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Don Kotnik, Principal


Marc Heiser, 8th Grade Asst. Principal / Athletic & Activities Director


Deana Kochis, 6th Grade Asst. Principal / Assessment Coordinator

Deana Kochis is a Colorado native and a proud mom, wife, sister, friend, and educator. She earned a B.A. in Public Relations and Language Arts with a minor in Spanish at Colorado State University. After teaching Language Arts and directing the theatre program at Fossil Ridge High School for over a decade, she earned her M.A. in Educational Leadership at Arkansas State University. Deana stepped out of the classroom in 2019 to serve as Dean of Students at Fossil. Her leadership journey continued as she perused additional leadership positions within Poudre School District and is honored to now be a Lesher Viking. Deana believes working with students, teachers, and families is the best job there; there is no greater power than learning and being part of a community.  


Lisa Crossland, Dean of Students (7th Grade Administrator) / Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Coordinator

Lisa Crossland is starting her 22 year as a Viking! She believes there are few careers as important or rewarding as working with middle schoolers.  She enjoys the FAMILY aboard the ship, strives to practice integrity in her dealings, and loves serving as a dean.

She graduated from Poudre High School and continued her education at Colorado State University where she decided teaching English to middle schoolers was the perfect fit for her. She earned her Master’s from the University of Northern Colorado in Diversities and Exceptionalities so she could teach English as a second language to Vikings. She later pursued her principal’s license so when the opportunity arose five years ago to stay aboard The Ship and work with the seventh grade staff and students in the role of dean, she was thrilled.

Ms. Crossland is honored the Lesher staff selected her as their Excellence in Education nominee in 2007-2008, Rotary Teacher of the Month in 2014, and Lesher’s August 2019 Staff Member of the Month.

Enjoying the fellowship of those aboard the ship, she also enjoys a close-knit family and friends who bring her joy. She works hard at school and at home, yet takes every opportunity for quiet times of reading, to enjoy a meal with those she loves, to take a quick walk, or travel to favorite or new locations.