Our Staff.

I graduated Cum Laude from Utah State with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Magna Cum Laude from Brigham University with a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science.  I have taught Algebra, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus at various high schools and junior high schools for the past one score and counting years ago.  I have also coached many sports along the way.

In addition to teaching dual enrollment classes here at Heritage, I also teach math classes at Chandler Gilbert Community College.  I look forward to being at Heritage Academy and getting to know the scholars, faculty, and parents.  I look forward to a great year with all of you.

My hobbies include sports (more watching than playing as the years have aged my knees).  I still enjoy golfing and fishing and ping pong.  I also appreciate spending time with family and friends.  Still on the bucket list are taking a tour of the founding fathers, a church history tour, and visiting Japan (where I served a mission several years ago).

Email: kadams@heritageacademyaz.com

Dal Albretsen graduated Suma Cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Music degree emphasizing vocal performance. Because Mrs. Albretsen values education so much she did not stop there. She went on to complete her Master of Music degree emphasizing Choral Education in May of 2016.

Mrs. Albretsen is a concert Soprano who has performed locally as well as throughout the intermountain region. She loves working with youth of all ages and has been teaching music, in the state of Arizona, since 1987. She began teaching with Heritage Academy in the Fall of 2014 and dearly loves the students, the staff and the environment.

Mrs. Albretsen is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA), the Arizona Choral Educators Association (ACE), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society.

In her spare time, Mrs. Albretsen loves to ski, both water and snow, and spend time with her growing family. The Grandkids are the best!

Email:  dalbretsen@heritageacademyaz.com

Gateway Choirs Webpage:

Email:  sbowers@heritageacademyaz.com

I have a great love for this country, and a deep respect for the Founding Fathers. Teaching at Heritage has allowed me to communicate that love of country to my students. I believe that the best way to help our country improve and prosper is to return to our original Constitutional principles.

I have enjoyed the Spanish language since my father taught me my first phrase at a gas station in Mexico. After living in Venezuela, I studied the language on scholarship at Arizona State University and the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, graduating with a degree in Spanish and a Certificate of Latin American Studies from ASU. I earned a Juris Doctorate from ASU as well, but in the process I realized where my heart really was: teaching and coaching. I was privileged to begin teaching at Heritage Academy – Mesa Campus in 2005. I started the high school flag football program during my first year, and the football program in 2007.

Awards: Coach of the Year, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

State Championships: Flag football – 2005; Football – 2010, 2011, 2012

State Runners Up: Flag football – 2006; Football – 2009

I graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in marine biology.  I love the ocean and marine life and worked for National Marine Fisheries Service.  I earned my Teaching Certificate from Texas State University and this year will be my 20th year of teaching.  I also attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Master’s of Science degree in science education.  I have had the opportunity to teach a wide variety of science courses over the years and absolutely love to see scholars develop skills that help them make sense of the world around them.  I am married and have three sons.  I also really enjoy reading and being out in nature, especially the beach.

Email: acarling@heritageacademyaz.com

I am so thrilled to begin the adventure of educating the fabulous scholars at Heritage Academy!

Ms. Cowles graduated Magna Cum Laude from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation Administration.  She worked in the field of Recreation helping individuals enjoy life.  She followed a lifelong dream of becoming a professional educator.  She participated in a year- long Post Baccalaureate Teacher preparation program.  She shares her love of literature and creative writing with her students.  In addition to classroom teaching, Ms. Cowles loves athletics!  Her passion has changed from participating and competing to coaching.  She has coached basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, track and field and swim team.  She has been involved with coaching all ages in all levels of competition.  Everything from recreational sports to competitive varsity level sports at the high School level.

Ms. Cowles is also actively involved in helping special needs individuals; making sure they lead healthy, active lifestyles.  In her spare time, Ms. Cowles enjoys traveling, shopping and spending quality time with family and friends.

Email: bcowles@heritageacademyaz.com

Being a Special Education Teacher is an Honor, I believe every scholar, facing challenges or not, has an inner strength and willingness to become an asset to our Community and make our world a better place.

I earned my Bachelor Degree in Human Services and my Master’s Degree in Special Education, both from the University of Phoenix. I am also highly qualified in English.  I’ve been a resident of Arizona since 1997 and worked for Gilbert Public Schools Special Education Department. In addition to teaching, I have worked with disabled students and adults assisting them to obtain employment here in Arizona.  During my leisure time, I love traveling with my husband and spending time with my family.  I am the mother of three girls and grandmother of 4. I am so blessed and privileged to be a part of Heritage Academy Gateway.

Email:mdauwalder@heritageacademyaz.com

Being a Special Education Teacher is an Honor, I believe every scholar, facing challenges or not, has an inner strength and willingness to become an asset to our Community and make our world a better place.

I earned my Bachelor Degree in Human Services and my Master’s Degree in Special Education, both from the University of Phoenix. I am also highly qualified in English.  I’ve been a resident of Arizona since 1997 and worked for Gilbert Public Schools Special Education Department. In addition to teaching, I have worked with disabled students and adults assisting them to obtain employment here in Arizona.  During my leisure time, I love traveling with my husband and spending time with my family.  I am the mother of three girls and grandmother of 4. I am so blessed and privileged to be a part of Heritage Academy Gateway.

Email:mdauwalder@heritageacademyaz.com

Hello! my name is Field Ferkin. I graduated from Cal State Fullerton in History. I have been teaching history over 5 years in California. I have taught World History, U.S. history and Civics and Economics. I love teaching History. I also revere the founding Fathers and the United States constitution. I am very excited to joining Heritage academy.

Email: fferkin@heritageacademyaz.com

I have been teaching music since 1992. I received my Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating with Honors.  Post-graduate study includes work at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. I was a teacher for the Department of Defense Dependents’ school in Japan where I taught band, choir, and strings, and served as the Fine Arts department chair.  My professional affiliations include the National Band Association, the National Association for Music Educators, the Arizona Music Educators’ Association, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.  I am also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the Gamma Beta Phi Society,  the Sons of the American Revolution and I was included in the 10th Edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. My wife, Kristi, and I live in Mesa and have two children.

Email:  rforbes@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: bgarner@heritageacademyaz.com

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Education and a Minor in History. It was her great pleasure to return to Heritage Academy as the first alumna teacher in 2011. As a student, history was always her favorite class. Her love and appreciation for history continues to grow as she spends each day with your students; uncovering the truths and principles that make America great. In her free time she loves to bake, read, and spend time with her husband and daughter.

8th Grade History Class Website

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I graduated from Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah with my Bachelor’s Degree and Concordia University-Irvine with a Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration. I bring with me to Heritage Academy over 15 years of sports administration and coaching experience. I have coached a wide-variety of sports and I look forward to sharing my expertise with the scholars here at Heritage. My wife, Crystal, and I have 3 children. I LOVE sports and LOVE helping kids!  I believe that participation in a positive physical activity or sports program helps develop confidence, responsibility, respect and accountability. It also teaches sportsmanship and builds character. Strong character helps build strong families, and strong families build strong communities and nations. I am excited to teach Physical Education and Citizenship, and happy to coach here at the Heritage Academy Gateway Campus. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my love for sports with the scholars, and my knowledge and experience for the promotion of each scholar/athlete’s happiness and long-term success!

Email: mgodfrey@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: jgraffius@heritageacademyaz.com

I love being an educator!  I earned both my Bachelors in Math Education and my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University.  I have enjoyed teaching for over ten years in Gilbert and now Heritage Academy Gateway.  In addition to teaching I enjoy spending time with my family, watching football and baseball, and when the glorious Arizona weather permits, snow skiing.

Dr. David R. Grimm earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.  He has spent over 20 years doing DNA research in the fields of Molecular Biology or Molecular Genetics.  His research topics include the genetics of cancer, the genetics of drug response and personalized medicine, and the genetics of bone and cartilage development.  During his research career, Dr. Grimm has sequenced, genotyped, linkage mapped, cloned, replicated, transcribed and translated DNA.  In essence, if it can be done with DNA, he has done it.

Dr. Grimm’s research career has resulted in 23 research articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, either as author or co-author.  In addition, he has written three books on the topic of understanding the scientific data and evidence that can be generated from DNA.

These experiences have empowered Dr. Grimm to combine two things that he is passionate about, science and educating others, into his new career as a science teacher.

Email: dgrimm@heritageacademyaz.com

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities from Northern Arizona University with an emphasis in Art History.  She has taught Home Economics and Health at the Mesa campus and is the Art teacher at the Gateway campus.  Her skills include drawing, painting, sculpture, creating, sewing, and building.

Email: shaggarton@heritageacademyaz.com

I was born and raised in Orange County, California and recently relocated to Arizona with my husband. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. My dance training began at Inland Pacific Ballet where I had the opportunity to perform in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Coppelia.

During my time in college, I was able to study many other genres of dance where I was featured in annual dance concerts and received a Dance Scholarship for my choreography piece Nocturnal Visions. I also spent two summers training at American Ballet Theatre in New York City as well as a summer training with the Jose Limon Dance Company. When I was 17 years old, I started a twelve and a half year career with the Walt Disney Company. I spent the first six years as a performer doing shows and character work as well as being featured in the 50th anniversary parade, Parade of Dreams. From there I went on to work with the Disney Performing Arts program assisting with workshops, guest performances, special events and production coordination. I spent my last three years as an Administrative Assistant to the Entertainment Division Operations Manager. From my time spent in New York City, I developed a passion for Musical Theater. Since then I have been doing theater and continue to do so here in Arizona. I have been featured in shows: The World Goes ‘Round (Downey Civic Light Opera), Evita (GEM Theater), Legally Blonde (Covina Center for the Performing Arts), Anything Goes (Hale Centre Theater) and West Side Story (Hale Centre Theater). In addition to theater, I was also a featured dancer at the Mattel Awards in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching for twelve years at dance studios all over Southern California in all styles and genres of dance. I have choreographed routines for regional and national competitions and those routines have been placed in the top 10 at Move, Spotlight and Showstoppers. I also received an award for “Outstanding Choreography” at Spotlight Dance Cup in 2015. I absolutely love teaching dance and I am excited to share my passion for the arts with the scholars at Heritage Academy.

Email: aharkey@heritageacademyaz.com

I have loved computing since I got my first computer when I graduated from Mesa High.  After working several different types of jobs, including construction, warehouse manager, stone and brick salesman, I decided to go to school. I received my Bachelors of Science in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix, and worked as an account specialist, help desk technician, Network Administrator, and for the last 14 years, I’ve worked at Pearson Education as a technical consultant to school districts. I earned my Master degree in Information Management from the WP Carey School of Business at ASU. I really enjoy trying to use technology to solve business problems. I have been involved in Scouting for 14 years, and love the outdoors. I look forward to supporting the Heritage Academy staff in their IT needs, as well as teaching Keyboarding, the Dual enrollment Computing class and being the Robotics class coach. I am a 4th generation native, and LOVE Arizona. I have lived here most of my life other than a few years in South Dakota, Minnesota and California. I am married and have 5 kids, 2 of which are Heritage Scholars!

Be warned…once you enter my classroom, learning will occur!

Email: thaynie@heritageacademyaz.com

Mrs. Higgins received her Bachelor of Arts degree from ASU with a double major in English and History.  Her teaching career has spanned middle school and high school.  Mrs. Higgins has coached multiple middle school students to the national level in the National History Day, We The People, and History Bee contests.  She teaches Junior High English and Honors English, history, pilaes, cross country and is the advisor for Scholar Council.  She took an active role in promoting student government, acting as student council advisor for six years at her previous school.  She also believes strongly in the role athletics plays in developing the minds, bodies, and self-esteem of young people.  She played basketball in high school and college. She is also an avid runner who has completed multiple marathons and half-marathons.  Mrs. Higgins continues her dedication to scholar education, government and athletics at Heritage Academy.

Email: chiggins@heritageacademyaz.com

I have loved teaching and being involved with the Heritage music program for the past 19 years.  I studied music, and was classically trained on both the violin and piano, from a very young age, continuing my studies at the University of Utah and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.  In addition, I have provided more than 25 years of instrumental instruction to a wide range of students and age groups in both the private teaching arena and in the Mesa Public Schools system.  I especially enjoyed teaching the 7th grade string orchestra at Mesa Heritage and assisting in the music department there for many years.  It is now my great privilege to accompany the choirs at Gateway under the direction of Dal Albretsen.  I enjoy performing in a variety of settings and have a special affection for fiddling and country western music.   I believe in the power of music…. I love to see our scholars light up as they come together and experience the magic of music in their lives.

I’m the proud mother of 6 wonderful children and 18 beautiful grandchildren.

Email: ajerman@heritageacademyaz.com

My love of languages began where I am now, in high school Spanish class!  After graduation, I had the amazing opportunity to live and study for a year in Finland, as a Rotary International exchange student.  There, I learned Finnish, and began studying French, German and Russian.  At ASU, I continued studying both French and Spanish, earning my B.A., and after spending several years at home with my children, went back to ASU Polytechnic for my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

I firmly believe that learning another language is so important to a well-rounded education.  It opens up unexpected opportunities, and changes the learner’s perspective of the world and his or her place in it.

I am both excited and proud to be a part of the wonderful Heritage Academy community, and to be able to share my love of language learning with our scholars.

Email: slewis@heritageacademyaz.com

Email:  klopez@heritageacademyaz.com

I earned my Bachelor degree in Special Education from ASU and a Master degree in Counseling from NAU.  I am also an Arizona certified math teacher grades K-12. I have taught special education, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry and Functions for the past 16 years.   I have served on multiple committees, including: Response to Intervention Team, Professional Learning Communities, Gilbert Education Association Executive Board, Curriculum Planning Teams, and Superintendent’s Teacher Council.  In addition to teaching, I enjoyed working as a Cheer Coach and developing freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity cheer squads. I love Heritage Academy Gateway and our scholars and am proud to be one of the teachers who opened the school.

I earned a BA in Religion and Greek, studied at seminary, received a MA in European History from Southern Illinois University, and continued graduate work in Medieval History and Classics at the University of Chicago.  My interests include World Literature, Science Fiction, ancient languages, archaeology, international travel, film, photography, computer-generated art, mountain and road biking.  I have taught at a number of colleges in the South and Midwest and have received funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of Education for fellowship and research opportunities at Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, the University of Illinois, the Library of Congress, and India.  Coming to Heritage is an exciting opportunity for me to teach a language I cherish in an environment that celebrates the great ideas, individuals, and achievements of the past that have shaped the modern world.

Email: jmathews@heritageacademyaz.com

Mr. McDowell is in his third year of teaching sciences at the junior and senior high school level after retiring from a successful career in health services. Prior to working at Heritage Academy, Mr. McDowell served as an adjunct instructor in health care administration at Oregon State University. Mr. McDowell earned an undergraduate degree in Community Health Education from Brigham Young University, and a graduate degree in Health Services Administration from Arizona State University. He has served in the Boy Scouts of America and local youth leadership positions within his church for over 20 years. He enjoys spending time with his wife, their seven children, and 12 grandchildren.

Mrs. Radostits was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Arizona in 2009.  She attended Illinois State University for her undergraduate degree in Business, with a minor in Art.  She went on to have a successful business career in sales for thirteen years before she found her true calling of being a teacher.  During her sales career she was asked to train new hires within the territory.  It was through this training she realized that teaching was her true passion.  Her trainees expressed how much her skills and experience benefitted their career, which gave her a great sense of accomplishment. After moving to Arizona, Mrs. Radostits continued her education at Arizona State University where she earned her Master’s Degree in Education and her teaching certificate.  She has been a 7th – 12th grade math teacher for the past 7 years.  Making the transition to teaching was one of the best decisions of her career.  Mrs. Radostits feels there is no greater reward than seeing the smile on a scholar’s face when he/she understands math.  It is a feeling she never received from her sales career and keeps her motivated to teach every day.

Email: mradostits@heritageacademyaz.com

Email:  cribelin@heritageacademyaz.com

I was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona. I attended Brigham Young University in Utah, and then returned home where I received a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from Northern Arizona University.  I coached City League sports, middle school sports, and led camp and church youth groups in Flagstaff for over 25 years. I developed curriculum, and taught Physical Education/Health at Northland Preparatory Academy for 5 years. I coached Varsity sports at Sinagua High School and NPA.  I played on the Women’s NAU basketball team, then qualified, and played at Nationals on the United States Tennis Association team. I also played competitive sponsored softball and volleyball for over 25 years.  My husband, Allen, and I have 5 children. I LOVE sports and LOVE helping kids!  I believe that participation in a positive physical activity or sports program helps develop confidence, responsibility, respect and accountability. It also teaches sportsmanship and builds character. Strong character helps build strong families, and strong families build strong communities and nations. I am excited to teach Physical Education and Citizenship, and happy to coach here at the Heritage Academy Gateway Campus. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my love for sports and kids, and my knowledge and experience for the promotion of each scholar/athlete’s happiness and success!

Paciencia Scott first discovered Heritage Academy while searching for a quality education for her own children.  Since then she is proud to announce that she will not only be a Heritage Academy parent but also an employee. Ms. Scott came to Arizona 9 years ago from the east coast where she attended Virginia Commonwealth University. She brings with her over 7 years of experience working as front office manager and registrar in a charter school setting. She is eager to serve parents and scholars with all of their enrollment needs.

Email: pscott@heritageacademyaz.com

I earned my B.A. from Brigham Young University and my MA in English from Southern New Hampshire University. Both programs confirmed my love for literature and composition. This is a love that I’m thrilled to be sharing with Heritage Academy scholars. I taught high school English at the Mesa campus for five years, then took a 10 year hiatus to be at home with my three young children. I returned to Heritage’s English program in 2014 at the Gateway Campus where I have continued to enjoy sharing my passion for literature and writing.

Email: ascott@heritageacademyaz.com

She attended James Madison University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in middle school education. She has received a Masters of Arts from NAU in Educational Technology.  She has held numerous positions over her 12-year career in the field. She began as a 7th and 8th grade Language Arts and Reading teacher, at Marstellar Middle School in Virginia. She has since then taught social studies and language arts to students ranging in level from 5th to 8th grade and also teaches 9th -12th grade English.

Email: asmith@heritageacademyaz.com

From my earliest years, family, friends, and educators have encouraged and supported me in each of my endeavors. They often opened doors of opportunity for me, granting experiences I never would have had without their help, and leading me to success in so many ways. I was one of the first who had the opportunity to experience dual enrollment courses here in Arizona. I was able to attend the community college over the summer during high school. Then, I was blessed to be accepted into the physics program at Arizona State University, at 15 years old, while still in high school. None of these things would have happened without the encouragement and support of so many others.

I earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Arizona State University in Physics. Since then, for most of the last ten years, I taught physics and astronomy at Mesa Community College. While teaching at MCC I was pursuing a Ph.D. in physics at ASU, with an emphasis in the use of mathematics in the science classroom. During that time I developed labs for physics majors that allowed the students to match their experimental data with visual computer simulations they had written.  During this time, I became greatly concerned about the future of our country and our personal liberties. I began an intensive study of constitutional principles, attended seminars, and read many of the words of our founding fathers. At length I determined that I needed to step away from science for a time and study the law, both as it should be and as it is. My teaching at MCC and my Ph.D. program were interrupted while attending Brigham Young University where I received a Juris Doctorate degree. Upon returning from law school, I continued teaching at MCC and also passed the Bar Exam in Colorado and Arizona. I now practice law, mostly pro bono, as service to the community around me.

The opportunity I now have to teach at Heritage Academy is a chance for me to give back, in some small way, to ensure that the upcoming generations of scholars have similar encouragement, support, and open doors.

Email: athompson@heritageacademyaz.com

Email:etruitt@heritageacademyaz.com

I received my Bachelor of Education degree with a Latin Teaching major and a Spanish Teaching minor from the Brigham Young University as the recipient of a Trustees’ Scholarship.  I completed a semester of study at Universidad del Bio Bio in Chillan, Chile, and I have completed further courses in Latin Teaching through the University of Georgia.  I hold a Secondary Education certificate in the State of Arizona with endorsements for Spanish and Structured English Immersion.  I enjoy introducing the scholars to conscious learning of speaking, reading, and writing in a new language by building a foundation with classical Latin in junior high and connecting it to many other modern languages such as English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.  Many aspects of many cultures are based on Roman civilization and it is great fun to help our scholars make those connections.

Mrs. Weiler is an Arizona certified math teacher.  She is a graduate of Arizona State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She also holds two Master Degrees, one in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University and the other in School Guidance Counseling from Ottawa University. Over the past 18 years, Mrs. Weiler has taught General Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Geometry.  Her goal is to emphasize critical thinking and problem solving skills while making math understandable, applicable, and enjoyable.  Aside from teaching, she enjoys reading, hiking, camping, and fishing.

Email: aweiler@heritageacademyaz.com

Email: jwolverton@heritageacademyaz.com

He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1995 and his Juris Doctor in 2001.

Despite the many interesting career paths he has taken, Joe Wolverton believes he was born to be a teacher.

Joe began his teaching career as a professor of American government at the high school and college level, quickly becoming a popular professor with a talent for making difficult subjects simple and dull subjects exciting.

While a professor at Chattanooga State, Joe was chosen as professor of the semester four times in a row by students in the Department of Social Sciences.

Joe lives to share timeless principles of liberty with young men and women and to help them use their new knowledge in becoming friends of freedom and defenders of the Constitution.

Upon returning from a full-time church mission to Mexico City, Joe earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science at Brigham Young University. After college, Joe returned home to Memphis, Tennessee to attend law school. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 2001 and practiced law as a constitutional attorney until 2009.

In 2009, Joe continued educating people about the principles of liberty, only this time as a writer for The New American magazine and as a public speaker. Joe traveled nationwide sharing the truth about the role of morality and individual responsibility in free societies. His articles still appear regularly in numerous national and international publications.

Joe and his wife, Kylee, are thrilled to call Arizona home and he is honored, humbled, and happy to be counted among the extraordinary faculty of Heritage Academy.