2023-24 New Faculty & Personnel Transitions
Matthew Beesley, Math Teacher (MS, HS)
Matthew Beesley was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Colorado Springs. He attended BYU where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Organ Performance, and then a Master’s Degree in Mathematics. He has been teaching math at Olympus High School and Utah Valley University for the last five years. Some of his hobbies include reading, playing the organ, and learning new things. His latest endeavors include web design, German, and adding digital capabilities to his home organ. He lives in American Fork with his wife Kate and their five children. He is thrilled to be joining the American Heritage community where he can share his love for the gospel and its connections with mathematics.
Stephen Blake, Physical Education Teacher (K-4)
Stephen Blake earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise & Sport Science. He was born and raised in the islands of Fiji–Bula Vinaka! As a young boy, Stephen dreamed of moving and living in America and knew that one day it would happen. He played professional soccer for his country before becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young adult. Shortly after, he realized his dream and attended Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and later served a mission in Sacramento, California. For the past 3 seasons, Stephen has been the AHS Boys’ Varsity and Middle School Soccer Coach. He enjoys doing family history research and has been asked to compile and author the next edition of the history of the Blake family name throughout the Polynesian islands. Stephen, his wife, two children, and their little dog live in Orem. He is thrilled and honored to teach physical education and exercise science in an institution where faith, family, and love for America are aligned.
Bethany Cory, 5th Grade Teacher
Bethany Cory is returning to AHS to assume her previous role as a 5th grade homeroom teacher.
See Mrs. Cory’s bio from when she was previously employed at AHS here.
Isabel De La Rosa, Lunch Supervisor
Isabel is a mother of three, who homeschooled her kids in a bilingual household. She was also a teacher assistant for her kids elementary school. Since all her kids have now grown up she has continued with her teaching experience in her church callings. She works specifically with young women. In both Spanish and English. Isabel was studying to be a special ed teacher back in Argentina. She got the majority of her degree and teaching externship finished before she moved to Utah and started a family. She continued her education here in Utah specifically learning english. And has taught her community english to non-English speakers, and Spanish to non-Spanish speakers. Isabel is from Argentina and loves to dance, hike or anything with nature. She’s excited to start her experience at American Heritage, make new friends and create wonderful memories.
Coleen DeRose, Music Accompanist (K-1)
Colleen DeRose is thrilled to share her love of music with the students at American Heritage! She has served as a vocal and choir accompanist for 30+ years and is looking forward to this next adventure. She graduated with a Communications degree from Southern Utah University with a double major in Broadcast/Journalism. She started her career developing new business advertisers for KUTV2 News in Salt Lake City, and most recently worked at LDSLiving Magazine for the past 10 years. She was raised on a corn farm in Draper, Utah and lives next door to the house she grew up in. She has two red hair, blue eyed boys, Ashton (19) and Dallin (5), (and yes . . . that’s a big gap) with her high school sweetheart, Aaron. She loves to garden (forever a farmer), travel, snowboard, wake surf, read and eat yummy food. She is grateful to work in an environment that is exudes so much goodness, light, and love.
Alison Duran, 4th Grade Teacher Aide
Alison taught as an elementary classroom teacher for 5 years before taking time off with her children. She worked teaching 5th grade, 3rd grade, and then 4th grade. Alison graduated in 2012 from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education. She is married to her husband, Sebastian, and has 2 daughters – Camila (Millie) who is 4, and Penny who just turned 2. Her hobbies include weightlifting, hanging out with friends and family, and going out finding new restaurants with her husband. She feels so blessed to be apart of American Heritage School, and is excited to work with the wonderful families and staff.
Chanté Engh, Teacher, HS Digital Design and Yearbook
Chanté earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Brigham Young University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction as well as an Executive Certificate of Instructional Design and Technology from Liberty University. She worked as a Digital Media Producer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and went on to manage a team of 40 digital media producers. She taught online Digital Media classes to middle and high school students as part of an after-school program based in New York. She then taught Social Media Marketing classes at both Brigham Young University-Idaho and BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Most recently, she taught in-person as well as online and hybrid classes at Utah Valley University in the Digital Media Department. While at UVU, she also earned five specialized teaching certificates. Her husband serves in the military, and they delight in raising their two curly-haired children. She loves music and plays the piano, Celtic harp, and ukulele. She also enjoys swimming and gardening. She feels that teaching is her life’s calling and is overjoyed with the opportunity to teach within the Gospel-centered context of American Heritage.
Yuka Fujii, Ballroom Dance Teacher
Yuka was born and raised in Yamaguchi, Japan, and began her dance training at age two at her parents ’ Ballroom Dance Studio. She has been teaching for over five years for kids, Youth, and adult dance classes, and is currently a director of the Kid’s program and adult dance team at DF dance studio in Salt Lake City. In Japan, Yuka was a five-time National Latin and Standard Youth Champion. In 2016, Her passion for dance took her to the US to attend Utah Valley University with a dance scholarship where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Dance with an emphasis in Ballroom Dance in 2023. She was also selected as a winner of Outstanding Student 2023 at UVU. While studying at UVU, Yuka danced on the UVU Ballroom Dance Company Tour team, and she and her team traveled across many states and countries to perform and compete. Yuka especially cherishes the experience of winning the 2 World Titles with her team in the Blackpool Dance Festival World Formation Championships 2022. Besides her dance career, Yuka is a return missionary from England’s London mission. There, she was honored to teach weekly dance classes to the communities and share the joy of dance and the gospel with people. Yuka is excited to share her love for dance and the gospel with excellent students in AHS.
Jessica Gilbert, HYC Treble Choir Director
Jessica graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and a Masters degree in Choral Conducting. She has directed many choirs including the women’s choir and chamber choir at Snow College; the vocal ensemble at the Salt Lake School for Performing Arts; and the Westminster Institute Choir. She created two community children’s choirs: the Young Choral Artists (Salt Lake) and Glee Girls (Salt Lake/Davis County). Jessica loves to accompany and has played for countless choirs and soloists, and accompanied Jenny Oaks Baker for 4 years on Time Out for Women programs across the country. Jessica loves musical theatre and has enjoyed performing in theatre productions throughout the valley (Ado Annie in Oklahoma was one of her favorite roles) as well as music directing for summer shows at a private school in Maryland. She was a member of the Tabernacle Choir for two years and conducted a choir for General Conference in April 2017. Jessica and her husband moved to Pleasant Grove in July 2023 to bring their three boys to American Heritage and they are so excited to join the AHS family!
Danni Gleave, History Teacher (HS), Teacher Aide (6th Grade)
Danni graduated from Utah Valley University in Integrated Studies, combining English Writing Studies with Constitutional Studies. While at UVU, she focused most of her extracurricular time as a student researcher for the Center for Constitutional Studies in partnership with the Quill Project at Oxford University. In the middle of her education, she served a mission in the France Paris Mission during the height of Covid. Now, she lives in Highland with her husband, and they are expecting their first child at the beginning of the school year. Previously, Danielle has worked as a content expert with American Heritage School Worldwide to create a Constitution based curriculum titled, “Liberty Through Law,” and anticipates bringing the principles of liberty into her classroom at American Heritage.
Emily Graham, Volunteer High School Choir Teacher
Emily Graham is an alumnus of American Heritage and the granddaughter of Verlan and Shirley Andersen. She is the mother of nine children ages 8-31 and the grandmother of three. A graduate of the BYU Music Department, she has spent the last 30 years supporting her husband in his medical career, managing a large household, homeschooling, teaching her own children music, and privately teaching scores of additional cello students. For the past 13 years, she has conducted a children’s choir in Roosevelt, Utah, that started with three students and has grown to three choirs and over 70 students. She is passionate about music, especially the opportunity to feel and share our love for Jesus Christ through beautiful words and melody. Emily loves spending time with family and friends, talking, cooking, decorating, reading, traveling, singing, or playing musical instruments. She is excited to share her passion for music with the HS choirs this coming year.
Karen Green, Science Teacher (3-5) / K-5 Reading Incentive Program
Karen grew up in California and moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She did an internship in 2nd grade, continued to teach 2nd grade for several years and also taught 3rd and 4th grade. In addition, she helped teach preschool for a couple of years. She was also an aide in a special education classroom as well as a substitute teacher for grades K-12. Karen enjoys teaching science to her students and loved teaching at a summer science camp. She became a teacher to make learning come to life and she plans and teaches with many hands on activities. She formerly taught P.E. to elementary school students grades kindergarten to 6th. Karen loves everything active and can often be found playing many different sports with her husband and three children. She is excited to teach at American Heritage, where her daughter attends and loves everything the school stands for
Krista Johannesmeyer, 8th Grade Teacher
Krista Johannesmeyer recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA, in History Education with a minor in Political Science. “I love that history and social studies, as a discipline, is so multi-faceted and relates to all aspects of life. I love working with students and youth and helping them to love learning by study and faith.” While in college Krista interned at the Utah State Capitol and participated in the Wheatley Institute’s Constitution Education Project. She served a mission in Spain, Malaga, and Madrid and loves everything related to Spanish culture, especially the food! In addition to teaching, she loves participating in musical theater, reading, hiking, and water-coloring. Krista is thrilled to be joining the wonderful faculty, staff, and community at American Heritage School!
Grace Lam, High School Math Teacher
Grace Lam graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education, with a minor in Computer Science Teaching. She is from Hong Kong and speaks fluent Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. During her time in Vancouver, Canada, where she served a mission, she fell in love with its people, landmarks, and food. In her leisure time, Grace enjoys participating in a range of sports, such as pickleball, volleyball, and badminton. With a passion in math, she endeavors to help everyone see that math can be fun and engaging. Additionally, Grace has a deep desire to integrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ into education, making her excited to teach at AHS.
Krista MacArthur, Middle School Science Aide
Krista MacArthur grew up in Cache Valley, where she also attended Utah Sate University. She graduated wi with a BS in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. She has always been fascinated by all things STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) and hopes to help all middle school students find a love for science as well. She spends most of her free time reading, painting, knitting, quilting, playing board games, doing home renovations, or just learning something new.
Mckayla Maughan, Elementary Lunch Supervisor
Mckayla Maughan is an American Heritage alumni and had the opportunity to serve in the California Anaheim Mission. She loves ballroom and theater and is currently studying at Utah Valley University for technical theater.
Melodi Melecio, Lyceum Orchestra Marketing Specialist
Melodi has a degree in Education from BYU as well as multiple ad certifications with a specialization in social media marketing. She is a musical mom with 5 string players at home ranging from pre-school to high school. She trained with and has worked as an associate with GriffinSquare Advertising. She is a current AHS parent at the American Fork campus where she has served as an aide and math teacher. Melodi previously taught Spanish for AHS Worldwide and assisted with marketing.
Andrea Neilson, 3rd Grade Teacher
Andrea Neilson is excited to continue her teaching career at American Heritage. She received a bachelor’s degree from UVU in elementary education, a Master of Education from SUU, and taught 6th grade for six years. She was born and raised in Orem, Utah where she grew up dancing, and even had the opportunity to dance as a cast member at Walt Disney World. She is married to the most wonderful husband, and together, they have two darling children. She has had the opportunity to be home with her babies the past five years, and is eager to get back into the classroom to educate children with the love of learning, infused with the Spirit. Andrea is so excited to be able to teach where Christ is the center of curriculum. She enjoys traveling, organizing, board games, and time with her family.
Christy Owens, Librarian
Christy most recently worked for FranklinCovey as an editor and accessibility specialist, and prior to that, worked for BYU-Idaho in various positions: adjunct faculty in the English department, quality and editing coordinator in Online Learning, and ADA compliance coordinator in Disability Services. She graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor’s in English, emphasis in professional writing. She is a widow and has three grown sons, one beautiful daughter-in-law, and one tiny, lovable chihuahua. She loves all things reading and writing, loves swimming, and has recently taken up the art of baking with sourdough
Michelle Pusey, 3rd Grade Teacher Aide
Michelle Pusey was an aide for three years before coming to American Heritage. She went to Timpanogos high school. She loves learning French on Duolingo. She loves cooking and reading awesome books with her family.
Katrina Seamons, Guided Reading Library Aide
Katrina Seamons loves to teach young children. She loves helping children learn about their divinity and increase their abilities to do great things in their lives. With her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Utah State University, she has taught in Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and special Ed preschool classrooms, and homeschooled her 5 children for 7 years. She is a certified speaker through Connie Sokol Enterprises and has taught at various online conferences and BYU Women’s Conference. She loves summertime and loves to travel to the beach and Disney parks! She is passionate about helping children know how to learn and love to learn so they can become happy, healthy, independent adults and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
Rebekah Seeley, Afterschool Ballroom Instructor
Rebekah enjoyed teaching several university classes at BYU over the past two years (including Beginning Social Dance, Country Swing, Ballroom, and Latin, as well as Intermediate Latin classes) where she cultivated stalwart character while creating an uplifting, engaging environment for all her students. In addition to ballroom dance, Rebekah has worked as a Kids Summer Daycamp Manager and a Youth Mentor at a local Residential Treatment Center. She was a member of the prestigious BYU Ballroom Dance Touring Company for three years, during which time she was thrilled to dance throughout the world–England, Belgium, France, and Germany, as well as several states throughout the US. Rebekah grew up in Seattle, Washington, served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paris, France, and recently graduated from BYU with her BS in Exercise and Wellness. She has a deep love for the gospel, enjoys spending time outdoors, and adores working with children of all ages.
Becky Slagowski, Music Accompanist (K-1)
Becky believes that music is a gift from God that allows all His children to feel His love. She is happily married to her forever, a mother of 6, and the family dog loves her the most! Her favorite past times are with her family. Her husband is her biggest fan, and her children are second. She loves to cycle, hike, read, do yard work, do home projects, and eat delicious food. You will find her always helping those around her, as service is her love language. She is excited to learn and share her love of music.
Marin Smith, High School Yoga Teacher
Marin has been teaching yoga for the last ten years. She has been teaching at the provo rec center and for different corporate companies. She earned her bachelors degree in School Health Edcuation from Utah Valley Univeristy. She grew up in a small town called Springerville Arizona. She realized she loved teaching when she served a mission in Leeds England. She is now married and has 4 children. You can usually find Marin riding her bike, hiking in the mountains, or playing pickleball. In every classes she teaches her goal is to help her students leave the class feeling braver, stronger, and kinder. Namaste.
Kendra Stone, Advancement Assistant
Kendra was born and raised in Washington state but has spent her adult years in Utah and Austin, Texas. She is the happy mother of two girls and loves adventuring with them— in every sense of the word. Kendra brings over 13 years of volunteerism with various educational organizations as well as more than a decade of experience in communications and account management. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University where she conducted and published original research focusing on philanthropic behavior through donor advised funds.
Kristy Swenson, Administrative Assistant, K-5 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 travelled to New Zealand to study literacy teaching methods. She graduated from BYU with a Bachelors 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.
Abby Taylor, Middle School Science Teacher
Abby is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. She attended Tyler Junior College and played volleyball there for two years then transferred to the University of Wyoming where she obtained her Biology degree and played volleyball for another two seasons. She recently finished additional school at Brigham Young University where she played on the women’s volleyball team for the fall of 2022. She is excited to be teaching middle school science and has a passion for all areas of science.
Whitney Taylor, Middle School Art Teacher
Whitney Taylor first received teaching experience while working in a preschool setting while attending college. She became more immersed in teaching when she lived in Kyiv, Ukraine, teaching the English Language to a wide variety of ages. Whitney went on to graduate from Brigham Young University with a BFA in Studio Art, she received talent scholarships and then graduated Magna Cum Laude, with high honors. She finished with a baby in tow and gave the commencement speech at her graduation. Whitney has done professional photography, some online marketing, and has continued to build a portfolio. Starting all her kids at age 2 with painting, art is now an interest and joy they all share. Each one of her four kids are artists and have a strong appreciation for art and a desire to create. Whitney is thrilled to share her passion and enthusiasm for art through exploring a variety of mediums and methods, teach about art history, and discuss how art applies to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Marissa Teerlink, Middle School Math Teacher
Marissa Teerlink is a recent Brigham Young University Math Education school graduate. BYU has one of only a handful of math education programs in the country. Marissa earned numerous honors in this program, including BYU academic scholarships and being listed on the Dean’s list for multiple semesters. She is graduating summa cum laude. Marissa is currently completing her student teaching at Frontier Middle School, where she assisted with lesson plan development as the school learned a new curriculum. Marissa excels at making math learning a student-centric experience, and her classroom is full of involved and engaged students who have come to view learning math as an exciting process. Marissa has formerly worked as a swim teacher, planning STEM fairs around the country, and is recently married.
Cassie Thompson, Biology Teacher (HS), Study Hall Supervisor, Math and Science Tutor
Cassie Thompson was raised in Fairfax County, Virginia. After spending some time abroad, she graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Physics Teaching and a minor in mathematics. She taught Physics and coached tennis at Clark High School in Las Vegas, Nevada until she took a brief interlude to raise her four children. After moving to rural Nevada, she helped her husband start and manage a dental office. They recently moved to Highland so that her children could attend AHS. She loves the culture, spirit, and mission of the school. Her hobbies include any sport with a racquet, playing games with her family, and hiking.
Paul Walstad, High School Drama Teacher, Afterschool Musicals
Paul has been working on theatrical projects for over 30 years as an actor, writer, stage manager, and director. He has degrees in theater from UVU, BYU, and New York University. He has run youth theater programs in both New York and Utah and taught drama in Utah public schools for seven years in Midvale and West Valley. For the past 20 years, he has found great joy working on LDS Church productions such as “Savior of the World” (Director / Performer), “Light of the World” (Stage Manager), and the Nauvoo Pageant (Director / Performer). He has a special love for Nauvoo, Illinois, where he first did theater as a Young Performing Missionary in 1991. Later he met his wife as part of the Nauvoo Pageant, and he and Jennifer continue to serve there with their five school-aged children whenever they get the chance. This summer they will perform in both the Nauvoo and British pageants as a family.
Elizabeth Washburn, High School Men’s Choir
Liz Washburn was born and raised in Virginia, and moved to Utah to attend BYU, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education. While at BYU, she sang in each of the choirs and toured with the BYU Singers. She interned and taught school for six years at Oak Canyon Junior High as the choir director of six choirs and, during that time, had the opportunity to be a member of the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square. She loved working in that community until she was blessed to stay home to be with her children. While raising her family, she has taught private voice lessons, volunteered as a choir director at her children’s school, worked as a teacher’s aide, directed the music for multiple school musicals, served in the PTA, and homeschooled her children. Liz loves music and sports, especially when she gets to participate in those activities with her family. She loves music in the gospel and is excited to share that love and mission at American Heritage!
Adrienne Werner, Teacher Aide (1st Grade)
Adrienne was born and raised in San Carlos, California. Her father was Mayor and mother was involved in everything around town as well. She attended Brigham Young University and earned a degree in Marriage, Family, Human Development with a Minor in Gerontology, the study of aging. She worked with the elderly in Retirement Communities and planned excursions and events for her residents. She met Rob in the Stanford University Singles Ward then turned in her Lifestyle Coordinator career and became a stay-at-home Mom. As their family grew in San Carlos, Adrienne became President of a non-profit organization, a weekend long event called San Carlos Hometown Days. Adrienne also worked closely with the Director of Special Education in the School District and implemented Ability Awareness Week. She loved teaching art in the public school classrooms for 10 years. Adrienne and her husband Rob have five children who are all at American Heritage School. They like to say, “when we came out to Utah in the summer of 2020 and found AHS we never wanted to go back.” Adrienne hobbies are gardening, painting and keeping up with all her kids’ sports events. She is excited to be working with Mrs. Sloan and be an Aide in her classroom this year.
Michelle Antaloczy is transitioning from being an 8th grade teacher aide to being an 8th grade homeroom teacher.
See Mrs. Antaloczy’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Beverly is transitioning from SLC campus to AF Campus as Finance Manager.
Beverly Bartlett has worked in the accounting and Human Resources field for over 20 years and loves her spreadsheets. She helped to help establish the Salt Lake City campus for American Heritage School. “I love the vision and mission of American Heritage being able to infuse the gospel with education is amazing.” She is the mother of four children and resides in Herriman, UT. Beverly enjoys reading, skiing (both kinds), four-wheeling, snowmobiling, and playing games.
Adam Brewer is transitioning from being an 8th grade homeroom teacher to being a high school History teacher.
See Mr. Brewer’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Jenny Burr is adding to her position as an 7th grade homeroom teacher the teaching of one course in the high school English department: senior thesis.
See Mrs. Burr’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Levi Crockett is transitioning from being a teacher of Chinese and AP Computer Science to a newly created administrative position: EdTech Director. In addition to heading up technology initiatives at the school, Mr. Crockett will teach AP Computer Science Principles and Digital Discipleship, and function as the department chair for the technology department.
See Mr. Crockett’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Andrea Duncombe is transitioning from being a 3rd-grade homeroom teacher to being a 2nd-grade homeroom teacher.
See Mrs. Duncombe’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Kimberly Faerber is adding to her position as an 8th grade homeroom teacher the teaching of two courses in the high school English department: short stories and poetry.
See Mrs. Faerber’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Naibi Graham is transitioning from being a 1st grade aide to being an art aide.
Melanie McConkie is transitioning from being the school Librarian and keyboarding teacher to being a 3rd grade homeroom teacher.
See Mrs. McConkie’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Kelsea Oelrich is transitioning from being the K-5 Art and 7th-grade aide to being the Middle School Lunch Supervisor.
Heather Park is transitioning from being an Aide to being a PM kindergarten teacher.
See Mrs. Park’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Karen Pusey is transitioning from being a part-time 2nd grade homeroom teacher to being a full-time 2nd grade homeroom teacher, and the K-5 Yearbook Creator.
See Mrs. Pusey’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Holly Robinson is transitioning from being a PM kindergarten teacher to team teaching full-day kindergarten with Renee Braddy.
See Ms. Robinson’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Janene Salvesen is transitioning from being a 6th grade homeroom teacher to being a high school P.E. and AP Geography teacher along with supervising the MS coaching program.
See Mrs. Salvesen’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Emily Spackman is transitioning from being an 8th grade homeroom teacher to being a high school English teacher.
See Mrs. Spackman’s complete bio on the school’s website here.
Kristi Wulfenstein is transitioning from being a 2nd grade aide to being a 1st grade aide.
See Mrs. Wulfenstein’s complete bio on the school’s website here.