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Gail williamsen - executive director

Gail Williamsen, along with her husband Thom, founded Elizabeth Academy in 2008. Gail was born and raised in Salt Lake City and attended public schools, graduating from Highland High School. She began her undergraduate studies at the University of Utah while designing women's apparel and producing the catalogs for LeVoy's Lingerie. Interrupting school and career, she paused to focus on what she considers to be the most important of her life's work--the rearing of her seven children. Gail returned to the University of Utah in 2004, continuing her formal education and earning her BA in English.

She completed her Master of Education degree and American Montessori Society (AMS) Administrative credential through the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. Gail has a passion for lifelong learning and particularly enjoys great art, music, and literature.

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jessica rawlings - associate head of school

Jessica has a Master of Education degree from Westminster College and a Bachelor degree in Theatre Arts/Dance with a minor in Teaching English from Southern Utah University. She completed her Montessori Early Childhood credential at Dayspring Education Center in St. George, Utah and has been an early childhood teacher since 1999. Jessica also works as an adjunct professor for Westminster College’s Institute for Montessori Innovation, helping to train the next generation of Montessori teachers. She has also enjoyed teaching ballet to students of all ages.

During the 2019-2020 school year, Jessica will be taking the lead on all the administrative duties as Jennifer Spikner transitions to concentrate her time on the Montessori curriculum and programs, particularly at the elementary level.

Jessica was raised in St. George, Utah and has two children, a fabulous husband, and two energetic cats. She loves dancing, attending the theater, reading books of all sorts, nature and sunsets.

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Jennifer Spikner - Associate head of school

Jennifer has a Master of Education degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her Lower and Upper Elementary American Montessori Society (AMS) credentials through the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Illinois and her American Montessori Society (AMS) Administrative credential through the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New Rochelle, New York.

Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy staff in 2012, Jennifer worked for five years as an administrator and as a Lower Elementary classroom teacher for six years at the Brookview School in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She also taught and co-directed the International Prep School in Bloomington, Indiana, for two years and was a first grade teacher at Washington School in Evanston, Illinois. She has extensive elementary classroom experience as well as expertise in ensuring authentic Montessori program excellence.

Jennifer will be focusing on the Montessori curriculum and programs particularly at the elementary level for the 2019-2020 school year. Jessica Rawlings will be taking the lead on all administrative duties for this academic year.

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mandy fuhriman - inclusion director

Mandy has a Master's Degree in Special Education, Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation and an AMS Early Childhood Montessori credential from the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy staff in 2012, she worked for two years as an adaptive physical education instructor and for three years as a special educator for the Gilbert Unified School District in Gilbert, Arizona, and at Highland High School.

Mandy also has experience teaching in an inclusive preschool classroom at the Garfield Learning Center. She has worked as a volunteer with the National Ability Center, the Kiwanis Felt Community Recreation Center, the Highland Cove Retirement Center, and Evergreen Junior High.

Mandy has coached soccer and basketball, and was an NJCAA Women's Basketball Academic All-American in 1995. She enjoys physical activities such as sports, running, boating, and competing in races and triathalons. Mandy and her husband Josh have four children.

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Lisa Fels - business manager

Lisa has been a Montessori school administrator for over a decade and holds a global MBA with distinction from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BBA in International Business and Spanish. She completed her American Montessori Society (AMS) Administrative credential through the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. 

Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy administrative team, Lisa was the Co-Director of Montessori Community School, where she was instrumental in the growth and development of the school’s elementary and middle school programs, with a focus on sustainability and authentic Montessori best practices.

Lisa is originally from Wisconsin and has lived in and traveled to many places in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Portuguese. She is on the Board of Directors of Elk River Foundation and volunteers with Elk River, helping to guide adolescents in juvenile justice system programs through Native American talking circles and sweat lodges. She loves hiking, camping, reading, yoga, traveling, and spending time with her family. Lisa has two sons.

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Paige Helotes - Admissions Specialist

Paige has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8) and holds her Utah State Teaching license. After teaching for one year she is again a member of the Elizabeth Academy administrative team, where she has developed a passion for Inclusive Education and the enrollment process at Elizabeth Academy. Paige loves the social and emotional aspect of growth and development in the classroom.

Paige loves spending time with her family and has found so much joy, growth, and love in being a mother to her children. She loves being physically active and growing emotionally and spiritually.

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Makyla Ordonez, CSW - School counselor

Makyla has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Westminster College. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy staff, she was a Reading Interventionist at Copperview Elementary and a School Based Social Work intern at Sandy Elementary. She has also worked as a Crisis Case Manager at The Road Home and as a Therapeutic Preschool volunteer at The Children's Center.

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Jessica Collins - Controller

Jessica has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Grand Canyon University. She has nearly a decade of accounting/bookkeeping experience and joined the Elizabeth Academy team in 2016.

Jessica and her husband Robert have seven children. Her hobbies include camping, hiking, yard work, shopping and sewing.

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jodi lutkin - bookkeeper

Jodi is working on her Masters of Motherhood with her 5 children, ranging from ages 7-18. She was born in Utah but spent most of her childhood in Texas. Her husband Mark is from England where they lived abroad before moving back to Utah. They have lived in Murray for 17 years. Jodi worked in the banking industry for 17 years before she came to Elizabeth Academy as the bookkeeper. She is actively involved in the Down syndrome community serving as a community group leader for the moms’ of the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation. She also serves as a support leader for the organization Reece's Rainbow. She loves spending time with her family and friends and enjoys bringing people together.

She enjoys music, singing, writing, baking and the sun, with many freckles to prove it. Outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and boating are some of her favorites. She loves her dog Harriet as much as she loves mashed potatoes and gravy and she LOVES mashed potatoes and gravy. She enjoys to travel, Hawaii being her top pick. Jodi is happy to be a part of the Elizabeth Academy team.

aimee sill - office manager

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halia bangal - receptionist

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barbara ward - reception & library support

Barbara has over 15 years of experience as a receptionist. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy staff, she worked as a receptionist for the Morris Murdock Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as an administrative assistant for the Public Health Institute in Sacramento, California.

Her hobbies are gardening and coin collecting. She also loves the ocean, snorkeling, boating, and traveling.

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Sue kitchens - receptionist

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branden hodges - events coordinator

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dave horn - facilities manager

Dave has a Plumbing Trades degree from Salt Lake Community College and experience operating and supervising a residential plumbing company called Core Water Solutions. He also worked as a foreman for V&S Plumbing and as an apprentice electrician for Mott Electric. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy staff, Dave worked as a material logistics technician for Caterpillar and as a lead skilled trades technician for Lozar Apartments. He also has experience in the security industry, having managed a twenty man security detail for Andrews International and having worked as a security officer lieutenant for CBI Security.

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Kristin deherrera - Inclusion support & carson smith support

karen zabriskie - lunch program coordinator