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Gilbert Early College
Grades 7-12

Call: 480.545.8011  Or Visit:
717 W. Ray Road | Gilbert, AZ 85233

Now Enrolling All Grades

A Note from the Principal

Greetings!

 

I welcome you to the Leading Edge family and community. As the K-8 Principal for Leading Edge Academy Gilbert, I am responsible for ensuring that our students receive the best possible education in a safe, positive environment. I am not only committed to helping our students be successful in their academics, but to instill the positive character values that they will carry through life.

 

The Leading Edge Academy Gilbert staff is here to make the school years of your student(s) as successful and educationally challenging as possible. We embrace the opportunity to make a lasting impact on their lives and look forward to celebrating their successes!

 

We offer many different programs and activities – from STEM programs to sports to fine arts to unique after school clubs. There’s something for every student!

 

As part of the Leading Edge family, please feel free to share concerns, questions, and successes with our staff. We are here to help ensure that our students have a successful school experience and that our families feel supported and part of the educational process.

 

Where you send your student to school is your personal choice, and we are so glad that you are considering our amazing school! Thank you for your time and I look forward to your student’s success.

 

Sincerely,

Mindi Johnson, M.Ed.
Principal

Teacher & Staff Bios

AllOffice StaffTeachers
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Principal

Blue Anderson

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Academic Advisor

Michelle Smith

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Administrative Assistant

Krista Robinson

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Receptionist

Brittany Tomkins

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Business Specialist

Laura Reinhardt

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Business Specialist

Dawn Romero

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History - Athletic Director

Nikki Foster

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Language Arts

Tanya Owen

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Language Arts

Amy Ivy

Subodh Bhandari
Math

Subodh Bhandari

Anthony Simpson
Gov't - Econ - World History

Anthony Simpson

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Math

Donna Pond

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Science

Amreen Fazal

Michelle Pack
Science Teacher

Michelle Pack

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Spanish Teacher

Asher Laufenburger

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Art & Yearbook Advisor

Katie Bradley

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PE Teacher

Katy Gillespie

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Performing Arts

Madison Brassow

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Band Director

Joan Conner

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Technology Teacher

Ron Kennedy

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Special Education

Tracie Kruszeski

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Social Worker

Lilly Schleicher

Principal

Blue Anderson

Academic Advisor

Michelle Smith

Mrs. Smith is Canadian by birth. As long as she can remember she has had a love for math and number manipulation. She completed a Bachelor of Science at Indiana Wesleyan University and a Bachelor of Education at University of New Brunswick. Since marrying and moving to the USA she has taught high school math in North Carolina and Arizona. Outside of school she likes to read, repurpose bargain finds and travel.

Administrative Assistant

Krista Robinson

Krista is married with a daughter who attends LEAO. She graduated with an arts degree in Fashion Merchandising, but has been working with charter schools for the past seven years. In her free time she enjoys going to the movie theater, shopping, and hiking!

Receptionist

Brittany Tomkins

Business Specialist

Laura Reinhardt

Business Specialist

Dawn Romero

History - Athletic Director

Nikki Foster

Mrs. Nikki Austin Foster has taught at Leading Edge Academy since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Arizona State University. She has taught elementary, middle school and high school. She enjoys reading, traveling and playing softball. She is the head coach of the Lady Spartans varsity softball team and also has coached the junior high boys basketball team. She enjoys the opportunity to teach your children and share her passion of history and the world with them!

Language Arts

Tanya Owen

Mrs. Tanya Owen has been a teacher at GEC since 2019 but has worked as a long-term sub and paraeducator since 2014. Tanya received her Bachelor’s degree in 2010 from Ashford University, now an extension of University of Arizona, Tucson where she was proud to be awarded Summa cum laude. After years in the behavioral health field, she decided to make the change to teaching, as it has been a passion of hers since 3rd grade. Mrs. Owen became highly qualified in the summer of 2019 and is proud to be a Spartan!

Language Arts

Amy Ivy

Mrs. Ivy grew up in Virginia, and she moved to Arizona in 2017. She attended Virginia Wesleyan College (now Virginia Wesleyan University). She has worked in the education field (Sylvan Learning Center, substitute teaching, and teaching) for over nine years. She has been with Leading Edge Academy since the fall of 2019.

Math

Subodh Bhandari

Gov't - Econ - World History

Anthony Simpson

Math

Donna Pond

Mrs. Donna Pond is a graduate of Liberty University. Her degree is in Mathematics Education. She has been in education for 26 years. She has taught in Virginia, Japan, and Arizona. Her most recent experience was at Hamilton for the last 11 years. She also enjoyed a 6 week long term substitute position in Hawaii. She is married to a wonderful man and has two sons and one daughter, one very hyper dog, and a very shy guinea pig. Her hobbies are reading and music and enjoys playing different kinds of instruments.

Science

Amreen Fazal

Science Teacher

Michelle Pack

Spanish Teacher

Asher Laufenburger

Ms. L graduated from the University of Arizona with a double major in Communication and Spanish. She studied abroad for a semester in Chile and worked at a Montessori school teaching preschool aged children English. Ms. L has always wanted to be a high school Spanish teacher but had started working for a mortgage company while in school and stayed with real estate for a period of time before finally deciding to follow her dreams of teaching! Her favorite part about teaching is seeing people excited about communicating with others and bridging gaps between groups with language barriers.

Art & Yearbook Advisor

Katie Bradley

Mrs. Katie Bradley received her BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Wichita State University, majoring in English with a minor in Speech Communication. In 2011, Katie received her Master of Arts in Communication. From 2005-2009, Katie was a starter for the Div. 1, Wichita State Shockers’ Volleyball Team and went on to play for Arizona’s professional volleyball team, The Arizona Sizzle from 2013-2014. Katie coaches the Spartan’s Varsity volleyball team, winning the 2013, D2 State Championship and received the “Coach of the Year” award. With both parents as art teachers, it came natural to love and teach art to others.

PE Teacher

Katy Gillespie

Ms. Gillespie started teaching PE at Leading Edge Academy in 2020. She received her Bachelors of Science in Sports Science in 2015 and her Masters of Science in Kinesiology in 2019. She played college soccer at Mesa Community College and Briar Cliff University. Currently she is coaching soccer at the GEC campus. In her spare time she is often playing, coaching, or watching soccer.

Performing Arts

Madison Brassow

Band Director

Joan Conner

Technology Teacher

Ron Kennedy

Special Education

Tracie Kruszeski

Mrs. Tracie Kruszeski and her husband relocated to Arizona from the Albany, NY area in September 2015. She graduated from the College of Saint Rose in Albany in May 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education. Tracie taught in a 3rd-5th grade 15:1:1 classroom in Gloversville, NY at the beginning of her career. She later moved on to teach a 9th-12th grade 12:1:1 classroom in Stillwater, NY. Tracie took a break from the classroom and did in home teaching for special needs infants, toddlers and preschoolers through Head Start in Saratoga Springs, NY. She is excited to be teaching at Leading Edge Academy as well as being back in the classroom again.

Social Worker

Lilly Schleicher

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