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 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.
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.
Vickie Lucio - 1st Grade TEACHER
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alanna Kellogg - 5th Grade TEACHER
Hello! I am Mrs. Kellogg and I am so excited to be teaching 5th grade! This will be my second year teaching at Leman Academy but my fourth 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!
Christen Scolfield - Art Teacher
Christen studied at the University of Arizona where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts. Her studies focused in mixed media art with an emphasis in graphic design. Christen's initial art passion led her to study interior design, but after taking a 2D design class, she knew that her true passion for art lay elsewhere. Following graduation her career of choice was being a full time mother to five beautiful children. Christen has never let her passion for art die, and she instilled a love for the arts in her children. She spent many hours as a volunteer sharing her passion for art in many classrooms through the years. After 17 years she entered the workforce once again and spent almost 6 years at the Fort Huachuca Arts and Crafts Center. During her time at Fort Huachuca she was able to teach a variety of classes and art techniques to students of all ages from toddlers to adults. School age children in her classes were exposed to a wide variety of art experiences including art history and the use of multiple mediums including ceramics, glass art, pastels, watercolor, acrylics, paper mache and mixed media.
Christen has been the art teacher at Leman Academy of Excellence in Sierra Vista since it opened the fall of 2016, teaching all grades, kinder-8th. She has loved the challenges that teaching classically has brought. History is the thread that ties the learning together and art tells the story when there were no words written.
“What is done with love is done well.” -Vincent VanGogh
MELINDA CUILTY - Middle School History
Melinda Cuilty is excited to be teaching for Leman Virtual Academy of Excellence for her 5th year. Melinda grew up in Nebraska and graduated from college at Northern Arizona University. She also started her Masters of Arts in Educational Learning and Technologies with New Mexico State 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 her 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 sixth 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 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 five years and is very passionate about making math fun and exciting for scholars! She has been in the education field for eight years. This is her third year teaching with Leman Academy of Excellence and is very excited for this coming school year!
Mrs. Bennett is originally from Portland, Oregon and moved to Arizona for college, where she met her husband and they now live on the Western Slope of Colorado. They have three sons named Luke, Camden, and Owen. Some of her hobbies and passions consist of reading, spending time with family, fishing, and shopping. 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 happy to be a part of the Leman Academy family and is especially passionate about the Virtual Academy.
APRIL SPOON - MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE
My name is April Spoon. 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 Bachelor 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 became 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.
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.
Cathy Calandriello - ESS TEACHER
Cathy Calandriello was a special education teacher in New Hampshire before joining Leman Virtual Academy. She loves helping scholars refine their reading, writing and math skills, along with helping them to successfully navigate the school journey. When not teaching, Miss C, as her students call her, enjoys reading, gardening and teaching/practicing yoga. She is looking forward to a most successful school year.