Kellie Burns is the District Executive Officer at the Yavapai Accommodation School District. Prior to becoming DEO, she was the Dean of Students at YASD from July 2014 to February 2016. She was born and raised in Sturgis, South Dakota and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD in 2000. Shortly after college graduation, she moved with her family to Holbrook, Arizona, where she taught 4th grade for five years. In 2005, she and her family moved to Seligman, Arizona, where she taught a variety of grade levels and subject areas for nine years. She earned her ELL Certification in 2005 and Master’s in Administrative Leadership and Supervision in 2009 from the University of Phoenix. She serves on three professional boards: the Forest Fees Management Association, the Arizona Correctional Educators Board and the Arizona Alternative Education Consortium.. She is a proud wife, mother of three and grandmother of three. She currently resides in Paulden with her family and brood of animals on the family hobby farm.
Allison Fontana came to Arizona by way of Utah then by California. A lover of sun and surf at heart, she finally adapted to life in the mountains where she always wonders if it is about to snow. As a lover of numbers and purchase orders, she honed her business acumen working directly with the Yavapai County Education Service Agency for a decade. Fortunately for the district, we have Allison now in the position of Business Manager. Serving with multiple organizations which begin with the letter “A” – the Arizona School Boards Association and the Arizona Association of School Business officials – she brings her effervescent joy and business skill to those entities. While not saving the school from financial disaster, she occupies herself raising two daughters and has a home in Paulden.
Karen McClellan is the Registrar Specialist at the Yavapai Accommodation School District where she is responsible for state reporting and student information systems district wide. She was born in Crown King, Arizona and has lived in Prescott most of her life. She graduated from Prescott High School and later Southwest Institute of Trichology. She married her high school sweetheart, had three children and eventually moved on to education where she has remained for the last sixteen years. She is a current AASBO member and Arizona Correctional Educators member, earning their prestigious 2017 award of Outstanding Correctional Professional of the Year. She has also served as Vice President of the Arizona Association of Special Education Providers and Arizona Certified Surrogate Parent for disadvantaged students. Karen is adept at communicating with adolescents. She has also served on NCA Steering committees at two different schools. Tim Carter, Yavapai County Superintendent, recently gave her the honorary award “Director of First Impressions” because of her friendly and approachable demeanor.
Cherri Redd is the science teacher at Yavapai Accommodation School District. She has worked here since the fall of 2016, and when asked, she states, “I love it here!”. She graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education and received a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University in 2011. She has taught in Arizona since 2003. She also taught for three years in Hawaii. She feels that commitment at YASD to her students is her highest priority. She, along with the rest of the staff, believe that all students will succeed in their career choices and she aims to help them achieve those goals.
Jose Rosario holds an Advanced Graduate Level Certificate in Special Education (Cross Categorical K-12) from Ottawa University. He has a M.A in Urban Affairs, a B.A. in Sociology/Education and an A.A. in Liberal Arts.
He currently serves as a Special Education Resource Teacher for the Aspire and Yavapai County High Schools. Prior to coming to the District, He was a Special Education Teacher at the Glassford Hill M.S. for approximately 3 years. For the School Year 2018-2019, Jose was nominated for Teacher-of-the Year at the Humboldt Unified School District.
Jose taught at the Pinal County Juvenile Detention Center, where he served in the dual role as Lead Teacher and Special Education Teacher.
Before working in Juvenile Detention, Jose worked in the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office as Special Education Teacher and GED Teacher. While there He taught youth as well as adult inmates. Jose was successful in helping to obtain 53 GEDs within one fiscal year.
Jose living in Florence, Arizona, also worked at the Coolidge Unified School District as a Resource Teacher for their Hohokam Middle School.
Prior to coming to Arizona in 2008, Jose retired from the United States Gov’t Dept. of Interior – National Park Service. During his tenure there he was a – Park Superintendent, Chief Ranger and Director of the Gateway Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in New York City.
Paul Rogers is the social studies teacher at YASD. He was born and raised in Gilbert, Arizona. He has been married for 41 year and has seven children and sixteen grandchildren. Paul owned and operated a truck until he was about 30 years old, and then moved on to work for an asphalt supply company for seven years. At the age of 37, he decided to go back to school and graduated at the age of 40 with a teaching certificate. At the age of 58, he received his Master’s degree in administration. He lived and taught in Alaska for four years, and still has a home there. Before coming to the Yavapai Accommodation School District, he taught for three years on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Fun fact: Paul has driven the Alcan Highway four times.
Evelina Acosta was born in Mexico, but Ash Fork, Arizona raised. An otherwise mild mannered child, escaped all of the pitfalls of growing up in a small town. With the ever present spectra of succumbing to peer pressure or playing sports, she hit the field – conquering team sports such as volleyball and softball. To prepare for her role teaching, she also mastered powerlifting.
You’d like to think those active days of youth are behind her, but she has trained horses, had two children, and earned an associates degree in criminal justice. Evelina decided go into teaching, another relatively difficult sport. She finished her degree at GCU, certifying in elementary education and special education. A former power lifter, accelerated by the weight of her studies, she emerged as a super teacher – simply known as Acosta.
Ms. Acosta worked at Tolleson Elementary for two years before her transition to YASD. There she honed her Spanish speaking skills to accelerate student learning in English and she developed her calm superhero demeanor that our students have come to know as the ‘Mama Acosta”. She knows her way around paper work and moves mounds of it in a single bound – rightly so after being the executive assistant at Ash Fork schools for about 4745 days. Being an educational power lifting superhero, she moves students towards academic goals with a single bound. Walking into a classroom, she instantly calms the masses with her teacher stare.
Able to fix things around her house just by staring at them, she spends her non teaching time being mild mannered Evelina just hanging out with family in the country listening to the silence in her superhero crystal palace (which has crickets, bugs, snakes, rodents, and dirt) – There she says, “. .. Is where I work my magic. . .”
Jessica Marks earned a B.A. in Journalism from California State University Northridge and worked as an award-winning professional newspaper reporter in California before she went back to school to become a teacher. After getting an M.A. in English Education from Northern Arizona University, she taught English and Language Arts all over the Prescott Valley area, teaching in charter schools and public schools, middle schools and high schools. She’s worked in co-taught classrooms, honors and AP classrooms, and everything in between. She’s coached archery, run the yearbook, organized out-of-state and international field trips, all while making sure that students are learning and having fun. She was titled 2017’s Yavapai County Overall Teacher of the Year when she worked at Glassford Hill Middle School where she designed a community service organization, started a peer-tutoring program, ran the student newspaper, and headed the honor society in addition to having her students achieve the top AZ Merit test scores in the school.
Jessica loves kayaking, yoga, eating at In-N-Out Burger, writing (she’s hoping to publish a book soon!), and taking naps in hammocks – especially by the beach.
Cheryl Taylor was born and raised in northern Michigan, and received a degree in agricultural communications from Michigan State University. She moved to Arizona to work for Leach Publications as an editor and layout artist. Later she moved to the Prescott area when she was hired by Livestock Communications, a livestock advertising and publishing agency. In 1998 she earned a teaching certificate in special education through Northern Arizona University, eventually earning a masters from that school. She taught at Glassford Hill Middle School in Prescott Valley from 1998 to 2013, and then at Mayer High School from 2013 to 2015, specializing in working with children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. For the past two years she has worked as an instructional aide with the Yavapai Accommodation School District, while also working on her own business in publishing, photography and writing.
Born and raised in Arizona, Chad Grendell started his career early as a young diamond buyer for one of the world’s largest retail jewelers, earning certificates diamontology and gemology through the Gemological Institute of America. He then moved to Austin, TX to further his career. With years in the field under his belt, he felt it was time for a change. On a whim, he moved to Southern California and began his new venture as a sales and finance manager with Harley-Davidson, a life long passion. Years of riding and racing motorcycles and dirtbikes had taken a toll on his body so he decided he was ready to move back to the state he had called home for so many years and take a break. Shortly after moving back to AZ he met his wife and they moved to their small ranch in Williamson Valley where they have way too many large dogs and enjoy their Clydesdale horses. Together, they have owned a handful of small businesses around the Prescott area and continue to support their children in their own business ventures.
Chad enjoys spending time with his 3 grandchildren which makes him sound and feel older than he really is. He can be found most weekends at various hockey arenas around the US and Arizona taking in the game he enjoys so much.
Almost three years ago, he was asked by his friend to consider a job with YASD. She knew he would be a perfect person to help start a new transition program working with Yavapai County youth on probation developed to help them not only get caught up with their high school credits, but to also provide mentorship and understanding along the way. His dedication to his job and students has been a tremendous asset and invaluable gift to the youth in our community.