Skip To Main Content

Icon Navigation

Main Navigation Mobile

Header Links Mobile

Schools Trigger

Desktop Schools Menu


Header Links

Mobile Menu Button

Logo Image

Logo Title


Homegrown Staff

Homegrown Staff

Staff serve students in the district that helped them thrive

For many of our educators, fellow certified and classified staff, and administrators, serving students in the Five Star District is like coming home. Many have spent their entire careers here – and some have even been here since they were students themselves. Take a look at a few of those people who have decided to give back to the community where they grew up.

Fernando Zamora as student and music teacher

Fernando Zamora
Music Teacher at McElwain Elementary

By the time he was four years old, Fernando Zamora knew he wanted to be a violinist. As a high school student at Mountain Range High School, he had decided how he would turn this dream into a career.

“I said ‘I want to teach music,’” he said. “It was my teacher. She was very passionate about her teaching, and she really cared about teaching us and giving us opportunities to play. I knew that was the kind of teacher I wanted to be.”

Now a music teacher at McElwain Elementary, Mr. Zamora works to inspire his students the same way, with carefully planned
lessons, and music selections he thinks they’ll enjoy.

“It’s really a privilege to serve at Adams 12,” he said. “It’s where most of my education comes from, and it’s neat to be able to serve the district that served me. I get to give back.”

Woodglen Elementary
Century Middle School
Mountain Range High School

Sharla Kaczar as student and as principal

Sharla Kaczar
Principal at The Studio School

Sharla Kaczar can remember every teacher she’s had since she was a kindergartener at Thornton Elementary.

She can recall the teachers who welcomed her with warm smiles on the first day of school, mentored her, or, in one case, named her emcee of her middle school’s talent show, something that bolstered her confidence as a leader – and perhaps planted the seeds that would move her to one day lead The Studio School, the district’s arts-integration magnet school.

“My teachers inspired me to do different things,” she said. “They inspired me in ways that still help me to this day.”

After serving students at many schools across the district, Ms. Kaczar now helps them thrive through visual and performing arts at a school where creative expression is woven into every lesson.

“I am so grateful for all the opportunities the district has given me to be where I am today,” she said. “And I want to be in a place where others get those same opportunities and access. The staff here bend over backwards to make that happen. I see it daily.”

Thornton Elementary
Meritt Hutton Jr. Sr. High (closed in 1992)
Thornton High School

Jennifer Hopkins as student and staff

Jennifer Hopkins
Transportation Specialist

Jennifer Hopkins still remembers a business class at Northglenn High School that changed her life. In that class, she learned how to do her taxes, write a resume and letters of interest, and even how to interview for a job. As part of the course, students also found work – sometimes with local businesses and sometimes at the district. And that’s how her career with the Five Star District began nearly three decades ago.

She worked in the transportation department for 11 months her senior year, earning both class credit and a paycheck. When she was getting ready to graduate, a full-time position was opening up and her teachers encouraged her to apply.

“I really credit that class with me getting the job because it taught you work skills, life skills and the things you need to be set up for success,” she said.

Her role has evolved over the years. She first began as a data entry clerk, then worked as a business support technician and is now the transportation support specialist.

“It’s been kind of neat seeing the way the district has grown and changed,” she said.

Jennifer is specifically amazed by the new classes available
for students through FutureForward – the district’s career and technical education pathway.

North Star Elementary
Stukey Elementary
Pecos Jr. High (now STEM Launch)
Northglenn High School