Rohan Adams,  Chemistry/AP Biology Instructor

Rohan was born and raised in South Africa. After immigrating to the United States with his family he attended school at Brigham Young University – Idaho where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. He also focused on the areas of Criminology and Spanish while obtaining his degree. During his youth he was selected to represent South Africa as a pitcher in the youth fast pitch softball team. He and his wife are the proud parents of their son and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their second son. He feels it is a privilege to be able to teach at American Heritage and looks forward to being a part of the staff.

Tricia Andersen, JV Ultimate Frisbee Coach

Those who know Tricia well describe her as faithful, fearless, and fun. A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Tricia grew up playing club soccer, but she discovered the “celestial sport”—ultimate—during college. She quickly gained an affinity for ultimate during the early years of the Orem Ultimate League. Tricia is a graduate of BYU with a bachelor of science in zoology. She is a USAU certified coach and has a passion for teaching and organizing youth activities, especially athletics. In neighborhoods where she has lived, she is known as the “Kool-Aid Mom” because children flock to her to play whatever sport she is found organizing on any given day. She and her husband are the parents of five children—two boys, both of who attend AHS, and three girls whom Tricia teaches at home. The Andersens’ favorite activities together typically involve BYU sports, service, kayaking, hiking, good books, music, dancing, or making pizza.

Ryan Anderson, Biology Teacher & Human Anatomy & Physiology

Ryan Anderson comes to American Heritage School having taught life sciences and served as an administrator for Tuacahn High School in St. George for the last eleven  years. Ryan is a native of Soda Springs, Idaho. He served a mission in Paris France, then married Lorna Lee Robbins, of Pocatello in 1986. After attending BYU, he graduated with honors from the Southern California University of Health Sciences in 1990 and …. completed a Master’s degree in Educational Technology in 2018. After taking a medical retirement from private chiropractic practice in Idaho, the family moved to St. George where they lived for 12 years. While in St. George, Ryan also performed leading roles for five seasons on the Tuacahn professional amphitheater stage. The family enjoys music and being together hiking and camping. Ryan is excited to join the American Heritage family of faculty and students. His wife Lorna Lee graduated with a degree in elementary education from BYU.

Jill Atkinson, 1st Grade Teacher Aide

From a young age, teaching young children has been one of Jill’s dreams. She attended Brigham Young University and received her Bachelors of Science degree in early childhood education.  She taught Kindergarten for two years and then started her family.  She is a mother of five children and has been married 19 years.  When her first child was born, she told her husband that she wanted her children to attend American Heritage which was just getting started.  Her family ended up moving away to Idaho for 15 years and then returning.  She was really excited to come back and have her children attend American Heritage. Jill is very happy to get back into teaching at American Heritage which shares her same core values.  She loves being in an environment where the spirit is present and both teacher and student learn from each other. When Jill is not teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, gardening, and being a mother. Teaching at American Heritage helps her realize one of her greatest joys in life, helping children feel love as they grow and learn.

Jeffrey Beck, Spanish, Yearbook and Computer Tech

Jeff Beck comes to American Heritage from Renaissance Academy Charter School in Highland where he has been serving as a full time Spanish teacher for two years. He has been studying, speaking, and teaching Spanish and other languages for over 15 years, and continues to learn new things every day. His career in education began in Idaho, then took him to China, and most recently, Utah. He likes to go by Sr. Jefe (Mr. Boss) in class. Mr. Beck says that it has been his privilege to teach students of all ages from kindergarten to college, and that it has been the students who are his drive for teaching. His wife and two young children are his daily joy. He loves to travel, cook, and play together with his family.

Stephanie Bigelow, Health Teacher, P.E. Teacher – Middle & High

Stephanie Bigelow is a middle and high school PE teacher. She graduated from BYU with a degree in history, and is passionate about physical education. More than that, she is passionate about American Heritage and the Principle Approach to education. Mrs. Bigelow and her husband, Rob, have been parents at American Heritage for over a decade. All five of their children have attended or are currently attending the school. Born and raised in southern California, she met Rob at BYU near the end of her junior year on a blind date. Mrs. Bigelow loves the education American Heritage provides her family. She loves children, and enjoys helping them to love learning.

Kathy Birks, 3rd Grade Teacher Aide

Kathy is a musician and educator. She comes to American Heritage School with 23 years of experience teaching piano and working closely with youth across the valley. She is excited to be a part of the school community and a support to teachers and students in her new position as classroom aide. She and her husband Ric have five children, who are all married, and eight grandchildren.

Yahosh Bonner, Athletic Director

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

Lisa Brodie, Symphonic Strings Orchestra Conductor

Lisa is a highly trained and experienced conductor, violinist, and singer. She has over 25 years’ experience conducting and coaching youth orchestras of all levels. Prior to joining the Lyceum Orchestra program as a conductor, Lisa conducted with the Timpanogos String Orchestra program (TCO). Students from her program have gone on to study at Eastman, Colburn School of Music, New England Conservatory, Interlochen, MIT, Harvard, Stanford, BYU, and U of U, among others. Lisa is excited to bring her love of working with young musicians to the Lyceum Orchestras program. Mrs. Brodie comes from a musical family. Her mother is a professional violinist and conductor, and all four of Lisa’s children perform professionally in classical, jazz and composition. She currently teaches advanced violin students, loves to play classical and bluegrass mandolin and is currently taking organ lessons. Lisa and her husband, Jeff live in Alpine. They have four children and four grandchildren, two of whom attend AHS.

Nicole Brown, 5-6 P.E. Teacher

Nicole was born and raised in a small town in western Michigan. She moved to Utah about 7 years ago to attend Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a degree in Exercise and Wellness and a minor in Spanish. Nicole grew up in a very active home with 3 older brothers and 6 younger siblings. She loves playing sports, hiking, spending time with family, and playing board/card games. Nicole loves the gospel and is excited to get to help the students at AHS grow both physically and spiritually.

Kayson Brown, Orchestra

Kayson completed a Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Brigham Young University. Following graduation he was invited to join the conducting faculty for the 2006-2007 season. Mr. Brown has directed orchestras throughout Utah and beyond including the Omaha Symphony, Round Rock Symphony, all five BYU Orchestras, The University of Utah Philharmonia, Symphony, and New Music Ensemble, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Savior of the World pit orchestra, The Pearl Awards Orchestra, Pleasant Grove Civic Symphony, Celebration Chamber Orchestra, and Student Honors Orchestras in Salt Lake and Cache Counties. Kayson earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Cello Performance and has worked with some of the world’s premier cellists including international soloist Natalie Clein, Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet, and principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic, Carter Brey. Kayson is a member of the BYU cello faculty and teaches some of the state’s most accomplished young cellists. Students from both his orchestra program and private studio regularly receive music scholarships at reputable university programs. He remains in demand as a conductor, educator, and performer.

Lynette Carver, Reading/Math Specialist

Lynette Carver was born and raised in Farmington, New Mexico. She married Craig Carver in the Idaho Falls temple in 1974 and is a mother of seven, and currently, grandmother of twenty-one. Her academic background includes child and human development, and elementary education. She returned to school after raising her children and graduated in 2002 from BYU with a Bachelors in Education and Human Development. Her great love of children and the principle-based curriculum brought her to American Heritage in that same year. Her interests include teaching, reading, playing guitar and piano, drawing and creating, and writing. Lynette has had original material published in several university textbooks and used in college curriculum both at BYU-Idaho and BYU. After 12 years in the core classroom, she is currently working to further develop and expand the reading and intervention department at AHS. She deeply loves AHS and is committed to strengthen the purpose of the school.

Jay Clark, Technical Director

Jay Clark has worked in professional theater, dance, opera and touring companies for 20 years before being hired by the LDS Church in 2000 as a Cultural Arts Producer. There he was involved in the 2002 Olympic production, the Christmas presentation, “Savior of the World”, Pageants and many other Church stage and video projects. He loves performing and listening to music and considers being a part of the faculty at AHS the highlight of his professional and personal career. He and his wife Lynda have 6 children and 9 grandchildren.

Chris Culver, Art

Christine Culver has a BFA from the University of Utah class of 2004. She became President of the Alpine Community Arts Council in 2003. She is a professional landscape photographer. She has been teaching at American Heritage School since 2005. Christine received the AHS Rosalie J. Slater “Teaching in Excellence Award” in 2007. Her goal is to mentor, teach, and perform in a way that will inspire her students to be more creative and reflect God’s gifts through artistic visual creations.

Alex DeBirk, Physics, AP Physics and Intro to Engineering

Alex DeBirk comes to American Heritage after a career in structural engineering. He has designed buildings as large as a skyscraper, as small as a concession stand, and even spent some time with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, working on future satellites and lunar rovers. He received an MS in civil engineering with a emphasis in structural engineering, mechanics and materials from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BS from Brigham Young University with a minor in Japanese. Alex discovered his passion for teaching in high school when he started operating the experiential learning simulators (two of which he designed) at Pleasant Grove’s Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, or CMSEC. He continued to teach as an LDS missionary in Fukuoka, Japan, and as a physics instructor while in graduate school. He continues to volunteer as the STEM instructor at the CMSEC’s sister program at Renaissance Academy in Lehi, where his latest simulator design is set to open in the summer of 2016. He also has extensive experience in musical theater, having been accepted to BYU’s Music/Dance/Theater program, and performing at Tuacahn, Hale Center Theater, and numerous LDS Church productions in Salt Lake City and Nauvoo. He loves the arts, the sciences, sports and the outdoors. His greatest joy, beside his wife and daughter, is knowing he has had a positive impact in another person.

Holly Dunn, Kindergarten Teacher Aide

Holly Dunn, Kindergarten Aide, joined the American Heritage staff in 2016. As a parent of two AHS scholars, she loves the mission and vision of American Heritage School, and enjoys helping students reach their full potential. She and her wonderful husband, Mike, have 6 amazing children, one son-in-law and one daughter-in-law (hopefully, more to come!) and two beautiful grandchildren (again, hopefully, more to come)! They lived in Ithaca, New York for 11 years, and Reading, England for 3 years, before returning to Utah in 2003, for Mike to take a teaching position at BYU. Holly enjoys flower gardening, temple work, serving in various church callings, Sunday family dinners, and date nights!

LauraLyn Eberting, Music (AHYC)

LauraLyn Eberting loves music and is delighted to be a part of American Heritage School’s Children’s Choir. She grew up singing and making music with her family and then went to law school and became an attorney. While in college she taught piano lessons, played the violin with a BYU orchestra, sang with the Mormon Youth Chorus, and performed as an entertainer in Lagoon’s Music USA. Welcome, Mrs. Eberting!

Peggy Eddleman, 10th / 11th Grade Teacher Aide

Peggy Eddleman is thrilled to be working at American Heritage School, especially with high school students working through the writing process. She is an author and writes novels for young readers (Random House), and travels the country speaking at assemblies and teaching writing workshops to elementary students and teens as well as adults. Her books have been on multiple state lists, as well as librarian, bookseller, and parent lists. Before coming to AHS, she has worked as a technical writer for a software company and as an elementary school aide. Peggy loves to read, write, play games with her family, try new restaurants, and watch movies in the theater. Peggy lives in Pleasant Grove with her husband and their three kids.

Suzanne Gallup, Library Assistant

Suzanne D. Gallup is grateful to be a part of American Heritage School. In 2008, her friend Mrs. Kauffman, who was then an assistant principle at American Heritage School, encouraged her to apply as a substitute and tutor-which she did. Mrs. Gallup was born in Provo, Utah, moved to NYC at age 8, then to Connecticut the next year. She is the oldest of 9. She attended Ricks College, and met her husband from Cardston, Alberta, Canada, before graduating in 1978. Before the wedding in Cardston that summer, she participated in the Hill Cumorah Pageant. She and her husband have 4 children-2 married, and 3 sweet grandchildren. She and her family moved to Cedar Hills in 1986, where a few years later, she began home schooling her children with other friends, including the Kerrtula and Kauffman families. The Gallup family moved to Austin, Texas in 1991 and continued home schooling a few more years. Mrs. Gallup’s children then went to public school, and for 11 years, she was a teacher’s aid and substitute teacher. She also taught early morning seminary and adult continuing education classes in her stake. Her family moved back to Utah in 2007. She volunteered at the MTC for 3 years, and worked 1-½ years as a teachers aid for Timpanogos Academy. Being a part of American Heritage “is like a breath of fresh air-it’s like heaven! I can teach the gospel with any subject matter-as I had done when home schooling. For many years I had not been able to speak of the precious gospel truths to the children and teens I worked with. What a JOY to invite the spirit into the classroom through prayer, and to testify of gospel truths here at American Heritage School. It’s an environment that ignites an appetite for learning, it’s energizing, it’s a way of life!”

Nick Gentile, Seminary Principal

Nicholas W. Gentile is currently a full-time instructor for Seminaries and Institutes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, in Fall 2013, will be teaching an after-school directed readings seminar—“Our Christian Forebears: Principles of Seventeenth-century Puritan Discipleship”—for American Heritage School. He has absolutely loved helping students to reason and relate principles in his on-campus and Home and Distance Education American History and World History courses at American Heritage School, where he has received the Rosalie J. Slater Award for instructional excellence. Prior to teaching at American Heritage School and The Fenn School in Concord, Massachusetts, Mr. Gentile earned a 4.00 GPA and a Master of Arts (MA) degree in American History at Brandeis University, where he was a Crown Fellow in the PhD program and mentored by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer. He earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History from Brigham Young University, where he graduated summa cum laude as the valedictorian of the History Department, the recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate in History award, and an Edwin S. Hinckley Scholar. He has published several articles in scholarly journals, including one about Thomas Jefferson’s philosophical sympathy for Native Americans in the May 2010 issue of We Proceeded On. He is also the author of “Would He Calm My Storms?”—an article about the Lord’s hand in his efforts to stand for truths about marriage and family—which was published in the September 2012 Ensign. He and his eternal sweetheart, Christina, are passionate about teaching their one son and three daughters to see gospel principles in the world around them and believe that, regardless of where children learn, education should be—first, last, and always—a stewardship of heart and home.

Preston Gudmunson, ASL Teacher

Preston has taught ASL for more than 15 years in various settings,including the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf, BYU, high schools, middle schools, and the Missionary Training Center. In addition to his teaching at AHS, Preston is currently also teaching ASL at BYU. Preston attended BYU and received a bachelor’s degree in Earth & Space Science Education. He enjoys AHS and BYU for their openness to the inclusion of faith in the classroom. Preston and his wife, Sarah, live in Utah County. Sarah, who is also fluent in ASL, has been a source of inspiration to Preston and to the ASL students at AHS as well!

Blaine Hale, Head Coach, Boys’ Soccer

Blaine comes to American Heritage with significant experience coaching at the national, collegiate, high school, and youth levels, including Olympic Development Team (Utah Youth Soccer Region IV, 2014–present); Director of Coaching for the Utah Surf Soccer Club (US Youth Soccer; 2013–present); Assistant Coach for SLCC Women’s Soccer Team (2017–present); and Head Coach of the Lone Peak Varsity Boys’ Soccer Team (2010–2015), among others. Coach Hale was drawn to AHS by its mission to produce not only outstanding soccer players, but players of moral character who view soccer as part of a larger principle-oriented mission. He and his wife, Kristin, have four children and live in Alpine.

Anese Harmon, K–3 Music Class Assistant/Accompanist

Anese is thrilled to join the American Heritage team and share her love of music with the students here. She was born in Idaho and raised on a family farm east of Idaho Falls, where she developed a love for music, nature, and work. She is a graduate of Ricks College and BYU and served as a full-time missionary in the New York, Rochester mission. While living in Delaware for 19 years, she has taught private piano lessons as a stay-at-home mother. She has rendered volunteer musical instruction while serving in LDS Church callings, such as Choir Director, Primary Music Director, Primary Pianist, Ward Organist, and Ward Choir Pianist. She enjoys playing the harp and dulcimer as well as piano and organ with additional hobbies in gardening, cooking, canning, and sewing. She and her husband Neil are the parents of four sons and one daughter.

Dr. Neil Harmon, Youth Chorus Accompanist/Organist

Neil Harmon is a member of the organ faculty at Brigham Young University. An organist, conductor, composer, and teacher, he served 19 years as Director of Music and Organist at Grace United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Neil holds a Bachelor of Music degree from BYU and Masters and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from The Eastman School of Music. Dr. Harmon’s widely published compositions include a seven-movement Requiem for choir, orchestra, and soprano,
as well as music for solo organ, handbell choir, mixed chorus, and brass quintet. Active in the American Guild of Organists, he served twice as Co-Director of the Delaware Pipe Organ Encounter. Neil and his wife, Anese, are the parents of five children.

Camille Heiner, MS/HS Math Teacher

Camille is a graduate from Brigham Young University – Idaho where she received her bachelor’s in History Education with a minor in Math Education. After finishing her degree, she served in the Nicaragua, Managua mission from 2012-2013 where her love for teaching was only strengthened. Camille was raised in Green River, Wyoming where she was homeschooled through elementary school then public schooled through middle school and high school. Because of her unique educational experiences, she developed early on a thirst for knowledge and an enthusiasm for learning. As one of the oldest of seven children, she also grew up with a love for children which is why she later decided to join the teaching profession. Camille is excited to join the staff and students at American Heritage School where high gospel and educational values are embraced. Camille enjoys being with people and making them laugh. Her additional hobbies include reading, puzzles, hiking and enjoying nature.

Laurel Hill, K–1 Science Teacher

Laurel has a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University in Public Relations.  After graduation, she worked for Melaleuca, Inc. in Idaho Falls in product development and marketing. Laurel has worked as a freelance writer for various magazines and newsletters. Laurel homeschooled her youngest starting in kindergarten, through the AHS Distance Education program.  The Hill Family loves American Heritage and knows how it changes lives, blesses families, teaches children how to think for themselves, and inspires students to love learning. She was a stay at home mom for 20 years.  For the past two years, she has worked as a substitute teacher in Jordan School District, substituting in elementary resource classes, and in schools for those with Autism. Laurel has been a substitute teacher for American Heritage for two years in K-12 grades.  Her family has been a part of American Heritage for 12 years.  Laurel was born and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She has lived in Utah for 22 years.  She and her husband Jay have 4 children who have all attended AHS, three of whom have graduated from AHS. Laurel’s youngest daughter will be in the 6th grade this upcoming school year.  Laurel loves to hike, read, play the piano, exercise, cook, and spend time with her family.

Merrilee Hunter, 7–12 Music Class Assistant & Accompanist

Merrilee graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She has taught music and choir classes for 32 years. Merrilee started a children’s choir a few years ago, with whom she enjoyed traveling to many destinations, including Washington, DC.  Merrilee has worked in community theater, as a pianist for the American Fork Symphony, and as a choir director in every ward in which she has lived and served. She resides in Cedar Hills with her husband. They have a blended family of nine children and 20 grandchildren with one more coming in December.

Michelle Jorgensen, Music (AHYC)

Michelle Jorgensen has loved and learned music from an early age. She studied piano and voice through graduate school, but didn’t graduate in music. She is actually a practicing dentist in American Fork. She has four children, and they are all students at American Heritage. The family has been patrons of the school since 2005. She is excited to help more young children learn to love music as she does!

Shawnell Larsen, MS/HS Math Teacher

Shawnell Larsen comes to American Heritage having taught math and computer science for nine years at Utah Online High School. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in Math Education and a minor in Computer Science. She is a life-long teacher and home-schooled each of her children for part of their elementary school years. Shawnell is excited to be back in a formal classroom setting where she hopes to convince reluctant students that they can, in fact, “do math.” She grew up in the beautiful state of Montana. She and her husband, John, have six children, ranging from elementary school to a college graduate. When Shawnell has free time, she loves to knit, sew, and tackle any home improvement project.

Shirley Ann Larsen, Reading Specialist

Shirley Ann Larsen, a Lehi native, graduated from the original American Heritage School in Pleasant Grove. She served a mission in the Italy, Milan Mission. After her mission she worked several years at Sylvan Learning Center where she was an instructor and administrator. Miss Larsen is a graduate of BYU (History Teaching BA) and is proud to know every word of the Cougar fight song! She has been a Reading Specialist at AHS since 2006 and loves helping students gain confidence and achieve success through reading. Shirley loves to read, cook, travel, and attend theatrical productions. She is the favorite aunt of oodles of nieces and nephews. She feels blessed and honored to be teaching at American Heritage School.

Karen Lee, Girls Head Basketball Coach

Karen attended BYU and received a bachelor’ s degree in Business. She has worked as the Girls’ Varsity assistant coach for the last two 2 years and the Girls’ JV Head coach last season. Karen connects well with the girls as they work hard together improving skills, strategy, and teamwork. Karen played a lot of basketball herself as a youth and into her adult life. She has passion and a sound knowledge for the game. More importantly, she enjoys helping the girls work towards their potential and find strength within, both physically and emotionally. Karen looks forward to building the program and continuing to work with the fine young ladies of AHS.

Karen Logan, Science 2-5

Karen Logan came to American Heritage School in 2008 excited to teach science at a faith based school. She loves teaching science that is founded in the gospel and shares her testimony in each class. Currently, she is teaching Kindergarten through 5th grade science, but has taught Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, AP Biology, and 8th grade science at AHS. She has a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Western Governors University (Oct. 2012); a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology (emphasis in Marine Biology) from Brigham Young University (Aug, 1993), and professional teaching credentials in science/life science and language/academic development from the University of San Diego and California State University, Sacramento. Prior to AHS, Mrs. Logan was a science teacher and science department head at Mitchell Middle School, Folsom-Cordova California Unified School District, from 1998 to 2005. Mrs. Logan loves SCUBA diving (she is a certified dive master with the Professional Association of Dive Instructors), art, music, reading, camping, hiking, and sports of all kinds. Mrs. Logan and her husband, Wayne, are the parents of three children, Jeffrey, Benjamin and Karley, all of which attend AHS. They currently live in Provo, Utah.

Carolyn Lundberg, Orchestra

Carolyn Lundberg was born and raised in California as the oldest of 8 children who were all trained to perform different musical instruments. She came to Utah on academic and music scholarships to attend Brigham Young University where she completed her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy as a student of Irene Peery-Fox. Carolyn currently plays the harp and cello with local orchestras and has taught many years privately as well as in public school music programs. She conducted and arranged music for an LDS youth orchestra that celebrated the church’s Utah pioneer sesquicentennial anniversary in 2002. She loves teaching music to her 5 children she is raising with her husband Dean as well as the young beginners of Lyceum’s Junior Strings.

Seth McDiarmid, 11th Grade Teacher Aide

Seth received a bachelor’s degree from BYU-Idaho and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Utah. He grew up in Corona, California. In addition to his work as a writing aide, Seth enjoys ice hockey, attending sporting events, and spending time with family and friends.

Vicki McMurray, Music 4-6 and 7-12 Women’s Choirs

Vicki McMurray comes to American Heritage from Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, and prior that that from Mountain Ridge Jr. High in Highland. Throughout her career, Vicki has taught countless students in choral, general music, and private settings at all age levels, from pre-K to college. Her choirs have been recognized consistently at state and national festivals for their beauty of sound and musicality, but more important to her is that her students are enthusiastic about music. Vicki has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from BYU. She is an accomplished choral director, performer, and music educator. A classically trained pianist, violinist and vocalist, Vicki recently retired from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir after ten years of service. Vicki has worked as a guest conductor and clinician, having directed the Utah State Women’s Honor Choir in 2014, and she has served as Musical Director for Savior of the World at the LDS Conference Center. She has also worked for many years as a Kodaly specialist at Brigham Young University and Seattle Pacific University.

Barbara McOmber, Ballroom

Barbara McOmber joined American Heritage School in 2012 as the Ballroom Dance Instructor. Barbara is a Brigham Young University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Home and Family Living Studies. While attending BYU, she was on the Ballroom Tour team, where she was able to spread her love of dance and the gospel while touring the South Pacific, including Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii. She and her dance partner competed in the National Dancesport competitions for years. It was at BYU where Barbara met her husband Arthur. She said, “He swept me off my feet!” After leaving Utah, they lived in Southern California where Art worked for the FBI and they raised four wonderful children. In 2005, they moved to Cedar Hills, Utah where Barbara began teaching Elementary Ballroom at several local schools. Barbara has choreographed, costumed, and produced annual ballroom concerts since 2005. Her competition teams have reached the gold level multiple times. After having two of her children attend American Heritage, she is thrilled to be a part of the American Heritage faculty and teach such outstanding students.

Jeff Meade, Math Teacher

Jeff Meade is in his eighth year of teaching math at American Heritage. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University. He worked as a process engineer before becoming a teacher. He and his wife Wendy are the parents of five children and live in Cedar Hills, Utah.

Shane Mickelsen, Orchestra Conductor

Shane Mickelsen is an active composer, arranger, conductor, and teacher. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Utah State University and a Master’s of Music degree in Music Composition from the University of Utah where he also pursued doctoral studies in Music Composition. He is an accomplished clarinetist and recording musician who has recently written for and recorded with The Piano Guys, Paul Cardall, and the LDS Church. Shane regularly conducts recording sessions and recently served as the Music Director of the West Jordan Symphony. At the age of 17, he was commissioned by the School of Music at Utah State University to compose an opera for its Opera Theatre Program which he composed, rehearsed, and directed. The work was recognized with an award from the university and Craig Jessop. As an educator, Shane directed choir, orchestra, and band at American Heritage of South Jordan where he also taught Latin. He currently maintains a private studio  of voice, piano, clarinet, and composition students in his home in Riverton with his wife Kacee and daughter Annie.

Ryan Millar, Head Boy’s Volleyball Coach

Ryan comes to American Heritage with experience as a former Head Coach of the BYU Men’s Volleyball team, a member of United States Men’s National Volleyball Team from 1998-2008, a member of the USA Men’s Olympic National Volleyball Team (three-time Olympian in 2000, 2004, 2008), 2008 Olympic Champion, and three times NORCECA Champion. Coach Millar has over 20 years’ experience in motivational speaking, leadership consulting, and team building. He is currently a senior partner with Partners in Leadership. He and his wife have been married since 1997, have two children, and are excited to be enrolling as AHS parents this fall!

Jolyn Mitchell, Science (6-8)

Jolyn Mitchell has her family roots in California and Utah and has raised her family and lived in Tennessee where she attended Tennessee State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction as well as her Educational Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision. She has been teaching professionally since 1999, specializing in middle school sciences since 2004. Her teaching experience began as a youth teaching primary. She has also been a teacher in seminary, Sunday school and Relief Society, all of which have helped her to develop a love for curriculum, teaching, learning, and youth. Her family history includes a long line of educators, so choosing education as a career was an obvious choice. It is one of her passions, as well as reading, hiking, skiing, traveling and family.   Jolyn has five children who live in various places, including Tennessee, Georgia and Utah.   She has traveled in Europe, Central America, Canada and Mexico and many places in the USA.   Her favorite places are National Parks where she can view God’s perfect creations.

Lauren Mulvey, Kindergarten / 8th Grade Teacher Aide

Lauren attended American Heritage from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She loves the mission and vision of American Heritage School and enjoyed all her classes and teachers. Yes, she still knows her phonograms! Lauren is currently attending UVU and will be graduating with an ASL and Deaf Studies Education degree. Lauren enjoys her nursery music leader church calling, playing the guitar, and doing family history.

Lacey Olpin, Cross Country Coach, and Girls JV Prep Basketball Coach Coach

Lacey has been a multiple-sport coach and teacher at American Heritage almost from the day she graduated as one of our finest Patriot alumni! With a degree in Exercise and Wellness from BYU, Lacey loves athletics, basketball, faith-centered learning, and enjoys putting them all together at AHS. She served an LDS mission to the Philippines where she spoke
Hiligaynon. After 13 years with AHS, she is excited to continue her involvement in new roles. Lacey and her husband, Richard, live in American Fork and welcomed a baby girl, Lucy, into their family this past year

Kendra Olson, 2nd Grade Teacher Aide

Kendra graduated with an English degree from Utah Valley University. Kendra went on to earn her Master’s degree in Education after which she taught fourth grade in Taylorsville. Kendra taught elementary school till her daughter was born and was blessed to be able to take a break from teaching to be home with her.  She grew up in Northern California and lived there till she came to Utah for college. Kendra and her family enjoy boating, going on bike rides, travelling and spending time with family and friends. Kendra is excited and feels so blessed to be back in the classroom as an aide at American Heritage.

Susan Ostler, Science Teacher Aide

Susan Ostler graduated from BYU in Secondary Education and has taught art and food science at Lehi Jr. She has worked with the youth in various ways throughout her life. Currently she is working as the Study Hall Supervisor and assisting in the library. She has a love for the students and is very grateful to have her own 5 children attend AHS for the last 17 years. She grew up in Utah and met her Husband Darrell after graduating from college. Susan served an LDS mission in the Philippines and served and lived with the refugees in the Philippines Refugee Processing Center for 13 months. After her mission she worked with Mary Ellen Edmunds at the MTC teaching welfare principles to the new missionaries. This was a job and experience that gave her a foundation of principle teaching in her own life. Three of her 5 children have served missions and she is waiting for the next two to serve. Susan loves studying nutrition, natural healing, face painting at festivals, working at the temple and gathering her family at a picnic table. Working at AHS feels like home to her.

Deborah Otteson, Music K-3 Teacher

Deborah R. Otteson was born in Oakridge, Tenn. But mainly grew up in Northern California. She is the eldest of nine living children. She graduated from Ricks and BYU (Provo) with a degree in Secondary Music Education. After serving a mission in the Oregon Portland Mission, she started teaching music in her hometown of Shelley, Idaho and spent her summers in Hartford, Conn. earning a degree in the Kodály Method at the KMTI. During her time in Idaho, she was also involved in many musicals, operas and singing groups. After she moved back to this area with her children in 2001 she completed the InterMuse Kodaly certification program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She is excited to be at American Heritage School teaching children in K-3 grades.

Rachelle Packer, Elementary Reading Specialist

Mrs. Packer joins our Elementary Reading Specialist Department having served for many years as an elementary school teacher at both American Heritage School and Lincoln Academy. She is currently completing a master’s degree in Education with a Reading & Literacy focus at the University of Utah and has a bachelor of science degree in Family Health from BYU. Mrs. Packer has always especially loved to teach reading. Her father, who was a significant influence on Mrs. Packer’s education and career development, was a well-known linguist and professor at BYU, and was especially passionate about teaching English as a second language. His work in reading and literacy lifted children and families from poverty all around the world. Mrs. Packer hopes to follow in her father’s footsteps and sees her new role in the AHS Elementary Reading Specialist Department as an important part of her life’s mission.

Jan Parker, Art (K-4)

Jan Parker was born in Morristown, New Jersey, and raised in Summit, New Jersey. She attended BYU in the fall of 1974, where she graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration. She worked at the BYU photo studio for three of those years. She has worked as a Graphic Designer for Conant Associates and in Interior Design at Ethan Allen until starting her family of six children – 3 boys and 3 girls all grown and now living in Utah, New York City, Virginia, London (England) and the youngest serving a mission in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For the past 16 years, Mrs. Parker has lived in Alpine, Utah. She started oil painting eleven years ago with a group of other artists and found her artistic passion. She does commissioned oil paintings and works on many commercial murals in locations such as the American Fork Junior High Library, where she did a “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme. In addition to art, Mrs. Parker also loves to quilt, cook, read, travel when she can, and she looks forward to serving a mission someday. Mrs. Parker feels very blessed as a single woman with almost four grandchildren, and two lovely sisters that live in Alpine, and Burley, Idaho. Mrs. Parker has an abiding testimony in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and cherishes her membership in the church as well her relationship with the Savior.

Chrisann Patch, P.E. (K-4) / Yoga (9-12)

Chrisann Patch joined American Heritage School in 2002. Prior to joining American Heritage School’s faculty, Mrs. Patch taught adult fitness and aerobics classes at various health clubs in Washington, D.C., Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Utah. She is a certified instructor of Yoga and water aerobics. Mrs. Patch graduated from BYU with a bachelors degree in Family Science. While at BYU she danced with the BYU International Folk Dancers touring team, performing in the U.S., Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Poland, and Russia. Mrs. Patch loves the gospel of Jesus Christ. She enjoys serving in the Church, learning and teaching what she is learning, cooking (with an interest in healthful eating), homemaking, and dancing! A resident of Orem, Utah, Mrs. Patch is the mother of two sons and three daughters, and is a grandmother of four grandchildren. She brings excitement and energy to her teaching while loving and enjoying her students. She feels it a privilege to teach P.E. at American Heritage School.

Donna Patten, Music (4-6)

Donna Patten was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and raised in Logandale, Nevada. In high school, she enjoyed participating in choir, band, cheerleading, and dance. Mrs. Patten graduated from BYU with an associate degree in Library Technology. She married Dennis Patten in 1974. They have two boys and two grandchildren. Mrs. Patten started playing the piano at six years old. She has been a choir director for twenty years as well. She enjoys family history, reading, and BYU sports. She loves American Heritage School and her association with the students and faculty.

Johanne Perry, Drama/5th Grade Teacher Aide

Johanne Fréchette Perry was born in Montréal, Canada and grew up in the Los Angeles area where she joined the LDS church. She has traveled the world with the BYU Young Ambassadors and graduated with a BFA in Music Dance Theatre. For over 20 years she has been a studio singer and has been featured as a soloist on many LDS recordings. She has delighted audiences across the U.S. and on PBS with her portrayal of early Utah settler Polly Matilda Merrill Colton in the show, Polly: A One-Woman Musical, written by her husband, Steven Kapp Perry. Currently Johanne sings with the award-winning vocal group One Clear Voice. In the fall, she and her husband host a Church History tour through Morris/Murdock Travel. Johanne teaches the high school drama classes and seventh grade speech class at AHS, as well as assists in the Patriotic Program and the eighth grade Shakespeare play. When not at the school she keeps busy with her four children, organic vegetable garden, and french-canadian genealogy.

Rosemary Pollock, 4th / 8th / 9th Grade Teacher Aide

Rosemary comes to the AHS 4th Grade Classrooms having served previously as a staff member for American Heritage Worldwide (curriculum writer, customer support specialist) and also as an AHS tutor. Rosemary graduated from California State University Northridge summa cum laude and has a Master’s degree in American History from UCLA and a second Master’s degree from UCSB with a focus on the History of Science and Medicine. She taught US History and Colonial American History at UCLA and was a graduate student researcher for the Clark Center for l7th and l8th Century Studies. Rosemary served a Historic-Deerfield Massachusetts Fellowship studying l8th Century material culture and colonial settlement. She has published several articles on Colonial New England physicians and the influence of European medicine on the lives of small developing communities. She and her husband served a mission in the Nauvoo Illinois Temple and in the Los Angeles Temple. While serving in Nauvoo she wrote A Friend to All: The Life and Contributions of Dr. John Fuller Weld (1808-1892) a physician and surgeon in the Nauvoo Legion. She began teaching and authoring lessons for American Heritage in 2013. Teaching, writing curriculum, and working with the families at American Heritage School is the culmination of a long academic journey that allows Rosemary to combine gospel truths with her love of American history. She currently serves in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple and lives in Cedar Hills, Utah. Rosemary and her husband are the parents of eight children and twenty-seven grandchildren. She loves to garden and cook for her family and friends.

Sariah Reed, Kinder / 7th Grade Teacher Aide

Sariah was born in Iowa and raised in Illinois. She moved to Utah to attend BYU where she met her husband and later graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She worked for a few years as a social worker in Provo before having children. She and her husband have four amazing children, three of whom attend American Heritage. Sariah loves working with kids and has had ample opportunity to do so through church callings, preschool and co-op groups, and wrangling the ones that live with her. She believes that true learning only happens when the Spirit is present and is so grateful to have found American Heritage School where her children can learn, grow, and develop their talents under loving tutelage and the influence of the Holy Ghost. She is excited to have a part in creating that environment for the fourth graders this year.

Amanda Riley, Orchestra

As long time supporters of the Lyceum Orchestra program at American Heritage School, Amanda Riley and her family traveled from Beaver to American Fork each week to have their children participate. After many years of traveling, Amanda is excited to have moved to Highland and to be conducting the Chamber Ensemble. Amanda was formerly the Orchestra and Choir Director at Beaver High School and a general music educator at Belknap Elementary School in Beaver. She is also a graduate of Brigham Young University. Amanda followed her love for music as she started each of her young children playing the violin starting at age three and studied beside each of them. She was the recipient of the UTASTA Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2015. Her love for music, her family and youth has driven her to have a successful program where students feel safe, encouraged and allowed to follow their dreams. Amanda has a passion for touching student’s lives and inspiring them to achieve excellence.

Bailey Savage, Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach

Bailey is delighted to return to American Heritage School as the girls volleyball coach. She has loved volleyball ever since playing for her high school in Vancouver, Washington and she has loved the people of American Heritage School ever since working as the high school chemistry teacher. In the years between high school and becoming a teacher, Bailey studied biochemistry at Brigham Young University, served as a missionary in Omaha, Nebraska and taught missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center. All the while, she has continued to play volleyball with friends and neighbors. Although she will often comment on how much she loves volleyball, chemistry and teaching, Bailey’s greatest loves are the gospel of Jesus Christ, her wonderful husband and her sweet, little daughter.

Brian Smith, Athletic & Wellness

Brian Smith was born in Anchorage, Alaska and moved at an early age to Nashville, Tennessee. He moved several more times before he graduated from high school but spent most of his years growing up in Nashville and Dallas, Texas. Half way through high school his family moved to Orem, Utah where Brian graduated from Mountain View High School. Brian became a student athlete at BYU competing in both track and field and football. He graduated from BYU with a BS in Exercise and Wellness. Brian served an LDS mission in Monterrey, Mexico. Upon coming home from his mission, he began his coaching career as a personal trainer. Brian attributes his athletic opportunities to having good coaches and trainers which have been his motivation to give back and help other youth have similar opportunities. Brian has certifications in training, nutrition, functional movement screening, and strength and conditioning. Brian was married to the love of his life, Emily, in the Salt Lake Temple and they have two beautiful boys. Brian is so excited to be a part of the AHS team and is looking forward to bringing together athletics and Christ centered living.

Lindsay Smith, 6th Grade Teacher Aide

Lindsay returns to American Heritage having previously served as an aide at AHS. She has been married for almost 23 years and is a mother of 2 boys, ages 12 and IS months. She studied at Southern Utah University. Lindsay was born in Alaska and raised primarily in Arizona, Utah, and Washington. She enjoys spending time with family, close friends, and visiting the great outdoors. She is glad to be back at American Heritage and looks forward to another great year!

Mattie Smith, French Teacher/School Counselor

Mattie June Smith spent most of her life moving around the world because of her father’s job.   During elementary school they lived in Taiwan and in high school they moved to France.  Ms. Smith graduated in France and then went to BYU-Idaho to study music and French.  After earning her bachelor’s degree, she served a mission in Geneva, Switzerland, and her first assigned area was her home ward!  She moved to Utah for a teaching position in a French dual immersion program in North Salt Lake.  Ms. Smith loves photography and is a volunteer with an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which provides bereavement photography for families who have lost newborn babies.  She also loves to sing and has been involved locally in performances at Hale, Eccles, Centerpoint, and Playmill theatres.  She is thrilled to join the American Heritage family and looks forward to enrolling her daughter in kindergarten next year!

Ty Smith, Math Teacher

Ty comes to American Heritage with 31 years’ experience teaching math in the Provo School District, 26 of those at Dixon Middle School, including 10 years coaching basketball at Provo and Mountain View High Schools. Ty received a bachelor’s degree at BYU with a math endorsement. He has been recognized as one of Provo School District’s most outstanding teachers on numerous occasions through the years. Ty’s mother was a dance teacher, so in addition to his love for teaching math, he also danced for over 40 years. He even worked one summer dancing in the Disneyland parades, and we look forward to him demonstrating some of those dance moves as he expounds upon quadratic equations and the Fibonacci sequence. Ty has enjoyed service in many capacities in the LDS Church. He is married to Joani, and together they have six children and nine grandchildren, all of whom live close to the Smiths, and within a mile of each other (to Grandpa and Grandma Smith’s delight).

Robert Swenson, Music (Dept. Chair)

Rob Swenson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Brigham Young University and Level III OAKE-endorsed Kodály certification. He has taught choir at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork, Utah; at Timpanogos Academy in Lindon, Utah; and at Liahona High School in Liahona, Tonga, where he also served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2008, he joined the faculty at American Heritage School, where he currently teaches AP Music Theory and directs middle and high school choirs. From 2004-2007, he served as an assistant director with the Utah Valley Children’s Choir, leaving in 2007 to found the American Heritage Youth Chorus. Under his direction, this faith-centered choral program for children and youth has grown to include over 200 members who perform free, inspirational programs for audiences throughout the United States. Rob received the 2016 Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Christmas Carol Commission for his “Christmas Hosanna.” In Fall 2016, his original composition, “Go Forth From This House,” was recognized as a second-place winner and was performed at the state conference of the Utah ACDA. Rob resides in Pleasant Grove, Utah, with his wife, Kristy, and their four children.

Matt Thornton, Concert Choir Assistant Director

Matt Thornton graduated from Utah State University with a bachelors degree in music education. He also holds a masters degree in music education from BYU. As an undergraduate, Matt served as the Music Vice President of the Logan LDS Institute as well as the Dance President. He was also president of the New Horizons Institute Choir. While in Cache Valley, he worked with the Cache Children’s Choir and taught in their summer music camp. He has also worked as a music and dance specialist for Opera by Children. Matt has been trained in Orff, is Kodály certified and is currently an instructor at the BYU InterMuse Academy. He is the fine arts department head at American Fork Jr. High where he has taught choir for eight years.

Jenny Wall, 1st Grade Teacher Aide

Jenny received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brigham Young University in Design Illustration, with double minors in Business and Psychology. Jenny feels privileged to teach at American Heritage because she says, “It’s a school where there is no boundary between the secular and the spiritual.” She finds AHS to be a place where all truth can be incorporated into one great body and the influence of the Holy Ghost can be constantly felt. She adores the students, and enjoys helping them with their reading and math challenges. She hopes she can always help them to feel loved enough and safe enough to sense the Savior’s gentle hand in their lives. Jenny and her four children live in Cedar Hills and enjoy spending time together. They love to play in the pool, dance in the kitchen, and sled in the snow. They can also be found listening to a good audio adventure whenever they get the chance.

Lori Welch, Spanish Teacher

Lori teaches Spanish at American Heritage School. She has been involved with AHS for the past 15 years both as a parent and a teacher and is passionate about the Principles Approach. She learned Spanish through her travels to Spain and while serving a mission in Chile. She received her degree from Brigham Young University and has particular interest in language, interpersonal communication and family relations. She loves all things outdoors including gardening, hiking, skiing & water skiing. She has 5 children, all of whom have attended American Heritage School.

Samuel Wood, MS/HS Math Teacher

Samuel comes to American Heritage with four years of math teaching experience at Challenger School in Highland. Samuel realized that teaching was a personal passion while he served in the Honolulu, Hawaii mission from 2005-2007. After his mission, Samuel attended the University of Utah where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Sciences/Meteorology. Through his studies, Samuel found his love for math and began looking for opportunities to teach it. Samuel has been a middle and elementary school teacher since 2009 not just in mathematics, but also science, logic, chess, speech/debate/theater, and physical education. Samuel is originally from Taylorsville, Utah. He is the youngest of five brothers. He was married in 2008 to his lovely wife, Stacy, and has the cutest daughter in the world, Aurora. In his free time you can find him playing sports like flag football, softball, ultimate frisbee and basketball. He also enjoys hunting and fishing. He is always reading a good book.

Kristi Wulfenstein, 2nd Grade Teacher Aide

Kristi Wulfenstein has been associated with American Heritage School for almost 17 years. She has served as a parent, volunteer, and custodian. For the past 6 years Mrs. Wulfenstein has been employed as a Teacher Aide in grades K-2. She attended UVU and worked for the Alpine School District as an ESL tutor during that time. Kristi also was a substitute teacher for the Alpine School District and completed 3 years of Special Ed Training at Dan Peterson School. Kristi Wulfenstein and her husband are the parents of 2 children. Alexis, who is married and attending college, and Jakob who will be in 9th grade. In her spare time, Kristi keeps busy with her love of music. She enjoys playing the piano, organ and violin. She has spent many years playing the violin with different symphonies. Currently she is playing with, and serving on the board of The American Fork Symphony. Kristi also loves to read and travel. Europe being the destination of choice!