Erick Finnestead is the Principal of Silver Creek High School and also serves on the Silver Creek Education Foundation. Erick has volunteered throughout the St. Vrain Valley as a youth athletic coach, with A Woman's Work "Magnificent Men Campaign", with the Asian Pacific Alliance of Longmont, The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and many other charitable and notable causes. Prior to serving as Principal of Silver Creek High School, Erick served as Principal of The Manning School and as an Assistant Principal of Summit High School. He has taught Social Studies in the traditional and alternative high school settings, having been an AP teacher, basketball coach, and student leadership advisor. Erick has degrees awarded from The University of Missouri and Adams State. His two daughters proudly attend St. Vrain Valley Schools.
Eric Ottem helped inaugurate the Silver Creek Education Foundation in the spring of 2009, during his first year as an assistant principal. Prior to administrative life at Silver Creek, Eric taught English at Niwot High School, and World Literature as an adjunct instructor for Eastern Oregon University. He is a writer and a professional jazz trumpeter who performs weekly at a variety of local venues. Born in Greeley to third-generation Coloradans, Eric grew up in Nebraska, graduated from Brown University, and has lived in Niwot with his wife, Amy Keleher (a Boulder psychotherapist), since 2002. His oldest son, Gordon, is a Navy veteran who works for MAI Construction, Inc. in HVAC. Eric's son Conrad graduated from Silver Creek in 2010 and holds a degree in philosophy from CU- Boulder. Daughter, Eleanor, and son, Graham, are also SVVSD students.
Patsy Manning is the president of the Silver Creek Education Foundation. She joined the foundation in 2018 as a board member and became President in 2020. Patsy and her family moved from NJ to Longmont in 2015. She and her husband, Andy, have two children, Will, who graduated from Silver Creek in May 2020, and Maddy, who is a senior at Silver Creek. Patsy has a BA in Psychology from the University of Florida. Patsy worked at JP Morgan Private Banking until her kids were in elementary school. She left to become a personal trainer so she could pursue her passion for fitness and be available when her kids were at home. Patsy organized the Walk to School program and helped lead the Running Club for Bradford Elementary (Montclair, NJ). She coached youth soccer for 6 years and then became the Director of Girls soccer for Montclair United (NJ club organization). Patsy enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, inline skating, and staying fit. She is happy to be involved in SCEF to help raise the funds needed to keep its students successful.
Riki Frea joined the Silver Creek Education Foundation in 2019 and is currently serving as the Vice-President. She and her husband, Bill, have three children. Their oldest, Abby, is currently a sophomore at Silver Creek. Their other two children, Natelise and Zachary, both attend Altona Middle School. Riki has been volunteering and serving on the boards at her children’s schools since Abby was in pre-school. She has served in a variety of roles at every school level, from room mom and Box Tops lady, to Vice-President of Fundraising and then President of the PTAC at Niwot Elementary school. She has also been very active with the Parent & Community Leadership Team at Altona. Riki holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from University of California, Riverside and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Applied Behavior Analysis from California State University of Los Angeles. Both degrees include an emphasis in Special Education, and she also holds a certification in teaching children with autism. Once becoming a mom, her passion shifted to being a “professional volunteer” by getting involved in various capacities at the school and district level. In addition to being active in the schools, Riki has participated in Leadership St. Vrain through SVVSD and volunteered with the Education Foundation of St. Vrain Valley. She is happy to be able to share her volunteer experiences with the Silver Creek Education Foundation and to support the Creek community.
Kate Gaddis joined the Silver Creek Education Foundation in 2020. Kate is also the Executive Director of A Woman’s Work, a local non-profit that serves women in the SVVSD who have emergency financial needs. She has been the Director since 2013, and served on the Board at AWW from 2005-2012.
Kate graduated from the University of Colorado in 1999, and went on to graduate with a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2005. Kate is married to her high school sweetheart, John, and they have two children, Grant and Clare. Grant is a sophomore at Silver Creek High School and Clare is a 7th grader at Altona Middle School. Over the years, Kate has served at her children’s schools in various volunteer capacities, including PTO President, fundraising chair, and hospitality and teacher appreciation committees. She is thrilled to bring her experience to SCEF to help fundraise and assist the teachers, staff, and students at SCHS. In her free time, Kate enjoys, running, paddle boarding, yoga, reading, watching her kids play soccer, and binge watching shows on Netflix.
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Kirsten Brown is a Social Studies teacher at Silver Creek High School. Seven years ago she moved from Illinois to Boulder Colorado where she pursued a degree in History and Education at The University of Colorado, Boulder. During her undergraduate program, she had the unique opportunity to participate in the Semester at Sea program where she traveled to three continents and thirteen different countries. Her experiences visiting multiple schools and orphanages in third world countries reinforced my passion to enter the field of education. She is currently continuing her studies at the University of Colorado where she am working on her masters degree in secondary education curriculum and literacy. In her free time, I enjoy water skiing, snow skiing, running, traveling, learning and spending quality time with family and friends. This is her second year teaching at Silver Creek High School and feels blessed to continue to teach alongside such dedicated and wonderful teachers.
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