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.
Riki Frea joined the Silver Creek Education Foundation in 2019 and is currently serving as the President. She and her husband, Bill, have three children. Their oldest, Abby, is a recent graduate of Silver Creek. Their other daughter, Natelise, is a sophomore and their son Zachary, is a freshman. 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 was also 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, as well as in the local community. 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.
Bio coming soon
This is Rita Ayer's third year with the Silver Creek Education Foundation. Rita and her husband, Rupal, have 2 children, Bella, a junior, and Luke, a sophomore. Previously, Rita served as the Vice President at Niwot Elementary School and was active as a Room Parent and in other volunteer positions at both Altona Middle School and Niwot Elementary School. She is an alumni of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry. Rita brings over a decade's worth of project management and technical experience and looks forward to using that to make a lasting contribution to the Raptor family.
Gina Tajchman (Vanderwood) is new to the Education Foundation board this year and has two children at Silver Creek, a freshman and a senior. Her background as a volunteer working in the school district includes several years on the Executive PTO Board at Fall River Elementary School, both as President and as Secretary, classroom volunteer for 8 years at Fall River, and helping with various projects at Altona Middle School’s Parent Leadership Team. She has also taught children’s theatre through community schools at Fall River.
Gina graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Educational Psychology and Theater and is a native Coloradan. For over 20 years she has run her own business as a Massage Therapist here in Boulder County. She looks forward to getting more involved in serving the school and it’s families and fostering the community here at Silver Creek High School.
Tina joined Silver Creek in January 2020. She provides library services and provides technical support for the school. She joined the Silver Creek Education Foundation in the Fall of 2020. Tina and her husband have two children; a daughter who graduated from SCHS in 2019 and a son who graduated in 2021. Prior to coming to Silver Creek, she worked at Altona to help establish the IDEA Lab Makerspace and support the library, and worked at Blue Mountain elementary. Her first career was in the aerospace industry working on the Hubble Space Telescope. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with the amazing Silver Creek Staff and watching the students grow from elementary all the way to high school!