Principal - Nicolette Vander Velde

What a great honor it is to serve as principal of Mark Twain Elementary!

I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (elementary education), with an emphasis in English as a Second Language, earned my Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and received my principal licensure from the University of Phoenix. After spending four years as a second grade teacher, I decided to move into the fifth grade classroom, where I had an opportunity to focus on instructional technology integration before heading into the Dean of Students role. In 2018, I had the opportunity to move into administration.

I grew up right here in Littleton, Colorado where I attended elementary, middle, and high school in the Littleton Public School District. As I embark on my 17th year in education, all here in LPS, I am excited to begin my journey here at Mark Twain Elementary. It is a great pleasure to serve in such an outstanding school district and a true privilege to work alongside such talented educators.


Contact Ms. Vander Velde

Email: nvandervelde[at][dot]us

Phone: (303) 347-4700



Contact Ms. McKone

Email: lmckone[at][dot]us

Phone: (303) 347-4715

Twitter: @LauraMckone

Instructional Coach - Laura McKone

I have the best job in the world!  Teaching combines my passions of life-long learning alongside making a difference for others.  While it is a difficult job, it is good and meaningful work that I love.  My favorite subjects are math, writing, and reading which is likely due to the paths that I chose- I went to CU-Boulder and obtained degrees in English and Political Science, and then completed my Master's in Education with an emphasis on math.  

The most challenging professional development that I have done was becoming a Nationally Board Certified Teacher.  It was challenging work, but the process of reflecting upon my teaching methods and student work is something that I use daily.  I also have my endorsement in Gifted and Talented education.

Outside of work, I have a wonderful (and adorable) daughter named Cameryn; she is also a proud Twain Tiger.  I enjoy reading, skiing, practicing yoga, cooking, and simply spending time with Cameryn and our dog, Dunkin.