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Principal’s Note: Sarah Williams

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.

Online Academy
Grades K-12

Call: 480.257.5362  Or Email:
online@leadingedgeacademy.com

Now Enrolling All Grades

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.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah D. Williams, M.Ed
Principal

Teacher & Staff Bios

AllOffice StaffTeachers
Krista Tate
Principal

Krista Tate

Student Photo
Business Specialist

Amy Verkest

Student Photo
Business Specialist

Dawn Romero

Taylor Hinshaw
Administrative Assistant

Taylor Hinshaw

Mariam Barth
Middle School Math / Foreign Language

Mariam Barth

Melinda Erspamer
Social Worker

Melinda Erspamer

Kurt Fauske
US / World History Teacher

Kurt Fauske

Student Photo
English Language Arts Teacher

Laura Gulbrandson

Student Photo
Gov't / Economics / Social Studies

Charmayne Bodkin

Josiah Lee
3rd-5th Math / Science Teacher

Josiah Lee

Russell Ludwig
Art Teacher

Russell Ludwig

Student Photo
Elem English Language Arts

Maria Mendoza

Student Photo
High School Science

Chris Mylott

Janna Newman
Elem Science / Social Studies

Janna Newman

Abagale Pikul
High School Math Teacher

Abagale Pikul

Elizabeth Nylin
Classroom Facilitator

Elizabeth Nylin

Kianna Figueroa
Classroom Facilitator

Kianna Figueroa

Marti DePue
Special Education Teacher

Marti DePue

Principal

Krista Tate

Business Specialist

Amy Verkest

Amy was born and raised in Oregon. She graduated from Oregon State University with a Master’s Degree in Teaching Physical Education. She taught PE for 18 years before moving to Arizona in 2017. Amy has been happily married for 19 years and has three children, all who attend Leading Edge Academy. Amy began her time at Leading Edge Academy over the summer and is very grateful for the opportunity to work in the Mountain View Campus as a Business Specialist.

Business Specialist

Dawn Romero

Administrative Assistant

Taylor Hinshaw

Middle School Math / Foreign Language

Mariam Barth

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.

Social Worker

Melinda Erspamer

Mrs. Melinda Erspamer proudly serves as Student Support for Leading Edge Academy, a role pivotal in guiding students through their social and emotional journeys. Drawing from her rich background in social work and advocacy, Melinda possesses a keen understanding of students’ needs, approaching them holistically to ensure their well-being.

In 2022, Melinda, along with her husband and daughter, embraced a new chapter by relocating from Colorado Springs to Arizona. The move has been a refreshing change, and the family is thrilled to immerse themselves in the vibrant Arizona community. Melinda brings to Leading Edge Academy not only her passion but also her academic prowess, holding a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Her diverse experience spans various advocacy roles, working closely with youth and families in schools, social services, and community outreach. This work with young individuals and their families fuels her passion, reinforcing her dedication to the students she serves.

US / World History Teacher

Kurt Fauske

English Language Arts Teacher

Laura Gulbrandson

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!

Gov't / Economics / Social Studies

Charmayne Bodkin

Charmayne is about to embark on her 7th year in education after completing the Career Switcher Program through Shenandoah University. It has been one of the best decisions she has ever made and has allowed her to pursue the career of her dreams. After college, Charmayne began a career in retail management followed by a stint in banking. She stayed home for a few years to raise her children. Her youngest child was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and due to this had to learn all she could about education to be the best advocate she could be for him. This was a blessing in disguise that led to her future career and passion, teaching. Charmayne believes that all children can learn and must be given every opportunity possible to be successful.

3rd-5th Math / Science Teacher

Josiah Lee

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!

Art Teacher

Russell Ludwig

Elem English Language Arts

Maria Mendoza

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.

High School Science

Chris Mylott

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.

Elem Science / Social Studies

Janna Newman

High School Math Teacher

Abagale Pikul

Classroom Facilitator

Elizabeth Nylin

Classroom Facilitator

Kianna Figueroa

Special Education Teacher

Marti DePue

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