Dear Leading Edge Families,
I am thrilled to be the principal of our Gilbert campus serving K-12 grades. Our wonderful staff at Leading Edge Academy provides our students a full school experience with many rigorous, learning opportunities.
We are committed to helping your child flourish as a learner, preparing them for college, career and their future.
As the principal, I am dedicated to helping your child throughout their school experience. I have a passion for learning and believe we are all life-long learners. I look forward to getting to know our families and students this year. I am always available to meet with parents and families as a partner in your child’s education.
I look forward to a great school year!
Heidi Simms, Principal
Mrs. Simms joins the Leading Edge Team with more than 17 years of experience in Education. She has a Bachelors degree in education from Arizona State University and Masters degrees from Saint Xavier University and the University of Phoenix in Teaching, Leadership and Administration. Over the course of her education career she has served as principal, mentor teacher leader, and elementary teacher.
Mrs. Simms brings all her experience to Leading Edge to help us continue to build the reputation we have for strong academics, athletics, performing arts, and extra curricular activities.
Mrs. Dallas Jandreau graduated from A.S.U with a B.A. in the Multilingual Multicultural program in Elementary Education. She has taught kindergarten at Monte Vista Elementary in the Creighton School District, was a substitute teacher in all grades K-7 in the Creighton school district, and taught pre-k at Totspot Preschool . She was hired at Leading Edge in December 2015 Mrs. Jandreau loves the culture here at Leading Edge Academy and looks forward to helping your child become the best learner they can be, while building character within. While not at school, Mrs. Jandreau loves spending time with her husband and twin boys. She also enjoys polynesian dancing and camping with her family.
Ms. Geraldine Torrellas went to high school at Desert Vista. After graduating from DVHS, she went on to attend college at South Mountain CC. After completing her Associate’s Degree at SMCC, she went to the University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley. She graduated from UTRGV in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree. She started playing golf when she was a sophomore in high school and played on the team for DVHS, SMCC, and UTRGV. After graduating from UTRGV, she was a kindergarten paraprofessional at LEA – Gilbert. Now she is a kindergarten teacher at LEA – Gilbert.
Anna Sawyer graduated from CSU Fresno with a BA in education and attended Chapman University as a graduate completing her studies in education. She taught two years in California and took some time off to raise her two daughters. She began teaching again in 2016 in Yuma AZ and then moved to South Carolina in 2018 where she continued to teach. Recently her husband has retired from the the military and they now live in Gilbert where she is excited to be a part of the Leading Edge family.
Mrs. Accurso is originally from New Jersey, where she graduated from Rowan University. After she moved to Arizona in 2017, she taught 3rd grade for a few years and is now currently teaching (and loving!) 1st grade. In her free time, Mrs. Accurso enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and traveling.
Ms. Diane Krueger has taught 2nd Grade at Leading Edge Academy since the fall of 2011. She absolutely loves 2nd Graders and has spent almost all of her 21 years of teaching at this grade. She earned her BS in Education from Baylor University, holds her Arizona Department of Education Certificate for teaching at the elementary K-8 level, and is Arizona Highly Qualified at the K-3 level. She and her wonderful husband, Steve, have been married for thirty years. In her time away from the classroom, Diane enjoys learning more about education, reading, knitting, and finding treasures at local estate and garage sales.
Mrs. Amanda Steib has been teaching at Leading Edge Academy since 2012. She has been teaching since 2006 and absolutely loves third graders. She received my B.A. degree from Northern Arizona University. As a native Arizonan it was very hard learning to live with the snow while she was at college! When not at school she keeps very busy spending time with her 4 dogs, cat, two daughters, and husband!
Mrs. Lora Cannegieter is a 4th grade teacher at Leading Edge Academy Gilbert Elementary. She has been teaching since 2010. She has taught 1st, 4th, and 2nd grades. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Kennesaw State University in 2007. She went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Education from Walden University in 2016. When not teaching, Mrs. Cannegieter likes to spend time with her family, travel, and read.
Mrs. Connie Tinkham loves teaching and stretching children so that they reach their highest potential. She enjoys teaching project-based lessons and literature studies. She has over 16 years of teaching experience, hold an Arizona teaching certificate, and is Spalding certified. Connie has been teaching at Leading Edge Academy since 2012. She is married with children. She was formerly a missionary in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Her heroes are Jesus Christ, Corrie Tenboom, and Deitrich Bonhoeffer. Her hobbies include reading, DIY projects, and frugal shopping. Her favorite movie is Lord of the Rings and favorite TV show is Stargate SG1…but she loves any SciFi!
Ms. Cynthia Pierce joined the Leading Edge family in 2012 after teaching for 11 years in the private sector. She has a BSBA and AZ teaching certification and has taught K-8th grades (with the exception of second). While Cynthia is not busy teaching she enjoys traveling with her family, reading, gardening, and being involved in volunteer opportunities.
Mrs. Barbara Durant taught in Mesa Public Schools for 24 years. After being retired for one year, she took the opportunity to teach for Leading Edge Academy. Mrs. Durant has a Bachelors Degree in Special Education from ASU and a Masters Degree in Counseling from NAU. Mrs. Durant has been married for over 36 years and has three daughters and 4 grandchildren. In her spare time, Mrs. Durant enjoys spending time with family, her pets, hiking and traveling.
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.
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.
Charity started teaching at Leading Edge in 2014. She is very thankful and honored to work at such an amazing school! She loves the small school atmosphere, the focus on character building, and the community among the teachers. Charity has two high school students at GEC. She attended bible college in Dallas, Texas. Charity grew up in the military and her traveling experiences have given her a love for other cultures and places. Her number one bucket list item is to see New York City and return to Europe.
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.