Meet our Administrative Team!
Dr. Christian Sawyer is a nationally-recognized teacher and veteran principal, honored now to serve as Hamilton’s principal. His passion for education comes from believing that every student has a unique and brilliant gift within them. He is also a firm believer in the transformative power of teacher leadership in schools.
Dr. Sawyer graduated as a Relay National Principal Fellowship, a highly-selective program focused on our nation’s top instructional practices. Additionally, he was a fellow in the Battelle for Kids STEM Leadership Academy, committed to exploring best practices, design, and impact of STEM education. Prior to joining Hamilton, Dr. Sawyer served as a middle school principal in Metro Nashville Public Schools, where he and his faculty also built a nationally-recognized teacher leadership model and moved their school from “target school” to “meets expectations” in three years. He also served an assistant principal and as “Teacher in Residence” at Vanderbilt’s top-ranked Peabody College of Education. Additionally, he has taught at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and was named an Atlantik-Brueke Fellow to improve German-American relations. Dr. Sawyer’s innovative teaching led to his recognition as National Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the National Council for the Social Studies; the Tennessee Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Council for the Social Studies; a White House Fellows Regional Finalist; a Tennessee Distinguished Educator; and the “Educator Award” from the Nashville Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Dr. Sawyer is also a widely-published author.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Sawyer graduated Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his doctorate at Vanderbilt in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Organization.
Ms. Shearer began working at the elementary level while in school at Metro State. After graduating with a degree in English and secondary teaching license Ms. Shearer worked at the middle school level teaching seventh grade language arts at Martin Luther Kind Jr. Early College and Morey Middle School. To learn more about instruction she worked as a district Peer Observer in English classrooms across the district. After observing, coaching, and giving feedback to hundreds of teachers Amber went back to the middle school level as the Director of Instruction at Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences.
To continue growing in her professional capacity Amber enrolled in the Ritchie program at the University of Denver while interning as a principal at Castro Elementary School. Learning about organizational systems, student motivation and behavior, Amber received her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis on Culturally Responsive Teaching and Pedagogy. Amber is thrilled to be a part of the Hamilton family and community! Learning about our families, scholars, and working to ensure the best middle school experience possible is what her passion is all about. When not working or attending school Amber enjoys spending time with her thirteen year old twins and her boyfriend of many years.
Working closely with Principal Sawyer and Assistant Principal Shearer is Assistant Principal Gwen Victor. With strong experience both in the community and in education, a deep caring for students, and a commitment to excellence, she serves the Hamilton community with professionalism and warmth.
Deans of School Culture
Hamilton has Deans of School Culture to support student learning and discipline:
Lorainne Hess: for 6th grade scholars. She can be reached at Lorainne_Hess@dpsk12.org
Michael Kitch: for 7th grade scholars. He can be reached at Michael_Kitch@dpsk12.org
Mr. Kitch is excited to be the 7th grade Dean of Culture at Hamilton Middle School. Everyday my colleagues and I will support kids by creating rich experiences, helping students build useful skills, and cultivating productive attitudes. I am a Denver native and former DPS student who graduated from Manual High School in 1998. I continued my education after DPS attending Colorado State University graduating with a degree in History and a teacher’s license. Following graduation, I returned to DPS briefly, before moving to South Korea for two years to teach English and study martial arts (a lifelong passion). I returned from Asia and to DPS looking for an opportunity to serve my community. In 2016, I graduated from the University of Denver’s Richie Program receiving a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.
Since joining DPS I have worked as a para, guest teacher, social studies teacher, dean of students, dean of culture, and assistant principal. I have been honored to work with amazing teams at four different middle schools specializing in improving student engagement and achievement outcomes. At home, I am blessed to have my loving wife and two amazing boys.
Laura Visintine: for 8th students. She can be reached at Laura_Visintine@dpsk12.org
Leticia Raymond is originally from San Diego, California. She attended UCLA for her undergraduate degree and completed both of my master’s degrees from UNT in 2008 and 2015. I moved to Texas in 2005 where I taught in the Dallas and Austin areas as a Teacher Leader and IB Coordinator. Then in 2014 I made the big move to Denver, where I have absolutely fallen in love with the weather, the people, and the outdoor lifestyle. I figured if I couldn’t have the ocean in our backyard I’d love to have adventures in the Rockies.
I have two boys, Ryker 7, and Palmer 4, who love to explore with our “cow-dog” Z. I have had the privilege of leading grades K-6 for the last 14 years at campuses with IB and international programming. I am so excited to be a part of the amazing community at Hamilton Middle School this year. IB is what I believe provides the ultimate educational experience for our scholars, elevating expectations while students explore the world around them.
The team in Hamilton’s front office handles thousands of queries a day with efficiency and grace. They are there to greet students, staff, and visitors with a smile, and know the answer to just about any question you might have.
For specific questions, contact the following people:
Attendance: Juli Yacovetta 720-423-9504
Registration: Esther Blackmon 720-423-9505 Se habla español.
Principal’s Secretary: Jacque Hudson-Raila 720-423-9501
Family & Community Liaison
Our Family and Community Liaison, Carolyn Leahy is available to families who have questions regarding Hamilton Middle School’s programs and activities. She can be contacted at Carolyn_Leahy@dpsk12.org .