Dennis O’Reilly - Head of Schools
Mr. O’Reilly started working with young people as a volunteer junior high basketball coach back in 1990, and has been in education for over twenty years, starting as a middle school math teacher back in 1993. Mr. O’Reilly has been an administrator since 1999 serving as Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant to the Principal, Principal, and Head of Schools at three different private schools in Tucson, Arizona and earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Chapman University. Mr. O’Reilly has been married for sixteen years to his beautiful bride Krissy, and will have two scholars attending Leman Academy, Conner and Adeline.
Hilary Benitez - Preschool Director
Hillary Benitez has served at Leman Academy’s Preschool since July 2018. After teaching in the preschool classroom, and a year as the Assistant Director, she is excited to take on the role as Preschool Director. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Central Christian College of Kansas in 2014. Much of her career has been working with children and families, including an after-school program, nannying, case management, parent education/early childhood development and teaching/directing preschool. She has found her passion working with preschoolers and partnering with parents to provide a wonderful preschool experience for every scholar. Hillary enjoys spending time with her husband and baby boy. In her spare time, she enjoys going on family vacations, taking walks and baking.
DEBORAH BACKUS – OFFICE MANAGER
Debbie Backus is 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.
RAMONA BARTH - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
Ramona Barth has been a Pre-K teacher at Leman Academy since January of 2018. She’s also the Leman Academy OV Athletic Director and girls’ middle school basketball coach. She started her career as a Pre-K teacher in 2006, after earning her Associates Degree in Child Development from Washington State. She has held many roles throughout her career, including teaching art and being an assistant director here in Tucson. Her experience has taught her that her heart is in the classroom.
In her spare time, Ramona enjoys spending time with her family, which includes 3 kids and 4 dogs! She also loves painting and cooking. She is passionate about her Leman Academy scholars and partnering with their families to create a warm, loving and academically rich environment. She is thrilled to be part of a team of incredible educators.
Lyndsey Galgano - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
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 - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
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 - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
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 - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
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 - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
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.
Kate Tayyeb - PRESCHOOL TEACHER
Kate was born and raised in the California Bay Area. She moved to Tucson in 2015 and has considered it her home ever since. Ms. Kate has been with Leman Academy since early 2019, starting in the After Bell program, and has transitioned to the Preschool for the 2020-2021 school year. She is excited to join the Preschool team and is currently finishing school herself. In her free time, Ms. Kate enjoys cooking, crafting and baking. Ms. Kate is looking forward to an exciting year teaching scholars and partnering with parents.