People

Faculty

Click the "Smore Weekly Classroom Update" link below to see each teacher's classroom updates including what students are learning each week, ways to volunteer, and wishlist donations. The webpage will be updated for the 2024-2025 school year starting Monday, August 19th.

Kindergarten

Brenna Whitaker

Brenna Whitaker

Teacher

Kaysie Polad

Kaysie Polad

Teacher

I am excited for another school year at WPA! Last year, I had the pleasure of being a teacher intern at Wasatch Peak, and now I'm overjoyed to teach kindergarten. I earned my Bachelor's degree in elementary education from SUU, along with a minor in special education. I believe that every student deserves a nurturing, engaging, and positive learning environment that fosters both academic and personal growth. In my free time, I enjoy reading, crocheting, or hanging out with my two corgis. I'm excited to continue learning alongside my awesome students!  

Elli Beal

Elli Beal

Teacher

Hello parents and new kindergarteners! I am Mrs. Elli, and I am so excited to meet you. I am originally from Uruguay but have lived in the US for over 20 years. In my free time, I enjoy dancing, hiking, exploring nature, and reading a good book by the fire. My passion for education dates back to 1998 when I began my journey as a teacher's assistant in South America and later transitioned to a teaching role. Over the years, I've had the privilege of teaching both adults and children of all ages, including preschool and elementary-age students as a Spanish teacher. Currently, I also teach a college class at a local university. I strongly believe in the fundamental right of every child to receive a quality education, and I'm thrilled to be a part of the inspiring educational community at Wasatch Peak Academy.

1st Grade

Abby Hansen

Teacher

Abby has been teaching first grade at WPA since 2018. It is the best school to teach at! The families and students are so welcoming and kind to each other. Her goal is to make her classroom a place where students feel comfortable and enjoy learning. She received her bachelor's degree at the University of Utah and master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governor's University. When Abby isn't at school, she loves to read and spend time with friends and family. Abby loves Disney and Disneyland is her favorite place to vacation!

Michelle Kemp

Teacher

Michelle was born and raised in Utah. In 2018 she married her husband, Jesse.  They have a boxer named Bonino that they adore. Together they enjoy spending time with family and friends, trying new food and restaurants, and watching movies together. Michelle enjoys reading, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, hiking, swimming, playing with puppies, and trying new things!   Michelle loves teaching at Wasatch Peak Academy because of the WPA community! The parents, students, staff, and faculty are so great, kind, and supportive of one another. Everyone works so well together to make sure the students’ education is the best that it can be. There is no other place she would rather teach, she loves WPA.

Missy Davis

Missy Davis

Teacher

Missy began her journey here at Wasatch Peak as a TA in the Kindergarten classroom 7 years ago. 3 years ago she jumped into the school to teach our afternoon Kindergarten class and has since moved to First Grade. In 2022-2023, She co-taught first grade focusing on literacy, and taught all subjects for our first-grade students last year. Missy loves working with first-grade students and helping them to become good readers and develop good habits for many school years to come. She loves the community at Wasatch Peak and has also had her children attend. She has 3 kids, Jackson 17, Ayden 14, Macie 12, and her supportive husband Ryan. When Missy isn't in the classroom she loves spending time with her family and being outdoors hiking or playing different sports.

2nd Grade

Rylee John

Rylee John

Teacher

Rylee John is an enthusiastic and supportive teacher! Rylee was born and raised in North Ogden, Utah. She grew up loving all sports and has always loved to be around her family and friends. When she’s not prepping for her second-grade class, Rylee is either relaxing on the couch while watching a movie or exploring new areas in the world we live in today. The 2024-2025 school year will be her fourth full year teaching, and she loves being apart of Wasatch Peak Academy! She began her journey in 2017 at Westminster College. Rylee had the opportunity to teach full-time while also completing her student teaching in January 2021. She then graduated in May 2021 with her Elementary Education Major with two Special Education minors. Go Griffins!

Melinda Abel

Melinda Abel

Teacher

Melinda Abel first fell in love with Wasatch Peak Academy while volunteering in her own children’s classrooms.  She  worked as a TA for 6 years, and then finally made the decision to jump into teaching in 2022. She loves helping her students feel excited about learning and she loves to watch them grow! She loves all of her students with all her heart and she puts her soul into teaching. She creates a classroom enviromment where she hopes that all students feel happy and safe at school. When she’s not at school, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 teenage daughters. She loves to build puzzles, play games, ride her bike,  and is a huge Disney fan.  

Macey Roberts

Macey Roberts

Teacher

I fell in love with teaching when I first came to WPA as an intern and was a long-term sub for third grade. Second grade is where my love for teaching blossomed. I want all of my students to feel loved and appreciated, and help them reach their full potential. I am from Chattanooga, TN and came to Utah in 2016 to attend the University of Utah and competed on the Gymnastics team. I love hiking, snowboarding, and spending time with my family and pups.

3rd Grade

Angie Thor

Teacher

Angie Thor (formerly Rohr) started teaching a WPA in 2017 and has loved everything about it! She has endorsements in mathematics, English as a second language, special education, and gifted and talented. She earned her undergraduate degree in mild/moderate special education at the University of Utah and her Master's Degree in Elementary Education at Utah State University. She has experience in teaching K-9th grade students of all abilities. She enjoys art, music, and nature. She loves animals and fosters cats and kittens through CAWS.

Mike Man

Mike Man

Teacher

Mr. Mann has been with WPA for over a decade, working beside wonderful staff and faculty to provide education and services to our diverse population of learners. Mr. Mann intends to bring education to life through culture, art, and holistic exploration of curriculum which can establish and continue academic interest in the world around us. This year will be Mr. Mann's second year teaching 3rd grade and he is very excited to help our students grow into 4th graders.

Emily Pope

Emily Pope

Teacher

Emily Pope first fell in love with Wasatch Peak Academy while volunteering in her own children’s classrooms many years ago. Since then, she has worked as a TA and then finally jumped into teaching in 2021. She loves helping her students feel excited about learning and hopes that they all feel happy and safe at school. When she’s not at school, she loves spending time with her family hiking, reading, scuba diving and traveling to new places.

Ashley Udink

Ashley Udink

Teacher

Ashley Udink started at Wasatch Peak Academy as a TA in 2023 and quickly fell in love with working there. She has had the pleasure to work with students from every grade level as a substitute and TA. She strives to create a safe and comfortable classroom so that every student can excel. Ms. Udink has a specialty in Art and has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Weber State University. In her free time, she enjoys nature, reading, drawing, and dancing.

4th Grade

Heather Chance

Heather Chance

Teacher

Heather chance is determined and excited about teaching. She wants all her students to feel loved, cared for, respected and safe at school. She taught 2nd grade for 4 years at WPA and is excited to being teaching 4th grade again . She wanted to be a teacher since she was 5 years old. She made a classroom in her parents’ basement with her brother. She never let go of her dream of teaching and knew that it would come true. She worked on her degree while being a stay-at-home mom. She loves working with children and watching them grow as individuals. Mrs. Chance and her husband live in Centerville with their four children. They love being with family and baking delicious food.

Emily Bodecker

Emily Bodecker

Teacher

Emily Bodecker is excited to teach 4th grade at Wasatch Peak Academy. She aims to ensure all students feel loved, accepted, safe, and appropriately challenged at school. She is from upstate New York and graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2020 with her bachelor's in Childhood Education and Special Education. She moved to Utah shortly after graduating and began her teaching career.

Kylee Hansen

Kylee Hansen

Teacher

I look forward to teaching the people of the future.  I am excited to help my students feel loved and welcome in my classroom.  I am excited to provide the best education for each and every one of my students.  

5th Grade

Marilyn Smith

Teacher

Hello, Wasatch Peak families! My name is Marilyn Smith, and I have been a part of the WPA community for 16 years. I look forward to teaching 5th grade again where I can share my love of literature, math, science, and U.S. history with eager young minds. When not at school, I enjoy hiking, cycling, paddleboarding, traveling, cooking, reading, doing puzzles of all kinds, listening to 80s New Wave music, and binge-watching my favorite shows.

Keylly Munoz

Keylly Munoz

Teacher

Ms. Munoz was a WPA student from 2008-2014. She is now back as a teacher and is dedicated to ensuring every student feels valued and supported in their educational journey. Ms. Munoz discovered her passion for teaching as a first-grade student at WPA and continues to grow her passion by teaching fifth grade! When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and doing creative projects.

Emily Schacht

Emily Schacht

Teacher

Mrs. Schacht is a seasoned fifth-grade teacher at our school, bringing three years of invaluable experience to our classrooms. Armed with a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instructional Design, Emily is dedicated to creating engaging and effective learning experiences for her students. Her passion for education extends beyond traditional teaching methods as she continually explores innovative approaches to enhance student learning. Mrs. Schacht fosters a supportive and inclusive environment where students feel empowered to reach their full potential. We are privileged to have Mrs. Schacht as an integral part of our educational team, where her expertise and enthusiasm make a significant impact on the academic journey of our students.  

Hailey Mowen

Hailey Mowen

Teacher

"Raised in Provo, Utah, Ms. Mowen has been with the educational community for many years, from teaching English in Japan to working with multi-grade classrooms with her Montessori background. She is highly service-oriented thanks to her experience at the Utah Food Bank and strives to pass on that love of service to her students. Ms. Mowen is also passionate in learning new information about the wonderful world around us and can't wait to share every fact, tidbit, and resource with her new fifth-grade class. Some of her hobbies include exploring new nature trails, traveling, writing short stories, and playing both board and video games."  

6th Grade

Mariah Rojas

Mariah Rojas

Teacher

Mariah Rojas began her teaching when her youngest child started kindergarten. She says she followed him to school and has never left because she loves education so much! She began as a teacher's aide but moved into full -time teaching. Mrs. Rojas has taught all upper elementary grades, (4th-6th) and has been a literacy and math specialist to lower grades. She has a deep love for education and believes each student can find their individual success given the right tools. Prior to teaching at WPA, she worked at a private school in Salt Lake City. Her hobbies including hiking, being outdoors in the sun, and supporting others in their activities. Her favorite hobbies are her husband, David and her 3 children, Lilliah, Brooklyn, and Gabriel. She LOVES being Grammy to her grandbaby, Leo.

Emily Willmore

Teacher

Mrs. Wilmore is passionate about literature and literacy. Her academic journey began at Utah State University, where she pursued a major in English alongside a minor in Music. Following her undergraduate studies, she ventured to Beijing, China, teaching English in a language immersion school for approximately two years.  She received her Master of Educational Psychology from the University of Utah and is excited to share a love of learning with her students each year.

Vanessa Almanza

Vanessa Almanza

Teacher

Vanessa Almanza hails from the Pacific Northwest and has called Utah home for 13 years. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Gonzaga University and received her first taste of teaching while volunteering at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Center in Portland, Oregon. She has taught in several charter schools across Utah, and has run a variety of community programs while working for the Department of Youth and Family Services in Salt Lake City. Outside the classroom, Vanessa enjoys climbing, exploring on her skis and bike, diving into various projects around the house, and spending quality time with her husband, Eric, and their dog, Mesa. She is thrilled to join the team at Wasatch Peak Academy.

Spanish Teachers

Hillary McChesney

Hillary McChesney

Spanish Teacher

Isabel Mendoza

Isabel Mendoza

Spanish Teacher

Kyle Kitchen

Kyle Kitchen

Spanish Teacher

Teacher Interns

Physical Education

Randi Enriquez

P.E. Teacher

My absolute favorite sport is Soccer.  I love to play soccer even though I am not able to right now and I am not sure I will be able to any more with a bad knee.  I do love to watch soccer and will watch all the tournaments I can. My second absolute favorite sport is pickleball. I cannot get enough of this amazing sport! I would play every day if I could. I also love to run/walk, read, do puzzles, and hang out with my family. I collect magnets from the various places I visit. What I love about teaching at WPA is the students and everyone who works here.  Being here is like being part of a huge family. We laugh. We have fun. Sometimes we struggle. Some days are harder than others, but when it comes down to it, we all work so hard for each other. To make each other better. Students, teachers, and Staff. It truly is an amazing place to be a part of!!    

Music

Julie Stoddard

Music Teacher

Music at Wasatch Peak Academy is an important part of each student's elementary experience. Students will learn basic instrumentation, notation and will develop choral skills through memorable songs and movement activities. Ms. Stoddard helps students develop a of love for music. That appreciation translates into academic success and better social skills.  

Library

Brooklyn Rojas

Brooklyn Rojas

Librarian

Specialists

Leslie Thompson

Leslie Thompson

Reading Specialist

I have been blessed to be a teacher for over 30 years.  I graduated from the University of Utah and spent many years in public education.  Receiving my Reading Endorsement has made it possible for me to fulfill the responsibilities as a reading specialist here at Wasatch Peak for the past 7 years. Throughout my career I have learned that knowledge is a gift.  I am constantly striving to empower students with this gift.  When I am not teaching I enjoy cycling, hiking and collecting cool rocks.  My husband and I have raised our three daughters here in this beautiful state of Utah.  I hope I can share more knowledge with students and parents in the upcoming school year at WPA.  Don't forget to enjoy a book with your child.  It will EMPOWER them!

Jordan Sim

Reading Specialist

I'm a Utah local who studied history and foreign policy at the University of Utah, then took a turn from the Marines and research to teaching. Now at Wasatch Peak Academy, I'm excited to help kids love reading for life as the literacy specialist.

I decided to join Wasatch Peak Academy  after enjoying the work I had done volunteer teaching English to refugees from multiple countries. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, cooking, learning woodworking, and sailing. I am excited to be the literacy specialist and work with new personalities, watching them complete challenges, and excel in their reading skills. My ultimate goal is to set them up with reading habits that will last a lifetime. 

Alden Thorpe

Math Specialist

Mr. Thorpe has a passion for learning and taking on challenges! As an educator, he believes that we grow best by getting our hands dirty (literally or metaphorically) by using what we learn in real ways.  He took a bit of a winding path to get to WPA, starting out studying astrophysics, then pursuing a career in martial arts before deciding that he wanted a real challenge - early childhood education. After graduating from the University of Utah, he taught in grades 1-3 at a Montessori charter school (where students called him Mr. Alden, so he may get confused sometimes). He then stepped into the roles of gifted and talented director and computer science specialist before coming to WPA as the math specialist.  He runs a variety of activities throughout the year including Math Olympiad, riddles, Rubik's cube and coding competitions.  



Teacher Mentor

Cami Hamblin

Teacher Mentor

In 2017, I transitioned from being a classroom teacher to mentoring WPA's new teachers.  I love supporting new teachers in the work that they do.  When I'm not at school, I enjoy playing the piano, hand lettering, cooking, and playing pickleball.  My favorite people are my husband, Kevin, and our three kids - and WPA's students and staff, of course!