Acorn Main Staff:


Cynthia Johnson, Founder & Director

Dawn Grantham, Compliance Officer

Jennifer Rice, Human Resource

Sally Hernandez, School Finance

Cathy Blair, Office Manager

Educational Leadership Team:


Amber Herres, Main Campus Principal

Amber Herres, M.A., QMHP, Certified School Counselor, Highly Qualified Teacher.  Hello all, I am the School Counselor and 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, West Campus Principal/Site Director

My name is Kendal Healey and this will be my seventeenth 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’re watching. Go Cubbies!

Kristin Holliday, Main Campus Vice Principal

Mrs. Holliday has been with Acorn for eleven years and has taught the 8th, 7th, 3rd, and 2nd grades, and is the Vice Principal.  Mrs. Holliday graduated from NAU with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.  She is a highly qualified teacher by the state of Arizona.  She will be teaching Math to the 7th and 8th graders this year.

Acorn Main Teachers:

3rd Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M1:

Hannah Everhart, Lead Teacher

My name is Hannah Everhart. I graduated from Chapman University in 2011 with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies and Teacher Preparation. I’m currently working toward my Masters of  Education in Elementary Education through Liberty University. This is my first year teaching at Acorn Montessori School but my 6th year teaching overall. When I’m not in the classroom, I take on the role of mom to my son Jack. I also enjoy listening to music, reading, snowboarding, sewing, and spending time with my family. I’m super excited to be apart of the Acorn family and look forward to the year ahead!


Hi, I’m Ms. Amanda. I’ve worked at Acorn for the past 6 years. I have taught from pre-k to fifth grade at Acorn and I also have experience with behavioral children as well as High Schoolers.  I have three amazing boys, one in high school, one in fifth grade, and one in second grade. Teaching has brought such joy and completion to my life.




Jessie Parra, Para

3rd Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M3:

Falecia Cummins, Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Mrs. Felicia, I’m a paraprofessional/teacher in the pre-k classroom. I have my bachelor’s degree in early childhood development. I love working with children and believe we teach them as much as they teach us! This is my first year at Acorn and I look forward to each day of being a part of the Acorn family! When I am not in the classroom, I am spending time with my husband and two children.

Jeanette Martinez, Para








Lorraine Vasquez, Para float


4th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M4:

Jennifer Beckwith, Lead Teacher

This will be Ms. Beckwith’s 7th year working at Acorn Montessori. This is her 4th year as a lead teacher. She taught 6th grade in Phoenix, Kindergarten here at Acorn, and is now teaching her third year as our 3rd/4th grade teacher. She has worked at Acorn as a paraprofessional in 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She absolutely loves teaching the 3rd/4th combo class, as she tends to get to loop with 3rd grade and keep them for 4th as well. She have two sons, both attend Acorn. One is in 7th grade this year and the other is in 4rd.


Melissa Barcelona. Para






4th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M8:

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.

Ashley Storm, Para







I am a mom and a step mom to 3 wonderful girls who all attend acorn. I love working with children and watching them learn and grow. I attended vet school and have my veterinary technician license. I like to play and watch sports in my spare time. 





5th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M7:

Jennie Zegan-Lister, Lead Teacher

Hello everyone! I am very excited to be a first year lead teacher for the 2018-2019 school year. I graduated from Prescott College in 2007 with a degree in Multi-Cultural Human Development and have been a part of the Acorn family since 2017. I received my Highly Qualified certification in January of 2018. In my free time I enjoy all things nature, singing, woodworking, and exploring the world around me. -Jennie

Lesa Louthain


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. 



Lorraine Vasquez, Para – float

5th/6th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M6:

Paul Montz, Lead Teacher


Shannon Benton

My name is Shannon Benton and I have been a paraprofessional at Acorn Montessori for 9 years. My love and admiration for teaching have driven me to attend many trainings throughout these years and I am currently attending NAU in order to benefit the educational system in the future. This year I will be the paraprofessional for the 5th/6th grade classroom with Mr. Montz. This will be our 6th year working together in the classroom and we are truly looking forward to another wonderful year!


Ilario Dera, Para – float



6th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M10:


Don Gagnon, Lead Teacher

Kayla Wagner, Para

Ilario Dera, Para – float

Middle School 8:00am – 3:00pm:

Shauna McKay, Middle School Science


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 6th 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.

Kati Young, Middle School English


I am Ms. Kati Young. This is my third year at Acorn, and my second year teaching 7th and 8th Grade English Language Arts (ELA). I completed my Bachelor of Science in Education in May of 2017, received my teaching certificate in the state of Arizona that same month, and later added an endorsement for Middle School Language Arts. I am passionate about education and am excited to continue my career at Acorn in the 2019-2020 school year.



Kristin Holliday, Middle School Math


Mrs. Holliday has been with Acorn for eleven years and has taught the 8th, 7th, 3rd, and 2nd grades, and is the Vice Principal.  Mrs. Holliday graduated from NAU with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.  She is a highly qualified teacher by the state of Arizona.  She will be teaching Math to the 7th and 8th graders this year.

Gretchen Whittaker, Middle School Social Studies


My name is Gretchen Whittaker and I recently graduated from the University of Phoenix with my Bachelor’s degree in education. This is my third year at Acorn, but my first as a lead teacher, and I’m so excited to share it with the students of 6th grade! I have four children, all of whom attend Acorn. In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities with my family as well as competing in triathlons, reading, and working with scouts. I’m looking forward to a fantastic year in 6th grade this year!




Matthew Rice, Para – AM


Tom Flores, Para

Jamie King, Para – PM



LC 8:00am – 3:00pm:

Cheryl DeTemple, Special Education Coordinator

Sara Hodges, 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.

Dawn Schmaling, Sped Teacher

I’m excited to be going into my second year at  Acorn. 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!

Megan Stegner

My name is Megan, I have worked at Acorn for almost two full years. I love kids, and working in the SpEd department is a blast. Some of the students are almost as funny as I am, which makes them a joy to teach. My dad’s job involved working with intellectually disabled people. Growing up around this community inspired me to pursue something similar. One man who lived with us for just short of 10 years was completely deaf. Because of this, I am also able to communicate using sign language. I am happy with the experience and knowledge that my job here provides me.



Annette Davies-House

Hello, my name is Annette Davies House and am in the 11th year of at Acorn’s Main campus. I do go to West campus to do Reading Intensive Intervention with the younger students. My focus is being the Reading Intensive Interventionist and the English Learners Proficiency; Azella Test Administrator. I try to post as many memory photos throughout the years’ activities on Acorn’s Facebook page. I am involved with the Middle School Chili Cook-Off competition and the Big Powder Puff Fundraising Event at the end of our year. I also organize our two community outreach ART projects like the Yavapai State Fair exhibit and the March Month of the Child, Children’s Art at the Civic Center. Besides all of that, I am librarian available for lending books to students.

I am, Annette House


Nutrition Program:

Keith Johnson, Food Service Director

Keith Johnson, Food Service Director

Chuck Watson


Echo Yazzie

Blanca Gonzalez

Transportation Program:

Amy Arredondo

Dawn Grantham











Sports Program:

Matt Rice, Athletic Director

Jim Archer

Lesa Louthian

Tiffini Moreland