kindergarten - eighth grade

Anastasis is a kindergarten through 8th grade innovative, non-denominational Christian micro-school located in Centennial Colorado. Our Reggio-Emilia, inquiry-based approach challenges students to gain a deep understanding of concepts and skills. Experiential learning allows our students to explore the world through research and play. Students collaborate in small, mixed-age classes with teachers who support learning. It's no wonder that our students love coming to school every day!



Anastasis Academy began in May of 2011 around a kitchen table as a result of a series of blog posts on my blog, Dreams of Education. In writing, I had been dreaming about how education might be more meaningful, more fun, more creative, a place where students could be fully alive. As a result of those blogged dreams, I received a call from a parent of students who I had previously taught. They wanted to learn more. After many plans, prayers, conversations, and hard work around that kitchen table, we opened in August of 2011 with 54 students.

I’m grateful for the people who surrounded and embraced the dream of Anastasis from the beginning. Without Matthew Anderson, Matt and Kim Amen, Brad and Amy Whitehouse, Anastasis would still be a dream, a series of blog posts. With the combined efforts of our original community, made up of nine staff members, 54 students and their parents, and three board members, we’ve been able to fine-tune the dream through a dynamic learning model and a bias toward action.


In the eight years following those initial conversations around the kitchen table, we’ve transformed the lives of children and families with a school that’s identity honoring, powered by inquiry, experiential, community-oriented, faith-in-action, hands-on, creative, innovative, and empowered. We have redefined what it means to be a school.

We are proud of the work we’ve done so far at Anastasis. But our vision is more significant. We believe that we have a moral obligation to make learning meaningfully better for all students, not just those we serve within the walls of Anastasis Academy.

We believe that all children deserve an education that sees them. To that end, we believe in sharing what we’ve discovered at Anastasis Academy about identity and learning. We hope to grow this model and invite others to learn from us and with us.

As we look to the future of Anastasis, we commit to being identity honoring. We commit to evolving and growing as we learn more. We commit to creativity and innovation. We commit to spreading good. To living the Kingdom now.


             Kelly Tenkely
                              Founder, architect of learning, principal

Kelly Tenkey


We strive to lead students in the act of Metanoia, the journey of one's heart, soul, mind, and spirit.  Biblical truth is embedded in our learning, interactions, and worldview. We present students with Christ's message of hope, love, and action. Our goal is to nurture children as they become followers of Jesus Christ, who through the fruits of the Spirit, learn how to connect and live moment by moment by faith in the Holy Spirit.

In light of our fundamental beliefs, we affirm the following:

  • God revealed in the Judeo-Christian sixty-six books of the Bible.

  • God is love.

  • Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

  • God's love endures forever.

  • Jesus Christ is Savior.


We hope to model for our students the commitment of a lifetime of seeking to understand, with the help of the Holy Spirit, what is written on the pages of the Bible. 

We seek to build the Kingdom here. Faith-in-action.



Anastasis teachers are reflective practitioners who help students experience learning at the intersection of multiple disciplines. They are masters of instructional design who weave together social, emotional, and intellectual learning. What makes an Anastasis teacher genuinely exceptional is the mentorship and guidance they provide our students as they build a school-wide culture where kids are empowered and loved.


Rachel McCrum

k-1 Primary Teacher

Favorite Bible Verse: Ruth 1:16

Favorite moment at Anastasis: Community days!

Favorite outside of work activity: Skiing

Favorite children's book: The Seven Silly Eaters

Favorite place in Colorado: Persimmon Bowl at Winter Park

Qualities that my favorite teacher possessed: Mrs. Cunningham was fun, flexible, held me accountable, and saw me for who I was. 

Education background: I have a Bachelor in Education and Minor in Special Education from Butler University

Why I chose to be a teacher: Growing up, learning didn’t feel personal and I didn’t feel seen for who I was as an individual. I became a teacher to provide a different experience for others; to empower students to love learning and feel seen for their unique strengths and gifts.


Emily Amon

2-4 Primary Teacher

Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:7

Favorite moment at Anastasis: Team Amon's Poetry Party was very special. For several weeks the kids rehearsed poems to perform in front of a Zoom audience. They made invitations, props, and found a lot of joy in the rehearsal process. When the big day arrived, we made pancakes together in the morning (in honor of Shel Silverstein's poem 'Pancake'), and ended the day by entertaining our school community with a hodgepodge of our favorites. 

Favorite outside of work activity: I'm an old soul and a big thrifter. I love scoping out antique decor and vintage everything!

Favorite children's book: Charlotte's Web

Favorite place in Colorado: Oooh, there's still so much I'm learning about this state! Taking in the views at Rocky Mountain National Park & stopping by Colorado Cherry Company on the drive home definitely makes for a happy day.

Qualities that my favorite teacher possessed: Empathy, compassion, a good sense of humor, & the innate ability to inspire.

Education background: Butler University in Indianapolis (where I met Miss McCrum!)

Why I chose to be a teacher: My friend Mister Rogers says it best: “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”


Jessica Todd

4-6 Intermediate Teacher

Favorite Bible Verse:  Isaiah 40:28-31

Favorite moment at Anastasis: Meeting my amazing students!

Favorite outside of work activity: Using our smoker on our patio to make delicious smoked meats!

Favorite children's book: Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles by Julie Andrews

Favorite place in Colorado: Hard to choose, but probably Glenwood Canyon. God's creation is breathtaking.

Qualities that my favorite teacher possessed: Patience, originality, and she was FUN!

Education background: I have been working in public elementary schools since 2004. I got my degree and teaching license in 2017. I have had some wonderful and some incredibly challenging experiences in that time, but I've never felt more at home at a school than I have felt at Anastasis Academy!

Why I chose to be a teacher: I became a teacher because I felt called to be one. I knew from the first moment I began working with children that this is what God had made me to do!


Kevin O'Brien

5-6 Intermediate Teacher

Favorite Bible Verse: Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.

Favorite moment at Anastasis: Ice Blocking

Favorite outside of work activities: Hiking, camping, and hanging out with my cat, Princess

Favorite children's book: "Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream" by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn Jordan

Favorite place in Colorado: Red Rocks Amphitheatre 

Qualities that my favorite teacher possessed: They made lessons fun and engaging; saw the special qualities in me as a student and pushed me in positive directions

Education background: B.A. in Secondary Education and World History from Franklin Pierce University

Why I chose to be a teacher: I love working with kids and wanted to be in a position to make a difference in young peoples' lives. Oftentimes, there aren't as many men in an elementary or middle school position and I think it's important for many students to have the experience of having a positive male role model at school. My mom was a teacher as well and definitely was an influence on my career choice. At a young age, I had started working at summer camps through the YMCA and once I started working as a camp counselor I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.

Favorite Bible Verse: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Favorite moment at Anastasis: Meeting my students!

Favorite outside of work activity: Spending time in nature (hiking, golfing, reading/writing), traveling, and spending time with my nieces.

Favorite children's book: Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Favorite place in Colorado: I recently moved to Colorado from Northern Nevada and can’t wait to explore all the beauty this state has to offer.

Qualities that my favorite teacher possessed: Mrs. Williamson (my high school geography teacher): She always believed in us so much we couldn’t help but believe in ourselves. She is my inspiration for my travels and teaching! (She is also a Colorado native)

Education background: From the beginning, I’ve always felt most at home in the classroom. School/learning have always been a favorite pastime. This led me to receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno. I first explored the Reggio Emilia approach whilst studying abroad in Australia and completed my student teaching internship at Pinewood American International School of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Why you became a teacher: I became a teacher because I wanted to be who I needed when I was younger & love to inspire others to see/become their best selves. One of my teachers growing up had a poster in her classroom I’d read to myself each day: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Even if you positively change the world for just one person, that is more than enough.



The leadership of an organization is critical to the ongoing success and long-term growth of any organization.  To that end, Anastasis is directed by a Governance Board based on Stakeholder membership.


Sydney Heaivilin

7-8 Jr. High Teacher