Bridget_Dornbirer.jpgBridget Dornbirer
Head of School 
Mrs. Dornbirer graduated from CU Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She earned her master’s degree in international business from Thunderbird School of Global Management and worked in international marketing, principally in South America, for 12 years. She is married to Dave and has four daughters. Bridget homeschooled her daughters for 12 years and opened a Classical Conversations community in Denver. While homeschooling, Mrs. Dornbirer observed firsthand the beauty of the Trivium through her girls’ natural stages of intellectual development from early grammar memorization all the way to senior thesis and on to college. Bridget most recently has served as Academic Dean and Grammar Principal at Augustine Classical Academy where her daughter, Chloe, is in eighth grade. Bridget and Dave have worshipped at BRAVE Church from its earliest days.

Claire_Reedy.jpgClaire Reedy
Director of Operations and Admissions 
Mrs. Reedy graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in Business Communications and a minor in Spanish. She worked various sales, marketing, and institutional account management roles within the Pharmaceutical Sector for 15 years. She is married to Brad and has two lovely daughters. In educating their girls, the aim was to order their affections toward God in all subjects and to develop their intellect and character so they might reason and think for themselves and be able to communicate their ideas eloquently and effectively in a post-Christian 21st century. She found just that in classical Christian education and has been actively involved in their school, Arma Dei Academy, for eight years. She is honored to help even more students benefit from a classical Christian education. Claire enjoys skiing, hiking, and mountain biking with her family but reality finds her taxiing her girls to and from a ballet studio most days. 

Bob_Johnston.jpgBob Johnston
Director of Finance 
Bob Johnston studied accounting at Kansas State University and before coming to BRAVE Academy had a successful career in both the public and private sectors as a CPA and CFO specializing in the construction industry. His real passion is around sports and it was as a high school athlete attending a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Camp that he committed his heart to Jesus as Lord and Savior. He feels called to BRAVE Academy to serve using his God-given abilities, to benefit the next generation who will build an eternal foundation with Jesus Christ. Bob has been married to Bette for 53 years, has three amazing children and six awesome grandchildren. Bob still loves to compete, workout, and read Joel Rosenberg geo-political thrillers. 

Monica_Rich.jpgMonica Rich
Monica Rich studied Elementary Education and Christian Education at Concordia University in Irvine, California, and has over 25 years teaching experience at various Lutheran schools in the Denver area.Mrs. Rich has loved Jesus from her earliest memory and feels blessed to partner with parents to teach their children about the Lord in a classical Christian school. She has been married to Chris for 31 years and has two sons, Kelby and Tanner. When not in the classroom, you’ll find Mrs Rich in the mountains reading or walking her dogs. She is currently reading Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado 

Katarina_OMelia.jpgKatarina O’Melia
First Grade 
Katarina has a BA in Elementary Education from Colorado Christian University and comes to BRAVE Academy with experience teaching in a classical charter school. She is ready to integrate the Christian worldview with her experience teaching classically. She states, “I truly believe a Classical Christian education is the most important education you could give your student. Nothing excites me more than getting to share good literature with my students and talking about Christ at the same time!” Mrs. O’Melia loves to play games or go for walks with her husband, Sean, and their dog, Taz. Her favorite books are The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. 

Lynelle_Bogan.jpgLynnelle Bogan
Second Grade 
Ms. Bogan graduated from Colorado Christian University where she studied Liberal Arts and Elementary Education. Lynelle has followed Jesus since very young and is passionate about speaking to both the developing minds and souls of children in a classroom with Christ at the center. She states, “the world is so quick to push for free-thinkers, and yet they never teach children how to think for themselves and support their thinking with evidence and logic. The goal of classical education is to do just that.” She previously taught first grade at a classical school in Florida. When not teaching, Ms. Bogan loves rock climbing, hiking, drawing and reading. Her favorite book is This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti. 

Lauren_Haft.jpgLauren Haft
Third Grade 
Ms. Haft graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colorado Christian University with a B.A. in Elementary Education and Liberal Arts and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Classical Christian School Leadership through Gordon College. As a teacher, Lauren is moved by the opportunity and responsibility to help cultivate the hearts and minds of the next generation to understand God’s truth and to instill a love of learning in others. She is a big believer in the classical method of teaching as she grew up attending a Classical Christian school! Ms. Haft is close to her family in Seattle but enjoys the Colorado outdoors by hiking, camping and skiing in her free time. She also enjoys good food and good books. Some of her favorites are: The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and The Gospel Comes with a Housekey by Rosaria Butterfield. 

Mikayla_Fenley.jpgMikayla Fenley
Fourth Grade 
Mikayla Fenley graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in History from Colorado Christian University then continued her education at Fordham University where she earned a M.A in Medieval Studies with an emphasis in Medieval Philosophy. Ms. Fenley embodies the love of learning as she pursues other languages and can read Latin, Korean, Italian, Spanish, and some Russian and French. She has a deep love for the people and culture of South Korea and attends a small Korean church in Denver. The Lord has given Mikayla a heart towards discipling and educating the next generation. She is thrilled to freely and boldly teach the gospel and a Christ-centered worldview in the classroom and loves the breadth and depth of knowledge that a classical education offers. Her favorite reads are Confessions by St. Augustine and Cur Deo Homos by Anselm of Canterbury. 

Nate_Eberhardt.jpgNathan Eberhardt
Fifth Grade 
Mr. Eberhardt graduated Cum Laude from Illinois State University and has a master’s degree in special education from the University of Colorado. Before coming to BRAVE Academy, he taught for the Cherry Creek School District. Nate accepted Jesus as Savior in 2001 but it wasn’t until 2021, after returning from his 3rd deployment and wrestling with God about his faith, that he understood Jesus as LORD and first in his life. He fondly recalls teachers who believed in him when he was young which changed the course of his life. He prays he can do the same for his students. Nate has been married to Jessica for 15 years. They enjoy camping, hiking, teaching preparedness, and they have even completed an Ironman Triathlon together. He would say their greatest accomplishments are their children Ella and Cole.   

Katie_Sowa.jpgKatie Sowa
Art / PE 
Mrs. Sowa graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in studio art with an emphasis in illustration. She has extensive professional experience as an illustrator for children’s books and marketing companies. She also paints murals and illustrates the BRAVE Kids guides for Easter and Christmas. Katie loves Jesus, loves kids, loves art, and loves sports. Teaching at BRAVE Academy has merged all her passions. She is excited to teach students how to love God well by creating beauty and celebrating their bodies by moving them well. When not coordinating a kickball game or creating amazing art, Katie enjoys pickleball, movies and reading historical fiction. 

Diane_Nickell.jpgDiane Nickell
Music Teacher 

Mrs. Nickell obtained a degree in music education from CU Boulder and taught general music, musical theater, and choir in public schools for 15 years. She has also been a church worship leader. While in high school, Diane played first chair saxophone for band, choir, and musicals. She was disillusioned with school and considered quitting, but it was her band teacher who spoke into her life and showed her she had value. This inspired Diane to teach and help kids realize they can achieve more than they thought was possible. Diane came to Jesus while in college. Two fellow students boldly asked her to a Bible study where she could openly ask any question. She then attended a Billy Graham crusade in Urbana, Illinois, and surrendered her life to Christ. She has been married to Bill for 33 years and has four adult children, 2 of which are professional musicians, and a darling granddaughter. Diane and Bill just learned to surf while visiting the island of Kauai! 


Mikayla_Schmitt.jpgMikayla Schmitt
Administrative Assistant/ Teacher Support 

Mrs. Schmitt graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colorado Christian University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in music. Mikayla is excited to be part of the inaugural year at BRAVE Academy where students receive a Biblical education and develop wisdom, knowledge and understanding. She has been a follower of Christ since she was nine years old and loves looking back on her life to see the many ways Christ guided and directed her – even how He guided her to BRAVE Academy! Mikayla is newly married to Jacob and loves to get away from the city into the mountains whenever possible. She enjoys music, hand-lettering, and a healthy lifestyle. 

Chris_Canady.jpgChris Canady
Office Manager 
Ms. Canady is excited to be part of the launch of BRAVE Academy after working for 23 years as administrative support for Denver Public Schools. This is her first year in classical Christian education, but she is happy to be a part of Brave Academy and to see what God will do in and through the staff and students at our new school! In the early 1980’s, God changed Chris’ life when she made Him Lord and Savior of her life. He brought her from utter darkness into the light of his forgiveness and love. She is thankful for His grace and mercy and continues to grow in her relationship with Christ through Bible Study and fellowship with other believers. Chris has two grown sons, Steven and Michael, who is married to Sophie, and lives in California. Chris loves to spend time with her sons and to read, sew, knit, crochet and refinish furniture. She is originally from Kearney, Nebraska, and misses it to this day! 

Lu_Sanchez.jpgLou Sanchez
Head of Safety and Security 
Lou Sanchez hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was a high school track star ranking #2 in the state in cross country and track. He graduated from Denver Institute of Technology with a degree in Electronics Engineering and worked for 30 years in the telecom industry. Lou came to faith in Christ 25 years ago after his 10-year old son encouraged him to attend church. The day he was baptized he then turned and baptized his son. The Lord has given Lou a strong drive to protect others- especially those who cannot protect themselves. It was after much prayer and fasting that God pulled Lou from the telecom industry to serve in his role at BRAVE Academy to lead safety and security. Lou has been married to his high school sweetheart, Veronica for 38 years and has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He loves to spend his free time with his family. 

Jesus_Romero.jpgJesús Romero
Barista Extraordinaire 
Jesús is a retired civil engineer that loves Christ and serving Him in any capacity but has found that serving lattes for BRAVE Academy may be his favorite! He acquired his coffee artistry skills while volunteering at BRAVE Church, where he has attended for seven years. Jesús was born in the border town of Nogales, AZ. Fun fact: he has a twin named Manuel. He studied engineering at the University of Arizona and soon after came to a saving knowledge of Christ. He met his wife while attending Faith Bible Chapel and they had two sons, Keith and Mark. Jesús loves to travel, especially to Israel, to visit his son who lives in Tel Aviv.