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 Csiszer – Principal
Beth Csiszer 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 has 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. She is very excited to join Leman Academy as the Leman Virtual Academy Principal.
JOELLE SMITH - Kindergarten TEACHER
Joelle Smith loves being a part of the team at Leman Academy of Excellence. She enjoys partnering with parents and building relationships with Leman families. She is passionate about teaching and provides hands-on learning experiences for her scholars. She has been in education since 2010 and has taught Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade.
She grew up in a small farming community in Southeast Idaho and received a Bachelor’s of Education Degree at Idaho State University. She completed her Master’s Degree in Literacy through Northwest Nazarene University in 2012. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys golfing, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Alexis Trevino - Kindergarten TEACHER
Alexis Trevino graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a bachelor's in Elementary Education. She is currently working on her Masters in Reading through Grand Canyon University. Alexis has two sons, Jordan and Payton and loves spending time outdoors with them. Her husband serves in the United States Air Force but has been lucky to be stationed only at Davis Monthan. Alexis has taught at Leman Academy Marana campus in kindergarten for three years before joining the Leman Virtual Academy team as a kindergarten teacher.
Angela Nunez - Kindergarten & 1st Grade TEACHER
I have been a part of the Leman Academy Family for 4 years which includes teaching preschool, being a part of the ESS team as an aide, and now with LVA! I am so excited to be a part of this new team!
My educational journey includes obtaining a Bachelors of Science in Elementary and Special Education from Grand Canyon University and I’m currently in the process of receiving my Special Education Certification.
I have been a Tucson native for over 20 years! I enjoy watching movies, going on nature walks and spending time with friends and family, especially at dinner and game night get togethers!
Vickie Lucio - 1st Grade TEACHER
Vickie Lucio is looking forward to teaching at the Leman Virtual Academy of Excellence 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 the 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.
Elizabeth Berry - 2nd Grade TEACHER
Elizabeth Berry has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. She has worked with kindergarten as well as fifth grade, throughout her teaching career. This is her fourth-year teaching at Leman.
Mrs. Berry and her husband are from Texas, and are stationed to El Paso Texas. They have two daughters named Rosalee and Charlotte and a son on the way. Some of her hobbies and passions would include being with family, reading, running and traveling. She has been working with young scholars since she was sixteen and has loved every minute of it. She loves the impact that we as teachers make on their lives. She is looking forward to continuing to work with Leman Academy through the Virtual Academy and continue to be a part of the Leman family.
Jessie Dwivedi - 2nd Grade TEACHER
Working in public education now for 7 years has been an honor. I began my career in education in order to fulfill a lifelong dream of helping others. My M.A. in Counseling Psychology and B.A. in Elementary Education has helped me become a better teacher, but becoming a mother has really helped me blossom into an educator. I am blessed with a wonderful husband, a daughter, a son, a cat, and a loving family. My goals are always to instill an open mindset, respect, and the joy of learning. I believe that all people make mistakes and that learning from them is what defines our character. I enjoy singing, dancing, going for family walks, swimming, and cooking. I am excited for this year at Leman Virtual Academy!
Kimberly Danley - 3rd Grade 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.
Monique Durbin - 3rd Grade TEACHER
Mrs. Durbin is a native of Tucson, Arizona. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management/Human Resources. Beginning in high school Mrs. Durbin began a career at Comcast holding multiple positions starting in telemarketing, customer service, front counter supervisor, leading into lead supervisor position of coaching and developing internal and external teams. After her 15-year career at Comcast she became a stay at home mom for 5 and ½ years. Once her children began school she served as a substitute teacher for 2 ½ years. In 2017 she began her career at Leman Academy in Oro Valley teaching 6th grade for the last 3 years. She is delighted to begin her new adventure of teaching 3rd grade this year. She enjoys the classical education model, loves the caring community, and the joy her scholars bring to her life.In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She enjoys exercising, trying new restaurants, watching movies, traveling, getting her nails done, and Sunday night dinners with her whole entire family.
She is looking forward to meeting and creating positive relationships with her new scholars and virtual staff. Leman Academy of Excellence will allow her to continue to coach and develop the next generation for success!
Robin Tapia - 4th Grade TEACHER
Mrs. Tapia loves to teach! She retired from one of our neighboring school districts after 30 years, but after learning about Leman Academy of Excellence’s philosophy to provide scholars a rich classical education; she was lured into joining them. She has taught fourth grade at both the Leman Marana and Oro Valley campuses over the past four years and really enjoyed it.
Robin has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona, and during her 35 years of teaching, she has developed a mastery of integrating all the subjects together in an engaging way. She also likes to include her love of art and theater into the scholar’s daily routine. When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Tapia loves spending time with her husband Clyde, two children, Logan and Spencer, and enjoys doing needlework, and sewing.
Virginia Valente - 4th & 5th Grade TEACHER
My name is Virginia Valente I am a 4th and 5th grade teacher here at Leman Virtual Academy. Just a little bit about myself, I am a mother to 5 children, my youngest being 4 years old. I taught 2nd grade for 2 and a half years, and I’ve been a substitute for a number of years. I enjoy all sorts of music, especially if it is live. I like to keep active and healthy by exercising my mind, body and soul. This is my first time teaching virtually, but I am up for the challenge and looking forward to thinking outside of the box and getting creative so my scholars can learn as much as they can this year.
Alanna Kellogg - 5th Grade TEACHER
Hello! I am Mrs. Kellogg and I am so excited to be teaching 2 nd grade! This will be my first year teaching at Leman Academy but my third year educating kiddos grades K-12. I spent two years teaching primarily at a local charter school in grades K-4. I then built/taught the health and wellness program at an east valley high school!
I graduated with honors from Northern Arizona University with my Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Additionally, as part of my internship hours I worked with a local AZ farm as we built and implemented a Community Support Agriculture program. This program allowed us to go to special events and teach the public about the importance of fresh fruits, vegetables and how to prepare them. I also worked with a youth soccer team for a season teaching them about the importance of hydration, nutrition and adequate sleep while exercising.
I grew up in Bristol, England and moved to America when I was eleven. My family and I just went back to visit family in England and see some of the world this past summer. We are a family that love adventure, history and travel. I have been married for almost 14 years to my high school sweetheart and we have two absolutely amazing boys! I have two dogs, a Newfoundland and German shepherd as well as two cats and a grumpy angel fish. I enjoy working out in my spare time; especially Zumba and boxing! I also paint with acrylics and just finished up a giant octopus mural.
I cannot wait to continue learning and growing with my students and look forward to all of the fun we will have the remainder of this year!
Tashiana Holt - K-8 Art/Music
Greetings! I’m Ms. Holt, and I have been teaching for 12 years! I will be teaching Art/Music, K-8 with Leman Virtual Academy. I have a degree in Education with a Music emphasis. I have taught Drama, Dance, Art, Musical Theatre, and P.E. in my years of experience. I have performed in and directed many productions. I like watching performances, making art, creating music, and time with family, friends, and pets. I am thrilled to be starting a new journey with Leman Virtual Academy and am excited to meet all the scholars!
MELINDA CUILTY - Middle School History
Melinda Cuilty is excited to be teaching for Leman Virtual Academy of Excellence for her 4th year. Melinda grew up in Nebraska and graduated from college from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Cuilty has a passion for teaching Middle School because of the students. She has been a presenter at a National Teaching Conference for the past 4 years. Melinda's favorite part of teaching at a classical school is the in-depth history content and the connections the scholars are able to make.
Mrs. Cuilty now lives in El Paso, Texas. Her husband and son keep her very busy with their numerous activities. Melinda enjoys all sports, especially watching her son play basketball or husband race cars. Mrs. Cuilty is a huge Disney fan. When her family is not busy they love to play games together and travel. Some recent trips include New York City and Disney World.
Mrs. Cuilty is going into her fifth year of teaching for the Leman Academy of Excellence. She has worked at both the Marana campus and the Virtual Academy. She is super excited to continue to be in this cutting edge classroom and working with each scholar and partnering with parents.
TAYLOR BENNETT - MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH
Taylor Bennett has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications and a Master’s of Science in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University. She has worked as a middle school math teacher for three years and is very passionate about making math fun and exciting for scholars! This is her first-year teaching with Leman Academy of Excellence and is very excited for the 2019-2020 school year!
Mrs. Bennett is originally from Portland, Oregon and moved to Arizona for college, where she met her husband and they now live in Sierra Vista, Arizona. They have two sons named Luke and Camden. Some of her hobbies and passions consist of reading, spending time with family, and baking. Mrs. Bennett has worked with scholars of all ages for many years and feels so blessed to be able to make an impact on their lives. She is looking forward to being a part of the Leman Academy family and experiencing educating in the Virtual Academy.
APRIL JONES - MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE
My name is April Jones. I was born and raised in Sierra Vista, Arizona. I graduated from Buena High School, attended Cochise Community College, and graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Upon graduating from the University of Arizona, I taught middle and high school science for five years. During that time, I continued my education and began working on a certification in Administration of Justice. I also be came ALICE trained while teaching at another local school. I left teaching for a brief time and became an AZPOST certified Peace Officer for the Sierra Vista Police Department. During my time in law enforcement, I found that my heart was still with teaching and I decided to return to the teaching profession and join the Leman Academy family. While at the Sierra Vista campus I taught Fifth Grade and Middle School Science. In December of 2018 I moved to Appling, GA and was saddened that I had to say goodbye to my Leman family and scholars. I am very happy that I again have the amazing opportunity to join the Leman family and help bring the wonder of science to our scholars. I will continue to further my education and begin working towards a Master’s in Middle Grade Education. I am very excited to start the new year with Leman Academy.
Alexandar Jimenez - MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE & math
Hello, my name is Alexandar Jimenez but you can call me Xandar. I use he/him pronouns and I am excited to be joining the LVA community! I will be your scholar’s science and math teacher.
I received my B.A. in Psychology from Reed College and while I went to school in Oregon, I eventually returned here to Tucson where I grew up. I love the desert scenery, hiking, rock climbing, and closeness the city has.
I am looking forward to sharing this upcoming new year with all of you. Some of you will be struggling to learn new and confusing concepts and you won’t be alone, I’m learning how to use Schoology and everything else, too. Lucky for us, those who already know can help us out and that’s what education is all about!
That said, I am very familiar with the content I will be teaching for both my math and science classes. We will be using the Saxon series, which is incidentally how I learned math at a younger age as well.
I am so excited to help my scholars pursue their passions and curiosities, and find innovative ways to solve any problem that may come their way. Past, present, and future.
Stacy Bennon - MIDDLE SCHOOL ELA
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.
Esther Watts - MIDDLE SCHOOL ELA & History
Esther Watts' expertise is in Social Studies and ELA. She graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor's in History and a Master's in Education with emphasis in History, but formerly was an English major and Spanish minor. She is from an area called Michiana where Michigan and Indiana border each other about 75 miles East of Chicago. She often says, "I am as much of a Hoosier as I am a Michigander!" Several years ago she made the Phoenix, AZ Valley her home. She has two grown sons.