Samantha Adam is thrilled to return as a Kindergarten lead teacher at Maryvale Prep for her fifth year. Throughout her time at Maryvale she has grown so much as a person and an educator and with that, it has enabled her to endeavor into a lead position for the Kindergarten team and be a part of the network’s Core Curriculum project. These rewarding roles have built more on her foundation for elementary education. Her approach is simple: teach with passion and compassion. Samantha has seen many Kindergarteners walk in with curiosity and timidity and leave with fortitude and honor. She looks forward to seeing the same level of tenacity be delivered this year. For her, teaching is more than a career, it’s a dream. Having the privilege to work with kids everyday is reason enough to wake up in the morning.
Ms. Aleaga is excited to be part of the first grade team at Maryvale Prep! She is originally from Oahu, Hawaii and moved to Arizona at a young age. Before joining Maryvale Prep, she worked as an assistant manager for a before and after school program. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing in her journal, and being able to make memories with those that she loves. Ms. Aleaga has always has a passion for working with children. She loves being able to make an impact in students’ lives by guiding or helping them no matter the situation. Ms. Aleaga is looking forward to starting her first year here at Maryvale Preparatory Academy and being able to make a contribution in the classroom and in the community.
Ms. Hernandez-Allen is looking forward to beginning her 4th year at Maryvale Prep. Ms. Allen grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, but has travelled and lived in many of the Southwestern states. Ms. Allen earned her bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Exercise Science and Pedagogy with a minor in Spanish from the University of Utah and a Master’s in Oriental Medical Theory (M.S.O.M.) from Southwest Acupuncture College. In addition, Ms. Allen is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant educated from Northern Arizona University and holds her Special Education teaching certification from Rio Salado College. Ms. Allen is the mother of two amazing children, loves to travel, swim, play the piano, ukulele, bass and a continued passion for learning. She is looking forward to this new year to help enrich and motivate our young learners and in helping them be their best.
Eden Alvarez is returning to Maryvale Preparatory Academy for her seventh school year as the Medical Assistant. She is from a small town in the Yuma County known as Somerton, AZ and attended Apollo College where she received her Diploma/Certification as a Medical Assistant. She worked in Mesa and Tempe as a Medical Assistant before relocating back to her hometown. For the next two years in Somerton, she served both internal and pediatric patients at the Sunset Community Health Center. She also helped the clinic in reaching out to people with no medical insurance by volunteering at community health fairs. During her spare time, Eden enjoys reading, writing, cooking, hiking, and motivating and inspiring people with their fitness goals. She is excited to continue helping the children of Maryvale Prep not only with their health needs but also by supporting their growth as individuals as they pursue their goals and life aspirations.
Rocio is very excited to join the Maryvale Prep family for her first year as our Office Assistant. She has a long history working in social work and customer service, and she is delighted to start a new journey working with children. Rocio understands the importance of our children’s growth and development. She is looking forward to providing a warm and welcoming environment for our current and future families. On her free time, Rocio likes to spend as much time as possible with her three children. Their favorite activities include cooking and baking, movies, and spending a day in the great outdoors. She is grateful for the opportunity she has been given to serve our families and is excited to see what the new school year brings.
Katherine, who also goes by the name Katie is thrilled to be returning to the Maryvale Prep team as a 3rd grade teacher apprentice for her second year of teaching. Katherine grew up in Indiana and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology at Indiana University. Through her many years of working with children of all ages, she has discovered her passion for teaching and exploring with the elementary age. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, exercising, traveling and spending time with her family and friends. For only moving to the Phoenix area two years ago, she has come to love the diverse and beautiful state of Arizona and is so excited gain more family and friends through Great Hearts.
Mrs. Atkins is very excited to rejoin the Great Hearts network at Maryvale Preparatory Academy this school year. This year she will serve as an ESSC for both the 6th and 7th grade students. Born and raised in Arizona, Mrs. Atkins went to Grand Canyon University for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She earned both of her degrees in the education field and now specializes in secondary education (with an emphasis in English) and special education. In addition to her degrees, Mrs. Atkins had the opportunity to play on GCU’s women’s golf team through college. She has teaching experience in multiple environments including general education, self-contained and one-on-one tutoring. She decided to teach at Maryvale Prep because she is passionate about the Great Hearts mission to, “Educate young people for the lifelong pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty.” Outside of school, Mrs. Atkins enjoys spending time with her husband and their chocolate Labrador, Lily; they love to watch movies and go on walks. She also enjoys playing golf, going for runs, reading, and visiting her sister in Milwaukee, WI.
Angelica Ayala eagerly joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as a teacher’s assistant for fourth grade. She grew up in the Central Valley of California and has prior experience in health care. Angelica earned her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts at Thomas Aquinas College. She has seen the difference a classical education has made in her own life and is honored to enter the classroom to participate in this important work. She enjoys swimming, reading, and studying all fields of inquiry. She joins the faculty at Maryvale Prep as a part of her interest in fostering growth of opportunity, and because of the exceptional staff and community.
Dr. Sean Barela, a bassoonist and educator native to Southern California, is happy to return to Maryvale Preparatory Academy as Instructor of Music for grades 2-5. Previously, he served as a Teaching Artist with the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, an organization that offers Music Education curricula to defunded public schools throughout Los Angeles County. Dr. Barela holds a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in Psychology from the University of Southern California, where he studied with Stephen Maxym (former solo bassoon, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) and Rose Corrigan (principal bassoon, Pacific Symphony). He holds a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Clouser (principal bassoon, Cleveland Orchestra). And a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a minor in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he designed and implemented courses in Pedagogical Methodology for graduate and undergraduate students in Music Education and also taught primary bassoon lessons at the University of Rochester. Dr. Barela has received a fellowship from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and numerous scholarships from organizations throughout the United States, including the Trustee Scholarship (full tuition) from the University of Southern California. Dr. Barela has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera Santa Barbara, Monterey Symphony (among others)—having appeared as a soloist with the Dana Point Symphony and Huntington Beach Symphony. He delights in seeing the people around him succeed, both students and faculty, and he revels in making meaningful, long-lasting connections. Dr. Barela’s greatest joy comes from embedding a sense of self-discover in his students’ journey of self-expression.
Tom Barringer joins the Maryvale Prep team this year as an enthusiastic middle school science teacher in 7th grade physical science and 8th grade earth science. This is his first time residing in Arizona, as he was raised in Maryland on the outskirts of Washington D.C. and has since lived portions of his life in Missouri, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Mr. Barringer earned his bachelor’s degree (BA) in Biology and Philosophy from Assumption College. Coming from a background of animal behavior and animal care in a zoo setting, he is excited to have an impact on his students lives while teaching them about the natural world. Mr. Barringer delights in observing flora and fauna in nature, as well as passionately cheering on sports teams. He will also be acting as the head coach for the high school flag football team for the 2019 season.
Mei Bunag eagerly joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as a 2nd grade assistant teacher. She grew up in Los Angeles, California and fulfilled a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Communication at Arizona State University. She worked in various fields from public safety non-profits, leadership development, customer service, and university academic success programs. She is the first to graduate college in her family which has set the tone for her passion about education. Mei Bunag values grace and patience in a classroom setting while acknowledging educational opportunities that take place in everyday life. She enjoys listening to music, hiking, running, and animals. She joins the faculty at Maryvale Prep as a part of her interest in developing affective teamwork, leadership, and kindness.
Growing up in Farmington, New Mexico, he attended Thomas Aquinas College, where he found his love for great books and meaningful dialogue. Chris joins the Maryvale team this year to share his passion in poetry and is looking forward to creating meaningful connections with staff and students. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking, playing video games, and trying new restaurants.
Matty Cartee is excited to start his second year at Maryvale Preparatory Academy as the 2nd-3rd grade ESS Coordinator and school-wide 504 Coordinator. Matty worked in education in Colorado for five years prior to coming to Maryvale Prep. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Colorado College and gained his teaching license through the Pikes Peak BOCES Two Year Teacher in Residence program. This year he is starting his Masters in School Counseling through Adam State University. Matty believes that all children deserve a great education and teachers who care deeply for them and is happy to rejoin a team at Maryvale Prep that is fully committed to that belief.
Alexandra Castro is excited to be beginning her 6th year at Maryvale Prep and her 2nd year as Dean of Students; where she has the opportunity to assist in the guidance of students through moral formation and the development of leadership skills. In her time at Maryvale Prep, she has served the role as an Exceptional Student Services Coordinator supporting the academic growth of her students in various grades. Throughout her time teaching, she has taught children with exceptional needs ranging from Kindergarten to 8th grade; as well as being a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher. Ms. Castro earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Arizona State University. This is where she discovered her passion with helping students strengthen their abilities to succeed in the classroom. Ms. Castro was born and raised in Phoenix where her parents migrated to from Mexico and is a first-generation college graduate. Outside of school, Ms. Castro enjoys spending time with her son (a fellow Matador), her family, and traveling. She is delighted to continue to share her passion and dedication for educating children this coming school year.
Mr. Castro excitedly returns to Maryvale Prep this year as a 3rd Grade Teacher Apprentice. Mr. Castro is currently on track to someday becoming a librarian. He has grown up all over Arizona-from Phoenix, to Laveen, to Tempe, and Chandler. Mr. Castro has volunteered as a teacher’s assistant and a librarian assistant and has volunteered doing other community service around Tempe. He is currently enrolled in Mesa Community College, but will soon transfer to ASU to complete a degree in teaching, and will continue to strive for a master’s. Education has always been a top priority in his family, and he has been waiting for his opportunity to help in the classroom, paving the way for future generations. Mr. Castro’s goals include helping children socially understand themselves and others, and helping children understand the many ways learning can take place. His hobbies include exercise, reading, watching movies, learning and studying different cultures, and is a board game enthusiast. Mr. Castro continues to improve with the faculty at Maryvale Prep at becoming a truly remarkable teacher.
Rylie Coble is joining this year’s team at Maryvale Prep as the 3rd-6th grade art teacher. She was born and raised in Northern California and is excited to explore the Phoenix area as a newcomer. She graduated from Biola University with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on Studio Art and Philosophy. In college, Rylie was a part of the honors program which was based on using the Great Books to discover the good, the true, and the beautiful in all aspects of life. She is looking forward to being a part of the Maryvale students’ journeys as they grow to love and discover these virtues through art. Apart from art, her interests include hiking, reading, and songwriting. She cannot wait to join the community at Great Hearts, among wonderful faculty and bright students.
Christina Coley is very excited to begin her eighth year at Maryvale Prep. This year Mrs. Coley is enthusiastically taking on a new role as the Archway Assistant Headmaster. Throughout her time at Maryvale Prep she has served in many different roles. She served as Archway Dean, Dean of Lower School, Curriculum Specialist, First-grade teacher, Third-grade teacher, and Structured English Immersion teacher. Mrs. Coley graduated from Biola University with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies and a Teaching Credential. In addition, she also received two minors in Intercultural Studies and Biblical Studies. In 2012, she moved to Phoenix to begin a career working at Maryvale Prep and it is since become much more than a job, but truly a home. A few years later, Mrs. Coley continued her education at Concordia University and received her Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration and her received her Principal Certificate. Mrs. Coley is a lifelong learner and is always looking for ways to continue developing as an educator and leader. She is passionate about guiding and equipping teachers to effectively lead their students in intellect and virtue. Mrs. Coley is eager to work alongside such a passionate group of teachers and leaders as they serve the students of Maryvale Prep. Outside of school, Mrs. Coley enjoys spending time with her husband, Andy, as well as hiking, cooking, reading, and exploring new places.
Benjamin Crockett joins the Maryvale Prep team this year as the 9th grade geometry and 11th grade precalculus teacher. Energetic and eager to help, he is excited to teach the rigors, truth, and beauty found in mathematics. Mr. Crockett has lived in New York, Minnesota, Australia, Indiana, Mexico, Utah, and now Arizona. He earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Economics at Brigham Young University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Secondary Education through Arizona State University. His hobbies include music, rock climbing, impromptu sports, backpacking and learning new languages. Mr. Crockett can juggle. He speaks English and Spanish fluently and Chinese and French terribly.
Kiley Cronin is excited to start her second year as a second-grade teacher at Maryvale Prep! She joined our staff mid-school year in December of 2018 as a third grade TA before teaching second grade last school year! Ms. Cronin originally hails from Boston, Massachusetts, but now proudly calls Phoenix home. She graduated from ASU in 2018 with two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and communication and is now working towards earning her Masters in elementary education from ASU. In addition to teaching, Ms. Cronin has over 5 years of experience in coaching competitive gymnastics, which is what ultimately sparked her interest in a teaching career. Her passion for helping children and making a difference in their lives, whether it be through gymnastics or in school, is what drives her motivation to teach. She hopes to continue to positively impact the lives of others as part of the Maryvale Prep community!
Dr. Cruz is thrilled to continue her journey with her Maryvale Prep family as the Archway Headmaster. Originally from New Mexico, Dr. Cruz went on to pursue her undergraduate degree in Economics and International Political Science at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. She moved to Phoenix in 2005 and served in the Teach For America corps where she taught second and third grades for a few years and also served as a K-8 Instructional Coach for her school district. While teaching she attended Arizona State University and obtained a Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision and her principal certification. In 2010 she began working at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University as the Director of Recruitment and also taught several college courses. In 2013, Dr. Cruz earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Innovation and superintendent certification. She has a strong belief in the impact that a teacher has on his or her students and looks forward to serving our teachers as they selflessly serve our children and our parents as they partner with us in the moral and academic growth of their children. Outside of school, Dr. Cruz enjoys spending time with her husband, Henri, and her two daughters, Chloe and Abigail.
Ms. Cruz is very excited to get to know your families and children in another year teaching 1st grade! Johanni Cruz has been a teacher for seven years now. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Arizona nine years ago. Johanni attended the City University of New York – York College where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She enjoys shopping, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family. She feels that First Grade is wonderful so, she is anticipating an awesome school year!
Tony Cruz is returning to the Maryvale Preparatory Academy family as the Prep Assistant Headmaster. As he heads into this next year, he is excited to continue to help build out the Prep program at Maryvale. After moving to Phoenix from Texas, Mr. Cruz went on to complete his undergraduate degree at Arizona State University in Theatre Performance while developing curriculum for elementary age children in churches. After graduating from ASU, Mr. Cruz moved to San Jose, CA, earned his Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies), and continued his instructional work on developing the minds and hearts of students at the college and young adult level. After earning his Masters, he worked on connecting people to one another and creating systems to ensure organizational and financial sustainability in the companies he served. However, his heart continued to pull towards his place in the world of education. Following this passion, he realized the beauty of that work in serving the Maryvale community by equipping and then empowering students to become the future leaders of this community, this city, and this country.
Allison Cumberworth is ecstatic to be returning to Maryvale Prep as a 4th grade teacher. She has a passion for impacting children with truth and empowering them to be who they were made to be. Previously, she worked for 3 years in a classroom for students with emotional disorders, where she enjoyed helping children gain confidence with her classroom motto, “There is always hope, because you are loved.” This inspired both Allison and the students to pursue goals, which others did not think they could reach, and learn that the impossible can be done through them. Before making her home in Arizona, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication for Film, Television, and Radio at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers). She then worked overseas in Asia and Eastern Europe with a college Christian ministry, studying the cultures and leading Bible Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking loads of coffee with friends, cheering on her dear Chicago Cubs, and telling stories. She is truly grateful for another year with the Maryvale Prep family.
Hannah Day joins the Maryvale Prep team this year as a passionate ninth grade Human Letters teacher and Cross Country Coach. She is looking forward to diving into U.S. history and classical literature with her students. Mrs. Day was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Secondary Education-History from Arizona State University and has started to pursue a Master’s degree in Education Policy. She spends her free time cheering on Sun Devil football, traveling to new places, training and competing in triathlons, and spending time with her 22 nieces and nephews.
Jessica DeVries is excited to be returning to Maryvale Prep for her sixth year and will be teaching second grade. She grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Ms. DeVries loves to teach math and reading and is passionate about continually developing the curriculum to give the best possible education to her students. During her free time, Ms. DeVries enjoys reading, traveling to new places, and camping. She is looking forward to working with the students in 2nd grade and growing alongside of them in knowledge and character this year.
Katie Dodge enthusiastically joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as our College Counselor. She grew up in Minnesota and has worked domestically and internationally, at the college level, helping students navigate the college admission process from both university and high school perspectives. Mrs. Dodge has been working exclusively with high school students for the past six years as a College Counselor and is excited to inspire and support our Maryvale students as they find their best fit for post-secondary education. Mrs. Dodge earned her bachelor’s degree (BUS) in Psychology and Communication at North Dakota State University, and her master’s (MA) in Educational Leadership from The University of Northern Colorado. Her passions include cultivating inquiry within the college admission process, and helping students, parents, and family members navigate a complex process. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and studying the ever changing landscape of higher education.
David Echeverria eagerly joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as a third grade Spanish teacher and 3rd grade Teacher Assistant. He grew up in Chicago and has worked in a variety of fields. Mr. Echeverria earned his bachelor’s degree (BA) in Marketing at Concordia University Chicago and plans on continuing his education further in the future. He has seen the difference education has made in his own family and life. He is honored to return to the classroom to help inspire and encourage future students to commit to education and better themselves in any way they can. His passions include cultivating leadership in the classroom and increasing educational opportunities for those who surround him. He enjoys sports, cooking, spending time with family and bettering his knowledge in all fields of inquiry. He joins the faculty at Maryvale Prep as a part of his interest in fostering growth of opportunity, education and because of the exceptional staff and community.
Mac Esau is returning as the Prep Headmaster of Maryvale Preparatory Academy. Prior to Maryvale Prep’s opening, he spent the previous ten years teaching physical education, fourth grade core classes, and middle and high school mathematics and serving in various school leadership positions. After his third year in the fourth grade classroom, he became the Director of Personnel & Education at West Valley Christian School in Los Angeles, CA. After moving his family to Phoenix, he served as the founding Assistant Headmaster of Glendale Preparatory Academy and then the Interim Headmaster of Teleos Preparatory Academy, leading these schools effectively in all areas including hiring, financial planning, school operation, and teacher mentorship. He received his Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Communication Studies from UCLA and his Master of Arts in Education and Teaching Credential from Biola University. In addition to his great love for the Maryvale community, Mr. Esau plays basketball weekly and cherishes spending time with his lovely wife, Pearl, and his three young children, Kaiya, Zeke, and Niko.
Jovanna Espinoza is joyfully taking the position as a kindergarten teacher apprentice at Maryvale Prep. She grew up most of her life in Phoenix, Arizona where she discovered her passion for education. Jovanna had the opportunity to work in a kindergarten classroom as a teacher apprentice for two years where she best supported students and created connections with them. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Grand Canyon University. Jovanna was inspired to become an educator by her fourth-grade teacher who with patience and love best supported her to succeed in her education. Her biggest passion is building relationships with students. She loves writing, hiking, jogging, and nature. She is joining the Maryvale Team with the opportunity to grow as an educator to create better opportunities in the field.
Lucy Everett is so excited to be returning for her 5th year at Maryvale Preparatory Academy! She will be teaching 5th Grade English Language Arts and History and loves being able to share the two subjects she loves most with her students. She is originally from Spokane, WA, but traveled to Pittsburgh PA where she attended Grove City College, earning her degree in English with a minor in Classical Education. Lucy is passionate about reading and the way good literature can take us to amazing new places, introduce us to fascinating characters, and teach us important truths about life. When not teaching, you can find Lucy drinking coffee, hanging by the pool with a good book, or enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.
Kyle Frazier is excited to be teaching 3rd-6th grade Physical Education at Maryvale Prep. Coach Frazier grew up locally in Peoria where he competed in basketball, baseball, football, and cross country throughout his time as an elementary and high school student. After graduating high school, Coach Frazier attended Glendale Community College and Arizona State University, earning a BA in Communication. During his college years, Coach Frazier worked with students by leading bible studies at his church, as well as volunteering as an assistant football coach through Heart for the City. Coach Frazier is eager to share his love of fitness, competition, and sportsmanship with the students of Maryvale Prep.
Chandler Fritz couldn’t be more excited to hop aboard the Maryvale Prep team this fall. He is born and raised in Phoenix and graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with bachelor degrees in English Literature and Philosophy. Mr. Fritz has taken his love of literature into diverse classrooms around the world, from a juvenile prison in Phoenix to an orphanage in Haiti, and he was recently awarded a Fulbright fellowship for working with Roma students in rural Hungary. He hopes to evoke a piece of literature’s sense of place for his students so that they might be inspired to one day seek out these mysterious and magical places for themselves. Outside of class, Mr. Fritz enjoys performing improv comedy, hopelessly cheering AZ sports, and cooking strange recipes for his lovely wife Roxanne.
Alexis Gagner is a life-long learner excited to be teaching at Maryvale Prep. Since a young age, she has spent years in the classroom watching her mother teach and following in her footsteps of impacting, learning, and loving alongside her students. Mrs. Gagner recently graduated from ASU earlier this year with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Having immigrated to Arizona from Vancouver Canada the summer of 2009, she likes to think of herself as a “Canerican” considering her home is in both places, Canada and the United States. She has volunteered in various school summer programs, teaching and growing her love for impacting students in High School and College leading up to starting her career. She has a passion for helping students achieve their goals and encouraging them to put their best efforts in whatever they set their minds to. She is eager to connect with the students, families, the Great Hearts community, and Maryvale Prep faculty.
We are happy to announce a new addition to our Matador family, Mr. Richard Galewski, who will serve as the Athletic Director of Maryvale Prep. Mr. Richard Galewski hails from Milwaukee Wisconsin. Prior to his arrival, Rich taught in Mineral Point, Wisconsin and was an assistant baseball coach at the University of Wisconsin Platteville. While at Platteville, Rich perused to earn his Master’s degree in Adult Education. As a former college athlete, his competitiveness of sports allowed him to play professionally in Shanghai, China upon receiving his Liberal Arts degree from Cardinal Stritch University (2009). As a Physical Education teacher, Rich has been influenced throughout the sports world and likes helping kids of all ages extend their comfort zone and to guide students to reflect gratitude in their attitude. He has taught for 9 years at the high school and elementary level and has been a coach for nearly 12 years where he has worked with young inspiring competitors and college student athletes. His style and charismatic delivery engages his students to help strengthen their character.
Mrs. Garcia will be entering her fifth year at Maryvale Prep. This year she will be fulfilling the role of TA. She has grown up in Goodyear, AZ. She is fluent in both English and Spanish languages. She has served in a TA role and led our 6th grade ELA and History sections. Mrs Garcia has taken courses in Psychology and early childhood development. She is an active member of her church where she has worked in the youth department and in her church’s basketball league. She is eagerly awaiting to greet your students with care and helping establish a culture of order and joy.
Nikki Georgia is excited to be part of the team at Maryvale Preparatory Academy for a seventh year. During her senior year of high school, Ms. Georgia volunteered at an integrated private school. She quickly developed a passion for working with students with exceptional needs. Ms. Georgia became a Special Education Teacher, and was employed where she originally volunteered for 14 years. Ms. Georgia received her BA in Sociology from CSUSB and Special Education Certification and Master’s degree in Special Education from National University. Upon moving to Phoenix in 2012, Ms. Georgia worked as a Program Director for a K-12 private school for students with exceptional needs. She conducted a monthly parent support group meeting, developed the curriculum, including tools and techniques to modify it for individual needs, and helped implement positive character building and social success for students, community service projects, and teacher training in positive behavior interventions and interpreting and analyzing assessment data. Ms. Georgia is looking forward to another year with the Maryvale Prep Team and helping students achieve their goals and conduct evaluations. Ms. Georgia’s own daughter will also return to Maryvale Prep as a sixth grader and her son as a third grader.
Emma Giles is thrilled to be returning for her second year at Maryvale Preparatory Academy as the 5th grade Math and Science Teacher. Originally from Southern California, Emma moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in Management and Spanish. Her studies led to many involvements in student enrichment programs to encourage higher educational achievement, including a leadership development program at Maryvale High school through the Spirit of Service Scholars of the ASU Watts College. In her final year at university, she completed an Honors Thesis in which she developed a self-care and mental health awareness program for an elementary school in Queen Creek, Arizona. This experience developed her understanding of how important communities are in the development of young minds, now more than ever. Living by the mantra, “be kind, be curious, be active,” she is excited to help her students grow as individuals and scholars.
Sophia Grado is extremely excited to return for her seventh year at Maryvale Preparatory Academy. She spent her first four years serving as a Teacher Apprentice as well as co-teaching in first grade. This will be Ms. Grado’s third year as a First Grade Lead Teacher. Her time with the Maryvale Prep Family has been remarkable and she desires to continue serving and loving our children. Prior to her employment at Maryvale Prep, she was employed with Litchfield School District. There she worked as an instructional aide for special education, specifically trained to work with autistic students. Ms. Grado earned herBachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. Her goal at Maryvale Prep is to help students reach their full potential academically and to become compassionate and virtuous individuals. She is a mother of two children and devotes all her time to them when she is not working. Ms. Grado is from El Paso, Texas where she was taught the importance of family values and gained a strong moral foundation.
Mr. Harrison eagerly joins the Maryvale Prep team as a 5th and 6th grade teacher of Latin – his life-long hobby and passion. He believes steadfastly in the value and importance of a liberal arts education for all of our children. One that will enable them to think critically and communicate with each other by seeking out answers that make sense, grounded in reason, fairness, and deliberate thought. Frank, a native of New England, served with distinction as a naval officer and pilot in the U.S. Navy for 30 years, retiring as a Captain in 2014. Various leadership responsibilities included air wing command and several squadron commands. He is a veteran of the Gulf War, the Global War on Terrorism, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, he has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. In his free time, Frank enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as reading, hiking, swimming, and Latin.
Ines Hayouna is so excited to return to the Maryvale Prep team for her third year as a Kindergarten teacher. She is extremely excited to work as a Kindergarten in her home state of Arizona. She grew up in Phoenix and graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a double major in Music and French and a minor in Philosophy. She has just recently completed her Masters in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. Her passions include cultivating a culture of care within her classroom and educational equity for all. She enjoys hiking, reading, playing the piano, and learning new things each and every day. She joins the faculty at Maryvale Prep ready to learn and work hard to ensure that every child has a good and beautiful education.
David Hopkins is excited to be rejoining the Maryvale Prep Faculty team for his second year! He will once again be joining as the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grade Music teacher. Starting at a very young age, Mr. Hopkins was deeply involved in music, both vocal and instrumental, that eventually flourished into a passion throughout his academic career. He holds two degrees in Music, a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University, and a Master’s degree from Arizona State University. Mr. Hopkins values all aspects of music in a scholar’s education, from performance to theory, and is excited to share his knowledge and passion with the students of Maryvale Prep. At night or on the weekends, Mr. Hopkins enjoys performing on the stage in shows and musicals, as well as composing music, spending time with friends, family and his grey pitty Molly, and much more!
Mrs. Hunt eagerly joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as a kindergarten teacher apprentice. She has lived in California and Washington and moved to Arizona last year. Mrs. Hunt earned her bachelor’s degree (BSA) in Accounting as well as a Certificate in Supply Chain Management at Central Washington University, Master’s (MSA) in Accountancy at California State University Los Angeles and is currently working on her Arizona State Teacher’s Certification. She is so excited to begin her teaching career here at Maryvale Preparatory Academy! She has a passion for reading and writing as a way to experience new worlds and relay thoughts, ideas and emotions. She enjoys swimming in the ocean, writing poetry, and spending time with her husband and their animals (a cat, a dog, and a bearded dragon). She feels such gratitude to be joining the amazing staff at Maryvale Prep and looks forward to making her own contributions in the classroom and within the community.
Katie Janeczek is eager to return to Maryvale Preparatory Academy for the third year, and excited to start a new year with the newest 1st Graders! She is an Arizona native that grew up in Goodyear and is now currently living in Glendale with her husband Dawid and three children Kian, Demitria, and Keira – who is joining the Matador family in Kindergarten this year. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time and building lasting memories with her children and family, such as going to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium. She also enjoys time in with her children to be able to relax, watch movies, and interact with music, as she is a self-taught guitar and piano player. Katie’s dream of being a teacher took root when she was just twelve years old and it is a dream that is soon to be achieved as she plans to earn her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from University of Phoenix. Katie has always believed in the importance of instilling both morals and core values in children, and that it is the duty of a child’s educator
Katie Janeczek is eager to return to Maryvale Preparatory Academy for the second year, and excited to start a new year with the newest 2nd Graders! She is an Arizona native that grew up in Goodyear and is now currently living in Glendale with her husband Dawid and three children Keira, Kian, and Demitria. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time and building lasting memories with her children and family, such as going to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium. She also enjoys time in with her children to be able to relax, watch movies, and interact with music, as Katie is a self-taught guitar and piano player. Katie’s dream of being a teacher took root when she was just twelve years old and it is a dream that is soon to be achieved as she plans to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from University of Phoenix. Katie has always believed in the importance of instilling both morals and core values in children, and that it is the duty of a child’s educator to help shape them into the men and women that they will become. That is why she looks forward to the opportunity to be a role model for children and have a positive impact on their lives in the same way that her teachers did for her.
Keymia Jones eagerly joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as a 1st-grade teacher. Ms. Jones is committed to student success inside the classroom and in life. In 2013 she graduated from Grand Canyon University with her BS in Psychology; she is currently receiving her MA in Educational Leadership Administration. She grew up in Southern Illinois and moved to Arizona with her parents while in high school. Ms. Jones graduated from Alhambra High School in Phoenix, Arizona. She has worked in the education field for various districts for many years as a teacher’s assistant, a site coordinator for a before and after school care, and as a substitute teacher. In her classroom, Ms. Jones learning environment promotes moral and academic support, love, and sense of family. She was inspired by her teacher in high school to pursue teaching and implements the same welcoming atmosphere in her classroom. Her students know they are important. She tells them daily. During Ms. Jones spare time, she enjoys bowling, shopping, traveling, spending time with her family and friends and being a mother to her children Kamarion and Kearra. She is an active member at her church and serves as a treasurer and is a member of the usher board. Ms. Jones is honored to be returning to the classroom to do what she considers her passion. She looks forward to helping her 1st-grade students grow to be virtuous leaders.
Renee Kanuri is excited to join this year’s Maryvale Prep team as a fourth-grade teacher’s assistant and fourth-grade Spanish teacher. This is her third year at Maryvale Prep and first year as a Spanish teacher. She is ecstatic to come and work with all the amazing students and showcase the beauty of the Spanish language. An Arizona native, she grew up in both San Luis and Peoria, Arizona andfc23qw3a has been actively involved in helping her community with civic engagement. Ms. Kanuri received her education from Grand Canyon University where she earned a bachelor’s degree (BS) in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Medicine. During her time at Grand Canyon University, she discovered the importance of education and health care and made it her mission to showcase the beauty of learning in all areas. Working in education became a noble calling, understanding the significance a good education has had on her life, and hopes to not only enrich the lives of her students with the beautiful curriculum, but also learn and grow from them. She enjoys reading, baking, exercising, and learning about great leaders and historical events. She joins Maryvale Prep because of how its wonderful staff and community are dedicated to show students how a classical education can foster creative and curious minds for lifelong learning.
Excited to return to the Maryvale team, Shealee Kelly will be a lead teacher for the 3rd grade. Ms. Kelly completed her Bachelor of Arts in Communication at Grand Canyon University in April of 2020 and during her last year of college she was an intern at Maryvale and transitioned to a Teaching Assistant for the 2nd semester. Hailing from Thousand Oaks, California, Ms. Kelly has come to love the Phoenix area and has made it home. Shealee enjoys time with family, friends, and dog Jack. You can often find her on walks or bike rides, crocheting or doing puzzles. Also, at home in the kitchen, where she likes cooking and baking. Shealee feels honored to be returning this year and continuing to work alongside Maryvale’s outstanding staff and serving the students who are the heart of Maryvale Prep.
Kendra Kullby is thrilled to join the Maryvale team again this year as a 3rd grade teacher. Her background is in outdoor education, adventure education, and human development. She received her bachelor’s degree in adventure education at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. The philosophies in her degree and background work well together with the philosophies of Great Hearts as they both focus on teaching the whole child. Throughout college, she worked as a teacher for kayaking, backpacking, rock climbing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. After college, she pursued her passion for teaching and worked in special education classes and general education classes. She is now currently part of a program called Teach for America and is earning her master’s degree in elementary education at ASU. She is excited to become part of a career that works to grow and influence the hearts and minds of our future generations. Ms. Kullby enjoys going kayaking, hiking with her dog, singing, and baking. She is excited to join a strong, united team at Maryvale to take part in the work that she is passionate about.
Mr. Levy is looking forward to his fifth year at Maryvale Prep! He is from a small town outside of New York City called Rockaway Beach. He has Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Adelphi University. He has taught tennis for 15 years and coached varsity boys’ tennis at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He has also coached middle school soccer and football. In his fifth year at Maryvale Prep, Mr. Levy looks forward to offer students skills and experiences to help them succeed and have fun in PE now and in life after school regardless of the sport or activity. During his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, golf, exploring the outdoors and doing DIY projects. Also, Mr. Levy is also the Facilities Manager. He will be fixing and building things around campus for everyone to use and enjoy.
Giselle Limas-Herschell is entering her second year at Maryvale Prep and will be continuing in her role as the School Counselor. Mrs. Limas-Herschell is a native of Mexico City allowing her to be both bi-cultural as well as bi-lingual. Mrs. Limas-Herschell has been practicing family and child therapy for approximately twelve years. Her areas of therapeutic expertise include Play Therapy as well as building healthy relationships within families. Mrs. Limas-Herschell has truly enjoyed building relationships over the past year with our Maryvale Prep families and students as well as staff. She is looking forward to growing these relationships as well as building new relationships with existing students as well as our new students who will be attending Maryvale Prep this coming school year. Mrs. Limas-Herschell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Arizona as well as a Masters of Social Work from Arizona State University. Mrs. Limas-Herschell is passionate about creating a safe, accepting environment not only in her counseling office but on the campus as a whole. When Mrs. Limas-Herschell is not at school she enjoys practicing yoga, reading educational books as well as having fun with her husband and two step sons.
Shannon Long eagerly rejoins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as the lead teacher for homeroom 2C. She originally comes from Missouri, where she earned her bachelor’s degree (BA) in History with a minor in Sociology at Maryville University of St. Louis. Following graduation, Ms. Long spent fulfilling time as a legal assistant, before focusing on her passion for childcare. She has seen first-hand the impact of quality education, specifically as it relates to younger children in her own family. Ms. Long has been a very involved figure in the development of her nephew and nieces, who inspired her to teach. She was often a multi-sport athlete in school and continued her lacrosse career into college. She enjoys exercise, live music, camping, and most of all reading. She is most drawn to the Maryvale Prep mission as it is designed to cater to the souls and hearts of children, not their minds alone. She is excited to bring her energy to her students, and create a safe, welcome environment for young scholars.
Kathie Lopez is delighted to return to Maryvale Prep as an Exceptional Student Services Coordinator for grades 4-6. This is her fourth year as a part of the Matador community and is honored to continue to cultivate the minds and hearts of students with exceptional needs. She is a graduate of Arizona State University’s ITeach program with a dual degree in Elementary and Special Education, and this is her 21styear in education serving students from grades K-12. She has seen the transformation a classical liberal arts education has made with her own children and is honored to be a part of this growing community. She enjoys all sports, the fine arts, traveling, reading, and writing. She is a lifelong learner and is grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the families of Maryvale Preparatory Academy.
Ms. Martinez eagerly joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as an Assistant Teacher. As her father was in the military, she grew up in numerous cities and states, namely Oklahoma City, OK, Las Vegas, NV and Litchfield Park, AZ and has worked in various fields. Ms. Martinez is currently obtaining her bachelor’s degree (BSED) in Secondary Education at Arizona State University. She is passionate about education and is excited to share her love of learning with her students. Her hobbies include reading and exercise. She joins the faculty at Maryvale Prep and the amazing community of Great Hearts after seeing firsthand how students thrive within it.
Morgan McKinney is excited to return to the team at Maryvale Prep this year as a 4th grade lead teacher. Last year she taught 6th grade Math and Science at Maryvale Prep. She is originally from Santa Cruz, California but graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She is now finishing up her master’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. Ms. McKinney is looking forward to an awesome year with the 4th grade students and vows to make this year as engaging and educational as possible. In her free time, she enjoys exercise, painting, spending time with family, and playing with her dog. She eager to get to know and teach the students and families within the 4th grade community.
Irma Mendoza is thrilled to begin her third year as part of the Maryvale Prep family in her role as Kindergarten Teacher Apprentice. She looks forward to cultivating deeper roots from the seeds of community and fellowship planted in her first two years. While in high school, Miss Mendoza volunteered in a four-year old preschool classroom, and found her calling. She knew she wanted to continue working with children in some form. She grew up in Maryvale. As an adult she moved to Surprise, Arizona where she began her professional career as a Child Care Aide in a state licensed before and after school facility; eventually moving onto roles of site director and mentoring four other sites for thirteen years. Miss Mendoza decided to return to Maryvale as part of the Maryvale Prep team as a testament to the teachers who had a part in instilling and supporting the passion for education and learning that she discovered in her early childhood. She looks forward to putting forth her experience and talents towards guiding her own students on their paths to becoming life -long learners. She enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephew, reading, crafting and documentaries.
Miss Rachel Mercado is a native of Phoenix, Arizona. She has over 15 years experience teaching in private schools in the greater Los Angeles area. Miss Mercado will be teaching middle school math and brings years of math and science teaching experience into the classroom at Maryvale Prep. Miss Mercado has a Masters of Educational Leadership from Liberty University and plans on pursuing a doctorate in the near future. She is excited to share her knowledge and love of math with her students. In her spare time, Miss Mercado enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and traveling abroad.
Daniel Monsalve Ruiz looks forward to returning to Maryvale Prep Academy this year as the 10th grade Economics teacher which is in addition to teaching Advanced Spanish classes for 10th, and 11th grade. This will be Mr. Monsalve’s third year in Arizona, where he has fallen in love with the beauty of the State and the slower pace of life, as he will describe as joyful and evocative. Mr. Monsalve was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colegio de Estudios Superiores en Administración with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He also earned a degree in Design from Lasalle College International. Mr. Monsalve later spent three years in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he graduated from Universidad de Palermo with an Associate of Arts Degree in Fashion Production.
Before becoming a teacher, Mr. Monsalve worked in marketing and finance in Bogotá and New York City for different fashion brands such as Carolina Herrera and Hermès. Mr. Monsalve believes that discipline, pursuit of beauty, and motivation, are the framework for educational success. Like Maryvale Preparatory Academy, his goal is to promote a positive spirit and values onto his students. Outside of school, his hobbies include; watching plays and Broadway musicals, exercising, playing kickball, dancing to Latin music, and exploring new places with his puppy, Isabella Sparkle.
Ms. Moreno is delighted to be part of Maryvale Prep this year as a 2nd grade teacher apprentice. She already feels reassured that Maryvale Prep will feel like home. At an early age she realized the importance of the educational system for children. She has volunteered in various ways in her community and neighborhood. She is currently finishing her Child Development Associate at Glendale Community College and looks forward to continuing her education at Northern Arizona University. She is inspired by incredible educators who believed in her and she wants to instill that same passion to not only her students but those around her. Her hobbies include reading, movies, traveling, enhancing music theory with her brother, and enjoying family time. In the midst of this year’s chaos, she joins Maryvale Prep staff to guide students in a direction of purpose and dignity because the students are the future.
Katie Mraz returns to the Maryvale Prep team this year as the tenth grade Humane Letters teacher. This is her second year here at Maryvale Prep, and she can’t wait for the school year to get started. She was born and raised in the Glendale public school system, but received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Humanities at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. After having the pleasure of participating in seminars on great books twice a week throughout her four years in APU’s Honors College, she cannot wait to discuss more great works with her students. As a first-generation student, she firmly believes in the benefits a liberal education provides and is excited to share that belief with her students and coworkers. She also believes in the power of a well written book, especially when paired with some tea.
Mr. Myers loves the team at Maryvale Prep and offers up his gifts with joy to teach scholars how to love and enjoy the beauty of the classical languages. He received his Bachelor’s degree in science with a concentration in geology and a minor in military science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2007. He received his Master’s degree in divinity from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia that included instruction in Greek and Hebrew in 2010. After completing 8 years of service to the Army as a Logistics Officer that brought his family to places across the Southeast of the United States, he taught Latin through Classical Conversations. Today, he is in his second year with Maryvale Prep and continues to further growing in his Greek and Latin skill-sets through working through Athenaze, Lingua Latina, and Koine Greek and Latin Patristic texts with Classical Language Communities in the Valley. Chris is married to his lovely wife, Misty, and they have four children: Trinity (16), Houston (14), Elissa (13), and Anastasia (11).
Nicole is very elated to be joining the team at Maryvale Prep this year as the K-2 art teacher. She grew up in Arizona where she attended Arizona State University and graduated with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education with an endorsement in Structured English Immersion. She has worked as teacher in various grade levels ranging from preschool to first grade, to teaching English in an orphanage in South Africa She also works at an art studio part time teaching adults and children the different techniques and mediums of art. Nicole is very experienced in her art repertoire from taking art classes from childhood all the way through college. She is honored to provide Maryvale Prep students with various art techniques, mediums, and passion for creativity. Nicole believes art is just as important for a child’s education as any other academic class. Art is where the children are able to express themselves and become confident in their creativity. Apart from her enthusiasm for art and working with children, Nicole is an avid reader, enjoys spin classes hiking, drawing, and spending quality time with family and friends. She is looking forward to a wonderful year!
Miss Pridgen is excited to move into her new role as a Kindergarten Teacher Apprentice, after serving as an office assistant last year. Miss Pridgen is an Arizona native; she is currently studying at Grand Canyon University and is working to become a kindergarten teacher. She enjoys spending her time reading, painting, watching movies and spending time with friends and family.
Mrs. Melinda Pridgen is grateful to return to the Maryvale Prep family as the Office Assistant for the third school year. She has over 20 years of School Administration Experience and is excited to share what she has learned with our community. Mrs. Pridgen looks forward to serving our Staff, Scholars and Families with the attention and warmth they have come to expect. In her spare time Mrs. Pridgen enjoys spending time with her family, cheering on her children on from the sidelines of the many sports they participate in, crafting and serving at her church.
Coach Proano will lead our Physical Education students for the 9th straight year! Coach Proano was Maryvale Prep’s founding PE teacher in July of 2012. This will be his 13th year teaching since he received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona Christian University. Coach Proano also spent the last five years creating the football program for our Middle School & High School teams; reaching two championship games. He previously taught sports for five years at The Little Gym and has enthusiastically used that experience in building a Physical Education department at Maryvale Prep that centers on character, healthy habits, sportsmanship, fitness, and sports skills/strategies.
Morrise Queirolo is excited to be returning for his second year at Maryvale Prep teaching 7th and 8th grade history. Mr. Queirolo earned his bachelor’s degree in Government and Finance from the College of William and Mary, the second oldest University in the nation. He is also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University. His undergrad experience engendered a love for history and the liberal arts tradition. He hopes to bring his passion for education, inquiry, and civic responsibility into the classroom. In his free time Mr. Queirolo likes to stay physical, read, spend time with family, and cultivate meaningful relationships.
Viridiana Ramirez is very excited to be returning as the School Registrar for the 2020-21 school year at Maryvale Preparatory Academy. Her children have been Maryvale Prep scholars since 2014 and now she joins them each day on campus. Prior to Maryvale Prep, Ms. Ramirez worked several years in office management. Ms. Ramirez began 2017 mid-year as a teacher apprentice for Ms. DeVries before moving into this role and she fell in love with our families and the work we do here. She then knew this was just the right fit for her and her family. Some people search all their lives for what makes their lives complete for what makes their lives full and happy and this is it for her. Growing with her kids and being so close to them, not missing their important moments in life is what counts most for her. This year, she will be working closely with Mrs. Welintukonis to provide excellent service to our parents and students.
Emerson Daniel Lopez Romero is very happy to be back at Maryvale Prep this year as the new Spanish teacher for 9th, 10th and 11th grade (II) (III). This is his 1st year of officially being the Spanish teacher and will also be his 3rd year running the soccer program for high school soccer. He previously worked for the Alhambra district at Montebello Elementary and that is where he started to realize he loves working on the education field. Mr. Romero was born in Bogota, Colombia located in South America, he came to the United States when he was just 10 years old. He then graduated from Central High School and went straight into college to pursue his education and at the same time he played 4 years of College soccer at GWCC, USW and GCU. Mr. Romero loves to play soccer as well as travel and find water falls throughout the beautiful state of Arizona. Mr. Romero has an Associate Degree in general studies and another degree as a certified bilingual translator in medical terminology and he just recently acquired his bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies at Grand Canyon University. One of Mr. Romero’s goal is to become trilingual, he already knows Spanish and English and would love to speak French one day. This Year Mr. Romero is looking forward to working with students and making them succeed at all cost with a great attitude and making Maryvale Preparatory the best school to attend.
Karime Salas is eager to return to the Archway team at Maryvale Prep as a first-grade teacher apprentice. She was born and raised in Mexico up until she was in elementary school and moved to Phoenix as she started middle school. She attended Grand Canyon University and graduated in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree (BS) in Psychology and a minor in counseling. During her years at Grand Canyon University, she volunteered in several schools as an after-school tutor and through those hours of working with children in the classroom, she discovered her love in working in the field of education. Her passion in the classroom is to find ways to support students and give them the best opportunities to grow and succeed. She most enjoys reading and hopes to foster the love of literature in students at Maryvale Prep.
Dadream joins the team at Maryvale Prep this year as a math and science teacher apprentice in the 5th grade. He was born and raised here in Phoenix and has countless hours doing community service for F.I.R.S.T Robotics, an organization designed to get more children interested in the STEM field. Dadream graduated from Central High School, however, he spent most of his high school life at Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, a smaller magnet school with a different approach to education then other traditional public schools. Seeing the effect that a proper education has on a child; he is excited to be able make the impact that a student would need in their life. Dadream joins the faculty because he sees the value in teaching children about the truth, the beautiful, and the good.
Mrs. Christina Scofield is delighted to be joining the Maryvale Preparatory family this year to teach 2nd grade for the first time. She grew up in Detroit, MI and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of Dallas. Her mother, Lynette, was a 2nd grade teacher for almost 20 twenty years and she feels both honored and blessed to be able to follow in her footsteps and draw on her wisdom as she embarks on this exciting new vocation. After graduating from college, Mrs. Scofield spent two years working mostly with English-language learners as a teaching assistant at an American school in Madrid, Spain and one year working in various substitute teaching positions in the Metro Detroit area. Mrs. Scofield was ecstatic to see the reading levels and enthusiasm of the ELL students she worked one-on-one with increase steadily throughout the year. She hopes to instill not only a greater proficiency but also a passion for reading in all her future students. She believes education is one of the greatest ways to change the world, after parenting, and takes seriously the roles and duties a teacher has in a child’s life. She looks forward to getting to know all her students as well as the Maryvale Preparatory community and Great Hearts community at large. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, reading poetry, and traveling with her husband, Sebastian.
Mrs. Segneri is excited to be returning for another year of kindergarten! This will be her 3rd year teaching at Maryvale Prep. Mrs. Segneri grew up in Orange County, California, but moved out to Arizona to attend college. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications at Grand Canyon University. One of her greatest passions includes empowering her students to become strong leaders and great thinkers. She enjoys reading, hiking, and zooming with friends and family! Mrs. Segneri is thrilled to be part of the Maryvale Prep family and is excited for this upcoming school year.
Victoria Servin is excited to be returning this year to be teaching Spanish in Kindergarten through 2nd grade. She is originally from the border, El Paso, Texas, a bilingual and bicultural city Growing up in a city where everyone was fluent in English in Spanish Victoria decided to study something that would help others who are not bilingual. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with a minor in Translation from the University of Texas at El Paso. After finishing her studies, she pursued a career in interpreting and translating. While working with pediatric patients as an interpreter was where she discovered her passion for working with children. This later took her to work and live in Tokyo, Japan as an English teacher giving her an amazing teaching and life experience that has set a foundation for her love for teaching culture and language in her classroom. Victoria then moved to Arizona and has continued working as an elementary school teacher and now a returning Spanish teacher at Maryvale Prep. Outside of school Victoria loves to travel (she has been to 12 countries and counting), trying new foods, watching films, art, reading, dancing, and yoga.
Ms. Zoё Shaw is excited to join the Maryvale Prep team for a third school year. She will be returning as the Exceptional Student Services coordinator for 8th-11th grade students with special needs. She has traveled from Wisconsin where she attended Carthage College to obtain her B.A. in Great Ideas. The Great Ideas department studied closely history’s greatest books and discussed the largest questions humankind faces, much like the Humane Letters course at Great Hearts. Ms. Shaw is also going back to school to receive a certification in Mild to Moderate Disabilities. A born and raised Wisconsinite, Ms. Shaw enjoys fine cheese, outdoor activities, live music, and poetry. She also loves spending time with her pets, family, and friends.
Ms. Sidoti is excited to serve a 6th year at Maryvale Prep, and her second as the Math Instructional Coach and Interventionist. From 2015-2019, Ms. Sidoti taught 5th grade at Maryvale Prep, having had the opportunity to pilot the current 5th/6th grade program. Last year, Ms. Sidoti began her role serving teachers and students in 3rd-8th grade with the objective of using data-driven strategies to increase students’ mastery of grade-level math standards. Before coming to MVP, Ms. Sidoti graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University and began her career in education as a Teach For America corps member. She has remained committed to the mission of educational equity ever since, having served for the last three summers as a coach to new teachers in the corps, helping them develop the skills necessary to be strong educational leaders. Outside of school, Ms. Sidoti loves to cook, travel, go to the theater, and spend time with her friends and family.
Patty Slider is happy to return as our Director of Operations; working with Prep & Archway faculty on daily campus operations and logistics. Employing a wide range of work experiences including education, insurance and church management, Patty brings thoughtful, detailed processes and programing to our Academy. Her association with Great Hearts Academies began in 2002 when her two children enrolled in our first academy, Veritas. “Our family saw firsthand the beauty of the classical liberal arts education combined with the strong support from both the administration & teachers – we think Great Hearts is truly unique!” Besides traveling with her husband Tim, Patty loves thrifting with friends, reading Jane Austin & watching Guardians of the Galaxy while cleaning.
Joshua Smith joins the Maryvale Prep team this year as the 10th grade Algebra II teacher, 11th grade Physics I teacher, and middle school cross country coach. Deeply committed, he is ecstatic to have the privilege and pleasure of sharing his love for these subjects, and to explore the ways they reveal beauty, goodness, and truth alongside his students. An Arizona native, Mr. Smith was born and raised in Gilbert. He holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering as well as a minor in Physics from Arizona State University, where he is also currently pursuing a Master’s in Secondary Education. Mr. Smith enjoys making music, playing Ultimate Frisbee, backpacking, and constantly learning new things.
Alexia Acuña is eager and excited to return to Maryvale prep as a TA for her second year! For the past four years, she has worked as a preschool teacher for two and three year old’s and is currently a bible school teacher on Sundays. Ms. Acuña volunteers every summer to care for and mentor students of all grades at youth camps. She is an Arizona native who grew up in Phoenix and Peoria. Her passions include reading, cooking, spending time with family, and teaching children. Teaching has always been her passion and she is excited to create a positive environment that will allow students to flourish this upcoming school year.
Mr. Suarez is thrilled to join Maryvale Prep as a teacher assistant in 2B! He serves as a preschool teacher on Sunday mornings and as a coach for middle school and high school sports at Maryvale Prep. Mr. Suarez is an Arizona native and is currently attending ASU to earn his degree in psychology. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, spending time with family and exploring new places with his wife. As he rejoins the team at Maryvale Prep, he cannot wait to share beauty and truth to students everyday through his teachings
Melissa Vaughn is excited to return to the Maryvale Prep team this year to teach 7th Grade Lit/Comp, as well as 8th and 11th Grade Drama. This is her 14th year of teaching. Ms. Vaughn earned her bachelor’s degree in Merchandising and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona and began a Master’s in Education at the University of Phoenix. Her goal for each day with her students is to inspire them to be the best version of themselves through daily growth. Her passions include reading, swimming, and spending time with her son. Ms. Vaughn joins the faculty at Maryvale Prep in the pursuit of the good and the beautiful with the amazing team and community here.
Thomas Walters will join the team at Maryvale Prep this 2020-2021 school year as the 6th grade American History and Literature & Composition teacher. This year will be Mr. Walters’ second year teaching. Mr. Walters absolutely adores Phoenix and the Maryvale community, the surrounding mountains and hiking trails, and the summer heat. Mr. Walters was born and raised in Michigan where he graduated high school, fell in love with teaching, spent three years of undergraduate school pursuing a History and Education double major, before finishing his undergraduate work in History at Keene State College in New Hampshire. As a son of a single mother and a first-generation college student, Mr. Walters personally understands the immense significance of education. Mr. Walters’ life work is to dismantle the cycle of poverty and to ensure that one day all children have access to a rigorous and transformative education. Mr. Walters cannot wait to work alongside the exceptional staff at Maryvale Prep, continue to connect with the surrounding Maryvale community, and help every student at Maryvale discover their brilliance.
Julie Wolfrum gladly joins the Maryvale Prep family this year as a first-grade teacher. She grew up in Peoria and has worked in various fields such as health care, hospitality, and now education. Her hobbies include hiking, exercise, watching movies, and attending musical concerts. Ms. Wolfrum earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology Emphasis in Physician Assistant. She understands the importance of a quality education and is honored to work in the classroom to expand the minds of the future generation. The outstanding staff and community are what engaged her interest to accept this opportunity.
Anaïs Wolpert is thrilled to return for a fifth year at Maryvale Prep to continue teaching and learning from such curious and virtuous scholars. This year she will teach 7th & 11th grade Studio Art as well as French I for the first time at Maryvale Prep. As a young student, Ms. Wolpert had the fortune of attending a charter school in the Valley which valued art highly. Through this love of the fine arts and their history she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Arizona State University. Ms. Wolpert’s maternal side of the family is from Dijon, France, where she has spent countless summers with family visiting museums, cathedrals, and culturally/historically significant sites. She is excited to share her love of both fine arts and the French language/culture with her students this year.
Heidi excitedly joins the team at Maryvale Prep as a lead teacher for Kindergarten. She was raised in Tucson and has also lived in San Diego before ultimately moving to Phoenix to be close to her family. With a certification in Medical Assistance and a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences with a focus in Healthy Lifestyle Coaching, Heidi has experience working with young adults in the Health Sciences field. She is currently finishing her last semester at Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!) to receive her Master’s in Elementary Education. On her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and playing with her two rescue pups. Growing up with a liberal arts education, Heidi is eager to share and inspire the joy of learning with her Kindergarten students through creativity and higher-level thinking. She is delighted to join Maryvale Prep and expand on all educational opportunities with the astounding surrounding community and staff that Great Hearts possesses.