Music, Band & Orchestra
Mr. Villacres has been an instrumental music director for eighteen years, and starts his seventh year teaching in Colorado. Mr. Villacres is excited to join the Mountain Phoenix Community Schools, and is looking forward to building a quality band and string program. Mr. Villacres’ previous program successes include founding the Elgin (IL) Area Symphonic Band, and assisting Sheridan (CO) High School to the 2005 2A State Marching Band Championship.
Mr. Villacres has graduated from VanderCook College of Music (Chicago, IL) and is currently completing a Master’s of Education degree from Regis University (Denver, CO). Mr. Villacres currently performs with area groups such as the Denver Pops Orchestra and the Aurora Symphony Brass Quintet. He has performance experience on most instruments and lists the Tuba, Baritone, Flute, and the Bass as his favorites to play.
On a personal note, Mr. Villacres was born and raised in Chicago, has lived in Florida and Louisiana, and is an avid Chicago sports fanatic. He currently lives with his wife, Stacy, his daughter, Gabby, and his dog, Happy in Thornton. Other than family, sports and performing, Mr. Villacres lists arranging music, reading books by Dan Brown and Tom Clancy, and continuing education as his main interests.
PE Teacher & Middle School Math
Edward Michalenko is the Physical Education Instructor and Middle School Math Teacher. Ed graduated from State University of New York at Cortland, with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. He is currently working on his M.A. in Mathematics Education 5-12 at Western Governors University. Ed has worked in New York (Physical Education K-12), Mooloolaba Australia (Health/Physical Education grades 7-10), and Colorado (Physical Education grades 1-7 / Math grades 6 & 7). Edward believes all students should be able to demonstrate competencies in motor skills and movements, understand concepts, principles and strategies regarding physical activities, developing responsibility and social behavior in respects to themselves and others. Values physical activity as a life long learning process of health, enjoyment, challenges, self-expression and social interaction. Maintains a passion for instilling in children the importance of lifelong learning, health and fitness. Serves as a positive role model through extensive participation in recreational activities, music, arts, and community service.
Kelli Cahoone has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from Metropolitan State College of Denver and studied for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. During high school she did home stays in Mexico through the “Open School” and also has worked extensively with the Spanish-Speaking Immigrant population in Denver. She spent six months in Valparaiso, Chile and three years in Buenos Aires, Argentina teaching English to children and adults to get by and singing with jazz and eclectic local bands. Upon returning from South America, she taught children Spanish in various homeschool and private classes and even was an Adjunct Professor of Spanish at Front Range Community College. Not yet sure she wanted to teach Spanish as a career, in 2005 she was hired at the now closed Front Range Waldorf School where she worked under wonderful mentors and discovered the wonder and beauty of Waldorf Education and of Rudolf Steiner. She had found a home. She is thrilled again for the opportunity to bring her creativity and love for the language and for children to Mountain Phoenix, and feels very lucky to share this experience with her first grade daughter. This past summer she attended a newly created one week training specifically for Spanish Teachers at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks and she is anxious to get to work! She also has an extensive songwriting/singing/keys career under the name “kal” and enjoys motherhood, gardening and cooking.
Liza is a second-generation Waldorf teacher. She began her Waldorf journey attending City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she developed a passion for the fiber arts. She attended Naropa University and holds a BA in contemplative psychology with a double minor in education and visual arts. She enjoys bringing art to the classroom and inspiring children to create and appreciate beauty. Liza is thrilled to be MPCS’s new Handwork teacher! Let’s knit!