Nicole Lopez-Bettendorf was born in Oklahoma City, OK but grew up in the hill country just outside of San Antonio, TX. While growing up she loved music, math, and traveling—so far she has traveled to 15 states and visited Disney World nearly every other year of her life! Facts about Nicole's growing-up-years include that she played the clarinet, engaged in competitive ice skating, and never broke any bones.
After receiving a full academic scholarship, Nicole moved to Nebraska to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she learned she was a Nebraskan at heart. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in both Psychology and Communication Studies. While attending UNL Nicole met her husband, Michael Bettendorf, and they have been married for 3 years. Together, Michael and Nicole have a guinea pig named Ozzy, hundreds of movies and video games, and too many coffee mugs to count.
Though Nicole began her collegiate career in UNL's Pre-Med program, she realized her passion was working with children. Having loved working at Adams Elementary as a Preschool Para-educator for the last 3 years, Nicole decided to begin a Master's program in January through Purdue University in Education for Special Education. Nicole loves working with kids and is excited to spend time at Spark this summer. Her STEAM interests lie mostly in math and science, but her personality will always draw art into her life.