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 twenty-one beautiful grandchildren. In Laura’s words: “I love coming to work each day. Our APA students, parents and staff are so 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 Bachelor's 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 and continued her education at BYU-Provo where she met her husband. (He is also an educator--teaching at the High School and College levels.) She is the mother of three sons, all alumni 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 her current position as an 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. 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.
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.
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!”
Mr. Skyler Frickelton is our talented WV1 music 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 in 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 students 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!