Veterans, Aurora Public Schools Salutes You!

In celebration of Veterans Day, Aurora Public Schools is honored to salute all veterans and active military personnel for their sacrifice, bravery and commitment to serve our country. APS is proud to have many veterans working in our district to help students shape successful futures.

Leona Schmitt
Health Para, Dalton Elementary School

United States Air Force - 25 years

“I joined the Colorado Air National Guard in 1982 and trained as an operating room technician. I’ve lived in Germany, Italy and France working in numerous community hospitals. I was also trained as a field medic, and later cross trained as an EMT. I retired with the rank of a Senior Master Sergeant. I’ve really enjoyed working in APS because of the warm working environment and being valued as a valuable team member.”


Vincent Baum
P.E. Teacher and Coach, Aurora Central High School

United States Marine Corps - Four years

"My time in the military taught me to be thankful for the things you have and the people in your life that support you. Things are never guaranteed so every day is a blessing. My favorite thing about working in APS so far is the community. Everyone I have encountered is kind and willing to help as they can."


Ella Hart
Support Staff, Pickens Technical College

United States Air Force - 20 years

“My time spent in the United States Air Force was undoubtedly the best years of my life. Throughout the 25 years working in APS, I've worked in all school levels; elementary, middle, and high school. Currently, I'm at Pickens Technical College in a supporting role. I provide staff and students the tools needed to be successful in the classroom, whether it's books, electronic devices or even advice from this retired Air Force Master Sergeant.”


Ralph Prieto
Campus Monitor, Hinkley High School

United States Navy - Eight years

“During my time in the service, I was able to visit places such as Scotland, the Aleutians, Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong. I’ve really enjoyed my time in APS. Students look to me for guidance, advice and an occasional laugh. I've been known as Mr. Whiskers since 2014. This name was given to me by students, and it has stuck ever since.”



Steven Janko
Cadet Elective Teacher, North Middle School

United States Army - 21 years

“I joined the US Army to see if there was anything I could do to help out. I served in some pretty interesting jobs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and other non-tourist destinations. My favorite mission was performing hurricane relief duty in Florida. I’ve really enjoyed working with a dynamic team at North Middle School as we tackle every mission with enormous focus and energy.”


Mark Mcconnell
Technology Teacher, Wheeling Elementary School

United States Navy - Seven years

“During my time in the service, my work included keeping aircraft radios, computers and navigational systems operational while stationed in Europe. I loved the opportunities the military gave me. My favorite thing about working in APS is the opportunities to share my knowledge, life experiences and work with colleagues that push my knowledge to new levels.”


Mark Schiermeyer
Social Studies Teacher, Vista PEAK Preparatory

United States Army - Three years

“I served 3 years active duty in the U.S. Army from 2010-13, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. Currently, I serve in the Colorado Army National Guard. My favorite thing about working in APS has to be "my kids". Seeing the students everyday and building lasting relationships is very worthwhile.”