Kimberlee Pena-Hanson, Middle School Principal
Kimberlee K. Pena-Hanson, formerly the Executive Director of Gordon-Bernell Charter School in Albuquerque, comes to ASK with a unique and diverse set of experiences. Kimberlee started her career in education with a bachelor’s degree in English and History from the University of New Mexico, a secondary bachelor’s degree in Education from The College of Santa Fe, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Design, with a focus on Humanities project based learning. After teaching for ten years at Rio Rancho High School, Ms. Pena-Hanson was hired to design an educational program for Gordon-Bernell Charter School, a school dedicated to the re-engagement of students whose education process was disrupted. During that time, she earned a certificate in educational leadership from Highlands University and served in multiple leadership capacities.
Ms. Pena-Hanson began her work in education with the original ASK founders, where she honed her teaching skills and embraced the philosophy of inquiry based and relationship focused STEM learning as it relates to multiple content areas. With a focus on literacy as the ultimate access, she earned a grant for motivating reluctant readers through Science Fiction (her favorite genre), and has a special appreciation for the study of Geology and film.
Her educational philosophy--scaffold for equity; differentiate for self-expression - - is founded on the principles of thoughtful relationship building, inquiry based learning, joy and humor, and mastery based curriculum rooted in high standards that are relevant. Students embrace meaningful learning when they personally connect to the material, are honored for their unique perspectives, and encouraged to reflect on their own metacognitive processes, “How best do I learn?”