Photo of Chris Bacavis

Chris Bacavis

English & SAT Prep

Prior to teaching at CPS, Chris worked for nearly a decade as a freelance writer, copy editor, and private tutor. “At Community Prep, I get to interact every day with incredible people who often have much more to teach me than I have to teach them. One of my greatest passions is encouraging students to interact with the human experience through critical thought, careful use of texts, and constructive discourse.”


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Abbey Banta

English & Social Studies

“I’m a basketball playing, poetry writing, nature loving, world traveling, long boarding, college going, bibliophilic conversationalist and philosopher. Nice to meet you ???? . I have been at CPS for 6 years and absolutely love my work. My experience here has not only gained me beautiful relationships, but broadened my perspective and made me a better person.”


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Ron Banta

Social Studies

“I came to CPS after years of working with high school students in faith-based and outdoor educational environments. Substitute teaching and tutoring led me to pursue work in a high school. Working at Community Prep is an opportunity to encourage students to find their own educational path, and to help them prepare for the future they envision for themselves.”


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Amy Blackshear

Art & Art Therapy

Amy is a professional illustrator and certified art therapist with over 10 years experience teaching art to K-12 students. “Everyday I look forward to helping students discover the blessings of creativity, healing, and joy through the visual arts.”


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Tara Bush

Music Production & DJ

Tara, AKA DJ T-BeatZ, is a professional DJ and has worked with students for many years.  “Working here at CPS is such an exciting and humbling experience. I Love coming to work and knowing I am making a difference in young adult lives, and sharing and teaching my skills to this young generation. I am also blessed to be surrounded by such talented Teachers and Advocates.”


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Bruce Durham

Assistant Director

Retired military, Bruce has served CPS for almost two decades as a math teacher, mentor, student advocate and administrator.  “Working at Community Prep allows me an opportunity to influence the future through our students and, hopefully, have a positive impact on our community.”


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Lisa Haden

Facilities/Building Beautification

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Bonnie Herbst

ICAP and Career Development

Bonnie has 5 years human services background, and served as a TANF Case Manager and a Community Liaison, teaching job-ready skills to adults who were seeking employment. “CPS means so many things to me. As a teenager, I attended an alternative high school very similar to Prep. It amazes each day to see these incredibly strong kiddos stay focused and persevere through their struggles.…

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Gayle Hinrichs


Gayle has many years in education, teaching every grade level K-College level. “I’m excited for this new challenge that Community Prep offers and happy to be a part of the dynamic staff.”


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Jason Hinrichs

Science ane Mathematics

Jason comes to CPS after earning degrees in Chemistry in Laramie, WY and Bioengineering at Colorado State University. “I look forward to working with students to help them find their passions in life, and gain a strong will to succeed.”


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Karen Hughes

Front Office

Among other work experiences, Karen has been an advocate for youth, tutoring and teaching mainly in math, English and reading.  Why does working at CPS matters to you? “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world (Nelson Mandela).”


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John Longmore


John graduated from Iowa State in 1989. He taught 3 years with Peace Corps (Papua New Guinea), 3 years in South Dakota, and since then he has mostly been in the alternative schools here in Colorado. “At CPS, I get to work with small groups of students tutoring, and linking ideas for better understanding. Seeing the light in their eyes as they understand something for the first time, that will always be my motivation.”


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Allen Mauer

Science Teacher & Coordinator

From Collierville, Tennessee, Allen earned his Physics degree from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.  “Being at CPS means meeting every student where they are at and helping them achieve their full potential in science education and individual growth.”


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Charlotte Miller

Creative & Technical Art

Charlotte has been teaching art since 1990 with a special love for “found object art.”  A bicycle enthusiast, she teaches bike courses at CPS and in the community.  Charlotte has developed community projects with Kids on Bikes, Concrete Couch, Colorado Springs Food Rescue, and Christmas Unlimited.  “Working at Community Prep School means I get to be a part of a diverse group of staff and students.…

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Julie Nassar

Special Educator

Through her twelve years in education, Julie has taught several elementary grades, special education, as well as yoga to adults and students!  “I am excited to support the fabulous CPS students and families and align that support to the vision of Community Prep School!”


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Kathy Overy


Kathy has worked in schools for 17 years in a variety of roles. “I’m excited to be a part of CPS, to work alongside the passionate, dedicated staff and the opportunity to help make a difference.”


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Michael Payton

Director of Facilities

Mike is a master of creative problem solving! “I appreciate the staff’s passion and their sincere desire to make a difference!”

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Mike Perez

Discovery & Electives

Mike has worked as an educator and wilderness guide for over 25 years.   “Discovery introduces students to CPS.  Expeditionary Education introduces them to a much larger world.”


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Marcus Robinson

Music & Website

Marcus served as a minister and musician in various churches before coming to CPS.  He plays around Colorado Springs as a singer/songwriter.  “I love encouraging students in education, life and music. CPS has become a daily encouragement to me.”


Photo of Yantz Robinson

Yantz Robinson


“I enjoy guiding students towards their dreams and their diploma.  I am a father, son, husband, and an army veteran.  Working at CPS is a way for me to continue to work with students and help them on their road to life. To work at CPS is a tremendous opportunity to effect change before bad decisions are made that could be life changing.”


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Deanna Sartor

Business Office

Deanna has worked for over 10 years helping schools and businesses operate efficiently and effectively.  “I would love to see Community Prep running smoothly and preparing students for their futures.”


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Joni Sheffer

Academic Intervention

Joni has worked within alternative high school settings since 1985. She ran an on-grounds school at an emancipation program for 14 years, and has been in District #11 since 2006.
She also tutors in the district. Other than SPED, Joni has a license in Secondary Social Studies, and highly qualified status in English and science.

“It has been my first choice always to work with students that were struggling in some way, to help them recover their strengths, and to help enable them to graduate and move toward what they want for their lives.…

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Matthew Sheldon


Matt received his Construction Engineering degree from San Diego State University, but enjoyed his time as an SAT tutor/instructor so much that he knew he wanted to teach full-time.  “CPS is a unique learning environment where I am able to help students realize their full potential and achieve their goals.”


Photo of Bari Snyder

Bari Snyder

English, Language Arts

“Originally from New York, I started my career as a first grade teacher, then became a reading/literacy intervention, then the Education Director at Cotttonwood Center for the Arts before coming to CPS.
CPS is a unique environment where students and staff work together to bring out the best in each other.”


Photo of Brian Tryon

Brian Tryon

Photography & Electives

“I’ve worked with teenagers as a mentor for over 9 years in a school setting. Helping them succeed in school and after. I am a self taught photographer and visual artist. I use photography and art as a healing tool, and a healthy way to escape.  I love walking side by side with the students on their journey.…

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Tony White


Tony served in the military from 1981-2001 and began teaching in 1998.  “Working at CPS means I am given an opportunity to accept the challenge to grow and help students and staff grow with me.”


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Jeff Wilson

Social Studies & ELL

Jeff comes from California, graduated from ASU, teaching in South Phoenix for eleven years.  “I want to have a positive influence and support kids who need it.”


Photo of Jennifer Winders

Jennifer Winders

Family and Attendance Advocate 

Jennifer has over 15 years work in the community with youth and families.  “Working with CPS matters to me because I want to see young adults get the support they need to complete high school and move on to college and/or a career. ”