Maricopa

Maricopa
Grades K-8

Online Grades 6-12

Call: 520.568.7800  Or Visit:
18700 N Porter Rd | Maricopa, AZ 85138

Now Enrolling All Grades

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Note from the Principal:

Dear Parents,

 

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!

 

Sincerely,

Mat Reese
Principal

Meet the Principal: Mat Reese

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.

Teachers & Staff:

AllOffice StaffTeachers
Assistant Principal

Amy Sundeen

Assistant Principal

Sherreis Moreland

Receptionist

Cristina Bandin

Receptionist

Petrita Gonzalez

Kori Cyrus
Administrative Assistant

Kori Cyrus

Business Specialist

Kristi Marcus

Business Specialist

Maricarmen Rodriguez

Special Education Teacher

Margaret Bush

Special Education Teacher

Karen Deadrick

Bernard Shaver
Special Education

Bernard Shaver

K-5th ELD Teacher

Stella Calles

Kindergarten Teacher

Jessie Rockstraw

Kindergarten Teacher

Floshene Sanders

Kindergarten Grade Teacher

Sarah Burger

1st Grade Teacher

Fabiola Estrada

1st Grade Teacher

Kaitlyn Cortez

1st Grade Teacher

Roberta Cianciosi

1st Grade Teacher

Nathan Rockstraw

2nd Grade Teacher

Micayla Winkler

2nd Grade Teacher

Sangeeta Tanuvasa

3rd Grade Teacher

Melissa Leslie

3rd Grade Teacher

Gabriella Villaescusa

3rd Grade Teacher

Mary Jean Hepner

3rd Grade Teacher

Elizabeth Fuiava

Terra Gallagher
4th Grade Teacher

Terra Gallagher

4th Grade Teacher

Don Vaughan

4th Grade Teacher

Charna Menker

4th Grade Teacher

Christina Agee

5th Grade Teacher

Madisson Anderson

5th Grade Teacher

Jordan Foltz

5th Grade Teacher

Lianna Torcellini

5th Grade Teacher

Troy Riester

6th Grade ELA

Caleb Cortez

6th Grade Science

Craig Smith

6th Grade SS

Samantha Briscoe

6th Grade Math

Blayne Booth

7th-8th Grade Math

Reggie Overton

Lester McKenzie
7th-8th Grade Science/Math

Lester McKenzie

7th-8th Grade ELA/SS

Janice Childs

7th-8th Grade Science

Cody Torres

7th-8th Grade SS

Tamara Washington

7th-8th Grade ELA

Laura Zindler

Art Teacher

Jessica Fox

Music Teacher

Ashlee Dollar

Band Teacher

Lindsay Hammer

PE Teacher

Daniel Mayo

PE Teacher

Joel Rodriguez

Assistant Principal

Amy Sundeen

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.

Assistant Principal

Sherreis Moreland

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.

Receptionist

Cristina Bandin

Receptionist

Petrita Gonzalez

Administrative Assistant

Kori Cyrus

Business Specialist

Kristi Marcus

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.

Business Specialist

Maricarmen Rodriguez

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.

Special Education Teacher

Margaret Bush

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.

Special Education Teacher

Karen Deadrick

Special Education

Bernard Shaver

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

K-5th ELD Teacher

Stella Calles

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.

Kindergarten Teacher

Jessie Rockstraw

Mrs. Jessie Rockstraw is originally from Orange County, California and has lived in Arizona since August of 2016. She attended Azusa Pacific University and has her BA in Psychology with an emphasis in Child Life. Jessie enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, and enjoys sports, crime documentaries, and french fries. This is Jessie’s first year teaching Kindergarten and is so excited to be on the Leading Edge team!

Kindergarten Teacher

Floshene Sanders

My name is Floshene Sanders and I am current a Kindergarten teacher in Maricopa with more than 53 years of experience in education. I have a true passion for education and teaching. Helping each child progress in all areas of their development social, academic, and motor skills is a challenge that I accept each day with a smile because I am creating learners that nurtures growth in a positive, fun environment.

Kindergarten Grade Teacher

Sarah Burger

Ms. Sarah Burger recently moved to Maricopa from Northern Minnesota. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is enjoying her first year at Leading Edge Academy. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family, baking and weightlifting.

1st Grade Teacher

Fabiola Estrada

Ms. Fabiola Estrada holds a Bachelor’s degree in design. She has experience as a paraprofessional for five years working in preschool, kindergarten, and special education. She is now a highly qualified elementary teacher. Her personal interests include reading, photography, art, and history. Her mission is to be the best version of herself. She is excited to be an addition to the Leading Edge Academy Maricopa campus.

1st Grade Teacher

Kaitlyn Cortez

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.

1st Grade Teacher

Roberta Cianciosi

1st Grade Teacher

Nathan Rockstraw

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!

2nd Grade Teacher

Micayla Winkler

2nd Grade Teacher

Sangeeta Tanuvasa

3rd Grade Teacher

Melissa Leslie

3rd Grade Teacher

Gabriella Villaescusa

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.

3rd Grade Teacher

Mary Jean Hepner

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.

3rd Grade Teacher

Elizabeth Fuiava

Mrs. Fuiava has been a teacher for over 18 years. She currently holds a Bachelors in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii. She anticipates graduating with her Masters of Science in Special Education through the online Western Governors University program in 2019. She has taught K-6th grades for the American Samoa Department of Education from 1997 to 2012. In 2012, she moved with her family to Renton, WA and worked as an educator. While in Washington, she earned her teacher residency certification. In 2018, Mrs. Fuiava moved to Arizona to serve its community alongside her husband in a newly established ministry. Mrs. Fuiava loves spending quality time with her husband and family.

4th Grade Teacher

Terra Gallagher

Mrs. Gallagher has a masters in education from Grand Canyon University. She has been in education for 15 years and has been a classroom teacher for five years. She has extra training in the science of reading and dyslexia. She came to Maricopa in 2010 with her family. Her husband is a teacher as well. Between them, they have nine children, four grand-children, and a German shepherd named Shadow. She loves spending time with family, doing puzzles, watching her children play sports, reading, and traveling.

4th Grade Teacher

Don Vaughan

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.

4th Grade Teacher

Charna Menker

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.

4th Grade Teacher

Christina Agee

Mrs. Agee has moved to Arizona from Germany in May of 2022. She is German and has lived there for most of her life. She has four children and four grandchildren. Mrs. Agee graduated from Arizona State University with her Masters in Social Work in 2017. She has taught English as a Second Language for five years and German language/ and cultural classes to US Army Soldiers and their families for five years.

5th Grade Teacher

Madisson Anderson

5th Grade Teacher

Jordan Foltz

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.

5th Grade Teacher

Lianna Torcellini

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.

5th Grade Teacher

Troy Riester

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.

6th Grade ELA

Caleb Cortez

6th Grade Science

Craig Smith

6th Grade SS

Samantha Briscoe

6th Grade Math

Blayne Booth

7th-8th Grade Math

Reggie Overton

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.

7th-8th Grade Science/Math

Lester McKenzie

Lester is a U.S Navy veteran and a graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He has two years experience in education and 15 years experience in behavioral health. Lester is originally from Little Rock, AR, but has called Maricopa, AZ home for the past 5 years.

7th-8th Grade ELA/SS

Janice Childs

7th-8th Grade Science

Cody Torres

7th-8th Grade SS

Tamara Washington

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.

7th-8th Grade ELA

Laura Zindler

Art Teacher

Jessica Fox

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.”

Music Teacher

Ashlee Dollar

Ms. Dollar was born and raised in Miami, FL. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Southern Adventist University and her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Andrews University. She has experience teaching: in the private and public sector, in religious and public institutions, domestically and internationally, and has taught students ranging from the very young to college students to the young at heart and has taught in various capacities since 2007. She also has over 10 years of experience worship leading and coordinating for collegiate chapels, various churches as well as religious conferences. Her instruments include: voice, piano, guitar, ukulele and clarinet. Aside from teaching, she enjoys playing/composing/writing music, performing, all things choir, ministry and baking. However, her greatest joy in life is being a mom to her two beautiful children.

Band Teacher

Lindsay Hammer

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.

PE Teacher

Daniel Mayo

PE Teacher

Joel Rodriguez

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