Brett Abramson (Kindergarten)
Hello, my name is Brett Abramson and I was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. I got my Bachelors in Elementary Education from Arizona State University back in 2011. I am currently working towards my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. This is my 7th year teaching Kindergarten and I also work as a mentor for new teachers. I believe teaching (kindergarten) is why I was put on this Earth and is my purpose in life.
After school, I help coach the Cub Cheer team. I adore children and feel that I understand their language. I love working with little ones and their families to guide them in reaching their academic and personal goals.
I have 2 kids, 12 and 6-year-old boys, and a cocker spaniel puppy, Nala. They are active with school, sports and activities so we are always on the go. We are avid Disney goers and were lucky to have annual passes to Disneyland this past year! I also work a second job in retail at the mall and have been there for over 12 years.
Becky Bird (2nd Grade)
I am Becky Bird and I am a second grade teacher here at Sequoia Pathway Academy. I have been teaching second grade here at Sequoia for 5 years. I am married with four children and a dog. I attended Northcentral University for my bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I continued my education and received my master’s degree in education, specializing in curriculum and instruction, at Grand Canyon University. I am highly qualified and a certified teacher.
I love spending time with my family, friends, and attending All-Star cheer competitions with my oldest daughter. I love everything Disney and my favorite character is Tinkerbell. I enjoy watching movies and traveling.
Rebecca Collins (Guidance Counselor)
My name is Rebecca Collins and I am a certified Guidance Counselor at Sequoia Pathway. I have been a guidance counselor for six years and a Puma family/ substitute teacher at Pathway for many years! I have three children who are 11, 14 and 16. All have attended Pathway. I have lived in Maricopa for twelve years and my husband and I are involved in the community with sports and volunteering. I am excited to be part of the Pathway family again and working with the elementary through high school students.
Shelley Damron (Kindergarten)
Mrs. Shelley Damron here! Pathway Kindergarten Teacher for 10 years strong. I have a dual Master’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. I have been here since Pathway opened its doors. I thoroughly enjoy teaching my Kinders the foundations for learning. The growth in Kinder is A-mazing to watch and warms my heart. Prior to Pathway, I worked in the Kyrene School District in the Special Education Department. I am also an Air Force Veteran. 🙂
I am happily married to “Mr. Damron”. My 2 teenage sons attend Pathway. Tyler is a Sophomore and Ryan is a Freshman. We have 1 tortoise, 3 dogs- 1 Golden Retriever and 2 Goldendoodles, 2 Guinea Pigs and 13 Sugar Gliders. YES, I love animals!
Heather DeCarolis (3rdGrade)
Hello! This is my 6th year teaching, 5 of which have been here at Pathway. I spent my first two years at Pathway teaching 1st grade and then moved to 3rd where I’ll stay! I was lucky enough to have some of my previous 1st graders when I moved up to 3rd grade. I enjoy watching all of the students who come through my door succeed and grow during their time at Pathway. My classroom environment is one of fun, engagement, constant learning, a safe environment, and everything Peanuts! Students love coming in and seeing all of the different Peanuts items I have and I am very grateful when they help add to my collection. They love coming back year after year to see that their item is still on display!
Outside of school I enjoy time with my family. I am married with 4 children (20, 15, 6, and 3) and will be welcoming my first granddaughter in January 2019! My oldest graduated from Pathway two years ago, my 15 year old is a freshman here, and my 6 year old is in Kindergarten here. We are definitely a Pathway family! We enjoy spending time with our extended family, camping, and family game night. Personally I am an avid reader and love to scrapbook.
Diana “Dee” Estrada (Health Aide)
Diana Estrada AKA “Dee” – I Have Been in the Medical Field For 18 Years and I am the Health Aid for Pathway. Mother of 8 Children, 4 Grandchildren & happily Married for 25 Years. My passion is to mentor our youth through the instruction of Basketball and my immediate family is my entire being! I am blessed to be a PUMA and have been with Pathway for 6 years & Look forward to many more!
Sheri Forester (SPED Para-professional)
My name is Sheri Forester. I am married with children. My family and I moved to Maricopa five years ago. I’ve been part of the Pathway family for four years as a parent/educator. I received my Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Upper Iowa University. I am currently attending GCU for my Master’s in Mental Health. I have a passion for people with disabilities. In my spare time I enjoy playing bingo and spending time with my family.
Denise Foulkrod (Reading Specialist)
I am the certified K-6 Reading Specialist at Sequoia Pathway Academy. While I have been an elementary school teacher for eighteen years, six of those years have been as a Pathway Puma. At Pathway, I have also taught first grade and fourth grade.
My husband, three children, and I moved to Arizona from Cleveland, Ohio thirteen years ago. In Cleveland, I graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a K-8th grade certificate and a minor in Psychology. Recently, I earned a Master of Reading from Grand Canyon University. My post graduate work also included Special Education and Early Childhood development.
As a teacher, I believe in providing high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment. With high expectations, I endeavor to help motivate my students to learn and develop a love of learning!
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
– Dr. Seuss
David Gantz (Elementary Music)
Hi! My name is David Gantz and I am from Harvard, MA. I have been honored to teach music to children in preschool through 12th grade over the last 20 years and I am thrilled to be teaching music at Sequoia Pathway Academy!
During my career I have taught for Imagine Schools and at the Arts Academy at Estrella Mountain in Tolleson. In 2016 and 2017, I was selected as guest conductor for the Pendergast Honor Choir Festival where students sang my original songs including “Can We Be Better Than We Are?”, “All I Can Do Is My Best,” and “We Will Sing.”
My character education songs have been recorded recently by members of the One Voice Children’s Choir in Utah. This choir has appeared on America’s Got Talent and they have over 100 million views on Youtube.
I hold the Master of Music degree with an emphasis in music education from the University of Florida. I have completed additional study at the world renowned Berklee College of Music.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy writing songs with positive messages, themes which raise students’ self- esteem, achieving our personal best, believing in ourselves/teachers, and making the world a better place.
As a teacher, my focus is on developing a love and appreciation for music while nurturing the skills necessary for the students to reach their full potential as musicians.
Laurel Gerla (Administrative Assistant)
I am just finishing my 10th year at Pathway. I came onboard the summer we were opening the school. My two grandsons are students at Pathway; one is in the 5th grade and the other in the 3rd. I have 3 grown children, 7 grandchildren and 2 great- grandchildren. We are from the Seattle area and have lived in Arizona for just over 10 years. “When are you going to retire?” – that’s the big question that so far has no answer. I enjoy my Pathway Family.
Ani Hamilton (3rd Grade)
This is my 10th year as a teacher, with my most recent four years being with Pathway! I consider it a great privilege and responsibility to be a teacher. My goal is to provide a happy, educational environment for children as I bring my experiences as an educator to the classroom. Outside of school, my life is dedicated to my family. I enjoy hiking and camping up north, reading, running, and caring for animals. I am a believer that what is taught in the classroom is never as important as what is learned. As a teacher and a mom, it is my duty and privilege to instill compassion in young minds.
Richelle Hanks (3rd Grade)
My name is Richelle Hanks and I teach third grade. This is my 3rd year teaching at Pathway and I love it!
I graduated from Brigham Young University. My husband and I have three wonderful children. The oldest is twenty and she will begin her last two years of college at Utah State in the fall. We have a 16 year old daughter and a 14 year old son who both attend Maricopa High, where my husband has taught math for the past 12 years. We have lived in Maricopa since the summer of 2006.
Michele Hill (Registrar)
I am on my 8th year here at Pathway. I started as a Para professional in Kindergarten and then worked as a Para in Resource and am now in the front office as the Registrar and LOVE it here. I have recently married a man that I have known since I was 15! My new last name is Hill! I have 2 amazing children. Shawn is 20 and attending his 2nd year of college at NAU and my daughter Nicolette who is in 8th grade and looking forward to possibly going to college abroad!
P.S. Laurel has promised to retire when I retire, so she will be here with me another 20 years! 🙂
Shianne Holman (4th Grade Social Studies)
Aloha! I am Shianne Holman. I am native to the island of O’ahu where the capital is located for the state of Hawai’i. I relocated to the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and now here in the Southwest, which my family calls “home.”
I am the 4th grade Social Studies teacher with a focus of Arizona State History, along with life skills to include real life experiences and situations that we face on a daily basis. This is my second year (2018-2019) here at Sequoia Pathway Academy, with 7 years total in education. I obtained my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University.
My passion is to teach your child and provide them with the learning experience to last a lifetime. On most of my free time, you can find me lesson planning. I am always trying to come up with fun, engaging, and educational innovated activities to coincide with the curriculum that I teach. Otherwise, you can find me with my family; crafting, cleaning, hikes, and supporting their extracurricular activities; golf, football, basketball, birthday parties, etc. I love foOoOoOod- just to name a few; pizza, ice cream, smoothies, coffee, and teas.
Holly Johnson (4th Grade Math)
I am Holly Johnson and I teach math to fourth grade students at Sequoia Pathway Academy. I earned my teaching degree from the University of Phoenix, where I attended school while working in a cross-categorical special needs program. Upon earning my degree, I taught in a classroom of students struggling with emotional disabilities. While teaching these students not only the necessary academics, but the art of Rotter’s internal and external locus of control model to managing choices and consequences. It seems I am not quite done with my education, as I am currently completing my Master’s degree in Curriculum instruction, and plan to graduate in March.
In my younger years, I was raised in a small town in Arizona, Willcox. Here, I was an Officer in FFA during high school, where I learned about agriculture and many other useful skills unique to my small town. I have since lived in Silver City, New Mexico, Tucson, Arizona, Phoenix and its surrounding areas.
Today, I enjoy spending time with my significant other, Albert, and our two daughters, Kennedy and Kadence. In my free time, I love getting together with friends, traveling to see them, and getting pedicures on a Saturday morning. I am also a “foodie”, who is always open to trying new foods outside of my absolute favorite, tacos!
Aleksandra Isaev-Katsnelson (Resource)
Mrs. Isaev-Katsnelson is in her first-year teaching at Sequoia Pathway Academy, this school year. She relocated from Texas to Arizona where she attended GCU for Elementary and Special Education where she earned her degree. In her spare time Mrs. Isaev-Katsnelson travels with her husband, Arthur, and two children, Clara and Koan. She hopes to see Russia, Iceland and New Zealand very soon. When she is not traveling Mrs. Isaev-Katsnelson is working on learning a second language, Russian, remodeling her new home or singing.
Lisa Long (6th Grade Science)
My Name is Lisa Long. I am the 6th Grade Science Teacher. I have been with Sequoia Pathway Academy for 6 years. I am originally from Philadelphia. Go Eagles! I’ve been married to an awesome guy for 24 years. He is a retired Marine and I have lived all over the world, including Okinawa, Japan. I have two sons. One is in the Marine Corps, like his father, and the other is in college studying Computer Programming. My hobbies are making soaps and many other bath goodies. I have three extra-large dogs. I love my French Mastiff, Italian Mastiff, and my curvaceous Boxer.
Erica Mannlein (Dean of Academics)
My name is Erica Mannlein and I am the Elementary Dean of Academics for Sequoia Pathway Academy. This is my 8th year at Pathway and my 15th year in the field of education. I have my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and my Reading Endorsement from Northern Arizona University, and was the Reading Specialist at Pathway for five years before becoming first, an Instructional Coach & Curriculum Specialist and now, the Dean of Academics.
I greatly enjoy spending time with my family, reading and writing short stories. In early October, my husband and I welcomed our fourth child, and second son, to our family and I am currently out on maternity leave until January.
Every Child is Known has become a part of who I am as an educator and administrator and I continue to endeavor to reach all students.
Terry Lynn McGinn (Visual Arts)
This is my 10th year with Sequoia Pathway Academy. I am a certified classroom instructor, plus I hold two K-12 endorsements, in both Physical Education and Visual Arts.
I have a Bachelor of Arts from Collins College in Interior Design. Next school year, I will be joining my husband’s real estate team, as both a designer, and photographer.
My art program here at SPA, is STEAM-based, and focus making hands-on connections between the arts, and academics.
Viri Miller ( Para – Kindergarten)
Hi there, my name is Viri Miller! I joined the Pathway team in 2017 as one of the kinder paraprofessionals! I hate to call this a job, because I absolutely love working with children. They bring so much joy and energy!
I’m a proud Momma of 4 and have been married for 15 years! I’m all about family and friends. Every day I try to start fresh, putting a smile on someone’s face is daily goal of mine!
* I just like to smile, smiling is my favorite!*
(Buddy the Elf)😊
Rogerlene Parson (4th Grade Science)
Hello! My name is Rogerlene Parson. This is my second year as the 4th grade Science teacher at Sequoia Pathway Academy! I was born and raised in New York, but moved to Michigan after college. There I raised a family and worked in the health care field, as well as in elementary schools, before relocating to Arizona in July 2017. I live in Maricopa with my husband. We have three adult children (Andre Jr., Milan, and Collin) and two grandchildren (Camile and Eathan). I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and reading. My desire is to promote a curiosity and love for science in all students.
Ryan Portee (SPED – Para-professional)
I am originally from Decatur Illinois, but I grew up in Washington DC. I moved a lot as a kid because my dad was a college football coach from Illinois State, to Cornell University, University of Maryland, to NC State. I went University of Maryland, but I chose the music biz when I got offered a record contract. I was in the entertainment biz for 25 years before I retired and started coaching. I moved to AZ in 2009, and married Elizabeth, my high school sweetheart. We have 9 children, 2 of which attend Pathway, Ellie Mae and Ryan Jr. I love Pathway and love coaching these young men in football and basketball. Go Pumas!!!
Assistant Varsity Football Coach
Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach
Head Flag Football Coach
Kathy Raske (Title I Para-Professional)
My name is Kathy Raske. I have happily been part of the Pathway family since 2013. I have worked in education for over 14 years. During my time at Pathway, I have had the privilege of working in Title One assisting our students with reading. I have lived in Maricopa since 2004. I am happily married. My husband and I have four children, three in college and one in high school.
Wahkeyta Rogers (2nd Grade)
I am originally from Washington State. I received my B.A. from Western Washington University. In 2012, I relocated to Arizona with my family. We love living in this warm climate where we can do more things outdoors all year round.
I have worked in the education field for the past five years. I enjoy being a teacher and working with young children. My students really keep me on my toes and make my heart smile. Doesn’t get any better than that!
Ann Rosati (Title I Para-Professional)
I am Ann Rosati and have been a proud member of the Pathway family for 5 years and part of an education environment for the past 12. I work in the Title One Program as a Title One Assistant, reinforcing and enhancing reading skills in grades K-6. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Colorado State University and moved to Arizona with my husband in 1999. I am the proud parent of 2 Russian born adopted children, one who is a 2017 Puma graduate and another who will graduate in May.
Barbara Rose (Speech)
My name is Barbara Rose and this is my first year at Sequoia Pathway. I am originally from Long Island, N.Y. and I moved to Maryland after receiving my Bachelor’s degree from Howard University. While living in Maryland, I received my Master’s degree from Argosy University. I was Human Resources Manager, for 30 years, at a health care facility that served the uninsured and under insured population of Baltimore and a foster parent for about 23 years until I moved to Maricopa, six years ago. I feel like I have come full circle, as my first job was with the D.C. public school system.
I am the mother of one Pathway Puma and the grandmother of two Pathway Pumas. When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and playing computer games.
Dillon Shosted (4th Grade ELA)
I was born in Southern California in a city called Bellflower. I moved out to Phoenix in 1996 and attended Pueblo Middle School and Desert Vista High School. I graduated from ASU with a degree in Elementary Education. I have worked in the education field for more than 10 years. I am a proud parent of an adorable seven year old daughter named Brooke. I am extremely excited to be here for my fifth year at Pathway.
Deidre Stapleton (1st Grade)
HI! I am Deidre Stapleton and this is my second year teaching first grade here at Sequoia Pathway. I am originally from southern California and my children and I moved to Arizona in 2010. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of California, Riverside and completed my Masters in Early Childhood Education at Arizona State University. Prior to moving to Arizona and entering education, I worked as a paramedic for 11 years and taught skills at a paramedic academy.
Outside of school you can find me at my boys’ activities. My twins are juniors at MHS and are on the Track & Field and Cross Country teams, in ROTC, and the Marching Band. I also have an 8th and 3rd grader here at Pathway. They keep me busy with ice hockey, baseball, and figure skating. In my spare time, you will always find me engrossed in a book. Biographies and anything related to history are my favorites.
I look forward to a great year and all the energy and enthusiasm that our young students have for learning!
Renee Velchek (Kitchen Manager)
My name is Renee Velchek, I am the kitchen manager here at Pathway. I started at Pathway in 2016. I grew up Chicago and moved to Indiana in 1998. I was a stay at home mom until my son was 3. When he started school I started working for the School City of Hammond and I worked in their preschools and the lunchroom until I moved to Arizona with my family in 2016. I have been married for 20 years and I have one son who is 12. He is the light of my life. I have one dog who is 5. I have a certificate in “Serv Safe” as a manager and my food handler’s card from Arizona. When I worked in Indiana I took a lot of cooking classes with Chef Cindy. I enjoy watching my son play baseball and taking my dog for a walk.
Terra Wheeler (5th Grade ELA)
My name is Terra Wheeler. After getting my Bachelor’s degree in business, I decided to go back to school and get my Master’s degree in education. I decided to teach because it was a teacher who changed my life and helped me become who I am today. I am a mother of four kids ranging from 14 to 6 years old. I love being a mother and a teacher! I learn so much from the kids. They have a perspective on life that is optimistic and infectious. They help keep me young. I feel blessed to play a part in the positive culture here at Pathway.