Grant Beckwith, Head of School

Mr. Beckwith joined American Heritage School in 2005 as principal of the American Fork campus and now serves as the Head of School overseeing the school’s three campuses: American Fork, Salt Lake City, and American Heritage Worldwide (AHS Online). Prior to joining American Heritage School’s administration, Mr. Beckwith was an attorney practicing corporate law for the Washington D.C. office of Nixon Peabody LLP. A member of the Utah Bar, the Virginia Bar, and the District of Columbia Bar, Mr. Beckwith is a graduate of the BYU Law School and also holds masters and bachelors degrees in accountancy and information systems from the BYU Marriott School of Management. Mr. Beckwith has lived and worked in Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), New York City, and Washington D.C., and grew up in various parts of the United States including Utah, California, Texas, Florida and Wisconsin. Mr. Beckwith serves in leadership roles for a number of volunteer organizations including on the Board of Governors of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, the Board of Directors of the Younique Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to inspiring and empowering children and women who are victims of sexual abuse, and on the Board of Trustees of the Park City Day School. Mr. Beckwith is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a Latter-day Saint mission in St. Petersburg, Russia from 1993-1995. He and his wife Candice live in Alpine and are the parents of four children (two graduates of AHS and the younger two still attending). In addition to his responsibilities as Head of School, Mr. Beckwith enjoys teaching a high school seminar each year entitled “Principles of Leadership.” The Beckwiths are deeply honored and grateful to be involved with the mission of American Heritage School, and to associate with the many extraordinary families who are drawn to it.

Chase Hale, Principal

Chase Hale was drawn to American Heritage by the values and priorities signaled in its mission statement. After completing a bachelors degree in general accounting and a masters degree in financial accounting (BYU Marriott School of Management), Chase began his professional career with Deloitte & Touche. Chase specialized as a financial-statement auditor in Deloitte’s Raleigh, North Carolina practice, where he was exposed to a wide array of clients across a diverse spectrum of industries. Chase made the jump from public accounting to industry when he accepted an offer to work for MasTec Network Solutions, a project-management firm specializing in wireless-telecommunications infrastructure; Chase’s last position before leaving MasTec was as the Regional Finance Controller for the Mid Atlantic market. Prior to assuming his current role as Principal for American Heritage’s American Fork campus, Chase spent seven years serving as the school’s Business Officer. Chase and his wife Laura enjoy the positive impact the school has on their family as their five children have attended as students and as the prescribed literature, history lessons, and other aspects of school curriculum become a starting point for dinnertime and other-family discussions.

Charné Adams, Assistant Principal, Elementary (K-5)

Charné Adams has over 28 years of experience as an elementary school teacher and principal in private and public schools. Mrs. Adams was born and raised in South Africa. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in South Africa and began teaching in 1994. She immigrated to the United States with her family in 2002 and continued to teach elementary grades. With a deep love for children and education, Mrs. Adams graduated from Idaho State University with a Masters in Educational Administration and Leadership, and has K–12 administrator’s and teacher’s licenses in the state of Utah. More importantly, the mission of American Heritage envelopes everything Mrs. Adams holds dear to her heart. She feels honored to be a part of American Heritage School. Besides teaching, Mrs. Adams has directed a school production, created and designed school yearbooks, coached fast pitch softball, field hockey, netball, and swimming, and above all else, is passionate about quality education and the power in realizing one’s potential. She and her husband are the proud parents of five children. Three of their sons and their only daughter are all married, adding three wonderful daughters and one more son to the family, as well as nine beautiful grandchildren.

Blaine Hunsaker, Middle School (6-8)

When Blaine Hunsaker was first introduced to American Heritage School he was impressed with the principles taught at the school that develop the Christian character of each child. Mr. Hunsaker completed is undergraduate work at  Brigham Young University with a bachelors degree in secondary music education and a dminor in history. He was delighted to accept a position as a music teacher when first coming to the school in 2002. Later, he would also teach science and Spanish and in the summer of 2005 he joined the administrative team. In the summer of 2006 he completed a rigorous certification in the Kodaly methodology of music teaching at BYU. He has performed as a singer in such places as New York, Hawaii, El Salvador and Italy. Mr. Hunsaker completed his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership at Western Governors University in 2023.  He feels blessed to work with the middle school faculty and students and also really enjoys his oversight of the amazing afterschool performing arts programs, of Choir, Orchestra and Drama. He and his wife Adrianne are the parents of seven sons and one daughter, and consider American Heritage School to be a wonderful blessing to their family.

Elizabeth Acuná, Assistant Principal, High School (9-12)

Elizabeth Jacob Acuná was privileged to attend American Heritage as a student for grades 1-6 and is a granddaughter to H. Verlan Andersen, one of the original school founders. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance and Pedagogy and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from BYU. Before working at AHS, Elizabeth wrote the charter and served as a co-founder for Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy. She has six children and three stepchildren, six of whom have attended American Heritage. She is grateful for the opportunity her children have had to enjoy the same educational experience she values so much from her childhood. Elizabeth’s hobbies include reading and travel. She especially appreciates the unique mission of American Heritage to teach religious truth while expecting academic excellence, and the incredible people she is able to associate with at AHS.

David Buer, Assistant Principal, Athletics | Director of Communications

David Buer comes to American Heritage with a broad background in public and media relations, athletics, marketing, content creation, event management, and non-profit operations and fundraising. After receiving a bachelor’ s degree in communications from Brigham Young University, Dave spent several years in the Atlanta area doing communications work while also running a multimedia startup. Dave has worked with clients throughout the country and has extensive experience in the Utah market after spending seven years as the communications director for a Salt Lake City-based public policy non-profit. Dave was also an elementary school teacher for three years and is grateful for the opportunity to once again work with students as an assistant principal and in teaching and coaching capacities at AHS. Dave and his wife, Jessica, are the parents of five boys—three currently attending AHS and two AHS alums.

Rob Swenson, Assistant Principal, Performing Arts

Rob Swenson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Brigham Young University and Level III OAKE-endorsed Kodály certification. He is currently pursuing a DMA in Choral Conducting He has taught choir at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork, Utah; at Timpanogos Academy in Lindon, Utah; and at Liahona High School in Liahona, Tonga, where he also served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2008, he joined the faculty at American Heritage School, where he currently directs the curricular high school choirs. From 2004-2007, he served as an assistant director with the Utah Valley Children’s Choir, leaving in 2007 to found the American Heritage Youth Chorus. Under his direction, this faith-centered choral program for children and youth has grown to include over 300 members who perform free, inspirational programs for audiences throughout the United States. Rob received the 2016 Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Christmas Carol Commission for his “Christmas Hosanna.” In Fall 2016, his original composition, “Go Forth From This House,” was recognized as a second-place winner and was performed at the state conference of the Utah ACDA. Rob resides in Pleasant Grove, Utah, with his wife, Kristy, and their four children.

Peter Knecht, Business Director of AHS Worldwide

Peter Knecht comes to American Heritage School with an extensive background in business development and operations. He dropped out of the BYU Marriott School of Business as a senior to start his first online software business and never made it back. He later sold the business and went on to build various sales companies for a number of telecommunications providers around the country—the last of which became the largest of its kind in the nation. In 2011, Peter was invited by a friend and AHS board member to volunteer his services in support of the school’s new distance education program, which he did for six months before coming on full-time as the American Heritage Worldwide Business Director. In 2012, AHS Worldwide launched Family School, which has served more than 30,000 children all around the globe, and Peter continues to put his heart and mind to work for this important mission outreach. Peter and his wife, Amber, stay busy in their house of four boys, and “bookend” daughter. Of all the things they enjoy, just being together as a family has always been their highest priority. Whether at a soccer match or church activity, working in the garden or racing in a triathlon or 5K—family time is sacred time for the Knechts!

Kristen Jansen, Admissions Director

Kristen Jansen comes to American Heritage Schools as a Utah transplant, with Texas roots. She attended Texas Tech University and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing. Kristen has experience in the financial sector, communications, small business ownership, teaching, and school administration. She comes from multi-generations of educators, who have influenced her love of learning and her enterprising work ethic. She is the mother of three daughters and one son, who all attend American Heritage School, at the American Fork campus. Kristen’s passions include hiking, photography, traveling, and being with her family and dogs. She especially loves helping youth “learn to lead” and providing them with opportunities to fulfill their potential. Kristen values her association with such an inspiring and faith-based academic institution as AHS.

Yahosh Bonner, Athletic Director

Yahosh comes to American Heritage having served as the Director of Basketball Operations for Southern Utah University, Assistant Coach at Western Nebraska Community College, and most recently as the Head Varsity Basketball Coach at American Leadership Academy, where he also taught a “Values in Leadership” course and served as the “Voice of the Eagles” announcer for several sports. Yahosh served an Latter-day Saint mission in Tampa, Florida, and is a second-generation member of the Latter-Day Saint faith (his parents joined the Church in Connecticut). He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communications from the University of Northern Colorado and Southern Utah University, respectively. He played basketball at the University of Northern Colorado, where he was named the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and where he also competed in track (long jump) and football. In addition to athletics administration and teaching, Yahosh also loves singing and acting. View a music video of the Bonner family’s original composition “I Am Here” and a duet “One Call Away.”  Yahosh and his wife, Vanessa, are the parents of two sons and one daughter: Malachi, Samaiah, and Nehemiah.

Adam Hendrickson, Finance / Human Resources Director

Adam was born and raised in Richfield, Utah. He is the youngest of 4 children. He served a Latter-day Saint mission in Florianopolis, Brazil from 1998 – 2000. In 2004 Adam started Peace of Mind Home Inspections LLC, a growing home inspection company in Utah County. He still enjoys inspecting homes today. Adam has also been extensively involved in the financial services industry and currently holds numerous insurance and investment licenses. He is also involved in the direct sales industry. Adam enjoys serving in his church calling, golfing, reading, and a good movie. Adam and his wife Melisa reside in Pleasant Grove, Utah with their two sons, Logan and Nathan. They have enjoyed their associations at AHS for the past 6 years, and love the mission of the school and dedication of the faculty and staff. Adam is thrilled to be a part of the American Heritage finance team.

Melisa Hendrickson, School Counselor/Registrar

Melisa been a parent at American Heritage School for 11 years.  She has spent the last 5 years in the Admissions office, and thoroughly enjoys meeting new families and students. She has also worked as a Kindergarten aide. Melisa graduated from Utah Valley University where she worked at the University Institute as an Administrative Assistant. She loved her time there and enjoyed the process of supporting the Institute teachers, students, and student council.  Melisa married her high school sweetheart, Adam, and they have two amazing teenage boys at AHS. She considers it an amazing blessing and miracle to be at school with her boys each day. When she is not at school, Melisa enjoys spending time with her family playing games, baking, and snuggling up to watch a movie.

JoAnn Carter, School Counselor

JoAnn is from Cedar City and loved growing up in Southern Utah. She went to college at USU and earned a Bachelor of Psychology. She served a mission in Portugal and still enjoys chatting in Portuguese. Upon returning from her mission she married and started raising her family of 7 children; 6 sons and 1 darling daughter. She also has a Masters of Education in School Counseling from USU. She has experience working in school counseling at Lone Peak High School and Providence Hall High School. She loves connecting with students and their families and has an enduring love for the youth. Working in education brings her joy! JoAnn enjoys being active and likes hiking with friends, running with her dog, and doing yoga. She is also an aspiring equestrian. Alongside her fantastically wonderful children, she likes playing board games and making meals. JoAnn is thrilled to be a part of the American Heritage Family!

Tammy Morse, Assistant Academic Counselor/Registrar, Database Manager

Tammy has worked with teachers and administrators at American Heritage school for over 20 years.  She loves to be a “behind the scenes” supporter of the school in any way she can.  She enjoys learning and increasing her graphic design, webmaster, and technology skills.  She enjoys her growing family of five children and 16 grandchildren.  She and her husband served a public affairs mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Toronto Canada, and she continues to be a strong supporter of religious freedom and interfaith efforts.

Kristy Swenson, K-5 Administrative Assistant/Guidance Coordinator

Kristy Swenson was born and raised in the Bay Area. She left her hometown and studied at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. During her studies, she traveled to New Zealand to study literacy teaching methods. She graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a minor in Music, and a minor in Marriage Family Human Development. In addition to working as an elementary school teacher in Nebo School District, she has tutored children from around the world as a VIPKid instructor. Kristy joined the American Heritage School community in 2008 when her husband, Rob, began teaching choir at the American Fork campus and now all four of their children attend American Heritage. Most recently, she worked with AHS Worldwide as a teacher–actor for the LiftEd program. She is excited to continue her involvement with AHS, helping children grow spiritually, mentally, physically, and academically. Kristy enjoys playing and traveling with her family, sampling delicious food with Rob, and learning new ways to decorate and organize the Swenson home.

Dr. Alicia Henderson, Social/Emotional Counselor

Alicia Henderson completed the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Brigham Young University. Alicia specializes in working with a variety of issues with children, adolescents and adults, especially OCD and other anxiety related issues. She completed a capstone internship through Primary Children’s Medical Center. There she worked at a rotation on the residential and day treatment behavioral health unit, where she engaged in individual, group and family therapy and completed psychological evaluations. She also completed a rotation in an outpatient clinic doing psychotherapy with children and adolescents and completing psychoeducational assessments. She also completed a mini-rotation in the oncology/hematology and bone marrow transplant unit where she completed developmental and psychological assessments for infants and children undergoing bone marrow transplants and cancer treatments. Throughout the internship she engaged in extensive training in family therapy and participated in many multidisciplinary case consultations.

Additionally, Alicia has worked with families of high conflict divorce for several years, including supervision, facilitating exchanges, divorce education, intake interviews, and providing other therapeutic services. She has also conducted assessments for youth and adults, in elementary school, university and clinical settings for autism, learning disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder, behavioral disorders, and other mental health disorders. She has also worked in elementary schools with students and teachers. Further, Alicia has assisted with dialectical behavioral therapy groups at the Utah State Hospital.

Alicia has also been involved in extensive research on variables that affect children’s and adolescent’s outcomes in treatment, including parenting skills and parental social support. She has also assisted with research on autism. Lastly, she has taught several undergraduate psychology courses at Brigham Young University, including child psychopathology, child development and abnormal psychology.

Jeremy Wright, Director of Facilities and Security

Jeremy Wright comes to AHS having recently retired as the Chief of Police for Fairview, Utah, looking for an opportunity to continue his career focusing on one of the things that he loves most: working in schools with students. Mr. Wright was born and raised in Pleasant Grove, Utah. The second of five children, he served a Latter-day Saint mission in Tampa, Florida, and graduated in 2000 from the Utah Peace Officers and Standards Academy. He has had a 20-year career in law enforcement, including with the Tooele City Police Department and the Saratoga Springs Police Department, which he helped to found. Jeremy has significant experience in various first-response professions, including School Resource Officer (one of his favorites), D.A.R.E. instructor, EMT, Hazmat Technician, Firearms Instructor, Detective, Corporal and Sergeant. Jeremy earned his bachelors degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia Southern University and has long enjoyed teaching a class to students who have interest in criminal justice. Jeremy enjoys serving in his church calling, spending time with his family, and working in the yard. Jeremy and his wife Jody reside in Saratoga Springs, Utah with their seven children, six sons and one daughter.

Kandace Goodrich, Front Office Manager

Kandace was born and raised in Kearns, Utah, but prefers the warmth of St. George where she lived for 9 years. While living in St. George she attended Dixie State University. She has worked in the front office of LDS Family Services for 5 years assisting therapists and clients, which has deepened her desire to educate others about emotional challenges. She loves faith-based therapy, and loves that American Heritage provides a faith-based education. The opportunity to work at American Heritage combines Kandace’s love for office administration work, education, family, and faith. Kandace plans on becoming a Family Life Educator after completing the online Family Life program at Utah State University. She also hopes to become more involved with two organizations she volunteers for – Utah Coalition Against Pornography and Operation Underground Railroad. She served a mission in Nauvoo, Illinois where she deepened her love of the gospel, church history, and teaching. Kandace is the 4th of 8 children, and the favorite aunt of 7. When not working or pursuing education, she enjoys hiking, reading self-help books, organizing, and spending time with two of her five sisters whom she lives with in Orem, Utah.

Brook Brockbank, Admissions

Brooke Brockbank is very happy to be here at American Heritage. She grew up in Utah, one of 8 children. During college she was able to travel with the BYU ILP program and teach English in the kindergartens in Voronezh, Russia. Upon returning home she married Steve Brockbank and they headed off to California for his schooling. After graduation they moved multiple times to multiple states with the last out of state home being on a farm in Pullman, Washington. This is where she and her husband started “Freedom Camp”. A 3-day camp that focuses on Faith, Family (ancestors), Freedoms (love of America and the founding fathers) and hard work! After moving to Lehi about 4 years ago they have gone on to host 3 more camps with the latest here in Utah County for nearly 100 of their extended family members. This is her family’s passion and last year they were awarded Lehi City’s “Family of Year” award. She loves American Heritage because the people here also have this same passion for Faith, Families and the Freedoms we hold dear in America. She is very excited to be working with the children here. She currently lives in Lehi with her husband and 6 children, where you can find her playing with her children, singing, cooking, working in the yard, and if you ask her 6 year old what she loves he’ll say her favorite thing to do is clean the house.

Katie Bush, Admissions

Katie Bush joined American Heritage School with a background as a registered nurse, educator, and content writer. Born in California and raised in Utah, she received her bachelors of science from Brigham Young University on a presidential scholarship and graduated as valedictorian of her nursing class. Katie served a mission in Bolivia and upon returning married her sweetheart, John Bush, who is the head chaplain at Utah Valley Hospital. They are the parents of five wonderful children, and their family loves to spend time in the outdoors hiking and camping. Katie is delighted to share the mission of American Heritage School as she interfaces with the community through the admissions office.

Heather Smith, Admissions

Heather attended Brigham Young University where she danced for 3 years on the International Folk Dance Tour Team, studied Health and Business, and continued on to receive a Master of Public Administration from the Marriott School.  She met her husband, Steve, while at BYU, and they have 3 daughters and 2 sons and 1 awesome son-in-law. Throughout the years, Heather has been lucky to find jobs that enable her to combine family and work.   She has been a Sorority House Parent for Pi Beta Phi at Cornell University, dance instructor, Director of the Maverick Ski Team for Arrowhead Ski Team, and currently gets to work in the Admissions Office at AHS.  Her favorite things about her current position are meeting new students and families, taking people on tours and telling them about the mission of AHS,  seeing her children in the halls, and working with the incredible Admissions Team.

LeAnn Hatfield, Advancement Assistant

LeAnn Hatfield is excited to be working to help advance the mission and development of American Heritage School. Most recently she was the controller for a software company in Springville. She also previously worked for the State of Utah doing financial audits, internal auditing, and special projects for several departments and agencies. She has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University. LeAnn served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in San Antonio, Texas. She and her husband Glenn live in American Fork. Their twins, Savannah and Corwin, have been attending American Heritage School since kindergarten.

Jamie Wright, Advancement Assistant

Jamie first joined the AHS community as a parent. After seeing firsthand the values and priorities that make this school what it is, she became passionate about AHS and its faith-based mission. She is grateful for the opportunity to be more involved at the school and is thrilled to be on the Advancement team. She and her husband have 3 children. After completing a bachelor’s degree in business management, Jamie has spent much of her career in business, finance and philanthropies. Prior to taking a break from her career to focus on growing her family, Jamie worked for Philanthropies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.