Countdown to Finland: 18 Days

On April 16, Kelly Kienzle and I will be driving through the mountain passes, boarding a plane in Denver, stopping over for one hour in Iceland, and arriving in Helsinki, Finland, to begin a week long study of the Finnish school system. We will be documenting our journey here and hope you will enjoy learning alongside of us! But first, let us introduce ourselves...


Kelly Kienzle: High School Science Teacher, Master Teacher, and Instructional Support Specialist for Grades 6-12 Science
Kelly’s a Michigan native who earned a Bachelor’s in Science in the field of Physiology from Michigan State University (go green!) and later earned a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Aquinas College. In 2002, Kelly moved to Colorado where she began her teaching career at Overland High School in Cherry Creek. A love for the mountains led Kelly to Eagle County where she has spent the last nine years as a classroom teacher, Mentor Teacher, Master Teacher, Science Instructional Support Specialist, and Science Curriculum Lead for Eagle County Schools. When she’s not dissecting cats in Honors Anatomy, taking upper-classmen to the cadaver lab in Denver, or eating guinea pig with students in Peru, Kelly can be found teaching her own preschooler to ride a bike, taking her toddler to ballet, or skiing with her husband and family.

Jenna Barclay, Director of Curriculum
Jenna Barclay graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Journalism. After a stint as a freelance writer, Jenna enrolled at The University of Denver where she earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. With a soft-spot for the awkward years, she started her teaching career as an 8th grade English Language Arts teacher and spent six years as a classroom teacher and instructional leader. She was then promoted to English Language Arts Curriculum Writer and Content Specialist for Jefferson County School District where she wrote secondary English Language Arts curriculum and provided ongoing content-specific professional learning to over 500 English Language Arts Instructional Leaders and teachers. In 2012, Jenna accepted a district-­level instructional coach position with Eagle County Schools and in 2013, Jenna became a Curriculum Coordinator where she led the development and design of various content-area curricula. Jenna is currently the Director of Curriculum, and along with her husband, will be the proud parent of a Brush Creek Bobcat as her daughter enters kindergarten next year.

Next Up: Why Finland?


So excited to learn w you!

I couldn't have picked two better people to research and analyze a school system abroad. I'll be looking for updates!

Best of luck and enjoy

Best of luck and enjoy Finland!! What an awesome learning experience :)

Best of luck

Wishing you safe travels and lots of wonderful learning along the way!