Our Staff.


Email: jarnold@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Arnold’s Website

Mr. Arnold has been teaching French for over ten years in both Colorado and Arizona. He earned a BA in French from Southern Utah University and is currently finishing up his MA in French through Horizons University, Paris.  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 children live in Laveen and are grateful to be part of the community!


Email: carviso@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Arviso’s Website

Mrs. Arviso was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Secondary Education and a Masters in Secondary Education – Mathematics from Northern Arizona University.  This will be her 24th year as a high school math teacher, her 10th year as a Dual Enrollment Instructor and her 3rd year at Heritage Academy Laveen.  She enjoys teaching math, spending time with her family and watching football!  


Email: easanovich@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Asanovich’s Website

Before coming to Heritage, Mrs. Asanovich taught and coached in the Isaac School District in Phoenix, AZ and coached at Colorado State University Pueblo.  Mrs. Asanovich joined the Heritage Laveen Campus in 2014. She started as a volleyball coach, physical education teacher, and chair of the physical education department. In 2019 she became the Assistant Principal for the Laveen Campus and also joined the Governing Board of the school.  In 2020 Mrs. Asanovich became the principal of the Laveen campus.

About this opportunity Mrs. Asanovich said, “I absolutely love Heritage Academy and am honored to be chosen to serve as Principal. I look forward to continuing the mission with the groundwork that has been laid. We have such an outstanding team of teachers and families and I am proud to be able to serve and support them in this role.”

Mrs. Asanovich was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from Colorado State University Pueblo. Outside of Heritage, Mrs. Asanovich spends her time reading, hiking, fishing, and swimming with her family. She is happily married with two beautiful children. Mrs. Asanovich and her husband can often be found cheering on their children at baseball and softball fields around town.


Email: tom.burk@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Burke’s Website

Tom graduated from Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix. After high school, Tom attended Glendale Community College and then transferred to Bethany College (KS), where he lettered in football and received a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education. Tom received a master’s degree in sports science from the U.S. Sport Academy (AL). Tom is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Tom has taught physical education for 26 years in the Deer Valley School District. He’s been coaching football for 29 years. For the past 12 years, Tom coached offensive line and coordinated the strength program at Pinnacle High School. Prior to that he spent time at Chaparral High School (2002 4A State Champs), Phoenix College, and Goldwater High School.

He currently lives in Glendale with his wife Amy and their 3 kids Matthew, Ashlynn and Isaiah.


Email: alexandra.cast@heritageacademyaz.com

Alexandra Castro is excited to be beginning the 2021-22 school year at Heritage Academy! Throughout her time in education, she has taught children with a variety of needs ranging from kindergarten to 8th grade as well as supported teachers and students in a school leadership role. Ms. Castro earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education from Arizona State University. This is where she discovered her passion for helping students strengthen their abilities to succeed in the classroom. Ms. Castro was born and raised in Phoenix and is a first-generation college graduate. Outside of school, Ms. Castro enjoys spending time with her son and her family exploring new places. She is delighted to continue to share her passion and dedication for educating young people this coming school year.


Ms. Chisenski’s Website

Email: ashley.chisenski@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Chisenski was born and raised in Chandler, Arizona. She has performed since the age of two, and has always had a passion for dance that was bigger than life.  She has extensive training in various styles of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, modern, musical theatre, Latin, and ballroom.
Ms. Chisenski has performed around the valley in various stage shows, competitions, sports events, concerts, and local plays. While in college, she had the chance to dance on the pre-professional dance company and work with many well renowned choreographers including Mike Esperanza, Kathryn Alter, and Phillip Flickinger.
Ms. Chisenski received an Associate’s Degree of Fine Arts from Scottsdale Community College.  After graduating Ms. Chisenski spent her time working as a professional Latin and ballroom dance instructor and even had the chance to work with the one and only Tony Dovolani from “Dancing with the Stars.” Most recently she taught at another charter school as the Dance Director and Fine Arts Lead.
Ms Chisenski loves to spend her free time teaching fitness classes, staying active, and spending time with family and friends! She is excited to start this next chapter of her life with the Heritage family, and share her passion for dance with the students!


Email: patrick.cowe@heritageacademyaz.com

I am excited to be joining Heritage Academy and bringing my experience to your wonderful campus.  Though born in the midwest, I consider myself a desert native as I was raised and have lived most of my life in the Valley.  I have been teaching community college, middle school and high school for nearly a decade.  I have two degrees in History, a BA from ASU and my MA from UC San Diego.  I enjoy teaching many different fields of history and sharing my passion for the past with our young people.  When I am not doing this, I am learning the ropes of new parenthood along with my wife as we adjust to life with a toddler.  I also enjoy spending time outdoors in our beautiful state by jeeping, camping and hunting.


Email: alex.cucc@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Cucciarre’s Website

Mr. Cucciarre has taught 5 years of public school in Ohio and Missouri. Mr. Cucciarre teaches music and band, a keyboarding class and is coaching golf. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He previously taught at Van-Far R-1 School District in Vandalia, Missouri, where he taught 6-12th grade band, and 7-12th grade choir. He returned to Miami University in 2018 to pursue his master’s degree in Music Education.


Claudine Dulaney is co-owner and assistant instructor of Laveen Karate. She is also the Senpai
(senior student) of the dojo, currently working towards her black belt. Senpai Dulaney was
introduced to Okinawan Karate in 2001 by Sensei Dave Cloud and resumed her training under
Sensei Marcel Dulaney. She has competed in local, state, and national martial arts
tournaments in both sparring and kata.

Senpai Dulaney helped develop Laveen Karate’s Bullyproof program that teaches confidence
and self-defense to school-age children. She also volunteers with the Cub Scouts, her children’s
school, and her church.

Senpai Dulaney earned a Bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies from Washington
University in St. Louis and a J.D. from the University of Miami College of Law. She has nearly
15 years of experience in education – mostly in teaching and administration of higher education

Senpai Dulaney was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois but has lived in Laveen for the past 15
years with her husband and 3 children.


Miss Dulaney’s Email:  yvette.dulaney@heritageacademyaz.com

Miss Dulaney has been a teacher for 9 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and an MBA from Lindenwood University.  She is currently completing her MFA in creative writing and working on a novel. She has written and published short stories and has a healthy obsession with classical music, French bulldogs, school supplies and blueberry pancakes. She is very excited to work with the scholars at Heritage as they explore their interests in reading, writing and the study of the English language!


Email: PDurda@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Durda’s Website

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.  She spent two years as administrator of The High Expectations Academy with an outstanding staff of middle and high school teachers.  At the alternative school she became familiar with the learning opportunities provided by computerized learning software and the success that students could achieve.  Then with the opportunity to become an educational consultant with a computer software company, Mrs. Durda spent the next 15 years traveling, training, teaching, and learning best practices to share across the country.  After a hiatus from teaching and a move to Phoenix, Mrs. Durda joined the faculty at Heritage Academy Laveen in 2017.  What an experience it has been to work with talented administrators and teachers, and a caring PTO teaching scholars at Heritage Academy!  Even with the challenging year 2020, she continues to grow, share and teach excellent young scholars in Laveen.  


Email: jennifer.espin@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Espinoza was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently enrolled at GCU to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics for secondary education. This is her first year teaching but has worked in a school district for 4 years. She enjoys watching football and basketball/going to the games. She also enjoys binge watching Netflix and she loves math!


Email: bfarris@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Farris is originally from Central Phoenix and has lived in Laveen for eighteen years.  She received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University, with an emphasis in Russian.   She has ten years’ experience working in office administration in education, all in elementary and secondary education as well as at the university level.  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 11-21.  She enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, traveling, swimming, reading and crafting.


Mr. Fox grew up near Portland, Oregon. He served in the United States Army for over twelve years. He carries an Associate of Arts Degree in Music Performance from Mount Hood Community College, A Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cultural Studies—emphasis in literature—from SUNY Empire State College, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University. He has multiple years of teaching experience while serving in the military and is very excited to begin his civilian teaching career here at Heritage Academy. When he’s not sharing his passion for literature and writing with his students, Mr. Fox enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his wife, three children, two dogs, and three cats.


Email: egolding@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Golding’s Website

Esther T. Golding received her Associate of Arts Degree from Mesa Community College, her Bachelor of Arts degree from ASU, her Masters in Secondary Education from NAU with a Reading endorsement,  and her Master of Fine Arts from ASU.  She was an Adjunct faculty member for Maricopa Community College District in the Departments of Communication, Theatre, and Education, from 1996-2011.   From 2002-2005, she worked as adjunct faculty of Communication and Education for Ottawa University, and from 1998-2000, was a  Student Teacher Supervisor for the Dept. of Education for ASU.  Mrs. Golding teaches Rio Salado DE classes at Heritage Laveen in English and Communication, coaches JH girls volleyball, and serves as the English Department Chair.


Email: jordan.graf@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Grafsgaard’s Website

I am originally from Minnesota where I graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with my B.S. in both Physical Education and Health Education, as well as a Minor in DAPE.  I started my teaching career at my Alma Mater of Ulen-Hitterdal Public Schools. I moved down to Arizona in October of 2018 and love living here. I will be teaching physical education and weight training as well as coaching football and basketball. In my free time I really enjoy sports and movies. I look forward to getting to know the students at Heritage and the school community as a whole.


Email: shaynie@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Haynie’s Website

I am originally from a small town near Bryce Canyon National Park. I grew up participating in rodeo (barrel racing and even rode a bull once!), volleyball, basketball, track, student government and cheerleading. I love the small town feel of Laveen and the opportunity Heritage scholars have to be involved in a variety of activities.

After high school, I studied at Weber State University and earned an Associates of Science degree while studying pre-med. I met my husband when I transferred to the University of Utah when we ended up in the same organic chemistry and physics classes. We lived in Portland, Oregon; Chicago, Illinois; and finally settled in the valley the summer of 1997 where we have raised five children, two of whom graduated from Heritage Academy.

We moved to Laveen in 2008 and were excited to have a new option for high school in 2014 even though our oldest daughters graduated successfully from a Phoenix Union high school. I have been involved at Heritage as a parent, coach, and substitute teacher from the beginning. When I finished my bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8), my first choice for a teaching position was Heritage.

I love the mission, the atmosphere, the staff, and the students at Heritage Academy Laveen. I feel honored to officially join the Heritage team helping 7th grade scholars become experts of the English language. I am also thrilled to continue coaching our varsity volleyball team. As our community and school continue to grow, I am committed to help our scholars understand what it means to be an involved citizen in our school, our urban-village, and our great country.


As the facilities coordinator here at Heritage Academy Laveen, Charles plays a crucial role in maintaining and managing our facilities. Prior to coming to Arizona,  he has worked on the construction of  golf courses, maintained transitional housing for the homeless, worked as maintenance supervisor at Oahu’s premier yacht club, ran the agricultural operations and movie sets/locations for the largest working ranch on the island of Oahu, and ran the maintenance department for Oahu’s most exclusive tennis club. He brought his wealth of knowledge and experience to Heritage Academy 4 years ago.

Email: chulihee@heritageacademyaz.com


Email: fhulihee@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Hulihee’s Website

She received her Bachelor’s of science in Marine Biology from Hawaii Pacific University and for a brief time worked on the commercial fishing vessels that sailed out of Hawaii.  Tiring of weeks at sea, she then took a position in Hawaii’s premier food and water testing lab working as the lead chemist for 10 years. It was at this point that Florence decided to switch careers and become a high school teacher. Returning to her alma mater, Hawaii Pacific University, Florence earned a Master’s of Education with a science focus. Florence has taught a number of different sciences over the years including chemistry, biology, marine biology, astronomy, and conceptual science. She currently teaches dual enrollment chemistry and AP biology. She loves all things science and is a self-proclaimed nerd. Here at Heritage Academy, she has coached both the Science Bowl and JV volleyball. In her spare time, she enjoys working agility with her dogs.


Email: damien.ivor@heritageacademyaz.com

I was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio and received my bachelors of science in sports wellness from Wilmington College.  I have been an educator for six years starting as the physical education teacher at Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio.   I have a lovely daughter named Leah and I enjoy reading books, playing video games, and coaching football and basketball.


Email: skuecker@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Kuecker’s Website

She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from the University of Arizona and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Lamar University in Texas.   She has taught art for the past 35 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 is a working art and sells her work all over the US.

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.  She believes that art gives scholars a voice and a means to express themselves.


Email: courtney.lowe@heritageacademyaz.com

Courtney Lowery graduated from Arizona State in 2012 and from the William H. Bowen School of Law in 2019, magna cum laude. She is a practicing attorney and represents employees primarily in wage and discrimination suits. She also teaches Heritage’s Law Studies classes on a part-time basis. When she isn’t teaching or practicing law, Courtney loves to cook, play with her dogs, read and write.


Email: judson.lowe@heritageacademyaz.com

My name is Judson Lowery. I was born in Mississippi but I’ve lived in the valley since I was 15, so I consider Arizona home. I graduated from ASU with a BA in English and a focus in Creative Writing. After college, I worked as a copywriter for an ad agency here in the valley. After a year or so of that, I joined the Air Force and served on active duty for 6 years, where I reached the rank of Staff Sergeant, and completed one tour of duty to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan in 2019. It was an amazing experience for which I will be forever grateful.
I enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, working out, shooting guns, and working on my old Harley in my free time (one day it’ll run… maybe). I also play the drums in a local band. I try to keep myself busy!
I’m excited to join the Heritage family and I cannot wait to learn and grow alongside your scholars!


Email: jonathan.luca@heritageacademyaz.com

Jonathan Lucas started his teaching career in 2020 at Layton Elementary, located in Utah, where he taught physical education. Throughout high school he ran cross country and distance in track and field, so he always encouraged his students to run. He worked with kindergarten-6th grade classes, and now he’s excited to start teaching high school students in the Spanish language.

In January of 2018, he volunteered for a service mission in his church and was asked to serve in Spain. He began to learn Spanish in a training center in Madrid; he then went on to live in other cities all over Spain: Sevilla, Murcia, Pamplona, San Sebastián, Badalona, Huércal-Overa, and Manresa. After growing to love the Spanish people, their culture, and their language, he returned to Utah, in December of 2019, to continue learning Spanish in college.

Señor Lucas received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, with the highest distinction (Summa Cum Laude), and a minor in psychology from Weber State University.


Ms. Lueraharris is a recent graduate from Northern Arizona University (go Lumberjacks!), where she received a Bachelor of Science degree. She is an Arizona native who was also raised here locally in Laveen! Before coming to teach she had previously worked in the Coconino County Juvenile Detention Center as well as in the Admissions Office for NAU. Both of these experiences ultimately led her to education. Mentoring youth and creating an environment in which they feel safe, comfortable, and ready to broaden their horizons through education is her goal. She comes from a family of educators who also happen to teach here at HAL.  She is super excited to join the Heritage family and grow alongside all the scholars!

She loves to travel, spend time with her dog, and binge watch different Netflix shows! She is a huge fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns! Additionally, she loves to stay active as growing up she was constantly involved in athletics herself that included basketball, tennis, soccer, and golf!

Email: elicia.luer@heritageacademyaz.com


Email: monica.luer@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Lueraharris’ Website

Mrs. Lueraharris was born and raised here in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been working in education for 27 years. Mrs. Lueraharris has worked with students from kindergarten to high school, her areas of focus have been Exceptional Student Services and English Language Acquisition.   She is currently working towards her Bachelors degree in Education.


Email: tlund@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Lund’s Website

Mr. Lund is excited and honored to be returning to the Heritage Academy family! As Heritage Academy Alumni, Tyson went on to study Theater Performance and Secondary Education at Eastern Arizona College and Theater Education at the University of Northern Colorado. Tyson has been honored to have worked with the Kennedy American Collegiate Theater Festival competing in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition in both Los Angeles and Hawaii. He has taught many theater workshops and clinics around the valley over the last few years; Including youth theater’s such as Actor’s Youth Theater and Valley Youth Theatre. Tyson is looking forward to giving back to the wonderful school system that first introduced him to his love for Theater and education and set him on this crazy journey over the last few years!


Email: melissa.mcad@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. McAdams is the Director of the dance and yoga programs at Laveen Dance.   She and her husband have loved being part of the Laveen Community for the past 17 years.  They have four wonderful children, and are active members in the community. 

Mrs. McAdams grew up in Tempe and is a proud native of Arizona.  She started dancing when she was five years old in various genres such as tap, jazz, ballet, modern, and gymnastics.  She grew up dancing in studios and competed at the state and national levels.  She studied at Arizona State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education.  While at ASU, she danced for the ASU Dance Team for Football and Basketball games and had the privilege to compete nationally with the team. 

While attending ASU, Mrs. McAdams was the coach for the McClintock Dance Team.  After graduating from ASU, Melissa went on to be a dance teacher at Higley High School. She then was the dance director at Estrella Foothills High school and the Varsity Dance Team Coach.  Her dance team competed at state and national competitions. She graduated from the University of Phoenix with her Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction.  


Mrs. McBride is an Arizona native and has lived in Laveen for 17 years. She has been a part of the Heritage family since the Laveen campus opened, seven years ago, as a parent of Heritage scholars. Her oldest son graduated from HAL last school year and this year her other two sons will be a sophomore and 8th grader. She loves to be on campus with her children, and the other scholars and teachers who impress her with their determination every day. She has her Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University – Idaho and has been working in the classroom setting for over 13 years as a parent volunteer, classroom aide, substitute teacher, and instructional associate. 

Email: rebecca.mcbr@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. McBride’s Website


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.

Email: gregory.mccambridge@heritageacademyaz.com


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 moved to Phoenix where she received her 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 finds new ways to break down difficult subjects.


Email: hmougharbel@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Mougharbel’s Website


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

Mr. Nash’s Website


Email: katie.nash@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Nash has been teaching at Heritage Academy Maricopa for the past two years and is excited to be joining the Laveen faculty. Mrs. Nash grew up in Mesa Arizona and attended Heritage Academy Mesa from 7th – 12 grade. Attending Heritage Academy helped her to gain an appreciation and love for History. It is also where she met her husband of 18 years.

Mrs. Nash attended Brigham Young University Idaho where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications and Certificate in Home and Family Studies.

Mrs. Nash has four boys (three are attending Heritage Academy Laveen) who keep her very busy as well as a German Shepherd Dog named Pilot. Mrs. Nash enjoys spending time with her family, reading, school, floral design, event planning, taking walks/hikes, and road trips.


Mr. Plumb 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 taught 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. From Mr. Plumb, “I enjoy working with scholars who can think outside the box,  who love to learn and enjoy taking on new challenges.”

Email: rplumb@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Plumb’s Website


Email: hromito@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Romito’s Website

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’s Website

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.


Email: michael.samu@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr Samuel is very excited to join the Heritage Academy family for his first year of teaching! Mr Samuel was raised in Arizona, and has spent his whole life surrounded by music and theatre. He attended Chandler Gilbert Community College where he studied both music performance and theatre, and has had the privilege of performing as a pianist and actor across the United States. Mr Samel has taught music and theatre all over the valley, including Casa Grande Youth Theatre, Actor Youth Theatre, and Greasepaint Theatre. Mr Samuel is greatly looking forward to working with the amazing students and other teachers and staff at Heritage Academy Laveen.


Email: msheffer@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Sheffer’s Website

Matt Sheffer is an Arizona Native who has lived in South Phoenix for the last 34 years.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, eight children and seven grandchildren. He also enjoys playing sports, doing comedy and has an affinity for old Volkswagens.

Mr. Sheffer is trilingual and 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 is excited to start year five with Heritage Academy Laveen.

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. Mr. Sheffer loves the youth of this area and is excited to share his passion for history and language with them.  He also feels it an honor to advise the Scholar Council and help mentor tomorrow’s leaders.


Email: msmith@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Smith’s Website

Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor’s in Security Management and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Mr. Smith has completed requirements to teach Spanish I, II, and III through Southwest University.  Mr. Smith has worked with Boeing, and Lockheed Martin in charge of the classified Security programs, contracted for the Missile Defense Agency. Mr. Smith served 21 years in the military; four of which were in the USMC and 17 in the US Army. During his military service as an intelligence agent he served on the Defense Threat Reduction Agency working with Russia to reduce nuclear inventory and prevent nuclear proliferation. Mr. Smith loves spending time with family and enjoys the great outdoors. His favorite sport is racquetball and loves to dabble in art on his free time as an artist. Mr. Smith holds multiple computer certifications from CompTia and is a certified Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma.


Elise Stoffer embraced the performing arts at a young age and has performed with Phoenix Children’s Chorus in Germany, Russia, Canada, and various venues in the U.S. She has earned numerous awards including 1st place Musical Theatre Division 3MW NATS, 1st place Classical Division Artist of Promise, 1st place Musical Theatre Artist of Promise, and 1st place Division 1W Musical Theatre NATS. Her favorite musical theatre roles include Baker’s Wife from Into the Woods, Domina in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors. She graduated from Santa Fe University of Art & Design in May, 2016 with a BA in Contemporary Music with an emphasis in vocal technique. She received her Masters degree in Musical Theatre Performance from the prestigious School of Music at the Herberger Institute at Arizona State University in 2018. Elise Stoffer is addicted to her art and strives to communicate her passion through everything she does. She believes it is her responsibility to help rebuild the muscles of our imagination. She feels so blessed to have the opportunity to help open scholars minds to many genres of music.

Email: estoffer@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Stoffer’s Website


Lee Turley is a veteran teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience. She has a  Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University and her Bachelor’s from Upper Iowa University. Lee has taught at the Arizona Department of Corrections – Perryville, Kyrene School District, and Des Moines School District. She has taught preschool, grade 6 – 9, and adults.

Email: lturley@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Turley’s Website


Mary Wadsworth is a Heritage Academy Mesa alumnus. She began her ballroom dancing career as a freshman in high school and has not stopped since!

After graduating high school, Mary focused on Lindy Hop & swing. She joined the Gypsy Jitterbugs Solo Charleston Team and performed at various events all over Arizona and New Mexico. During this time, she substitute taught ballroom for HA Mesa and was a choreographer for their showcases.

In 2017, she moved to the east coast where she competed at the International Lindy Hop Championships (ILHC) in Washington, DC. After discovering Brazilian Zouk she made the District Zouk Ladies’ Team and had the opportunity to perform at various events all over the DC metro area; Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Denver, Colorado.

Mary moved back to Arizona in 2019 and continued dancing Brazilian Zouk, joined local ladies’ and partnered teams, as well as an international team. She was able to perform with her teams before the pandemic hit.

Mary holds her degree from Eastern Arizona College and is also a licensed aesthetician & cosmetologist. She enjoys hanging out with her pet cockatiels, playing board games, and spending time with her family and friends.

Ballroom dancing is important to Mary because on top of the health benefits it provides she can socialize and make new friends from all over the world and different walks of life. She loves sharing her love of dance through performance and teaching!

Email: mary.wads@heritageacademyaz.com



Mrs. Weiler is our Assistant Principal and joined the Heritage Academy Gateway Campus in 2015 as a Math Teacher. Over the last three years she has led the College Relations department growing the Early College Program at all four schools. From her outstanding efforts, she has been recognized by Rio Salado College as one of the finest high school advisors in all of Arizona. Heritage Academy’s early college programs have helped our scholars save thousands of dollars and years in their higher education plans.

Mrs. Weiler is a first-generation college graduate who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She also has a Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Arts in Education, School Guidance Counseling from Ottawa University. Mrs. Weiler has an Adult Education Standard Certificate, AZ Standard Elementary, K-8 Certificate with multiple K-12 endorsements. She is a member of the Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Outside of Heritage, Mrs. Weiler has taught at Central Arizona College, University of Phoenix as well as the East Valley Institute of Technology. Prior to Heritage, she taught math at EduPrize Charter School and Chandler Unified School District.

Heritage Academy College Resources Website CLICK HERE

Facebook page


I am certified to teach both History and English in the state of Arizona.  I received a Bachelor’s in History from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, with a minor in Criminal Justice.  I was only a few credits away from minors in the theater and anthropology as well.  I went on to get a Master’s of Education from Arizona State University and then a Master’s in History from National University.  I taught both History and English at Tolleson for five years before joining the Heritage team.

Email: heidi.will@heritageacademyaz.com

Ms. Will’s Website


I love being at the front desk because it allows me to get to know our scholars and their families. I have so much fun helping to build our school’s culture and uniting our staff.  I attended Weber State University.  I have over 10 years of experience in the customer service industry and strive to apply those skills to provide a welcoming environment for our scholars and their families. I have lived in Laveen for 6 years and love our community.

All 3 of my children currently attend Heritage and we all love being part of the Heritage family!

Email: owilson@heritageacademyaz.com


Hello HAL Heroes!  My Name is Adam Witcher.  I’ve taught Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Financial Literacy and coached boys soccer over the past 7 years. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Economics in April of 2012, completed a Secondary Math program at Rio Salado in 2014, and earned my Masters degree in Special Education in 2018. My wife is an Arizona native and I grew up in Texas where I raised goats, marched in the band, played football and became an Eagle Scout.  We are both excited to be back in the heat.  We have 4 daughters and a son. In our free time we love to enjoy the outdoors; camping, hiking, and kayaking.

Email:  adam.witc@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. Witcher’s Website