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. 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. Deborah Immordino earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts with a Teacher’s Certification from the University of the Incarnate Word. She has had the wonderful opportunity to teach K-12 Fine Arts for several years, as well as high school Theatre Arts. It is the Kindergarten grade level that she really enjoys and it is where she has spent the majority of her teaching experience. During her leisure time, she loves cooking, writing and illustrating children’s stories, and listening to live music with her husband.
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!
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 a new addition to the Leading Edge Academy Maricopa campus.
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.
Ms. Natalie Uhriniak is originally from New York. After graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh she received her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a Concentration in History. She has been teaching for Leading Edge since 2008. She enjoys traveling, swimming, fishing, skiing, and spending time with her family.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mrs. Patricia Lilly has her Bachelor’s of Science in English literature, Master’s degree in Elementary Education and her Reading Specialist Endorsement. She started teaching for Leading Edge Academy Maricopa in 2017 and brings over 14 years of experience teaching grades K-8th. She loves making learning fun!
Ms. Kimberly Guice has been in education since 1991. She has taught grades K-8. A native of Wichita, Kansas, she has a degree in Elementary Education from Wichita State University and a Master’s Degree from Friends University.
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.
Mr. Jason Dye was born in Cooperstown, NY, in 1978. His father is a dairy farmer and his mother works at a veterinarian clinic. He played football, basketball, baseball, ran track, and was a drummer in the band before he graduated from New Berlin Central High School in 1996. He attended the University of North Carolina-Asheville where he graduated with a degree in History in 2002. He began his career coaching football, basketball, and softball in northeastern North Carolina, and completed his student teaching at Elizabeth City State University while coaching at Pasquotank County High School. He began teaching Social Studies in the middle school at Leading Edge Academy Maricopa in 2012.
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.
Ms. Karen Vaughan received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Mississippi. She has been teaching Kindergarten for many wonderful years. She has enjoyed teaching the students at Leading Edge Academy Maricopa since 2008.