Keri Melmed is High Point Academy’s Executive Director/Principal. She has been working in education for over 20 years, both as a classroom teacher and in school leadership; in various schools in California, New York, and Colorado. Since Fall of 2013, Keri has led the High Point Academy community. Prior to coming to High Point Academy, Keri was the Principal of a “start up, turn around” charter school in Denver Public Schools in Far Northeast Denver. Starting from ground zero, Keri established a professional learning community, and modeled best practice through hands on coaching with her teaching staff. Keri built trust between families and the school during the foundational years. Prior to working in DPS, Keri was the Administrative Director at Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, a hub of innovation, where her work focused on student character development and building strong school culture. She engaged students in taking ownership and personal responsibility for their learning and their behavior. Keri empowered staff and families to work together to ensure that the needs of students were being met both academically and socially. Ms. Melmed graduated Magna Cum Laude in history from University of Colorado, Boulder and later attended Columbia University, Teachers College where she earned her Master of Arts degree in Education. Keri has two boys that keep her busy mountain biking, skiing, and hiking. Her husband is a ceramic artist and teaches visual arts at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora.
Clarissa Barnett is High Point Academy’s Elementary School Assistant Principal. 2020 marks her first year at High Point Academy. Previously, she has served as K-12 MTSS Coordinator, K-5 Instructional Coach, K-3 Interventionist and First/Second Grade Looping Teacher. Clarissa earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. She also earned a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from National Louis University. Clarissa is Reading Specialist certified and has been Reading Recovery trained. She has also completed an Instructional Coaching Credential Program in Madison, Wisconsin. Clarissa has attended both a Reading and a Writing Institute in New York at Columbia University, Teachers College. In her free time, Clarissa enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children. She also has an aussiepoo, Tucker.
Kyle Forsyth is High Point Academy’s Dean of Students and Culture. Kyle joined the leadership team in the summer of 2020. Prior to working at High Point Academy, Kyle was a founding teacher of Compass Academy in Denver Public Schools where he taught 6th and 8th grade science for five years. Originally from the Philadelphia area, he began his educational career right after college as a City Year AmeriCorps member with Boston Public schools. He served for two years in a 7th grade English Language Arts Classroom before moving on to teaching 5th grade. Kyle then moved to Denver, CO, in 2015 to help open up Compass Academy in Southwest Denver. Mr. Forsyth earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Chester University. In 2019, he went on to complete his master’s degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania: Graduate School of Education where he also received his Public School Principal Certification for grades K-12. In his free time, Kyle enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors; snowboarding, hiking, climbing and mountain biking being some of his favorite hobbies.
Jessica Newsome is High Point Academy’s Middle School Assistant Principal. The 2021-2022 school year marks her first year at High Point Academy. Prior to her joining the HPA family, she’s had experience as an Administrative Teacher on Special Assignment, Special Education Department Coordinator, Interventionist, a Special Education Teacher, and an Early Childhood Educator. Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development from Langston University, her Master of Education degree in Special Education: Cross Categorical from Grand Canyon University, and she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry at Grand Canyon University. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Jessica had the opportunity to attend the University of Denver’s Organizational Leadership and Policy Studies program which allowed her to attain her principal license. While her educational endeavors are special to her, nothing can top her greatest accomplishment to date which was becoming a licensed and ordained preacher. Outside of taking part in ministry activities, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, friends, singing, collecting t-shirts, and being able to sport sneakers and stilettos with ease.
Jennifer Rendón is the Interim Dean of Students and eighth-grade advisor at High Point Academy. Prior to holding this position, she served as High Point Academy’s wellness teacher. She received her associates in restaurant and hotel management from Westwood College and her bachelors in Spanish from Metropolitan State University in Denver. She has worked in all facets of the food industry including restaurant management for the last ten years. She LOVES the Broncos and enjoys watching football, playing fantasy football, cooking, traveling, mountain biking, playing sports, and spending time with her daughter.