Mindy Ly
Co-Founder / Executive Director


Mindy holds a Bachelors 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 / Executive Director


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 / Executive Director


Alex is a native of Tempe, AZ and holds a Bachelors 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 / Executive Director


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
Advisor / 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
Director of Administration


Originally from the Midwest, Jessica Bhatti grew up in a Christian home living coast to coast from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. 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. She worked in Human Resources for a large insurance corporation for 8 years before taking time off to start a family. Her and her husband have been happily married for 10 years and they have three kids. She loves experimenting in the kitchen with her kids and being active with her family. All of them feel blessed to be apart of the Arcadia Christian Academy community!

Michael Bhatti
Director of Connection & Fundraising


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. 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 three.

Kallie Burkett
Director of Student & Staff Affairs

Growing up in Arizona and in ministry, Kallie has a heart to connect people to God and to each other. She’s had the privilege of working with inner-city communities through the Phoenix Dream Center, and assisted churches in ministries by coordinating large events, leading worship teams, and coordinating women’s bible study groups. Kallie was blessed to work as the international event coordinator with Alliance Defending Freedom, and after her first son was born, she chose to continue in ministry by homeschooling her three boys, until God led her to enroll her boys in ACA. As she has watched her own children grow and thrive at ACA, Kallie’s heart is to further ACA’s mission and help foster an environment where every student, teacher, and parent feels heard, supported, and loved.

Andrea Kortman
Director of Campus Life & School Nurse

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from GCU. She worked for 13 years at St. Joseph’s Hospital on a Neurosurgery floor caring for primarily head and spine injuries along with other neurological issues, as well as charge and assisting the manager. After starting a family, she worked at North Phoenix Baptist Church in the children’s ministry for 5 years. She then became the school nurse at Northwest Christian School in Phoenix for 15 years serving 1500 students, staff, and families.

Andrea grew up in a Christian home, and has been involved in church since she was small. She has been married to her wonderful husband Ken for 38 years and they are blessed with 4 adult children, 2 daughter-in-loves, and 6 grandchildren. She loves being with her family, outdoors in the mountains or the beach, and reading.

Kaylee Hines
Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Kaylee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from George Fox University. Her teaching journey began in her hometown of Missoula, Montana, where she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade in an independent district. Upon relocating to Phoenix, she joined the Paradise Valley School District, initially teaching 3rd and then 6th grade before transitioning into the role of an elementary math specialist at Boulder Creek Elementary.

Over the past two years, Kaylee has dedicated herself to supporting teacher development and fostering strong foundational skills in mathematics among students. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the picturesque neighborhoods and trails of Phoenix through running and walking, often accompanied by her English lab, Gordo. Kaylee and her husband are active members of Whitton Avenue Bible church where they attend with their daughter, Lucy.

Maeve McCaffrey 
Director of Behavioral & Special Education Services

Maeve McCaffrey is a passionate advocate for students and families in the education system. With a deep understanding of mental health and behavioral issues, Maeve completed her undergraduate degree in social work at the University of Wyoming. While in Wyoming, she worked in daycares and preschools, gaining valuable insights into child development. She also interned with the Department of Family Services in Cheyenne.

Maeve then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to pursue her Master's in Social Work. While finishing her degree, she had the opportunity to work as a school social worker in the Peoria School District. During this time, Maeve realized her calling to work in schools. She cherishes the sense of community that comes from collaborating with students, teachers, and families. Maeve believes that the Lord is guiding her, even in ways she might not fully understand, and she continuously prays for guidance to be where she is needed.

In her free time, Maeve is an avid outdoorswoman. You can find her hiking trails, horseback riding, paddle boarding, or playing basketball. When she's not outside, she is meeting with clients one-on-one for her telehealth business. Maeve believes in giving back to the community, as she attributes everything she has to the Lord's blessings. She is excited to join Arcadia Christian Academy for the 2024-2025 school year and looks forward to contributing to the school's mission.

Lauren Boczenowski
Pre-Kindergarten Lead

Lauren Boczenowski is an Arizona native who received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University. She has been working with children aged two to twelve at different schools for the past ten years. Lauren especially loves working with younger children, providing a safe, fun, and loving environment for them to grow and learn. She finds joy in the curiosity and natural love of learning that little ones possess.

Lauren is thrilled to be part of Arcadia Christian Academy, where she can share the joy and peace of knowing Jesus every day. Outside of working with children, she enjoys sewing, quilting, painting, biking, and swimming. 

Kailey Davenny
Pre-Kindergarten Lead

Kailey Davenny is from Arizona and was blessed to be raised in a Christian family. She became a Christian at the age of 5 and was baptized at 13. Despite facing struggles, the Lord has always been with her and led her through them. Kailey completed her B.A. in Psychology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. School was always challenging for her, but with the Lord’s help, she graduated. She has continued her education informally through the University of the Nations in Kona, HI, and the Institute for the Nations in Sydney, Australia.

Kailey lived for almost five years in Sydney, Australia, as a full-time staff member at Youth With A Mission Sydney Island Breeze. Her full-time missionary work lasted close to eight years, during which she spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to six nations. She loved her job, sharing about Jesus, helping lead Discipleship Training Schools (DTS), and using her gifts and talents in singing, songwriting, acting, dancing, and even rapping. When COVID hit, Kailey moved back to Arizona and pursued further education in early childhood education. In 2022, she graduated with a master’s in Early Childhood Education from Grand Canyon University. While studying, she worked as a teacher’s assistant at NPHX Weekday Preschool, allowing her to apply what she was learning directly to her job.

The story of why Kailey wanted to teach at ACA is a special one. She finished her elementary school at the same location where ACA is now, making it feel like a full-circle moment for her. This is her second year teaching at ACA, and she is excited to partner with what the Lord is doing at the school. Kailey looks forward to teaching the students about Jesus through the curriculum and partnering with families in educating their children. She believes that families are a child’s first teacher, and her role is to support them.

In her free time, Kailey enjoys exercising, baking, singing, and watching movies with her husband of almost one year. She is thrilled to be a part of Arcadia Christian Academy once again.

Lilly McCance
Pre-Kindergarten Lead

Lilly has a true passion for taking care of others. With a servant's heart, she is always willing to help in any way she can. She has worked in daycare and preschool settings and has loved watching her students at ACA learn about God's word and grow in their social and emotional development. Lilly has been attending her church for eight years, where she and her family were baptized. She has served in the nursery, welcome team, prayer team, and led a young moms' Bible study.

Lilly is a proud mom of two boys. Her oldest thrived in pre-K at ACA and is starting kindergarten there this fall. In her spare time, she loves to read, bake, and go on adventures with her family. She is excited to continue contributing to the ACA community and supporting the growth and development of her students.

Michelle Parra
Pre-Kindergarten Lead

Michelle was blessed to grow up in a Christian home, and she has carried those strong Christian values into her adulthood. She continually seeks to strengthen her relationship with Jesus and is passionate about teaching her children, as well as other children, about God's faithfulness, love, and grace. Her desire is to lead and encourage them to be bold, authentic followers of Christ so they can make a difference in this lost and hurting world.

While in her final semester of college, Michelle worked at a Christian preschool to fulfill her internship requirement. She planned to continue to graduate school to become a Christian counselor but fell in love with teaching. After obtaining her B.A. in Psychology from California State University of Fullerton, she continued her teaching career. She now has more than 10 years of teaching experience, primarily with preschoolers and kindergarteners. Her family moved from California to Arizona in August 2020, and she began homeschooling her children in 2022. During her homeschool journey, she felt the need for a Christian homeschool community for her family, which led her to ACA.

Michelle is thrilled to take on the role of Lead Transitional Kindergarten teacher at ACA and cannot wait to help her students thrive. She wholeheartedly believes in the value of a Christ-centered home education and is excited to support other homeschool parents, helping them feel supported and blessed by the community at ACA. Michelle is deeply dedicated to meeting the individual needs of students to nurture their social, spiritual, and academic growth. She is passionate about cultivating a love for learning and instilling Biblical values, citizenship, and patriotism. We are praying that her God-given gifts and talents will be a blessing to her students and their families.

Emma Stutts
Pre-Kindergarten Aide

Emma is an Arizona native who received a B.S. in Christian Ministry from Arizona Christian University in 2015, where she competed on the cross-country team and met her husband, Jordon. After graduating, she worked for the university as an Admissions Counselor. This summer, Jordon and Emma will be celebrating nine years of marriage and have welcomed three children into their family over the years.

Emma feels blessed to have been a stay-at-home mom for the last seven years and has developed an immense passion for homeschooling. She is thrilled to be a part of Arcadia Christian Academy's community and to watch God work in the hearts and minds of little ones. In her free time, Emma loves cooking, hiking, collecting children's books, and spending time with her family. Her favorite moments are spent enjoying a book with her kids and teaching them about Jesus.

Samantha Baker
Kindergarten Lead

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Samantha attended Trinity International University, where she began her student teaching. Samantha has been teaching for the past six years as the lead teacher of a kindergarten class. She has worked with children since she was a teen, helping out with Vacation Bible School and later nannying for over eight years between college and teaching. She is passionate about creating a nurturing and engaging learning environment for young children, helping them grow to be more empathetic and deep thinkers.

Samantha is also passionate about homeschooling, having been homeschooled until college by her wonderful mother. She plans to homeschool her own children someday and attributes her close relationship with her siblings to the dynamic her parents cultivated through teaching and Bible studies.

When she is not in the classroom, Samantha loves spending time outdoors kayaking, swimming, and hiking. She has a passion for traveling and experiencing different cultures and enjoys expressing her creativity through art, with her favorite artist being Vincent van Gogh. Samantha married her best friend, Cody, in April 2023 and feels so blessed to be working in a Christian homeschool hybrid program.

Maisy Gokee
Kindergarten Lead

Maisy is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been living in Arizona for the past five years. She moved to Arizona to attend Grand Canyon University, where she received her degree in Elementary and Special Education and met her amazing husband, Ben. Maisy has worked in Kindergarten for the past three and a half years, serving as an assistant teacher at Great Hearts for two and a half years and recently completing her first year as a lead teacher at Arcadia Christian Academy.

Her love of teaching began in kindergarten when she would play school with her stuffed animals and give her cousins homework. However, it was during a mission trip to Costa Rica, where she helped organize a Vacation Bible School for children, that she realized her true calling to become an educator. Maisy loves working at a Christian school where she can share her faith with her students and help them grow in their relationship with Jesus.

When she is not in the classroom, Maisy enjoys being creative with crocheting and watercoloring, bouldering/rock climbing, and exploring new restaurants and movies. She is excited to continue her journey at Arcadia Christian Academy and make a positive impact on her students' lives.

RaeAnn Okyere
Kindergarten Lead

RaeAnn Okyere holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work from Grand Canyon University. She spent the last two fulfilling years as a lead kindergarten teacher at Archway Veritas, where she experienced the joy of witnessing young minds blossom and thrive. Known for her outgoing nature and genuine enthusiasm for watching children learn and develop, RaeAnn is dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the lives of her students and their families through Christ, while bringing joy into the classroom.

Outside of the classroom, RaeAnn cherishes spending time outdoors with her husband and newborn daughter. She looks forward to continuing her journey in education and positively impacting her students' lives at Arcadia Christian Academy.

Sabrina Hall
Kindergarten Aide

Sabrina Hall is 22 years old and graduated from Grand Canyon University in 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health and a Minor in Biblical Studies. She has loved working with children for the past 12 years in various roles, including babysitter, summer camp counselor, refugee ministry leader, Sunday School volunteer, and as a teacher’s aide at ACA. Sabrina married her husband, Ty, in August 2023, and they have deeply loved marriage and serving the Lord alongside each other.

Sabrina aspires to be a mother and a biblical counselor. She enjoys music, singing, traveling, and is passionate about healthy living. She loves being involved with her church community and growing in her love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sabrina is excited to continue her journey at ACA and looks forward to making a positive impact on the children she works with.

Cortney Huffman
Kindergarten Aide

Cortney Huffman worked as Licensed Practical Nurse at Rainier State School, where she worked with intellectually and developmentally disabled adults to provide active treatment and programs aimed at maximizing their independence and in the Emergency Department in Washington State. Since moving to Arizona, Cortney has directed more attention to getting involved in her homeschool communities by teaching Kindergarten at West Valley Crusaders Co-op and lead Strength Training courses at Branches Co-op.

Cortney's faith played a crucial role in her family's decision to relocate to Arizona, where she continued to dedicated time to homeschooling her children while her husband embarked on a new career in law enforcement.  Cortney’s family is passionate in leading a Christ centered life while enjoying all of Arizonas beauty from off-roading to days at the lake. Cortney looks forward to continuing to teach her own two children and being apart of helping in the Kinder classes at Arcadia Christian. 

Jenny Otálvaro
Kindergarten Aide

Jenny Otálvaro is a proud native of Arizona. Raised in a Christian home, she committed her life to following the Lord in high school. After earning a B.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona, Jenny worked as a Speech Pathologist Assistant in various elementary schools in Tucson and later at a private school in Phoenix. She also gained valuable experience working at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, helping children improve their reading and comprehension skills through their individualized program.

During college, Jenny had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica, where she met her husband, who is from South America. They have been married for 15 years and have three wonderful children. Her husband is the pastor of a Latino church, and Jenny loves serving alongside him as the children’s ministry director. She has taught children at her church for the last 13 years and loves sharing about Jesus each Sunday.

In her free time, Jenny enjoys listening to music in Spanish, reading good books with her kids, learning about other cultures, cooking, being outdoors, and, of course, enjoying a great cup of coffee. Jenny had the joy of being homeschooled for a few years in middle school, and it is an answer to prayer that her children can enjoy the many benefits of both at-home and in-class learning. She is honored to have the opportunity to show God’s love to the students at ACA and help them grow in their knowledge of Him and the world around them.

Jessie Kortman
1st Grade Lead

Jessie Kortman is passionate about early childhood education and helping students reach their full academic potential while growing their relationship with Christ. She received her bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies from Grand Canyon University and worked at Northwest Christian School in Phoenix as an Educational Assistant for four years. During the last year, she worked as a substitute teacher in the preschool at Northwest Christian, where she developed a love for play-based learning and encouraging critical thinking.

Jessie was born and raised in Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on her daughters at the dance studio, reading, tending to her vegetable garden, or going to the gym. She prioritizes her relationship with Jesus by participating in her weekly neighborhood Bible study, reading God’s word regularly, and staying involved at Christ Church of the Valley, where she has been a member for the last ten years.

Jessie and her husband, John, have been married for eight years and have three little girls. Their family loves spending time swimming, being outdoors, and participating in various sports activities. They have always been committed to providing their girls with a Christian education and are incredibly excited about the opportunity to combine a classroom and homeschool approach. Jessie looks forward to partnering with the Arcadia Christian Academy community this upcoming school year!

Tiffany Mata
1st Grade Lead

Tiffany Mata was born and raised in Phoenix. Growing up in a Christian home filled with family and friends, she has been a follower of Christ since childhood. Tiffany participated in mission trips and led youth groups at her church. Her mother ran a daycare business in their home for many years, which Tiffany assisted with before nannying throughout high school and college. She has always been surrounded by children and prefers it that way.

Tiffany graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Art Education. Shortly after, she moved to Prague, Czech Republic, where she earned her TEFL certification, taught English at Montessori schools, tutored English language learners, and traveled around Europe. Upon returning home, she continued to teach Art to K-8 students. She has been joyfully married for six years and has a fantastic four-year-old daughter named Frankie, who loves to do art with her mama.

Tiffany loves to spend time with her family and close friends, drink coffee while reading a good book, walk around art museums and thrift shops, travel, watch and discuss films, and relax at her family's cabin in Prescott. She feels blessed to be continuing her teaching career with Arcadia Christian Academy and looks forward to guiding, nurturing creativity, and exploring this unique education with her first-grade class.

Elizabeth Stewart
1st Grade Lead

Liz graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. She spent five years teaching in the public school system, working in both special education and general education placements, before deciding to stay home to raise her children. Her hobbies include going on adventures with her three kids, working out, gardening, and baking all things sourdough.

Hannah Goman
2nd Grade Lead

Hannah Goman is a native Phoenician who received her B.A. in English from Arizona State University in 2012. She has been teaching at BASIS schools since 2015, starting at an international school in Shenzhen, China until 2018, and most recently in North Phoenix. She has taught kindergarten through 2nd grade and loves being with and teaching children during their early years of discovering the world through reading, writing, crafts, hands-on projects, and play.

A believer in Christ since she was six years old, Hannah began her career as a writer and editor. However, she felt the Lord calling her to teach in her mid-20s and has since experienced His blessings throughout her career. Over the years, she has learned, grown, traveled, and formed relationships with students and their families. Hannah is deeply excited to continue her journey at Arcadia Christian Academy, where she can freely share the love of Christ with her students and teach them His solid, loving truths.

In her free time, Hannah loves spending time with her husband and dear friends. She enjoys drinking coffee, reading, writing, decorating their home, organizing, and completing various DIY projects. She feels blessed and excited to be a part of the work the Lord is doing at Arcadia Christian Academy.

Sharon Leary
2nd Grade Lead

Sharon Leary is a passionate follower of Jesus and has been involved in Christian education for thirty-five years as a teacher, parent, coach, host mom, and sports fan. She is married to Jay Leary, and together they are blessed with five children and one beautiful granddaughter. As an early childhood educator, Sharon has spent most of her time teaching second grade.

Sharon is excited about this new chapter in her life at Arcadia Christian Academy and is thankful to be part of the ACA family. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood from New Mexico State University. Her favorite Bible verses are: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, and “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12.

Tiffany Auger
3rd Grade Lead

Tiffany Auger is a dedicated educator with extensive experience in both teaching and classroom support. Most recently, she served as a kindergarten teacher at Great Hearts Veritas, where she cultivated a nurturing and engaging learning environment for her students. In addition to her kindergarten teaching role, Tiffany has experience as a third-grade teacher and paraprofessional aide, demonstrating her versatility and commitment to fostering student growth at various educational levels. 

Tiffany holds a B.A. in Communication and Rhetoric from Calvin University in Michigan, enhancing her ability to effectively connect with students, parents, and colleagues. For about 27 years, Tiffany has been attending Camelback Bible Church, where her faith in Christ remains the cornerstone of her life. She and her husband have two daughters who attend GCU and a really cute dog.  When she is not teaching, she enjoys gardening, hiking, crafting and playing outdoors with her family

Summer Varela
3rd Grade Lead

Summer Varela is incredibly excited to be teaching 3rd grade at Arcadia Christian Academy. She is married to a wonderful man named Julian, and together they have five children, ranging in age from 5 to 23. Summer holds a degree in Communications and Marketing and serves as the director of West Valley Crusaders and co-owner of JMV 6 Electric.

In her extensive experience, Summer has held various leadership roles such as PTA President, Vice President, and PTO Vice President. She has also taught at Branches and for West Valley Crusaders. Five years ago, she began homeschooling four of their five children and has loved watching them grow and blossom through the years.

In her free time, Summer enjoys lesson planning, taking barre classes, and going on adventures with her family. She is looking forward to bringing her passion and experience to Arcadia Christian Academy and contributing to the growth and development of her students.

Megan Holm
4th Grade Lead

From a young age, Megan Holm has always enjoyed working with children. Her love for kids and teaching began in elementary school within the church setting, where she worked as an assistant in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. This early experience kindled her passion for teaching, leading her to earn a Bachelor's in Education from Bethel University in Minnesota, with a minor in Spanish.

After graduating, Megan had the opportunity to teach 8th grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade, and she spent several years teaching 3rd grade in the Phoenix area. She and her husband, Erick, have been married for 18 years. As they started their family, with sons Bradley (15) and Caleb (13), Megan took some time to be at home with her children but remained actively involved in teaching and education within the church. Most recently, she directed the LOGOS Kids Club program at Camelback Church.

In her free time, Megan enjoys reading, walking/running, and spending time with her family. She is looking forward to the privilege of using her teaching gifts to serve the children and families at Arcadia Christian Academy.

Kristen Farmer
5th Grade Lead

Born and raised in Arizona, Mrs. Farmer has witnessed the full spectrum of the education system here. She discovered her love for education while attending Arizona State University, where she earned both her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Education. With experience ranging from 1st grade to 6th grade, 5th grade holds a very special place in her heart. 

When she isn’t teaching, you can find Kristen horseback riding or hiking. Her favorite activities include traveling and spending time exploring with her amazing husband and two children. Rooted in her faith, Kristen is a devout Christian with a deep love for Jesus, guiding her every step inside and outside of the classroom with grace and compassion.


Alex Thompson
Jr High Lead

Alex Thompson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Biblical Studies which she received from Arizona Christian University in May 2015. She is incredibly excited to be a part of Arcadia Christian another year as she continues to teach and be a part of the administrative team for ACA’s middle school. She previously taught in the public education system in Peoria, Arizona for 3 years as well as online with a local charter school for 2 years.

During the years between receiving her degree and now, Alex and her husband (married 9 years this August) have welcomed 4 beautiful children. This time did include being away from the classroom for a bit to focus on their family. After Alex walked away from teaching with the local online charter school, she and her husband felt God leading them to homeschool their children. When Alex heard about Arcadia, they knew it was the Lord lighting the path for them. It has been a biggest blessing to their family in more ways they can count or describe.

Alex is a native to Arizona. She loves to spend time with her family and husband, serve however God calls, run, hike, and drink as much coffee as the Lord provides. If the week includes Costco and Trader Joe’s after church, she could say it’s the perfect week.

Alex is overjoyed to be a part of Arcadia another year and watch God work. She believes working with students and her own children in their academics and in their relationship with the Lord is a true gift. She hopes to show her students and her family a Christ-like love and say a bold, “Yes” to God each step they take together.

Steven Valdez
Jr High Lead

Steven and his wife, Kris Ann, have been married for 13 years and blessed with three children: Ezra Ignacio (11), Vera Annalise (6), and Mateo Noble (1.5). Anchored in their faith, they find community at Living Streams Church. Both Arizona natives, Kris Ann and Steven enjoy hiking, travel, and community engagement. Steven also supports local sports teams and enjoys friendly competition.

Steven holds degrees from Arizona Christian University (2008, BS Christian Ministries) and Grand Canyon University (2015, MS Counseling). His career spans diverse roles, from youth minister to Behavioral Health Technician, and has more than 10+ years in higher education. He's committed to holistic development, blending professional success with personal growth.

With a fatherly heart, Steven's mission is to foster a deeper understanding of faith. He aims to empower students academically and instill values like responsibility, accountability, teamwork, and leadership. His goal is for students to establish an academic foundation, ensuring future success while embracing moral integrity.

Erin Lehman
Jr High Lead

Erin Lehman was born and raised in Phoenix.  While a premed student studying physiology at the University of Arizona, she realized she enjoyed teaching science more than wanting to practice medicine.  After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, she began working for BASIS, in various capacities from teaching to administration.  Throughout her tenure, she became well versed in new school starts, scheduling, curriculum, and teaching.  She also went to seminary and earned her MA in Educational Leadership. 

While working at the school, Erin simultaneously was pursuing a calling God had put on her heart to be a missionary.  Since high school she has spent many years serving in the Czech Republic, helping at high school English camps and working with Josiah Venture doing youth ministry with local churches.  This led her to be a summer intern, and extended intern.  She thought she would move there full time, but God had other plans.  Although she does not currently serve in the Czech Republic, her heart is still for people to hear the gospel and come to know Jesus. 

Erin loves working with students.  She desires to see students develop a love for learning, and to be lifelong learners.  She thoroughly enjoys math and science and helping students come to see them not as a chore, but as exciting and useful no matter their interest whether that be art or engineering, cooking or physics, or anything in between.

Erin has been married to her husband Nathan for ten and a half years, and they have four children.  They enjoy spending time as a family, being outside, gardening, reading, and playing music.

Lauren Clapp

Lauren Clapp is excited for another year at ACA in the daycare. Growing up in Colorado, Lauren moved to Arizona to attend Grand Canyon University, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with minors in Counseling and Christian Studies in 2023. She decided to stay in the Phoenix area after graduation, with hopes of becoming a marriage and family counselor in the future.

Lauren has over 10 years of childcare experience from watching her four younger siblings, children at her local church, and many wonderful families she has met in Colorado and Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys trying new coffee shops, spending time outdoors, baking, reading, and enjoying time with friends and family.

Jaycee Yount

Jacee Yount grew up in Holland, Michigan, and graduated from Holland Christian High School. Following her graduation, she took a gap year to participate in a mission program with the World Race, spending nine months traveling to four countries. During this time, she worked with various ministries, children's programs, schools, and engaged in evangelism.

Upon returning home, Jacee decided to move to the Phoenix area to live with a friend she made during her travels, and she has been there ever since. She has extensive experience working with children, having babysat and nannied for families in her church and community since she was 12 years old. In her free time, Jacee enjoys reading, baking, traveling, spending time outdoors, and hanging out with friends. She has loved working in ACA's daycare and is very excited for another year at the school.

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