Ms. Attridge (Whitaker) earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, Biology with a minor in Chemistry, from Northern Arizona University. She worked as a General Chemistry Lab Teaching Assistant where she taught the first semester general chemistry lab for three semesters. During this time, she was able to teach labs concerning density, flame tests, dilutions, and even acid-base titrations. Ms. Attridge was also the historian for the We TEACH club at NAU where she attended school-related events to create a newsletter for the student community. Ms. Attridge currently teaches 6th grade Life Science and is a Dean of Students.
Mr. Jason Stokes earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology and Classical Studies at Arizona State University before joining Arete in the summer of 2009 to teach Latin. Selected as a Quintilian Fellow by Great Hearts Academies and the University of Dallas in 2016, Mr. Stokes is completing his Master of Humanities with a focus in Classical Education through the University of Dallas. During his time at Arete, Mr. Stokes has taught Latin and History, served as the lead History teacher, coached football and basketball, and advised many clubs. He currently is serving as the Dean of Students.
After teaching, coaching, and serving as the assistant athletic director at Chandler Prep, Coach Conklin is excited to begin his first year as Athletic Director at Arete Prep. A native of Buffalo, NY, Todd played soccer at and graduated from Slippery Rock University (PA) with a B.S in PE and Health K-12. Coach Conklin then returned home, teaching elementary PE and coaching at his all mater, Starpoint Central. While teaching, he earned an MA in Physical Education with a Specialization in Coaching from Ball State University. During that time, Todd was very active in the coaching world. He coached soccer at the high school, club, and ODP levels, as well as stints in high school basketball and middle school track and field. In his free time, Coach Conklin loves to spend time with his wife and three kids, travel, read books on leadership, coaching, and athletics, play and watch any and all sports, and stay active.
Ms. Rebecca Arguello has been a college counselor with Arete Prep since 2014. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. After spending her undergraduate years coordinating college prep activities for first generation students, managing a tutoring company, and doing graphic design, Ms. Arguello relocated to Los Angeles to pursue graduate school. She holds a Pupil Personnel Services credential in Counseling in California and is a certified Arizona Guidance Counselor for Pre-K through 12th grade students. Ms. Arguello is a Chicago native, Mesa resident, and always seen with a coffee in hand.
Mr. Rick Alvarez graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and an minor in Education Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Alvarez has been with Arete since 2014. He has taught nearly every grade level of math during his tenure at Arete and he currently teaches 7th, 9th, and 11th grade. Mr. Alvarez also enjoys playing and coaching sports, most notably baseball, where he has been on the middle school and high school staff for four years.
Mrs. Jodi Folley joined Mesa/Arete Prep in our inaugural year of 2007 and has taught various levels of Math and Latin since then and even coached volleyball for 10 years. She grew up in Arizona and attended Cactus Shadows High School, where she was her class valedictorian. After graduating from the University of Arizona, she taught and coached at Paradise Valley High School until she moved to Mesa and started her family. Her two oldest sons graduated from Arete in 2016 and 2018 and her youngest son will graduate from Arete in 2019. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family and playing various sports, especially volleyball.
Mr. Joe Glascock worked as an emergency room technician in the mountain community of Show Low, Arizona before becoming a teacher in 2002. In 2007, Mr. Glascock and his wife lived on Catalina Island, California and directed a marine science program. Mr. Glascock began teaching science at Arete Preparatory Academy in February, 2009. Mr. Glascock taught various levels of science, was Dean of students, led the mentor program, coached middle school boys’ soccer, sponsored the robotics team and founded the Student Life Team. In 2014, Mr. Glascock left teaching to pursue a career in law enforcement and while he found the job as a police officer to be very exciting, he ultimately decided to return to teaching at Archway Arete last year as a fifth-grade teacher. He is excited to return to Arete Prep next year as a science teacher and support to the administration.
Ms. Rebekah Kienenberger fell in love with geology as a high school student. She went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude and earned her Bachelor of Science in Geology at Missouri State University and followed that with a Master of Science in Geology from ASU while working within the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Ms. Kienenberger has worked with NASA in various capacities on the Mars Exploration Rovers project since 2003 and studied wind processes on the Red Planet through her management of a wind tunnel facility at ASU. She was also involved in numerous site investigation and groundwater remediation projects during her time as an environmental scientist. Ms. Kienenberger has been teaching Earth Science at Arete since 2011 and since that time has served as a mentor advisor, grant writer for Archway and Prep, science bowl leader for middle and high school, geology club leader, teacher coach, and field trip extraordinaire.
Mr. Adam Narish grew up in Wisconsin and earned a B.S. in Zoology and B.S. in Biological Aspects of Conservation from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Afterwards, he joined the Peace Corps and helped communities in Honduras establish projects to protect their natural resources and set up a national program to monitor populations of endangered birds throughout the country. Mr. Narish had been a professional wildlife biologist for 15 years prior to joining Arete Prep in 2015. He has been Arete Prep’s High School Soccer Coach since 2010, and currently teaches 6th grade Life Science and 9th grade Biology.
Mrs. Emily Duda has worked for Great Hearts as a fifth-grade teacher at Archway Veritas for the last five years. She is originally from Maine and has lived in Vermont, South Carolina, and Missouri. Mrs. Duda has lived in the Valley since 2008. She has a BA in Christian Studies from North Greenville University and a Master of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mrs. Duda enjoys hiking (when there are no snakes), watching movies, and reading. Mrs. Duda will be teaching middle school mathematics.
Mr. Daniel Jordan realized during his first year at North Central College that a great injustice was being asked of him – despite his love of history, literature, philosophy, and theology, he would have to choose just one for his major in order to graduate. As a result of this impossible decision, he decided to avoid the problem altogether by studying East Asian Studies and Japanese, which allowed him to dig into all of these facets at once. Still not satisfied, he also received a minor in History of Ideas, which allowed him to seminar on the Great Books of the West, and he later went on to receive his Masters degree in the Eastern Classics at St. Johns and take a summer-long intensive program there on the Islamic Classics. In addition to his academic background, since 2008 Mr. Jordan has joyfully taught all of the courses in the Lit/Comp, History, and Humane Letters sequence at Arete Prep.
Mr. Kanishka Marasinghe was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and grew up in Fargo, ND. He attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where he studied chemistry, religion, and philosophy before finally completing his BA in political science. Next, he spent two years studying creative writing in both poetry and fiction while managing an Indian restaurant and one year working as a product development consultant in Dongguan, China. Mr. Marasinghe earned an M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM. He was also a doctoral student in the department of government at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied public law and the history of political philosophy. Mr. Marasinghe has been at Arete Prep since 2013. He is currently teaching 10th and 12th grade humane letters and acting as the lead humane letters teacher. He loves spending time with his wife, reading, writing, hiking, storytelling, basketball, all kinds of music, and working on his house.
Mr. Jon Downing grew up in Arizona, California, and Nevada. He earned his Bachelor’s in English from Northern Arizona University, a post-baccalaureate certification in Teaching from The University of Arizona, and a Master’s in English, again from NAU. He has taught for about 10 years and joined the Arete factuality in 2014. As a member of the faculty, he has taught 6th and 8th grade Literature and Composition, taught 9th Grade Humane Letters, worked with the Mentor Program, and is currently the Lead Literature and Composition Teacher.
Mr. Zachary Hoffman studied History with minors in Philosophy and Political Science at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. As a member of the Ashbrook Program for History and Political Science, he completed his Statesmanship Thesis on Frederick Douglass and the promises of American Democracy. Graduating in three years, Magna Cum Laude, Mr. Hoffman was recruited by Great Hearts Academies and offered a position as an Apprentice Teacher at Archway Arete, before moving on to teach at the Middle and High School level at Arete Prep. Feeling right at home in Phoenix after living in Australia as a young man, Mr. Hoffman now teaches 9th and 10th grade Humane Letters.
Nathaniel Smauley hails from Northern California originally, before gaining a liberal arts education at Whittier College. There he earned a degree in Political Science as well as competing in the school’s Cross Country and Track teams, earning All Regional Honors. After graduation he spent two years in sales, before coming out to Arizona and working for Great Hearts where he has been teaching at Archway Veritas for the last three years. Nathaniel enjoys hiking, reading and collecting old books and making memories with his fiance.
Ms. Ashley Pereira will be celebrating her fourth year with Great Hearts. Ashley went to Arizona State University where she earned her dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in European History and Classical Studies, along with a corresponding certificate in Latin. She is a proud member of the ETA Sigma Phi National Honors Society and wrote her capstone thesis on the translating and transmuting of meaning within the works of Aeschylus and Euripides. Ashley was born and raised in Hawaii, but attended a private high school in Tacoma, Washington where she gained a love for rainy days and in her free time she can be most often found curled up with a book.
Ms. Victoria Monk worked for Great Hearts as an assistant teacher at Archway Arete in 2nd grade last year. She earned a double degree with certification in elementary education and English literature from Grand Canyon University. Ms. Monk was born and raised in Gilbert and fully appreciates the perks of her desert home including (but not limited to) few natural disasters, seldom needing to replace windshield wipers, and Ultimate Frisbee games rarely being rained out. In her spare time, Ms. Monk enjoys writing, reading old English epics, and catching up with her ten siblings. Ms. Monk is excited to combine her love for classic English literature and heart for middle schoolers in teaching Lit/Comp at Arete Prep!
Ms. Holly Hansen grew up in Minnesota and obtained a B.A. in English and French from the University of St. Catherine. She then spent some time in Japan teaching English and traveling in southeast Asia. She returned to the U.S. to work in Washington D.C. for a few years before obtaining an MA in French from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Ms. Hansen has been teaching French at Arete for 9 years. During her nine years at Arete, she has been club director and coached high school swimming. She also taught 6th grade Latin for three years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling and swimming. She has a 7th grade daughter at Arete.
Ms. Jamie Kronwald is an Arizona native and graduate from Tempe Prep. She studied Spanish and Kinesiology at Arizona State University, where she was able to spend three semesters abroad in Costa Rica and Mexico. While teaching Spanish at Arete/Mesa Prep, she earned a masters degree in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from the International Iberian-American University.
Mr. Lerner grew up in an Air Force family, living for a time in places such as Woodland, California to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. However, he spent the majority of his time in Virginia, where he earned his BA in Classics (with a concentration in Latin) from the University of Virginia. Following graduation, he moved to Gilbert, Arizona to serve as an assistant teacher for a 5th grade classroom. Since 2015, he has been teaching Latin at Arete Prep. In addition, he also coach MS Cross Country and MS Track and Field. In his spare time, Mr. Lerner enjoys cheering on the Virginia Cavaliers, reading books, and hiking trails.
Ms. Clara Carnahan has worked for Great Hearts as an assistant at Archway Arete both in 4th and 2nd grade and at Archway Lincoln as a 3rd grade lead teacher. Ms. Carnahan grew up in Central Phoenix and attended Veritas Preparatory Academy where she fell in love with Latin in 7th grade and continued her study of Latin and Greek through high school. She then attended Brigham Young University where she received a B.A. in Classical Studies with an emphasis in both Latin and Greek. Outside of school she loves walking her dog, visiting museums, playing soccer, and going to the theater. Ms. Carnahan teaches 6th and 7th grade Latin.
Ms. Christine Linde graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting as well as a Master of Education in Elementary Education from ASU. She has a diverse teaching career, with art education experience both inside and outside of the classroom. Previously, she taught art at a STEM elementary school and assisted in creating an engineering integrated art curriculum. Mrs. Linde contracts with the Council for Jews with Special Needs in planning and facilitating therapeutic art activities for special needs adults with a wide range of abilities. Additionally, she participates in many local events as an art instructor with the Gilbert Parks and Recreation Department. Mrs. Linde teaches studio art.
Dr. Jana Minov was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia in the family of professional musicians. Ms. Minov holds a Doctorate in Orchestral and Opera Conducting from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in conducting from the Conservatory of Music in Belgrade-Serbia. Before coming to Arizona, Ms. Minov worked as a professor at the school of music and assistant conductor in National Opera Theater in Belgrade. Ms. Minov was also a founder and artistic director of the chamber choir and due to her great contribution to Serbian music and culture, in 2011 Dr. Minov was inaugurated a cultural ambassador for Serbia for the North America. Ms. Minov was on staff of The Phoenix Symphony for 2010/11 serving as the Assistant Chorus Master. Ms. Minov is accomplished music educator, pianist and vocalist and she has been teaching music at Arete since 2009. Ms.Minov lives in Gilbert with her husband and two sons.
Dr. Nenad Savic began playing guitar at the age of eight. He graduated from the prestigious European Conservatory of Music in Belgrade, after which he received his master’s degree in guitar performance from the University of Idaho, and his doctorate at Arizona State University. Dr. Savic is a laureate of many national and international competitions, and has performed throughout Europe and the US. He is an active performer and dynamic participant at many prominent guitar competitions. He now adds to his illustrious music experience the teaching of 7th and 8th grade music and the leading of guitar club at Arete Prep Academy.
Ms. Meaghan Jimenez earned her teaching degree with certifications in both Elementary Education and Special Education from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY in January 2004. Upon graduation she took a job as a special education teacher at Burgard High School in Buffalo where she taught until June 2015. During that time she also earned her Masters degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Buffalo State College. Ms. Jimenez moved to Arizona in the summer of 2015 to chase the sunshine (and her now husband) and was extremely lucky to get a job with Great Hearts at Trivium Prep in Goodyear. Ms. Jimenez transferred to Arete in 2017 and currently lives in Chandler with her husband, Juan.
Jennifer Smedegaard has been teaching with Great Hearts for approximately six years. She started as a 2nd grade lead teacher at Archway Anthem, 1st great lead at Archway Lincoln and now an ESS Coordinator with Arete Prep. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Education; emphasis on Special Education, from Ottawa University. Aside from Great Hearts she has taught in public and charter schools in the valley. She has four boys all whom are current or graduated Arete students. She loves working at Arete; Great Hearts always feels like family. She enjoys spending free time with her husband and family.
Mr. Patrick Vaughan joined Arete Preparatory Academy in 2013, and has been the lead history teacher and is currently the lead humane letters teacher. He has also been involved with the Creative Writing Club, Heart for Others Club, Book Club, has been a Mentor Advisor for three years, and is the current lead history teacher. He earned his BA in Humanities/Theology at Criswell College in Dallas, TX, and his Masters of Humanities with an emphasis in Medieval History at the University of Dallas. He loves to read a wide variety of literature, history, and philosophy, and enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters hiking and generally enjoying the outdoors.