School Overview

James Irwin Elementary School - Astrozon (JIES-A) is a Kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school with the ϲʿ’ brand of academic excellence and character development. Key to this excellence is the teaching of Core Knowledge™ using Direct Instruction™. The curriculum and methodology have been successfully used in other ϲʿ, and this has been enormously successful in producing high academic performance. This performance has afforded ϲʿ the honor of the John Irwin School of Excellence Award in the State of Colorado, meaning they all have measured success that places them in the top 8 percent of schools in the State.

School Administration

Principal  Carissa (Cari) Reed – Mrs. Reed has worked with students and teachers at James Irwin Charter Schools since the first year James Irwin Elementary School - Astrozon was established.  She appreciates working alongside dedicated, passionate, diligent colleagues who are all focused on accomplishing the same goal; student mastery of our rigorous academic program.

Mrs. Reed grew up in Hillsdale, Michigan where, being the daughter of a minister, she learned the importance of service to the community. Mrs. Reed received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hillsdale College in 2004 with a major in History and a minor in English. After experiencing long-term substitute teaching at a charter school in Michigan, she knew she was called to a career in education. In 2005, she accepted a fourth grade teaching position with James Irwin  Elementary School - Astrozon. Since then, she has continued to learn from her mentors and partner with parents in educating students. Mrs. Reed has had growing leadership opportunities; first as fourth grade teacher, then lead teacher, then teacher trainer/coach, and now as the principal. In December of 2015, she completed a Master’s degree in Educational Administration through Argosy University.

Mrs. Reed’s journey as an educator has continued to evolve. In 2009, she and her husband welcomed the first of three daughters. Her oldest is now a student at James Irwin Charter High School, so she has the joy of experiencing the education we provide from the parent’s point of view. She loves living in Colorado – from the outdoor adventures that Colorado offers to the cherished friendships and educational opportunities that she has received through her involvement with this high-caliber organization.

Assistant Principal Elsie Daniels – Hi, I am Elsie Daniels. I love my job as Assistant Principal of James Irwin Elementary School - Astrozon. I enjoy being in education and love the challenge of teaching children and watching them mature. I have been with James Irwin since 2006. I started out in Kindergarten first as a teacher and then lead teacher; then I moved to first grade and later became a teacher coach. I have enjoyed working with my fellow educators, students, and parents. Each person has enriched my life with their unique personalities and perspectives.

I grew up in the suburbs around Chicago, IL. I received my BA in Elementary Education from Hobe Sound Bible College in Florida. I received my Master’s from Colorado Christian University. I am married to my husband, Loren, who works for an insurance company. We have three children (Alexis, Sabrina, and Will), 2 horses, 2 dogs, and a few cats. All three of my children are James Irwin children. Alexis and Sabrina are both teachers at James Irwin Elementary School - Astrozon and Will is a student at PTEC.

James Irwin Schools have benefitted our family by providing a quality education that prepares them for adulthood. I believe that James Irwin helps children learn effectively by repetition and by focusing on what is important in education. I love watching students diligently learning and then watching as they achieve a sense of pride when they discover a new concept or answer to a problem. I hope every child leaves JIES-A at the end of fifth grade with a good foundation of knowledge, self-respect, confidence in their abilities, and good character.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.  The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.