Mrs. Laura Leavitt has been with the American Prep family since 2003. Before coming to the
West Valley 1 campus in 2010 she taught third grade for six years. She holds a BA in Art from
Brigham Young University, a Level 2 Elementary Teaching License, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University. Laura loves reading, movies, gardening, camping and
cooking for a crowd. She and her husband, Dave, have seven children and eighteen beautiful grandchildren. In Laura’s words: “I love coming to work each day. Our APA students, parents and staff are wonderful. It is a privilege to work with them and for them.
Ms. MaryCarmen Gamez has been with the American Preparatory Academy West Valley 1 since they opened in 2009. She received her Bachelors’ in Business and an Associate Legal Studies degree. MaryCarmen was born in North Mexico and has lived in Salt Lake for 17 years. She likes to read books and enjoys being around kids.
MaryCarmen has 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren. MaryCarmen has a wealth of experience at American Prep and is very excited to take on the role as Administrative Director for West Valley 1.
Mrs. Melanie Ferlo has been with American Preparatory Academy since 2005. She graduated from Ricks College (BYU-Idaho) with her Associates Degree. She continued her education at BYU-Provo where she met her husband who teaches at the High School and College level. She is the mother of 3 sons, all graduates of American Preparatory Academy. What she enjoys most of all in life is spending time with her family. Her involvement in teaching includes the following areas: Groups Instructor, PACE Teacher and currently she is the Academic Coordinator at WV1.
Mrs. Lindsey Oveson joined our APA WV1 campus in January 2018, filling in the position of front office secretary. She graduated from Cyprus High School in 1994. She was born in Farmington, New Mexico and has lived in West Valley City since she was 5 years old. She married her high school sweetheart, Brian and has been married for 23 years. They have 4 children - 2 boys and 2 girls, and recently got their first grandson. When she is not sitting at a baseball/softball/football/basketball game, or a choir/theater performance of one of her children, she enjoys reading, singing, playing the piano and decorating cakes. She loves being creative and making messes. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would sell everything and live out her life on a quiet tropical island somewhere.
Mrs. Annaka Hendersen started with American Preparatory Academy 7 years ago in 2011 as a kindergarten instructor. She is from Murray and lives now with her family, that she adores, in Taylorsville. Her children are students of APA. She loves camping, picnics, Disneyland, Harry Potter, concerts, music, hiking, and sushi. She collects shot glasses and is currently at 134. She also loves reading and her nieces and is excited for her nephew that is soon to arrive.
Ms. Brittany Judd joined the WV1 APA team 4 years ago, starting out as an instructor. She now teaches 1st grade and is loved by all of her students. She has a BA in English from Brigham Young University Idaho. She was born in Jacksonville, Arkansas and currently lives in Salt Lake City. She is the eldest of five, and was born and raised in the Air Force and lived overseas and all over the states. She loves to paint, read, eat and go on lots of adventures.
Mrs. Kimberly I.S. Johnson joined APA in October of 2016. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and 2 minor degrees in Anthropology and Applied Computers from Brigham Young University. She is originally from Kent, Washington, a suburb of Seattle and now lives with her family in the Magna area. She loves traveling, food and people. She has lived in Washington, California, Oklahoma, Utah and in Victoria, Australia. She has also been to the Ukraine, China, Germany, France, England, Belgium, Honduras, Mexico, Grand Cayman, the Bahamas and Canada. Her goal is to visit all the states in the U.S. and see as many countries as she can.
Mrs. Justina Spencer has been with APA for 6 years, starting out as an instructor. Now she is a second grade teacher. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Disability Studies. She grew up in West Valley City and now lives in Magna. In her personal time she is the Prop Master at the Empress Theatre in Magna. She also loves to play the ukulele.
Ms. McKenzie Denison has been with APA’S West Valley I campus for four and a half years. She started as an instructor, then worked her way into teaching. She is now a fourth-grade teacher. She received her degree from Southern Utah University - SUU. She currently resides in Bountiful. McKenzie loves the theatre, music, and things that are funny. This year she is enjoying the first year with the Stage Production Club, as they write, compose and produce an original opera! She has five nephews and three nieces that she adores to pieces. She lives by the saying, “He who laughs longest, wins!”
Mrs. Saba Ahmad has been with APA WV1 for 2 years starting in 2017. She started as a substitute teacher and now is an instructor. She has a Bachelors degree and a Master in Biology. She is from Pakistan originally and now lives in Salt Lake City. Her favorite subjects are Biology and Math. She says she loves to teach and learn new things.
Mrs. Emily Boynton joined our WV1 campus last year, but has been with APA for 4 years. She started at WV2. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education at Ohio Wesleyan University and a Minor in Fine Arts (Art History). She is originally from Ohio and now lives with her husband and 2 cats in Millcreek. She loves outdoor things, hiking, camping, going to National parks and especially loves to travel. She would one day love to travel around the world. She lived in South Korea for a year teaching. She loves to read and watch scary movies.
Mrs. K'Leena Furniss - (5th grade) attended Utah State University where she majored in Sociology. After graduating, K’Leena became a Camp Director, where she had the opportunity to work with and educate children of all ages. In addition to teaching children in a professional capacity, K’Leena has enjoyed working with children in her personal life as well. She has volunteered and served on several committees and boards associated with helping teach children throughout her life. She is currently working towards obtaining her Utah Teaching License through the ARL program. K’Leena’s enjoys swimming, hiking, biking, boating, painting, photography and traveling. And she especially loves hanging out with family and friends.
Mrs. Lyndzie Eddards started at APA’s WV1 campus in October 2017 and is a fifth-grade instructor. She has a B.S. in Educational Studies from Grand Canyon University in 2018. She is from Salt Lake City and now lives in West Valley City. She is married and they have one son who is an APA student. She loves to go camping, go to the movies, and take trips as a family. She loves to discover, explore and learn. She loves summer and fall and anything Disney. She is excited to be part of the APA family.
Mrs. Melissa Young has been working in the education field for 15 years, and this is her second year at APA. She attended Ashford University in Iowa where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a Minor in Early Childhood Education and an Associates in Business. Mrs. Young has been married to her husband for 24 years and has four children. While Mrs. Young’s husband was Active Duty with the Marine Corps, she had the chance to move 12 different times, living all over the country and even lived in Japan for 3 years. This helped her develop a love of traveling. Mrs. Young and her family have settled back in Utah, and when she is not getting her children to and from all their activities, she spends her free time as a Girl Scout leader, softball coach, reading good books, watching movies and camping.
Ms. Amy Hugh has been with APA since 2011, when WV2 opened where she started . She taught 5th grade at WV1 for 2 years and currently teaches 5th & 6th grade Science at both campuses. She has a BS in Sociology from Utah State University. Also an MS in Special Education with an emphasis in Rehabilitation Counseling from USU. She has a Level II Elementary Education license USOE. She lives in Fruits Heights, the City of Good Neighbors.
Amy’s favorite subjects in school are math, science, history, writing, literature and music. She’s into traveling, especially river trips, biking, hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, going to museums, art galleries, historical sites, and attending the theater. Her favorite place on Earth is in a canoe on the Green River in Stillwater Canyon of Canyonlands. The best place to bike so far is along the River Danube from Passau, Germany through Vienna to Budapest or the vacant lots, hollows, and open spaces right around from her house. Her favorite place to ski is Bryce and around the neighborhood before the snow plows come out. She likes to relax with yoga, photography, watercolor, reading, storytelling and cooking/eating good food around a campfire under the stars. She says she’s always on the lookout to learn, reading about and try new challenging things. Favorite sayings: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” & “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” She says she always thinks “I CAN!”
Mrs. Angela Western came to our WVI campus 2.5 years ago as our Physical Education Teacher. Angela has her Bachelor of Education -Physical Education and Health Master’s Sports Condition and Human Performance from Southern Utah University. She moved from New Jersey 10 years ago to Utah, moving around quite a bit and is currently residing in West Valley City.
She loves all sports and everything outdoors, from hiking, snowboarding, longboarding, swimming, camping, off-roading, and kayaking. She has 3 children - 5- year old girl - Abigail, 4-year old boy - Max, and 7-month old boy - Ray. She also has a Lab/Boxer mix - Finn. Turtles are her favorite animal and she has one pet turtle and one pet tortoise.
Angela was raised as an Air Force brat, but claims New Jersey as her home. She loves to travel and see new things. She enjoys trying to get really visually pleasing pictures in really neat places. She has had the opportunity to travel all around Europe in her early Adulthood, and would love to, one day, visit South Africa, Australia and Bora Bora, Fiji.
Mr. Skyler Frickelton started this year as our WV1 choir director. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. He was born and raised in Wisconsin (Go Packers) and currently lives in Salt Lake City.
While growing up and going to school in Wisconsin, he discovered his passion for teaching others. Music was also a huge part of his life as he participated in many musical ensembles during high school and college. He thought, what better way to combine his passions than to teach others the joys music. Mr. Frickelton taught five years in Wisconsin as a middle school vocal and general music teacher. He also enjoys coaching various school athletic teams and loves to see his students be as involved as possible. His journey to Utah has been a wonderful experience so far. In his free time, he enjoys being outside in the mountains hiking, biking, skiing, and climbing.
Mrs. Connie McCullough is a Sistema Director at American Preparatory Academy. She manages and runs an afterschool music program where 150 kids receive three hours of music instruction each day. She loves teaching music. She and her Sistema partner, Trina Christensen, manage Sistema Strings, a performance group. Sistema Strings recently performed at the Utah Grizzlies Hockey Game, many University of Utah sporting events, Afterschool Day on the Hill at the Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake Local Leaders Summit, and in a side-by-side performance with the Utah Philharmonic.
Connie has been teaching violin and viola for over 20 years. She has been a Suzuki Violin teacher for the past 10 years. Her training in music is through the University of Utah School of Music, Suzuki training at Institutes, conferences and workshops, on the job training as an Elementary School Orchestra Teacher and Private Suzuki Violin/Viola Teacher, and through performing with many different quartets, orchestras, symphonies, and bands.
Connie recently served on the board of the Suzuki Association of Utah (SAU) for 5 years, three of those years she served as President of the organization. She was the conference coordinator for four state wide conferences for SAU and was the chairman for the Celebration IX Concert in 2015, where they had over 1300 children performing on nine different instruments. She has taught, headed committees, and spoken at local, national, and international conferences.
Ms. Constance Petersen joined our Sistema program this year as the Sistema Assistant. She has her Masters of Music in Flute Performance from Florida State University. Constance is originally from Greenville, SC and now lives in Salt Lake City. She has been playing the flute for 16 years. She also plays the piccolo, traverso (Baroque flute), and the piano. Besides music, she loves coffee, cats, card games and rain!
Ms. Monica Brown started working at the American Preparatory Academy’s West Valley I in 2016 working as a Special Education Case Manager. She earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Northern Illinois University. She currently lives in South Jordan. Among Ms. Brown’s hobbies she likes to travel, learn, shop and play with nieces.
Mrs. Jessica Edwards has been with APA since 2013. She has her M.S. Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Utah and B.S. Audiology and Speech Language Pathology from BYU. Jessica currently lives in North Salt Lake, and came her from Lethbridge, Alberta Canada. She has four sons and a new puppy. She enjoy hiking, skiing, traveling, and is fluent in American Sign Language -ASL.
Mrs. Laura Dye has been with APA since September 2016. She is a licensed K-12 School Counselor, with a Master of Science Degree in Psychology from Utah State University. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Art from Weber State University. Laura has lived in Utah most of her life, currently living in Syracuse.
She enjoys writing, traveling, and going on walks, hikes or bike rides with her spouse and two children.
Mr. Jacob Ferlo is our newest Groups Instructor starting this year - 2018. He is working on his Communications Studies at BYU. He has been born and raised in Sandy, UT. He is the middle of 3 brothers and has always enjoyed playing and watching sports with his brothers. He enjoys many kinds of music and enjoys attending concerts. He attended APA Draper 1 from 3rd to 9th grades.