Alisha Ward - Sept2019.JPG

alisha ward - Math teacher (middle & high school)

Alisha graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Utah in 2018.  Her areas of focus are Secondary Mathematics Education and Health Promotion and Education.  She has worked with students of various ages and abilities from very early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school and introductory college math students. 

She is the proud mother of three boys, when she’s not teaching she’s adventuring with them.  They love to play basketball, go river rafting, swimming, bike riding, rollerblading, and watching movies.  She also loves yoga, music concerts, and tacos!

Chris Rondem - Sept2019.JPG

chris rondem - Humanities & language arts Teacher (high school)

Chris has a strong background in humanities and language arts. After completing two degrees (Bachelor of Science in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science in Economics) from The University of Utah, Chris joined University of California, Irvine’s Political Science Department as a doctoral student. After one year of doctoral studies, he followed his spouse to Ithaca, NY, transferring to Cornell University to pursue graduate education in Natural Resources, but missed the Wasatch Front and decided to return to Salt Lake City to pursue a career in Secondary Education.

When he isn’t teaching, you will most likely find Chris riding the Wildcat lift at Alta. 

Sam leonhart - biology teacher (high school)

Joshi Haskell - GA Secondary.JPG

joshi haskell - Humanities teacher (middle school)

Joshi has worked as a Montessori Middle School Teacher since 2009. A former Montessori student, she received a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Utah in 2005. In 2012 she completed the NAMTA/AMI Introduction to Adolescent Studies in Cleveland, OH. She has enjoyed working with students throughout her life as an Assistant Montessori Teacher, Physio-Neuro Therapist, nanny, tutor, as well as an art and physical education specialist.

In her spare time, Joshi enjoys being outdoors, creating art and spending time with her husband, family and friends.

Mark Nuetzel - Sept2019.JPG

mark nuetzel - science teacher (middle & high school)

Mark has been teaching math and science to Utah middle school students since 2005. His areas of expertise include Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science as well as Algebra, Robotics, and Outdoor Education. Mark holds a BS from Utah State in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Outdoor Education and a Master’s Degree from the University of Utah in Parks and Recreation with an emphasis in Experiential Education. In addition, Mark holds a Utah Secondary Education License with Middle School and Earth Science endorsements and an American Montessori Society Secondary I-II (ages 12 – 18) credential.

In his free time, Mark enjoys gardening, running, skiing, cycling, reading, knitting, camping, hiking, and rock climbing.

Kat Kirk - GA Secondary.JPG

kat kirk - Language Arts & Science Teacher

Kat has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate. She has worked with students of all ages and developed an experiential, movement-based, playful approach to education.

Prior to joining the Garfield School staff, she facilitated, designed and managed experiential education programs focusing on personal development, leadership skills, community building, global citizenship and ecological literacy through a non-profit social enterprise called JUMP! Foundation. She also spent four years designing interactive language and science lessons and summer camps, including drama, art, music and dance for young learners. Kat has a deep passion for experiential, hands-on learning and student empowerment by providing a quality education to every child.

She grew-up in Nuremberg, Germany and moved to the U.S. when she was 18. In her free time she enjoys dancing, rock climbing, running, and spending time outdoors.

Marion Munn - Secondary.JPG

marion munn - Secondary classroom support

Marion has taught English, social studies, and literacy at the high school level for the past five years. She has also taught students from the first levels of elementary school up to undergraduate students at the University of Utah. She is a native of Great Britain with a teaching certificate from Bristol University, England, and a BA in Speech Communication and MS in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Utah. Her U.S. teaching license is in special education. At Garfield, I will be co-teaching high school social studies and English, as well as 7th to 8th grade social studies.

In her spare time, Marion loves to read, listen to music, visit museums and art galleries, and walk in the beautiful outdoors of Utah.

Amanda Hutton - Secondary Student Support.JPG

amanda hutton - classroom support

Amanda has been working with children since she was 13 and has been working in education industry since 2014. 2019 is her first year working in a Montessori environment. She will be working in the science classes as well as 9th and 10th grade math for the academic year of 2019-2020.

In her spare time, Amanda loves to hike, watch Netflix, and read. She also enjoys spending as much time as she can with her lab/border collie mix, Revolver Ann!

Jen Adams - Sept2019.JPG

jen adams - classroom support

Laura Van Hook - Sept2019.JPG

laura van hook - School Counselor

Laura brings 16 years experience as a clinical social worker, including leading a team of 13 medical social workers and working in the neuro-trauma unit at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. She also has experience as an inclusion teacher in the Tulsa public schools, developing individualized education plans for students with disabilities and collaborating with classroom teachers to implement those plans, and as a self-contained teacher at Parkview Elementary.

Laura has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Brigham Young University.

Makyla Ordonez - Sept2019.JPG


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.

Kelsi Bailey - therapy enrichment.JPG


Kelsi has a Master of Science degree from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science from Utah State University. She has worked as a speech pathologist for Primary Children's Medical Center, Davis School District and LDS Hospital. Kelsi has worked in multiple medical and school settings working with individuals to improve cognitive skills such as working memory, reasoning, comprehension, executive functioning skills, communication, written language, etc.

Kelsi loves traveling, soccer, hiking, skiing, boating, and reading.

Shanone Sargent - Integrated Services.JPG

shanone sargent - elementary & secondary integrated services

Shanone received her Master of Science degree in Speech & Language Pathology as well as her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech & Language Pathology and Audiology from Idaho State University. She has over 30 years of experience providing speech and language therapy in all areas of communication to children from preschool to high school in a variety of educational settings.

Laura Sowell - Secondary ASL.JPG

laura sowell - asl teacher

Laura received her bachelor’s degree from Southern Virginia University in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in music composition and art history. Laura is currently pursuing her master’s degree in special education. She has been an educator since 2015, teaching several secondary electives including ASL.

Hillary Hopson - Spet2019.jpg

hillary hopson - culinary teacher

Hillary attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City after college. It was here that she nurtured her love of fresh, seasonal food prepared with elevated simplicity. Upon graduation from culinary school, she went on to work as a professional chef for multiple catering companies, as well as for a budding cookie company whose accolades include New York Magazine's best chocolate chip cookie of 2007.

Hillary grew up in a Montessori household - with a mother as a Montessori teacher (Nancy Lindeman). Since starting a family, Hillary's three children have attended Montessori schools and they are all thrilled to join the Elizabeth Academy and Garfield School family.