Our Staff

Oro Valley, Arizona

Nikki Pennington - Regional 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.



Debbie Backus

Debbie Backus is an Executive Assistant to Dr. Kevin Leman and helps out in the Oro Valley Preschool office. Debbie has extensive experience in event planning, accounting, and interpersonal relationships. Debbie continues to assist Dr. Leman and enjoys being part of the Leman Academy team in serving the preschool personnel, parents, and scholars. Debbie is married and has one daughter and two grandchildren.



Lyndsey Galgano

Lyndsey Galgano was born in California and has lived in Tucson for 10 years. She has been working with children for 7 years. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. Lyndsey and her family love to go on family trips to the beach and Disneyland. Lyndsey is looking forward to working with scholars and their families.



Tiffany Mauai

Tiffany Mauai has been teaching for four years, and is new to Leman Preschool this year. She is married to her best friend of 6 years, and they have one son together. In her free time, She loves to decorate cakes and hang out with family. Camping and going to the beach are her favorite things to do. She is so glad to be a part of this amazing school this year.



Katherine Perry

Katherine Perry was born in Tucson, Arizona, but has traveled to other states and lived in Germany for a short time. Most of Ms. Katherine’s career has consisted of working with families and children. This is Ms. Katherine’s second year with Leman Academy, and she is excited to be working in the 3’s classroom.
Ms. Katherine enjoys taking trips with her husband and their two children to the ocean. In her free time, Ms. Katherine enjoys making slideshows of family and friends. Ms. Katherine looks forward to a wonderful school year working with the scholars and their families.



Sally Reubens

Mrs. Sally was born in North Carolina. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Early Intervention, with a concentration in Early Childhood Education, from East Carolina University in 2012. She has a true passion for teaching and watching children grow and learn. Mrs. Sally has been a member of the Oro Valley Leman Academy Preschool, since the doors opened in 2017. Mrs. Sally enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

As a family, her husband and their fur baby enjoy hiking, traveling to the beach and cooking. It is an honor for Mrs. Sally to be part of the Leman Academy team, and she is very enthusiastic to be working with the scholars and their families.



Cherie Sharkey

Miss. Cherie was born and raised right here in Tucson. She earned her Early Childhood Education degree in 2018 and has an American Sign Language Associates degree. Miss. Cherie became an active member of the Leman Academy Preschool by volunteering in the classrooms, and has been a preschool teacher since July of 2018.

In her spare time, Ms. Cherie enjoys spending time with her family and daughter, who is a Leman Scholar. As a family, they love gold panning, camping, caving and boating at various lakes around Arizona. She is honored to be a part of the Leman Academy team and is enthusiastic about working with the scholars and families.