NIKKI PENNINGTON - PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR
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.
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.
TURANDA FLOREZ - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
Mrs. 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!
CASEY CLARKE - PRE-SCHOOL TEACHER
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.
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.
Krystal Kline – Preschool Teacher
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.
Andrew Branch – Preschool Teacher
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.
Angela Nunez- Preschool Teacher
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.
Christine Campos – Preschool Teacher
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.
Mikayla Vasquez – Preschool Teacher
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.