Our Staff 2017-09-14T09:49:05+00:00

Our Staff.

Email: jarnold@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://arnoldfrench.wordpress.com/

Mr. Arnold has been teaching French for over ten years in both Colorado and Arizona. He has taught beginning level French, starting as young as 2nd grade, through AP French. He is passionate about helping young people learn and explore new languages and cultures. He had the wonderful opportunity of living in France for two years. In addition, he has been blessed to be able to travel abroad with students and to see them experience being immersed in a new language and culture. Outside of teaching, he enjoys running, playing soccer, reading great literature and above all, spending time with his family. His wife and ten children live in Laveen and are grateful to be part of the community!

Email: easanovich@heritageacademyaz.com

I have been teaching Health and Physical Education in the Isaac Elementary School District for the past seven years.  I graduated from University of Southern Colorado (now known as Colorado State University Pueblo), with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. As a former collegiate student-athlete in volleyball and basketball, I had the opportunity to coach at my  alma mater, completing two seasons as the Division II Thunderwolves head coach.

Email: kbrown@heritageacademyaz.com

Kathryn Brown began working in the education field in 2011. She received her Associates in Arts (history) and Associates in Science (mathematics), both with Highest Distinction, while at Estrella Mountain Community College, and her Bachelor’s in Secondary Education – Mathematics at ASU. She is excited to bring her passion for mathematics and history to Heritage Academy Laveen. In addition to teaching, she also serves as backstage manager for Heritage Academy drama productions.

Class website: kbrownmath.weebly.com

Email: nbuck@heritageacademyaz.com

I graduated cum laude with a degree in Classics from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and  received my M.Ed. with a focus on Latin education from Boston College in MA.  I enjoyed my time teaching in Boston,  and am excited to bring my love of learning and Latin to my students here at Heritage Academy!




Email: ACopper@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Copper graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor’s degree in science and taught for two years before arriving here at Heritage Academy. She enjoys math, spending time outdoors on her three day weekends, sewing, and collecting essential oils. She is grateful to be a part of such a positive and welcoming community and looks forward to turning all of her scholars into “math people”. Go #HALheroes!

Email: gdenny@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: gdenny7.wix.com/heritage

Mrs. Denny was born and raised in the Phoenix area and now lives in Laveen with her family. She has a Masters Degree in Child Development and Education and has a passion for learning. She started playing musical instruments when she was in the third grade, starting with the alto saxophone. Over the years, she added the piano and flute to her repertoire, and by the time she finished high school, she had made it a point to learn at least a few major scales on each of the instruments featured in their symphonic ensemble. She studied music education for two years in college and has taught private lessons on piano and saxophone to students of all ages. She has experience in jazz and marching bands as well as symphonic and concert ensembles up through the collegiate level. She enjoys working with the scholars at Heritage to expand their love of music.

Email: PDurda@heritageacademyaz.com

Patricia Pirtle Durda began her professional teaching career in 1987 after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Education from The University of Texas at El Paso.  She continued her education while teaching and obtained her Master of Education in 1990.  After seven years teaching Middle School students, she was selected to design and facilitate the organization of the first alternative education school at Canutillo Independent School District.  After two years as administrator of The High Expectations Academy (6 portables behind the bus barn) with an outstanding staff of middle and high school teachers, she became aware of the great need to help students get a second chance to complete their secondary education.  At the alternative school she became familiar with the learning opportunities provided by computerized learning software and the success that students could have.  She had the opportunity to become an educational consultant with a computer software company to train teachers and administrators to best utilize educational software applications designed to benefit struggling students.  She spent the next 15 years traveling, training, teaching, and learning best practices to share with the public and private schools across the country.

Ms. Durda now looks forward to an exciting, new teaching experience at Heritage Academy, Laveen Campus!  

Email: kellsworth@heritageacademyaz.com

She has a Bachelors’ Degree in Education and a Masters’ Degree in Educational Leadership, she has more than 13 years combined experience teaching grades 7-12 and school administration. She is happy to return to Heritage Academy as principal of Laveen campus.

Email: mqellsworth@heritageacademyaz.com

I received my Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from ASU, Master of Fine Arts from ASU.  I have 13 years experience producing, managing and directing youth theater, 9 years experience teaching theater workshops and classes, and 11 years experience as special event producer, stage manager and tour coordinator.  In addition, I am a choreographer and technical designer and have 6 years experience as a music and vocal instructor.

I founded and directed the Actor’s Youth Theatre in Mesa, AZ for 10 years, was a course instructor/vocal teacher/theater instructor at La Musique Academy in Mesa, AZ for 7 years, was production manager/event producer/tour coordinator for Fame Events International for 6 years and was artistic director/tech director/theater instructor for Phoenix Center for the Arts for 3 years.

Email: EFadell@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Fadell was born and raised in Port Huron, Michigan. She began her love of dance at the age of 2, dancing at several local dance studios. She then trained at Paavola’s School of Dance in Flint, Michigan and performed with Young People’s Ballet Theater. She received training during the summers at Ballet Met, ABT Detroit and New York, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. She then received a BA in Dance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, Elizabeth danced professionally with the Grand Rapids Ballet, taught at the Grand Rapids Ballet School, and worked as the School Administrator. She also worked for Grand Rapids Ballet’s Dance Immersion program, teaching ballet to over 1,000 students in the Grand Rapids School District. Elizabeth is currently teaching ballet and is a PYBT instructor at Arizona Dance Artistry. She is also a certified Pilates instructor through Balanced Body Curriculum.

Email: bfarris@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Farris is originally from Central Phoenix and has lived in Laveen for almost fourteen years.  She received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University, with an emphasis in Russian.   She has more than five years’ experience working in office administration in education, both in secondary education and at the university level.  Her interests and experiences are varied as she has worked as a fitness instructor, pool manager, and even a seamstress.  She loves to travel to other parts of the world and to discover the good in other cultures and people.  However, she is proud to be an American and loves her country.  Her favorite colors are red, white, and blue!  She is glad to be a part of Heritage where American History is valued and our freedoms in this country are celebrated.  She and her husband have five spectacular children ranging in ages from 7-17.  She enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, playing the piano, traveling, swimming, and decorating.

Email: sford@heritageacademyaz.com

I am a South Carolina native and moved to Arizona during the Spring of 2014. I earned a B.A. in Spanish at Charleston Southern University and spent time studying abroad in Santiago, Chile at La Universidad Diego Portales. After working in education for 3 years in South Carolina, I moved to Spain to work in a cultural ambassador program. As a participant in that program, I taught bilingual English and Spanish subjects at a secondary school (grades 7-12) in Málaga, Spain. I’m excited about being at Heritage Academy and to share my passion for the Spanish language with our scholars!

Email: egolding@heritageacademyaz.com

She received her Associate of Arts Degree from Mesa Community College, her Bachelor of Arts degree from ASU and her Master in Secondary Education form NAU,  and her Master of fine Arts from ASU.  She has been and Adjunct faculty member for the Communication, Theatre, and Education for Maricopa Community College District, 1996-2011.  Adjunct faculty of Communication and Education for Ottawa University, 2002-2004.  Student Teacher Supervisor for the Dept. of Education for ASU, 1998-2000

Email: bhalterman@heritageacademyaz.com

He received a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences and Spanish from Arizona State University. After graduating from ASU, Mr. Halterman joined a well-respected groundwater science consulting firm in the Phoenix area where he has worked for the past 11 years as a hydrogeologist.  He also volunteers with The Boy Scouts of America as a Unit Commissioner and Merit Badge Counselor.

Email: khalterman@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: http://kendrascreations.wixsite.com/choirhal

Mrs. Halterman is excited to bring her passion for music and years of teaching and performing experience to the students at Heritage Academy Laveen. Kendra graduated from Southern Utah University (summa cum laude) at the ripe age of 19 with secondary teaching certificates in Spanish and Music and began teaching middle school in Utah. During more than 5 years of teaching, she covered several subjects and grades, but especially loved teaching Choir and Music Appreciation and having the opportunity to share the joy that she has received throughout her years of singing in and directing all kinds of different choirs. She has traveled and performed with choirs on three continents. She has also performed in high school, community and professional musicals in lead roles. She has taught private voice lessons and for the last six years has been teaching the “Let’s Play Music” program to children in the Laveen area out of her home. Recently, she has developed a growing interest in writing and recording her own music.

Her biggest is job is being the mom of five children ranging in age from 14 years to 10 months old, and being the wife to Mr. Halterman, the Science teacher at Heritage Laveen. In all of her spare time, she is the author of a creative blog called “My Insanity” where she shares ideas for parties, home, and crafts.

Joshua graduated with an MA in Second Language Teaching from Brigham Young University in Utah. He greatly enjoyed his time there as he both learned and taught. Before his master’s studies, he graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State University with coursework in Spanish, Chinese, and Business.

During his travels around the United States, to China, and to Mexico, Joshua has greatly enjoyed associating with people from varying cultural and language backgrounds. Joshua loves to learn new languages, and feels passionate about sharing this experience with students. As an alumnus of Heritage Academy, he is very excited to teach at this great school!

Email: JHogue@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: GIurato@heritageacademyaz.com

Gloria J. Iurato​ is a graduate of the Mary Lou Foulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, graduating with a dual certification in Special/General Education. Mrs. Iurato has experience in teaching both in a general education classroom and in a self-contained classroom. Mrs. Iurato is a wife, mother and grandmother. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband, make crafts with her grandchildren, and have Sunday dinner with the whole family.

Sean Katz received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Miami in South Florida. Upon graduation, he moved to Phoenix to pursue a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences. Sean is an A-Level Scholar from the University of Cambridge and a recipient of the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service Award. Sean has coached basketball at the middle and high school level. He enjoys traveling, watching and playing sports, and cooking. Sean is excited to start a new chapter in his teaching career at Heritage Academy.

Teacher of Biology / Anatomy & Physiology

Heritage Academy – Laveen Campus

Room # 440

Email: skatz@heritageacademyaz.com


Email: skuecker@heritageacademyaz.com

She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from the University of Arizona. She has taught art for the past 25 years in both Colorado and Arizona. She has experience in teaching art history as well as multiple art media including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printing, photography, woodworking, and textiles. Ms. Kuecker believes in using art education to help develop a well-rounded student. For seven years, she was the Children’s Program Director for the Anderson Ranch Arts Center where she developed art programs for non-profit agencies such as the Roger Pepper Foundation for Severely Burned Victims, for disabled children in Challenge Aspen Organization, and for disabled adults with Mountain Valley Developmental Services.

Email: kleybas@heritageacademyaz.com

Kyle received a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese, a Master of Arts in Secondary Math Education from Arizona State University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Western Governor’s University.  Before coming to Heritage he taught choir and math while coaching football, soccer, and baseball at Sierra Linda High School.  Prior to that he taught math and reading with coaching basketball, soccer, and volleyball at Lassen Elementary School (grades 7-8).

Kyle is excited to contribute to academic excellence and grow a successful athletic and football program.

Mr. Richard Mack, aka Sheriff Mack, is the former sheriff of Graham County, AZ. He spent 20 years in Law Enforcement and five years as a DARE Instructor. Sheriff Mack has a degree in Latin American Studies and Sociology, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and in 1997, won a landmark case at the U S Supreme Court. Both Mr. Mack and his wife, Dawn, are native Arizonans and live in Gilbert. He now teaches Economics, Government, and Criminal Justice and is happy to be back at Heritage Academy.

Email: RMack@heritageacademyaz.com

Megan Mickenberg received her Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University – Hawaii in Exercise and Sports Science as well as completing a minor in Microbiology, also from Brigham Young University Hawaii.  While at BYU-Hawaii, she worked as a gym manager and college athletic trainer for more than 6 college sports. Before that, she studied abroad in England for two years. She is an experienced and qualified personal trainer, Level 1 CrossFit instructor and a certified Olympic Weight Lifting Coach. She has over 5,000 hours training over 116 college athletes.  Megan has been a volleyball and soccer coach at the High School and Junior High School levels. She enjoys teaching scholars on how to be fit and gives them the tools they need to meet their fitness goals.

Email: memickenberg@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: mmickenberg@heritageacademyaz.com

He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Nuclear Engineering, a Master’s degree in Teaching from Dayton, Ohio, and a Ph.D. in Natural Health from Clayton College of Natural Health. He has taught multiple science and math classes at the high school and college levels and management classes at the graduate level. He has coached volleyball, swimming, track and field, basketball, wrestling and soccer. He has served in the US Air Force as a Special Forces Pararescue Specialist and a nuclear engineer.  He was a teacher for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Lakenheath, England.

Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Hannah Mougharbel received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Biomedical Science from the University of Arizona. She is furthering her education by pursuing a Master of Science in Biomedical Diagnostics from Arizona State University. Her desire to teach began in her undergraduate courses when she was given the opportunity to work side by side with her professors. She has experience teaching at the university level and looks forward to her first year teaching at Heritage Academy.

Algebra II, Geometry

Email: hmougharbel@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Nash grew up in Southeastern Idaho and Arizona and attended Heritage Academy as a young Scholar. It is at Heritage that he learned a deep appreciation for the Founding Fathers and the American system of Government, as well as his love for history. It is also where he met his wife of 12 years.

Mr. Nash attended Mesa Community College where he received his Associates of Arts Degree and Arizona General Education Degree. He then went on to Arizona State University where he studied at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education – History.

Mr. Nash has four “particularly rambunctious” boys who keep him and his wife very busy as well as a German Shepherd Dog named Pilot.  Mr. Nash enjoys playing video games with his boys, playing racquetball, riding bikes, reading, taking walks, camping and hunting, and working as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America.

Email: jnash@heritageacademyaz.com

My website is http://mr-nash.weebly.com/

He has a Master of Art’s degree in Teaching from Chapman University in Orange, CA. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from the University of Redlands in Redlands, CA. He has a Professional Clear Teaching Credential issued by the state of California. He has been teaching for 12 years at a charter school in Victorville, CA.  While there he taught Engineering Geometry with Physics for 3 years. This course was approved by the University of California. Mr. Plumb also helped design this course at the UCCI Institute. (University of California Curriculum Integration). He also taught Architectural Drafting, Engineering, and CAD (Computer Aided Drafting). Prior to teaching Robert worked in the fields of Architecture, Engineering and Manufacturing for 20 years as a Drafting Technician. This year he was one of the Assistant Football Coaches at Heritage Laveen. He played football all throughout Junior High and High School right here in Arizona at Page High School and Mesa High School. From Mr. Plumb, “I enjoy working with scholars and athletes who love to learn and take on new challenges.”

Email: rplumb@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: hromito@heritageacademyaz.com

Heather Romito has been teaching High School English in Arizona since 2008. She has nine years experience teaching at the highschool level, including teaching freshman English and Creative Writing. She received her BSed in English and Creative Writing from Montana State University-Billings and her MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2017.

Outside of school, Ms. Romito loves to read, write, and travel whenever she gets a chance.

Email: asaathoff@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Saathoff is excited to be joining the Heritage Academy team. For the past four years he has been teaching World History, US History, Government, and Economics at AAEC South Mountain. Andrew is originally from Michigan, where he attended Grand Valley State University. He graduated with a major in History and Secondary Education and a minor in Political Science. He is currently attending ASU and will receive his Masters in Educational Leadership in May 2016. He has been part of the Laveen community since 2010. In his free time he likes to play all kinds of sports and go to concerts.

Mr. Sheffer is trilingual, obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in German, and completed requirements to teach Spanish, all through Arizona State University.  These studies included German Literature, German Civilization, the Nazi period, Spanish Literature and Linguistics, Latino Studies and Second Language Acquisition research.  Mr. Sheffer taught for three years at Arizona State University and for seven years at Mesa Community College. He also has 24 years of experience in the foods distribution industry, seventeen of those years in supervision with additional experience in Business Process Improvement. He is an Arizona Native who has lived in South Phoenix for the last 30 years.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, eight children and five grandchildren. He also enjoys playing sports, doing comedy and has an affinity for old Volkswagens.  Mr. Sheffer loves the youth of this area and is excited to share his passion for history with them.

Email: msheffer@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/a/heritageacademyaz.com/american-history-sheffer/



Email: jsweet@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Sweet is an Arizona native who grew up in North Phoenix and currently resides with his two children in Laveen, Arizona. He has worked in education for 12 years as a teacher and administrator.  He has a BSBM, MAED from the University of Phoenix and an MBA from Grand Canyon University. Jeff has always had an interest in educational technologies. He was recognized for innovative teaching ideas when he received the Voya Unsung Hero award in 2015 for his “New Media Marketing” program. Jeff is also passionate about the game of basketball and coached for more than ten years. Jeff embraces both sports and education and strives to provide those experiences for his students at Heritage Academy.

Mrs. Urry received her BA in English Education with a minor in French Education. While pursuing her education she helped start a chapter of the TESOL Society, a professional association with a mission to ensure excellence in English language teaching. She served for two years as the vice president of the chapter. She had the opportunity to study in Paris, France for three months where she developed her love for languages and the French culture. When she returned to her education, she worked for the vice presidents of the university and assisted in the editing of many of their projects. After graduating, she spent over a year on the Arizona and New Mexico Native American Reservations serving and teaching the people. She then came to Mesa and taught 9th and 11th grade English. She’s devoted to all she does and finds no greater pleasure than seeing others progress. She loves learning and is enthusiastic about teaching at Heritage Academy.

Email: turry@heritageacademyaz.com

Website: http://urryenglishheritageacademy.weebly.com/

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and has significant experience as a dancer and a choreographer.  She competed with a nationally ranked competitive dance team in Bartow, Florida for eight years in various dance genres including clogging, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. She also performed at Disney’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas in Orlando, Florida, and has performed on the Holland America cruise line.  While earning her degree, Mackenzie toured with the performing dance company, Dance Alliance, for three years. She had the opportunity to tour in Canada, California, Oregon, and Russia. Mackenzie was a Collegiate Director for the World Dance Team and taught clogging, afro-Caribbean, and stomp. She has taught jazz, ballet, tap, clogging and hip-hop to all ages. She is a former part-time faculty member for her alma mater’s Dance Department where she taught modern and jazz, and choreographed two main stage university musicals. Mackenzie worked as the full time in-house choreographer for the Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone, Montana for five years where she had the opportunity of choreographing twelve full musicals. Mackenzie finds joy in moving, creating, and discovering new movement possibilities.

Email: mwoods@heritageacademyaz.com

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