Our Staff.


Email: alethea.alle@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/ms-allen

Ms. Alethea Allen was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She attended Brigham Young University-Idaho where she got her B.A. in Political Science, emphasis in Foreign Affairs with a minor in International Studies. She has been teaching for four years. She taught three in Okeechobee, Florida and this is her second year teaching for Heritage Academy here in Arizona. She taught 6th-grade ELA and 7th-grade Civics in Florida. Last year she taught middle and high school computer classes at Heritage and now teaches 10th grade U.S. History. She also advises the school’s Scholar Council program for the second year.


Email: jennifer.andres@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/7thgradeenglish

Mrs. Andres relocated to Arizona with her family almost six years ago to escape the cold Minnesota winters.  She received a Master’s degree in Child and Family Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from State Cloud State University.

Mrs. Andres has worked for over 12 years in the child welfare field as a case manager, guardian ad litem and foster care licensor. In addition, for the past 10 years,  she has taught undergraduate university students at SCSU and ASU on the topics of Parent-Child Relations, Child and Adolescent Development, Parent Involvement, Culture and Schooling, Multicultural Education and Diversity in the Classrooms. Most recently, she has taught English in the secondary classroom, as well as served as a middle school counselor for a local public-school district.

Mrs. Andres has always loved reading, and has always loved the learning process.  She wants scholars to get to be themselves, learn more about what their own interests are, and strengthen and share their literary voice in her classroom. Mrs. Andres is a mom, a crafter, a baker, and a traveler. Ask her about her favorite way to travel. Three things still on her bucket list include visiting the Mediterranean, the Panama Canal and Alaska.  Did we mention she loves reading?  She really wants to share that joy with all her 7th grade English scholars.

Email: mersally.aven@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site:

Ms. Avendano is a passionate and dedicated dance instructor, performer, and mother to 3 beautiful children. She was born in
Mexico, where she grew up with a family full of musicians and with social dancing as part of her culture. She began her formal dance
training at the age of 7 years old in Ballet, Jazz, and Flamenco at Escuela de Danza Chepina Guerra. At the age of 11 years old
Ms. Avendano and her family moved to Arizona, where her passion for dance became her language and a way to cope with the changes
involved with moving to another country. Shortly after moving to the States she began to learn about other dance styles such as: Hip-Hop
and Ballroom which would become the staples of her dance career.

Ms. Avendano has 15 years of teaching experience. She began teaching at 15 years old when her former high school dance teacher became injured and requested for her to teach the class for her. Since then, she has taught alongside friend and former Broadway Dancer Madelline Cintron at several dance studios around the valley. Some of her most recent experience includes Fred Astaire Dance Studios where Ms. Avendano got the opportunity to train with iconic ballroom dancers like World Master Latin Pro Ilya Iframov and compete in several State and National Fred Astaire Ballroom Competitions.  She is currently the Owner/ Director of Mersy G. Dance Company which is dedicated to inspiring students through dance and culture. She continues to train and dance as part of her lifestyle and dedication to the Art of Dance.


Email: tanyon.berry@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/instrumental-music

Mr. Berry earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the School of Music at Arizona State University where he studied oboe and refined his skills in the western art music tradition. For over twelve years, Mr. Berry also studied and performed taiko and shinobue (Japanese drumming and flute) with Fushicho Daiko Dojo in Phoenix, having two separate opportunities to travel to Japan to study and perform pieces in their cities of origin. His childhood dream was to play the trombone, and he still believes that someday he will.

When he’s not at work, Mr. Berry enjoys testing new recipes, developing board games with his wife, spending time with friends and family, and discussing life with anyone who’s willing to share their story. He likes his tea unsweetened and his coffee black, and he loves the mountains and the forest. Mr. Berry feels tremendously blessed to be the Instrumental Director at Heritage Academy in Maricopa, and he is excited to make music with the Heroes!


Email: michele.bocchinfuso@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/bocchinfusoenglish/home

Miss Bocchinfuso is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Arizona about 5 years ago for a teaching opportunity. She graduated from Penn State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Additionally, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University in 2017.

Miss Bocchinfuso has spent the entirety of her five years in education teaching fifth grade in the Casa Grande Elementary School District and Maricopa Unified School District.  She enjoys spending time with friends and traveling home to see her family whenever possible.  She also loves to read, sing, and spend time outdoors. She is very excited to embark on this new adventure at Heritage Academy!


Email: emily.brems@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/english

Mrs. Brems (or Mrs. B as she prefers) grew up in the east but has lived in Arizona since 2004.  She and her family moved to Maricopa in 2013 and have loved the smaller community feel here.  Mrs. B went back to school when she was 26 and found that she really loves to learn.  She has spent the last 10 years completing multiple degrees including an English bachelors and masters degrees. She is excited to be teaching American Literature and ENG 101/102 for dual enrollment students and to share her love of the English subject.

When Mrs. B isn’t spending time with her husband of almost 17 years or her five children, she loves to read and watch movies.  When she gets the chance, she loves to travel and has a list of places she still wants to go.  Mrs. B’s favorite family vacation spot is Disneyland, but she can’t decide on one single ride as her favorite.  She loves Mexican food even though she thought everything was spicy when she first moved to Arizona.  Overall, she just enjoys having a good time with the people she is with.  She looks forward to working with your scholars this year.


Email: nephi.bunker@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/bunkermusicroom

Mr. Bunker is excited to be joining the staff of Heritage Maricopa as the choir teacher. He earned a Bachelors in Choral Music Education from Northern Arizona University and a Masters in Music Education from Arizona State University. Mr. Bunker has been teaching choir for over 10 years and looks forward to the new opportunity to work with scholars and help them see the intrinsic value and joy of choral music.

Mr. Bunker is married to Laura Bunker and together they are raising eight awesome children. One of his favorite quotes about music is “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”


Email: tanner.carpenter@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/math/home

Mr. Carpenter grew up in North Dakota with 3 younger sisters.  After high school he attended Mayville State University in North Dakota where he earned a BS in Mathematics and Physical Education while playing baseball and football. After teaching math for a year in North Dakota, he moved to Arizona where he has been teaching Mathematics and coaching baseball for the last 5 years.

Education runs in Mr. Carpenter’s family as both of his parents were part of the school system as he was growing up. This influenced him to become a teacher as well as two of his sisters who are elementary school teachers. Mr. Carpenter has enjoyed being able to make an impact on student’s lives both in the classroom and on the athletic fields.  As far as coaching experience, he has coached golf, baseball, basketball, and football.

Email: 009_Comerford_Colin_01 colin.come@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site:  https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/comerford-mathematics

Mr. Colin Comerford has been teaching for 4 years. He was born in Albuquerque New Mexico and has lived in the southwest all of his life.  Mr. Comerford attended the University of Arizona and earned a bachelors degree in economics with minors in mathematics and education. He loves playing basketball, chess, reading, and video games. A quote that describes his life is “walk tall, love music, learn Arabic, and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers, and warriors.”  – Hunter S. Thompson.

010_Contreras_Siria_01Email: Siria.cont@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/spanish-2/home

Ms. Contreras was raised in Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Education. She came to the United States four years ago with teaching experience in all grade levels. This is her third-year teaching Spanish in Arizona and she is so happy to have the opportunity to share her culture. She has a bachelors and masters degree in Education and is certified by AZDE with a Spanish endorsement.

When Ms. Contreras is not teaching she enjoys traveling and visiting her family in Mexico.  A famous quote that describes her life is “We will not have failure, only success and new learning” -Queen Victoria.  The most important lesson that she has learned in life is to have discipline and to be diligent in everything she does; that’s her key to success.


Email: chareka.daniel@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/dance

Ms. Daniel’s is a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia where she received her Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in dance. While in college, Ms. Daniel’s was awarded the Outstanding Performer and Choreographer of the Year for the School of Theatre and Dance at JMU. In addition, Ms. Daniel received a full scholarship to attend The American Dance Festival, hosted in Durham, North Carolina. A year later, she received a scholarship to study dance for an entire month at the Laban Dance Studio in London, England.

In 2015, Ms. Daniel became a graduate of Arizona State University where she received her Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography, teaching, and performance. Since then, she has traveled to several countries such as Panama, India, France, Germany, Cambodia, Thailand, Netherlands, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Mexico teaching dance. Ms. Daniel enjoys choreographing, performing, and most of all teaching.

In 2018, Ms. Daniel became a University Dance Supervisor for Arizona State University. She supervised college dance students who were teacher candidates, seeking to obtain a teaching certification. She served as Dance Director at North Pointe Preparatory for the 2018-2019 school year. Additionally, she has taught dance to grades K-5th all across the valley.  Ms. Daniel recently became a dance member of the “Be Kind People Project” in Arizona. This program uses dance as a tool to teach children how to be kind and serve one another.


Email: alan.daniels@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/8thgradeenglish/home

Mr. Daniels graduated from Utah State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in English and a minor in business. He also earned his Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Argosy University. After graduating with his English degree, he worked as a technical writer, copy writer, graphic designer and marketing coordinator for several organizations as well as himself for a short time. In 2010, he began working in university enrollment and was successful at helping students see the value of earning a college degree. With his career in higher education, Mr. Daniels worked as the Director of Enrollment for several institutions, most recently at Benedictine University, Mesa.

Mr. Daniels has a passion for teaching and leading youth. In college he worked for the Especially for Youth summer camps, as a counselor and director. He also worked as a Youth Development Professional for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and gained classroom experience during his senior year of college as a seminary teacher. He is excited about changing direction in his career and teaching the great scholars at Heritage Academy! Outside of work, Mr. Daniels spends most of his time with his wife and five children and providing service within his church and community. When time permits, he enjoys long boarding, running, disk golf, ping pong and going to the beach to surf whenever possible.


Email: robin.daniels@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/coach-daniels

Mrs. Daniels graduated from California State University Hayward in 2002.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Physical Education with a teaching emphasis.  She’s also taken many graduate level courses in Sport and Exercise Psychology.  Her professional background lies in a variety of sport and recreation programs, running youth and adult sports leagues and working as a personal trainer.  Mrs. Daniels was a dual sport athlete in high school and has over ten years competitive volleyball coaching experience.  She’s served as a boys’ head coach at the high school junior varsity level and a girls head coach at the varsity, junior varsity and elite club levels.  If that weren’t enough to show her love for coaching, she’s spent multiple seasons as a volunteer coach for multiple youth recreational sports.

Outside of school, Mrs. Daniels has a second career as a successfully published author, writing contemporary young adult and adult romantic comedy.  It probably goes without saying that in her free time she loves playing sports, reading and writing.  She also stays busy as a book blogger, wife, mother of five and active member of her church community.  She loves working with teens and is very excited to become a part of the Heritage family.


Email: james.deakyne@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site:  https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/coach-deakyne-website

Mr. Deakyne is a happy husband and proud father to an amazing son. He graduated from Heritage Academy, Mesa in 2013. After graduation, he went on to be the boys’ varsity basketball assistant coach, and the junior varsity head coach for the 2013-2014 school season. In 2014-2015 Mr. Deakyne was the boys’ varsity basketball head coach at South Pointe HS, where they won the state championship against powerhouse program Westwind Prep and Mr. Deakyne was awarded the Canyon Athletic Association Division III Coach of the Year Award. During this time he also trained and privately coached a number of basketball players from the high school to NCAA Division 1 level.

From 2015 to 2019 Mr. Deakyne served in the United State Marine Corps. As an infantry rifleman, he served with the Blackhearts of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. There he spent time as a Fire Team Leader, Assistant Rifle Squad Leader, and Team Small Unit Leader Course Instructor. In 2018 Mr. Deakyne was promoted as a Non-Commissioned Officer. He did two deployments to South East Asia on the 31st MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit).

Mr. Deakyne is excited to be returning to Heritage Academy as the new physical education teacher and to take the lead of the basketball program, where he expects to have a lot of success both in the classroom, on the court, and in life! He looks forward to meeting and interacting with the students at the Maricopa Campus.

Deaver-Courtney-scaledEmail: courtney.deav@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site:

Ms. Courtney Deaver was born and raised here in Arizona. She attended Pepperdine University were she studied mathematics. She published research on cancer progression in coordination with The Ohio State University and was a finalist in the international Mathematical Modeling Competition. In her free time, Ms. Deaver enjoys thrifting, traveling, and knitting.


Email: maureen.duga@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/specialeducation6-8thgrade/home

Ms Dugan has 10 years of experience in special education. She holds a M.S. Education, Special Education and a M.S. Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelors of Science, Computer Information Technology all from the University of Phoenix. She also is certified in Special Education, Cross-Category K-12 / SEI Certification.


Email: marcus.ellsworth@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/drama

Marcus Ellsworth has a masters degree in youth theater from ASU and has been acting, directing and choreographing for over twenty years.  He has been teaching for Heritage Academy for five years at the Laveen campus and has directed shows including Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Three Musketeers, Peter Pan and Wendy, and Addams Family.  He and his sister founded Actor’s Youth Theater in Gilbert and have been lucky enough to see their actors progress on to Broadway and television.

Marcus is excited to be bringing the drama program to the Maricopa campus.   He loves working with scholars and helping them achieve their goals.  Marcus is married to Kim and they have four awesome children, Parker, Ethan, Madilyn and Brady.


Email: kimberly.ellsworth@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrsellsworth/home?authuser=0

Mrs. Ellsworth started at Heritage Academy as a junior high English teacher in 1999. She later had the opportunity to work as a teacher and assistant principal with other schools in the valley. She returned to Heritage Academy in 2014 as the founding Principal for our Laveen Campus.

Mrs. Ellsworth has a great love for the mission of Heritage Academy, our scholars, and parents. In her new role as principal of the Maricopa campus, she will provide leadership and guidance to all the Heritage Academy Maricopa scholars and their families. Mrs. Ellsworth will serve on the new school governing board and report to Mr. Jared L. Taylor who is the Chairman of the Governing Board and Charter Representative for the Heritage Schools.

Mrs. Ellsworth earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Ellsworth has demonstrated her passion for teaching Arizona’s children throughout the course of her career and we are excited to have her be the principal of our newest school. Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Kim Ellsworth on her new role as the principal of Heritage Academy Maricopa!


Email: marin.fairbanks@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/msfairbanks8thgradehistory/home

Ms. Fairbanks wanted to work at Hogwarts but the only available position was Defense against the Dark Arts.  Realizing that the HISTORY of that position was quite precarious, she decided to return to her Alma Mater Heritage Academy as our 7th and 8th grade History teacher.

Ms. Fairbanks’ perspective as an Alumni of Heritage has given her a unique viewpoint of this amazing school. Her time as a scholar at Heritage was so influential, that it was in her 7th grade history class she decided that teaching was her life’s passion.

After graduating Heritage, Ms. Fairbanks attended Brigham Young University Idaho and graduated with her Bachelors in Social Studies Education with an emphasis in History. She has spent the last few years teaching 6th and 7th grade Social Studies in Las Vegas but is grateful to be back in good old Arizona.

Though she was educated at the Mesa Campus, she is excited to be a part of the Maricopa team in bringing the unique mission of Building America’s Heroes to Maricopa.


Email: lee.feiles@heritageacademyaz.com

Lee Feiles became a Certified Martial Arts Instructor in 1992 while earning his Bachelors degree at the University of Arizona. After practicing engineering for seven years, he became a full-time professional instructor and opened or acquired seven commercial martial arts schools in Tucson and Phoenix.


Mr. Feiles was awarded the title of Master Instructor in 2007, and served as part of a three-person regional team responsible for training and certifying instructor applicants, as well as a designated weapons certification trainer. Mr. Feiles earned two competitive martial arts World Championship titles in 2009 and holds the prestigious title of International Judge. He is currently ranked 7th Degree Black Belt with the Title of Senior Master Instructor.


With his wife and two young children, he is currently based out of Maricopa, where his school supports recreational activity in the community, including quarterly safety and self-defense seminars offered as a community service. He has provided continuous Leadership training in his schools, serving hundreds of students each year. In 2012, he was appointed by the Maricopa City Council to serve on the Parks Recreation and Libraries Citizens Advisory Committee, has served on the Maricopa 2040 Vision Plan Committee and the Maricopa Board of Adjustments, and is a member of the City of Maricopa Advocates Program.


Email: michelle.gibs@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrsgibson/home?authuser=0

Mrs. Gibson grew up in a rural community in South Georgia. She attended Brewton-Parker
College, a small Christian college in her hometown, where she received her BS in Secondary
English Education in 2004. In 2012, she moved to Arizona with her family, and in 2018 she
received her MA in reading from Grand Canyon University.

She has worked in education for over 12 years and has held teaching certificates in both Georgia and Arizona. In addition to teaching English Language Arts for grades 9-12, she has also worked as Director of Education and Center Director for Sylvan Learning in Ahwatukee and Chandler.

In her spare time, Mrs. Gibson enjoys visiting national parks with her family, which include her
husband, five children, and one grandson. Of the 70+ parks she has visited, her favorites are
Yellowstone National Park, Chiracahua National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park.
Mrs. Gibson is excited to start the school year with Heritage Academy and looks forward to
teaching its exceptional scholars.


Mr. Halterman received a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences and Spanish from Arizona State University, where he also worked as a teaching assistant for more than two years in the Earth sciences.  After graduating from ASU, he joined a well-respected groundwater science consulting firm in the Phoenix area where he worked for 11 years as a hydrogeologist. Mr. Halterman also holds a Registered Geologist certificate from the State of Arizona.

In 2014, Mr. Halterman joined the teaching staff at Heritage Academy’s Laveen campus, and since then has helped to build a culture of academic excellence as Science Department Chair. He has also been a part of numerous extracurricular and campus activities, including coaching the middle-school baseball team, and assisting in set construction for drama productions.  In his free time, he spends time with his family and volunteers with The Boy Scouts of America as a Unit Commissioner and Merit Badge Counselor.


Email: lyle.hamblin@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/hamblinssocialstudies/home

Mr. Hamblin grew up in Gilbert, Arizona with four siblings.  After high school, he lived for two years on the East Coast before getting married and earning a BA in History from BYU-Idaho. After a study abroad semester in Jerusalem, Mr. Hamblin began studying Arabic and earned an MA in Near Eastern Studies while teaching Spanish at the U of A.  While there, he and his wife had their first child and his wife earned an MA in Hispanic Linguistics. They had their second child while living in Kayenta, Arizona on the Navajo Nation, where Mr. Hamblin taught world history at a high school for five years. They moved to Maricopa in the summer of 2018 so their growing number of children could know their relatives that live nearby.

At Heritage, Mr. Hamblin will also be teaching dual-enrollment classes through Central Arizona College.  He enjoyed his college history classes and is excited to be providing a college experience to young scholars in such an excellent environment as Heritage Academy.



Mr. Hazlett, over the years, has had a diverse array of careers.  He has done a lot of work in the construction industry including, home renovations, landscaping, roofing, and plumbing.

He enjoyed his time in the Oil Industry as an “A” Operator for refinery in Santa Fe Springs, California, changing crude oil into many other different forms of oil such as such Methane, Ethane, H2s, Jet fuel, and Gasoline.

Mr. Hazlett I drove an 18 wheeler for 20 years, seeing every state in the United States and traveled to every providence in Canada. It was during his time on the road where he found his love of Photography.  As a photographer, he loves to capture memories of weddings, families, and sports and enjoys bringing happiness to others through his photos.

For the last 5 years, Mr. Hazlett has worked for The Home Depot, first starting as an associate, then working his way up to a merchandise expert, responsible for the product display and promotion for 10 valley stores.

Mr. Hazlett is proud to be joining Heritage Academy as the Maintenance Tech.  With all of the knowledge and experience he has gained throughout his journey, he hopes to be able to share his talents in maintaining a great working environment for our family of heroes.


Email: david.hettinger@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mr-hettinger/home

Mr. Hettinger grew up in Southern California. He is a graduate of Cal State Northridge where he studied Film and Television Arts. In addition to his creative pursuits, he has always had a passion for History and American Government. As a youth, Mr. Hettinger traveled to many of the historic landmarks across the United States and even visited some of Europe’s celebrated destinations; this fanned the flames of his social studies interests.

Mr. Hettinger is entering his third year of teaching. Previously he taught U.S. and World History in Paradise Valley AZ. He was excited to begin teaching in Maricopa where he resides with his wife and three boys. He is especially proud to be teaching here at Heritage. Last year Mr. Hettinger taught World History and Film Production. This year he is pleased to add “wrestling coach” to his list of titles.

Stephanie-HillEmail: stephanie.hill@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site:

Mrs. Hill grew up in Southern Oregon.  She attended Southern Oregon University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with minors in business, communication, and chemistry.  She has many years of teaching experience at various grade levels.  Last year she began working for Heritage Academy Maricopa as a substitute teacher, and this year she took over as our permanent 6th grade math teacher.

She has lived in Maricopa for 14 years.  She enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.  When she’s not working, you can find her at a soccer field watching her boys play soccer.  She also loves traveling and reading.  She is very excited to be a part of Heritage Academy.


Email: marci.hoellwarth@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/6thgradescience

Mrs. Hoellwarth is originally from California, but moved to Arizona once she completed her teaching credential. Mrs. Hoellwarth received her BA of Liberal Arts Degree at San Francisco State University, and her Teaching Certificate at California State University, Chico.  She has been teaching for 17 years, and has taught an array of grades and subjects, including elementary school, English, ELL, and Science.

Mrs. Hoellwarth is married, and has 3 children.  She loves to be at home with family, swim and go shopping!  She has 2 dogs named Violet and Sox, that are extremely spoiled and loved!
Some of Mrs. Hoellwarth‘s favorite things include chocolate of any kind, Coca- Cola, Dutch Bros and teaching scholars like you!  I hope to encourage you to have a love for Science and learning, and look forward to watching you learn and grow.
 B.B. King once said; “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” Embrace the time you have at Heritage Academy, and prepare to become a lifelong learner!


Email: thoffman@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Hoffman was raised in St. Louis, Missouri in the beautiful Midwest.  She ventured out west to attend college at BYU-Idaho where she earned an associates in arts and sciences.  She married her sweetheart and moved to Portland, Oregon, where Mrs. Hoffman owned and operated her own dance studio, teaching tap, jazz, ballet, and clogging.

In 2006, Mrs. Hoffman relocated with her family to Maricopa, AZ where they have planted roots and are raising 4 beautiful children.  Over the years, community involvement has become an important part of her life.  She has enjoyed volunteering for the Maricopa Police Department, the Maricopa Food Bank, the Against Abuse Women’s Shelter, Time out for Women, and served on the board of Mothers of Everyday Heroes. She is currently serving as the JustServe Coordinator for Maricopa and is an HOA board member for her neighborhood community.

Mrs. Hoffman was blessed with the opportunity to help bring Heritage Academy to Maricopa in 2018.  Through this process, she decided to join the Heritage Family as the school’s Registrar.  She is grateful to work with amazing teachers, parents, and scholars.

In her rare spare time she loves to decorate, search for unique treasures, travel with her husband, and spend time with friends and family!


Email: april.jaeg@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site:

Mrs. Jaeger is a Holistic Health Practitioner with over 20 years of experience specializing in yoga, massage therapy, advanced clinical aromatherapy and herbalism. She has received multiple yoga and specialty holistic wellness program diplomas and certifications. She has a private massage and yoga practice and currently serves as a senior massage instructor and director of the clinical aromatherapy program at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe.

In her spare time, Mrs. Jaeger enjoys spending time in her private apothecary office at home studying holistic wellness (even though she talks about it all day at work), exploring new places, writing, art, photography and watching her children play sports.

As the Heritage Academy Maricopa campus yoga instructor, she is excited to share her passion for yoga and help future generations cultivate an attitude of self-awareness, strength, positivity and mind-body wellness.


Email: heidi.klepfer@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site:  https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/special-education-high-school/home

Heidi Klepfer was born and raised in Tucson Arizona.  She has lived in Maricopa for 15 years with her wonderful husband, who also teaches at Heritage and her 3 beautiful boys.

Mrs. Klepfer has been teaching Special Education for 19 years.  She started her career in Kyrene School district and then taught Life Skills Special Education at Mountain Pointe High School for 12 years.  She has her Bachelor’s in Special Education Cross Categorical, from Northern Arizona University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in Behavioral Science from Arizona State University.

029_Klepfer_Joe_01Email: joseph.klepfer@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/klepferscience/home

Mr. Klepfer teaches Chemistry, Physics, and Conceptual Science, as well as, coaches JH volleyball and JH Baseball at Heritage Maricopa. Mr. Klepfer has been teaching and coaching for 25 years in Arizona. He has a bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Chemistry.

Mr. Klepfer has written the Science curriculum for Gila Bend school district and created the “Simple Machines / Chemical Reactions” class for the Maricopa School District, and is writing a grant to create a garden for Mesquite Junior High, which has 30 indigenous plants and an analemmatic sundial in the middle of the garden.

Recently Mr. Klepfer was fortunate to coach the only HS baseball team in the town of Maricopa to ever win a HS baseball state championship. He returned the following year, falling short by one run of accomplishing the feat for a second time. Joseph enjoys surfing and mountain biking with his three boys Kai, Keanu, and Kalani and wife Heidi Klepfer, who is a special education teacher at Heritage as well.

Ms. Lopez greets everyone with a friendly smile and is ready to answer almost any question you have031_Lopez_Mimi_01




Mr. McCambridge, a New Jersey native, recently returned to the valley. He previously lived in the Phoenix metro area for over 10 years. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in English, Philosophy, and Religious Studies from Fairfield University. He continued his education with a Master of Arts from The University of Arizona and a Master of Business Administration from Fayetteville State University.  Most recently he worked at Rutgers University.  His prior employment includes positions at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Arizona State University. With over 10 years working in higher education, Mr. McCambridge loves to promote learning at all levels and continues to learn new things every day.

Mr. McCambridge lives in Phoenix with his wife, his dog Loki, and several cats. He enjoys reading, watching movies, comic books and graphic novels, travel, and playing guitar.

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Email: jeffrey.miller@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrmillerhacopa/home

Mr Miller grew up in Southern California. He graduated from Brea-Olinda High School. He played high
school and club soccer. His soccer ability earned him a scholarship at NCAA DII Brigham Young
University – Hawaii. There he studied biology education and received his Bachelor of Science degree in

For the next few years after college, he taught at Kailua Intermediate School, Hau’ula Elementary
School, and Kahuku High School. He was hired as the head coach of BYU-Hawaii’s Men’s soccer team in
2006. At that time, Mr. Miller began working as the Assistant Sports Information Director and managed
events for the Canon Activities Center on campus.

In 2009, he moved his family to Maricopa while working in administration for Argosy University. While with Argosy University he was the Admissions Operations Manager, Director of Talent Management, and Data and Metrics HR Manager. He continued coaching in the valley, taking teams from Ahwatukee Foothills SC, Barcelona FC, Challenge FC, Legacy SC, and RSL AZ.

In the summer of 2019, he came back to education and began teaching high school science at Heritage Academy Maricopa. He currently
coaches in the soccer program while working as Athletic Director. 

Mr. Miller is married to Kim Miller and they have 4 sons.


Email: katie.nash@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrsnash

Mrs. Nash is an Arizona native currently living with her family in Laveen. She has four boys ages 15 to 7 as well as a German Shepherd named Pilot and a pet rabbit named Clover. She comes from a large family of 13 children and grew up in Mesa.

Mrs. Nash is a graduate of Heritage Academy Mesa where she met her husband and after taking time to start a family she pursued and earned a Bachelors degree from Brigham Young University Idaho in Communications.

She loves to be outdoors with her family, plants and gardening, reading, and event planning. This is Mrs. Nash’s first year teaching and she is excited to be part of the Heritage Academy Maricopa team.


Email: matthew.ormo@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/biology/home

Dr. Matthew Ormond earned his Bachelors of Art from BYU-Hawaii and earned his Doctorate Degree from Cleveland University. He is a husband and proud father of 6 children. He owns and operates Relief & Restoration Chiropractic located in Huntington Beach, California.

His hobbies include: soccer, learning, teaching, running, camping, fishing, pickleball and enjoying the outdoors with his family. Dr. Ormond is looking forward to sharing his love for science with the scholars at Heritage Academy. Three things still left on my Bucket List are: 1. Hiking Napali Coast in Kauai with my family. 2. Getting my pilots license. 3. Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with my wife.

A famous quote that can describe my life is: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined”, Henry David Therou.


Email: jasper.oudemans@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mroudemansforeignlanguage/home

Mr. Oudemans grew up living in different parts of Europe and Southeast Asia and was educated in the French school system until he graduated high school.

Having grown up in a French-English bilingual home, Jasper began teaching French as a teenager in Singapore. He then received his bachelor’s degree from Goldsmiths College of London before moving to California as a young adult to work and study psychology.

In his free time he enjoys studying new languages, reading, swimming and spending time with family.


Email: christy.pepper@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrspepper/home?authuser=0

Mrs. Pepper has been a certified teacher for 19 years. She earned her degree in Education from Ottawa University. One of the reasons why she became a teacher was to share the love of reading and writing with kids. She has taught seventh-grade for a majority of her teaching career, but she has also taught first grade, second grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade as well.

Mrs. Pepper is married and has two adult children. Mrs. Pepper’s favorite authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King. She is excited and can’t wait to start off the new school year at Heritage Academy!


Email: russell.porter@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/intro2latin

An Arizona native, Mr. Porter was born in Chandler and attended Mountain View High School in Mesa. After graduation, he briefly attended Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona before moving to Italy for two years for missionary service for his church. During this time, Mr. Porter learned to speak Italian, and gained an appreciation of the Latin people there who are today’s descendants of the ancient Romans.

Upon returning to the United States, Mr. Porter enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he served for five years as a Chinese linguist. During this time, he learned to speak Mandarin Chinese and had the opportunity to live in Hawaii, South Korea, and Japan, as well as visit many other places. More importantly, it was during this time that he met and married his wife, Yain, and welcomed their oldest daughter, Adeline, to the family.

In 2017, Mr. Porter continued his undergraduate studies at Arizona State University. Two years later, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Business Management. In that span, his family grew even more with the addition of their second daughter, Brielle.

Currently, Mr. Porter and his family live in Maricopa and love the small-town feel and sense of community they enjoy here. Mr. Porter is excited to be back for another year at Heritage Academy Maricopa! Last year was his first year teaching, and he is very grateful for the chance
to return and improve.

Ramirez-Daniel–scaledEmail: daniel.ramirez@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mathlab/home

Mr. Ramirez is a native of Arizona and lives in Casa Grande with His wife and two children. This is his first year at Heritage Academy teaching math lab. Mr. Ramirez received his associates of business from Central Arizona Community College and is curtly perusing his bachelor’s in science of mathematics with emphasis in secondary education at Grand Canyon University.

Mr. Ramirez is leading heritage academy’s football program in it’s first year. He has coached for seven years, five at the high school level as an offensive coordinator and two at the youth level. This is his first year as a head coach and he is looking forward to building the Heritage Academy football program.


Email: enrique.rivera@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mr-rivera/home

Mr. Rivera holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in English from Arizona State University. He has also been an advisor for the Chinese Startalk Language Program sponsored by NASA.

Language has always been an integral part of Mr. Rivera’s identity and so he is passionate about sharing what he has learned with his scholars. In Mr. Rivera’s Spanish class, his hope is for scholars will come away with a better understanding of themselves, their culture, and the cultures of others, and learn to consider things outside of their normal frame of reference. 

One recommendation that Mr. Rivera would make is to learn to fail forward.  Not to encourage scholars to fail, but instead to encourage scholars to try new things and learn from those experiences, especially those moments that ended in failure. 


Email: jeanfran.roma@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrromanekssite/home

Mr. Romanek was raised in Paris, France and obtained a French Masters in International Law at the Sorbonne University. He quickly realized that he was not happy working with lawyers so he became a teacher in addition to starting his own company. In addition to teaching he is also involved in real estate projects in Europe and the preservation of Holocaust monuments in Poland.

Mr. Romanek really enjoys living in Phoenix because of the climate and it’s people. Remember, it often rains in France! Working on old american vintage cars and also renovating paintings are two hobbies he has.  He also enjoys traveling back to Europe with his family and friends as often as he possibly can!

Welcome to Latin Class!

Email: jan.schm@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/7thgradehistory/home

Ms. Schmidgall was born in Louisville Kentucky but moved to Arizona at a very young age. Ms. Schmidgall earned her BA in education at ASU and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Planning at NAU.  She has two sons and four wonderful grandchildren.

When Ms. Schmidgall is not teaching (which she loves) you can find her playing with her grandkids, watching her family play baseball, or traveling to any history site.  Ms. Schmidgall even spends her summers in teacher workshops learning more about history! Ms. Schmidgall loves cooler weather so you can find her in Flagstaff visiting one son as much as possible.

Ms. Schmidgall is excited to be starting at Heritage Academy and can’t wait for some great historical adventures with the scholars!


Email: stephanie.schwarzen@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/ms-schwarzens-art-classes/home

Ms. Stephanie Schwarzen is celebrating her fourth year of teaching and first year with Heritage Academy.  Currently a sixth grade teacher, she is thrilled for the opportunity to share her love of creativity and to foster the artist within each of our Heritage Heroes!

Born and raised in Missouri, Ms. Schwarzen has lived in Maricopa with her family for nine years. She studied studio art at Webster University, and earned her Liberal Arts Degree from Arizona State University in 2013. Since then, she has earned a well-rounded skill set through work as Director for Bright Minds Preschool, elementary art teacher, and as a creative mentor to underprivileged women and children in Haiti, where she taught drawing, painting, and sewing.

Ms. Schwarzen has two beautiful daughters, ages 8 and 11, who are heavily involved in Maricopa youth sports. Chances are, you’ll see her on the sideline of one field or another, cheering on her favorite athletes and sharing sidewalk chalk with any kiddo who asks!


Email: christina.sorenson@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/generalmath/home

Ms. Sorenson was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Finance and communications. She completed her Post Baccularate program in Elementary Education. She recently obtained her Master’s Degree in Administration in Leadership from Grand Canyon University.

Ms. Sorenson has taught locally with Maricopa Unified School District for six years until she joined the Math team here at Heritage Academy. She has three school aged children and has lived in Maricopa for the past eleven years. When she is not teaching she enjoys watching her children play various sports, watching ASU football, and baseball.


Email: danielle.steelman@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/mrssteelman

By the age of sixteen, Mrs. Steelman had lived in Connecticut, Louisiana, Nevada, and Virginia!  She grew up playing soccer and acting. She also loves traveling, photography, and animals. Her father was a College Professor and her mother was a Middle School Educator. Because Mrs. Steelman was immersed in education from a young age, she knew she wanted to be an educator.

She earned her BS in Education from Chowan University in North Carolina, and a MA in New Professional Studies in Education from George Mason University in Virginia. Mrs. Steelman has also completed the majority of her coursework towards a PhD in Mathematics Leadership.

Mrs. Steelman taught Middle School Mathematics for eight years in Virginia; for three of those eight years, she taught both Mathematics and Science.  She then spent six years as a Mathematics Coach. She moved to Arizona in June of 2016 because of her love of the southwest. Since moving to Arizona, she has taught Math 7 in a virtual setting for two years, and Math 6 Tiger Prep in Maricopa Unified School District 20 for one year. She lives here in Maricopa with her husband, 3-year old son, and two dogs.


Email: joanne.taylor@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Taylor is a native of sunny Arizona. After graduating from High School she moved to the Midwest where she obtained her ASL Interpreter Certification. Mrs. Taylor has enjoyed working in and or supporting education for the last 7 years. She started out as an involved parent and shortly thereafter joined the PTO.  For the last 3 years Mrs. Taylor has supported staff and students as a librarian aide focusing her efforts on getting reluctant readers excited to read and up to level.

When Mrs. Taylor is not in the library, you can find her on one of two athletic fields. She is the secretary and communications officer for Maricopa Sandlot, Maricopa’s Club Softball league. She is also the media and fundraising officer for Maricopa Militia (Maricopa’s youth tackle football organization) founded by her husband and herself in 2017.

The best part of her day is observing those moments when scholars realize their full potential and reach it. Setting the bar high and leaving zero room for excuses, her scholars know she expects their best and they are happy to give it. They know she will be there to celebrate every milestone and cheering for them at the finish line.

Mrs. Taylor has lived in Maricopa for 14 years with her husband and has built a beautiful family with their three amazing children two of which will be among Heritage’s finest. In her “spare time” she enjoys spending time with her family. She loves to dance, play volleyball, read, garden, and enjoy the outdoors.


Email: jennifer.titus@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/8thgradescience

Mrs. Titus grew up in Southern California. She attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She has taught several different grade levels and subjects in Utah, California, Texas, and Arizona. She has had the honor of being Teacher of the Year twice. Her most recent assignment has been teaching math and science in the Blended Learning program in Maricopa where she won the State Golden Bell Award with her fellow blended teachers.

She moved to Maricopa 3 years ago with her husband and 4 children to be closer to her extended family. She LOVES Disneyland and is a little obsessed with all things Disney! She is very excited to teach science at Heritage Academy and is looking forward to a fabulous year.


Email: kasey.turik@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/heritageacademymaricopa/home

Ms. Turik graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and has been teaching for 16 years.  She has taught grades 4th through 8th in Texas and Arizona and has especially enjoyed teaching American Sign Language and crocheting as elective classes.   She loves making a difference in her community and encourages her students to give as well.  Her crochet students donate the hats and bags that they make to the Cancer Treatment Center of America.

Ms. Turik has two amazing daughters that keep her super busy, as well as two cats and two dogs.  Her favorite activities are cooking (well, mostly eating) and reading. Ms. Turik’s favorite genre is horror and she has read every Stephen King book written.  She is so excited to be teaching 6th grade history at Heritage Academy!!

Email: derek.zapp@heritageacademyaz.com

Google Site: https://sites.google.com/heritageacademyaz.com/zappaclasses/home

Mr. Zappa attended Northern Arizona University where he was a member of the executive council of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He received his B.S. in Education with an emphasis in Physical Education.  He worked at Leupp public school on the Navajo Nation where he taught a 5th/6th grade multi-aged classroom and coached girls’ basketball.  Once his wife graduated from NAU, they relocated to the valley.

In 2008, Mr. Zappa revamped the athletic program at Pardes and recreated and wrote the physical education curriculum.  During his nine years at Pardes he won league titles that included boys’ basketball,  girls’ basketball, volleyball, softball, girls’ soccer, and flag-football.  While teaching at Pathway Academy Mr. Zappa also coached the JH and varsity softball teams and their varsity team won the 2019 CAA D2 H.S. Softball State Championship.

Derek enjoys spending is free time with his family and coaching his daughter. Over the years he’s competed in triathlons and Ironman’s in Arizona, California, and Colorado. Derek was one of four founding fathers of the Ahwatukee Softball Club  ages 8u-16u, where he was the vice president.  Mr. Zappa coached for the Storm Fastpitch Organization where his daughter had played.

Coach Zappa looks forward to bringing his experience to Heritage Academy-Maricopa. Along with passion and drive in the development of Heritage’s competitive softball program

“There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter