¬†Principal’s Note: Chad Kobold

I am honored to serve as the principal of Leading Edge Academy at East Mesa. On behalf of the staff, I would like to extend an invitation to you to join our “family.” Every day we strive to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment in which our students know that we care about them as individuals and that we have high expectations for each of them.

We believe that by working together, our youth will find elementary school to be an enjoyable, meaningful, and rich experience that will provide them with a strong foundation to fulfill their dreams.

The Leading Edge Academy staff is here to make the school years of your student(s) as successful and educationally challenging as possible. We embrace the opportunity to make a lasting impact on their lives and look forward to celebrating their successes!

If you have questions or concerns about school-related matters, we want you to feel comfortable seeking the help of any of our trained professionals who will work hard to help you resolve such issues.

Chad Kobold

Teacher & Staff Bios

EM Office

East Mesa Office Staff

Administrative Assistant II

Karla Boyd

Administrative Assistant II


Laura DauWalter



Connie Geesey



East Mesa

East Mesa Teaching Staff

Mrs. Tricia Nichols grew up and lived in the state of Michigan until moving to the sunny state of Arizona! She enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her husband, two daughters, and 2 labradoodles! She has a BA in Elementary Education with a major in English and also received an Early Childhood endorsement from Western Michigan University. Tricia has over 20 years of experience working with children and she feels it is her gift and passion in life. She feels happy to be part of Leading Edge Academy teaching Kindergarten!

Tricia Nichols

Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Maria Mendoza grew up in Southwest Florida but moved to Arizona with her family right before the start of college. Ms. Phillips graduated with a B.A degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, both from Arizona State University. She started teaching first grade at Leading Edge Academy East Mesa in 2009. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her lab/husky mix named Hurley. She also enjoys hiking, reading, going to the gym, cooking, and spending time with her friends and family.

Maria Mendoza

1st Grade Teacher

Miss Stephanie White grew up in Seattle, WA before moving to sunny Arizona. She attended graduate school at the University of Portland, where she received a Master of Arts degree in Teaching. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech & Hearing Science. Outside of school, Miss White enjoys nutrition, exercising, DIY crafts, being outside, and spending time with her parents and 4 younger siblings. Her favorite things about Leading Edge are the strong community, commitment to character, and parent involvement.

Stephanie White

Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Mariah Cuyler became a teacher in 2012 after graduating from NAU with a Bachelors in elementary education in 2011. She worked as a teacher assistant with pre-schoolers for 2 years, and soon after became a first grade teacher for 3 years. She is now working as the second grade teacher at Leading Edge Academy East Mesa campus. Outside of school she loves to bake desserts, make crafts, read, and spend time with her family.

Mariah Cuyler

2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Beth Carder has taught third grade for the past eight years and enjoys working with her students. She is a graduate of Ottawa University, and plans to pursue her Master's Degree in the future. She has two children. Her son is a Marine and is currently serving in the U.S., and her daughter currently attends High School at the Leading Edge Campus. She enjoys spending time with her family and reading.

Beth Carder

3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Jennifer Lindstrom graduated in 2011 from University of Phoenix with her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. While attending University of Phoenix, Mrs. Lindstrom worked as a paraprofessional in special education and in the school library, where she taught kindergarten through 5th grade. After graduating, she began teaching 1st grade. She taught 1st grade for two years and then moved up to 4th grade at Leading Edge Academy. She moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona in 2001 and lives in Mesa with her husband and two children. In her spare time she enjoys baking, swimming, and Zumba.

Jennifer Lindstrom

4th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Jessica Skinner loves teaching! She taught 1st grade for her first three years, moved up to 4th grade for three years, taught 6th grade for a year, and now is happy to be at Leading Edge Academy teaching 5th grade! She graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Mrs. Skinner has two amazing daughters, a fabulous husband, and two spoiled rotten dogs. She enjoys running and spending time with her family when not at school.

Jessica Skinner

5th Grade Teacher

6th Grade Teacher

Mindy Nelson

6th Grade Teacher

Ms. Janell Krug graduated from Daemen College in Buffalo, NY with Bachelors of Fine Arts in Drawing and Illustration. Janell has taught Elementary Art at Leading Edge Academy since 2012 and currently teaches on our East Mesa and Mountain View campuses. She has also taught PE, Music and lead Art and Photography Club. Janell has 2 daughters and enjoys thrift shopping, antiquing and traveling with her family!

Janell Krug

Art Teacher

PE Teacher

Dennis Warner

PE Teacher