Erin grew up in Detroit, Michigan and received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan University. Directly after college she moved to Phoenix, Arizona to begin her teaching career and was there for 6 years teaching both fourth grade and kindergarten. While in Arizona, Erin almost immediately fell in love with the desert and loves to get back as often as she can.
After teaching in Arizona, Erin and her partner, Ben, decided it was time for a change. They moved to Boulder and it was here that Erin began working for an outdoor adventure company called Avid4 Adventure. While there, Erin had the privilege of introducing children and their families to the outdoor adventure sports she knows and loves. She was incredibly inspired by the increase she saw in children’s confidence as they pushed themselves to try new things in the outdoors and became increasingly more curious about how to bring that increased confidence into the classroom setting. This is what eventually brought Erin back to the classroom and is so excited to be at Columbine Elementary School! She is also currently working on her Masters in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity and is excited to bring that new learning to her classroom.
When Erin is not teaching, she loves surfing, climbing, snowboarding, camping and traveling to Michigan and Arizona to spend time with her family.
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.
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.