. His biggest passion, though, is woodworking. Most of his summers are spent working in a woodshop in his garage.