Our Staff

Leman Virtual Academy, Arizona

DENNIS O’REILLY – Head of Schools

Dennis 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.


Beth Williams – Principal

Beth Williams has been the Principal at Leman Virtual Academy for 3 years. She is a native of Lexington, NC. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC-Greensboro, where she double majored in English and Elementary Education. She received her first Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Winthrop University in 2011. She received her second Master's Degree from Winthrop University in 2016 in Educational Leadership. She began her career in Charlotte, NC as a second-grade teacher. She has taught grades 2 - 8 as a classroom teacher and ESOL teacher. She most recently was the ESOL/Title III Coordinator with the Lancaster County School District in Lancaster, SC.

During her career, she has presented at local, regional, national and international conferences on topics such as divergent learning, co-teaching, math strategies, and literacy. She has been honored as a Star Teacher, Teacher of the Year, Mentor Teacher of the Year, and Palmetto Social Studies Teacher of the Year in her career. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, painting, crocheting, sewing, and hiking.

See Beth's Video Here


Tiana Mendoza - Admin Assistant

My name is Tiana Mendoza and I grew up in the Midwest where I learned to love nature and hard work. I moved to Arizona after college and met the love of my life. My hubby and I truly enjoy spending time together and we love to go dancing for date night.

I am very excited to join Leman Virtual Academy and support the families and teachers (coming from a true middle child according to Dr. Leman’s Birth Order). I have two scholars who attended Leman Virtual for one year and currently attend Leman East. My favorite part of the Leman Core Beliefs are life lessons and natural consequences.


Alexis Trevino - Kindergarten TEACHER

Alexis TrevinoAlexis Trevino graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a bachelor's in Elementary Education then completed her Masters in Reading through Grand Canyon University. She has been working in Education for eight years teaching in Kindergarten and First Grade. Alexis has taught at Leman Academy for five years. She began at the Maran campus before joining Leman Virtual. Alexis is looking forward to meeting her scholars and enjoying a year of learning and fun together!

Alexis grew up in Tucson. She left for college but missed Arizona and decided to return. Upon returning she met her husband who was serving in the Air Force. Alexis enjoys playing soccer, reading, doing crafts and spending time with her family. She has three kids Jordan, Payton and Ada.

See Alexis' Video Here



Vickie Lucio is looking forward to meeting her new 1st grade scholars this year! She enjoyed her experience subbing last year. Vickie grew up in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska. Go Huskers! Mrs. Lucio likes that the classical education format allows for scholars to make connections. Mrs. Lucio now lives in Tucson, AZ. She enjoys spreading time traveling to her daughter's college softball games, and taking her 4 dogs on walks.

See Vickie's Video Here


Norma Owens - 2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Owens has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State University. She has recently completed the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Secondary English program with virtual classroom instruction in her Resident teaching. She has a passion to teach and facilitate academic growth in students by building a heart of learning in daily virtual instruction. The Leman Academy model aligns with her ethics to deliver engaging, educational strategies. Mrs. Owens takes her role to deliver high-quality, asynchronous lessons as a priority. She fosters an environment to have frequent, multi-directional communication of teacher with students and parents to build strong relationships; students with teacher to provide feedback and support; and students with students in small group instruction.
Norma has been married for thirty-five years to Darrell, her better half and love of her life. She is a mother of five young and successful adults; and a Grandmother of four amazing grandchildren. When she is not teaching, or studying literature, she is working in her garden. She is an advent tree grower, creating a mini orchard of pomegranate, lemon, and nectarines.

See Norma's Video Here


Chelsea Lowe - 3rd and 4th Grade Teacher

Chelsea Lowe is thrilled to join the Leman Virtual family after spending the past few years teaching at the Leman Marana campus. 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, and is passionate about classical education.

Chelsea is excited to get to know the new third and fourth grade scholars this year. She looks forward to building relationships and making learning fun.

When Chelsea is not in the classroom you can find her spending time with her family. She lives with her husband, two young elementary kids, and her Australian Shepherd. She loves reading great books, spending time in nature, and baking delicious treats.

See Chelsea's Video Here


Nancy Dowdy - 5th Grade TEACHER

Nancy is very excited to begin her adventure as the 5th-grade teacher! I was born in Tucson, Arizona, but I moved to Wisconsin in the 1st grade, so I’m not sure where I’m from! 

I came back to Arizona in 1999 and became a Police Officer.  I spent much of my career in patrol throughout the City of Tucson and was the Detective Sergeant for the south side of Tucson.  I was a member of the Animal Cruelty Task Force and Organized Retail Crime Association and was a Hostage Crisis Team Sergeant attached to the SWAT team.  I have had many assignments in law enforcement with a focus on training, counseling, and conflict resolution.  I was also a national law enforcement trainer and writer for the National Police Association with my focus on Conflict Resolution, Post Traumatic Stress, and Critical Incident Recovery. In mid-2019, I retired after twenty years.  I am truly thankful to have served my community. 

I am also fortunate to be an Army Veteran.  I served as a Behavioral Science Specialist in Germany during Operation Joint Endeavor.  Our unit helped soldiers and their families who were suffering from mental health issues primarily related to Post Traumatic Stress and the stress of deployment.  This opportunity also allowed me to travel to places in Europe I otherwise would have never been like Italy and France!

I have my bachelor’s degree in Public Safety and Emergency Management, and I am almost done with a master’s degree in Communications, Education Focus.  After that, I plan to pursue my Doctorate in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Human Behavior.  It is really interesting for me to try to understand why people do and act the way they do! 

I am happily married to my very patient husband, and we have one scholar in middle school at Leman and a now high school student who also attended Leman.  I absolutely adore our family, our 3 crazy rescue dogs, and enjoy camping with them all!  

I cannot wait to teach our scholars and learn from them!  Humor is my favorite way to imprint lessons and I look forward to uncovering the amazing personalities within each of them.


Stacy Bennon- Middle School ELA teacher

Mrs. Bennon was born and raised here in Tucson, Arizona and truly loves the Sonoran Desert. She attended school at the University of Arizona and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and Human Development, a Master’s degree in Elementary Education, has certification for middle school science, and holds a provisional endorsement for gifted education. She has enjoyed teaching for 16 years. Her passions include traveling, reading, theater, hiking, and all things involving her family.

See Stacy's Video Here


Brent Hesprich - Middle School History and Science Teacher

Brent Hesprich is starting his 6th year at Leman Academy of Excellence. Brent was part of the committee that presented the Virtual Academy before the Arizona board of education in 2017. He has seen the academy grow from a concept to reality. Brent has 23 years of computer/technical experience on all platforms. His career started working for a company in their
graphic design and e-commerce department for 10 years. Brent received his Master’s Degree in Interactive Media Design at Full Sail University. He has taught graphic design, web design and interactive media for 8 years at a private career college in the midwest before moving to Tucson.
Brent has fun taking his sons to the local car show and enjoys visiting with his family and friends.

Brent looks forward to another exciting year. His focus: helping parents, scholars and teachers
navigate all the programs we use at the virtual academy and the district abroad.

See Brent's Video Here


Ty Young - MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH teacher

Ty Young has a bachelor's degree in Mathematics. He has been teaching middle school Math for four years. This is his first year at Leman Virtual Academy. He is excited to get to know everyone on a personal level.

Ty is married to Danica and has three children: Harlan (5), Hyrum (3), and Severina (1). His hobbies include basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and chess.

See Ty's Video Here


Kimberly Danley - Latin & Logic Teacher

Mrs. Danley is a native Arizonan and graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Minor in Social Studies, in 1993. She has fifteen years of classroom experience in a variety of grade levels, with several additional years spent in administrative roles. Her experience was divided by nine years spent homeschooling her triplets; Kayla, Andrew, and Connor using the Classical Education model!

Kimberly and her husband, James, have been married for twenty-eight years, this December. A highlight for Kimberly was when the Danley family was privileged to spend one-year volunteering in a children’s home in Ukraine. She returned to the classroom in 2013. For fun, she enjoys singing, hiking, cooking, and eating.

See Kimberly's Video Here


Tashiana Holt - Art Teacher

Ms.Holt is thrilled to be in her third year with Leman Virtual Academy of Excellence! She teaches K-8 Art and Music with LVA and has been teaching to K-12 Arizona children for fifteen fantastic years.

Ms. Holt was raised in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated with a gold diploma from Flowing Wells High School. She earned many fine arts and sports scholarships and grants to further her education. Ms. Holt decided to take a fine art scholarship after auditioning for one of the most prestigious musical theatre conservatories in America. She headed to New York to study and train in performing arts at AMDA and earned her certification. Ms. Holt moved back to Arizona where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and K-12 certification in Education.

Ms. Holt has enjoyed performing in and directing many shows alongside teaching. She relishes spending time with her family, friends, and pets. She also enjoys supporting the arts, watching movies/shows, and listening to music.

Ms. Holt looks forward to building relationships, making connections, and working with new and old LVA scholars and parents this year!

See Tashiana's Video Here


Leyvette Nuguid - ESS Teacher

Leyvette Nuguid is excited to join Leman Virtual Academy! She has a Bachelor’s in Special Education from the University of Arizona and a Master’s in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University. Ms. Leyvette started her career teaching in a classroom for students who have emotional disabilities. Leyvette also has experience as a Resource teacher and Dean of Students in an elementary school setting. Along with teaching, basketball is another one of Leyvette’s passions. She’s been a basketball coach for many years and loves watching all levels of basketball, especially the Wildcats and Suns! When she isn’t in the classroom or enjoying basketball, Leyvette can be found exploring outdoors.

See Leyvette's Video Here


Edward Blair - Student Success Coach

My name is Edward Blair and I am an Arizona native. I attended Grand Canyon University, where I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary and Special Education, as well as my Master’s in Educational Leadership. I have been in the education field for the last 10+ years, starting off working in a special education classroom. Most recently, I was the assistant principal for a K-5th Charter School in Scottsdale, AZ. I truly enjoy working with children and helping them reach their full potential. It’s been a passion of mine for a very long time!

I am looking forward to partnering with you and I will do my best to ensure this a great year for you and your scholar!

See Edward's Video Here