• GRIT determines that life's challenges will neither defeat nor define us.
    GRACE gives kindness to ourselves and others even when it's hard.”
    —The Grit and Grace Project



Degrees and Certifications:

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction BA English Creative Writing BA Journalism AA Journalism

Casandra Hernandez Rios


That's my pawtner-in-crime Samwise in the picture with me. We are originally from Los Angeles, California, and moved to Denver just a little over a year ago to be close to family. I began teaching in higher education in 2015 and since have taught English composition at both community colleges and universities in California and Colorado.

Being able to teach Concurrent Enrollment classes—English Composition and Literature—here at Elizabeth High School full-time is an exciting opportunity for me! One of my favorite things about being an educator is that I get to work with young writers and help them exercise their reading and writing skills. Inspiring them is one of my goals, but if they leave the semester not hating writing, I feel like we all won!

I write short stories and, on occasion, poetry too. My writing has appeared in The Bangalore Review, The Acentos Review, Verdad magazine, and the Santa Ana River Review, among others.