Faces of Five Star Schools

Updated on Thu, 03/28/2019 - 3:44pm
Faces of Five Star Schools

Adams 12 Five Star Schools may extend across five cities and two counties, but we pride ourselves on being a close-knit community and school district. We are fortunate to have a strong partnership between staff, students, parents and the community to support our students' physical, social and emotional needs. 

Over the course of the 2018-2019 school year we are highlighting that great partnership by recognizing members of the Five Star community from all stakeholder groups — students, staff, parents and community members. Every week throughout the school year, a new "face" will be added on district social media and to this page giving you a little insight into the many members of the Five Star community!

We invite you to join us in meeting the many Faces of Five Star Schools.


Veronica Martinez, Family and Community Liaison at Westlake Middle School

  • If I could travel anywhere in the world I would go to Greece.
  • The best advice I ever got was "be the change you want to see in the world." My dad would always say that to me, although Gandhi really said it.
  • My favorite food is Vietnamese (Pho) and Mexican food.
  • I am most proud of my three songs. Two have graduated from Thornton High School and our last is at Northglenn High School.
  • What I like about the Five Star Community is there are lots of opportunities to volunteer. I see how schools and the district work together to offer the best education not only to students but to their families as well.


Shelby Carne, Director of Bands at Rocky Top Middle Schools

  • In college I studied in Salzburg, Austria and played trombone in an Austrian Brass Band. 
  • My favorite thing to do outside of work is ski.
  • My favorite childhood memory is going to Lake Champlain in Vermont with my family every summer.
  • If a genie granted me three wishes, they would be world peace, quality education for all children, and to have a pet giraffe.
  • I am most proud at the end of any RTMS band concert performance. I love seeing the happiness and excitement from students realizing the level of accomplishment they just achieved performing in front of their family and friends.




Gladys Fernández​, District Translation Services Manager

  • I have been a part of the Five Star Community for 26 years. 
  • Something people may not know about me is that I graduated high school a month before my 16th birthday.
  • My favorite type of food is Caribbean food from my island, Puerto Rico (where I grew up).
  • My favorite childhood memory is when we just moved outside the city and the power went out. We sat outside talking about the stars and saw cucubanos. Their light was beautiful against the dark of the night. I will never forget it!
  • I am most proud of making the decision to move to Colorado to better my health, never give up, become a productive member of society, and still be alive at 56 years old.



LaTrice Brewster, Marketing Director for Horizons North Credit Union

  • When I was 18, I traveled for three months through Europe.
  • When I'm not at work my favorite things to do are reading, going to concerts and catching a movie.
  • If I could travel anywhere in the world I would visit Iceland.
  • My favorite childhood memory was when I was bout 8, and I saw a rainbow. My dad drove us around for hours looking for the end of it. We had just watched a movie about leprechauns and I really wanted to find one. Rainbows always make me think of my dad.
  • I'm celebrating my 10th anniversary with HNCU in March. I've been a part of the Five Star Community the entire time and everyone from the schools to the ESC are so helpful and friendly.



Abigail, Senior at Horizon High School, Bollman Technical Education Center, and BASE Site Aid

  • I have been part of the Five Star District since kindergarten, and also worked for BASE for two years.
  • I am currently taking EMT classes through BTEC and I plan on going into the medical field after I graduate.
  • I am proud that I have the opportunity to go to school and work at BASE at the same time.
  • When I'm not at school or at work I love baking and hanging out with my friends.
  • My favorite memory as a child was going camping with my family and grandparents.



Ron Cabrera, Interim Director of English Language Learning

  • I have been in public education for nearly 40 years. As a middle school and high school language arts teacher, a cross country and track coach (2 times coach of the year) and in many leadership positions.
  • I once managed a drive-in theatre for a summer when I was in college. A lot of late nights and several horror movies come to memory.
  • My favorite type of food is all things Mexican. The best enchiladas I have ever eaten were made by my mother; however, I do make a good pot of posole.
  • My favorite childhood memory was going with my father to Goodwill/thrift stores to buy books and read them together.
  • I love Thanksgiving. All my children (five of them), my wife and I take turns making a meal over a course of a week and then share it with the others.


Lisle Reed, District Whole Child Initiatives Coordinator

  • I can speak Chinese
  • My favorite childhood memory was participating in spelling bees, and I often won them!
  • I've traveled to the UK, Germany, Jamaica and the Grand Caymen Island.
  • I grew up in Green Lake, Wisconsin and I own the Green Bay Packers (well just a share).
  • I love white elephant gift exchanges!

Faces of Five Star - Jack Lackey

Jack Lackey, Parent of Legacy High School Student and President of the District Accountability Committee (DAC)

  • My favorite food is a toss-up between sushi and good BBQ.
  • I love live music! A few favorite concerts were Kenny Chesney, Pink Floyd, Lyle Lovett and local 70's rock cover band MM8TR. 
  • The best advice I've ever received is "Trust your gut. Data is useful and necessary, but your gut is usually right."
  • What I like about the Five Star community is there are a significant number of engaged parents spending valuable time to learn about and improve the district for kids.
  • At the end of the day I am most proud that my wife and I have turned two fine young people out into the world.



Joschua Harvey-Beres, PEAK Site Aide at Stukey Elementary Schools

  • I can speak English, Russian, French, German and Spanish. I am also currently learning Farsi and Arabic.
  • My favorite childhood memory is sitting on the kitchen floor playing with my Tonka trucks as my grandmother made her winter fudge.
  • Something people may not know about me is that I would love to be governor of Colorado one day.
  • My favorite concert will always be San Holo at Red Rocks. It was the first performance I saw at Red Rocks after moving to Colorado.
  • I love that our district always puts the needs of children first. Daily I see the school, support staff and the district try to meet those needs while empowering students to excel.



Nicole Koehn, School Resource Officer at STEM Launch


  • My favorite things to do outside of work are travel and go to the movies.
  • I love to travel! I've been to South America, Europe and Asia.
  • My favorite childhood memory was going to Wisconsin to visit family and stay at my Mimi's house. 
  • The best advice I've ever gotten was "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - Christopher Robin
  • I love that the Five Star Community is like one big family. Everyone is always willing to help if you need something. 


Photo of Mariano

Mariano Vazquez-Hernandez, Office Manager - Coronado Hills Elementary

  • I am one of 10 children.
  • My favorite food is Mexican food. I make some pretty tasty shrimp ceviche!
  • I speak 3 languages — English, Spanish and Portuguese. 
  • My favorite holiday tradition is placing our shoows under the Christmas tree to receive the correct gift. 
  • What I like most about the Five Star community is that we strive to help every child to grow and support them with their individual needs. 

Robert Buster

Robert Buster, Head Custodian - Westview Elementary

  • I have been a part of the Five Star Community since 1985 when I went to kindergarten at Cotton Creek, then Huron Junior High and graduated from Thornton High School.
  • Choir was my favorite class. I loved singing! I lettered in choir 3 years and was male soloist of the year in '97 and '98 at THS.
  • Something people may not know about me is that I was a pro wrestling referee (Rob "The Rule" Buster) & wrestler (Broke Back Billy) from 2005-2013. 
  • My favorite food is grape snow cones.
  • I am most proud of my beautiful wife Laura Buster, head custodian at Hillcrest, and daughter Belle Buster a freshman at Northglenn High School.


Tomas, 8th Grade Student - Silver Hills Middle Schools

  • My favorite subject in school is gym because it challenges me to be my best self, and it pushes you to be better in school and in life.
  • My favorite teacher in school was Ms. Taigen. She is an amazing teacher...she pushed you to be a better student. 
  • My favorite movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas. Tim Burton makes amazing films.
  • My favorite type of food is burgers because you can have all the nutrients you need in a single dish.
  • The best advice I have ever gotten is to be yourself no matter what people say, because no one knows your life story. 


Radhika Prout, Parent of Hulstrom K-8 Student

  • Something people may not know about me is that I have an M.ED and PH.D in education.
  • The best advice I have ever gotten is "all things in moderations, including moderation." 
  • My favorite book is The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri.
  • My favorite subject in school was world cultures.
  • What I love about the Five Star Community are the people. Every person I've interacted with has been friendly and supportive.


Tracy Dorland Deputy Superintendent

Tracy Dorland, Deputy Superintendent

  • I have been a part of the Five Star Community for 5 years.
  • I'm an only child.
  • In the Five Star Community, I like that we do great work for our kids and we have fun along the way. 
  • The best advice I've ever gotten is "remember to stop and smell the roses."
  • My favorite movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Kurt Jones headshot

Kurt Jones, Five Star District Parent

  • Star Wars is still my original favorite movie.
  • When I was in school my favorite subject was
    math and favorite teacher was Ms. Pease.
  • I am a parent of kids who attends Rocky Top Middle
    and Horizon High School.
  • I have been part of the Five Star Community for
    10 years as a parent, and two years as a volunteer. 
  • In the Five Star Community, I like that people
    are extremely supportive of teachers and students. We push as a community to provide all students a path to success in their futures.

Lisa Carroll 4th Grade Teacher

Lisa Carroll, 4th Grade Teacher - North Mor Elementary

  • Where the Red Fern Grows in my all time favorite book.
  • My favorite type of food is chocolate because it has basically
    become its own food group!
  • The best advice I ever got was if I can still teach, the student
    can still learn and other students can still learn, then ignore
    the behavior.
  • I loved everything about school so I didn't really have a favorite subject.
  • My youngest two kids have been in the district for the
    past 10 years, I am a proud staff member at North Mor Elemenary for 3 years, and I also participate in district committees. 

Rocky Top student

Ava, 8th Grade Student - Rocky Top Middle

  • I love making people smile and laugh!
  • A teacher that has impacted my life the most is Mrs. Cianfrance, my 4th grade teacher at Silver Creek Elementary
  • The best advice I every got was to be yourself! "Dance Like Nobody's Watching!"
  • My favorite book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It has such an amazing message and just a great story!
  • If a genie granted me three wishes, I would get ride of environmental destruction, get rid of hatred and cure all diseases.

Meet the Board of Education in a special edition of the Faces of Five Star Schools.