I Want To...
- Woodland Elementary
Meet the principal of Elementary School #45: Ms. Teolyn Bourbonnie
The newest home for young learners in Cherry Creek Schools doesn’t look like much -- yet.
But just as students focus on growth mindset and the power of “yet,” the principal of Elementary School #45 (to be formally named in January) is enthusiastic about possibility.
“From the moment I walked on the land where our school will sit, I knew with all my heart we could build a school where children will know anything and everything is possible,” Principal Teolyn Bourbonnie said.
Bourbonnie, who was most recently principal at Walnut Hills Elementary, has been part of the district since she was six years old. A graduate of Cherry Creek High School, Bourbonnie has spent the past 24 years teaching and leading as a gifted/talented teacher, literacy interventionist, assistant principal and principal.
“I had a deep desire to go into education because I wanted all children, regardless of their background, to feel that they belonged and were safe to be themselves in school,” Bourbonnie said. “Every student deserves to know that they have the right to learn and achieve like everyone else.”
Bourbonnie’s foundational philosophy is that all children can learn, and that schools must provide safe spaces for children to feel comfortable, capable and confident.
“I want my students to wake up each day and be able to believe that the adults in their lives, including their teachers, believe in them 100 percent,” Bourbonnie said. “My wish is that when they leave our school, they will say, ‘My teachers gave me strong roots, wings to fly and lots of love.’”
Bourbonnie is the parent of a student in the district, who’s helped her fully embrace the power of education. She explained that schools have a powerful role: to hold the hearts of students and their families in their hands. Outside of her work in the Cherry Creek School District, Bourbonnie enjoys spending time with her family. From soccer to bike riding to camping and cooking, Bourbonnie is a champion of self-care. She is excited for the journey of a new elementary school and enjoys visiting the site and seeing the progress.
“It’s incredible how we can go from a grassy field to the heart of a community,” Bourbonnie said.
Construction is ongoing at the site, where about 90,000 cubic yards of material has been excavated to make room for the concrete foundation, which is almost 50% complete. Bourbonnie likens the construction to the role of education.
“Our mission is to create space for our children to believe they are bold, brave, brilliant and beyond capable of becoming whatever they desire,” Bourbonnie said. “This is such an incredible journey and I am honored to be part of it.”