Instructional Coaches

Chris Brinster
Instructional Coach

Hi! My name is Chris Brinster and I am excited to begin my 14th year in education. This is my third year at Arvada K-8 and my first year as an instructional coach.  I could not ask for a better staff to work with as I transition from serving students in the classroom to supporting teachers' school wide. 

  I began my post-secondary education journey at the University of Northern Colorado receiving my bachelor's degree in History. After working various jobs, I returned to school and received my teaching credential from Metropolitan State University. This allowed me to begin teaching middle school and high school math classes. Recently I earned a master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver.

When I’m not working, or accumulating education degrees, I enjoy spending time with my family. My lovely wife, Melodee, is also a teacher. We have two daughters: One in 3rd grade and the other in Kindergarten. We enjoy camping and fishing as a family and have quite a few stories to share. I am also an amateur gardener, grill master, and purveyor of all things nerdy.

I love our Arvada K-8 community and look forward to serving our students and teachers inside and outside of the classroom.
Lauren Kampfe
Instructional Coach

My name is Lauren Kampfe, I am one of two instructional coaches at Arvada K-8. This will be my first year in the building and I am really looking forward to getting to know all the staff and community. Prior to coaching at Arvada K-8 I coached for four years in the Arvada area and also taught 1
st, 2nd and 4th grades.
I was born and raised in Colorado and grew up in Jeffco schools. I attended the University of Kansas and earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design. After four years of working as a designer I went back to school and got my teaching license from the University of Colorado Denver.
My family and I live in Northwest Denver with our five year old daughter, three year old son and dog Brutus. Our house is a busy place these days but so much fun!
I am excited about the work Arvada K-8 has done the last few years and look forward to joining the team and becoming a member of the community!

Jen Balkema
Middle School ESL

Hi Arvada K-8 Students and families! My name is Jen Balkema. I am the middle school ESL teacher. I have been an ESL teacher for 18 years. It is my third year at Arvada K-8 and I am so excited to be a Timberwolf. 

I love to read, ride bikes with my friends, and travel. I have been to 17 countries, and I hope to see many more. I also love camping and enjoying the outdoors. 

Welcome to Arvada K-8!

Diane Illade Elementary ESL

Hello! My name is Diane Illade. Originally from the Chicago area I have lived in Colorado for the past 24 years. I have been at Arvada K-8 for the past two two years as the elementary English as a Second Language (ESL)Teacher. I have taught ESL for 23 years in Texas and Colorado both as a classroom teacher (1st, 2nd and 3rd grades) and in an ESL support role. I love learning about other cultures and languages!

At home I stay busy with my college aged daughter and son, my retired husband, and our dog, cats and hamsters. I really enjoy traveling, scrapbooking and reading.

If you hear there’s a teacher with a robot arm at Arvada K-8 that would be me! I was born without my lower left arm and hand so I use a myo-electric prosthesis. It opens and closes through electrical impulses sent from my brain.

I love working at Arvada K-8 because of the enthusiasm and energy of our students! The staff at Arvada K-8 is awesome too. I look forward to a new year of learning together!

Un saludo: Mi nombre es Diane Illade. Originaria del área de Chicago y he vivido en Colorado en los últimos 24 años. He estado en Arvada K-8 desde hace dos años como la maestra de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL). He enseñado Inglés como Segundo Idioma por 23 años en Texas y Colorado, tanto en el aula (1º, 2º y 3º grado) como en la función de apoyo de Inglés como Segundo Idioma. También me encanta aprender sobre otras culturas e idiomas.

En casa me mantengo ocupada con mi hija e hijo que tiene edad de ir a la universidad, con mi esposo ya jubilado, y nuestro perro, gatos y hámsteres. Me gusta mucho viajar, coleccionar recortes para ponerlos en un álbum y leer.

Si se entera de que hay una profesora que tiene un brazo de robot en Arvada K-8, ¡esa soy yo! Nací sin mi brazo y mano izquierda, así que uso una prótesis mioeléctrica. Se abre y cierra a través de impulsos eléctricos enviados desde mi cerebro.

Me encanta trabajar en Arvada K-8 debido al entusiasmo y energía de nuestros estudiantes. El personal de Arvada K-8 también es increíble. Estoy a la espera de un nuevo año de aprendizaje juntos.
Alaina Seery Literacy Interventionist

Hello! My name is Alaina Seery and this will be my 3rd year at Arvada K-8. I was born and raised in Colorado. I graduated from Regis University with an Elementary Education License with an emphasis in Literacy. Previously, I taught kindergarten for 5 years at another Arvada school then moved to Literacy Intervention here at K8. 


When I’m not teaching, I love to spend time with my family. We love to cook, golf and travel together.  I am looking forward to another great year here at K8. There is nothing better than the community of students, teachers and families we have here.

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