Mr. Sheneman is a graduate of the University of Utah, with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University. He has served as the Jr. High Director of West Valley 1, beginning in 2011. Mr. Sheneman has been working with teens for over two decades. Previously he served our great country in the United States Marine Corps and was released from active duty in July of 2000. He enjoys meeting with parents and students and is motivated by student achievement. Mr. Sheneman is also married, a father of 3 boys, and is active in our community.
Mrs. Hollinger started working for American Preparatory Academy in 2012, after moving to Utah following her husband’s retirement from the U. S. Navy. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland and continued to pursue her educational interests by obtaining a Masters in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Hollinger enjoys spending time with her husband of 20 years and their three children. Travel, service, biking, reading, and photography are all hobbies she wished she had more time for!
Mr. Christensen moved to Utah in 2002 from San Diego, CA to begin his college studies at Brigham Young University. After serving a two-year LDS mission he graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in business management. He later received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Utah and practiced mental health therapy for a time, focusing on work with adolescents. Mr. Christensen came to APA in 2015 as a school counselor and transitioned into administrative leadership shortly after. He is married with four children and enjoys living in Salt Lake County. Mr. Christensen is a sci-fi and fantasy enthusiast and enjoys all things Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. He loves to read, see movies with his wife, and cook. His passion is working with adolescents and he brings years of experience in this field along with his energy and enthusiasm for learning to the junior high program here at APA.
Mr. Durst first started working at American Prep in 2004. He began working at APA as Secondary Director, but his true passion is for athletics. In addition to being American Prep's Director of Athletics, Mr. Durst is a Board of Trustees Member for UHSAA. Mr. Durst believes that working with youth to help them build confidence and feel a part of something bigger than themselves is always rewarding, win or lose. The goal of the APA athletic program is to promote the education and development of students through athletic participation. Lifelong learning experiences include the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, integrity, discipline, positivity, and commitment.
Mrs. LaJeunesse grew up in Sandy, Utah and attended college at the University of Utah, where she studied exercise and sports science. She first began working for American Prep in 2011. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her husband and their beautiful children.
Mrs. Clayton loves reading and spending time with her two children and husband. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Utah in 2003. After graduation she moved back to her home state of California to study Curriculum and Instruction at Argosy University. She has been teaching at American Preparatory Academy since 2017. Outside of school she is a Little Free Library Steward, a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and enjoys exploring the beautiful state of Utah.
Mr. Greenwood earned a Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University- Hawaii with a minor in theater. He has been teaching at American Prep since 2011, starting out at the Draper 1 Campus, with 8th and 9th Graders. Mr. Greenwood is also the founder of the Writer's Club at APA and mentored the new Anime club in 2016. His hobbies include playing music, singing karaoke, reading, writing, cooking, and eating delicious food at unique restaurants.
Ms. Kunz graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Dance. She also holds a J.D. from the J. Reuben Law School at BYU and an M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Before joining APA, Ms. Kunz practiced law in New York City and worked in non-profit management. She is thrilled to now be teaching grammar and writing to the next generation. When Ms. Kunz isn't preparing lesson plans or grading papers, she loves to hike, read speculative fiction, bake cookies, watch anime, play board games, and listen to podcasts.
Mr. Latham earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Studies from Westminster College, with an emphasis in History and Theatre. He started at APA right after, in 2016. He teaches US History, Government, and Speech & Debate. He is also the coach for the Debate Team, and Athletic Assistant for secondary sports. He has worked professionally as an Actor and his hobbies include Film/Theatre acting, dancing, reading, genealogy, and he loves to do almost any activity.
Mrs. McGirr is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Arizona State University. She has a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Gifted Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education History. She began teaching in 2011 and holds teaching licenses in both Arizona and Utah. While at ASU, she also studied Theatre Education, and has over fourteen years of experience in theatre and performance. She is passionate about children, education, U.S. history, dramatic arts, and Mexican food. In her free time, she enjoys writing, throwing parties, singing showtunes, watching Netflix, and having fun with her husband and two kids. She is from Prescott, Arizona and has lived in Utah since 2012.
Ms. Ochs attended California State University San Marcos, in North County San Diego, where she studied African and European history. After completing her bachelor’s degree she enrolled in the Middle Level Teacher credentialing program where she specialized in the education of young adolescents, at-risk students, and English language learners. Her formative teaching years were spent out in the Coachella Valley, teaching for Palm Springs Unified School District, where she taught world history from ancient to early modern times, seventh grade English, and student leadership. After six years she moved to Utah and decided to quit teaching because she felt that schools were not doing enough to prepare students for the rigors of adult life. However, upon procuring employment as an instructor at American Prep in West Valley, her passion for teaching was reignited. Ms. Ochs taught sixth grade in West Valley for one year before moving to the Draper 2 Campus in 2013. Upon arriving at Draper 2, Ms. Ochs taught Utah Studies and U.S. History to seventh graders. The next year she moved on to teaching High school as she took on the challenge of developing and implementing AP Human Geography, AP European, Geography Honors, and Western Civilizations.
Her favorite parts of teaching are the lively discussions and debates that take place in her classroom. The youthful exuberance and excitement that her students bring to her classroom are the reasons she stays in the profession. She loves all things geeky, especially Star Wars and comic books. In case you have to know, she prefers Marvel, but has nothing against D.C. In her free time, Ms. Ochs enjoys working out, watching movies and television shows, and reading. She is a gastronome who not only likes to eat at the lowliest taco cart to the finest of fine dining restaurants, but also enjoys cooking exotic and everyday foods. She is also known to randomly burst into song, because there is always something happening that is worth singing about.
Ms. Allen started taking Latin as a sophomore in High School. By her senior year, she was student teaching a Latin class. Encouraged by this experience, she decided to continue her study of Latin with a goal of teaching. She attended the University of Utah, with a major in Classics and a minor in Classical Civilizations. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2001 with an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in Classics, with a split focus on Latin and ancient Greek.
Ms. Allen started teaching at American Preparatory Academy in the fall of 2004, initiating the Latin program for American Prep. In 2010, she had the wonderful opportunity to tour parts of Italy and Greece. This opportunity came out of the dedicated efforts and sacrifice of many American Prep students and families, who graciously offered a realization of her desire to visit Rome, Pompeii, Athens, and other locations that she taught about, but had not seen first hand. She considers this gift as one of the greatest highlights of her life, and has tried to use the knowledge she gained to enhance her classes and inspire her students.
Ms. Krill is originally from Southern California with an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology from UCLA and a MA in Classical Studies from Indiana University, where she taught for seven years. Beyond her love of Latin and Ancient Greek languages, art, and history, Ms. Krill also enjoys reading and is a devoted fan of the works of Jane Austen. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking with her family and takes any opportunity to learn new crafting skills such as knitting and quilting.
Mrs. Leitch is so excited to be teaching Latin at APA this year! Mrs. Leitch graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2013 with a major in history and minor in Latin language. She then returned to Utah State University to earn a Master of Arts in history where she studied theory, folklore, and effective teaching practices. She graduated in 2015, earning the Latin Student of the Year award for her work in reforming beginning Latin courses. She enjoys reading, writing, yoga, martial arts, and pretty much anything revolving around science fiction and fantasy.
Mr. Andersen graduated from BYU with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Five years later, he graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology with a MS in Aeronautical Engineering. He spent 20 years in the US Air Force, as a technical liaison and project manager. After retiring from the USAF, he spent 11 years working for various commercial engineering and consulting companies. Mr. Andersen has taught university courses in Algebra and US Constitution. He began teaching public school in 2015.
Mr. Hill attended Brigham Young University, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 2014. He remained at the university for graduate study, where he focused on computational analysis of jet engine performance. He joined the APA team in 2018 as a secondary math teacher. A lifelong student, his hobbies include language study and learning computer programming languages.
Mrs. Stewart has been with American Prep since 2007 as a parent and since 2012 as a teacher. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelors degree in mathematics education and a minor in biology. Prior to teaching at American Prep, she taught math and science in Jordan School District for six years. When she is not teaching, Mrs. Stewart enjoys running and spending time with her family. She and her husband have four children, two boys and twin girls.
Mr. Swensen graduated from the University of Utah with a mathematics degree in 2015. While at college, he worked at the mathematics-tutoring center and was a T.A. for numerous courses. He began teaching at American Prep full time in March 2015, where he has taught Algebra 2, Advanced Mathematics, Saxon Calculus, and AP Calculus. Mr. Swensen was born and raised in Midvale, Utah and attended High school at Murray High. He enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, playing board games, and eating food.
Dr. Teh obtained her bachelors in Theoretical Physics from the University of Science in Malaysia and continued on to earn her doctorate from the University of Utah. She was a physics teaching assistant in the University of Utah for 4 years and named best teaching assistant in 2015. Her main intellectual endeavors are in mathematical physics and programming. In her spare time, she plays competitive badminton and spends time in the great Utah outdoors with her four-legged best friend!
Mrs. Gow is originally from Canada. She attended Mount Royal College and the University of Alberta. She worked in the hotel industry for 17 years as a manager in front office and housekeeping operations. She has lived in Utah since 2007. Mrs. Gow worked for the Canyons School District, at Albion Middle School in the Math Department, for 7 years. She was also the Chess Coach for 5 years. Mrs. Gow joined the American Prep team in 2017, working at the Draper 2 campus as a second grade teacher. She was excited to be able to return to the secondary level of education here at the Draper 3 campus in 2018. She also enjoys golfing on two women's leagues, and with her husband.
Dr. Marin holds a Master in Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Utah with a minor in Music History. Dr. Marin’s main instrument is the clarinet and has been very active in the International Clarinet Association, including performing with the “Forward 4 Clarinet Quartet” at the conventions in Lincoln (Nebraska), Los Angeles (CA), Assisi (Italy), and Baton Rouge (Louisiana). She has also performed at the prestigious Chilean international festival Semanas Musicales de Frutillar in Frutillar, Chile. She was broadcasted several times at BYU’s classical music radio program Highway 89.
Prior to her appointment at the Draper campuses, Dr. Marin taught band, general music, and music history at the West Valley 1 and 2 campuses with the El Sistema program.
In her spare time, Dr. Marin enjoys listening to music from the 80’s and spending time with her family.
Mr. McCawley was born in England and moved to Canada at the age of 9. He joined the school band at the age of 12. Originally he selected trombone as his instrument but upon arrival at the first rehearsal it was discovered that he was the only one tall enough to hold the Tuba. Mr. McCawley obtained his undergraduate degree in Music Education at the University of Saskatchewan and spent the next two years teaching Band in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. A change in direction took him to Toronto and ultimately Windsor in the province of Ontario. While there he pursued an active musical life performing with the Windsor, London and Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra as well as freelancing through throughout Southern Ontario and Michigan. It was during this time that he met and married Geralyn Giovannetti (currently Professor of Oboe and Chamber Music at the BYU School of Music). A move to Utah in 1990 lead to more musical adventures. Mr McCawley has been a regular sub and extra with the Utah Symphony since 1990, Principal Tuba with the Ballet West Orchestra since 1993, and performed on hundreds of movie trailers, tv shows and so forth through the active Salt Lake recording industry. He is a founding member of the Utah Premiers Brass and the Utah Wind Symphony, and has been Adjunct Faculty teaching Euphonium and Tuba at Weber State, Utah State, BYU and currently Utah Valley University. In January 2016 he returned to classroom teaching when he accepted a position teaching for American Prep at the West Valley campuses.
After directing a few choirs at Salt Lake Community College, Mrs. Thompson decided that she wanted more choir in her life! With her two teenage daughters getting older, she decided it was the right time to get a full-time teaching job (She taught part-time at SLCC for 10 years) and she is very excited to be teaching music and singing to the wonderful students at APA! Originally from Northern California, Mrs. Thompson got "stuck" here in Utah after graduating from BYU in 1999 with a degree in Music Education/Choral Conducting. For the last 20 years, she has been raising her beautiful girls, teaching voice lessons, and pursuing a variety of other interests, including singing with the Utah Opera Chorus, health coaching & personal training, and travel.
Mrs. Nielson has over 20 years of string performance experience on violin, viola, cello, and bass, and 9 years of string teaching experience, including large ensembles and private lessons. She holds a Masters degree in Music Education from Colorado State University (2016) and a and Bachelors degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Utah (2008). She is a licensed education teacher in the state of Utah.
As a teacher, Mrs. Nielson loves to have the “lightbulb” moment with her students. She is driven to help her students understand new concepts and develop confidence to achieve anything. Creating unforgettable music experiences for students and parents is a highlight of her career. She has arranged joint concerts with Brigham Young University’s Philharmonic Orchestra, jazz musician Sam Payne, and recording artist Aaron Ashton.
Mrs. Nielson has been fortunate to study conducting with Wes Kenney at Colorado State University; viola under John Englund and Julie Edwards, both members of the Utah Symphony. She was a faculty member for the Lyceum Music Festival and has performed under the direction of David Cho, Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony, and in concert with The 5 Browns. She has also taught at the Blue Sky Music Camp with Aaron Ashton.
Some of Mrs. Nielson's favorite things are spending time with her husband and newborn daughter, reading, baking cookies, exploring new places and eating chocolate. Her dream is to visit Ireland and study Celtic fiddling.
Mrs. Neilson attended USU and U of U. She received her Health and Physical Education Composite Bachelors Degree from Utah State University. She taught Teen Living, Health, and PE at Brockbank Jr. High for 11 years. Also during that time she was involved in coaching gymnastics, and assisted with volleyball and track and field. She has been teaching Health and PE at American Prep since 2003. She enjoys teaching water aerobics, riding bikes, and camping. She loves spending quality time with her family.
Mr. West grew up in Hawthorne, Nevada. During high school, he was Student Body President and also played basketball and baseball. He attended Southern Utah University and received his Bachelors degree in Physical Education and Human Performance/Coaching. While at SUU, he worked with the Men's Basketball team for two seasons. Mr. West started working at APA in January 2018 and is the Sophomore basketball head coach. He will also be starting the baseball program at APA this Fall. Mr. West enjoys spending time with his family, camping, fishing, and sports.
Ms. Borne graduated from Utah Valley University Honor’s Program with a BS in Exercise Science and a Minor in Spanish Language. She was offered a scholarship to UVU with the prestigious Ballroom Dance Company’s Tour Team, and with the team won the British World Championships in Blackpool, England. Ms. Borne graduated in Exercise Science while competing across the country and teaching at UVU and APA while working towards her degree. Ms. Borne has been dancing from a young age, and has been teaching dance for six years outside of APA and since 2017 with APA. She is a three-time certified Dance Teacher through the Dance Vision International Dancer’s Association and is currently pursuing her fourth certification. Ms. Borne loves teaching dance because she is able to see her students learn values such as respect, integrity, and determination through a unique activity. In her free time, Ms. Borne teaches and trains in Competitive Ballroom Dance, enjoys exercising, cooking, and traveling both for dance and for fun.
Ms. Price graduated from BYU-Idaho. She did her first show when she was just 4 days old, joining her family on stage at Sundance Summer Theatre. As a young girl she studied with the Children’s Dance Theatre at the University of Utah and performed with OnStage Studios, traveling twice to Japan to perform as guests of the Honda Corporation. In high school she trained with Paul Winkelman as a member of his ballroom medley team for 3 years. She was a featured performer in the Opening/Closing ceremonies during the Salt Lake Olympics, then went on to spend 6 months in Disney World as a character performer and 10 years as a recruiter for the Disney College Program. While attending BYU-Idaho she danced with the touring company Dance Alliance and upon graduation became an Adjunct Faculty member for 7 years where she was co-director and featured choreographer for Dance Alliance. She was Head Coach and Artistic Director for Idaho Ballroom Academy for 10 years where she taught classes, choreographed routines and designed both the costumes and musical tracks. She has taken ballroom groups to compete in Blackpool England, Vancouver Canada as well as numerous competitions around the United States. Her teams have won many regional, state and national titles. She is certified with DVIDA and still loves to dance and perform though her favorite dance partner is now her darling son.
Ms. Hall's two greatest passions in life are health and relationships. She is thrilled to be teaching a Foods and Nutrition class where she can express her love for healthy food and her love for teenagers! Ms. Hall has been teaching at APA since 2018. She graduated from BYU with a Bachelors in Theater and Film Studies. She worked in the film industry as a casting director and production assistant for a few years until realizing that she wanted to be teacher. She then pursued a second bachelors in Health Education and Nutrition at UVU. Ms. Hall's hobbies include yoga, hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time with her two kids. She is thrilled to also be involved with APA's Hope Squad and and after-school Yoga club.
Ms. Dunn earned her bachelors in environmental geology from Brigham Young University. She leveraged her knowledge and worked with non-profit and government entities to provide disaster education training for students, scientists, and community members throughout Utah and internationally. Rachel is excited to bring her passion for science and education to the students at APA.
Mrs. Dye has been teaching since 2014. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from Eastern Oregon University and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Toxicology from University of Nevada, Reno. She enjoys spending time with her 2 boys and husband, reading, and science, of course! Mrs. Dye is also the advisor for the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society.
Mr. Hollinger teaches Physics and AP Psychology and is the Chair of the Science Department. He started teaching at American Preparatory Academy in 2011. Before coming to APA, Mr. Hollinger retired from the US Navy where he worked as an Independent Duty Corpsman, which is a stand-alone medical provider similar to a Physicians Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. His last tour in the Navy was as the medical provider for SEAL Team 5 where he deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.
He attended University of Maryland University College and Red Rocks Community College as a Psychology Major in addition to many military schools.
Mr. Hollinger is an engaging teacher who actively seeks to make every student reach his or her potential.
Mr. Mair is a graduate of Western Governors University and has been teaching since 2007. His first experience in teaching was in Special Education at a school that served children with autism. He began teaching at American Preparatory Academy in 2016. When he is not teaching you can find Mr. Mair fly-fishing in the many rivers across the Western United States and hiking to many of our beautiful backcountry lakes.
Mr. Wright graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Physics in 2016. After graduating, he spent a year at Oregon State University studying materials science, focusing on the electronic properties of ceramics. He has taught both math and science at the APA Draper 3 campus.
Mrs. Stratton went to Utah Valley University, where she studied Elementary Education. She worked in management for over 10 years. Mrs. Stratton started teaching American Prep English groups in 2015. She was the 7th and 8th grade student council mentor for 2 years, at another campus, before coming to Draper 3 in 2019. She really loves the Character Development Program here at APA. Mrs. Stratton has 2 kids that both attend American Prep. She also loves sports, hiking, camping, and reading.
As an APA school counselor, Mrs. Leonard works with all high school students individually, in group settings, and in the classroom. She collaborates with parents, other counselors, teachers and administration to help students achieve their scholastic best. Her primary focus is academic success and college and career planning. She believes that all students are capable of significant achievement and success in their chosen life path. Mrs. Leonard spent over a decade working with at-risk children in the non-profit sector and was a CFO for a local garden center, where she discovered a passion for gardening. Mrs. Leonard holds a Bachelors Degree in sociology from Brigham Young University and a Masters Degree in School Counseling from Utah State University.
Ms. Samu graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Family Studies, and received a Special Education Certification from Utah State University. She has been working in special education for over 23 years. She has extensive experience in behavior management. Ms. Samu has four adult sons and seven grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, yoga, and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Alofipo moved to Utah from her home state of Florida in 2015. Being offered a scholarship for a fully covered tuition from Utah State University, she graduated in 2017 with her B.S. in Family, Consumer, and Human Development with a minor in Sociology. Having worked within school settings since graduating high school, she decided impacting youth was definitely a career she wanted to continue to pursue. Mrs. Alofipo began working at APA in Special Education in 2018, in which working side by side with amazing staff and students, has learned so much and adores everything APA stands for. Outside of school she loves spending time with her 3 rambunctious kids and super amazing husband, Netflix binge watching, and late-night snack runs.
Mr. Kelley graduated from BYU with a bachelor's degree in special education. He started working in the special education field in 2012, began teaching in 2015, and joined APA in 2018. In his spare time, Mr. Kelley enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, going to movies, and anything to do with sports.
Mrs. Mitchell has worked at American Prep as a speech language pathologist since 2015. She has been working for over 23 years in this profession and loves it. Mrs. Mitchell received her bachelors degree from Washington State University in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 1993 and her masters degree from Utah State University in Communication Disorders in 1997. She enjoys working with all kinds of people and populations and has a private practice in SLC where she is able to practice what she loves.
Mrs. Hammond moved to Utah and started working for American Preparatory Academy in 2016, after living in Denver, Colorado for 26 years. Her pride and joy is her family, which consists of an amazing husband, 7 children (6 sons and 1 daughter), and 20 grandchildren. Reading, walking, and watching sports are things she enjoys doing in her spare time. Mrs. Hammond loves her job and the opportunity it gives her to work with her favorite people - teenagers!
Mrs. Coller graduated from I.T.T. Technical Institute earning an Associates of Science. My favorite class was Calculus 2. She is now attending DeVry University to finish her Bachelor's degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. Mrs. Coller joined the American Prep team in 2017, working at Draper 2 as a first grade Instructor. She was excited to become a substitute teacher for secondary level of education, where she also does Curriculum here at the Draper 3 campus in 2018. She enjoys watching movies, listening to music, going to musicals, playing video games and playing the old fashion pencil and paper dungeons and dragons game with her family and friends.