Heritage Academy is pleased to announce the promotion of Ms. Joy Gardner to the position of Drama Teacher at our Mesa Campus, beginning July of 2018. She replaces Gary Hembold who has served in this role for many years. We are grateful for the many years of dedicated service Mr. Hembold has offered to our scholars.

Mrs. Gardner currently works part time at the Mesa campus in our drama department and has a great love for the Heritage Academy scholars and parents. In her new role, Mrs. Gardner will report to Mrs. Phelps, Arts Department Chairperson.

Joy Gardner was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. She received a scholarship in the Music Dance Theatre Program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where she earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. Joy has acted in many films including, The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd, Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, and Liken the Scriptures. She has been been seen performing on stage as a lead singer for Holland America Cruise Lines, as the original “Mary, the mother of Jesus” in the musical Savior of the World at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as “Emma Smith” and “Ann Cannon” in the core cast of the Nauvoo and British Pageants in Nauvoo, Illinois. Joy is also a guest artist on numerous professional recordings, and has a solo inspirational CD, “There Is Hope”.

Joy Gardner has a love for teaching in the arts. Following graduation from Brigham Young University, Joy was invited to join the Music faculty at BYU, teaching contemporary musical theater singing. She has also taught in the Musical Theater departments at the University of Florida and Mesa Community College.  Joy is currently the lead singer for the Uptown Big Band, performing at private and corporate events all over the state of Arizona. Joy and her husband, Quin, have been blessed with three beautiful children.

Mrs. Gardner said, “I love teaching drama at Heritage Academy because the school offers such a positive and wholesome environment for the arts. Drama is a wonderful opportunity for students to develop their self-confidence, imagination, cooperation, empathy, communication skills, memory and concentration, and to have an emotional outlet. But the very best part of being involved with the drama department at Heritage Academy, is having FUN with these incredible scholars. I am truly grateful for this chance to create lasting memories with them and to be included in the Performing Arts Department at this great school.”Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Gardner on her new role!