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Vanguard Community Letter from the East Admin Team

Peggy Downs, Director of Curriculum & Instruction 

Peggy Downs is currently serving as the Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Vanguard Classical School, with responsibility over both campuses. 

She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from California Lutheran University and a Colorado Principal’s License.

Ms. Downs has been committed to charter schools for 15 years and is passionate about supporting the development of strong leadership, effective programs, and inspired teachers. Beginning as a founding parent and teacher at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado, she has taught and led Core Knowledge schools in Colorado, Switzerland, and Utah. Most recently, Ms. Downs was the founding Director of Good Foundations Academy in Riverdale, Utah. This school was modeled on the philosophy and curriculum of Liberty Common School in Fort Collins, Colorado. Ms. Downs has written numerous Core Knowledge units and has presented at four Core Knowledge National Conferences. Ms. Downs also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Heritage Heights Academy, a new charter school opening in Cherry Creek School District in August 2016. 

She enjoys spending time with her two sons, Casey and Andrew, and their dog, a Corgi named Franklin (named after Benjamin Franklin). They enjoy road trips, camping, and travelling. 

Angela Keedy, Director of Operations/Secondary Principal, East Campus

Angela Schendel Keedy, newly appointed Upper School Principal at Vanguard Classical East, earned a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Flute Performance from the University of Montana. Additionally she earned a Masters in Music from the University of Northern Colorado and has taken principal licensure classes at Colorado State University. 

Ms. Keedy has taught in all areas of music including band, choir, orchestra, jazz, and general music. Her students and ensembles have been featured on NBC Nightly News, been invited to perform at the Beijing Olympics, and collaborated with the Wally Cardona Dance Quartet on a National Endowment for the Arts grant project that was performed in New York City to critical acclaim.

Prior to joining Vanguard, Ms. Keedy has served as assistant principal and principal at Union Colony Preparatory School in Greeley. She is most recently a founder and the principal at the newly opened Union Colony Elementary School in Evans, Colorado. 

Van Luit
 Emily Van Luit, Elementary Principal, East Campus 

Emily Van Luit is delighted to continue being a part of the Vanguard Classical School East community while taking on her new role as the Elementary Principal. 

Prior to Vanguard, she have been affiliated with Aurora Academy Charter School in various capacities since it’s opening in 2001, and employed with the school as a classroom teacher for eleven years; four years teaching 4th grade, and seven in 5th grade.

Currently, she holds a B.A. in Behavioral Science from the Metropolitan State College of Denver, an M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, and an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado.

In her personal life, she loves spending time with her family: Hannah, Michael, and their little Yorkie, Penelope. Together, they enjoy traveling with friends and relaxing on their front patio while waving at the passersby. She is very excited about this new adventure, and she is looking forward to a great year!

Monaco Audrey Monaco, Special Education Coordinator, East Campus Audrey Monaco is currently serving as the Special Education Coordinator for Vanguard Classical School East. She grew up in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York and attended the State University of New York at Potsdam for her undergraduate degrees. She also attended CUNY Brooklyn College for her dual master's degrees in Elementary Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities. She has 10 years of experience teaching a variety of positions and grades from Kindergarten to 6th grade. She has been a committed Special Education teacher at Vanguard Classical School for the past 3 years in 1st and 2nd grade. Previously, she has worked in New York City Public Schools in both General Education and Special Education. Her interests include collecting vintage clothing, thrift shopping for vintage Pyrex bake ware, petting Bernese Mountain dogs, kayaking, playing trivia, rooting for the Broncos, playing the french horn, and raising chickens.