The Saia Family | Owners
Colleen, Ariel and Nicole are the proud owners of Smart Bear Learning; together they started Smart Bear Learning with a love and passion for teaching new ways of learning through technology and science. Their focus is to create a unique, educational and safe environment for all students to learn and grow!
Colleen has taught in the early childhood education field for over 20 years and brings the key values of loving, caring and nurturing that is so critical for a solid learning foundation. Nicole attends a STEM based High school where she brings home great Ideas to incorporate into Smart Bear Learning’s various classrooms. Ariel brings an extensive background of technology and engineering to Smart Bear Learning that allows us to remain on top of cutting edge learning tools, software and technology. He is committed to bringing the latest learning and safety technologies to our center.
Whitney | Director
Hey guys! Aside from being the Director here at Smart Bear Learning, my number one job is being a Mom to my two little boys; Luke and Nolan, and golden retreiver Luna. My family and I moved to Colorado from Arkansas just over 2 years ago and we absolutely love our new home! In my free time you can find me spending time with my husband and kiddos. I love coffee, crafts and exploring outside! I've made so many great relationships with the parents and children here at Smart Bear and I'm so happy to call this school home.
Laura | Assistant Director
I have been working with children for the last 5 years and have a BA in Child Development. I recently moved to Colorado from California. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and Yorkie-Poo dog, Hunter. I am so happy to be here at Smart Bear Learning.
Eryn | Toddler Lead Teacher
I am a wife and a mother of a beautfiul 4 year old daughter. Her name is Brielle and she is currently attending Smart Bear Learning in the pre-k classroom. I am a Colorado native and the Broncos are my favorite football team. I even named my dog Von Miller. I am so excited to be teaching in the toddler classroom.
Edwin | Toddler Lead Teacher
Beginning in England, then in North Carolina, and now sunny Colorado. I have been nannying and teaching children of all ages for six years. I find all children such fun to teach, but we can all agree that toddlers are by far the best. I love watching grow from infants into laughing, running, hugging little kids. I cannot think of a better or more fun career than this.
Christina | Early Learners Teacher
I grew up in a big Ukrainian family with many siblings, so I love learning about different families and have alwasy has a passion and love for kids of all ages. I love my job because every child holds a special place in my heart, and I enjoy learning and growing along side them.
Pennie | Pre-K Lead Teacher
Hi my name is Pennie. I am a mother of a 5 year old named Ethan. I am originally from New Mexico but, I live in Denver with my son, loving husband and sister Kylee. I started at Smart Bear Learning and quickly fell in love with working with the infants and toddlers. I grew up wanting to work with children. In my free time I love to paint by number, read and spend time with my son.
Amanda | Infant Lead Teacher
I consider myself a Boulder, Colorado "native," but I actually spent my early childhood in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from high school, I went to a university in Washington, D.C., on scholarship to study sociology and public policy. Unfortunately, my funding was pulled from the school, so I returned home to my second love: early childhood education. I have been teaching children under five since age 15, and have worked everywhere from small nonprofit, to large corporate, to progressive charter schools. However, I have found Smart Bear to be the perfect mix of all three! Most of my previous experience has been with preschool and prekindergarten, but I'm in heaven teaching infants. My goal is to bring the same amount of energy, conversations, cuddles, and learning to my baby friends.
Natalie | Pre-K Lead Teacher
I'm Natalie, I have 2 babies my son William and my dog Princess. I just recently moved to Colorado in June 2017 from Nebraska, where I previously worked at 2 daycares and also worked with Special needs kids for 2 years. I have a Certificate in Special Education and am still continuing my education to get my teaching degree. I am so happy to have started working at Smart Bear Learning and finding such a loving and caring work place, not only for me but for my son as well. I love working with kids, and I've always thought that it’s the most rewarding career to be part of. I love all the memories we have made so far, and I look forward to making many more!
Rachel | Pre-K Teacher
My name is Rachel and I am one of the Pre-K teachers here at Smart Bear. While I’m originally from Oklahoma, but Colorado will always be my home! I’m currently living right here in Highlands Ranch with my fiancé and our dog (Marley) and cat (Dexter). We love doing anything outdoors and going to concerts. I have always enjoyed working with children because of their creativity and imagination and their willingness to learn new things.
Karen | Substitute Teacher
I am excited to join the faculty at Smart Bear Learning. I grew up in California and have lived in several different states. My teaching career has given me the opportunity to teach all ages and many different subjects but my heart is with Preschoolers. I have three young adult daughters. Elizabeth lives in Indianapolis with her husband and is a professional ballroom dance teacher. Judith lives in Chicago finishing up her Masters of Divinity degree. Kimberly just moved to Hiram, OH and is beginning her career in education. For fun I love to cook, garden, and paint. I also love to play the piano, sing and play the guitar.
Samantha | Floater Teacher
My name is Samantha Gonzalez. I was born and raised in California, I moved from Long Beach, CA to Colorado two years ago with my mother and two sisters. I enjoy to spending my free time with my family and reading. I have alway wanted to be a teacher. I enjoy working with kids becuase I like to help them learning and expires new things.
Kayla | Floater Teacher
I was born and raised in Highlands Ranch and I absolutely love Colorado. I have two dogs that are my world. I also have a degree in English and Creative Writing. I absolutely love kids and my fiance and I plan to have our own in the future.
Mr. Ron | Emergent Science Program | Curriculum Consultant
Ron Green grew up among the Jurassic geology and scrub-oak thickets of the Colorado front-range. He studied music, art, poetics, Cisco networking, education, coffee, and wine before moving to Costa Rica to pursue a multilingual, cultural and ecological education for his wife and two boys. While in Central America, Ron taught English to all grade levels as well as adult corporate programs. He co-founded a holistic learning studio in Esparza, Costa Rica in 2010 dedicated to cultural and ecological recovery. Ron has worked with and developed non-traditional English Acquisition methodologies for with a wide range of international students of all ages. For over eight years, Ron has delivered cross-curricular learning instruction to early childhood, primary and secondary classrooms. He is the executive director of Originateve Holistic Learning Designs, a Colorado non-profit dedicated to assisting organizations holistically meet the needs of modern educational goals and Serves as President of the International Council of Holistic Education and Learning.
Ron has managed restaurants, corporate executive suites and a wedding/events venue. He graduated from Metropolitan State University with a BA in English, and took a Masters of Education through Colorado Christian University. He also studied poetics at Naropa University, indigenous studies with Marin Prechtel, and Permaculture with Eric Toensnmeier.