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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!

Note from the founder


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
Spiritual Formation


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.

Meet our Teachers


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.


Amanda Dorris

k-2 Primary Teacher

My name is Amanda Dorris and I will be the new Primary teacher at Anastasis Academy.  I was introduced to this amazing school through my wonderful friend Jessica Todd who also teaches at Anastasis.  I fell in love with the way that this school approaches education and I am really excited to be a part of it.  I graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Elementary education and then Texas Women’s University with my Masters Degree in Library Science.  My teaching experience has included Kindergarten, PreK and I was also an Elementary School Librarian.  I am married to my husband Dustin and we have three boys, Brayden(14), Brody(12) and Bryson(10).  We moved to Colorado from Texas in 2019 and have truly loved the adventure and outdoor fun this state has to offer.  I love to read, hike, drink coffee, play board games, and spend time with my boys. 


Nancy Babbitt

2-4 Primary Teacher

Favorite Bible Verse: It’s hard to pick just one. I love how my favorite verses spiral back into my journey with refreshed or new depth and insight. Matthew 22:17-40 tends to be the one I stand on, and what guides me.  

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Another favorite is Ephesians 3:14-21. It speaks to the depth and breadth of God’s love for us, and how He is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. 


Favorite moment at Anastasis: I cherish so many Anastasis moments. Every learning excursion has been memorable. Metanoia has had so many incredibly rich moments.  Ice-blocking is fun! Our professional development days are unique and inspiring! Daily classroom life is the best. Each of these moments brings a face, or many faces to mind. Top among them are those moments when students realize that they are capable of more than they had grasped or understood. 


Favorite outside of work activity: Cooking/Gardening and Pickleball.


Favorite children's books: The Christmas Tapestry, by Patricia Polacco…or My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, or The Bronze Bow, by George McDonald.


Favorite place in Colorado: My favorite place in Colorado is a certain trail, alongside a stream in Rocky Mountain National Park. I also love watching sunsets from my deck. 


Qualities that my favorite teacher possessed: My third grade teacher was a gem. She was pretty strict, but she smiled a lot and included humor in our days.  She read stories and poems that were inspiring. She saw me, and built a connection with me. Because she had gotten to know me, and was consistently kind, I trusted her.  That trust led to my ability to take risks and try new things. It was a significant year in my learning journey. 


Education background: I received my primary education in Iowa Public schools. My undergrad degree (BA elementary education) is from Buena Vista University.  My grad school degree (MA in community counseling) is from Denver Seminary. I highly value all of those places and all of that learning. I also value the education I received through a life lived in inquiry.  My parents facilitated priceless learning experiences that led me into the journey of becoming a lifelong learner.  


Why I chose to be a teacher: I love children of all ages and have always enjoyed learning (understatement). Teaching allows me to support kids on their journey; it’s pure joy to be a part of their adventure as they discover their interests, passions, and strengths.

Teaching at Anastasis is the best of all eduworlds; being able to include God in everything is priceless.


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.

Meet our Board of Directors



Sydney Heaivilin

7-8 Jr. High Teacher

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.


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