Meet the Social Studies Department
Michelle Durkin, 6th Grade Ancient Civilizations Teacher
David Kline, 7th Grade Early US History Teacher
Stephanie Jones, 8th Grade Early New Mexico History Teacher
Jennifer Nevdahl, 9th Grade World History and Geography Teacher
Ms. Nevdahl has been teaching for 25 years. She has a BA and an MA both from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. She started her career at Menaul School teaching English and making Frito Pie in the concession stand. After a decade in Colorado teaching middle school language arts, she came back to New Mexico and eventually landed at Cottonwood. She is currently teaching World History and loving every minute. Being a true child of the Pacific Northwest, her favorite food is French fries with tartar sauce.
Isaiah Nixon, 10th Grade US History Teacher and Social Studies Department Chair
Bill Torres, 10th Grade We the People Teacher
Ms. Kai Frick, IB History and IB Core Teacher
Kai Frick earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Master’s Degree in Education. She has 21 years of experience teaching high school social studies and is a strong proponent of the IB program, especially its emphasis on multiple perspectives. She currently teaches IB Core (11th grade) and IB History (11th & 12th grades).
Mr. Rick Redington, IB Philosophy and IB Core Teacher
Rick Redington is in his 17th year of teaching, and his 12th year at Cottonwood. Mr. Redington teaches IB Philosophy Year 1 and Year 2, and IB Core Year 1. He has also taught English 9, English 10, and IB English Year 1 at CCPS. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, and an M.A. from St. John’s College, Santa Fe in Eastern Classics.
Mrs. Lisa Wallhagen, IB Psychology Teacher and EE Coordinator
Lisa Wallhagen has been teaching at CCPS since January 2010. She taught 6th and 7th grade English from August 2010-May 2017. She received her MSc in forensic psychology and has been teaching DP Psychology since August 2015. She has been the Extended Essay coordinator since August 2017. She plays well with anyone who likes psychology, cats, and Star Wars.
Mr. Peter Lukes, IB Core Teacher and CAS Coordinator
Mr. Lukes is passionate about the IB Diploma program and working to make the world a better more peaceful place. He loves the opportunities Cottonwood provides to support students in thinking about how to do that, and taking action to make it happen. Mr. Lukes teaches the senior IB Core class, and also supports the juniors and seniors in their efforts to challenge themselves in Creativity, Activity, and Service as the CAS Coordinator. He is the sponsor of the Social Action Club, and loves to run in the mountains with his dog Scout as he trains for marathons and ultra-marathons.