Monthly Archives: July 2017


Welcome to our new school blog and to a new school year!  This Canon Compass will be a place to find updated information about school and classroom events, general information, student news, PTO, and more!  Our goal is to keep parents, families, staff, and the community informed about all of the wonderful things that are happening here at CES.  If you have any ideas for things you would like to see here, please let us know.  We hope that The Canon Compass will become a “go-to” source of information for you.

Share, share, share this blog so that we can get out the good news of all of the amazing things happening here at Canon Exploratory School!!  Thank you!!




The Thriving Tree

by Kelly Albrecht, Principal

“But when a child is doing something that she is passionately interested in, she grows like a tree—in all directions.  This is how children learn, how children grow. They send down a taproot like a tree in dry soil.  The tree may be stunted but it sends out these roots, and suddenly one of these little taproots grows down and strikes a source of water.  And the whole tree grows.”

This quote by John Holt from his book “Learning All the Time” speaks to me because of what it says about how we learn and what the role of our schools should be in fostering that learning.  I am so thrilled to come back to CES as the leader this time because I passionately believe in the work we are doing here.  We are allowing children to send down that taproot of curiosity and strike the source of learning.  We are growing trees!  Through Project Based Learning, Choice Theory, Exploratory Learning, and Multiple Intelligences, we are helping students find their passion, develop their interests, and grow into lifelong learners.

When you looked at the heading of this page you probably wondered, “What does a tree have to do with CES?”.  Well, trees may not be something we have a plethora of on our playground, but trees are a beautiful metaphor for our school and not just when it comes to thinking of our children as learners.  Our staff will use the Universal Theme of the The Thriving Tree as we work on strengthening the culture of our school this year. We want our CES tree to thrive and live long.  And, our culture is the food and rich soil that is required to allow that tree to grow, thrive, and bear fruit.  Our tree must be strong from the inside out–it is who we are and not just what we say or do.  Our school culture is not just about our staff–it goes home to our students and families.  It must be who they are too!   Fortunately, we will have lots of opportunities for us to work on our school culture this year as a school family.  Our Culture Night on August 31st is a wonderful opportunity for not only our new families but also our returning families to more fully understand our culture and who we are as Explorers and Trailblazers.  I will have more information about Culture Night in my next blog post, but for now let me just say “Thank you!” for being a part of our CES family and I look forward to growing our beautiful tree together!!




Get to Know Our Staff…


Lisa Bryan–Technology


How long have you been in education and what have you taught or done?

I’ve been teaching since 1997! My first year I taught art at Washington with Shirley VanIwarden. My next two years I taught art at Lincoln and Madison. In 2000 I began teaching technology and Title 1 at Madison. When Madison transitioned to CES in 2012 I began teaching only technology. I love my career and feel blessed to have such amazing student. I really love when I can learn from them!

If applicable, what did you do before becoming an educator?

I waitressed at Pizza Hut while I put myself through college.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for part of my younger years and moved to Westcliffe when I was 7. There I went to school until I graduated. We lived in the country and my closest neighbor growing up was 2 miles away. I loved riding horses and participating in gymkhanas when I was younger. I was even rodeo royalty a couple times when I was little.

Tell us about your family—married, kids, and pets?

I am married to my best friend, Rickey and we have 2 daughters, Jordan and Breeyn. We have a black lab named Jake. We love to spend time at Blue Mesa with friends and family. I don’t enjoy fishing, but I do love being on the boat.

What do you do when you are not at work?

I’m a craftoholic… I love making wood signs, homemade cards and scrapbooks. I recently even began selling my signs. My husband says I’ve taken over the basement and the shed with all my wood supplies!

Any fun facts?

I hate heights. I love they symbolism of trees and checked off a bucket list last summer when I was fortunate enough to visit the Red Wood National Forest with my family. It is awe inspiring and simply breathtaking; I encourage everyone to travel there.

Stephanie Veatch–3rd/4th Community B


Mrs. Veatch is in her 8th year of teaching full time. Prior to full time teaching, she spent 2 years substituting for RE1 and RE2. As a teacher, she has taught at CCHS teaching 9th grade Skills and Food Facts, Fremont Elementary in 1st grade, and in Pueblo District 60 in 4th and 6th grade–all before coming to CES.

Before becoming a teacher,  she worked at  Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (UAACOG) in the fiscal department and at Southern Peaks Regional Treatment Facility as a Life Skills worker, primarily working with troubled youth ages 9-11.

Mrs. Veatch has lived in Canon City since the time she was in 3rd grade. Her family is originally from the area. She attended McKinley Elementary school from 3rd grade thru 6th grade, then CCMS and CCHS and graduated in 2002. She left Canon City to  attend college at Adams State in Alamosa, CO, then returned back here 2008.

Mrs. Veatch has been married to her husband Shawn since July 2010. They live in Canon City with their two children; Payton, 6,  a first grader at CES, and Layton who will be 3 in November. She has 2 sisters, 7 nephews (3 of which attend CES), and her very 1st niece is to be be born in December.   She also has a huge extended family that resides in Fremont County. For that reason, family is extremely important to her and she spends a lot of time with them all.  

When Mrs. Veatch is not at work, she can be found spending time with her family. In the summer they like to go camping. She can often be found on the sidelines, cheering her daughter and nephews on as they play soccer, basketball, football, and baseball. On Sundays she enjoys going to church and then watching football.


Kate Rogers-Title I Paraprofessional


This is Ms. Rogers’ second year at CES as a Title-1 Para. She has done many different things before finding her most fulfilling job here in the Title room. She was a welder for some years, and was the custodian at Valco concrete during that time. Ms. Rogers worked in a poker room and as a waitress in a couple of different casinos. She has also been a nanny  for two families. Her most recent career path was working as a bank teller in Maryland and then here in Colorado.

Ms. Rogers grew up all over the US as an Air Force brat. She was born in Germany and then moved around the states until her Dad retired.  5th-12th grade were spent here in Canon City.

Ms. Rogers has one 12 year old son, Jaksyn who attends CCMS. They have a cocker spaniel named Razz and one cat named Deuce (‘32 Ford). Her parents still live in Canon, and her older brother and his family live wherever the Army sends them.

When Ms. Rogers is not at work she stays pretty active with her son. Besides that,  she enjoys playing video games, reading, traveling and doing anything crafty!

A fun fact about Ms. Rogers? SHE LOVES BACON!!!

Carrie Hanenberg–PE Teacher


Mrs. Hanenberg is in her 23rd year of teaching physical education, Health, and Adaptive PE.  She has also been the Sports Coordinator all her years while teaching here at the same building.  Mrs. Hanenberg has coached Volleyball, Basketball, and Track at the high school level and has also been the Wellness Leader for our building 8 years.  She has also taught TEN (Teaching Environmental Science) to teachers each summer for credits for 20 years.

Before becoming a teacher, Mrs. Hanenberg worked at the hospital as a Physical Therapy Assistant and taught all types of aerobics.

Mrs. Hanenberg grew up in Canon City.  She and her husband, Brad, have two sons: Zac (18) and Blake (13), a Golden Retriever named Bella and a cat named Winchester (Win). When she isn’t working, she loves to travel with her boys to sporting events around Colorado and the US and go to their cabin at Twin Lakes to hunt, fish and go boating.

A fun fact about Mrs. Hanenberg is that she ran track on a scholarship at CSU Fort Collins Division 1!

Diane Oddo–Librarian


Mrs. Oddo has been in education for 15 years. She did 3 years of preschool in New Jersey, 7 years as Special Ed paraprofessional and 5 years as librarian in Canon City Schools.  After college, she worked in the New Your City Government District for 10 years as an associate buyer. Then, she chose to “stay at home” when her daughter, Emily, was born. Mrs. Oddo grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey. She is married to Larry and their daughter, Emily, is in college. They are also proud parents of some fur babies: Teddybear, their dog, Jewel, their horse, and Thea, a hedgehog. When Mrs. Oddo is not working she loves to hike, play flute, and attend concerts at the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. A fun fact about Mrs. Oddo is that she loves a wide variety of music. Her favorite bands are Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, and she loves Mozart!

Jessica Hamilton–Case Worker

hamiltonThis is Mrs. Hamilton’s 14th year in education. She taught in Florence for two years, K-8, charged with the task of starting their program for students with significant needs. She then transferred to Lincoln Elementary where she taught K-2, mild-severe needs for 6 years. After that, she became a case manager for Canon City Schools and she is in her 6th year. Before going into education, she worked at Dominos and went to school. She is a third generation native to Canon City!

She’s been married to my husband for a little over 13 years. They have 3 children, Declyn 10, Abrielle 8, and Kason 5. They also have our spunky Daphne dog who loves to go camping with us, as long as we carry her on the longer hikes.

Mrs. Hamilton spends time with her family. They enjoy hiking, rock climbing, going places and spending time together. Mrs. Hamilton also enjoys reading whenever she can find a quiet minute.

A fun fact about Mrs. Hamilton is that her parents as well as my three sisters are all teachers. She has had the wonderful opportunity to work with her mom and two of her sisters.

Shawn Dieckman–Community C–3rd/4th Grade

IMG_3469 (2)Mr. Dieckman at his summer job in the mountains.

Although this is Mr. Dieckman’s first year as a classroom teacher, he has several years experience in education both as a substitute teacher and as a teacher in his church. Before becoming a teacher, he worked as a referee, in transportation, as a student recruiter for his college, in customer service, and for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Mr. D grew up in Walsenberg, CO and he has one brother and three sisters. His interests include trail running, biking, and just getting outdoors.

A fun fact about Mr. Dieckman is that he was valedictorian of his class.  We are so excited to have him as part of our CES family!

Mrs. Terri Wrona


Mrs. Wrona and her mom

Mrs. Wrona started her teaching career in an Upward Bound High School Program at South High School in Pueblo helping struggling students with credit recovery.23 years She has taught 3rd-6th grade classroom, K-8 Gifted and Talented, and K-8 Art.

Before becoming a teacher, Mrs. Wrona was an area manager for a national retail clothing chain, worked in a stained glass studio, and worked in career and counseling services at CSUP helping students select majors and classes.

She was born in Canon City and traveled coast to coast from the time she was five through 10, living in eight different places in five years. She returned to Canon City when she was ten, attended Washington School, the Middle School, CCHS, and currently resides in Pueblo.

Mrs. Wrona has been married for 30 years to her husband, Tom. She has two grown sons, Jeffrey who is 27 and Jason who is 25. Her pet is a Golden Retriever named Rio.

When she is not at work she spends her time traveling, reading, fly fishing, playing golf, and spends time with her mother.

A fun fact about Mrs. Wrona is that she played on a women’s ice hockey team for awhile and she makes a mean balloon animal!