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Inspire every student to care, think, achieve, and learn.

Meet the Teachers & Staff

Highly Qualified Faculty and Staff - Dedicated to Students

One of our goals here at Desert Mountain Elementary is to keep the lines of communication open between home and school. Working together with parents is a great service we can provide to our students. We hope if you have a problem, question, or concern, you don’t hesitate to contact us. You are welcome to send our teachers an email or leave a message for them in the front office. We will make sure each teacher gets any messages as soon as possible, and he or she will return your call at his or her first opportunity.

administration

James Richardson

James Richardson
Principal
jrichardson2@qcusd.org
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James Richardson

James Richardson

Principal

Professional Biography

I have been in education for 23 years. I have a bachelors degree in education from the University of Arizona and a masters degree in leadership from Northern Arizona University. I am currently beginning my third year as principal at Desert Mountain Elementary School.


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Michelle Burton

Michelle Burton
Administrative Assistant
mburton@qcusd.org
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Michelle Burton

Michelle Burton

Administrative Assistant

Professional Biography

I attended ASU where I graduated in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in business management. I worked 10 years in the financial industry. I now volunteer at DME on the PTO and work as a playground aide.

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Cherri Massender

Cherri Massender
Administrative Clerk
cmassender@qcusd.org
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Cherri Massender

Cherri Massender

Administrative Clerk

Professional Biography

This is my first year at Desert Mountain Elementary.

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Jennifer Corcoran

Jennifer Corcoran
Attendance Specialist
jcorcoran@qcusd.org
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Jennifer Corcoran

Jennifer Corcoran

Attendance Specialist

Professional Biography

This is my second year at DME since moving to the valley. I have been volunteering and working as a playground aide, and am also a member of the DME PTO.

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Teachers

Heather Hilland

Heather Hilland
Kindergarten
hhilland@qcusd.org
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Heather Hilland

Heather Hilland

Kindergarten

Professional Biography

I received my BA in early childhood education from Arizona State University. I obtained a master's degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University. I have been teaching in the Queen Creek School District for 23 years.

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Carrie Lalama

Carrie Lalama
Kindergarten
clalama@qcusd.org
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Carrie Lalama

Carrie Lalama

Kindergarten

Professional Biography

I received my bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University. I received my master’s degree with my reading specialist endorsement, ELL endorsement, and endorsement through Northern Arizona University. This is my 20th year teaching at Desert Mountain Elementary. I am part of DME's AVID site team.

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Correy Littleton

Correy Littleton
Kindergarten
clittleton@qcusd.org
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Correy Littleton

Correy Littleton

Kindergarten

Professional Biography

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Rebecca Sanders

Rebecca Sanders
Kindergarten
rsanders@qcusd.org
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Rebecca Sanders

Rebecca Sanders

Kindergarten

Professional Biography

I received my bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, majoring in early childhood education with a minor in studio art. This is my third year teaching kindergarten here at DMES!

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Pam Watkins

Pam Watkins
Kindergarten
pwatkins@qcusd.org
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Pam Watkins

Pam Watkins

Kindergarten

Professional Biography

Undergraduate degree from ASU in elementary ed and masters from NAU with an emphasis in bilingual ed. Eighteen years at DME and thirteenth year in 1st grade.

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Shayna Adetokunbo

Shayna Adetokunbo
First Grade
sadetokunbo@qcusd.org
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Shayna Adetokunbo

Shayna Adetokunbo

First Grade

Professional Biography

I am an Arizona native and I graduated with a bachelor's degree from Ottawa University in 2005. I received my master's degree from NAU in 2012. This will be my 13th year teaching. I have taught kindergarten through third grade. 

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Jennifer Merkel

Jennifer Merkel
First Grade
jmerkel@qcusd.org
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Jennifer Merkel

Jennifer Merkel

First Grade

Professional Biography

This is my second year teaching at Desert Mountain Elementary.

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Connie (Ojeda) Verduzco

Connie (Ojeda) Verduzco
First Grade
cverduzco@qcusd.org
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Connie (Ojeda) Verduzco

Connie (Ojeda) Verduzco

First Grade

Professional Biography

I received my bachelor of arts in education from ASU and my masters in elementary education focusing on bilingual and multicultural education. I have been teaching for 15 years and 14 here at DME. My AVID college is USC.

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Michele Olson

Michele Olson
First/Second Grade Combo
molson@qcusd.org
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Michele Olson

Michele Olson

First/Second Grade Combo

Professional Biography

This is my 13th year teaching and my third year at Desert Mountain. I received my bachelor's degree in education from the University of North Dakota. My AVID college is the University of North Dakota.

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Kristen Dawson

Kristen Dawson
Second Grade
kdawson@qcusd.org
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Kristen Dawson

Kristen Dawson

Second Grade

Professional Biography

I have a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and a master's degree from Arizona State University in curriculum and instruction. This is my fourth year teaching at Desert Mountain Elementary. Our classroom AVID college is BYU - Go Cougars!

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Hayden Hansen

Hayden Hansen
Second Grade
hhansen@qcusd.org
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Hayden Hansen

Hayden Hansen

Second Grade

Professional Biography

I am a Queen Creek Bulldog who also graduated from Arizona State University. This is my second year at Desert Mountain Elementary.

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Seneca Johnson

Seneca Johnson
Second Grade
sjohnson2@qcusd.org
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Seneca Johnson

Seneca Johnson

Second Grade

Professional Biography

I currently teach second grade at Desert Mountain Elementary, and it was my honor to have recently received the You Make a Difference Award from the Queen Creek Unified School District. I earned a bachelor of arts in education from Arizona State University in 2004 and master of arts in education with a reading endorsement from Northern Arizona University in 2009.

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Deborah Viramontes

Deborah Viramontes
Second Grade
dviramontes@qcusd.org
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Deborah Viramontes

Deborah Viramontes

Second Grade

Professional Biography

This is my third year teaching at Desert Mountain Elementary.

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Kristin Barber

Kristin Barber
Third Grade
kbarber@qcusd.org
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Kristin Barber

Kristin Barber

Third Grade

Professional Biography

I graduated from Radford University (originally the women’s state teaching college for Virginia Tech) in 1989 with a BS in early childhood education. Over the years, I have taught first, second, and third grade in Virginia and Arizona. My class represents Virginia Tech - Go Hokies!

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Katti Johnson

Katti Johnson
Third Grade
kjohnson5@qcusd.org
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Katti Johnson

Katti Johnson

Third Grade

Professional Biography

I graduated in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Utah State University. Over the years I have taught first, second, and third grade in Utah and Arizona. My class will be representing Utah State. Go Aggies!

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Deidre Roberts

Deidre Roberts
Third Grade
droberts@qcusd.org
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Deidre Roberts

Deidre Roberts

Third Grade

Professional Biography

I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in elementary education. I also have an endorsement in early childhood education. I've spent seven years teaching 3rd grade, 1st grade, and many years in preschool and pre-kindergarten programs. Go Sun Devils!

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Jason  VanWormer

Jason VanWormer
Third Grade
jvanwormer@qcusd.org
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Jason  VanWormer

Jason VanWormer

Third Grade

Professional Biography

I have been teaching for four years and this is my third year at DME. I received my BA from Grand Canyon University and master's degree in educational leadership from Concordia University - Portland. My AVID college is the University of Nebraska. Go Huskers!

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Jaime Hunt

Jaime Hunt
Third/Fourth Grade
jhunt2@qcusd.org
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Jaime Hunt

Jaime Hunt

Third/Fourth Grade

Professional Biography

I graduated with my bachelors of science in child and adolescent studies from California State University of Fullerton. This will be my second year teaching at Desert Mountain and my 9th year in education. Our third grade class will be representing the University of Oregon...Go Ducks!

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Tiffany Cooney

Tiffany Cooney
Fourth Grade
tcooney@qcusd.org
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Tiffany Cooney

Tiffany Cooney

Fourth Grade

Professional Biography

I'm a graduate from the University of North Texas and completed the teaching program at San Diego State University (also my classroom AVID College). I taught third grade for five years in Los Angeles and I began teaching at DME in 2008. 

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Lisa Lowery

Lisa Lowery
Fourth Grade
llowery@qcusd.org
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Lisa Lowery

Lisa Lowery

Fourth Grade

Professional Biography

I attended Hope College in Holland Michigan the home of the Flying Dutchman. Then for my final two years of college, I became a Valparaiso University Crusader. My graduate work began at Purdue as a Boilermaker! 

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Carla Quintero

Carla Quintero
Fourth Grade
cquintero@qcusd.org
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Carla Quintero

Carla Quintero

Fourth Grade

Professional Biography

I have been teaching for 19 years and this is my eighth year at Desert Mountain. I received my BA and master's degree in elementary education from ASU. My AVID college is Grand Canyon University.

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Maria Swane

Maria Swane
Fourth Grade
mswane@qcusd.org
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Maria Swane

Maria Swane

Fourth Grade

Professional Biography

I graduated from Northern Michigan University and University of Phoenix. Teaching is my true passion and look forward to guiding students on this important journey through fourth grade!

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Amanda Franck

Amanda Franck
Fifth Grade
afranck@qcusd.org
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Amanda Franck

Amanda Franck

Fifth Grade

Professional Biography

I am a graduate of California State University, Fresno. As a proud Bulldog, I have chosen Fresno State as our class college for AVID. This will be my 15th year as a classroom teacher and my fourth year teaching fifth grade.

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Janice Skalsky

Janice Skalsky
Fifth Grade
jskalsky@qcusd.org
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Janice Skalsky

Janice Skalsky

Fifth Grade

Professional Biography

I graduated with a bachelor of science in education from Northern Arizona University - Go Lumberjacks! This is my fourth year teaching fifth grade.

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Christine Sullivan

Christine Sullivan
Fifth Grade
cnghiem@qcusd.org
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Christine Sullivan

Christine Sullivan

Fifth Grade

Professional Biography

I have been working in education for ten years, and this is my third year teaching fifth grade at DME. I earned my BA in psychology from UCSB, my MA in school counseling from SJSU, and my M.Ed. in elementary education from GCU. My AVID school is UCSB.

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Cindy Thompson

Cindy Thompson
Fifth Grade
cthompson2@qcusd.org
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Cindy Thompson

Cindy Thompson

Fifth Grade

Professional Biography

I have been teaching for 28 years, and this is my first year at Desert Mountain. I received my BA in elementary education from Harding University. My AVID college is the University of Arkansas.

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Paul  Buday

Paul Buday
Physical Education
pbuday@qcusd.org
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Paul  Buday

Paul Buday

Physical Education

Professional Biography

My name is Paul Buday, and I am the physical education teacher at Desert Mountain Elementary. I graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s of science in kinesiology. I have thirteen years experience as a physical education teacher. This is my second year at DME, and my AVID college is ASU.

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Lara Cox

Lara Cox
Physical Education
lcox@qcusd.org
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Lara Cox

Lara Cox

Physical Education

Professional Biography

This is my eleventh year teaching physical education in Arizona, but my first year in the Queen Creek School District. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, (Go Packers!), and attended college at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

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John Gouba

John Gouba
Orchestra
jgouba@qcusd.org
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John Gouba

John Gouba

Orchestra

Professional Biography

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Steve Kirchoff

Steve Kirchoff
Band
skirchoff@qcusd.org
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Steve Kirchoff

Steve Kirchoff

Band

Professional Biography

I have been teaching band for the last 18 years. I hold a bachelor of music degree as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, both from Arizona State University. Go Sun Devils!

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Cambria Quinn

Cambria Quinn
Music
cquinn@qcusd.org
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Cambria Quinn

Cambria Quinn

Music

Professional Biography

This will be my sixth year teaching, and my first year at Desert Mountain. I recently moved here from Prescott, AZ, where I taught elementary music, band, choir, and third grade general education. I attended Yavapai College and NAU, where I received a bachelor’s in elementary education with a minor in music.

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Laura Thomason

Laura Thomason
Music
lthomason@qcusd.org
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Laura Thomason

Laura Thomason

Music

Professional Biography

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Seth Kaesler

Seth Kaesler
ELP
skaesler@qcusd.org
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Seth Kaesler

Seth Kaesler

ELP

Professional Biography

This is my seventeenth year teaching, and my second year as the gifted specialist for Desert Mountain. During my career, I taught grades two through five. In 2015, I received my educational doctorate from Grand Canyon University.

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Juan Trujillo

Juan Trujillo
ELL
jtrujillo@qcusd.org
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Juan Trujillo

Juan Trujillo

ELL

Professional Biography

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Bernida Fullard-Pierce

Bernida Fullard-Pierce
Resource
bfullardpierce@qcusd.org
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Bernida Fullard-Pierce

Bernida Fullard-Pierce

Resource

Professional Biography

I received my BA and MA from Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!). I am presently recruiting all of my students to become future Sun Devils.

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Heidi Phelps

Heidi Phelps
Resource
hphelps@qcusd.org
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Heidi Phelps

Heidi Phelps

Resource

Professional Biography

This is my 17th year teaching (preschool-high school). I've taught as both a general education teacher and a resource teacher. My first teaching position was in Virginia where I taught for three years, and then I taught one year in Hawaii and have taught the remaining 14 years in Arizona. 

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Jessica Rieboldt

Jessica Rieboldt
Reading Specialist
jrieboldt@qcusd.org
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Jessica Rieboldt

Jessica Rieboldt

Reading Specialist

Professional Biography

I graduated from NAU with my master's degree in elementary education with a reading endorsement. I began my career as a 3rd grade teacher for six years and then have been a reading specialist for the past four years. 

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Dene Buxton

Dene Buxton
Speech
dbuxton@qcusd.org
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Dene Buxton

Dene Buxton

Speech

Professional Biography

Dene' Buxton, M.Ed., CCC-SLP graduated with a bachelor's degree in speech pathology from Brigham Young University (BYU) and received a master's degree from Utah State University in speech pathology. She has been working in this professional career for 24 years. Her AVID college is BYU! 

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Jackie Troglia

Jackie Troglia
Data Specialist
jtroglia@qcusd.org
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Jackie Troglia

Jackie Troglia

Data Specialist

Professional Biography

This is my second year at Desert Mountain Elementary. I have ten years experience in education as a teacher, academic coach, and data specialist. I received my bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and my master's degree from NAU.

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Support Staff

Tracy Guilmette

Tracy Guilmette
Library Media Assistant
tguilmette@qcusd.org
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Tracy Guilmette

Tracy Guilmette

Library Media Assistant

Professional Biography

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Melanie Cole

Melanie Cole
Instructional Aide
mcole@qcusd.org
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Melanie Cole

Melanie Cole

Instructional Aide

Professional Biography

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Shanon Lines

Shanon Lines
Instructional Aide
slines@qcusd.org
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Shanon Lines

Shanon Lines

Instructional Aide

Professional Biography

I have lived in Arizona most of my life and have lived in Queen Creek since 2004. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 16 years and have loved every minute of it. I have five children, Katelyn, 16; Michel, 14; Ashlyn, 11; Tyler, 9; and Hadley Mae, 6. All my children have attended or currently attend DME. We love it here and within the QCUSD. I love to spend time with my family, especially watching my kids play sports or any extracurricular activities. My husband and I have been married for almost 20 years, and I am excited to be working as an aide with the reading specialist. I am looking forward to returning to work at such an amazing school.

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Dena Strand

Dena Strand
Instructional Aide
dstrand@qcusd.org
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Dena Strand

Dena Strand

Instructional Aide

Professional Biography

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Allen Barger

Allen Barger
Site Custodian
abarger@qcusd.org
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Allen Barger

Allen Barger

Site Custodian

Professional Biography

I am a Vietnam veteran with ten years maintenance/custodial experience. I attended Trinity College and Capella University.

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Nici Adams

Nici Adams
Playground Assistant
nadams@qcusd.org
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Nici Adams

Nici Adams

Playground Assistant

Professional Biography

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Teresa Banhart

Teresa Banhart
Playground Assistant
mbanhart@qcusd.org
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Teresa Banhart

Teresa Banhart

Playground Assistant

Professional Biography

I have an associates degree in child development from Mohave Community College and I spent four years teaching in day care. I was also a juvenile detention officer for over three years for Mohave County Probation Department. I am a Certified Nursing Assistant and have 14 years of experience working in long term care facilities and private care. This is my third year at Desert Mountain as a volunteer/playground aide.

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Rebekah Campa

Rebekah Campa
Playground Assistant
rcampa@qcusd.org
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Rebekah Campa

Rebekah Campa

Playground Assistant

Professional Biography

I have been at DME since 2012. I began working at DME during the 2016/2017 school year.

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Regina Farrell

Regina Farrell
Playground Assistant
rfarrel@qcusd.org
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Regina Farrell

Regina Farrell

Playground Assistant

Professional Biography

I started working for Desert Mountain Elementary nine years ago. 

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Amber Nichols

Amber Nichols
Playground Assistant
anichols@qcusd.org
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Amber Nichols

Amber Nichols

Playground Assistant

Professional Biography

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Alison Ryan

Alison Ryan
Playground Assistant
aryan@qcusd.org
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Alison Ryan

Alison Ryan

Playground Assistant

Professional Biography

I am a mother of three children. My oldest attends Queen Creek High School and the younger children attend Desert Mountain Elementary. I work at Desert Mountain Elementary as a playground aide, and I also serve on the PTO board.

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Terry Fetner

Terry Fetner
Nurse
tfetner@qcusd.org
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Terry Fetner

Terry Fetner

Nurse

Professional Biography

Nurse and health aide at Desert Mountain Elementary School.

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Corie Incorvaia

Corie Incorvaia
Counselor
cincorvaia@qcusd.org
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Corie Incorvaia

Corie Incorvaia

Counselor

Professional Biography

I graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor's in psychology and a master’s in education in the specialty of school counseling. I have been a school counselor for four years, and I am entering my 5th year. This is my second year at Desert Mountain Elementary!

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Cindy Siems

Cindy Siems
IT Specialist
csiems@qcusd.org
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Cindy Siems

Cindy Siems

IT Specialist

Professional Biography

IT specialist at Desert Mountain Elementary.

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Betsy Lannon

Betsy Lannon
Cafeteria Manager
blannon@qcusd.org
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Betsy Lannon

Betsy Lannon

Cafeteria Manager

Professional Biography

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Myrna Perez

Myrna Perez
Cafeteria Aide
mperez@qcusd.org
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Myrna Perez

Myrna Perez

Cafeteria Aide

Professional Biography

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Angela Perry

Angela Perry
Cafeteria Aide
aperry@qcusd.org
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Angela Perry

Angela Perry

Cafeteria Aide

Professional Biography

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Carmina White

Carmina White
Cafeteria Assistant
cwhite@qcusd.org
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Carmina White

Carmina White

Cafeteria Assistant

Professional Biography

I worked as a caregiver for the last eight years, a Zumba instructor for four years, and I regularly volunteer at Desert Mountain Elementary.

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Desert Mountain Elementary
22301 South Hawes Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Phone: (480) 987.5912
Fax: (480) 987.5914
Inspire every student to care, think, achieve and learn!