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My Name Is ... Niki Mitchell

Kindergarten teacher works with wood


About me

I'm a Colorado native. I grew up in the Denver area and live in Littleton now. I got my undergraduate degree in early childhood education at Metro State University and my master's in education, learning and teaching from Regis University. I've taught in Douglas County since 1992. I was at Mountain View Elementary in the Pinery and then I opened Coyote Creek Elementary. Just the thought of opening a school was so exciting. I then went to Redstone Elementary and now I'm here at Saddle Ranch Elementary.

Ever since I graduated from high school, I've worked in day-care centers. I just knew that I wanted to teach little ones. I feel that early childhood is so important and I really want to make a difference in those early years.

A hobby turned business

Me, Debbie DeLong and Tricia Smith all worked at Saddle Ranch Elementary. Debbie was our tech teacher and Tricia was our librarian. Debbie is now at Cresthill Middle School and Tricia is at Heritage High School. We started Paint The Pine in March of 2017 as a hobby and it has exploded. We show people how to make custom wood signs. We can design anything, but instead of working on canvas, we design on wood. Tricia puts together the wood signs and does the sanding and staining. Debbie is more of our tech person and I am more of the PR person.

Where we go

We do private parties at homes and public events at breweries, wineries and distilleries. Our first community service event is at Children's Hospital on Feb. 1. As teachers, we are thrilled to do it for those kiddos. We are donating signs and supplies for the patients. We will be in Seacrest Studio broadcasting to patients who can't leave their room and also helping outpatient kiddos paint signs. We are making a day of it and taking a personal day to be with these brave kiddos.

The best part

I absolutely love it when people think they aren't very crafty or talented or are afraid to paint and they walk away absolutely loving their sign. Also just working with all of these people we have met along the way. I'm all about building relationships. We just have a lot of fun.

For more information about Paint the Pine, visit www.paintthepine.com.

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