English Language Arts

Paul Grzybowski

Literacy & Film

For over 20 years, Paul has served students in APS, most recently as a crew leader, teacher, and soccer coach at William Smith High School. His efforts and leadership were instrumental in the school reform that has shaped the William Smith High School we know and love today. He enjoys cooking and baking, camping, traveling and reading fiction, but he dislikes lists and irony.Paul has been a teacher in APS for over twenty years. He lives in Denver with his wife and dogs and enjoys cooking and baking.

Email: PBGRZYBOWSKI@aurorak12.org

Literacy & Music & Tech

Kevin teaches English and Music, and has worked at William Smith since 2005. He earned a BA in Linguistics from Ohio State University in 1999, a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Cleveland State in 2004, and an AGS from Community College of Aurora in 2016. He is married with two lovely daughters and enjoys skiing, hiking, and playing guitar.Email: KDBROWN@aurorak12.org
Kevin Brown
Matt D'Orio

Literacy & CLDE

Matt grew up at the Kiski School, a boarding school outside of Pittsburgh, PA. His parents were both teachers and most of his extended family were educators. Despite several attempts, Matt was destined to become a teacher. After graduating from Dickinson College with a BA in English, he began his teaching career. Although he knew he loved teaching, Matt switched careers so he could work at the Keystone Policy Center in Keystone, CO. After three years of creating curriculum, he decided to get back into the classroom which is his real passion. This led Matt to William Smith High School, where he could combine his love of teaching, sports and the outdoors. Outside of work, Matt loves hiking and camping with his dogs, rafting, and advocating for wolves.Email: MFDORIO@aurorak12.org

Literacy + Teaching PArtner

Peter was born and raised in Denver. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley and his M.A. in Education from Stanford University. He taught English in California and Thailand before moving back to Colorado. He is grateful every day to be part of William Smith, getting to teach subjects like hip hop, philosophy, Shakespeare, and social justice - but his favorite thing about our school is our brilliant, entertaining, and caring students. When he's not at work, Peter enjoys reading beautiful novels about sad things, gardening, rooting for the Denver Broncos, and learning from his wife and his two wonderful children.Email: PGBAER@aurorak12.org
Peter Baer
Becca Melendez


Becca was born and raised here in Aurora; she attended Aurora Public Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. She graduated from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, moved back to Colorado, married her high school sweetheart, and started her first job teaching in APS - all in one summer. Becca recently completed her Master of Education degree in Integrated Teaching through the Arts. For years, she has worked to design curriculum and assessment, and to teach English through the arts with a focus on multicultural education and art and culture in our community. She loves to teach reading, giving students time to read what interests them, by authors from diverse backgrounds, and providing opportunities to show their new understandings through the visual arts, drama, storytelling, poetry, music, and movement. The same year she found her teaching home at William Smith, they moved outside of the city to a yellow house on a dirt road, raising two teenagers, dogs, chickens, and bees.Email: RLMELENDEZ@aurorak12.org