Mrs.Williams has been in education since 2003. She has taught almost every grade level Pre-K to 12th grade in some capacity. Mrs.Williamns has a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from NAU, a Master’s in Educational Administration from GCU and an Arizona Principal Certificate. Mrs. Williams loves learning and growing alongside her staff and students at LEAO!
Greetings Leading Edge parents and students,
I welcome you to the Leading Edge family and community. As the Principal of Leading Edge Academy Online, 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 Online 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 Resource Centers throughout the valley for students to work from. Each Resource Center has a teacher there to help students as needed and to provide motivation for students to stay on track in their classes. Students are also able to work from home 24 hours a day.
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 elementary, 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.
Sarah D. Williams, M.Ed
Andrea has a medical background with over ten years as a medical assistant. She is a mom of two Leading Edge Academy students and she loves her job at LEAO.
Keli Palmer came to Leading Edge Academy after working for the State of Arizona for over 30 years. The majority of her time was spent working in higher education. Her background includes education administration, academic advising, and financial aid. After leaving state service, Keli was looking for a new adventure and found that at Leading Edge East Mesa! She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and house full of dogs.
Brenda has been married to her husband, Kevin for 28 years. They have 2 sons together. Brenda joined the Leading Edge Academy at GEC this past year as the administrative assistant to the principal and recently moved to the business specialist role.
Areece Pollard was born and raised in Pasadena, California. Areece moved to Arizona in 2005. She has four children all boys, an angel baby and 3 Goddaughters. Areece bakes cupcakes for Kynnidy’s Krem-re, where she is the proud owner. In her spare time she enjoys watching movies with her children and reading devotionals. Areece, received her B.A. in Child Development and a minor in Child Care Administration at Cal State University Northridge, M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Northcentral University. She has over 14 years of teaching experience as an early early childhood professional in preschool to high school.
Vanessa graduated from Higley High School in 2007. She attended East Valley Institute of Technology for Early Childhood Education in 2008 and has spent time as a classroom aide for 4th and 5th grade. She is proud to be a part of the Leading Edge Online Academy team
Ms. Laura Gulbranson is a native Arizonan who has just joined the Leading Edge Academy family. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She specializes in English as a Second Language for 6th through 12th grade but has found her home in sharing her love for literature and writing with her junior high and high school students. When not teaching, you can find Ms. Gulbranson dreaming to travel again or reading until the wee hours of weekend mornings with a cup of hot chocolate or tea. She is currently working on her first novel and is overjoyed to be your child’s English teacher!
Kim has a BS and MA from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and she in her 13th year of teaching. In her spare time she loves to drink coffee, run, and hang out with her family.
Ms. Barth is an experienced teacher. She has taught Math, business, and Spanish classes since 2002 at all levels in traditional and online settings. Ms. Barth was born in Managua, Nicaragua but was raised in Miami, Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She earned her master’s degree in Business from the University of Upper Iowa. Ms. Barth is the mother of three grown sons and grandmother to two young girls. She enjoys reading, travelling, playing board games, and spending time with her family in her spare time.
Mr. Mylott graduated from Bradley University in 1995 with a BS in Biology. Mr. Mylott is a forensic scientist specializing in trace chemical analysis. He has managed a food and environmental laboratory and directed the special pathogens unit for the Arizona Department of Health laboratory. He is a father to five amazing children and he been blessed to teach middle school and high school Science for the past 13 years. He is highly qualified in Middle Grades Mathematic, HS Biology, HS Chemistry, and HS Physics. Mr. Mylott also conducts the Leading Edge Academy Jamaica Field Expedition annually giving students the opportunity to learn in a living marine laboratory while giving back to the local communities.
Mrs. Jennifer Martin started at Leading Edge Academy Online in 2018. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Arizona State University. Before coming to Leading Edge Academy Online, Mrs. Martin spent time working in education research and blended learning environments. Since 2016 she has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the foster care system. She believes that life’s greatest blessings come from service to others and enjoys igniting this passion in her students.
Ms. Janell York graduated from Daemen College in Buffalo, NY with Bachelors of Fine Arts in Drawing and Illustration. Janell has taught Elementary Art at Leading Edge Academy since 2012 and currently teaches on our East Mesa and Online campuses. She has also taught PE, Music and lead Art and Photography Club. Janell has 2 daughters and enjoys thrift shopping, antiquing and traveling with her family!
Mrs. Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of the Program series. Originally from New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not in that order. Suzanne is the author of The Program series, Girls with Sharp Sticks series, Poet Anderson series, A Need so Beautiful series, All in Pieces, Just like Fate, and Hotel for the Lost. She has taught creative writing and language arts courses for over ten years.
Mr. Lee was born in North Carolina, but moved to Arizona when he graduated high school! He is married and has three wonderful (most of the time) kids. He spent the last ten years as a youth pastor at various churches around the East Valley! He took his passion for students and decided to channel that into becoming a teacher. He loves the AZ Cardinals almost as much as his family. When he isn’t teaching or watching football you can find him playing video games or golfing. He loves being part of the LEAO team and looks forward to partnering with you to best help your student be successful in the online environment!
Mrs. Maria Mendoza grew up in Southwest Florida but moved to Arizona with her family right before the start of college. Ms. Phillips graduated with a B.A degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, both from Arizona State University. She started teaching first grade at Leading Edge Academy East Mesa in 2009. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her lab/husky mix named Hurley. She also enjoys hiking, reading, going to the gym, cooking, and spending time with her friends and family.
My name is Jackquel Carter, and I am proud to be a Leading Edge Academy MV Lion. I am married to an amazing man and we have three beautiful children. Outside of teaching, I love family time, exercising, reading, photography and adventures. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, but I have lived in a few states due to being a Military dependent. I received my Masters in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. I started out as a substitute teacher, then moved on to be a paraprofessional for Special Education while I pursued my Masters.
I truly have a passion for teaching, and though I’ve always had a love for this field, that love deepened after having my son. My son was born with a rare syndrome and his story is an extraordinary one. Helping him progress and overcome his more challenging obstacles is such a rewarding experience and really encouraged me to pursue a career in this field. I love to help other learners with similar needs and challenges. Helping students progress in every aspect of their development is important to me and a challenge I am honored to accept.