Greetings Leading Edge parents and students,
I welcome you to the Leading Edge family and community. As the High School Principal for Leading Edge Academy, I am responsible for ensuring that our students receive the best possible education. I am not only committed to helping our students earn their high school diploma, but also preparing them for college and a career.
The Leading Edge Academy 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 travel 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 junior high and high school experience and that our families feel supported and part of the educational process.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your student’s success.
Mindi Johnson, M.Ed.
Originally from Northern California, Mrs. Mindi Johnson moved to the Gilbert area and began working for Leading Edge Academy in 2010. She has worked in various capacities at Leading Edge Academy, including teaching second grade, sixth grade and junior high. In 2016, Mrs. Johnson was appointed as principal of Leading Edge Academy’s Online High School program, developing personalized academic success plans and expanding the reach of the program throughout the Greater Phoenix area and beyond. With her appointment to Leading Edge Academy Gilbert Early College, Mrs. Johnson will oversee both high school programs, bringing her experience in the field of blended learning to the traditional classroom. Currently, Mrs. Johnson is in the final stages of earning her Doctor of Education at Grand Canyon University. Outside of her time at Leading Edge Academy, Mrs. Johnson loves to watch baseball, read and cook…and drink coffee!
Ms. Mary Smith is currently teaching middle level science for GEC. She has a masters in middle level curriculum development with a concentration on science. Mary’s teaching career has contained a variety of experiences. She started teaching in January 1994 in a 4th 5th grade combination classroom, taught science methods as an adjunct for University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Algebra for ACU, and 20 years as a middle school teacher for three separate districts; Cedar Rapids IA Public School District, Dodgeville WI Public School District and GEC.
Originally from Northern Nevada, Mrs. Shasta Schrempp moved to the East Valley in 2005, shortly after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2011, she earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Arizona State University. She has spent a majority of her teaching career within the Charter Community and loves sharing her passion for literature and writing with her students. Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Schrempp loves spending time with her husband and their three children exploring the great outdoors on their camping and worldly adventures. She adores her family time, reading, writing, teaching, the season of Autumn, and of course, coffee!!!
Ms. Mosher was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. She has lived in Arizona for 13 years and loves the warm sunny weather! This is her 9th year as a teacher and she loves building the confidence of her students abilities in mathematics. In her free time she enjoys taking naps, watching movies, traveling to Kenya, hiking, playing sand volleyball, going to the gym, and volunteering at her church.
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, high school and has settled into teaching junior high. 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 enjoy the opportunity to teach your children and share her passion of history and the world with them!
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.
Mr Dallas Lee Peebles has a bachelors degree in Physical Education and Mathematics from Northern Arizona University. He has spent the last 25 years in the Mesa Public School teaching math and as the Department Chair at Red Mountain HS and taught at Superior High School before that. He has been involved in coaching throughout his teaching career and is very pleased to now be at GEC and a part of the Leading Edge family.
Mr. Tristram Vaughan started teaching at GEC in 2017. He worked in a Juvenile Detention Facility at school & residential facilities for 5 years. He graduated from Albright College in 2015 w/a Bachelors of Science in Organizational Psychology. Mr. Vaughan is a football and wrestling coach. He is married to his wife, Ann-Marie, and is the father of Bruce & Thomas. He is a proud Army veteran.
Mrs. Allison Baugues graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in English Literature from Arizona State University. She completed a teacher training program through Rio Salado College in 2013. Mrs. Baugues is back for her 5th year of teaching with Leading Edge – Gilbert Early College after taking a couple years to be home with her two children. When not teaching, Mrs. Baugues enjoys reading, crocheting, and traveling with her family. Her favorite part of teaching is encouraging and challenging each of her students.
Mrs. Taylor Actkins thought she was paving the road to epidemiology. The road instead led to pedagogy. Taylor received her Masters of Public Health from Grand Canyon University. She has always had a genuine love of science. She began teaching at Leading Edge Academy in 2018 and teaches HS Biology, Chemistry, and Pre-med, as well as JH Forensics.
Ms. Adrianne Moskal is from Pickerington, Ohio and attended THE Ohio State University. Before thankfully deciding on English Education, Ms. Moskal dabbled in sociology, social work, and pre-med. She moved to Arizona by choice due to the year-round blue skies and palm trees. As most of her students know, her cat, Foster, is the love of her life. Her favorite part of teaching Language Arts is the eye-opening discussions she has with students and hearing their various points of view. She also truly enjoys seeing the light bulb shine when a student finally “gets it.”
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.
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.
Mrs. Rosa Jevahirjian is currently teaching Spanish 1 and 2, grades 9-12. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with her degrees in Spanish and Secondary Education. She currently holds a California and Arizona state teaching certificate. She has been teaching Spanish since 2007. Outside of School she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.
Ms. Laura Lindstrom has her BA in Vocal Performance and Speech Drama, from North Park University in Chicago, Ill. She holds a Provisional Career and Technical Education and Training Certificate. Ms.Lindstrom is a member of the NAfMe and the AMEA. She has been teaching for Leading Edge since 2004. Ms. Lindstrom currently attends Red Mountain Christian Center where she has been the Choir Director for over 20 years.
Mr. Ryan Bradley graduated from Newman University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Mr. Bradley comes to Leading Edge Academy Gilbert Early College with 6 years of experience working in higher education in student support. Mr. Bradley completed a masters degree in Business Administration from Grand Canyon University in March 2018. Mr. Bradley is passionate about supporting and assisting students discover future careers they will enjoy. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. In addition he enjoys learning new things and spending time outdoors.
Leslie Day is originally from Colombia. Though she is a world traveler and adventure seeker, she calls Pennsylvania her second home. Along with being an East Coast transfer and loving the beauty of Arizona, explorer and food enthusiast, she is currently furthering her education at Grand Canyon University while enjoying the simple and best things in life. In her “spare” time she likes all things fitness, is a waterfall chaser, and an art fanatic. Leslie loves spending time with family and friends while getting a little closer to God each day. Her favorite quote is, “My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.” -J. Brotherton
Mrs. Jennifer Garcia has been the Business Specialist for the Gilbert campus since 2012. She comes to Leading Edge from the Town of Gilbert where she worked in Personnel and Risk Management. Jennifer’s husband also works at the Gilbert campus and all 3 of her boys attend Leading Edge Academy.
Mr. Adam Goldson received his BA in Music Education from Dowling College in New York. Prior to that he studied Classical and Jazz Performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. While there he studied Tuba with Gregory Fritze, Principal Tubist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Mr. Goldson has worked as a District-wide Instrumental Music Teacher and Band Director for Grades 4-8, in addition to being the High School Marching Band Director in the Attleboro Public Schools in Massachusetts. He has taught Band in the Scottsdale Unified School District and Madison School District in Phoenix.
Mr. Womack is split between the LEA East Mesa and Gilbert Campuses. At East Mesa, Mr. Womack teaches general music for grades K-8 and teaches song & dance, rhythm, singing, music theory, percussion, and ukulele. At the Gilbert-Early-College campus, Mr. Womack teaches electric & acoustic guitar, audio, video, lighting and oversees the school’s productions.