Meet the Team

Our School selects staff members on the basis of interest in and knowledge of how children grow and learn, as well as comprehensive state mandates for preschool teacher qualifications. They are continuously engaged in a staff development program that enhances their skills and abilities. Staff is required to receive 15 hours of inservice and ongoing training in the area of child development each year, and all teachers are required to be Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certified to ensure safety if emergency care is needed. Staff members are also required to have on file a health exam and proof of a negative TB test, as well as fingerprints and CBI background check. Each teacher on staff has a short biography posted in the entryway of the school, so that you can learn more about their experiences and interests.

We are currently hiring. If you are interested in joining our team, please send your cover letter and resume to: [email protected]s.net.

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Megan Pluger

Director

Hello my name is Megan Pluger, most of your kids know me as Ms. Megan, Meg, or Captain Awesome-o. I started my journey at Our School as a mom to a preschooler then I became a volunteer, substitute and finally a teacher. I have been teaching at Our School since 2007. Before that I worked at 20/20 Eyecare for nearly eight years as a certified optician/lab technician. My parents were overjoyed with my career change, as I am following in both of their footsteps. My father taught elementary school for 33 years and my mother, who is also a teacher, has worked at many preschools as well as elementary schools. I have one child, Anthony, who is the love of my life, we enjoy spending lots of time together biking, hiking, swimming, and playing catch, as well as cozying down on the couch enjoying a good movie. I have taken Early Childhood Education courses through the University of Colorado at Denver, Front Range Community College, and Colorado Mountain College (CMC). I look forward to spending my days getting to know your wonderful children, as many of them become my best friends.

Leigh Rankin

Leigh Rankin

Toddler Room Teacher

The reason you still find me here at OUR School after more than a decade is simple – I love children. There are no humans more earnest, more inquisitive, or more tender than children who are just beginning to learn about the world and their place in it. Thank you for choosing our program and giving me the opportunity be part of your child’s experience and early growth.

My skills include regaling your children with random animal facts, making fresh bread or snacks from our vegetable garden, showing them how confident I am in their abilities, reading books with character voices, guiding with firm kindness as children navigate their day-to-day interactions with others, and singing ad lib songs about what is happening in the classroom.

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Yamilex Castillo

Toddler Room Teacher

My name is Yamilex Castillo. I was born in Long Beach, California and moved to Gypsum, Colorado with my parents and two older brothers when I was only a year old. I graduated from Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum, CO back in 2015. I graduated high school with honor role as well as sport participation year-round throughout my whole high school career.

My favorite sport has always been soccer. My mom played college soccer in California as well as my older brothers, one of which played professional for LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. I did not get their talent for soccer, but I can most definitely play the sport. I have participated in the Roaring Fork Women’s Soccer League for the past 4 years and my team has won championships every year both indoor and outdoor. I hope to one day be able to implement the soccer skills I know and teach young children about the sport as well as the discipline and techniques it comes with.

I have also been lead teacher qualified for Early Childhood Education for about four years now and very close to getting my director’s certificate through Colorado Mountain College. I plan to continue my career for young children and keep making a difference in their lives. I have a little one of my own, he is 4 years old and is definitely a momma’s boy with his uncle’s mad soccer skills. I am excited to be a part of this wonderful team and cannot wait for this new journey!

Maria Hensley

Maria Hensley

Infant Teacher

Hello! My name is Maria Hensley, also known as Mrs. Ria. I was born in the small town of Embudo, New Mexico and was raised in Ojito, New Mexico. I am one of nine children. I am the second to the youngest. My family consists of seven boys and two girls, who were raised in a single parent home. I moved to Colorado soon after graduating high school. I have worked an array of different jobs from babysitting for family, dish washing, housecleaning, office management, dry-cleaning, and childcare.  (Church nursery, Gypsum Christian Academy, Home daycare, and Our School). I met my husband of 27 years while working at one of my jobs. We met at The Westwind at Vail. We are proud parents of two. A girl (Caitlin) and a boy (Matthew). My favorite past-times are camping, fishing, and enjoying friends and family.

I have worked various jobs but discovered my true calling is in childcare. Out of  all the jobs I have had I was led  back to caring for children. I have been involved with Early Childhood Education since 2004 starting with Gypsum Christian Academy. Then moving on to my churches nursery. I decided to open up my own home daycare so that I could spend more time with my children. Owning my own business was not my calling. I then took a position with Our School in 2008. I departed Our School in June 2012 to care for my daughter after having back surgery. I was given the chance to return to Our School in September 2014. I have been teaching and caring for children at Our School since. I have accomplished getting my directorship and aiming for my associates degree. I am happily doing what I love most, caring for your young ones.

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Anali Garcia

Preschool Teacher

Hello, My name is Anali Garcia and I was born in Aspen, Colorado and raised in Carbondale. My parents are from Mexico. For as long as I can remember, I have always been surrounded by kids, my little brother, cousins, etc. However, as a sophomore in high school I thought my calling was to be a chef, like my father. So, I took after school classes that expanded my cooking techniques. Somehow, I always struggled in school and at one point considered that my best option was to drop out. When I told my English teacher about my plans to leave school, he told me that even though I had already given up on myself, he hadn’t. He believed I was here to do great things.

So, all my high school teachers worked together to help me. Even though I had fallen way behind, I worked twice as hard to graduate. It was in my last month of my senior year where I realized that I wanted to work with kids so I could be their support and help them achieve their dreams. My original goal was kindergarten but somehow I got a job at a preschool in Carbondale where I got certified and became a lead toddler teacher. However, in the beginning of this year I thought it was time for a change and work with kids a little closer in age to kindergarten, so here I am working at Our School as a preschool teacher.

Isis Torres

Isis Torres

Preschool Teacher

My name is Isis, I was born in Jalisco Mexico. I moved to Colorado in 2004 and I have been here since. I am happily married, and I have four wonderful kids. I love the river, waterfalls, and the beach. I really enjoy wintertime here in Colorado and the peace in the Roaring Fork Valley.

I started my journey with Our school in the summer of 2019 as an infant teacher. In the year 2021 I went back to Our School as a floater. After a few months, I was given the opportunity to teach in the preschool room.

I am excited to be working with the preschoolers. They are a blast to be around and always have great stories! My goal here at our school is to be the best of me, every day. I have a lot of love for children, and I want to make sure that they feel welcomed and happy.

Lindsey Deraddo

Lindsey Deraddo

Float Teacher

Hi!  My name is Lindsey Deraddo. I was born in Laguna Hills, CA and moved here when I was 5 to be closer to family. I am proud to be 4th generation in the valley. After spending time babysitting and working with children, I knew that teaching young children was my passion. After graduating from GSHS, I went to Fort Collins for college and received a degree in Early Childhood Education.

I have worked in many school environments over the past 15 years; summer and after school programs, early childhood pre-schools and…..there is no greater joy for me, than being a part your child’s growth and development. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I love to cook, bake, travel, hike, camp, and spending time at our family cabin.