Our Team

Staff resumes are available in our office.

Julie Jongsma – Director

julie@latierracommunityschool.org

Ms. Julie is an Arizona native who grew up right here in Prescott. She earned her Bachelors in Social Work from Northern Arizona University and went on to get her Masters in Business Administration. She served as the La Tierra Governing Board President for several years prior to accepting the position as La Tierra’s Operations Officer. In the Summer of 2019 she transitioned into the position of Operations Director. This year she is honored to begin serving the community as the LTCS Director. She has a deep commitment to and love of the La Tierra mission and the entire La Tierra community. She loves inspiring exploration, the courage to ask why and a sense of wonder in the students of LTCS. Outside of school she can usually be found spending time with her 2 beautiful children who have attended La Tierra for 8 years. She is continually amazed at all of the beauty in nature to be found in the Southwest and is always on the lookout for her next new adventure. Some of her outdoor favorites include hiking, biking, backpacking, bikepacking and camping. Stop by and say hi anytime!

Heather Sheetz – School Secretary/Administrative Assistant

hsheetz@latierracommunityschool.org

Save

Heather

Heather grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and moved to Prescott in 2003 where she worked in various child care settings and as a family nanny for the first 2 years. After leaving child care, she entered the downtown restaurant scene for several years before meeting her husband, Will, and having 2 children- both La Tierra lifers! Heather then joined the bIlls Pizza family in 2012, eventually managing the front and taking community college classes in accounting on the side. In 2017, Heather joined the La Tierra Family! You will find her in the front office taking phone calls, juggling files, offering hugs and bandaids to our students, and helping parents and families find what they need! Outside of the La Tierra office, Heather loves spending time with her husband and children- you’ll find them out in nature near water, taking road trips, cooking, baking, and often cuddled up to movie nights at home with their 3 crazy cats! 

Save

Save

Dawn Klaiber – Academic Program Coordinator

dklaiber@latierracommunityschool.org

Dawn has been with La Tierra as a classroom teacher for the past nine years, and is looking forward to supporting the school in her new role as Academic Program Coordinator for the 2022-2023 school year. Dawn spent her early years living on the east coast and in middle school moved to Nebraska with her family. She received an elementary education degree at Minnesota State University in 2010 and went on to study Experiential Education there for her graduate degree which was earned in 2012. As a lifelong learner and with a desire to improve her teaching practice, Dawn worked to earn her National Board Teaching Certification in 2020. She believes in an active, engaging, and rigorous pedagogy, setting high and attainable expectations for each student and is excited to work with students and teachers school wide. In her free time you can find her spending quality time with friends and family, traveling, dancing, and playing outside.

Save

Tricia Arnts – Kindergarten Teacher

tarnts@latierracommunityschool.org

Tricia is thrilled to be a part of the LTCS family. She loves to travel and perform with The Prescott Chorale, hike, sing, and spend time with her macaw. Tricia began her teaching career in Kindergarten (and taught kinder for three years). She then taught Pre-K for four years. She has  great respect and admiration for the learning process of young children and is inspired by watching her students grow and achieve small goals along the way. Tricia is passionate about La Tierra’s mission and she is excited to be a part of our expeditionary learning inspired community.

Save

Mary Layman – 1st Grade Teacher

mlayman@latierracommunityschool.org

Save

Sarah Greene – 2nd Grade Teacher

sgreene@latierracommunityschool.org

Save

Angelica Brady  – 3rd Grade Teacher

abrady@latierracommunityschool.org

Angelica (Ms. Angie) was born in Washington and raised in California. In 2011, she moved to Prescott, where she attended Prescott College and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Education in 2013. This will be her first year at La Tierra Community School, though she has been involved in education and elementary school programs since her early undergrad years and formally entered teaching in 2019. She enjoys encouraging creativity and curiosity in her students, and loves to watch them take brave leaps and grow in their self-confidence. When not in school, she spends most of the time with her daughter and rescue dogs living as magically as possible – out in the mountains, tending the garden, dancing + singing like a Disney princess, and curling up to read the biggest books she can find.

Save

Barbara Braswell – 4th Grade Teacher

bbraswell@latierracommunityschool.org

Ms. Barbara has been an educator and worked with children for most of her adult life.  She is committed to engaging the whole child in meaningful learning and feels fortunate to work in a school that shares that commitment.  She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and this will be her eighth year teaching at La Tierra Community School.  Her passion for social justice is woven throughout her life. Her fourth grade class motto is “treat people the way you want to be treated”. Barbara lives close to school with her husband, Charles.  She has four grown children, four amazing grandbabies and one step-daughter. She enjoys traveling, music, playing tennis, hiking, and reading.

Save

Logan Smit – 5th Grade Teacher

lsmit@latierracommunityschool.org

Ms. Logan is excited to begin her fourth year teaching the 5th grade at La Tierra Community School. After growing up in Dallas, Texas, she moved west to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies and Spanish. She also completed English teacher training at that time and earned a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. This allowed her to work internationally with students widely ranging in age and level, train volunteer English teachers, and manage adult education programs. Now married to an Arizona native and settled with a dog and home surrounded by boulders, Logan looks forward to teaching and learning from such an adventurous and creative community!

Samantha Westphal – 7th Grade Teacher

Save

Teri Lynn Stout – 6th Grade Teacher

tstout@latierracommunityschool.org

Teri Lynn was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She moved to Prescott in 2017 looking for fresh air, hiking trails, and easy access to the great outdoors. Along with elementary and secondary education, her studies include science, Spanish, middle eastern dance, yoga, and she is a licensed aesthetician. Elementary Education is the degree she finally decided to put a frame around. This will be her fifth year teaching at La Tierra Community School and her third year teaching sixth grade. Teri Lynn loves inspiring students to move through the world with kindness and confidence, and she encourages creativity, independence, and the use of wild imagination along the way. She is a lifelong learner and is passionate about education. Outside of La Tierra, Teri Lynn can be found adventuring with her two kids, writing while her tea gets cold, conducting delicious science experiments in her kitchen, or completely lost in a book.

Save

Tasha Weeks – STEM Instruction/Math Interventionist

tasha@latierracommunityschool.org

Save

Cora Fry – Title 1 Teacher

Save

Cyndi Reynolds – Special Education Coordinator and Teacher

creynolds@latierracommunityschool.org

Cyndi Reynolds is embarking upon her 10th year as both the Special Education Director and Special Education Teacher of La Tierra Community School. Ms. Reynolds received her B.A. in English, Special Education Teaching Credential, and M.A. in Applied Psychology from schools in California where she was born and raised. She has been a special educator in various public school settings for 17 years, with 10 additional years working with adults and children with unique abilities in pre-vocational and social/play settings. With this diverse background, Cyndi brings a unique outlook and instructional style to the students at La Tierra Community School. She is passionate about fostering a sense of confidence in unique learners while teaching these students the importance of knowing their strengths and resources. When she is not teaching, Cyndi can be found on local hikes and walking trails with her dog, reading a good book, or spending time with friends.

Save

Martin Weeks – SPED Aide

Save

Callie Kent – Art/PE

Save

David McNelly – 3rd Grade Teacher

dmcnelly@latierracommunityschool.org

Mr. Dave is a native Arizonan who grew up in Tucson.  He is a certified teacher who graduated from Prescott College with a BA in elementary education in 2006. He is the founding classroom teacher of La Tierra Community School and brings over 16 years of experiential teaching in the primary grades. David believes in understanding children as individuals with their own strengths and interests. He enjoys teaching children to appreciate themselves and the world around them. He loves to teach positive ways to be in the world.  David brings his love of reading, music and the outdoors to share with his students. The rest of his time is spent managing the Walnut Creek Center for Education and Research and being with his family of dogs, cats, chickens, best friend wife, six children (two still living at home), playing guitar, carving wood, forging and gardening.

Save