After spending 18 years being Stay-at-home Mom, Debbie completed her Education degrees at SUU. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and in Special Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement. She has taught kindergarten at GPA since the school opened. Her favorite thing about the Montessori curriculum is that it meets the needs of each child on his or her individual level. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her children.
Cami graduated from USU with a degree in elementary education. When the youngest of her six children was in 3rd grade she joined the awesome staff at GPA as a full time teacher. Education has always been her passion and she feels fortunate to be doing what she loves.
Kaylene has lived in Cedar City since 2000 with her husband and her 5 amazing children. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno from 1990-1994, earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary and Special Education. She taught as a 1st /2nd Grade Resource Teacher and then as a 1st Grade Teacher in Reno, before starting her family. After being a stay at home mother for 15 years, she has returned to teaching. She enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Smith has been in education for 12 years. She received her degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. She began her teaching career in El Mirage, AZ for the Dysart Unified School District as a third grade teacher. She then moved to the Phoenix Elementary Unified School District where she worked as a substitute teacher, an art teacher, and then found her place as a 2nd grade teacher. She then met her husband and moved to Apache Junction, AZ where she worked as a third grade teacher for the Apache Jct. School District. In 2013, she found herself on a new path as a Montessori teacher for GPA. It has been the most rewarding and exciting adventure she has endured as an educator. Mrs. Smith and her husband, Logan, have a wonderful 13 year old step-daughter, Jade, and two fun loving dogs; Roofus and Frank. She loves reading, crafting, camping, NASCAR, and being with friends and family. Her time in the summer months is spent building and participating in demolition derby’s with her husband.
Erin has been an avid Montessorian since the birth of her daughter. The method attracted her due to the beautiful way in which it integrates all levels of the curriculum. She holds a BA in History, a BA in Elementary Education and received her Montessori training from SUMTC. She has been teaching at GPA since 2009.
Melissa has a bachelor’s degree from SUU with an emphasis in ESL. She loves to cook because she loves to eat! She has 11 siblings and 3 children of her own. She loves people, singing and dancing. She joined the Gateway team in 2013.
Mrs. Heaton grew up in Parowan. She graduated from Dixie State College. Her hobbies include horses, camping, sports, family.
Mrs. Murray has been working at Gateway since it opened in 2008. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Southern Utah University. She is almost finished with her Master’s Degree in Education. She and her husband have been married for 10 years. They adopted their first child, a son, in August of 2013. She also has three Boxers and an Old English Bulldog. She likes to watch movies and travel in her free time. She enjoys visiting the national parks and the east coast.
Aimee DiBrienza is an alumni of SUU, and has been teaching music, drama, reading, and English since 1998. She loves to read and garden, and her favorite color is green. She says this is her dream job, and she loves the students at Gateway!
Shelly Kupfer currently teaches mathematics at Gateway Preparatory Academy. She is married, has four children and 7 grandchildren. She is a transplanted Southern California girl who gave up the beaches, the shopping malls, and year- round sunshine to settle in Cedar City almost 30 years ago. Shelly first came to Cedar to attend SUU (SUSC at the time) after graduating from Snow College in Ephraim where she played collegiate volleyball, basketball and softball. At SUU she studied Math, Physical Education, Psychology and hoped to one day teach and coach athletics.After graduating she did just that. She taught PE and Math in Hurricane and Fillmore for the first 4 years of her career and then moved back to Cedar, where she became a math teacher. This was the position she held for the next 27 years before retiring from Iron County School District. Shelly found that she still had the teaching bug, so she came to GPA and has truly loved the school and the students, for the past 3 years she has taught here.
Recreationally, Shelly loves the outdoors and the amazing blue skies of Southern Utah..She loves to hike, camp, and run throughout the beautiful country we live in. Shelly is also an enthusiastic baseball fan and has spent many, many days sitting in the bleachers at a ballgame. Most of all though, Shelly loves being a mother and grandmother and she is amazing at both.
Carice is a Cedar City native. She obtained her Bachelors degree from Southern Utah University in 1992 and later obtained her teaching certificate. She has been with Gateway since the opening in 2008 and enjoy’s the adventure of teaching middle school students.
Keith graduated from SUU in 2009 with a BA in Spanish and Physical Education. He started teaching at Gateway in 2013. He loves anything to do with athletics. He loves the Spanish language and enjoys teaching it. He loves to learn new things, to garden, to fix things, to be in the outdoors, and especially to be with his family. Positively influencing his own children’s lives and the lives of his students is why he became a teacher.
Mrs. Hughes began studying the Violin at the age of 10. She joined the Brisbane Youth Orchestra at the age of 13, at 15 accepted into the Queensland Youth Orchestra and began vocal training with renowned choral director and vocal instructor Carly Nisbett. By the age of 17 she was studying at John Paul College, and won a scholarship to the Young Queensland Conservatorium of Music as well as 1st violins in the Queensland Youth Orchestra. She then toured Europe and Korea with the Queensland Youth Orchestra while she studied my Bachelor of Music at Griffith University – Queensland Conservatorium of Music Majoring in Violin. In 2002 she married her husband – whom she had met on her travels through Europe and ended up living in Cedar City. Who knew that her musical adventures would lead her to a small Utah town! She has since discovered a love and passion for teaching and mentoring children. She has 4 children and loves being a mother, teacher and musician. She loves to cook, craft and travel in her spare time.
Birgit was born and raised in Germany. She studied Nursing, Psychology, Fine Arts, and Education. She has a B.A. in Psychology, a M.A. in Psychology, a B.A.in Fine Arts, and a Utah Teaching License. She was an Art Teacher at Springdale Elementary for 2 years, Artist in Residence at South Elementary, ArtsFusion- Teacher’s Education in the Arts, Member of the Curriculum Development Team for the Utah-wide concurrent enrollment course and an Art Teacher at GPA since 2008. Birgit has studied on 8 campuses in three countries. Her favorite book is the original story of “The little Mermaid” which she carried with her on all her travels across the world. She still would like to go to Africa one day and see Elephants, Giraffes, and Lions since she likes painting animals. She is passionate about art and loves teaching it. The best thing about her job is being able to cooperate with all the classroom teachers to create the best art-integrative lessons.