Certified Teachers

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Niecy Westmoreland


Certified K-8 Teacher
Taught 3rd & 4th grade in Kyrene for 9 years
B.A. in Elementary Education
Educational Tech Guru
Owns light up shoes and 11 pairs of glasses

Niecy Westmoreland exited the womb, cried, and started asking questions. She’s always loved learning and her curious nature has made her a loud and proud nerd since age zero.

Her childhood was happy and reasonably normal considering that she has nine siblings. Some highlights include learning to sew at age eight and surviving The Great Finger Sewing Incident of 1992 with fully intact appendages. At age ten she dabbled in inventing, her most notable invention being WindMuffs. Regrettably, WindMuffs, earmuffs designed to attach to bike helmet straps, never took off in Arizona markets.

Ms. Westmoreland received her degree (summa cum laude, of course) in Elementary Education from ASU, and she is continuing her studies with an M.Ed. in Educational Technology from NAU.

As a 3rd and 4th grade teacher in Kyrene, she discoverd that she really loved teaching STEM and integrating it into all subject areas. Some highlights of her teaching career include taking just about every professional development course her district offered and eventually teaching some PD classes, coaching her school’s FIRST LEGO League robotics team for 4 years and making it to the state level competition once, integrating yearly Mars projects and attending the launch of the Mars Curiosity rover in 2012, and (fingers crossed) making a difference in the lives of her students.

She started Nerding as a summer program in 2014. <3


Marissa Cox

4th and 5th grade teacher for 13 years
B.A. in Art History from ASU
M.Ed. in Elementary Ed from ASU
As an art student, considered cutting off ear

Bobby Norman

2nd, 5th, 6th (Lang.Arts), and 7th grade Science teacher for 14 years
Ed Tech Specialist for Kyrene District
B.A. in Elementary Ed from ASU
M.Ed. in Educational Technology from NAU
Likes to use Google Earth and pretend he is a giant

Dave Carras

4th grade gifted teacher for 12 years
M.Ed. in Elementary Ed from ASU
NASA Endeavor Fellow
Uses multimillion dollar satellites to find Tupperware hidden in the woods...

April Rohrer

 4th-7th Nerding Teacher for 3 years
B.A. in Business Psychology from Miami University
Owns life size R2-D2
Dresses up for Comicon

Shea Evans

K-5 Resource teacher for 2 years
B.A. in Elementary and Special Ed from Shippensburg University
Adventure enthusiast
Owns over 100 bowties

Stacey Trepanier

6th Grade Language Arts teacher for 23 years
B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies
M.Ed in Currulum and Instruction and Gifted Ed.
AZ State Coordinatior for National History Day
Flynn Teacher Award
Bhering Teacher of the Year, nbd.
Loves Harry Potter and the Marvel Universe

Alena Almendarez

5th Grade Science teacher for 14 years
B.A. in Elementary Education from Ottawa University 
M.Ed in Elementary Education from NAU
Her patronus is a penguin
Cried tears of joy the first time her son asked to watch Star Wars


Jess Suri

K-6 STEM teacher for 7 years
B.A. in English/Sociology and Ed from State University of NY at Buffalo
M.Ed. in Childhood Ed from State University of NY at Buffalo
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Teacher Innovator
Collects interesting and ridiculous pens
On number 21 in quest to visit all 50 states

Heather Vehon

Has taught 3rd-5th grade
coached teachers and lead PD
Dean of Students
(this coming school year at Eduprize)
B. A. In Elementary Ed from ASU
M. Ed. In Multi-Cultural Ed from NAU
Loves her greyhound named Jasper
Loves sticky notes. All the stickey notes.


Erin Martin

4th and 5th grade teacher 17 years
B.A. in Elementary Ed from ASU
Code Ninja
Clean freak... just don't open a cabinet

Lisa Kiefer

K-3rd teacher for 30 years
B.A. in Elementary Ed
M.Ed. in Elementary Ed specializing in Science
Once took a class on Power Plants... voluntarily.

Megan Blakley

K and 1st grade teacher 5 years
B.A. in Elementary Ed from ASU
Prefers puzzles to TV

Liza Richards

2nd and 5th grade teacher 12 years
Ed Tech Specialist 8 years
B.A. in Elementary Ed from Ottawa Univeristy
M.Ed. in Elementary Ed from NAU
Needs to code a program to find the kitchen

Jennifer Leopardi

7th-8th Grade Language Arts teacher for 4 years
K-8 Library Media Specialist for 15 years
B.A. in Secondary Education and English from ASU
M.Ed. in Educational Technology from NAU
Book lover, obviously.
World Traveler

Sarah Fahey

Taught all the grades for all the years
B.A. in Elementary Ed, Early Childhood Endorsement
M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
Loves to make people happy
Bunco Champion of the World
Does card tricks


Misty Martinez

Desert Sun Teacher 12 years
AA in Early Childhood Education
B.A. in Photographic Studies from ASU
Has absurdly large collections of sea shells, beach sand, and plastic animals


Jenn Conley

Kindergarten Teacher 8 years
B.A. in Elementary Ed and Special Ed from NAU
ESL and Early Childhood Endorsements
Taught in China for 6 months
Self-taught ukelele player and loves ultimate frisbee

Daniela Yuenyongsgool

Music/Yoga/German language teacher
B.A. in Education
M.A. in History and Religious Studies
Grew up in East Germany

Jaime Cozza

Desert Sun Teacher
B.A. in Psychology, minor in Early Childhood Development
M.A. in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University
Mom to 2 nerds


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