Our Staff

Marana, Arizona

DENNIS O’REILLY – HEAD OF SCHOOLS

Dennis O’ReillyMr. O’Reilly started working with young people as a volunteer junior high basketball coach back in 1990, and has been in education for over twenty years, starting as a middle school math teacher back in 1993. Mr. O’Reilly has been an administrator since 1999 serving as Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant to the Principal, Principal, and Head of Schools at three different private schools in Tucson, Arizona and earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Chapman University. Mr. O’Reilly has been married for sixteen years to his beautiful bride Krissy, and will have two scholars attending Leman Academy, Conner and Adeline.

doreilly@lemanacademy.org


Luke Kollasch – Vice Prinicpal

Luke KollaschLuke is honored to join Leman Academy of Excellence! He graduated with a bachelors 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 degree in Educational Leadership. Luke spent the last two years as a middle school vice principal and upper school athletic director at an American international private school located in Casablanca, Morocco.

Luke has been married to his wife Candace for nine years and they love spending time with their three children playing board games, reading, traveling and being outdoors. He is excited to partner with families and educators to bring to life the classical curriculum that is true, good and beautiful!

luke.kollasch@lemanacademy.org


CYNTHIA SENN - ASSISTANT TO THE PRINCIPAL

Cynthia Senn
Hi, I’m Cindy Senn. I love school. I 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 Reading Specialist endorsement, I also earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership through Troy State University.

My husband, Bill of 40 years, is a retired AF fighter pilot who now flys the friendly skies for UPS. We have two children, Will, who graduated from Santa Clara University in CA and is working on his masters in internet marketing through Northwestern and Christine, who recently graduated from U of A and is a hair stylist at Encore. We also have a new addition to our family, a lively Yorkie named Teddy. In July 2017, I began my latest journey in education as Reading Intervention Coordinator and teacher in the Royal Reading Room at Leman Academy of Excellence. For school year 2018-19, I have accepted the role of Assistant Principal at LAE. My sincere wish is to celebrate your childrens' school life with you! I look forward to partnering with you as part of the family at Leman Academy of Excellence.

cindy.senn@lemanacademy.org


KRISSY O'REILLY – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Coordinator

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 excited to serve all the Leman Academy locations in order to partner together to pursue excellence at Leman Academy. Krissy is married and has two scholars that attend Leman Academy.

koreilly@lemanacademy.org


Katie Padilla- Dean of Students

Katie-Padilla

 Katie Padilla comes to us originally from Dayton, Ohio. She moved to Tucson, her senior year of high school, to attend Canyon Del Oro. She then attended and graduated from Northern Arizona University, and received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Upon graduation, she taught 4th grade, in Tucson, and after a few years of teaching, she decided to pursue her Masters Degree in Educational Guidance Counseling, from The University of Phoenix. She was a high school counselor at Ironwood Ridge High School, until she had her first daughter. She took some time off to raise her daughters, and started back to work, at Leman Academy, just four years ago.

She is married to her husband, Robert, of 14 years, and has two daughters, ages 10 and 12. They both attend Leman Academy of Excellence, however, one attends the Marana campus and the other attends Leman Virtual Academy.

Katie has been with Leman Academy-Marana, from the beginning. She sought out Leman Academy because of the classical education as well as Dr. Leman’s philosophy. She not only wanted her children to attend, but she also wanted to be a part of such an amazing school. She started out as a guest teacher and then performed many different roles, some of them being; registrar, reading interventionist, and kindergarten teaching assistant.

Katie is so happy to have this wonderful opportunity to interact with the scholars, as the Dean of Students. Katie brings over 10 years of educational experience and is enthusiastic about sharing and encouraging the “Leman Way”, on a daily basis, with the scholars.

Katie’s favorite things to do are; to play golf and tennis with her family, cook up some fresh plant based meals, and always looking for new ways to improve her health.

kpadilla@lemanacademy.org


TRACEY MCCRACKEN - OFFICE MANAGER

TRACEY MCCRACKENAs a native Tucsonan and UofA Alumni, Tracey’s first career was as a Chemist for a large copper mining company. While working at the minesite, she learned how to manage a variety of people, equipment, and create processes for quality assurance. She brought her practices of precision and detail from the labs to her career in education. Tracey brings a wide breadth of experience in high level administrative management through a variety of positions ranging from a Compliance Specialist, Academic Programs Coordinator, Curriculum Coordinator, Systems and Office Administrator, and Director of Operations. Tracey has worked for some of the most elite schools in the education industry since 2005 in both traditional public and charter public schools.

In 2012, she and her husband Greg, Co-Founded an SEO Company. Although her company keeps her busy in the evenings and weekends, Tracey successfully manages her passion of working in education. She is honored to be part of Leman Academy and proud to bring that passion and commitment to the philosophy and mission of Leman Academy.

tmccracken@lemanacademy.org


BETH SKORUPA - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

BETH SKORUPAOriginally 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


Marie Saner - Administrative Assistant

MARIE SANERMarie Saner was born and raised in Tucson along with her husband of almost 20 years. Marie began working in the medical field in 1996 and served as a medical assistant for a family practice in Tucson. In 2001 she moved on to work in the educational system serving as an administrative assistant in the Flowing Wells Special Education Department for 3 years. She then taught 3rd grade for 6 years for a home school co-op. Marie has two scholars attending Leman Academy. She feels honored and blessed to be a part of the Leman Academy family.

marie.saner@lemanacademy.org


Shannon Goen - Executive Administrative Assistant/Registrar

Shannon GoenMrs. Goen relocated to Tucson 2 years ago when her husband was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. She is originally from Roy, Utah. She has been married for 14 years and has 2 children. She was previously an Office Manager for a Montessori charter school in North Ogden, UT. She absolutely loved it there, and knew right off that working at a school was where she belonged. She is so excited to join Leman Academy and cannot wait to get to know all of the staff, students and families.

In her spare time, she loves to read, swim, and spend time with her family. She has really enjoyed getting to know Tucson and exploring all of its beauty.

shannon.goen@lemanacademy.org


Shannon Goen - Executive Administrative Assistant/Registrar

Shannon GoenMrs. Goen relocated to Tucson 2 years ago when her husband was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. She is originally from Roy, Utah. She has been married for 14 years and has 2 children. She was previously an Office Manager for a Montessori charter school in North Ogden, UT. She absolutely loved it there, and knew right off that working at a school was where she belonged. She is so excited to join Leman Academy and cannot wait to get to know all of the staff, students and families.

In her spare time, she loves to read, swim, and spend time with her family. She has really enjoyed getting to know Tucson and exploring all of its beauty.

shannon.goen@lemanacademy.org


JENNIFER ZOELLNER - AFTER BELL DIRECTOR

Jennifer ZoellnerJennifer Zoellner is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico. She moved to Tucson in 1994 and began her Early Childhood career in 1996. She attended Pima Community College and Grand Canyon University. She acquired a Child Development Associates and Early Childhood Certification. Before working as a Preschool Director over the past 10 years, she loved working as a Lead Preschool Teacher and creating preschool curricula. Jennifer hosted trainings and conferences for preschool teachers. Jennifer and her husband Brian have been married since May 2002 and are the parents of two beautiful daughters. Her youngest daughter is a scholar at the Leman Academy Preschool. Jennifer is delighted to be the Director of After Bell at Leman Academy of Excellence.

jzoellner@lemanacademy.org


NIKKI PENNINGTON - PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR

NIKKI PENNINGTON Ms. Nikki was born and raised in New Mexico and moved to Tucson in 2000 to be closer to family. She has been working in a licensed facility since 2004 and has a degree in Early Childhood Education. Nikki has been a mentor teacher for many students perusing their degree in education from the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. She has been married to her husband since 2005 and they have a daughter who is a Leman Scholar. Nikki likes to spend time playing volleyball, swimming, going to amusement parks, and playing games with her family. She is delighted to be the Director of Preschool at Leman Academy of Excellence.

npennington@lemanacademy.org


DeAnna Evans – Preschool Assistant Director


Ms. DeAnna was born and raised in Safford, Arizona.  From an early age, she knew that she had a passion for working with children. After high school, she had the opportunity to move to New York City and work as a nanny.  A few years later she moved back to Arizona to attend the University of Arizona where she studied Family Studies and Human Development. For the past 8 years she has worked as a preschool teacher, assistant director a director for preschools throughout Tucson. She is now proud to join the Leman team as Pre-K Assistant Director. Her husband Bryan and two boys, Wyatt and Mason keep her busy. As a family, they love spending time outdoors camping and fishing.  Attending sporting events at U of A are one of many things she enjoys doing. She also has a huge passion for traveling and has been all over North America, and Europe.

deanna.evans@lemanacademy.org


TURANDA BENTON-FLOREZ - PRESCHOOL TEACHER

TURANDA FLOREZMrs. Florez is a native of Cross Plains, Tennessee. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She and her husband Robert moved to Tucson after his retirement from the military in 2008. Mrs. Florez has worked in the field of education for 14 years in public, charter and Department of Defense school systems in the states of Hawaii, Georgia and Arizona. She has been married for sixteen years to her husband Robert. Together they have five children and three grandchildren. Mrs. Florez loves teaching children, watching them learn and have fun! When she is not teaching, she enjoys cooking, working in her yard and spending time with her husband. She is honored to be a part of the Leman Academy family and looks forward to many years of partnering with families and our community!

tflorez@lemanacademy.org


Kandy (Maria) Valenzuela – Preschool Teacher


Ms. Kandy is originally from Mexico but has been living in Tucson for over twenty years. She has been working with kids for 8 years now. She is always learning new things and eager to teach it to her scholars. She loves making learning fun and getting everyone engaged. She took her CDA training at Pima Community College and attends trainings yearly to gain knowledge to support her scholars. She loves spending time with her daughter, family, and friends. Her favorite hobbies include exercising outdoors and reading. Ms. Kandy is very happy to be a part of Leman Academy and honored to work with the scholars and their families.

kmvalenzuela@lemanacademy.org


Krystal Kline – Preschool Teacher

Krystal Kline
Ms. Krystal was born in Marquette Michigan but grew up in Tucson Arizona. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Northern Arizona University. She grew up with a passion for learning and when she became an aunt, discovered a passion for children as well. Krystal has two nephews and one niece living in Texas right now and visits them often. She loves spending time with her family and going on adventures. Krystal enjoys learning and wishes to keep learning while spreading and sharing it with others here at Leman Academy.

kkline@lemanacademy.org


Andrew Branch – Preschool Teacher

Andrew Branch
Mr. Andrew 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 six years as a supervisor and teacher for the company, Small Miracles. Before working for Small Miracles, Andrew began his career in education working for AmeriCorps, which allowed him to develop trusting relationships with at-risk youth. Recently, Andrew worked in the field of behavioral health and learned to assist members to achieve their goals in a positive and supportive manner. Andrew has been married for seven years to his wife Shelby and together they have a four-year-old daughter.  When he is not teaching, he enjoys playing basketball. During his time at Pima Community College, Andrew worked with the Pima Men’s basketball team as the team’s equipment manager.  He could coordinate with coaches to determine team’s equipment needs and learn about different styles of coaching. Andrew is proud to be part of the Leman Academy team and hopes to establish a safe, healthy, and welcoming preschool setting to educate young children.

abranch@lemanacademy.org


Angela Nunez- Preschool Teacher

Angela Nunez
Ms. Angela has recently obtained her Bachelor’s degree within Elementary education with an emphasis in Special education. She has 10 years of teaching experience which includes Pre-K (3-5 years old) to running an after-school program along with completing her student teaching in an elementary and special education setting. She enjoys working with children and making a difference within their educational and life experiences. In her free time, she enjoys family time and scrap booking.

anunez@lemanacademy.org


Christine Campos – Preschool Teacher

Christine Campos
Christine Campos is originally from Los Angeles, CA. She was a military spouse for 24 years and through that could travel the world. With her experience with the military she obtained a Commanders award for assisting various families within deployments. She moved to Tucson from Ft. Riley, Kansas and volunteered within St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church for 8 years as a Catechist (teacher). She also began her career within Leman Academy assisting in after bell with second graders as well in the cafeteria supervising scholars. She has 3 children and 2 grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys singing in the choir at her church, teaching Sunday school, and volunteering her time to the Knights of Columbus. She enjoys music and dancing. She is very proud to be a part of the Leman Academy Staff.

ccampos@lemanacademy.org


Casey Clarke – Preschool Teacher

Casey Clarke

Ms. Casey was born and raised here in Tucson. She received her Associates Degree from Pima Community College. She has been teaching preschool for 20+ years in various schools around Tucson. She has a true passion for teaching and watching children grow and learn. She lives with her sister, two nephews and a niece who are all Leman scholars. Her hobbies are swimming (when it’s warm), hiking and spending time with her family.

casey.clarke@lemanacademy.org


Mikayla Vasquez – Preschool Teacher

Mikayla Vasquez
Ms. Mikayla was born and raised in Goodyear, AZ, by a hard working single mother.

She moved to Tucson in 2014 and has been working at Leman since 2017. In high school she worked as an assistant teacher and in 2015 worked at a sleepaway camp with kids ages 7 to 17, through those jobs she found a love and passion for children. Ms. Mikayla is excited and thankful to be working at the Preschool and is looking forward to all she will learn. Her hobbies/likes include reading books, dancing and horseback riding.

mikayla.vasquez@lemanacademy.org

CATHERINE LUCKOW – Half Day Kindergarten Teacher

CATHERINE LUCKOWA Native Arizonan, Catherine Luckow knew she wanted to become an educator and work with young children, even at a very young age. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She has been married to Jim since 1979, and they have 5 children. After working in Amphi District for 5 years, Mrs. Luckow chose to stay home with her children and used her passion for education by home-schooling all of them for 20+ years. Her family continues to grow with more than a handful of grandchildren, and she counts time spent with them as her favorite way to spend a day! She is delighted to begin introducing Spanish to the K-2 scholars at Leman Academy and hopes to instill an early love of language, vocabulary, and appreciation for other cultures.

cluckow@lemanacademy.org


VERONICA HARO - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

VERONICA HAROMrs. Haro was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Elementary Education, and earned a Master’s Degree from the National Hispanic University in Teaching and Learning English Language Learners. Mrs. Haro was “Teacher of the Year” in 2011-2012. She possesses a strong dedication and passion for instilling the love of learning to all scholars. She’s taught kindergarten since 2008, has been a mentor teacher, and has taught New Teacher Induction courses. She was also the English Language Learner Coordinator for her former school district, specializing in English development. Mrs. Haro has 3 beautiful children and a loving husband. When Mrs. Haro isn’t teaching she loves to garden, read books and spend time with her family.

vharo@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


ALEXIS TREVINO - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

ALEXIS TREVINOAlexis Trevino is excited to join the Leman Academy of Excellence team. She is passionate about teaching using a variety of methods. She loves getting to know her scholars and partnering with families. Alexis is a native of Tucson but attended and graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has taught kindergarten and first grade. In her free time Alexis enjoys spending time with her husband and son, as well as reading and doing crafts.

atrevino@lemanacademy.org


KARLA UNDERWOOD - KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

Karla UNDERWOOD

karla.underwood@lemanacademy.org


CATHERINE KIRK – 1ST GRADE TEACHER

CATHERINE KIRKCatherine Kirk is honored and excited to be part the Leman Academy team. She graduated from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a BS in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She was an Early Intervention Reading teacher for scholars in grades K-3 while living in Georgia for three years, then was able to homeschool her children classically for three years while living in Virginia and Arizona. She has high expectations for her scholars, both in and out of the classroom, and delights to connect with them and their families. In her free time, Catherine enjoys cooking, walking her Goldendoodle, and reading to and loving on her two children, who are also scholars at Leman Academy of Excellence.

ckirk@lemanacademy.org


KATIE BERGHOEFER – 1ST GRADE Teacher

Katie Berghoefer
Katie Berghoefer is excited and honored to be part of the Leman Academy of Excellence team. As a Northern Arizona University graduate, Katie is enthusiastic about serving the wonderful families and scholars of Leman Academy. Katie believes that learning should not only be meaningful and intentional but also fun. She is passionate about teaching and has high expectations for her scholars. In 2016, Katie became a teacher leader through the STEMAZing project. Outside of the classroom, Katie enjoys spending time with her three young children. Her oldest son will be attending Leman Academy of Excellence.

katie.berghoefer@lemanacademy.org

ELIZABETH NIXON - 1ST GRADE Teacher

Elizabeth Nixon
Mrs. Nixon was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, and graduated in 2013 from NAU with her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. In 2018, Mrs. Nixon will obtain her Master's Degree from Grand Canyon University in Reading. She has taught Kindergarten through 3rd Grade spending one year teaching in each grade level and her favorite grade to teach is 1st Grade. She is the youngest of seven children with two of her older sisters educators as well. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and of course her dog, Lola. She enjoys U of A basketball games, traveling, reading, manicures and pedicures, hiking, and shopping. She is excited to start a new chapter at Leman Academy.

elizabeth.nixon@lemanacademy.org


Paola Spader - 1ST GRADE Teacher

Paola Spader
I am excited to join the first grade team at Leman Academy. I was born and raised in Colombia and I moved to the US when I completed high school. I graduated from University of Nevada Las Vegas UNLV with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching 2nd grade in Las Vegas for 4 years, my family and I moved to Florida to explore the East Coast. I taught Kindergarten and looped with my group of scholars to 1st grade. I loved that experience! After enjoying 2 years in beautiful Florida with a couple of hurricane experiences, and many alligators, we decided to move to Tucson, closer to family and friends.

When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my husband and best friend Dr. Taylor Spader, my 3 children, Danielle who will be attending PIMA College, Nico, and Olivia who will excel here at Leman Academy, and our dogs Bruno, our Great Dane and Roxy, our Pug.

paola.spader@lemanacademy.org


Suzanne Longville - 1ST GRADE Teacher

Suzanne LongvilleMrs. Longville is a Tucson native and a proud graduate of the U of A. She has taught in Tucson for over thirty years, all of which have been in the Marana community. Mrs. Longville and her husband are the proud parents of two children. Their son, Gordy, is working on his master's degree in counseling and their daughter, Randi, attends NAU in pursuit of an elementary education degree. Randi will be the third generation of educators in her family!! Mrs. Longville loves to become a part of her scholars’ families as she helps them grow.

slongville@lemanacademy.org


FRANCISCA NOELIA MALDONADO – 2ND GRADE Teacher

NOELIA MALDONADONoelia Maldonado is a proud University of Arizona graduate! In 2007 she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, as well as an endorsement in Bilingual Education. She is passionate about teaching and loves seeing her scholars engaged and challenged while learning! She was born in Hermosillo, Sonora Mexico, and has lived in Tucson ever since she was a third grader. Mrs. Maldonado loves spending time with her husband, going to UA football/basketball/baseball games, running, and traveling.

nmaldonado@lemanacademy.org


JENNIFER DANHOF – 2ND GRADE TEACHER

Jennifer Danhof
Mrs. 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 students in grades K-12. Soon she had the opportunity to become a classroom teacher at the elementary school level. After the birth of her second child, Mrs. Danhof stayed home to concentrate on raising a family. She joined the Leman staff in 2016 as an instructional aide and is very excited to be back in the classroom. She is passionate about building positive relationships and encouraging scholars toward academic and personal excellence.

jennifer.danhof@lemanacademy.org


KRISTA AVENENTI – 2ND GRADE TEACHER

Krista Avenenti
Ms. Avenenti is a Tucson native, and has lived most of her life in Marana, AZ. She graduated with honors from Arizona State University, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, and has been working in education for the past 8 years with two years teaching experience in Second Grade. Ms. Avenenti is very excited to be joining Leman Academy! Krista is passionate about making connections with scholars, and uses those relationships to help guide her teaching style. Ms. Avenenti loves art, music, the beach, hiking with her husband and two children, as well as taking road trips together to new places. She spends her free time painting, decorating, house remodeling, working in the yard, and tackling all kinds of DIY projects.

krista.avenenti@lemanacademy.org


JULIE ELDRIDGE - 2ND GRADE Teacher

Julie Eldridge
Julie Eldridge is originally from a small town in Ohio and spends her summers in Northern Michigan. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio Northern University in Elementary Education with a concentration in art and music. Ms. Eldridge has over ten years of experience teaching in public and private schools. She taught Elementary Art and 4th grade for a few years, before she stayed at home for ten years to raise her three children. She moved to Tucson eight years ago and for the past six years she has taught 3rd grade in a private school. Ms. Eldridge is an energetic and caring teacher that loves to watch her scholars grow academically and instill self-confidence in them to take risks in and outside of the classroom. When not teaching, Ms. Eldridge enjoys spending time with her children, working out, and traveling. She looks forward to teaching 2nd grade and building close relationships with her new awesome scholars and parents at Leman Academy.

julie.eldridge@lemanacademy.org


KELLIE WALSH - 2ND GRADE Teacher

Kellie Walsh
Kellie Walsh is a native New Yorker who is very grateful to have spent her childhood summers at the beach and winters in the snow. Moving to Arizona in 1996, she pursued her Elementary Education degree at NAU in Flagstaff. In 2006, she earned her Master's Degree from NAU in School Counseling and spent 2 years as a High School Counselor at CDO before returning to the classroom in 2010. Ms. Walsh has spent the majority of her career teaching Kindergarten and Second Grade and loves both equally. When she is not teaching, Kellie enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her rescue dog Prince and she can't wait to begin a new adventure at Leman Academy.

kellie.walsh@lemanacademy.org


TAMARA WESTBERG – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

TAMARA WESTBERGTamara Westberg has lived in the Tucson area since 1993. She’s married with two children and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University 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 made the decision to stay home with her children. During this time, she held a number of volunteer positions, and later began a second career in education. She has been teaching at the elementary level since 2005. She considers it an honor to be part of the Leman Academy team, and looks forward to partnering with you and your scholars.

twestberg@lemanacademy.org


SHELBY LICHTY – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

SHELBY LICHTYShelby 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 is completing her teaching certificate from Pima Community College. After seeing much of the world, she decided to serve once again by educating the youth of our community and country. She has experience working in charter schools and with elementary level scholars. 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


ALICIA PHILLIPS – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

ALICIA PHILLIPSAlicia Phillips began her career in education in the beautiful community of the White Mountains after graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. She has a Master’s degree in Elementary Education which she received from Northern Arizona University. Alicia has taught in the exceptional service program and fourth grade. She retired from the public school setting as a former principal. After retiring, Alicia became program coordinator for a nonprofit agency working with grades K-12 on substance abuse prevention.

Alicia and her partner have returned to Tucson to be closer to their families and pursue new career opportunities. She is the proud mother of two children. Her son is a hotshot and resides in New Mexico. Her daughter works in community public health and lives in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. Alicia is excited to work with her scholars, and the opportunity to build strong relationships with their families. The Leman Academy has the vision that she strived for as a former principal. She looks forward to the opportunity to continue to grow professionally and to be a member of the Leman community.

aphillips@lemanacademy.org


Ana Midgette – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

Ana MidgetteAna Midgette is honored to be a Wildcat. In 2007 she graduated from 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.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 eating ice cream.

ana.midgette@lemanacademy.org


Kelli Pariano – 3RD GRADE TEACHER

Kelli Pariano
Kelli received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio in 2011. She moved to Tucson in 2016 to be a full time Elementary School Teacher. She spent the last two years teaching Fourth Grade for Sunnyside School District.

Kelli is extremely excited to start her career at Leman and is passionate about many things. First and foremost, motivating scholars to be the best they can possibly be academically, socially and athletically! She has been Coaching for the past 15 years-tennis, soccer and cheerleading.

Kelli loves to challenge her scholars with “outside the box” thinking and specializes in helping all populations including Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Kelli is very proud of her 23 year old son back in Ohio, creating his own business and websites for local establishments while remaining a rock star by night. She has lived all over the country, being born in Alaska and moving to Colorado, Kansas, Virginia, Ohio and is pleased to make Tucson her final destination. Kelli’s hobbies include working out, playing tennis, hiking and anything outdoors in this beautiful weather. Kelli truly appreciates all the beauty Arizona has to offer and is ecstatic to make Leman and Tucson her new home!

kelli.pariano@lemanacademy.org


MARY HATTABAUGH – 4TH GRADE TEACHER

MARY HATTABAUGHMary Hattabaugh has been a 4th grade teacher since 2006. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Orleans in 1991 and received her Master’s of Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Mathematics in 2011 from the University of Texas at Arlington. Having the opportunity to participate in the Mickelson Exxon Mobile Teacher Academy in 2011 was a highlight of her professional career. Mary likes to travel and spend time with family. She makes her home in Tucson, AZ, with her husband, Dr. Michael Hattabaugh, and children, Molly, Meghan, and Matthew.

mhattabaugh@lemanacademy.org


LINDA MORRIS – 4TH GRADE Teacher

Linda Morris
Linda Morris graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has taught professionally for nine years, ranging from kindergarten to middle school. Ms. Morris also has over 30 years of experience working with scholars through various church organizations. She took a break from teaching to pursue a business career, earning her MBA in the process. This break allowed her to move into adult education as a training specialist. Her interests include embroidery, reading, exploring Arizona and being out in nature. Ms. Morris is excited to be a part of the Leman Academy team.

linda.morris@lemanacademy.org


SHERI MCLAIN – 4TH GRADE Teacher

SHERI MCLAIN
Sheri McLain was raised in Tucson and moved to Colorado in her twenties to attend the Nazarene Bible College. She graduated with a degree in Christian School Elementary Education. She has taught professionally for nine years, ranging from 1st grade to middle school. Mrs. McLain took a break from teaching to pursue owning a business for 9 years while living in Colorado. She moved back to Tucson in 2016 to be closer to her family and joined the Leman staff as a 4th grade teacher. Sheri is married to Aiden who is also and educator. Together they are enjoying raising two children, Brenden who is in high school and Caidence who is a scholar at Leman Academy. Her interest in helping young people has extended beyond the classroom walls. She and her family are working towards certification to be a Foster Family for kids in need. She is excited to work with her scholars, and the opportunity to build strong relationships with their families. She considers it an honor to be part of the Leman Academy team, and looks forward to partnering with you and your scholars.

smclain@lemanacademy.org


MARYBETH BAREIS - 4TH GRADE

Mary Beth BareisAfter teaching (mostly grades 3-5) for 20 years in Philadelphia (Go Phillies!), Mary Beth Bareis “retired” to Arizona. However, her passion for teaching children couldn’t keep her out of the classroom. She is excited to experience the classical education of Leman Academy of Excellence and the joy of watching scholars explore and learn. Mary Beth received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from La Salle University and her Masters in Education from Arcadia University, both in Pennsylvania. She looks forward to building relationships in her new community. Her hobbies include model trains, gardening, and baseball.

marybeth.bareis@lemanacademy.org


Eileen Eitrheim - 4th Grade Teacher

Eileen Eitrheim
Eileen Eitrheim received her MFA from Virgina Tech and has been working in education for over 25 years. As an active member in her community she has served on many boards that provide arts opportunities to young people. As a mother of one son who was born in South Korea she served as a teacher for many years at Kamp Kim Chi -- a Korean culture camp. Eileen recently moved to the area from Iowa to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors that Tucson offers. In her spare time you can often find Eileen training for her next Marathon or hiking with her fiancé Crist.

eileen.eitrheim@lemanacademy.org


TERESA BELDEN - 5TH GRADE Teacher

TERESA BELDENMs. Teresa Belden was born in Cheyenne Wyoming and raised in Northern Arizona. She attended Northern Arizona University where she earned a BS in Elementary Education K-8, BS Special Education/Gifted, LD, ED.Teresa has taught twenty-three plus years in both urban and suburban school districts. Her passion for teaching children and coaching cross-country, track/field and softball brings a unique energy into her classroom where scholars experience the ability to not only be challenged in academics but also learn to have compassion for others. When not teaching you will find Ms.Belden hiking, fishing, traveling or shopping with her granddaughter. She is an enthusiastic teacher who will make a positive contribution to Leman Academy of Excellence.

tbelden@lemanacademy.org


Ellen Douglas - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Ellen Douglas

 Ellen Douglas is a South Korean born, but Toronto, Canada raised educator. She graduated from the University of Toronto with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree and received her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. She has endorsements in Secondary Education with emphasis in Biology and History.

Mrs. Douglas’ teaching experience spans Canada, South Korea, France, and enjoys teaching here at Leman Academy. She finds teaching an incredibly rewarding job. Her goal in the classroom is to stretch her scholars’ minds academically and enlarge their hearts socially so they can become responsible and caring members of society.

When she is not teaching, she enjoys traveling with her husband, Malcolm, and spending time with her church family. Her interests are finding the best deals on Amazon, experimenting with cooking, and baking plant-based food.

ellen.douglas@lemanacademy.org


Renee O'Connor - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Renee O'Connor
Renee O'Connor was born and raised in Phoenix. Before moving to Tucson in 2000, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Northern Arizona University. She spent the early part of her career as a paralegal and ran a small retail store before deciding to stay home with the birth of her twin daughters. Renee and her husband Craig have four kids, all of which are Leman Scholars. Mrs. O'Connor and her family have been a part of the Leman community since it opened in 2015. Renee loved being at the school so much that she decided to obtain her teaching certification so she can spend even more time there. She spent the last year as a Guest Teacher and is excited to be teaching 5th grade this year. In her spare time, Renee enjoys camping and traveling with her family, reading and working on home improvement projects.

renee.oconnor@lemanacademy.org


Carolina Sesteaga - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Carolina Sesteaga
Carolina Sesteaga is a Tucson native. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A in Sociology and Spanish. She has three years experience in the educational field and is excited to be joining the Leman family along with her two sons ages 10 and 7. She works tirelessly to ensure her scholars leave her class mentally and emotionally prepared for their next academic transition. In addition she models respect, collaboration and kindness. When Mrs. Sesteaga isn’t teaching, she loves spending time with her family, outdoor adventuring, reading and working on her favorite hobby - photography.

carolina.sesteaga@lemanacademy.org


Sandy Wilson - 5TH GRADE Teacher

Sandy Wilson
Sandy Wilson has over thirty years teaching experience among three Arizona school districts. She holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education through the University of Arizona. Mrs. Wilson is Sheltered English Immersion certified. (SEI) She is married, has a son and daughter and two grandchildren. Her hobbies are spending time with her family, reading, bowling, boating and traveling in their RV. She is very excited to be a part of the Leman Academy of Excellence team.

sandy.wilson@lemanacademy.org


HEATHER WOODS - MIDDLE SCHOOL LEAD & 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


JILL LUDLUM - 6TH GRADE HISTORY

Jill Ludlum
Having grown up in Tucson, Jill is excited to be once again living in the place she considers home. She attended NAU earning dual Bachelor of Science degrees in History and Psychology. After graduating from NAU, Jill moved to North Carolina in pursuit of her dream to live near the ocean. Soon after, more opportunities arose, allowing her to also experience life in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Naples, Italy.

After teaching middle school history for six years, Jill made the decision to stay home to raise her two children, truly enjoying every moment of she had with them. Now that her children are school age themselves, Jill is excited to be returning to teaching scholars again. She has always had a passion for middle school history and is excited to join the remarkable team at Leman Academy. Jill is looking forward to working with scholars to make the events of history come alive in the classroom.

jill.ludlum@lemanacademy.org


Aurora Dominguez - 6TH GRADE Science

Aurora Dominguez
Mrs. Dominguez has worked with children for over twenty years in both a volunteer capacity and professionally. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona and has also completed all the coursework in Elementary Education with a focus in Sciences. She has taught elementary, middle and high school Science. Her passion for the Sciences began when she was in 6th grade. Her amazing teachers from her childhood have influenced how she both teaches and cares for her scholars. Mrs. Dominguez was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and grew up in New York City. She moved to Tucson 19 years ago with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Mrs. Dominguez enjoys reading, music, sewing, beading, crocheting, going to the beach and spending time with friends and family.

aurora.dominguez@lemanacademy.org


LISA POWERS - 6TH GRADE ENGLISH

Lisa Powers
Originally 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


DAVID MACIBORSKI - 6TH - 7TH GRADE LOGIC

David Maciborski
Mr. 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. David attended a summer program with the University of Arizona in Guadalajara and 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. Mr. Maciborski taught Philosophy with a focus on Aristotelian Logic for 13 years at a private school in Tucson. He has been married to his beautiful wife since 2007 and now has 4 wonderful children and enjoys spending time with his family. Mr. Maciborski believes that the classical model of education is the best way to form young people to live healthy moral lives and develop the intellectual habits of mind to discover the truth, goodness and beauty in every facet of life.

david.maciborski@lemanacademy.org


JENNIFER WUOLLET - 7TH GRADE ENGLISH

Jennifer Woullet
Originally 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


Molly Hattabaugh- 7TH GRADE Math Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

molly.hattabaugh@lemanacademy.org


Francis Lennartz - 6th & 7th Grade Latin

FRANCIS LENNARTZFrom teaching Sunday school at his church to coaching Little League Baseball to leading summer camps as a program director, Francis Lennartz has been teaching and mentoring youth since his early teenage years. A graduate from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiology, Francis considered a career in the medical field but instinctively returned to his passion for teaching here at Leman Academy. He is excited to join the Leman family teaching Latin to 6th and 7th grade Leman scholars.

In his free time, Francis enjoys studying Reformed Theology, early morning runs on the Rillito River Loop, singing and playing acoustic guitar in parks across Tucson, and greatly anticipates marrying his family camp crush and best friend, Abby, this October.

flennartz@lemanacademy.org


Ashley Nicolarsen - 7th Grade Science Teacher

Ashley NicolarsenAshley Nicolarsen is a Wyoming native who moved to Tucson in 2004. In 2008, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in K-8 Education, with concentrations in Math and Science, from The University of Arizona. She has previously taught 5th Grade and 7th Grade Science. After earning her Master’s Degree of Instruction and Curriculum 2011, she joined the staff at the University as a graduate Course Facilitator in Research, Education, and Autism studies. Although she enjoyed her time teaching at the graduate level, she missed middle school and teaching science. She is excited to be back in the classroom. 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, and greatly looking forward to partnering with families while sharing her passion for lifelong learning!

ashley.nicolarsen@lemanacademy.org


TOM MOSER - 7TH GRADE HISTORY

TOM MOSERTom Moser has over twenty-five years teaching experience among five Arizona school districts. He is a graduate from the University of Arizona, earning a Bachelor and Master in Education degrees. His interest in helping young people has extended beyond the classroom walls. He has coached youth sport teams, directed a children’s camp in Ontario, Canada and created Youth @ Performing arts, a musical theatre company for youth ages 7-14 years. He is married to Kristin and together they have enjoyed raising two children, Lee and Kristina.
Mr. Moser is excited to join the faculty of Leman Academy. Mr. Moser believes that taking risks, finding ones passion and becoming life long learners are the keys to an adventurous and successful adult life. He enjoys teaching and believes in the potential inside each and every one of his scholars. His classrooms are filled with fun and learning.

tmoser@lemanacademy.org

VERONICA AYALA - 8th GRADE English Language Arts & HISTORY

Veronica Ayala
Veronica Ayala is honored and excited to be your scholar’s 8th grade Literature and 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. Her educational career began as a first grade teacher with a strong focus in literacy. In the last five years, she has been dedicated to teaching Literature to middle school scholars in a loving and safe environment seeking high expectations. Veronica surrounds herself with her husband, three beautiful daughters and abundant faith. She loves music, movies, reading, shopping, watching sports and most importunity spending quality time with her husband and girls. She will make the classroom a fun learning experience but at the same time, will challenge your scholars. Every action matters, every minute is crucial and every word is to be heard in her classroom.

veronica.ayala@lemanacademy.org


COLLIN ROBINSON - 8TH GRADE LOGIC/GEOGRAPHY

COLLIN ROBINSONMr. Robinson is a Tucson native who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership from the University of Arizona in 2012 and is currently working on his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. He has an extensive background in coaching the sport of soccer as he has worked with youth players as well as collegiate athletes at the University of Arizona. He met his beautiful wife, Nikki in Middle school and have been married since the Summer of 2013. Mr. Robinson is excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Leman Academy of Excellence and build strong relationships with teachers, parents and scholars that enable and facilitate a positive and effective learning environment. Mr. Robinson enjoys watching, coaching, and playing soccer along with spending time with family and friends.

crobinson@lemanacademy.org


INGRI LOPEZ - 8TH GRADE MATH AND SCIENCE

Ingri Lopez
Ms. Lopez is originally from Los Angeles, CA, but she has since left her heart in San Francisco after attending San Francisco State University. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Geography with an emphasis in Geographic Information System (GIS) in 2015. Ms. Lopez decided to move to Tucson in January of 2016 and feels fortunate to have scored a job in the one thing she is passionate about - teaching young people. During her free time she loves to cook, watch baseball, and paint at home. Whenever she has time, she travels back to California to visit her family or spend time on the beach. She is super excited to start working with the Leman Academy of Excellence team.

ingri.lopez@lemanacademy.org


Katie Benson - Eighth Grade English

Katie Benson
Originally hailing from the beautiful nation of Canada, Mrs. Katie Benson has happily resided in Arizona with her husband and children for the past 17 years. She graduated from the University of Arizona South in 2013 and will receive her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University in 2017. Always the avid learner, Mrs. Benson has aspirations to pursue a doctorate as well. She has taught children from Pre-K through fifth grade, and always enjoys integrating the arts into her teaching. A musician, singer-songwriter, sports enthusiast, reader, actress, and scholar, Katie's greatest passions still remain her family and her faith. She is extremely excited about joining the great team at Leman Academy of Excellence, and is committed to fostering a love of learning and a passion for creativity and character building in each one of her scholars for years to come.

katie.benson@lemanacademy.org


ALEX STACHOWIAK - MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH

Alex StachowiakMr. Stachowiak has been a math teacher for the past five years. He previously taught 5th Grade Intro to Pre Algebra, and 11th, and 12th Grade Linear Algebra and Number Theory. Mr. Stachowiak has a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics with an Education Emphasis in 2013 from the University of Arizona. Besides from teaching, Mr. Stachowiak enjoys seeing movies, spending time with family and geocaching. One of Mr. Stachowiak's goals in the classroom is for students to get excited coming to math class and learning new concepts.

alex.stachowiak@lemanacademy.org

Ramona KLECZKA - ESS Administrative Assistant

Ramona Kleczka

ramona.kleczka@lemanacademy.org


PATRICIA TUCKER - EXCEPTIONAL SCHOLAR SERVICES TEACHER

Patricia Tucker
Coming from a military family and living in different parts of the world helped Mrs. Tucker develop a love of learning and appreciation of many cultures. After earning her degrees in Elementary and Special Education from ASU, she settled in Tucson. Mrs. Tucker’s passion is to instill a love of learning in all her scholars. Mrs. Tucker has taught elementary Special Education scholars, as well as served as a Special Education facilitator and Instructional Support Leader, always collaborating with fellow teachers and administrators to ensure that scholars receive the best possible educational experience. Mrs. Tucker is happily married and has two wonderful daughters. She and her husband love traveling, hiking, skiing, and spending time with friends and family. Mrs. Tucker loves to cook, garden and do just about any activity that takes her outdoors. She is very excited to join the Leman Academy community.

patricia.tucker@lemanacademy.org


Sheila Wilson - EXCEPTIONAL SCHOLAR SERVICES TEACHER

Sheila Wilson
Mrs. Wilson studied at Youngstown State University in Youngstown Ohio and graduated with a dual major in Elementary and Special Education. She began her teaching career with special needs students in Austintown Ohio before moving to Mesa Arizona in 1981. She met a wonderful man with 3 daughters and they married in 1991. Now they have 10 grandchildren that fill their lives with joy! Over her 39 year teaching career Mrs. Wilson has been fortunate enough to teach trainable and severally mentally handicapped students along with general education students in Kindergarten, First, and Second grade with the Mesa School District and more recently with the Amphitheater School District. She earned her masters degree from Northern Arizona University with an emphasis in reading.

Teaching is her passion but she also enjoy cooking, crafting, decorating, gardening, and cheering on the Diamondbacks in her free time. Mrs. Wilson is excited for this new chapter in teaching and looks forward to supporting classroom teachers and exceptional scholars here at Leman Academy!

sheila.wilson@lemanacademy.org


Desiree Gallagher - Exceptional Scholar Services Instructional Assistant

Desiree Gallagher

dgallagher@lemanacademy.org


Sonja Mooney - Exceptional Scholar Services Instructional Assistant

Sonja Mooney

sonja.mooney@lemanacademy.org


Sasha George - Exceptional Scholar Services Instructional Assistant

Sasha George

sasha.george@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


NICHOLE PERRY - ART TEACHER

Nichole Perry
Nichole Perry grew up in upstate New York and graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education from SUNY Oswego. In 2003, she married her high school sweetheart. She started as an educator teaching 3rd grade in Jacksonville, FL. Nichole’s husband was in the Marine Corps and subsequently they moved frequently. She decided to do what was best for her family and took a break from teaching to raise their three beautiful children. Once her children were all back in school, she went back to education as a substitute teacher in Las Cruces, NM and filled a long-term position as a 4th Grade teacher. She has been homeschooling her children for the past two years. After living in 5 different states since 2003, she is ready to plant her roots here in Tucson.
Nichole’s passion for art began back in elementary school, but really took shape during her high school years. She was blessed with some wonderful teachers who instilled a love and eye for the beauty found in appreciating and creating art. She is thrilled to be able to intertwine her two passions - teaching and art. She cannot wait to study and create beautiful works of art with the scholars! She is honored to be a part of the Leman team and to have her children become part of such a wonderful school!

nichole.perry@lemanacademy.org


CATHY LETKEMAN – MUSIC TEACHER

CATHY LETKEMANBy the time she entered high school, Cathy knew she wanted to combine her love for children and her love for music by becoming a music educator. After completing her Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Education from Brandon University, and teaching 6th Grade Language Arts and Reading for two years at Grace Christian School (GCS) in Tucson, she finally realized her dream, and stepped into her first music classroom at GCS in 1998. Two years later, she embraced the life of a student and pursued her Master of Music Education at the University of Arizona. Her doctoral studies were interrupted for the best possible reason: the birth of her daughter, Nikki, in 2003. Cathy returned to the music classroom at Cornerstone Christian Academy (now Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, Grammar School) in 2004-2005, took a break to welcome her son John to their family, and returned in 2008-2009. After several years homeschooling her children, Cathy considered it a privilege and a joy to partner with the parents, educators and scholars of the Leman Academy of Excellence (LAE) to develop a music program of excellence since 2016. Cathy and her husband Doug also enjoy being part of the school community as their children Nikki and John are also LAE scholars.

cletkeman@lemanacademy.org


KASSI JO PETERSON SASSER – MUSIC TEACHER

KASSI PETERSONKassi Peterson received her bachelor of music degree in music education with a focus in vocal performance from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. While attending Concordia College she had the honor of singing in the Concordia College Choir for Dr. Rene Clausen, as well as being one of his students. After finishing her degree she sought out a warmer climate and moved to Colorado. In January of 2011, her choir was one of four middle school choirs in the state selected to perform at the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference. Still not warm enough, Kassi moved to Tucson, where her father lives. She has been in education since 2012 in Arizona and in Colorado since 2001. She is excited to continue building the music program at Leman Academy of Excellence as she follows the 6th graders into middle school.

kpeterson@lemanacademy.org

Rossella Tapia – SPANISH Teacher

Rossella TapiaI am a Certified Spanish teacher with a lifetime of experience educating students and inculcating in them family values beyond what is taught in Spanish class. I also have years of experience working with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Children are our future and It is our duty to prepare them.

rossella.tapia@lemanacademy.org


ROB BEETS – 3RD - 5TH GRADE LATIN

Robert Beets
Rob grew up in California, the son of two teachers. He has lived in various places, both at home and abroad, but has called Tucson his home for the last 25 years. Rob finished up his BA in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Arizona, and then took on and completed his MA in English Language & Linguistics. Along the way he has also studied in many other areas of interest and came to the conclusion that he is a habitual life-long learner. Since graduating, he has been creatively teaching language in the Tucson area, and has dedicated the last sixteen years to passing down his passion for the fun of learning and language to his scholars. What energizes him most is to see the light of learning catch on in the eyes of the scholars – that they not only see they understand a subject, but they can make that knowledge their own. Rob has many pastimes – both indoor and outdoors -- but most of all he loves to spend time at home with his wife Adriana and his three ferrets, Bella, Bandit and Scrapper. One of the adages he believes to be true is that life is an adventure and that every day is like a “newly-minted coin” from the hand of God. We can spend that coin on any number of unique and wonderful experiences that help us to grow, and through which we can touch the lives of others as well. All this said, Rob sees himself as a fairly simple guy who loves to teach.

robert.beets@lemanacademy.org

MEGHAN ANGULO - PHYSICAL EDUCATION Teacher

Meghan Anjulo
Meghan 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


Clarence McRae - PHYSICAL EDUCATION Teacher

Clarence (Bam) McRae
Clarence (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.mcrea@lemanacademy.org


JENNIFER BOLTZ, RN – SCHOOL NURSE

JENNIFER BOLTZMrs. Boltz graduated with a BSN from The University of Arizona in 1995. She has worked as a pediatric nurse in a variety of health care settings including medical-surgical, oncology, bone marrow transplant, pediatric intensive care, and home health. She has also been the school nurse for Leman Academy of Excellence since it’s opening in 2015. Mrs. Boltz and her husband have two children attending Leman Academy of Excellence. She enjoys spending time with her family, quilting, and early morning walks with her dogs.

jboltz@lemanacademy.org

Ana Herman - Health Office Assistant

Ana Herman

aherman@lemanacademy.org

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