Our Staff.

Email: sam.allen@heritageacademyaz.com

This will be my first year as a full-time teacher, and I couldn’t be more excited for the year! I was born and raised in Mesa, and I received my BA in History from Brigham Young University. As a fluent Portuguese speaker, I’ve seen firsthand how Latin can help with learning languages, as well as many other areas like science and law. Aside from teaching, I enjoy baseball, reading, and photography.

Email: salston@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/2020-21sandraalston/home

Hi! I am Sandra Alston and I LOVE our youth! The fall of 2020 will begin my 29th year of teaching.  My family is incredibly supportive and champions every ounce of energy spent in efforts to lift, serve, and bless others. In 1992, I received my Bachelor of Music Education with emphasis in String Pedagogy from Arizona State University.  My Master degree (completed at Northern Arizona University) is in Early Childhood Education, with an emphasis in Curriculum and Assessment.  It is with great enthusiasm that I embrace the art of teaching both Orchestra and Class Piano here at Heritage Academy. My goal is to increase every scholar’s love for music, and help ensure they reach for the best that is within themselves as we grow both cognitively and aesthetically together. Many former students have gone on to make music a part of their professional life and EVERY student I’ve ever worked with has added to my world of happiness, refinement, and musical satisfaction.  Music indeed offers us the opportunity to become the best version of ourselves we could possibly be, if we so choose to let it. Welcome to Heritage!

Email: lavona.babb@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/hamesa-chemistry/home

I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University and a Master in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.  I have taught Chemistry for the last nine years and have been involved with Heritage Academy from the beginning.  I have eight kids that have all attended Heritage and I am super excited to be working at a school that I have a great passion for.  I love to garden, sew and go to the beach.

Email: dbear@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/dbearhonorscomputers/home

I have had the opportunity to work and teach at Heritage Academy for five years. I enjoy working with our scholars exploring technology and learning with them. We struggle together to understand new applications for computation and digital communications. I earned a BS in History at BYU, also completing core classes for teaching Computer Science. After graduation, I taught professional development classes for the ASU Computer Institute, ran my own consulting business, and worked for 23 years as a full-time staff member at ASU in the College of Public Programs.  During that time I also completed a master’s degree in public administration. Since joining the Heritage Staff I have become convinced that we have the best teaching staff and the best student population ever. This is a great place to learn and grow.

Email: kblau@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mr-blaus-classes/home

Hi my name is Kerwin Blau, and I have been involved with music one way or another all my life. I have been a student of music for over 40 years and I have taught music and band for over 20 years. I was born and raised here in Mesa. I graduated from Gilbert High School and attended MCC and received my degree from ASU. My wife and I have been married for over 25 years and we have four children. Music has been such an important part of my life, and I have always wanted to be the kind of music teacher for my kids that I wish I would have had when I was a child. I have been fortunate to see music and the arts flourish here in the valley and I am excited to be a part of that. I also enjoy Scouting, reading, cooking, outdoor activities and being with my family. I am asked quite frequently what my favorite type of music is, and in all honesty I have to say it’s usually the type that I am listening to, or performing at the moment. I like to have fun and play games and sports of all kinds. 

Email: bob.brow@heritageacademyaz.com

Hello Heritage Academy scholars and families.
My name is Bob Brown. I am honored to introduce myself as your College Relations Manager for the Mesa campus. I am truly excited for this opportunity to help guide you on your journey with both high school and college planning. I came to Heritage Academy after spending 12 years at Rio Salado College as a Site Coordinator and Student Success Coach in Rio’s Early College/Dual Enrollment department. While at Rio, I served thousands of students/parents with their early college opportunities which included: Dual Enrollment, ACE (Achieving a College Education), planning for Associate Degrees, placement testing, admissions and enrollment, and tuition assistance to name just a few. I am proud of the work I did at Rio Salado College and am excited to bring that knowledge and expertise to Heritage Academy. Prior to working at Rio Salado College, I worked in several different management capacities in the business sector. While I am proud of the accomplishments I made during this time, nothing gave me greater satisfaction than working with students/parents during my time at Rio Salado College.
Other things I enjoy are spending quality time with my wife of 29 years, both my daughters, and my two wonderful grandsons. I enjoy working in my backyard and on all the honey-dos my wife gives me, camping, golfing, softball, and just about anything outdoors.
Appointments are available by phone, in-person, or virtually: LINK HERE.  I truly look forward to working with the Heritage Academy family.

Email: jburrell@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/sciencewithmrburrell/introduction

My name is Jeff Burrell. I have been a teacher for many years; math, science, critical thinking, piano, problem-solving and some other odds and ends.   I have lived in Mesa, Arizona almost my entire life. I was born here, went to school here, got married here, went to school some more, got a job here, and am still in school here (just on a different side of the desk, now). My wife and I have been married for over 30 years. We have three children and love to spend time with them. I earned an Associate’s Degree from Mesa Community College in General Studies. I went on to finish a Bachelor’s Degree at Arizona State University in Secondary Education, with a minor/double-major in Mathematics. I am highly qualified to teach Mathematics and Physics in high school and college.  I earned my Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning (with an emphasis in Technology Integration) from Nova Southeastern University. When I am not teaching, I love to go on walks with my wife, take pictures of the sky, play games with my family, play and listen to music, make things with my LEGO collection, and solve puzzles. I enjoy teaching because I get to help others discover truth. I am grateful to have played a a part in training heroes at Heritage Academy since 1996.

Visit Mr. Burrell’s website

Email: stephanie.camp@heritageacademyaz.com

My name is Ms. Stephanie Campos. I was born in Belize Central America and grew up in New York City. I received my Associates of Arts at Kingsborough Community College. I moved to the Copper State in 2015 and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world. I love the Sonoran Desert. I am beyond excited to be a part of the Heritage Academy Family! I am looking forward to working with you and getting to know your scholars and helping them succeed on their academic journey.

Email: gconnelly@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/digitalimaging/home

I love teaching at Heritage and spending time with all of the fun and creative students who attend here. I have a bachelor’s in Film and Television and a Master’s of Business Administration from BYU. I also have Minors in Music and Spanish. After graduating with my bachelor’s I began my first career working 10 years in live television. Highlights include NBA playoffs, Major League Soccer and the Paralympic Games in London. I also use my business degree to run an accounting firm. Teaching Digital Imaging has been a special opportunity for me to exercise my creative passion while helping to inspire students to create wonderful things. When I’m not doing accounting or teaching I love to spend time with my beautiful wife and 6 children (3 of whom are at Heritage!).

Email: heidi.connelly@heritageacademyaz.com

Welcome to Heritage! I love it here and hope you do, too! I grew up in Mesa, but I moved away to go to school. I earned my Bachelor’s in Social Work from BYU, got married, and we started our family in Utah. After several years we moved back to the land of the scorching summers. I have been a part of the Heritage family ever since. When I’m not at school I enjoy sewing projects, camping, and going on adventures with my husband and six children.

Email: lcrosland@heritageacademyaz.com

I earned my BA in Anthropology from ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change. Previously I earned my Associates from BYU-Idaho and was fortunate to study at BYU-Jerusalem. I continue to take classes and further my education whenever I can. I have furthered my love for people and places by travelling the world and working nationally and globally in different areas of Business. I have worked in fields ranging from Healthcare, Logistics, Military Programs, Design and Architecture/Education. I come to Heritage from the David Wright House, an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building, where I managed all operations, visitorship and site work. Travelling the world has given me a deep appreciation for the United States of America and our rights, freedoms, and privileges that we enjoy here and I love the U.S. and its Constitution. Outside of work I enjoy being a mom, reading, swimming, scuba diving, travelling and volunteering in my church and community. I am very happy to be part of the Heritage team and hope that my two young children will attend Heritage Academy when they get older!

Email: wayne.dent@heritageacademyaz.com

Wayne Denton was born and raised in Glens Falls, New York. He moved to Arizona with his wife in 2020.  He received his BA in History from Southern New Hampshire University and afterward earned a MS for Teachers from SUNY Plattsburgh and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Apologetics and History from Liberty University.  Wayne is currently working on earning his PhD of History at Liberty University.  Mr. Denton has five years of teaching experience and will be upholding the rigorous demands of Heritage Academy while teaching American history to our wonderful scholars.

Email: bdeselms@heritageacademyaz.com

Bryon Deselms, who holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, has been a member of the Heritage Academy team for eight years.  During that time Bryon has been a teacher, an academic adviser, student database expert, and was recently promoted to be the contract and facilities manager for the district.  His myriad of responsibilities include vendor contract and price negotiation as well as reconciling school data for the purpose of maintaining accurate data to report to the state.  Bryon also oversees maintenance and safety compliance for all three, soon to be four, campus locations ensuring the safety of all scholars and staff. His dedication to the scholars, fellow teammates and the Heritage Academy philosophy makes him a valued member of our organization.

Email: jduke@heritageacademyaz.com

I have been with Heritage Academy from the beginning.  Our family has practically grown up  on the Mesa Campus (all of our children attend at the Mesa Campus).   Currently a 7th Degree Senior Master Black Belt, I have been training in Kenpo since I was thirteen years old and the confidence and friendships I have developed from my Kenpo have truly been a blessing.  I feel it is a privilege to instruct Kenpo to these wonderful scholars. I am married and we have four children; I enjoy hunting and sports.

Email: dfairbanks@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/7th-grade-history/home

At the dawn of time I graduated from High school in Tucson, AZ.  Before that I lived in several states and moved around a fair bit as a child. We travelled often as a family, both small and larger trips where we stopped at just about every historical sight between Nebraska and California.  My parents instilled in me a love of the history, geography and culture of wherever I was.   Years later, after the wheel was invented, I settled in Mesa with my husband Steve when our family was small and young. My first experience with Heritage was as a parent.  Since then I have had 4 of my 6 children graduate from Heritage.  We love the atmosphere, the activities, and the education that Heritage had to offer.  I received my BGS (Bachelor of General Studies), with a History emphasis, degree from BYU.  I have been teaching 7th grade history at Heritage for over 10 year, and still love it.   If I had known 7thgrade would be so much fun to teach I would have finished my degree decades earlier, perhaps before Columbus discovered America. Today in the 21st century I still love to learn, and I love to read: mysteries, historical novels, biographies and on and on. I still love to travel, but this great love has been diminished by a new love- grandchildren!

Email: hana.giauque@heritageacademyaz.com

If Hana Giauque were to ride into every concert as she would into battle, she would burst in on a T-rex in full battle armor painted to look like a unicorn, ready to rock the pants off anyone ready to listen. She aspires to bring that same enthusiasm to her teaching.

Ms. Giauqe’s performing career has taken her all over the globe, including Europe, China, the Philippines, and Canada. She is a founding member of the performing group and music studio 7City Strings as an administrator and performer. Her music dazzles audiences as the genre hops from classical to fiddle to heavy metal. She also aims to not only cherish the legacy of the giants within classical music history but also to bring awareness to contemporary composers and relish in the current musical history being made. Ms. Giauque received her bachelors in Viola Performance with Dr. Claudine Bigelow at Brigham Young University and her Masters in Viola Performance with Nancy Buck at Arizona State University. As a conductor and teacher, Ms. Giauque believes that the two most important jobs are to Educate and Motivate, where motivation and inspiration take equal priority with education. Ms. Giauque is also a visual artist and enjoys mixing the visual experience with the bright and remarkable sound in her music. In her spare time, She likes to paint, knit, crochet, sew and spend time with her many pets, who are always her favorite practice buddies.

Email: mhale@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrsmelaniehale

I earned my bachelor’s in Journalism and Communication from Boise State University and a master’s in English also from Boise State.  During graduate school and after graduation, I taught Freshman Writing (ENG 101 and ENG 102) at Boise State for four years.  After moving to Mesa with my family, I also taught composition classes at Mesa Community College. In addition to teaching at the college level, I also taught grades 1-5 at Pathfinder Academy here in Mesa.   Despite the stacks of essays that accumulate on my desk, I truly enjoy teaching students to write because understanding and harnessing the “power of the pen” can change their lives.  When I’m not grading essays, I enjoy vacationing in Idaho with my husband and three sons.

View a current listing of our college preparation activities. Click on the link to download a copy of the

Heritage Academy College Preparation Guidebook

Email: rebecca.henr@heritageacademyaz.com

Bonjour!  I have been speaking and studying French for over 30 years and absolutely love sharing my passion with my students!  I have a BA in French from the University of Utah and a MA in French Linguistics from Arizona State University and have been teaching at both the college and high school level ever since.  I love to travel and have spent time in many countries, including France, where I travel every year.  I also love to read, cook, listen to music, take photographs, and spend time with my four kids.

Email:  khunt@heritageacademyaz.com

I received my BS from Northern Arizona University.  I have 25 years experience working in accounting/finance and office management. Numbers are my thing! My husband and I have lived in Mesa for over 25 years and have raised our four children here.  In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and being involved in their activities, and reading good books.

Email:  keith.idso@heritageacademyaz.com

Dr. Idso earned his BS in Agriculture and his MS in Agronomy & Plant Genetics
from the University of Arizona. He then ventured north and received his Doctorate
in Botany at ASU. Several years later, Dr. Idso attended the University of Phoenix
where he completed a post-bac program in education to become a certified teacher
at both the elementary and secondary school levels. His secondary school
certification carries endorsements in general science, biology, and chemistry.
As an educator, Dr. Idso served as an adjunct faculty member at ASU, CGCC, and
SMCC where he taught various courses in botany and biology. He also taught 5 th
grade for 15 years on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, before
moving on to teach biology and chemistry at their high school for the next nine
years. After 24 years of service, Dr. Idso left the Indian community for the greener
pastures of freedom at Heritage Academy where he plans to establish his new
career as an educator.
In his free time —who are we kidding— Dr. Idso is a single parent of 11-year-old
twin daughters, so he has no free time! So, when he makes the time, Dr. Idso loves
to go out country swing dancing! He is also an avid hunter, rock hounder, and
enjoys collecting sea creatures and eating tacos down in Rocky Point.

Email:  ejewell@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/spanish-with-sr-jewell/home

I always knew I wanted to teach, but my early ambitions focused on higher education. So I earned a BA and MA from Brigham Young University, then a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. My higher education dreams became a reality as I spent 16 years teaching at Truman State University in northeast Missouri. But, I started getting a nagging feeling that I might enjoy teaching high school — at the very least I should give it a try so I could more effectively prepare future teachers, which was part of my job. This desire, and other personal circumstances brought us to Mesa and Heritage Academy, AND I AM LOVING IT! I have traveled extensively in Mexico and Spain, and more recently I directed our first Heritage Academy tour to Puerto Rico.
I have four children, with the last two being Heritage graduates. In my free time I enjoy sports and athletics, mountain biking, camping, home remodeling and most of all, spending time with my wife and children. Teaching at Heritage has helped me see that the best teachers don’t just focus on their subject matter, but they see each student as a valuable individual. As I teach students about the beautiful Spanish language, and the many interesting and wonderful Hispanic cultures around the world, I love getting to know them better, and sharing in their growth here at Heritage Academy.

Email: ckenney@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrskenney/home

I have been teaching Ballroom Dance at Heritage Academy since January of 2007. I was first introduced to Ballroom Dance while attending college at Brigham Young University where I got my BA in Family Science. I am a former competitive Ballroom Dancer and have been involved with other dance projects such as various musical theater productions in school and the community, “cotillion” style classes at the Mesa Country Club, choreography for Jr. Miss Pageants, Dance Festivals, and the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration. I also teach Pilates and Jr. Fitness here at Heritage Academy. As an LMT, Health Coach, former powerlifter and aerobics instructor, I am enthusiastic about health and fitness. Additionally, I am a mother to four and grandmother to eleven and counting. My younger two children are Heritage Academy alumni. Besides dance and fitness, I also enjoy reading and travel and have spent some time living abroad.

Mr. Ryan Kerby is our new 7th grade English teacher. He grew up in Mesa and is a Heritage alumnus. Go Heroes! Currently, Mr. Kerby received his BA from ASU and is working to complete his Masters of English at Arizona State University. If you want to buy him a treat, he loves Oreos, Diet Coke, and Lunchables. During his free time, he enjoys kayaking on the Salt River. Currently, he is saving his money to buy a hairless cat.

Email: tracy.lang@heritageacademyaz.com

Hello Heroes! It is an honor to be a part of the Heritage Academy family. Many years ago, I taught high school English and then was lucky enough to go back to ASU to earn my Master’s in English Literature. After that, I was blessed to spend about 20 years at home with my three sons, where we were involved in many homeschooling adventures, raised milk goats, played a lot of baseball, and got involved with politics. Before joining the Heritage faculty, I went back to the classroom, this time teaching middle-school math. Math and English may seem a world apart, but varied interests and new undertakings keep life interesting and fun! I plan to bring innovative ideas and methods into my classes and challenge my students as much as I challenge myself. I always have an open door for students or parents with a need. When not at Heritage Academy, you might find me hiking (while listening to an audio book), taking a college class, or . . . watching baseball!!!

Email: renata.luzh@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/renata-luzhoxsie/home

I am a native of Brazil who has a passion for languages.  I earned my Bachelor in Education from ASU with emphasis on Secondary Education in Spanish.  I also have completed a Master in Education through NAU with emphasis in Higher Education.  I have over a decade of classroom experience and enjoy inspiring young minds in reaching across borders and building communities.  I have served humanitarian missions in Mexico helping to build houses with AMOR international and taken students to Costa Rica to explore one of the many wonderful Spanish-speaking countries.  In my free time, I love to travel with family and be creative with all sorts of arts & crafts.

Email: fred.martinez@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Martinez joined Heritage in 2019 as our Athletic Director. He has a great love for athletics and how sports can build character in our youth. He has been coaching football since 1985. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration form California State University Los Angeles.

Email: emay@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/heritageacademydance/home?authuser=2

I have a Master of Fine Arts in Dance, Graduate Certificate in Dance Teaching Artist Praxis and K-12 Teaching Certificate from Arizona State University. Originally, from Orem, Utah, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Ballet and a Bachelor of Science in Dance Education from Utah Valley University. My recent work, Mi Firma; It Started with a Choice, was performed in the Emerging Artist II concert at the Margaret Gisolo Dance Studio. This work is the result of my thesis research that included a community art project at an orphanage in Mexico. My scholarly research was presented at the World Dance Alliance conference 2015 and National Dance Education Organization conference 2015. During my graduate career, I have cultivated my entrepreneurial and video art skills. I helped organize and produce S.A.M., a successful student art market that connected artists with their local communities.  As a Teacher of Record at ASU, I have taught Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Yoga/Pilates and the online course Dance, Culture and Global Context. I find great joy in dancing and moving with others. I am forever grateful for the love and support of my husband and daughters.

Email: erin.mcdo@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/erinmcdowell/home

I graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education, followed by a Master’s in English Education. Prior to joining the Heritage Team, I taught 9th-12th grade English in Downtown Phoenix. I look forward to another year here at Heritage Academy!

My husband and I live in Mesa with our two young sons and dog. The days I come to school are typically less demanding than the ones where I am home with the toddler and baby! Heritage scholars are truly a delight to teach.

Email: kmelchin@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/d/1QUL6J-caSjrtWpK-2Ndr56G2pnibzg6z/p/1UeUA3G_4JexMk5SmTTNpaAgKGy2q9pCx/edit?pli=1&authuser=3

I graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology. I have taught at Heritage Academy for the past 11 years.
Some of my hobbies include; sewing, reading, creating things from nothing, any type of water, beach, lake, river, pond, pool I enjoy it all. Most of all I love being able to spend time with my family, they are the joys of my life. I have enjoyed the time I have spent with the scholars at Heritage, they make me laugh and keep me young and on my toes.  Hurrah for Yearbook.

Email: melchin@heritageacademyaz.com

I have been fortunate to be with Heritage from the very beginning in 1995, recruited by the founder, Earl Taylor. Over the years I have been Assistant Principal, a coach, A.D, and now work in a “district” capacity in Development of new campuses.

Email: geniel.oakes@heritageacademyaz.com

I am so excited to be teaching junior high science at Heritage Academy! I have loved science my entire life and enjoy watching students develop that same excitement for science as we explore and experiment throughout the year. My Bachelor degree is Biology education grades 5-12, and my Master’s degree is Geoscience education grades 5-12. I have been able to teach high school Biology, 8th grade science, and now 7th grade science. Science Rocks!

Mrs. Palmer helps us every day with payments and registration fees.

Email: kpalmer@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: aparker@heritageacademyaz.com

I grew up in a small town in northern Arizona but have lived in Mesa for the past 28 years. I earned my BS in elementary education with a minor in mathematics from the University of Arizona and my M.Ed. in Math Education from Arizona State University. I have taught for 28 years and have spent the last 17 teaching Junior High math at Heritage Academy. Outside of school, I enjoy photography, hiking, traveling, and spending time with my nieces and nephews.

Email: eparker@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/eric-parker/home

I earned a B.A. in Mathematics Education at ASU and my Masters of Education degree in curriculum & instruction through GCU.  I have been teaching at Heritage for 10 years now with a few prior years at other schools.  I love teaching the college level math classes and challenging the students to think.  It really is a pleasure to teach and interact with these wonderful young men and women and to help them to challenge themselves to grow intellectually as well as personally.

Email: tamar.patc@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/tamar-patchett/home

I have lived in Mesa, AZ since my husband and I moved here in 1994, and now consider AZ home. I was raised within the creative circles of the arts as the daughter of a Montana fine artist: Zak Zakovi.  I obtained my degree in Technical Writing and Graphic Design (English & Art from Utah State University). I have worked in the graphic arts designing and producing all kinds of publications. I’ve designed and created/published hard and soft cover books.

Graphic Design became a part-time endeavor during our 3 children’s formative years, and this allowed 19 years of involvement in Mesa Public Schools teaching and organizing the Art Masterpiece and Literacy programs at O’Connor Elementary, our neighborhood elementary school. I went on to substitute teach throughout Mesa for MPS and the Learning Foundation for Performing Arts in Gilbert, AZ and have held several professional positions within MPS.

I’m thrilled to share my love and respect for the arts with my scholars. We will learn together!

Email: gphelps@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrphelpslatin/home?authuser=0

I have been here at Heritage for 17 years and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I received both my BS degree in Elementary Education and my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. I have a SEI certification and am licensed by the state of Arizona to teach 7th and 8th grade. When I have free time I enjoy being with my wife and 6 children. I enjoy playing most sports and like to watch college football games. I also like to read and study about American history, and Theology, and Languages.

Email: julie.pine@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/julie-pineda/home

It is so great to be back in Arizona and teaching at Heritage Academy! I was raised in Flagstaff, attended the University of Arizona earning a BS in Education, and taught high school math for 8 years in Arizona before moving with my husband and children to the midwest. We lived in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois and there I taught math for a total of 9 more years after my kids were grown. I love teaching math, but I also have a great appreciation for sports, the arts, and anything else that my students (or my own kids) are passionate about. I enjoy seeing my students get excited about learning new things and working hard to master a new skill or concept. My favorite math class is Statistics because it is so applicable to our lives and it allows me the opportunity to talk to my students about a wide variety of topics. The COVID pandemic has been a great example of how math is used to make decisions about our everyday lives. My husband and I have a blended family with 6 children that are scattered all across the country, but no grandkids yet! In my time off I enjoy going to visit my family, bike riding, walking, swimming, paddleboarding, hiking, musicals, museums, reading historical fiction, studying religion, and exploring new places. Someday I want to learn how to bake artisan breads, how to play la crosse, and how to do my own maintenance on my car. I am a very curious person and I think life is all about asking questions and learning new things. This year I will be teaching Pre-Calculus and Scholar Council. I am looking forward to making Heritage my permanent home and teaching here for many many years.

Email: jportilla@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/portilla20-21/home

I was born in Mexico and raised in Texas, I began playing football during my junior year in high school. After overhearing a coach say that I would never amount to anything, I took the personal challenge to prove my coach wrong, and became the first Mexican-born NFL player to ever play in the Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXXIII with the Atlanta Falcons). I played college football for Ricks College and the University of Arizona, where I earned a degree in Visual Communications. I teach art, weight training, PE, football, and basketball. I have instructed the offensive and defensive line at the Heritage Academy Football Camp since 2010, and have been on the football team’s coaching staff since 2012, helping to create a heritage of winning, with state championships in 2010-2016. I became the head coach in 2017, leading my team to their 9th state championship appearance in 2018. I was voted CAA Football Coach of the Year after leading my team to an undefeated season and state championship victory in 2019.

Email: abigail.radc@heritageacademyaz.com

Hello, I am Abigail Radcliffe and I will be teaching 10th grade english. I have earned a BA in Communication with minors in Writing and Peace and Justice Studies from Marian University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University. My immediate background is in preschool and elementary education, so I am very much looking forward to teaching a more advanced and rigorous curriculum to our high schoolers. Aside from teaching, I enjoy training for and racing in half marathons and full marathons, writing poetry, and reading.

Email: creese@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/coachreesegeometryclass20-21/home

I was born and raised in Mesa, AZ. I graduated from Red Mountain High School in Mesa. I attended Mesa Community College for my associate’s degree. I received my bachelor’s degree in Business Communications from Arizona State University. Recently, I completed my Masters’ in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University (Go Lopes!) I have always had a passion for math, statistics, and coaching. Heritage Academy gave me an opportunity to accomplish all of that! I teach Geometry along with coaching football, basketball, and am the Varsity Head Coach for baseball. I love seeing the kids grow both in the classroom and on the field! This is my sixth year teaching and I am beyond excited to grow with the scholars. Heritage Academy is an outstanding school and I would not want to teach anywhere else. When I am not teaching or coaching, I am at the gym! Working out is my escape! I love spending time with my wife and four amazing kids. We love exploring the great outdoors! Family, school, and sports are my life.

Email: mrenard@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrsrenard/home

My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1997 and I started teaching at Heritage Academy the following year. I was raised speaking several languages and have a Masters degree in History from the University of Brussels and recently completed a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Western Governors University. Born in Africa and having spent my adolescence in Europe, I was thrilled to be given the great privilege of living in the United States. In a very short time, I was able to understand the wonderful opportunities this country has to offer.  I love teaching scholars about other cultures and customs, and the history of this great world and state we live in. But as an immigrant, I truly value the freedoms this country has fought to uphold and am passionate about teaching scholars what they need to treasure.

Mr. Renard helps keep our facilities in top shape!

Email: vrenard@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: meloney.roge@heritageacademyaz.com

I’m an Arizona Native. Arizona has been my home my entire life with a brief exception when I attended school in Utah. My husband of 19 years and I have enjoyed raising our three children here.  Some of our favorite places to go in Arizona involve camping in the White Mountains, hiking in Sedona and skiing in Flagstaff. I also enjoy curling up with a book, watching international dramas on Netflix, playing the piano, yoga and shopping! After 13 years of staying home raising my children, I am excited to be at Heritage Academy helping out at the front desk.

Email: robin.rost@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/a/heritageacademyaz.com/heritage-academy-mesa-choral-music/home

I am a vocalist, violinist, pianist and music educator/director. I obtained a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance/Pedagogy from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois where I majored in choral and orchestral studies. Additional education took me to Salzburg College in Austria where I furthered my studies in opera. Previously, I was the Director of Choral Music at Gilbert High School where my choirs earned several accolades, including performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. I have been on the adjunct faculty for Grand Canyon University, Mesa Community College and Chandler Gilbert Community College and currently teach voice, violin and piano in my home studio.  In addition to teaching, I have performed several leading roles including Antonia in Tales of Hoffman, Abigail in Lizzie Borden, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario, Domina in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, as well as other community theatre productions. I was also the solo lead performer for the Andre Kole World of Illusion Show, which allowed me to perform over 500 shows throughout the US and abroad. Lastly, as Miss Arizona 1992, I spoke and performed professionally in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and around the state of Arizona.

Mrs. Schwenckert is currently serving as Heritage Academy’s Special Education Director for all four campuses, working with our SPED teachers and Heritage families to help scholars with their social and academic needs.

Dawn has been involved in education for the last 25 years in both the general education setting as a science teacher and the special education setting. She earned a Bachelor’s in general education with an emphasis in biological sciences, as well as a Master’s degree in administration and supervision from ASU.

She is a diehard ASU Sun Devil and wouldn’t choose to live anywhere other than Arizona!

Email: Dawn Schwenckert at dawn.schwenckert@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: jscott@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/jasonscottbiology/my-gallery?authuser=1

Before coming to Heritage, I worked as a Dietary Consultant and Corporate Trainer for 15 years.  I have spent the majority of my life in teaching or training and when the time came for a change in my career, teaching Biology was the natural fit for my education, talents, and skills.  My Bachelor’s degree is in Nutrition and I received my Master’s Degree in Science Education from WGU.  I have been teaching at Heritage since 2010.  I served as the department head for 4 years and was happy to complete my rotation and pass the duty on to Mr. Morris.  I also manage the science tour each year.  The tour allows the scholars to participate in a variety of laboratory and actual world experiences covering multiple areas of science.  Watching my students discover new ideas, and push themselves physically and mentally to get the most out of their education is one of my greatest rewards as a teacher.  Most of my free time is spent carving, crafting, gardening, hiking, and spending time with my family.  Most of my out-of-class activities enrich class.

Email: eseaman@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/msseaman/home

Hello! My name is Eve Seaman and I have the special opportunity to serve as the Assistant Principal here at Heritage Academy in Mesa. I have been in the field of education for 14+ years the last 5 of which have been here at Heritage. I received my Bachelors degree from ASU in Special Education and later earned my Masters degree from NAU in Educational Leadership, Principal k-12. I was born and raised in Mesa and have had many opportunities to travel to various locations on this beautiful planet. In addition to having a Dad who is a Marine,  the opportunity to travel has strengthen my love and appreciation for this country. I love America! It is a privilege to work with amazing teacher’s and wonderful scholars. I look forward to having a wonderful year!

Email: jsherman@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/jessicasherman

I earned my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English from Arizona State University. After college I worked for 15 years in the corporate world as a technical writer and a copywriter for a software company. Since transitioning to a career in education in 2016, I’ve taught 9th grade English at Heritage Academy. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, hiking, and seeing if I can persuade my husband and twin daughters to make dinner.

Email: cymany.skou@heritageacademyaz.com

I am Cymany Skouson and it is a privilege to work with the outstanding faculty at Heritage and serve the amazing student scholars.  I teach junior high fitness, keyboarding, bowling, and drivers ed.  I am also the head coach for cross country, which in 2020 our boys were State Champions.  I also coach our new track team.  I love running and have competed in half marathons, 10k’s and 5k’s all over the country.  My husband and I have been married for 29 years and have been blessed with 5 children.  I believe you are never too old to learn so after raising all of my children I am now in the final stretches of finishing my bachelors degree from Brigham Young University Idaho and look forward to many new adventures ahead.

Email: daken.skou@heritageacademyaz.com

I have spent the last 25+ years working for three Fortune 500 companies in various supply chain
roles. I have led large teams, managed over $3B in annual company spend, negotiated large
multi-million dollar contracts, and worked directly with senior company leaders. I have a BS
degree from University of Phoenix, and I am also lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.)
with the Institute of Supply Chain Management. Additionally, I have a CPIM certification with
APICS for production and inventory management. I have always loved sports, especially
basketball. I played in high school and then had opportunities to play in jr. college which I
chose not to pursue. I have coached youth teams and have played for years in recreational
leagues. I am excited to be at Heritage and teach personal finance and coach basketball.

Email: jsmith@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/8th-grade-english-2021/home

I am passionate about this subject and this age group. In fact, it was in my own eighth grade English class where an influential teacher showed me how to love the power of words and of a story well told. For this reason, I am thrilled to help my students come to enjoy stories and feel a sense of pride in their writing abilities. I graduated from Brigham Young University, Provo with a B.A. in English, Computers & Humanities minor.

Email: carrie.stron@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/8th-grade-science/home

Welcome to Strong Science!!  I LOVE SCIENCE!    I graduated from Brigham Young University with my BS degree in Middle School Science. I also graduated from Northern Arizona State University with my MA as a Reading Specialist. These degrees combine two of my favorite things– science and reading! I have taught 4th grade and I have been a reading interventionist. However, most of my professional career has been teaching 7-8th grade science. I grew up in Maine and migrated to Arizona 30+ yrs ago. I have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.  They are my favorite people in the whole world!  I love to do anything outdoors.  I love to hike, garden, paddle board, play sports, travel, and engage in nature in all its splendor.

Email: jtaylor@heritageacademyaz.com

Jared Taylor is the Charter Representative and Chairman of the Governing Board of the Heritage Academy schools. He joined Heritage Academy in 2009. Prior to joining Heritage, he worked for 10 years in various corporate human resources roles with Motorola and Honeywell. He earned a BS in Management and an MBA at Arizona State University.

Email: Lori.town@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/dramamisstowne/home

I am a graduate of Arizona State University in Musical Theatre, I have had the privilege of directing 40 musicals at Mesa Community College and several plays and musicals for other venues such as Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert Arizona. Additionally, I have been on the adjunct faculty of Mesa Community College teaching musical theatre performance, voice class, and private voice. I was previously on the staff of The Phoenix Center for the Arts as manager of the Phoenix Children’s Chorus and oversaw youth arts programming. I was also credited with creating the Phoenix Center Youth Theatre. I am excited to bring my years of experience to the students of Heritage Academy and hopes to inspire creativity and instill in them a love for theater and the arts.

Email: hudall@heritageacademyaz.com

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Brigham Young University and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University. I love working with the amazing staff and wonderful scholars at Heritage. My favorite teaching days consist of exploring literature, writing, and learning with my students. My favorite principal days consist of observing our amazing teachers, connecting with the scholars (teenagers make me smile), and listening to our parents. When I’m not devouring a book, I spend time traveling, eating chocolate chip cookies, hiking, and playing games with my family.

Email: kerrilyn.walker@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Walker holds a Bachelors degree in Women Studies with an emphasis in Psychology from Arizona State University and a Masters degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. She has been working in Special Education since 2013.

Email: scott.well@heritageacademyaz.com

Scott Wells grew up in Kirtland, New Mexico. He took a BA in Korean and Linguistics from Brigham Young University and afterward earned both his MA and PhD in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia. After completing his PhD, Scott received a Korea Foundation postdoctoral fellowship to teach and conduct research at Arizona State University. Scott has a decade of experience teaching university courses on historical, literary, and philological topics. In this his second year at Heritage he will be teaching American Government and Economics.

Scott and his wife are the parents of three children–two daughters and a son.

Email: cwest@heritageacademyaz.com

I received my B.A. in English from Valdosta State University, M.Ed. from University of Georgia, MLS from Florida State University.  I grew up in a military family, and had the opportunity to live in a number of different states and countries before choosing Arizona as my home.  My family and I enjoy outdoor activities including camping and fishing.   I have taught high school, was a Librarian at ASU, owned my own business, and am now excited about teaching dual enrollment English at Heritage.

Email: jwhitmire@heritageacademyaz.com

I am the Human Resources Manager for all Heritage Academy Schools. I am responsible for benefits, maintaining Heritage Academy policies, employee handbooks, employee relations issues, and talent acquisition. I began her career in the retail industry before moving into non-profit organizations. I have more than 10 years of Human Resources experience including over two years of Human Resource leadership in a charter school environment. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from The University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Ottawa University. I am also an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and am the proud mother of three daughters and grandmother to four amazing humans. One of my favorite pastimes is baking. If I could do one thing forever, making sweet confections for others would give me the greatest satisfaction.