Arcadia Christian Academy was founded by a group of like-minded parents who are passionate about their children thriving not only in academics, but also in their spiritual, physical, and emotional lives. 


Mindy Ly
Director / Co-founder / Board Member

Mindy holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Dickinson State University, in Dickinson, ND. Following her studies, she served as a missionary in Mexico City before returning to the United States to work at Hope Christian Academy in North Dakota.  Following several years of experience working in a close-knit, private Christian school, Mindy decided to relocate to Arizona to be closer to her family.  She worked in finance for four years before meeting her husband, Alex. Today, she is a proud mother of four young boys, Xander, Beckett, Ethan, and Malakai, all under the age of eight, three of whom will be enrolled at Arcadia Christian Academy this year.



Amanda Bennett
Co-founder / Board Member

Amanda has her Bachelors degree in elementary education from Arizona State University. She taught first grade in the public school system for five years before starting a family with her husband, Michael. After having their daughter Everly, Amanda decided that she desired a different education option for Everly other than the five-day, full-day, secular model she had taught in. Fast forward six years later to the launch of Arcadia Christian Academy! Amanda is passionate and dedicated to creating a Christ-centered school community that supports families in educating their children.


Alex Ly
Co-founder / Board Member

Alex is a native of Tempe, AZ and holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Management with an emphasis in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona. Currently, he runs a tech company and real estate venture. Alex's upbringing in the church, where he played in worship bands and was surrounded by Biblical values and a loving community, has left an indelible mark on him. With Arcadia Christian Academy, Alex envisions a shining light in the community and a model program that empowers other families to establish similar initiatives throughout the valley. Alex cherishes spending quality time and traveling with his wife Mindy and their four boys.



Michael Bennett
Co-founder / Board Member

Michael graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Commercial Real Estate from ASU in 2005. He has been involved in investment real estate and finance for 18 years privately lending over $500MM across the country. He started B.E. Lending in 2015 which currently manages a ~$55MM debt fund, owns and operates Bellair Golf Park, actively syndicates various other real estate projects, is the current President for the Camelback Society, and is a mentor with Hustle Phoenix. He has spent much of his adult life active in worship bands and leading mission trips to Zambia, Africa where he met his wife Amanda. Most importantly, Michael is excited to take on an active roll teaching his children both valuable academics and how faith in Jesus has guided and impacted his life that they would come to know Him in a real and personal way, and impact the world through His love. 

Steven Wheeler
Board Member

Steve Wheeler retired as an Executive Vice President for Arizona Public Service Company in 2010. Prior to joining APS, Mr. Wheeler was a managing partner of the 450-attorney, southwestern law firm of Snell & Wilmer.

Mr. Wheeler is actively involved in numerous boards and advisory councils. He is the director and past chairman of HonorHealth, Arizona’s second-largest healthcare system. He is the director and Vice Chair of the Flinn Foundation (a privately endowed grantmaking organization focusing on biomedical research, education, and the arts). He is the director of Great Hearts America (a nonprofit network of public charter schools in Arizona and Texas). He is also a director of New Learning Ventures and has served on the Helios Education Foundation Board of Directors since 2012. Additionally, he is a member of the advisory boards of the Camelback Society, Strategic Solar Energy, and RRA Companies.

He was previously Chairman of Valley of the Sun United Way, Chairman of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl; President of the Arizona Theatre Company; Vice Chair of the Phoenix Art Museum; Chairman of the Commission on the Arizona Environment; and Chairman of the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. Through gubernatorial appointment, he has also been involved in state initiatives on childhood education, transportation, and the environment.

Mr. Wheeler is an honors graduate of Princeton University and Cornell Law School.

Jessica Bhatti
Administrative Coordinator

Originally from the Midwest, Jessica Bhatti grew up in a Christian home, living coast to coast from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon. Her childhood was filled with exploring the outdoors, competing and traveling to gymnastics meets, as well as cooking in the kitchen with her mom. After altering her diet to help with an autoimmune disease, she became fascinated with how foods nourish and help to heal the body.


She received her bachelor's degree in Health Sciences from Portland State University and has a Culinary Arts, Baking, and Restaurant Management diploma from the Arizona Culinary Institute. Jessica landed in the valley 12 years ago, where she met her husband, Mike, while volunteering at a Christian nonprofit. They've been happily married for 9 years and have two girls. All of them are excited to be a part of the Arcadia Christian family!

Mike Bhatti
Director of Connection

Mike possesses a remarkable gift for fostering genuine connections within communities, recognizing and appreciating the best in people's abilities, and creating an environment where individuals can truly flourish. He provides leadership to connect people and the community with each other and his heart is to help propel people in their faith and see them flourish in every aspect of life.

He earned his B.S. in Christian Ministry with an emphasis in Counseling from Arizona Christian University and Moody Bible Institute. Mike's commitment to full-time ministry spans over 17 years. He ran a large after-school program for inner-city kids for 3 years, worked for PHOENIX/ONE for 7 years, and served at a local church in the heart of downtown Phoenix for 7 years. Mike is married to the love of his life, Jessica, and is the father of two daughters.

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