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Derrick Parker- 6th Grade Dean

About Me: My name is Derrick Parker, I’ve been in education for 9 years now and I’m very excited to start this journey as the 6th Grade Dean of Students here at Mrachek Middle School. Prior to coming to Mrachek, I was a 4th grade educator here in Aurora for 5 years. I then transitioned to be a Teaching partner that supports teachers to create effective instruction for students. This year is my first year as Dean!

I have a degree in Africana Studies with an emphasis in Human Services and I have a Master’s in Education and an endorsement in Culturally Linguistically Diverse Education. In addition to this, I’m also continuing my growth in education and leadership as I am currently completing my Principal Licensure Program.

I wish to embody equity, diversity, inclusion and excellence for all students, not just 6th graders, and I thank you for trusting me with your children. I look forward to growing within this community and being able to support you all in this challenging work.

Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Katherine Nellis - 7th Grade Dean

About Me: I am excited to serve as the Dean of Students for 7th grade this school year. I have been a part of the Mrachek community for 4 years, and I am proud to be a TITAN!! I spent the last 4 years as an 8th grade science teacher, and I am excited to support our community this year as a Dean.

I have also taught 9-12 grades at Vista Peak Preparatory and middle school in the Montbello community in Denver in math, science, and business over the past 10 years. Prior to teaching, I spent over 10 years in the banking industry. I was born and raised in Northern California, and I have lived in Colorado for over 25 years. I am a proud resident of Aurora where I live with my husband and our two sons: Nathan (5th grade) and Theo (Kindergarten).

My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a Master's degree in Business Administration, and teaching licensure and graduate work in Education from Purdue University and the University of Colorado at Denver. I am currently working toward a Master of Science in Teaching and Learning - Education Leadership Principal Licensure Concentration degree at Colorado State University - Global Campus.

Each day, you entrust us with your child’s academic growth and safety. I take this trust very seriously. As a Dean, I hold myself accountable to be consistent in my communication and actions with our students and families.

The parents and guardians of our students are our partners in supporting our students as they develop both academically and socially. That said, please feel free to reach out to me for any concerns or questions that you may have. My contact information is below.

  • Office phone: 303-750-2836

  • Text (google voice): 303-750-2836

I look forward to seeing you at sporting events, concerts, and community events (once we can have events again!). Go TITANS!!

My job is to accelerate learning for every APS student every day. I do my job by supporting students and staff, promoting a positive and safe culture of learning, and utilizing restorative justice and trauma focused interventions to support the development and growth of equitable systems and practices. My community needs me to do my job.

Tasheka Norman - 8th Grade Dean

About Me: It is my pleasure to be serving the families, students, and community this upcoming school year. I am Mrs. Tasheka Norman, and I will be serving as the 8th Dean of Students. I'm originally from Anaheim, California, however I have resided in many places that have influenced my decision to serve in education. I am a mother of three wonderful children, and have been a classroom teacher prior to serving in this role for ten years. Throughout my time as an educator, my goal has been to develop and promote academic, behavioral, and social-emotional growth for students representing all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds and ability levels. Through this lens, coupled with my personal and professional experience as an African American woman, it has become my passion to strive for equity and opportunity for those that are traditionally underrepresented and marginalized. In order to achieve success for your child, I intend to maintain high expectations, a growth mindset, implement effective culturally responsive practices, and foster collaboration among parents, teachers, and our leadership team in order to create a transformative learning experience for your child.

I look forward to working with you this coming school year in order to ensure that your child experiences both academic and social-emotional gains as a result of being a part of our Mrachek community. For we all know that the ultimate goal is to not only develop a child that we as parents and a school community can be proud of, but one that is also proud of themselves.