Welcome to the start of another academic school year. I am honored to serve you as principal of Leading Edge Academy at Maricopa. We are a public charter school which means we are privately owned and publicly funded. Leading Edge has an excellent elementary curriculum taught by a talented elementary teaching staff.
We are a character counts school and live by the Six Pillars of Character - Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
As your principal, I want you to know I’m committed to your child’s success and will do everything in my power to help each student develop an enthusiasm for learning, a respect for self and others, and the skills to become successful in any and all endeavors.
I have an open door policy and welcome parents to come and visit with me at any time. Please don’t hesitate to come in and say hello!
Mathew Reese is the Principal of Leading Edge Academy Maricopa. He has been a Teacher, Coach, Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, and Principal over the past 40 years. He has turned several schools around using the best in technology, curriculum, intervention, and best practices. He expects teachers and students to perform at high levels and visits the classrooms daily. Through his experience and high expectations he has developed highly achieving schools.
Ms. Sherreis Moreland has been in the field of education since 2001. She has a Master’s in Education Administration and a Bachelor’s in Family Resources and Human Development. Ms. Moreland has five years teaching experience and moved to administration in 2007. Ms. Moreland is passionate about all children having access to high quality education programs.
Mrs. Amy Sundeen began her educational career in 2007. After several years of teaching special education, and then supporting special education teachers as a coordinator, she pursued her Master’s Degree in Education Leadership which she obtained from Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Sundeen was excited to join the Leading Edge Academy team who shared her vision and commitment to providing every student the opportunity to be successful as well as helping them establish a love for learning.
Mrs. Rodriguez is a mother of two and has been married for 10 years. She moved to Maricopa in 2016 and loves it. She has her AA in Medical Specialty and has worked in medical offices doing front desk & medical billing before joining our team.
Mrs. Kristi Marcus has a wonderful husband named Kevin and a beautiful little girl named Khloe. She and her family moved to Arizona near the end of 2015 from Northern California. She worked in California as a Preschool Teacher and Director for 19 1/2 years. During that time, she found that she loves the Administrative side of Education. Kristi has an AA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Child Development.
Mrs. Bush has been working in Education since 2013. She received her Bachelor’s in Elementary and Special Education in 2016 from Grand Canyon University and her Master’s degree as a Reading Specialist in 2019 from Grand Canyon University. She is currently working as the Special education teacher at the Maricopa campus for grades K-3rd.
Bernard Shavers is a special education teacher at the Leading Edge Maricopa campus. He currently provides services for middle grades, 6th through 8th. He has been in the education field for 9 years
Ms. Stella Calles has been teaching for over twenty years both at charter schools and public schools. She is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Multicultural Emphasis. She is also a Bilingual/ESL endorsed teacher. She enjoys working with the students and their families and always encourage parents to come and visit the classroom.
Miss Trump was born and raised in Orange County, California. In 2015, after graduating high school she went on to study Education in Florida at Pensacola Christian College. She graduated in May, 2019 with her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. In July 2019, she moved to Arizona to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. Miss Trump spent her first year in kindergarten and now teaches in first grade. When she is not at school Miss Trump enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.
Mr. Rockstraw has a Master’s degree in education and has been teaching 1st grade at the Maricopa campus for almost two years. He loves football and basketball!
Ms. Gabriela Villaescusa is from Douglas, a small border town in SE Arizona. She attended the University of Arizona and is a proud Wildcat! This is her second year of teaching, but she has been with Leading Edge Academy since 2014. She has 2 daughters and a 13 yr. old Chihuahua. Her favorite pastime is reading.
Mary Jean holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Business Management with Entrepreneurship. She has been with Leading Edge Academy Maricopa for 3 years. The first 2 years, she was a Para-Professional supporting the 4th grade and the 2021-2022 year is her first year as a 4th Grade Teacher.
Mrs. Charna Menker has a BA in History from Arizona State University. She has experience as a one-on-one aid, paraprofessional, substitute teacher, and now as a fourth grade teacher. This is her second year teaching full time at Leading Edge and her ninth year with a child at Leading Edge.
Mr. Vaughan graduated from Arizona State University. Go Sun Devils! He is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys hiking, mountain biking, running, golfing and furniture making. His favorite subjects are history and science.
Lianna Torcellini is from San Diego, California where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development. The four major developmental areas of the program focus on the intellectual, social, emotional, and biological development of children. Mrs. Torcellini understands that children are unique because of their experiences and personality, and genuinely cares about her students’ overall well being atop of their educational growth.
Mr. Troy Riester come to Leading Edge Academy with over 20 years of child development experience in the aquatics profession. As a coach Mr. Riester developed many athletes to regional, national, and global recognition. Many of the programs that Mr. Riester stepped into were turned into top programs in the country. He accomplished this by implementing new theories, practices, and research. Troy’s degree in Information technology is a key component of his approach to teaching.
Mr. Foltz is enjoying his second year as a teacher at LEAM. A 2010 graduate of Liberty University he has taught in a classroom setting for a little over 4 years, the rest of the time being spent experientially teaching on challenge courses on the East Coast. In his free time Mr. Foltz enjoys hiking, biking, paddle boarding and most importantly any sport that involves a disc.
Mrs. Tamara Washington began working at Leading Edge in 2017. She’s originally from Detroit, MI and relocated to Arizona with her family in 2007. She has taught in ministry for approximately 18 years. She received her Associates Degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Phoenix and continued on to earn a BS in Business Administration from Capella University. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree at Grand Canyon University. Although she enjoys teaching, she absolutely loves learning. She strongly believes that life is only 10% of what happens to you, the other 90% is how you react to it.
Mr. Reggie Overton has previously tutored for Kumon Learning, Sure Prep, and Achievement Learning. He completed his student teaching and interning through ASU. He is excited to be on board this year with Leading Edge Academy at the Maricopa campus.
Ms. Jessica Fox grew up in upstate New York (Rochester) and moved to Arizona in 2011. Having studied many instruments and being a member in several bands for years, she started college in a music education program. However, in her 3rd year she felt she needed to switch to art as she had been naturally an artist her whole life. She ended up choosing art history and loves it. She went on to earn a Masters in Art History from Syracuse University in 2010 and later attended the Rio Salado Teacher Education program in Phoenix. Her goal is to inspire kids to try new things with art and be exposed to topics through art history references. “The more we learn to really SEE, to QUESTION, to THINK and to TRY, the better.”
Ms. Lindsey Hammer has a always known she wanted to teach music. She received her bachelors from Liberty University and her masters from Anderson University, both in music education. She taught general music and beginner band at Easton Elementary school for 6 years before moving to Arizona. In her free time, she likes outdoor activities, playing sports, and hanging out with her husband, Jordan, and their three furry babies.
Mrs. Shannon Trezos has been at Leading Edge Academy since 2010 and says she absolutely loves this school! She has taught both kindergarten and first grade. Her goal is to challenge students and set positive expectations, ensuring every child will succeed. She holds a BS in Communications from Northern Arizona University and a BA from Rio Salado College in Early Childhood Education. She most enjoys being with her family and two big dogs. She also enjoys working out, swimming and cooking!