Acorn Main Staff:

Mrs. Cynthia Johnson, Founder & Director

Jennifer Rice, HR Department

Jennifer Rice, Human Resource

Sally Hernandez, School Finance

Sally Hernandez, School Finance

Cathy Blair, Office Assistant

Cathy Blair, Office Assistant

Educational Leadership Team

Amber Herres, Vice Principal – Main Campus

Amber Herres, M.A., QMHP, Certified School Counselor, Highly Qualified Teacher 

Hello all, I am the School Counselor and Vice Principal of the elementary school at Acorn Montessori Charter School. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and photography from the University of Hawaii, and my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on child development from Pacific University in Oregon. I am currently almost complete with my Doctorate degree in School Psychology. I have a passion for helping students and families in the community, and feel that the foundation of academic success is social and emotional wellbeing. I am looking forward to another great year here at Acorn!

Kendal Healey, Vice Principal – West Campus

My name is Kendal Healey and this will be my sixteenth school year with Acorn Montessori School! I am a certified teacher and graduate of Northern Arizona University. I hold a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Elementary, and Special Education, along with an Early Childhood, SEI, and Reading Endorsement. Working with children is my life’s ambition.   It is my belief that early childhood education is the key to a successful, long-term academic career. I plan to take advantage of this and ensure that each child has a joyful learning experience this year that will set the foundation for life-long learning. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and teenage son. We are sports enthusiasts so when we are not outdoors playing, we are watching. Go Cubbies!

Kristin Holliday, Lead Teacher

Kristin Holliday, Vice Principal – Middle School

Kristin Holliday has been working at Acorn since 2007. In 2015 she became the vice principal of middle school. She has a Bachelors of Science degree from NAU. She is highly qualified in K-8 elementary education and has her middle school math certificate.

Acorn Main Teachers:

2nd Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M3

Sandy Tuite, Lead Teacher

My name is Sandy Tuite and I am a certified teacher from N.H. I received my degree from Plymouth State University and retired after teaching 30 wonderful years in N.H. I am so excited to continue my passion for teaching young children and watching accomplishments they make here in Arizona . My adventure has brought me to second grade here at Acorn Montessori. I am looking forward to a positive, fun filled year teaching your child.

 

Melina Lee

2nd 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M4

Susan Paille, Lead Teacher

My name is Susan Paille and I have been a primary teacher for over 15 years. I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education, and I received a Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership from the University of Phoenix. I believe that teaching in a way that fosters creativity and individualized learning through small group instruction, hands-on activities, and inquiry based learning is important in the development of children. It is my belief that by creating a positive classroom environment, children will become successful lifelong learners.

Lindy Friedrich

 Lindy Friedrich has been at Acorn since 2013. She has over 100 hours of continuous education towards early childhood. She is striving to achieve her Bachelors degree.

Steven Hernandez

 

3rd Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M2

Dawn Schamling, Lead Teacher

I’m excited to be a new member of the Acorn teaching staff. I graduated from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 2004 with a degree in Social Work, and I obtained my teaching credential from California State University of Northridge in 2011. Besides encouraging my students to grow in all areas of academics, it is important to me to prepare my students for 21st-century skills including collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, and effective communication. When I’m not engulfed in all things teaching related, I love to hike with my two dogs and go flea-marketing!

Alana Stickney

Karrissa Kee

 

 

3rd/4th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M1

Jennifer Beckwith, Lead Teacher

Jennifer Beckwith, Lead Teacher

 

 

 

 

Shawn Fernandez

Karrissa Kee

 

 

 

 

4th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M8

Shannon Weilenmann, Lead Teacher

Shannon Weilenmann, Lead Teacher

Shannon Weilenmann has been teaching at Acorn since 2011. She graduated with honors from NAU with her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. She also has her SEI endorsement and holds a valid teaching certificate in Arizona.

Lesa Louthian

Lesa Louthian has been at Acorn since 2015. She has over 90 hours of continuous education towards a Secondary Education degree. She is striving to achieve her Bachelors degree.

Gretchen Whittaker

 

 

 

5th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M6

Paul Montz, Lead Teacher

Paul Montz, Lead Teacher

 

 

 

Shannon Benton

Jennie Zegan

6th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M10

Karisa Reed, Lead Teacher

 

 

 

Brian Backus

 

6th/7th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M7

Shauna McKay, Lead Teacher

I am the brave, lucky teacher that loves to teach 7th and 8th grade science and 7th grade reading, among other things. This will be my 5th year at Acorn teaching middle school. I also started the science club that has become the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics) club for the upper grades that gets bigger and better with each year. I am a highly qualified science teacher and highly certified Arizona teacher. I earned my associates of arts in education from Yavapai Community College, and then earned my Bachelors of Science in Education from NAU.

Rebecca Naiman

 

7th/8th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room Mighty Oaks

Kristin Holliday, Lead Teacher

Kristin Holliday has been working at Acorn since 2007. In 2015 she became the vice principal of middle school. She has a Bachelors of Science degree from NAU. She is highly qualified in K-8 elementary education and has her middle school math certificate. 

Matt Rice

Matt Rice

 

 

Kati Young

 

I am Ms. Kati Young, a paraprofessional in Mrs. Holliday’s 7th/8th grade classes. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Education in May of 2017, and received my teaching certificate in the state of Arizona that same month. I am passionate about education, and am excited to begin my career at Acorn in the 2017-2018 school year.

LC 8:00am – 3:00pm MODA

Cheryl DeTemple, Special Education Coordinator

Sara Hodges, West Sped Teacher

Hi! I’m Sara Hodges and this will be my fourth year at Acorn Montessori Charter School. I received my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education at Grand Canyon University and my Masters Degree in Special Education at Concordia University. I have over twenty years of teaching experience from preschool through ninth grade. In our spare time my husband and I enjoy going on vacations with any of our eight grandchildren or just spending time with them. You will also hear me talk incessantly about my dogs, Max and Baxter. I enjoy watching DIY shows and just recently redecorated my home.

 

Ashley Lacy, Sped Teacher

Megan Stegner

 

 

 

Interventions

Annette Davies-House

Wellness Center

Amber Herres, School Counselor

Amber Herres, School Counselor

Edward Garcia

Shay Bosick

 

Nutrition Program

Keith Johnson, Food Service Director

Keith Johnson, Food Service Director

Vicenta Ferrari, Main Kitchen Assistant

Chuck Watson

 

 

Transportation Program

Tony Dexter

Music Program

Walter Parks

Walter Parks

Sports Program

Keith Johnson, Athletic Director

Matt Rice

Jim Archer

Lesa Louthian

Zac Rice