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 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, 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, West 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 M3:

Kelsie McCraw, Lead Teacher

Hello everybody!! My name is Kelsie McCraw. I am so excited for this year! I have experience in teaching kindergarten, first grade, third grade and fourth grade. I love teaching! When I am not teaching, I love to hike, read, explore, research, camp, travel and paint. It is going to be a year full of fun, learning and lots of adventures.

Alana Stickney

My name is Alana Stickney and I have worked at Acorn Montessori for 14 years. I enjoy working with students and love when a difficult concept is understood. I enjoy learning myself and continue to take college courses to keep my mind sharp! Nothing is better than walking into a room every morning to 35 students smiling back at me ready to take on the day!

Tiffany Nary

 

 

 

Hello! My name is Mrs. Tiffany Nary. This is my first year teaching elementary level students. I am the paraprofessional for Miss. McCraw’s 3rd grade class and Miss Beckwith’s 3rd/4th grade class. I look forward to the fun we will have exploring and learning. I am currently finishing up my degree in Early Childhood Education. I plan to continue my education and work towards earning my B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor is Special Education. I grew up in Phoenix Arizona. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, going hiking, and traveling. I’m looking forward to spending the next year learning and growing with you.

 

 

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

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.

Ashley Stewart

Ms. Stewart is a new addition to our Acorn family this year and she is looking forward to working with your children! She is looking forward to providing a learning environment, alongside myself, that will allow your children to learn at their own pace. A little about Ms. Stewart: She has worked with early childhood and 1st- 5th grade in CA for 10 years. She has her undergraduate education in early childhood education and is working towards obtaining her BA in Child and Adolescent Development with a focus in Elementary Education. She cannot wait to begin a new year with you and your child!

Tiffany Nary

Hello! My name is Mrs. Tiffany Nary. This is my first year teaching elementary level students. I am the paraprofessional for Miss. McCraw’s 3rd grade class and Miss Beckwith’s 3rd/4th grade class. I look forward to the fun we will have exploring and learning. I am currently finishing up my degree in Early Childhood Education. I plan to continue my education and work towards earning my B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor is Special Education. I grew up in Phoenix Arizona. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, going hiking, and traveling. I’m looking forward to spending the next year learning and growing with you.

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.

Edward Garcia

Hello, my name is Edward Garcia. This is my second year with Acorn and first year teaching as a paraprofessional in a classroom. I am in Mrs. Weilenmann’s 4th grade classroom and looking forward to a great year with the students and training to be a lead teacher. With that said, I am one class away from my bachelor’s degree in business management and then I will pursue my highly qualified certification for teaching. I love working with children and creating a fun and comfortable classroom environment where students are free to excel and realize their fullest potential! I was born and raised in New Mexico and moved to Arizona about 4 years ago. During my free time you can catch me in Phoenix with my Fresh Start family or taking a random road trip with my girls!

Ashley Storm

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 M4:

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. 

Ilario Dera

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! My name is Ilario Dera. This will be my first year working here at Acorn Montessori. This year I will be a Para Professional for 5th/6th grade classes. In my free time I love to hike, fish and just be outdoors in general. I’m excited to be part of the Acorn family and for the school year!

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

Hello! My name is Ilario Dera. This will be my first year working here at Acorn Montessori. This year I will be a Para Professional for 5th/6th grade classes. In my free time I love to hike, fish and just be outdoors in general. I’m excited to be part of the Acorn family and for the school year!

 

6th Grade 8:00am – 3:00pm, Room M10:

Gretchen Whittaker, Lead Teacher

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!

Hannah Everhart

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!

 

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 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, Lead Teacher

I am Ms. Kati Young, 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.

Shawn Fernandez

 

 

 

 

Hi!  I am Shawn Fernandez, I am a Paraprofessional and have been with Acorn Montessori Charter School since July, 2017.  I have 17+ years working with children from 2nd grade – 8th grade.  My favorite subjects are reading and writing.  My interests outside Acorn are camping, sports (especially baseball & hockey), exploring, music, and journaling.  I look forward to another exciting year working with the amazing children and staff here at Acorn!

 

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

Kristin Holliday, Lead Teacher

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.

Kati Young, Lead Teacher

I am Ms. Kati Young, 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.

Matt Rice

 

 

 

 

Mr. Rice is assisting in the 7th and 8th grade classroom and coaching sports this year. Mr. Rice has been a part of the Acorn Family for several years and helped teach the past three years in the middle school. Mr. Rice retired from Law Enforcement where he spent 5 years as a School Resource Officer teaching Middle School and High School students.

 

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.

 

Interventions:

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

 

Rhonda Cordova

Transportation Program:

Tiffini Moreland

Amy Arredondo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sports Program:

Keith Johnson, Athletic Director

Matt Rice

Jim Archer

Lesa Louthian

Ashley Stewart