AboutOur Faculty and Staff
Masters of Education from Southern Utah University
Christy Hall has been in the field of education for over two decades and was part of the founding movement of charter schools in the State of Utah. She received her Masters of Education from Southern Utah University in curriculum development in 2003. Though she has moved into administration, she teaches both mathematics and literature on the side. In 2007 she was named Teacher of the Year at Tuacahn High School and in 2011 she received the Charter School Teacher of the Year award for the State of Utah.
Dean of Students
M.Ed in Counselor Education from Cleveland State University
Jodi Jensen earned her undergraduate degree at Dixie State University in Psychology and continued her graduate studies at Cleveland State University where she received her master degree in Counselor Education. While living in Cleveland Ms. Jensen taught strengths-based parenting classes and worked in school administration. She is a licensed school counselor and a QPR Suicide Prevention Certified Gatekeeper Instructor. As a first-generation college student, Ms. Jensen understands the importance of educating the whole student. She believes that schools, families, and communities play a vital and integral role in each student’s life.
Bachelor In Business and Communication from Utah State
Courtney is from Queens, New York and moved cross–country to Southern Utah where she has lived for the last 15 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business and Communications from Dixie State University, and she is currently working on a Master’s in Business Administration from Utah State University with the goal to continue working in the charter school world. Courtney has worked in the field of education for over seven years with a background in Human Resources, Special Education, and Business Administration at public districts and charter schools.
Special Education Director
M.Ed U of U in Special Education/Deaf Education
Mrs. Loosle has been teaching and working with students who qualify for special education services since early in her life. She began volunteering in classrooms in elementary school and has continued working and learning from these students. Mrs. Loosle earned her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and her Master’s of Education from the University of Utah in Special Education. Mrs. Loosle is excited to continue working in the special education department with students and parents at SGA.
Bachelor in Business Education – Southern Utah University
Masters in Mathematics Education from Western Governors
Amanda Gerry has been teaching in the field of Mathematics for 13 years. She loves working with
students and developing a curriculum to meet their needs. She received her Bachelor’s of Dance/Mathematics Education from Southern Utah University in 2006 and her Masters of Mathematics Education from Western Governors in 2017.
Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics Education from BYU-I
McKenna Mendenhall loves working with students to help them discover their untapped potential, whether that be in math, growing their own garden, or just in the progress to being better humans. She loves being a mom of two, adventuring outside, finding new ways to be self–sufficient, learning new hobbies, and caring for her many species of pets. She received her Bachelor’s in Math Education in 2018.
Mathematics & Physics
B.S. in Mathematics Education from Southern Utah University
Kyle Fredrick earned his undergraduate degree in the small college town of Cedar City, Utah. There he learned to appreciate the many national parks and outdoor adventures that surrounded him. While earning his degree in Mathematics Education, Mr. Fredrick tutored many of his peers and students in the community. He believes that all students can learn and reach their full potential, embodying the motto from his Alma Mater; “Learning Lives Forever.”
Darren M. Edwards
Language Arts and Photography
Masters of Science in Literature and Writing from Utah State University.
Mr. Edwards is a Utah local, born and raised in American Fork. He began writing poetry in third grade and playing with photography at fourteen years old. After spending seven years teaching University English courses, Edwards made the switch to working in publishing. During his time away from teaching he worked as the Editor in Chief of The Creative and later as the Managing Editor of The Independent. It was during this time that he also published his first book, Utah Sport Climbing: Stories and Reflections on the Bolting of the Beehive State, 2017, The History Press, and was a member of two National Poetry Slam teams.
Language Arts and Communication
Bachelor of Arts in Communications
After receiving a BA in communications at Westminster College, Mrs. Merkley began her career in the fields of journalism and advertising. After a series of fortuitous events (which included performing shows with sharks), Mrs. Merkley discovered a passion for teaching others. She quickly switched career paths and began her new life in education. She is dedicated to the doctrine that school is where students not only learn proper grammar and diction, but also proper mindfulness, tenacity, and compassion.
English Language Arts
Bachelor’s Southern Utah University
Ms. Olsen has always been passionate about reading and writing. She maintained that passion in college where she majored in literature studies. She has attended literature and popular culture conferences as an undergraduate and that made her love each topic even more. She loves sharing her passion for literature with her students at St. George Academy. Ms. Olsen has a legendary addiction to coffee and is the proud mother of the world’s poutiest (and grumpiest) cat. Her hobbies include performing improv comedy and playing the trombone.
Bachelor of Science in Biology: Biology Education
Emphasis from Dixie State University
Though sedentary in his youth (much like the beloved bivalve mollusks), Mr. Anderson is now ready to detach and explore the natural world through science! He is from the cultural hub of the southwest: LaVerkin, Utah. Taught by both the whistle of the wind and the vaulted halls of learning (degrees in psychology and biology) he is experienced and ready for anything, with the exception of super volcanoes and giant meteors. He will engage in conversations about science, soccer, Avatar the Last Airbender, and music. With a passion for the history and process of science, he understands we have come a long way as a species and still have much to learn and overcome.
BS in Biology at Western Governors University
Spencer has been teaching for three years. Spencer has worked in special education, taught mathematics, statistics, physics, and biology. Spencer graduated from TuacahnHigh School in 2008 as a Sterling Scholar in Mathematics. Spencer lived two years in Fukuoka, Japan. Spencer loves working with young people, helping them explore the world of science and the beauty of mathematics.
Science & Mathematics
Electrical Engineer and MBA from BYU. Speaks Portuguese and Spanish
Mr. Saraiva was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His degrees in Engineering (Electronics and Mechanical Manufacturing), and Marketing Administration, were obtained in Brazil. Mr. Saraiva also has a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from BYU. After working for 40 years as Engineer, Business Manager, and Business Development Director for companies in Brazil and US, Mr. Saraiva decided to start teaching and help students to find their future careers. Mr. Saraiva started as a full–time teacher at the Academy from day one. Teaching Physics, Astronomy, and CTE classes like Electronics, Engineering, and Robotics at the Academy has been a delight for him. Mr. Saraiva has been a longtime educator, beginning at Tech High School in Brazil, teaching Mathematics, Physics, and Accounting. He also had the opportunity to teach graduate courses in the Latin America Business classes at BYU during his MBA program. Since moving to Southern Utah he has been a mathematics and science teacher at the middle and high school level. When not in the classroom, he enjoys photography, astronomy, and running. Mr. Saraiva is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English
SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
Social And Behavioral Sciences
Masters of Education degree from the University of Utah
MS American History from Pace University (May 2023)
Prior to SGA, Ms. Cartmill was involved in education for over 20 years. She is one of the founding faculty members of St. George Academy, teaches a variety of social science courses, and serves as the 2021–22 Assessment Director and Concurrent Enrollment liaison. Ms. Cartmill takes students on an 8 day civic education trip with CloseUp DC/NYC. The next trip will be June 2022. In 2020, Ms. Cartmill was awarded the 2019–20 Utah Smart/Maher National VFW Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year Award at the Middle School Level.
Nate Van Dam
Social And Behavioral Sciences
BA in History Education from Southern Utah University
Despite being born in southern Utah, Mr. Van Dam spent much of his youth living in strange, foreign lands such as Arizona and Nevada finally settling in time to attend Hurricane High School. It was here that he first gained his love for Japanese language, culture, and history. After graduating high school Mr. Van Dam lived in Kagoshima and Okinawa, Japan from March 2008 until January 2010 and returned to live in Okinawa from August 2014 until November 2015.
Mr. Van Dam has a wife and two children whom he adores, most of the time.
Social And Behavioral Sciences
Bachelor of History Education with History and Social Studies Endorsements from Southern Utah University
Jason Gough grew up in a large family with 8 kids in St. George, Utah. He attended Snow Canyon High School, Dixie State, and Southern Utah University where he studied History Education and was top of his class. He has been teaching for 6 years. He married his wife, Kylie, in 2010 and has 2 wonderful children, McKay 7, and Samantha 3. His hobbies include all sports, camping, hiking, and anything outdoors. He also enjoys movies, which he quotes often, and listens to a variety of music. History is his passion and he hopes to share his love of learning with his students.
Masters of Education from the UofU in Special Education: Severe, Bachelors of Arts from SUU in Music Education and Special
Mrs. Castro graduated Summa Cum Laude from SUU with additional endorsements in ESL, plus Gifted & Talented in special education. She also received and endorsement in Math 1 from Utah Valley University (UVU). She and her husband, Kevin, own Castro & Co. Jewelers in Cedar city. She has a Clerical Certificate and an AA in Small Business Management also from SUU. Mrs. Castro attended The American Conservatory of Music and the Chicago Conservatory of music. Music had always been her first love until she was introduced to special education; “There is nothing like the sparkle in a child’s eye when they get it, the AHA moment.” As she likes to say:
“SI SE PUEDE!”
Lorene Briscoe started volunteering at a school 12 years ago. She liked it so much she wanted to start a career working in schools and has been working with students as a Paraprofessional for the past 10 years throughout Washington County, Utah. She has a Behavior Specialist Certificate, and works well with students who are frustrated or having a rough day. She encourages and assists students to achieve their academic goals. Her favorite subject is Math. In her spare time she likes to go camping, hiking, and enjoy the outdoors with her husband and her 4 children
Alissa Castro is from Cedar City and a Certified Paraprofessional. She attended SUU (Southern Utah University) with a music scholarship. She’s very family oriented, enjoys a good book and the outdoors.
Bachelor Degree in Theater & Special Education
Ms. Huskinson grew up in Southern Utah and says “red sand is in my blood.“She graduated from Dixie State University with a Bachelors in Theater and continued on to Southern Utah University to complete her degree in Special Education. Before she came to St. George Academy, she was a pharmacy technician for 10 years and therefore has stepped into the 504 coordinator position. She is also teaching the public speaking class and is the lead SPED paraprofessional. She loves traveling, cross stitch, and cooking.
Associates Degree of Science
Sarah Rawlinson is a first year Paraprofessional and is so excited to be breaking into the education field! Growing up with 14 siblings she has made sure family is the most important aspect of her life. She is partway through her bachelor’s program in English and creative writing. Her passion is writing (YA fiction).
Title 1 Coordinator
Bachelors of Elementary Education from Dixie State UniversityESL endorsement
Ms.Flores has wanted to teach since she was a high school student herself. She is originally from Chicago and came to Utah by way of Seattle. Ms. Flores has two children and two cats. Her favorite subject in school is mathematics and has also enjoyed taking all the ASL classes that Dixie State University had to offer. She enjoys finding ways that each student learns best, to make sure they understand and are enjoying what they are learning!
Mrs. Akins has worked in Title I for three years as a Reading Specialist. She has experience working in charter schools ranging from grades 2-12 and takes great pride in seeing the progression and development of students in the program. She believes that reading is a fundamental skill for success and hopes to continue to build the Title Reading program at The Academy to provide these valuable services to students.
FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT
FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT
BA in Music Performance from Utah State University
My name is Brad Pike. I am a Music Teacher with openings immediately available for those currently seeking Private Guitar, Bass & Ukulele Lessons. The first lesson is free! If you are ready to have fun playing music right away, please contact me to schedule your first free lesson .I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance with an Emphasis on Guitar from Utah State University where I was extremely fortunate to study under Prof. Mike Christiansen. I have taught, performed, composed, and recorded music for over 30 years.
Bachelor’s in Visual Arts Education from Eastern Washington University, and Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction.
Over the past 16 years, Darcy Saxton has been creating and teaching art in a variety of settings throughout the Pacific Northwest, and now southern Utah. She earned her Bachelor’s in Visual Arts Education from Eastern Washington University, and her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction.Along with creating paintings whenever possible, Darcy is also passionate about inspiring others to find inner peace and joy through creating art.She teaches art classes locally at The Art Factor, and her work can be viewed at darcyleeart.com.
Bachelor of Art in Art Education and Associate of Arts in Fine Art
Ms. Miseirvitch has been painting and drawing ever since she can remember. Growing up in Wyoming, she learned to love being outdoors. When she is not in the classroom, you can find Ms. Miseirvitch painting outside, hiking, or longboarding. If it’s too hot, she can be found indoors playing on her Nintendo Switch or making her own jewelry. Christi is very passionate about art and wants to see everyone creating artwork.
BA from Southern Virginia University
After a life-changing 16 months in Mexico, Mrs. Tuttle grew to love the Spanish language and decided she wanted to share it with anyone willing to learn. Upon obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she landed an internship teaching Spanish in Virginia and decided this was the path for her. Born and raised in St. George, she returned to her roots in 2018 to teach at St George Academy. Desiree also has a passion for exercise and nutrition, which led her to teaching physical education and health in addition to Spanish. She ran cross country in high school and then in college, competing in the USCAA national championships where her team took first place in 2011 and 2012. She hopes to help every student find that exercise and healthy living can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience
BS in Education From University of Main, MBA from Western New Egland University
Mr. Dustin comes to SGA from Tuacahn HS where he taught for over sixteen years. Mr. Duston has taught German, geography, world civilization, American history, United States government, financial literacy, multimedia and 3D graphics, and animation. Teaching is a second career for Mr. Duston. He is a retired army officer with over twenty–five years of service. He served in military intelligence and the infantry. He has traveled extensively and was stationed in Europe for over half of his military career. He is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College. Mr. Duston has two sons and two daughters. He and his wife Marcie reside in St. George.
Certification in Digital Animation from CCCC
CIW Certification HTML & JS Developer
CIW Certification CSS3 Developer
CIW Certification UX Design
BS Computer Programming WGU
Jennifer Reid is an Online Marketing Consultant who helps businesses grow by developing and implementing digital marketing strategies for any budget. Along with offering digital marketing and Pay-per-click services, she also offers content writing services that attract organic traffic, boosts audience engagement, and increases brand awareness. She is Google certified in AdWords and Analytics, apprenticed for two years with artist Ric Estrada and is certified in Digital Animation. She’s had the privilege to work with some of the largest businesses in Southern Utah on their marketing and websites.