Our Staff

Marana, Arizona

DENNIS O’REILLY - Head of Schools

Dennis O’ReillyDennis O’Reilly started working with young people as a volunteer junior high basketball coach and has been in education working with young people since 1990, getting his start as a middle school math teacher. Mr. O’Reilly has been in administration since 1999 serving in a variety of capacities: Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant to the Principal, Principal, and Head of Schools at three different private schools in Tucson, Arizona; he was able to earn his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Chapman University.

Mr. O’Reilly has been married to his beautiful bride Krissy since the spring of 1999, and has two teenage kids in high school, Conner and Adeline, who both graduated from Marana Leman Academy.

doreilly@lemanacademy.org


Luke Kollasch - principal

Luke is honored to work with Leman Academy of Excellence! He graduated with a bachelor's degree in history and secondary education from the University of Arizona and accepted a teaching job in the Vail School District as a middle school social studies teacher. During his nine years of teaching middle school and coaching middle school and high school basketball in Vail, he graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Masters's degree in Educational Leadership. Prior to serving as the principal, Luke spent two years as a middle school vice-principal and upper school athletic director at an American international private school located in Casablanca, Morocco. Then he spent three years as a vice-principal with Leman Academy - two years with our Marana campus and one year with our East Tucson campus.

Luke is married to his wife Candace and they love spending time with their four children playing board games, reading, traveling, and being outdoors. He loves partnering with families and educators to bring to life the classical curriculum that is true, good and beautiful!

luke.kollasch@lemanacademy.org


Joshua Cooper- Vice Principal

Joshua CooperJosh Cooper was born and raised in the Great Lake State of Michigan. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Science and Elementary Education from Hope College, he spent the next 10 years working as a teacher and athletic director at American International schools in Honduras and Morocco. The majority of his experience in the classroom is as a middle school math and science teacher, but he has also taught 4th and 6th grade as well as high school biology. After earning his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, he spent three years working as a middle school and high school athletic director.

Josh and his wife have two young children. His wife Molly was a 5th-grade teacher and Reading Intervention Specialist before deciding to take some time off to be at home with their kids. As a family they enjoy spending time outside exploring nature, traveling, and learning more about different cultures and ways of life. Josh is excited to begin his journey at Leman Academy of Excellence and is looking forward to serving in a school community that willingly engages and embraces families in the educational process.

joshua.cooper@lemanacademy.org


Ashley Nicolarsen- Vice Principal

Ashley NicolarsenAshley Nicolarsen is a proud Wyoming native! She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in K-8 Education, with concentrations in both Math and Science from The University of Arizona. With over a decade of experience in education, Ashley previously taught 3rd Grade, 5th Grade, 7th Grade Earth/Space science and Chemistry. After earning her Master’s Degree, she joined the staff at the University as a Graduate Course Facilitator in Educational Research, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Autism studies before teaching Chemistry at our Marana Campus.

Ashley and her husband have 3 incredible Leman scholars. As a family, they love to travel, explore, and be outdoors. Ashley is honored to be a part of Leman Academy of Excellence where her son began his educational journey in Kindergarten, Year 1 (2015) at Marana. She is inspired every day by her colleagues and the atmosphere of excellence on Marana’s campus. Ashley greatly enjoys partnering with families while sharing her passion for lifelong learning and character development with the scholars!

ashley.nicolarsen@lemanacademy.org


KRISSY O'REILLY – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Administrator

KRISSY O’REILLYKrissy O’Reilly began her educational journey in 1996 after graduating from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois with a double major in Elementary Education and Psychology. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Teaching from Grand Canyon University. She has served as a 2nd grade teacher, Kindergarten teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, Director of Classical Instruction, and Vice Principal in both private and charter schools in Tucson.

She is passionate about training teachers in our Classical model and partnering with teachers in the task of educating tomorrow's leaders today. Krissy is married and has two scholars that attended Leman Academy.

koreilly@lemanacademy.org


CYNTHIA SENN - Instructional Coach

Cynthia SennI have been a teacher ever since I was a little girl, lining up my dolls and teddy bears to teach them everything that I learned in school. I have been certified to teach K-8 for over 30 years. My 30 years of experience started in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where I graduated from Coastal Carolina, a satellite school to USC. I have taught in South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, South Korea and Tucson. In addition to a K-8 certification and a Reading Specialist endorsement, I also earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership through Troy State University. My husband, Bill of 40 plus years, is a retired AF fighter pilot and now a retired UPS pilot. We have two children, Will and Christine and a fur baby Yorkie, Teddy. I began my latest journey in education as the Reading Intervention Coordinator and teacher in the Royal Reading Room at Leman Academy of Excellence. After serving for three years as a VIce Principal, I am now excited to be the Marana campus Instructional Coach. I will be assisting teachers and scholars as we journey toward excellence.

cindy.senn@lemanacademy.org


Taryn Raterink - Office Manager

Taryn RaterinkTaryn is excited to be part of the Leman Academy community. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Arizona. She has spent the last sixteen years of her professional career working with children and families. She is dedicated to bettering the lives of those she serves.

Taryn is married to her husband Robert. Taryn and Robert both love working out, eating delicious food and spending time with their two beautiful children, one who is currently a scholar at Leman and the other will be soon. As a family, they love swimming, going to the lake, entertaining/hosting friends. Taryn is ready to partner with the families and staff at Leman Academy Marana to continue to grow this amazing campus community.

Teresa Shin - Administrative Assistant

Teresa ShinTeresa grew up in Mesa, but has been happily residing in Tucson with her fabulous husband for over 14 years. She studied at U of A and ASU toward a degree in sociology. Teresa is driven to help others, which led her to become a volunteer coordinator at a shelter for women and children victims of domestic abuse on her early career path. She loves the outdoors, as do her two dogs, a lab mut and a poodle mix. Teresa has two scholars attending Leman Academy. She is looking forward to seeing this school and its scholars grow. She too would love to meet each and every family of the LAE community.

teresa@lemanacademy.org


BETH SKORUPA - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Originally from California, Beth moved to Tucson in 1994. Beth met her husband over 20 years ago while working as a Manager at a world-class resort here in Tucson. Beth has been working in education for over 6 years. She has two scholars that are attending Leman Academy. Beth is overjoyed to be a part of the Leman Academy family and is looking forward to getting to know each and every family.

bskorupa@lemanacademy.org


Leslie Weishaupt- administrative assistant

Leslie is excited to join Leman Academy as an Administrative Assistant. She has an Associates's Degree in Global Business but has always loved being around kids. She has volunteered over the years in children’s ministry from infant to elementary. Mrs. Weishaupt was also a classroom volunteer for her two boys and found herself staying later and later to help and that is how she ended up working for MUSD for almost three years.

She was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and moved to Tucson after she met her husband. They have been married 12 wonderful years and have three children. She enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, camping, playing games and reading to her boys.

leslie.weishaupt@lemanacademy.org

Erica Ratzlaff - Scholar Accountability Clerk

Erica Ratzlaff

Erica has been a stay-at-home mom for the last 7 years and is so excited to join Leman Academy as Marana’s Scholar Accountability Clerk. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University. She worked in IT Change Management for 10 years prior to becoming a mother.

Erica will celebrate 10 years of marriage with her awesome husband Ben this year. They have two children, one who is currently a scholar at Leman Academy and one who will be soon! As a family they love going to the movies, traveling, playing games, and exploring the outdoors. Erica looks forward to getting to know and partner with all of our Leman Academy Marana families.

erica.ratzlaff@lemanacademy.org


Turanda Benton-Florez - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

TURANDA FLOREZ Mrs. Benton-Florez is a native of Cross Plains, Tennessee. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She has worked in the field of education since 2001 in the public, charter and Department of Defense school systems serving Hawaii, Georgia and Arizona and has been a Leman team member since 2015. She and her husband, Robert, have been married since June 2000. They moved to Tucson after Robert's retirement from the military in 2008. Together, they have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.

Mrs. Benton-Florez loves teaching children, watching them learn and have fun! When she is not teaching, she enjoys cooking, working in the yard, online shopping and spending time with her husband and grandkids. Mrs. Benton-Florez is honored to be a part of the Leman Academy family and looks forward to many years of partnering with our families and community.

tflorez@lemanacademy.org


ANNE GRUENSFELDER - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

ANNE GRUENSFELDERMrs. Gruensfelder has been in education for 30+ years teaching kindergarten and 1st grade with a passion for fostering a love of learning for her young scholars. She enjoys teaming with staff, families and scholars to bring out the best from her scholars. Mrs. Gruensfelder has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Arizona, as well as an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. She has been a mentor teacher for several scholar teachers over the past several years. She is originally from Southern Colorado and moved to Tucson to attend college.

Mrs. Gruensfelder is married to her husband Phil, also an educator. They have two grown children, Lindsey and Connor. Anne enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her family.

agruensfelder@lemanacademy.org


VERONICA HARO - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

VERONICA HAROMrs. Haro is a native Tucsonan. She received her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education(Summa Cum Laude) from Arizona State University and a Masters degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in English as a Second Language from the National Hispanic University. Mrs. Haro was honored as "Teacher of the year in 2018-2019 & 2011-2012. She's taught kindergarten since 2008. She possess a strong dedication and passion for instilling the love of learning to all scholars. She has served as a mentor teacher and has facilitated New Teacher Induction courses.

Mrs. Haro has been married to her best friend Tino for 33 years. They have three grown children and one grandchild who will be attending Leman Academy this school year! When Mrs. Haro isn't teaching she loves spending time with her family, gardening and reading.

vharo@lemanacademy.org


Regina Lopez - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

Regina lopezRegina Lopez is grateful to a member of the Leman Academy of Excellence. Regina was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She has called Tucson her home for over ten years. Regina has worked in the education field for over five years. She has been a part of Leman Academy as a teaching assistant for the past two and a half years. Regina graduated with her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. In her spare time, she serves at Victory Worship Center where she teaches elementary children and summer events.

She is also a mother of two children, one who currently attends Leman Academy. She loves spending her free time with her children and enjoys reading, journaling, and being active in the community.

rlopez@lemanacademy.org


Karla Platt - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

Karla PLATTMs. Karla Platt is originally from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico (Bordering AZ). She is a mother to two teenagers, and loves to teach! Ms. Platt attended the State University of Sonora in Hermosillo, where she studied to be an English teacher and translator with a Minor in Creative Transformation. She has taught since 1995, with experience teaching at the Pre-K, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School and High School levels. She worked as a teacher in Mexico, Brazil (On a one-year missionary tour with the Legionaries of Christ) and the US. Ms. Platt received her Paraprofessional certificate while working as a certified math and reading interventionist, and had the privilege to work with students with special needs, and English as a second language. She is proud to be part of the LAE family and enjoys finding new ways to make learning fun for her scholars.

karla.platt@lemanacademy.org


Nicole Barron - KINDERGARTEN Aide

Nicole BarronNicole Barron has been in education for over six years and is both excited and proud to continue her journey at Leman Academy. She is a mom of two Leman scholars and is happily married. In her free time she loves spending time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include crafting, puzzles, and projects of many sorts. She is thrilled to share her joy of love and laughter with the scholars and seeing them grow and flourish.

 

nicole.barron@lemanacademy.org


Veronica Bond - KINDERGARTEN Aide

Veronica BondVeronica has worked in education in a variety of ways for over ten years. She is a graduate of John Brown University where she met her college sweetheart, Murjan. They have been married for 16 years and have three children who attend Leman Academy. Veronica began her career as a music teacher in a private school and then branched out to guest teach in public schools. Mrs. Bond began working at Leman Academy as a guest teacher and is happy to join the kindergarten team as an aide this year.

Kindergarten has always been her favorite age to work with. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, singing and playing music, reading, playing games, crafts, and eating good food.

veronica.bond@lemanacademy.org


Allison Mace - KINDERGARTEN Aide


Allison is new to grade school education and she is both excited and proud to start her journey at Leman Academy. She graduated from The University of Georgia with a business degree in 2019 and immediately began a career in resident services for college student housing. After what a wild ride the last two years has been, she realized her passion for education and began guest teaching at Leman Academy. When the kinder aide position became available, she knew it was the place for her!

In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends. She is happily married to the love of her life who is the reason she is a forever resident of the wonderful city of Tucson. Her hobbies include yoga, reading and watching movies with her family. Allison looks forward to seeing the smiling faces of the scholars every morning!

allison.wedincamp@lemanacademy.org


Heidi Morgan - KINDERGARTEN Aide

Heidi MorganHeidi was raised in Germany during her critical learning stage and moved back to Germany after graduating from High School. She earned her Associate's degree from UNLV after transferring from of the University of MD, Augsburg Campus in Germany and enjoyed traveling around Europe during that time.

Heidi and her husband Ron have a blended family of 3 boys and 2 girls, most of whom are now adults and starting their own families!

It is a joy to receive hugs on the Kindergarten playground from your own granddaughter on a daily basis. The youngest kiddo, Joshua is about to graduate the Leman Academy this year and we are so sad that he cannot continue this journey of classical learning. It is an absolute joy serving with the Leman Academy staff.

heidi.morgan@lemanacademy.org


Karen Strickling- KINDERGARTEN Aide

Karen StricklingKaren is so grateful to be a part of the Leman Team as a Kindergarten Aide since 2017. She has been working with children since the age of 12, first as a Sunday School Teacher and then as a Children’s Pastor for over 20 years. It is her passion to be a part of helping children learn and grow. Karen has been married to Jay since 1992, and in her spare time, she enjoys reading, beading, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

 

karen.strickling@lemanacademy.org


KATIE BERGHOEFER – 1ST GRADE Teacher

Katie BerghoeferKatie Berghoefer is ecstatic to be apart of the Leman family for another great year! She is most excited about growing and partnering with her scholars, Leman families, and exceptional colleagues. She is a proud graduate of Northern Arizona University with her degree in Early Childhood Education. Katie is also the mother of three wonderful children. She is a Leman scholar and her identical twin baby girls that are growing like weeds. In her free time, Katie enjoys being creative, crafting, and soaking all those sweet moments with her family.

 

katie.berghoefer@lemanacademy.org


CATHERINE KIRK – 1ST GRADE TEACHER

CATHERINE KIRKMs. Kirk has been with Leman Academy since its groundbreaking in 2015! She earned her BS degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is a native to the southwest. Teaching the love of learning, and specifically reading, is her passion. She enjoys partnering with families, as this is key to scholar success. In her free time, Catherine delights in spending time with her two children, reading, walking, and cooking/baking.

 

ckirk@lemanacademy.org


Michelle Mucenski - 1ST GRADE Teacher

Michelle MucenskiMichelle Mucenski is looking forward to another wonderful year at Leman! Michelle is a California State University of Fullerton alumni and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development with emphasis in Elementary School. Additionally, Michelle completed a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program, also at CSUF. Michelle has enjoyed settling back into her hometown desert roots, after spending eight years living in southern California. Michelle’s teaching philosophy is to inspire the love of learning in each scholar by building upon their individual strengths.

Outside the classroom, Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, Arizona sunsets, cooking, watching baseball and football and everything Disney.

michelle.mucenski@lemanacademy.org


Lauren Villa - 1ST GRADE Teacher

Lauren VillaMs. Villa was born and raised in Tucson, AZ but has lived in different states over the years. She completed her bachelors in Social Behavior and Human Understanding from the University of Arizona. Then she moved across the US to Atlanta, GA to complete her Elementary Montessori training. After graduating she moved to Albuquerque, NM and taught for two years in a Montessori span classroom with grades 1st to 5th. In the summer of 2020 she achieved her Masters in Education degree. She is so excited to be at Leman Academy and to work with another group of first grade scholars this year!

When she is not teaching, she can be found enjoying time with her family and friends, going to the movies, hanging out at the pool or hiking. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to the boxing gym, and trying new restaurants.

lauren.villa@lemanacademy.org


Susan Mary Bareis - 1ST GRADE Reading Teacher's Aide

Susan Mary BareisSusan Mary Bareis was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. After moving to Arizona she started volunteering at St. Mark Evangelist Catholic Church as a teacher assistant because she enjoys seeing children learn. Susan Mary also volunteered at Leman Academy of Excellence. She loves tutoring the scholars. They are so excited to learn. Susan Mary loves working with all the teachers and scholars. The Leman Academy of Excellence is like family to her.

Susan Mary is blessed to be with such wonderful people. Susan Mary looks forward to tutoring the scholars and watching them grow at Leman Academy of Excellence. She loves doing things with her sister, walking the dog, Marley and cooking.

susan.bareis@lemanacademy.org


Celina Moreno - 1ST GRADE Teacher

Celina MorenoMrs. Moreno is thrilled to be a part of the Leman family! She was born in Mexico and moved to Tucson when she was in 2nd grade. She earned her BS degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in English as a second language from The University of Arizona. Learning alongside her scholars and building relationships with families are two of the many things she is looking forward to.

Mrs. Moreno got married in 2010 and now has three wonderful children, two daughters and a son. Her daughters are both proud Leman scholars. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, and exercising. Mrs. Moreno looks forward to partnering with you and having a fabulous school year!

celina.moreno@lemanacademy.org


Shelby Branch – 2ND GRADE TEACHER

Shelby BranchShelby Branch was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. In 2013, she graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a minor in Adolescents, Community, and Education (A.C.E). She began teaching in 2014 and has experience working with multiple grade levels K-8.

She received passing scores on NES Elementary Education I: English Language Arts/Social Studies and NES Elementary Education II: Math/Science/Unified Arts.

She has been married to her wonderful husband since 2010 and together they share a daughter. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, baking, playing sports, and spending time with her family.

Mrs. Branch became a second grade teacher at Leman Academy in 2020 and is excited to continue working with second grade scholars. She looks forward to building positive relationships and is proud to be part of the Leman team!

shelby.branch@lemanacademy.org


JENNIFER DANHOF – 2ND GRADE TEACHER

Jennifer DanhofMrs. Danhof was born and raised in Tucson. She graduated with honors from Northern Arizona University with a BS in Elementary Education and a content emphasis in Bilingual/Multicultural Education. She began her teaching career in the Marana School District working with English as a Second Language scholar's in grades K-12.

Soon she had the opportunity to become a classroom teacher at the elementary school level, teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. After the birth of her second child, Mrs. Danhof made the decision to stay home and concentrate on raising a family.

She homeschooled her 4 children until Leman Academy opened in 2015. She joined the Leman Academy staff in January 2016 as an instructional aide, transitioning to a 2nd grade teacher position the following school year.

She is passionate about building positive relationships and encouraging scholars toward academic and personal excellence.

jennifer.danhof@lemanacademy.org


ANDREW BRANCH - 2ND GRADE Teacher

Andrew BranchMr. Branch is originally from New Jersey and moved to Tucson, Arizona during High School. He has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for eleven years as a supervisor and teacher. Andrew began his career in education tutoring at-risk youth.

Andrew worked in the field of behavioral health for a short time and learned to assist members to achieve their goals in a positive and supportive manner.

Andrew is married to his wife Shelby (eleven years) who teaches 2nd grade at Leman Academy Marana. Together they have an Eight-year-old daughter that attends Leman.

When he is not teaching, he enjoys coaching basketball, working out, collecting action figures, watching movies and reading.

Andrew graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2020 (Cum Laude) with a degree in communications. Andrew is proud to be part of the Leman Academy 2nd grade team and strives daily to establish a safe, healthy, fun and welcoming setting to educate scholars.

abranch@lemanacademy.org


Lindsey McWhirter - 2ND GRADE Teacher

Lindsey was born and raised in Arizona. She grew up in Casa Grande, AZ where she started her teaching career as a substitute for the elementary schools. Lindsey moved to Tucson, AZ in 2009 to attend Pima community college and received her associate's in Early Childhood Education. She then went on and attended the University of Arizona and received her bachelor's in Early Childhood Education. After attending the University of Arizona she completed her master's program in Early Childhood Education from Grand Canyon University in October 2021. Lindsey has worked with children for over 15 years and prior to Leman, she was a preschool director in Oro Valley, AZ. She is excited to be able to work with all the new faces in Mrs. Mac's class and have a great year!

lindsey.mcwhirter@lemanacademy.org


Allaysha Mohr - 2ND GRADE Teacher

Allysha MohrAllaysha Mohr is originally from the midwest, born and raised in Iowa. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Science and is working towards completing an Elementary Education Certification at Pima Community College.

For the last four years, she has been teaching all subjects in 1st and 2nd grade at a charter school in South Tucson. She has over 10 years of experience working with children and enjoys building scholars enthusiasm for learning and understanding of their capabilities.

When she is not working or taking classes, Ms. Mohr enjoys reading books, playing with her cats and dogs, playing video games, as well as getting outdoors and exercising.

She looks forward to being a part of the 2nd grade team and getting to know all of the amazing Leman scholars and families.

allaysha.mohr@lemanacademy.org


Ana Midgette – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

Ana MidgetteAracely Midgette is honored to be a Wildcat. In 2007, she graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Bilingual Education.

She loves to find different ways to help each scholar excel in their academics. Adding on, she was born in Mexico and has lived in Tucson since she was in 5th grade.

Mrs. Midgette loves to spend time with her husband and family. When she is not traveling, she enjoys going to the movies and eating ice cream.

ana.midgette@lemanacademy.org


ALICIA PHILLIPS – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

ALICIA PHILLIPSAlicia Phillips was born in Montana but grew up in Tucson. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received her Master's Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University.

Alicia began her teaching career in the Pinetop-Lakeside community in the exceptional service program and then taught fourth grade. She pursued a career in administration and was an elementary principal.

After retiring, Alicia became the program coordinator for a nonprofit agency and worked in area schools in substance abuse prevention. This was a rewarding job being able to work with area youth in grades K-12.

She and her partner Vern enjoy bicycling, traveling, and spending time with family. They love the Marana community.

Alicia is a proud parent of two children, Joshua and Brieanna. Joshua is a hotshot for the US Forest Service and resides in the White Mountains. Brieanna is married and a nurse in Portland, Oregon. Alicia is excited to work with her scholars and build positive relationships with her Leman families.

aphillips@lemanacademy.org


Chelsea Tellez – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

Chelsea Tellez Mrs. Tellez was born in the Bay Area but grew up in Tucson since she was a baby. She got her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 2014 and then went on to get her Master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix and graduated in 2018.

She has been married to her wonderful husband Carlos since October of 2015 and together they have two beautiful daughters, Shea and Harlow, who keep them on their toes daily. They also have a black lab named Minnie and a chihuahua named Tink.

Mrs. Tellez loves all things Disney and if you can’t find her at work or home, chances are she is at Disneyland making memories with her family.

Mrs. Tellez is excited to grow and learn along with her scholars and make this their best year yet!

chelsea.tellez@lemanacademy.org


JANE BROWN – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

Jane BrownMs. Brown came to Leman as a Reading Specialist and decided to spend the next few years as a classroom teacher. She just loves to teach! Jane has four daughters and many grandkids.

She lives with her husband and dog daughter, Izzy. Their free time is spent visiting the kids in Portland, the mountains of Colorado, Dallas, and San Diego.

 

jane.brown@lemanacademy.org


MICHAEL LEVIN – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

Michael LevinMr. Levin is so excited to be a part of a part of the Leman family! He has worked in elementary education in Rochester, N.Y. and Cleveland and spent the last 24 years working in education in Flagstaff. He won the Olmsted Prize for Excellence in Education from Williams College.

With Janet, he has two grown daughters: Aria and Iris. He likes to spend time reading, writing, acting, running rivers, engaging in the art of conversation and cooking.

He looks forward to a fantastic year with scholars, colleagues, and parents.

michael.levin@lemanacademy.org


Kristine Carnes - 4TH GRADE teacher

Kristy and her husband, Darek, recently relocated to Tucson from Nevada. She graduated from New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM) with a Bachelor's in Psychology and a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. During her 17-year teaching career, Kristy has taught K-6 elementary-aged scholars in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. In addition to her studies in Elementary Education, she received a Master's in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Arizona State University. While at ASU, Kristy instructed Educational Service Learning courses, as well as taught Freshman Education Courses.

In her downtime, Kristy enjoys spending the weekend with her family, pausing to enjoy the Tucson sunsets, and cherishing any time she has for napping.

kristine.carnes@lemanacademy.org


Logan Logsdon - 4TH GRADE teacher

Mr. Logsdon was born in Tucson, AZ, and was raised part-time in San Diego, CA. In 2015, Mr. Logsdon obtained his BSB in Marketing and sought out to build a business of his own through marketing and photography. Through all of this, he found his true calling to be an elementary school teacher and decided to pursue his MAEd with an emphasis on Elementary Education, in which he obtained in 2020.

Logan is honored and privileged to be a part of Leman Academy and is excited to be teaching 4th grade at Leman for a third year. He looks forward to enriching many young lives through education, building relationships with his scholars and community, and leading the youth for many more years to come.

He enjoys spending time with his lovely wife and three sons, learning new things, working out and watching Chargers football and Padres baseball in his free time.

logan.logsdon@lemanacademy.org


MARY HATTABAUGH – 4TH GRADE TEACHER

MARY HATTABAUGHMary Hattabaugh has been a fourth grade teacher since 2006. She received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Orleans in 1991 and a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Mathematics & Science from the Univerity of Texas at Arlington in 2011.

She loves to spend quality time with her family, explore new cultures/countries through traveling, has begun tapping into her artistic abilities with drawing and painting, and takes care of her elderly father.

She lives with her husband, Dr. Mike Hattabaugh, and her three adult children nearby. She looks forward to a great year at Leman Academy!

mhattabaugh@lemanacademy.org


Geoff Gerrish – 4TH GRADE Teacher

Geoff GerrishGeoff Gerrish grew up in Maryland, and after graduating high school he moved out west to attend college. He is a proud graduate of the University of Montana, and is a fervent Griz fan. He is returning for his 2nd year at Leman, and joining the 4th grade team.

He is a huge history buff, and is excited to share his passion with the scholars. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, watching Formula 1 racing, and getting outdoors.

geoff.gerrish@lemanacademy.org


Courtney Jolly – 4TH GRADE Teacher

Courtney JellyMrs. Jolly is thrilled to have joined the Leman Family. She was born and raised in Tucson but went off to Oregon State University with a full ride scholarship for gymnastics. After graduating, she began her journey as a business owner of a gymnastics facility for 12 years.

After a successful 12 years of coaching gymnastics, she is beginning a new adventure as an educator. When she is not working with children, she is enjoying her free time with her 4 children and husband.

courtney.jolly@lemanacademy.org


Shelby Lichty - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Shelby Lichty was born and raised in Puyallup, WA and moved to Tucson after completing seven years of active duty with the US Navy. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy and obtained her Arizona State teaching certificate after completing Pima Community College’s Post-Degree Teacher Certification Program.

After seeing much of the world, she decided to serve once again by educating the youth of our community and country. This is her sixth year teaching at the Leman Academy of Excellence in Marana.

Ms. Lichty is honored to be working with the Leman Academy and looks forward to building relationships with the scholars and families of this wonderful community. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with her family.

slichty@lemanacademy.org


Laurel Efu-Awich - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Laurel Efu-AwichLaurel Efu-Awich was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2005 with a degree in Elementary Education. While at UNM, she also met her sweetheart. They moved to Tucson in 2008 and have joyfully made it their home. Mrs. Efu-Awich has two Leman scholars and loves being a member of the Leman community. In her free time, she loves traveling with her family. She has been to 3 continents and 8 countries and can’t wait to add more! She enjoys playing soccer, watching college basketball and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

laurel.efu-awich@lemanacademy.org


Ryan Elliott - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Ryan ElliottRyan Elliott was raised in Winnetka Illinois just north of Chicago. She moved to Tucson in 2009 to attend college. She and her husband, their son, and two dogs love spending time in the mountains. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor's in Hospitality Management in 2015. She is currently working on her Masters in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University.

Mrs. Elliott taught at Van Buskirk Elementary for two years and is very excited to be part of the Leman family! Mrs. Elliott looks forward to partnering and building relationships with her scholars and their families.

ryan.elliott@lemanacademy.org


Renee O'Connor - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Renee O'ConnorRenee O’Connor was born and raised in Phoenix. Before moving to Tucson in 2000, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University. She spent the early part of her career as a paralegal and ran a small retail business before deciding to stay home after the birth of her twin daughters. Renee and her husband, Craig, have four children, all of which are Leman Scholars.

Mrs. O’Connor and her family have been part of the Leman Community since the school opened in 2015. Renee loved being at the school so much that she decided to find ways to spend more time there. She spent one year as a guest teacher and started teaching 5th grade in 2018.

Renee enjoys camping, traveling with her family, and working on home improvement projects.

renee.oconnor@lemanacademy.org


Tracy Song - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Tracy SongTracy Song was born in Dekalb, Il but raised in Tucson, AZ. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She then went to pursue a Master's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Teaching English as a Second Language. After graduating, Tracy lives with her husband, daughter, and corgi, and has taught at BASIS, ESL programs, and has currently settled at Leman Academy. She is excited to be back in person at Leman and to partner with scholars and families!

tracy.song@lemanacademy.org


Marla Currie - 6th Grade History

Marla CurrieMarla is honored to be returning for her third year at Leman Academy of Excellence. Though born and raised in Tucson, Marla has a love for traveling.

She has traveled to sixteen countries (so far). She lived in Orvieto, Italy for a semester while attending the University of Arizona as well as Glasgow, Scotland for one year earning her Master's degree in Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow.

During her time there, she met a nice Scotsman who is now happily living in the United States as her husband. Marla has always had a passion for history and loves blending the subject with archaeology to make history come alive.

marla.currie@lemanacademy.org


OSIRIS MENA - 6TH GRADE SCIENCE TEACHER

Osiris MenaDr. Mena, who goes by "Dr.O", was born in Hermosillo, Mexico but was raised in Los Angeles, Califoria. As luck would have it, he studied Medicine at the Universidad de Sonora, in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Once he finished his residency and social service in multiple rural communities, he practiced medicine in Mexico for many years before coming to the Leman family. With a lifelong passion for science, he has taught Chemistry and Biology at multiple grade levels for the last two years. He is excited to teach using a classical approach. He has been married for 8 years and has two sons.

osiris.mena@lemanacademy.org


LISA POWERS - 6TH GRADE ENGLISH

Lisa PowersOriginally from Indiana, Lisa grew up in Germany, where she earned her “Abitur” or German degree in Economics. Once Lisa had enough of the cold weather, she moved to Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in English and German Studies. Lisa has a passion for literature and has surrounded herself with books by working at and eventually managing a bookstore for over a decade.

When not reading or writing short stories, Lisa loves to travel and go on adventures with her two sons. They plan on visiting all 50 states together—5 down, 45 more to go! Lisa is incredibly excited to get to know and learn with all the amazing scholars at Leman Academy.

lisa.powers@lemanacademy.org


Nicole Tompkins - 6TH GRADE Latin

Nicole TompkinsMs. Tompkins is a native Tucsonan. She has worked with all grade levels, from Kindergarten and elementary as a paraeducator for an after-school program, to college-level as a tutor employed by the state college system. She received a classical education up through high school, which has greatly influenced her love of learning. She holds degrees in History, English, and Art History, but has tutored all subjects. Ms. Tompkins is thrilled to have the opportunity to come in and provide for our 6th Grade scholars.

nicole.tompkins@lemanacademy.org


HEATHER WOODS - 6TH GRADE MATH

HEATHER WOODSMs. Woods is a proud University of Arizona graduate who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2005 and a Masters Degree in Mathematics Leadership for MS in 2013. She has taught middle school math for over a decade, but has also taught social studies and is highly qualified in MS language arts. Her passions in life revolve around her faith and family, including her son Jaeden. She also loves traveling, working out, tiaras, pedicures, swimming, reading, anything U of A , music, shopping, and her dog Rosco.

Her favorite things about teaching 6th grade at Leman Academy are the ways the engaging curriculum ties together between subjects, the high expectations the scholars have for themselves and others, and the positive, caring, genuine atmosphere she gets to enjoy working in everyday.

hwoods@lemanacademy.org


George Hella - 7TH GRADE MATH

George HellaGeorge was born in southern Wisconsin and lived there for the majority of his childhood. He went to college in New Ulm, MN and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. He moved to Carlsbad, CA to start teaching middle grades classes in 2008. In 2010 he then became a principal and started teaching the upper grades. He was married in June of 2012 to Michelle and they now have three boys, Seth, Brodie and Ellis. He completed his Master's in Curriculum and Instruction at American College of Education in 2017.

His family moved to Tucson in the summer of 2019. Even though he grew up in Wisconsin, he is an avid fan of all Chicago sports teams! He is excited to be a part of the Leman family!

george.hella@lemanacademy.org


DAVID MACIBORSKI - 7TH GRADE LOGIC

David MaciborskiDavid Maciborski was born and raised in Michigan. He graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville earning his B.A. – majored in Humanities and Spanish and minored in Philosophy. He graduated in 2002 and then moved to Tucson. He attended a summer program with the University of Arizona in Guadalajara. There he studied Politics and Government of Mexico and Religion of the Southwest. He obtained his Master of Arts in Secondary Education with the University of Phoenix in 2004.

He taught Religion and Philosophy with a focus on Aristotelian logic for 13 years at Immaculate Heart High School before coming to Leman Academy in 2017. He and his wife Susan are raising 4 wonderful children. He enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He and his family are dedicated to their religion, church community and country.

David believes in the education philosophy of Dr. Leman, which focuses first on forming and maintaining relationships between teachers, scholars, and parents and then on using a classical curriculum.

david.maciborski@lemanacademy.org


Emily Svenson - 7TH GRADE HISTORY

Emily SvensonEmily Svenson has been teaching since 2010. She received her undergraduate degree in Theatre from the University of Indianapolis in Indiana where she was born and raised. After moving to Arizona, Mrs. Svenson earned her teacher certification from Pima College and a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction from Western Governors University. In her spare time, she loves to watch football (Go Colts!), explore the desert with her husband Eric, and read anything and everything she can! She looks forward to building relationships with her scholars and having a fantastic career at Leman Academy of Excellence!

emily.svenson@lemanacademy.org


Tamara Westberg - 7TH GRADE SCIENCE TEACHER

TAMARA WESTBERGTamara Westberg grew up in the midwest. She married her husband in 1990 and moved to the Tucson area in 1993. Together they have two adult children. Mrs. Westberg has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Master of Science degree in Recreation Administration from Aurora University.

After working in the Parks and Recreation field for nearly 15 years, she committed to stay at home with her children. During this time, she held a number of volunteer positions and served as a substitute teacher. In 2016, Mrs. Westberg obtained her Post-Degree Teacher Certification from Pima Community College.

Mrs. Westberg has been a 3rd grade teacher at Leman Academy of Excellence in Marana since its founding, and now she takes her love of science to join the 7th grade team to teach chemistry. Mrs. Westberg is so excited about this new opportunity!

twestberg@lemanacademy.org


JENNIFER WUOLLET - 7TH GRADE ENGLISH

Jennifer WoulletOriginally from Minnesota, Jennifer graduated from the University of MN, Mankato with a BS in International Business and a minor in Spanish. After living in AZ for 15 years, she now considers Tucson her home. Her love of teaching middle school English came after many years in the business world when she received her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and completed her teaching practicum here in Tucson, teaching 7th and 8th grade English.

Jennifer went on to teach high school English and high school ELL. During that time she also worked as an assistant high school principal as well as a high school principal.

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband and three children along with their beagle Sasha. Jennifer loves traveling and was an exchange student in Italy.

She also enjoys reading, exercising, and visiting her oldest son at CSUMB in Monterey, CA. She is thrilled to be joining the Leman Academy community.

jennifer.wuollet@lemanacademy.org


VERONICA AYALA - 8th GRADE HISTORY

Veronica AyalaVeronica Ayala is honored and excited to be your scholar’s 8th grade History teacher this coming school year. Mrs. Ayala holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Language, Reading and Culture. She is a certified Reading Intervention Specialist for grades K-12. She has been in the educational field over a decade. She will make the classroom a fun learning experience but at the same time, will challenge your scholars. Every action matters, every minute matters. It has been wonderful to work for Leman Academy the past four years!

veronica.ayala@lemanacademy.org


Chelsea Lowe - 8th GRADE English Language Arts

Chelsea LoweChelsea Lowe is excited to rejoin the Leman family after taking a few years off to stay home with her young children. She is originally from Southern California where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a Teaching Concentration from Azusa Pacific University. She has taught all ages from preschool to 12th grade, but her favorite age group is middle school!

Chelsea is excited to get to know the new 8th grade scholars this year as they prepare to enter high school.

When Chelsea is not in the classroom you can find her spending time with her family, reading great books, and soaking in the beautiful Tucson sunrises!

chelsea.lowe@lemanacademy.org


COLLIN ROBINSON - 8TH GRADE DEBATE & GEOGRAPHY

COLLIN ROBINSONMr. Robinson is a proud Tucson native who earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s from the great University of Arizona! He has been teaching at Leman since 2016 and is thrilled to be a part of the Leman family. He and his wife, Nikki, have been married since 2013 and have two beautiful little girls. Mr. Robinson loves spending time with his family and watching and playing soccer. Mr. Robinson loves teaching the art of debate and exploring the world with his scholars!

crobinson@lemanacademy.org


Rebecca Smith - 8TH GRADE Math

Rebecca SmithRebecca was born and raised in Mesa, AZ and then moved to a small town just outside of Nashville, TN. She graduated from Belmont University with a B.S. in Liberal Studies and Accounting and Grand Canyon University with a Masters of Education in Special Education.

She has 20+ years of experience in education, with most of those years focused on special education and middle school math. In her free time, she loves coaching youth basketball and spending time with her family. Joining Leman Academy of Excellence is a dream fulfilled and she is excited to partner with families while sharing her passion for lifelong learning!

rebecca.smith@lemanacademy.org


Eric Tompkins - 8TH GRADE Physics

Eric TompkinsMr. Tompkins was born in Tucson, raised in Phoenix and then in Nebraska on a cattle ranch. He graduated from the U of A with a B.A. in Elementary Education and NAU with an M.A. in Educational Leadership. He taught 5th and 6th grade in the Flowing Wells district for 17 years until 2005. He and his wife raised their five kids in Nebraska, and are now back home in Tucson. He is excited to teach Physics at the great Leman Academy of Excellence!

eric.tompkins@lemanacademy.org


Chris Aguilar - K-4 EXCEPTIONAL SCHOLAR SERVICES TEACHER

Chris AguilarChris Aguilar , pronouns she/hers, considers herself a native Tucsonan. She received her a BS in Child Development & Family Relations, as well as a Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of Arizona. She married her high school sweetheart on October 10, 1986 and they will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this year! Chris and Robert are the proud parents of a 29 year old, Loren.

christine.aguilar@lemanacademy.org


Melissa Vandiver - EXCEPTIONAL SCHOLAR SERVICES TEACHER

Jane BrownMrs. Vandiver is a 2007 graduate from the University of Arizona with a degree in special education. After working in a variety of settings, she took a break from teaching to stay home and raise 2 boys of her own who now attend Leman Marana as a second grader and kindergartener. During her six year "retirement" she worked for her church leading children's ministry, women's ministry, and crisis pregnancy counseling. She is excited to be back in the classroom full time.

melissa.vandiver@lemanacademy.org


Desiree Gallagher - 7th-8th Exceptional Scholar Services Assistant

Desiree GallagherDesiree Gallagher is excited to be joining the teaching staff at Leman Academy. Desiree grew up in Dayton, NJ where she met her husband in their senior year of high school. Desiree has a bachelor's of fine arts degree from Ithaca College and is working on finishing her teaching certification from Pima. She and her husband moved to Tucson in 2007 and ther family grew in 2009 and again in 2012.

The Gallagher family joined the Leman Community in 2016 and has enjoyed every adventure that this journey has brought them. Desiree looks forward to many more years of service in this wonderful community.

dgallagher@lemanacademy.org


Jessica Aviles - Exceptional Scholar Services Aide

Jane BrownJessica Aviles was born and raised here in Tucson, Arizona. Although she loves living in the desert, she loves to travel and camp more than anything, preferably near any body of water.

Jessica has been happily married for 16 years and has 2 wonderful daughters. She is very excited to be a part of the Leman family and can’t wait for what’s to come!

 

jessica.aviles@lemanacademy.org


Sasha George - Exceptional Scholar Services Instructional Assistant

Sasha GeorgeSasha George was born and raised in Stafford, Virginia. She studied Psychology at Shenandoah University. Shortly after leaving Shenandoah, she became a registered ABA therapist/ RBT doing therapy around Northern Virginia. In 2013, she started working in middle school Special Education and has been in love with it ever since. She met her husband while he was stationed in Quantico, Virginia.

In 2016 they were married and made the move to Oro Valley, Arizona. Sasha enjoys cheering for the New York Yankees, dancing, cooking for her family, traveling, movies, swimming, and spending time with the ones she loves. She joined the Leman family in 2018, and is looking forward to another wonderful school year!

sasha.george@lemanacademy.org


Jennifer Downey - Exceptional Scholar Services Aide

Jennifer DowneyJennifer is proud to work at Leman Academy of Excellence! Originally from New York, Jennifer has been in Tucson since the age of 11 and graduated from Canyon Del Oro High School. She attended and graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in Philosophy. Jennifer worked in the mortgage and lending industry for many years while living in Phoenix.

With the changing economic times, Jennifer pursued a new avenue and started working as an Academic Advisor for local colleges.

Jennifer has been married to her wonderful husband, Jay for 8 years and they have been in Tucson for 10 years and have a beautiful son who attends Leman Academy.

jennifer.downey@lemanacademy.org


JESSICA FERBEYRE – ART TEACHER

JESSICA FERBEYREOriginally from Minnesota, Jessica graduated from Concordia University St. Paul with a BA in Studio Art. Her passion for art started as a young child visiting the numerous art museums and theater productions in the Minneapolis – St. Paul area. After graduating from Concordia she moved to Florida to teach alongside her fiancé at a private school in Miami. Teaching and coaching in Miami was the beginning of her professional journey in which she has had the privilege to positively influence children over the last 16 years.

Jessica and her family have lived in seven different states. Along the way she has always had amazing opportunities to work with, care for and teach young children. Jessey, Jessica, Tyler, and Alexis currently call Tucson home, and have come to appreciate the beauty of the desert. Her family enjoys outdoor activities, traveling, sports, music, theater and of course Art!

jferbeyre@lemanacademy.org


CATHY LETKEMAN – K-4 MUSIC TEACHER

CATHY LETKEMANCathy Letkeman began her educational career in 1996 after graduating from Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada with two Bachelor’s degrees; one in Music Education and one in Education. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Arizona.

She has served as 6th Grade ELA teacher, K-8 Music Educator, UA Director of Vocal Jazz, Homeschool Educator, Homeschool Organization President, Professional Development Workshop Facilitator, and Dean of Scholars.

She looks forward to fleshing out the Leman Academy of Excellence mission in the K-4 music classroom once again. Cathy is passionate about helping scholars make connections between music and what they’re studying in the regular classroom.

She considers it a privilege and a joy to partner with parents, educators and scholars in the LAE school community. Cathy is married with two children and enjoys reading, writing, songwriting, and serving on the worship team at her church.

cletkeman@lemanacademy.org

Humberto Borboa – 5th-8th Music Teacher

Humberto BorboaMr. Borboa is excited to join the staff at Leman Academy of Excellence at the Marana Campus. Humberto is an opera singer and passionate educator, with a rich musical background, having worked closely with several Opera Companies' education departments in Colorado, Oklahoma and most recently Southern California to bring classical education into the classrooms. Mr. B was a teaching assistant while attending the University of Arizona, where he completed his Masters of Music in 2014. Originally from Mexico, Humberto is excited to share and teach his native language with the scholars of LA in a dynamic and engaging way. Tucson is home once again for him and his wife Jovahnna, and their new daughter Martile.

humberto.borboabeltran@lemanacademy.org


NICHOLE PERRY - ART TEACHER

Nichole PerryNichole grew up in upstate New York and graduated with a degree in elementary education from SUNY Oswego. In 2003, she married her high school sweetheart. Nichole has taught a few different grade levels and also had the opportunity to homeschool their three wonderful children for two years. After living in five different states since 2003, Nichole and her husband are thrilled to be able to plant their family's roots here in Tucson.

Nichole's passion for art began back in elementary school but really took shape during her high school years. She is thrilled to be given the opportunity to intertwine her two passions; teaching and art. She is honored to be a part of the Leman team and to have her children be a part of such a wonderful learning environment!

nichole.perry@lemanacademy.org


Nico Sanchez – Spanish Teacher Kinder - 2nd Grade

Nico Sanchez
Nico Sanchez was born in Santiago, Chile. After finishing his bachelor’s degree, Nico moved to Chicago, living there for six years. During that period, he earned a Master’s degree in applied pedagogy in music and classical guitar from Northeastern Illinois University. After his academic period, he moved to Arizona to become part of the Leman Academy’s teacher team. Nico loves to travel and adventures in different states and countries, but his primary passion is playing and sharing his music and culture.

nico.sanchez@lemanacademy.org


Michael Zablotsky – Latin Teacher

Michael ZablotskyMr. Z is from the east coast but has been living in Tucson for the last 18 years. A former children's nutritionist, he has recently taken to teaching to further broaden his horizons, this is his first experince teaching in a classroom. Mr. Z has his BS in Nutrition and Biochemistry from the UA.

 

 

michael.zablotsky@lemanacademy.org


Cindy Lefaive - Intervention Aide

Cindy LaFaiveCynthia (Cindy) Lefaive was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and raised in Allen Park, Michigan. She moved to Tucson when she was 25 years old. She is a proud graduate of the U of A. Go Wildcats! She has taught in Arizona for over twenty-five years, first as a physical educator and then as a reading specialist and retired from MUSD in 2014. Mrs. Lefaive is married and has a daughter who also teaches at a classical education charter school in Phoenix. Her favorite things to do are traveling, rubber stamping, reading and spending time with family, friends and her dog and cat. Mrs. Lefaive is very happy to be working in the Reading Room encouraging a love for Reading.

cynthia.lefaive@lemanacademy.org


Claudia Stoecklein - Reading Intervention

Claudia StoeckleinMrs. Stoecklein is excited to be joining the Leman Academy team as a reading interventionist! She was born and raised in New Hampshire and obtained her Masters Degree in Special Education from The University of Denver. She is excited to make reading fun and help scholars excel in the reading room. In her free time she enjoys running, traveling and hiking.

 

claudia.stoecklein@lemanacademy.org


Hallie Albin – Scholar Success Facilitator

Hallie AlbinHallie is originally from Tucson but lived in Virginia for several years after college, so she is excited to be back home. She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University. She is a Certified School Counselor and loves helping children overcome difficulties. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two little boys, Ryder & Ronan. She also likes cooking, working out, knitting, reading, and house flipping projects. She is honored to be part of the Leman family!

halyna.albin@lemanacademy.org


Julie Eldridge – Math Intervention

Julie Eldridge

Julie is born and raised in Ohio and spends her summers in Northern Michigan. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education and is certified to teach K-8 with a concentration in art and music. She has sixteen plus years of teaching experience in public, private and charter schools. She has resided in Tucson for the past twelve years. She has taught 2nd grade the past four years at Leman and is excited to serve as the math intervention teacher this year. She is a caring and energetic teacher that loves to actively engage her scholars in the learning process and instill self-confidence in them to take risks in and outside of the classroom.

julie.eldridge@lemanacademy.org


Clarence McRae - Athletic Director

Clarence (Bam) McRaeClarence (Bam) McRae, is a proud graduate of the University of Arizona. Coach Bam earned his bachelor's degree and family studies human development in 2005. His passion for strengthening youth through Sports began when he was a certified strength and conditioning specialist at the University of Arizona. Over the past 13 years he has continued to work with scholar-athletes through coaching, counseling, and mentoring. His gift to help kids see their full potential uniquely qualifies him. He is excited to join a wonderful academic institution like the Leman Academy. of Excellence Coach Bam and his beautiful wife Chelsey have two daughters that will be attending the Leman Academy and 2 sons. As a family they enjoy traveling, swimming, karaoke, sports and ice cream.

clarence.mcrae@lemanacademy.org


MEGHAN ANGULO - PHYSICAL EDUCATION Teacher

Meghan AnjuloMeghan Angulo, an Arizona native, is a proud graduate of the University of Arizona.  She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education in 2007.  After devoting nine wonderful years to raising her children, Mrs. Angulo is eager and excited to share her passion for Physical Education with her scholars.
In 2007, Mrs. Angulo married her high school sweetheart Daniel. Together they have two beautiful children who are proud Leman scholars. As a family, they enjoy hiking, camping, and fishing. Mrs. Angulo is honored to be a part of Leman Academy and is looking forward to partnering with all the Leman families.

mangulo@lemanacademy.org


Angela Pelton - AFTER BELL DIRECTOR

Angela PeltonMrs. Angela Pelton is very excited to be joining us as our After Bell Director. She has been with Leman Academy of Excellence since 2016. Mrs. Pelton has three scholars attending school at Leman Academy. Originally the whole family is from Ann Arbor Michigan, but have been residents of Tucson since 2011. Angela has been married to her husband since 2004. She has a background in cultural and biological Anthropology at the University of Michigan and was employed in their fossil preparation lab for two years. Mrs. Pelton loves working with the scholars and getting to know them. She loves Science and Art and loves to encourage scholars in these and many other fun educational subjects and pursuits.

apelton@lemanacademy.org


Martha Gandarela - Lunch Coordinator

Martha GandarelaMs. Martha is a native of Tucson. Ms. Martha has been taking care of children of all ages for more than ten years. She has been with Leman Academy of Excellence since 2016 and has two scholars here. She enjoys being part of the Lunch and After Bell program and getting to know the scholars.

 

 

martha.gandarela@lemanacademy.org


Tammy Atchley - After bell Staff/ Playground Monitor

Tammy AtchleyMrs. Tammy Atchley was born and raised here in Tucson. She has been working and teaching children since 1994. She home schooled her children for nineteen years. She married her high school sweetheart and has three children and one grandson. She has written and published one children’s book and is working on a middle grade book. She loves horses. She assists her daughter in teaching private horseback riding lessons to children with disabilities. She loves encouraging and spending time with the scholars here at Leman Academy. She also enjoys getting to know their parents. She is honored to be a part of the Leman Academy family since 2017.

tammy.atchley@lemanacademy.org


Madison Erwin - Afterbell/Lunch Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

madison.erwin@lemanacademy.org


Esperanza "Espy" Heintz - Afterbell/Lunch Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

esperanza.heintz@lemanacademy.org


Tayler Markle - Afterbell/Lunch Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tayler.markle@lemanacademy.org


Rebecca Lizarraras - After bell/ Lunch Staff

Rebecca LizarrarasMs. Rebecca is so excited to be apart of the Leman Academy family. She has started school at Pima Community College and is eager to obtain a degree in which she can spend her days working with children. Rebecca and her fiancé Tj, have a son, C, who will be attending Leman Academy Preschool starting this fall! She spends her free time enjoying her family, crafting and baking.

 

rebecca.lizarraras@lemanacademy.org


Casey Ortega - After bell/ Lunch Staff

Casey OrtegaMs. Casey is originally from El Paso Texas but has been living in Tucson since 2007 and she absolutely loves this city! In 2015 she starting working with children of all ages and has learned so much throughout the years from them and thoroughly enjoys interacting with kids. Casey married her husband Miguel back in 2007 and they share 2 boys who also attend Leman Academy of Excellence. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports with her kids, hiking outdoors and overall spending time with her family. Casey is excited to be a part of the Leman Academy family.

casey.ortega@lemanacademy.org


Brooke Rickard - After bell/ Lunch Staff

Brooke RickardBrooke Rickard is currently a student at Pima Community College studying Early Childhood Education. In her free time she enjoys shopping, watching movies, and hiking. She is excited to be a part of the Leman Academy Afterbell staff this year and looks forward to having a good school year as an Afterbell aide at Leman Academy.

 

brooke.rickard@lemanacademy.org


Clarissa Stout - After bell/ Lunch Staff

Clarissa Stout

 

 

 

 

 

 

clarissa.stout@lemanacademy.org


Ana Herman - Health Coordinator

Ana HermanAna Herman is honored to be part of Leman Academy of Excellence! The Herman family joined the Leman community since it’s opening in 2015 and Ana has been a part of the Leman family since 2016. Ana has a passion for helping and caring for others. She believes it is important to support our scholars with education, love, and compassion so they can lead happy, healthy lives. Ana is married to Jeff Herman and they have 3 beautiful daughters, 2 that attend Leman Academy. She feels blessed and grateful to be part of such a wonderful community.

aherman@lemanacademy.org


Yvette Dolan - Health Office Assistant

Yvette DolanYvette Dolan has been an active volunteer with Leman Academy since her oldest daughter started Kindergarten in 2015. In 2021, she finally joined the Leman team and is excited to be here. Yvette has enjoyed working with Leman scholars, serving as yearbook advisor for two years while leading 6th-8th graders in the Yearbook Club. Yvette has also continued to help grow and manage the Facebook parent group since 2016, where she feels she has been able to meet many of Leman’s wonderful families and build great relationships. Yvette is a graphic designer by trade where she’s worked both in the office and freelanced since 2003.  In 2021 Yvette eagerly jumped at the opportunity to assist in the health office, where she can be face to face with wonderful Leman scholars every day. Yvette is married to her husband Shaine and they have a wonderful daughter and son who both attend Leman Academy. She enjoys spending time with her family and all of her many animals, which include a cat, 2 dogs, chickens, cows, tortoises, a mini horse and a pet pig!

yvette.dolan@lemanacademy.org


Jerry Valenzuela - Facilities Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

jvalenzuela@lemanacademy.org

 


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