About Sands...
Position: Dean of Students
Room: Front Office
Phone: (480) 224-3210
Email: Sands

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Welcome!

Welcome, Ryan Royals! I am so excited to be your Dean of Students this year. I look forward to meeting your family.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Karri Sands
About Heistuman...
Position: Media Specialist
Room: Library
Phone: 480-224-3201
Email: Heistuman

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Royal Library! My name is Laura Heistuman and I am excited to be your media specialist. I live in Gilbert with my husband, David, our two daughters, 4 cats, 1 dog, and 2 snakes.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Laura Heistuman
About Honne...
Position: Dean of Students
Room: Front Office
Phone: 480-224-3210
Email: Honne

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Welcome!

Welcome to Ryan! I am excited to be working with our students and community. I live here in Chandler and my son is a past CUSD student. Part of my mission here at Ryan is to work in partnership with you to provide your child with the best possible educational opportunities that will lead to their ability to excel in a global community. I celebrate the fact that no one knows your child better than you do and believe that timely and effective communication is essential to our success.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Ines Honne
About Durham...
Position: Principal
Room: Office
Phone: 480-224-3208
Email: Durham

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Welcome!

Welcome to Ryan Elementary! At Ryan, we pride ourselves in creating an environment where ALL of our students feel loved, challenged, and successful!

My Education and Professional Background

I actually began my study in the field of sports medicine before I changed to an education major. I had a strong passion to work with students and make a difference in their lives which lead me to my Bachelor's degree in Education from Arizona State University. I then went on to pursue my Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, knowing that one day I would love to lead a school community. Before this principalship, I taught at the elementary and middle school level for 8 years before becoming a Dean of Students and then an Assistant Principal in the Chandler Unified School District.

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Justin Durham
About Van Genderen...
Position: Kindergarten Teacher
Room: K3
Phone: (480) 224-3227
Email: Van Genderen

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Welcome!

Hello and welcome to Kindergarten! I am so excited to start this year with you. It is going to be an amazing year of learning!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Hannah Van Genderen
About Kaesler...
Position: Speech-Language Pathologist
Room: C18
Phone: 480-224-3248
Email: Kaesler

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Welcome!

My name is Sarah Kaesler and I am excited to be the Speech-Language Pathologist here at Ryan. I was raised in the midwest in Bismarck, IL where I attended high school. After high school, I attended the UofA where I received my B.S. degree in Speech in 2002. I graduated with my master's degree from NAU in 2007. I have been working in the field ever since, and I truly love the school setting.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Sarah Kaesler
About Dawe...
Position: 6th Grade Teacher
Room: D28
Phone: 480-224-3258
Email: Dawe

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Welcome!

Hello, I’m Melanie Dawe and I’m excited to teach 6th grade this year.

My Education and Professional Background

I’m an Arizona girl who grew up in Mesa and attended Westwood High School. I graduated from BYU with my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and started my career in a neighboring school district where I taught for 5 years. I received my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from NAU. I took a long sabbatical to raise my 3 children and decided I really missed teaching. So, I got my feet wet by substituting here at Ryan, taking on a few long-term substitute positions. I have also been a parent here at Ryan where two of my own kids have been Ryan Royals. I have been married 24 wonderful years to my husband Kevin and we are almost empty nesters. I have 3 amazing adult children ages 22, 20 and 18. I enjoy traveling with my family, reading, and taking long romantic drives to Sodalicious. This year will be my 7th year teaching and my 2nd year as a 6th grade teacher at Ryan Elementary.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe my role as an educator is to nurture and encourage my students to be lifelong learners. Through hands-on activities, class discussion, and cooperative learning, I believe that fostering critical thinking skills is at the heart of the classroom. I am committed to giving students the tools necessary to see their self-worth, leadership skills, and to feel capable and successful in their learning. My goal is to create a safe and stimulating environment that caters to the student’s individual needs, and to cultivate a classroom where students can flourish and explore to reach their full potential.
 

 | Email Melanie Dawe
About Mool...
Position: K-6 General Music
Room: Music B
Phone: (480) 224-3213
Email: Mool

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Welcome!

Welcome to General Music at Ryan Elementary School! My name is Samantha Mool and I am looking forward to exploring music with your child. This year we will learn about composers, genres of music, composing, a variety of instruments, and much more. I look forward to a great year!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Samantha Mool
About Maurer...
Position: Kindergarten Teacher
Room: K2
Phone: (480)224-3226
Email: Maurer

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Welcome!

Welcome! I am excited and absolutely thrilled to be part of the important stepping stones for the rest of your child's educational journey! There is so much learning and growth to be done and relationships to build during this key developmental year and I am looking forward to tackling Kindergarten together!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Sarah Maurer
About Lober...
Position: 1st Grade
Room: B4
Phone: 480-224-3234
Email: Lober

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Welcome!

Welcome to First Grade! I am so excited to be teaching at Ryan this year. I have such a passion for kids and I cannot wait to help them learn and grow this year! Go Ryan ROYALS!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

My educational philosophy is to create a safe place for all of my students to learn in their own unique way. I believe that all students can learn and should have the opportunity to grow while figuring out what works best. Only positive learning experiences will come out of my classroom no matter if the learning came from a success or a mistake. Learning is done through all things in life and I firmly believe that to be true inside the classroom as well. The environment for my students will be open and welcoming for all. Now let's work together to make this a fantastic year in first grade!!
 

 | Email Annie Lober
About Kennedy...
Position: Orchestra 5th-6th
Room: Orchestra
Phone: (480)224-3271
Email: Kennedy

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Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my 5th and 6th grade Orchestra page. I am happy that I have the opportunity of working with your child this year. I began playing the violin when I was in elementary school and it has been such a positive influence in my life - It is my hope that music will be the same wonderful experience for my students as well. Since high school, I have played semi-professionally in various styles of music including symphony orchestra, mariachi, and experimental rock settings.

My Education and Professional Background

2019-2020 marked my first year in the CUSD Instrumental Music department. Previous to that year, my experiences include teaching 6th grade CATS (CUSD's gifted program) from 2006 through 2019 at both Santan and Hull Elementary schools. During that time, I have played with both the Chandler and Gilbert symphonies and maintained a private violin and piano at-home studio. Before moving to Arizona in 2005, I also taught in the states of New Mexico and Texas where I received my BS degree in Multidisciplinary Studies in 1996 along with a minor in Music Education. I consider myself fortunate to be able to work in both fields of study!

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Monica Kennedy

Stuart Telford

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About Murphy...
Position: General Music
Room:
Phone:
Email: Murphy

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Welcome!



My Education and Professional Background

I am a native New Yorker and have my Bachelor's in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY and my Master's in Music Education from Long Island University. I began teaching in 1994 in New York and moved to Arizona in 2001. I have also been a clinician for both Arizona Music Educator's Association as well New York State School Music Association. I have also worked as an arts grant writer for various performing art groups and am the former Executive Director for both the Sonoran Desert Chorale and the Chaparral MusicFest.

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Linda Murphy
About Angell...
Position: Physical Education teacher
Room: MPR Ryan Elementary
Phone: 480-224-3215
Email: Angell

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Welcome!

Welcome to Ryan physical education! I look forward to working with your children and helping to contribute to their overall development.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email David Angell
About Tawney...
Position: Sixth Grade
Room: 29
Phone: (480) 224-3200
Email: Tawney

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Welcome!

Welcome to sixth grade at Ryan Elementary!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

Sixth grade is an opportunity for students to grow and fine tune their academic skills. They are eager and willing to learn and this is a constant expectation in our classroom. Students will be asked to be respectful, kind, and to work hard.I believe all children learn best in a structured, nurturing, and comfortable environment. My goal is to help build this type of classroom through regular routine, explicit instruction, and opportunities to support one another both academically and socially. Although my expectations for quality of work and learning outcomes remain high, we will maintain a sense of humor and create a fun learning environment for everyone.
 

 | Email Heather Tawney
About Testa...
Position: First Grade
Room: 9
Phone: (480)224-3239
Email: Testa

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Welcome!

Welcome Ryan Royals! My husband and I live in Chandler with our beloved beagle, Lola. Our youngest son, Jared, will be graduating from Arizona State University in December. Our oldest son, Zachery, is an Arizona State University alumni and is currently traveling the world as a photographer. I love to go hiking, mountain biking, basically anything that gets me outdoors to enjoy the wonderful Arizona weather.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

My goal as a teacher is to inspire and educate each child to be enthusiastic about learning. My love of children and learning has brought me to this point in my life. I love watching each and every child develop a love for reading. Within our classroom, I will foster a loving learning environment where we will build our own little community based off of respect, kindness, and integrity. I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year with all of you. Welcome to the Fabulous First Grade at Ryan Elementary!
 

 | Email Amber Testa
About Witte...
Position: Fifth Grade
Room: 39
Phone: (480) 224-3269
Email: Witte

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Welcome!

Welcome to 5th grade where we challenge ourselves, foster community, and find exciting ways to learn and grow together every day!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Nicole Witte
About Saks...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: 1
Phone: 480-224-3231
Email: Saks

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Welcome!

Hi! I am so happy to be at Ryan teaching 2nd grade! I am the proud mom of 2 amazing kids, Aaron and Ana. Ana and I get to come to school together every day because she is also a Ryan Royal. Aaron is a Basha Bear.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Kim Saks

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About Barron...
Position: Fourth
Room: D24
Phone: (480)224-3254
Email: Barron

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Welcome!

Hi! Welcome to Ryan and 4th grade! My name is Erika Barron and I am so excited to begin another year at Ryan with you! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and have been in Arizona since 2005. I live with my husband, three daughters, and Hendrix. Hendrix is our chocolate lab. It will be a great year!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Erika Barron
About Reynolds...
Position: Fourth Grade
Room: D27
Phone: (480) 224-3257
Email: Reynolds

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Welcome!

Hello! I'm very excited to be your child's teacher this year. I am originally from New York, but have been living in Arizona with my husband for over 20 years. We have two wonderful children, Samantha and Jason, both college graduates. My teaching career began over 25 years ago, teaching grades K-6, but mostly third grade. I'm looking forward to being your guide in fourth grade as we encounter many fantastic adventures.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Lisa Reynolds
About Weber...
Position: Fourth Grade
Room: D26
Phone: 480-224-3256
Email: Weber

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Welcome!

Welcome to 4th Grade! I’m excited to work with you and your child. We'll have a HOOT! We will have lots of fun collaborating with friends, engaging in many projects, and learning about ourselves. Most importantly, we will have wonderful memories.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Frances Weber
About Durel...
Position: 1st Grade
Room: B4
Phone: 480-224-3234
Email: Durel

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Welcome!

Hello! My name is Sarah Durel. This is my 15th year at Ryan. I am looking forward to another amazing year!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

My goal is to provide a safe, creative, and fun learning environment for my students. I believe that accomplishing this promotes self-motivation to becoming lifelong learners. I incorporate each student's strengths to create a sense of cooperation while learning as a classroom and within smaller groups. I look forward to creating a supportive community atmosphere here at Ryan Elementary by working and growing with each student and their families. My primary objective as an educator is to provide each one of my students with every tool required to build a foundation allowing them to accomplish the most during this school year, and every school year to follow.
 

 | Email Sarah Durel
About Cunningham...
Position: 3rd/4th CATS
Room: C16
Phone: (480) 224-3246
Email: Cunningham

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Welcome!

Welcome to 3rd/4th Grade CATS! I am excited to be your child's teacher this year, and look forward to having another fantastic year here at Ryan Elementary!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Gillian Cunningham
About Palafox...
Position: 6th
Room: 31
Phone: 480-224-3261
Email: Palafox

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Welcome!

Welcome to sixth grade! This year will be filled with many new and challenging experiences. I look forward to teaching sixth grade and watching my students learn and grow.

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Arizona State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management and a Minor in Spanish. In 2002, I earned my Masters of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. I started my teaching career in Glendale Unified School District where I taught fourth grade. I also worked for Mesa Unified School District for seven years teaching third and fifth grades. For the last eleven years, I have been teaching for Chandler Unified District where I have taught third and sixth grades. This will be my ninth year at Ryan Elementary.

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Karla Palafox
About Sherwood...
Position: 5th Grade (CATS)
Room: E34
Phone: 480-224-3264
Email: Sherwood

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Welcome!

Welcome to 5th Grade CATS. In our class we respect each other, we use our manners, and we treat others how we would want to be treated. Every students has the power within - to act, to think, and to choose. Who will you choose to be?

My Education and Professional Background

I received my Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in December 2004. I worked for two years in the Pendergast School District teaching 6th grade. In May 2007, I graduated from Arizona State University with my Master's in Elementary Education with Technology Concentration. In August 2007, I began teaching at Ryan. After teaching 6th at Ryan for two years, I was given the opportunity to teach 4th grade which I taught for eight years. During the last two years of teaching 4th, I developed an interest in working with gifted students. I started taking classes towards the goal of obtaining my gifted endorsement. In 2017, I began teaching CATS at Ryan. Since then, I have taught both 5th and 6th grade CATS.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that students have the right to be respected and to learn in a safe and fun environment. With that in mind, I plan to provide a structured classroom environment such that they can learn how to become lifelong learners, to learn responsibility for themselves and their actions, and be successful in everything thing they choose to pursue. For this to be successful, I rely on the parents to reinforce the ideas of respect and responsibility. I was an active parent in my son's education (he is not an adult) and I encourage all parents to ask their children about what they learn and do at school. It is never too late to take an interest in your child's education.
 

 | Email Cynthia Sherwood
About Roman...
Position: Third Grade
Room: 12
Phone: 480-224-3242
Email: Roman

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Welcome!

Hello Ryan Families! I am really excited to begin another year at Ryan with you! I am looking forward to a year of fun-filled learning adventures. I really enjoy teaching students and getting to know them. I live with my husband, 2 daughters, a gigantic dog, and an aloof cat. My daughters attend Perry and Santan Jr. High. I enjoy reading, baking, working out, and most of all football. I am a HUGE Cardinals fan!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Katherine Roman
About Giordano...
Position: 1st Grade
Room: B5
Phone: (480)224-3235
Email: Giordano

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Welcome!

Welcome to first grade!! I'm SO excited to be teaching such an amazing group of kids! I have a wonderful husband, Matt, and three terrific kids, Ryan, Aidan and Kaitlyn (all 3 were Ryan Royals too)! I also have two spoiled dogs named Lily and Emme! This is going to be an exciting year in first grade filled with fun, learning, and new adventures! First graders ROCK!!

My Education and Professional Background

I graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education. I also received my Master's Degree from NAU in Elementary Education ~ Go Jacks!! I taught 5 years in special education, third and fourth grade. I then came to teach in the Chandler District (no place I'd rather be!) and became the reading specialist at Hull Elementary. This will be my 15th year as a first grade teacher here at Ryan! It's so wonderful to teach these young readers and watch them bloom into fluent readers right before my eyes!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe in creating a positive learning environment where children are willing to take chances, feel loved, valued and confident in their abilities. My goal is that by the end of the year, every child develops a life long love for reading! I strive to create a positive relationship with each of my students' families as we work together and become a team to ensure success for every child. I understand that each child comes to me with unique learning styles, experiences, and interests and I will work very hard to truly know each child and guide, support, and motivate him or her every single day. I'm looking forward to a great year!
 

 | Email Kelly Giordano

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About Golisch...
Position: 3rd Grade
Room: C10
Phone: (480)224-3240
Email: Golisch

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Welcome!

Welcome families! It's going to be a great school year! I am looking forward to getting to know all of you and starting another spectacular year at Ryan.

My Education and Professional Background

This will be my fifth year at Ryan and my ninth year of teaching in Arizona. Although third grade is my favorite, I have also taught fifth and first grade during by teaching career. I graduated in 2007 with my B.A. in Elementary Education from Eastern Washington University, which is located near my hometown of Spokane, Washington. Last December I graduated from Arizona State University with my master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Literacy Education. That same month our family grew by one with the birth of my daughter. I look forward to a great school year!

My Educational Philosophy

Teaching has always been a passion of mine because I believe that all children have the ability to succeed. I invite discussion and exploration in the classroom through the use of group work and manipulatives. When children are excited and engaged, the learning comes naturally. My role as the teacher is to show students the way and give them the tools necessary to feel successful. By teachers, parents, and the school community working together, it builds an environment where students can thrive.
 

 | Email Jennifer Golisch
About Gridley...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: B7
Phone: (480) 224-3237
Email: Gridley

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Welcome!

Welcome to 2nd Grade! I am so happy to be teaching your children this year! I look forward to an amazing year of growth as well as creating a supportive community within our classroom. We are going to have a FABULOUS year!

My Education and Professional Background

I earned my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in 1993, and my master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University in 2000. This is my 13th year in Chandler; prior to that, I taught in the Creighton Elementary School District for 7 years. I was blessed to teach kindergarten for 9 years at Ryan and I loved getting to know each child and their family! This will be my third year in 2nd grade, and I am looking forward to a new and exciting year with your child! So glad you will be taking this journey with me!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe each and every child brings a set of unique experiences and special qualities to our classroom. Learning is lifelong and includes much more than academics. I want each child in our classroom to be a person of character internalizing and demonstrating the traits of: integrity, courage, compassion, respect, responsibility, fairness, and citizenship. My hope is that my love for teaching will create a passion for learning in my students. I believe that a strong partnership between home and school will produce the most effective impact on our learners. I look forward to getting to know each of my students and their families.
 

 | Email Lisa Gridley
About Herzberg...
Position: 5th Grade
Room: E36
Phone: (480) 224-3266
Email: Herzberg

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Welcome!

Welcome to the 4th grade. I am excited to be your child's teacher this year. I have been working in the district since 2000 and it is a great place. I am originally from Colorado and love all things that I can do outdoors. I am married and we have twins that attend school here at Ryan Elementary. As a family we love to camp, hike, and fish. I am looking forward to a great year.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Katie Herzberg
About Lowden...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: B6
Phone: 480-224-3236
Email: Lowden

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Welcome!

Welcome to our second grade website! This is going to be an exciting year! I am excited to get to know and work with the parents and students in our class.

My Education and Professional Background

I am originally from Wichita, KS. In May of 2005, I obtained my Elementary Education undergrad with a Music Minor from University of Arizona.In December of 2009 I graduated from NAU with my Masters of Education in Elementary Education with a Reading Endorsement. I taught 1st grade for 8 years beginning in 2005, and I've taught 2nd grade since 2013.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe that all children can and want to learn. As a teacher, my main goal is to help your child learn to be an independent, lifelong learner. To reach this goal, I will meet your child from where he/she is at and guide him/her as far as possible, planning very carefully so that your child can feel challenged without unnecessary frustration. Teaching children that their best efforts are essential when completing a task is another goal. I want your child to develop and maintain an I CAN and WILL TRY attitude. I feel this attitude enables success.
 

 | Email Molly Lowden
About Harmon...
Position: 2nd Grade
Room: 2
Phone: 480-224-3232
Email: Harmon

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Welcome!

Welcome to 2nd grade! I am looking forward to an exciting school year filled with lots of learning and new adventures.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Andrea Harmon

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About Ragatz...
Position: 6th CATS
Room: E37
Phone: (480) 224-3267
Email: Ragatz

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Welcome!

Welcome to 6th Grade CATS! I am looking forward to an exciting school year. In my class we work hard but also have a lot of fun! My job is to get you ready for Jr. High and High School, so come in ready to push yourself to new heights. I know you can do it!!

My Education and Professional Background

This is my 20th year teaching in the Gifted program in Chandler USD, where I have taught 3rd through 6th grade, and Ryan is my sixth school. Before moving to Arizona, I taught 4th and 5th grade in Torrance, CA. I have been in education for over thirty years. Besides classroom teaching, I have taught at two universities, supervised student teachers, mentored beginning teachers, given workshops for teachers and parents in neighboring districts and at conferences, and served as a District Gifted Program Coordinator. I have a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction/Gifted Education, (from ASU) and BA and MA in Education, Gifted and ELL Endorsements. I currently work with the Board of Directors for Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented.

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Carolyn Ragatz
About Kantzos...
Position: 2nd/3rd Grade CATS
Room: B3
Phone: 480-224-3233
Email: Kantzos

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Welcome!

I'm very excited to welcome you to one of the most amazing years your child will have in school. Parents are an integral part of the educational process so please join me in encouraging and praising your child to grow and thrive intellectually, socially, and emotionally. I look forward to your visits and support."Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost." ~ Henry James

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

I love teaching, observing children work and inspiring them to go farther than they dreamed. Students' sense of humor and their childlike sagacity enthuse and motivate me. In addition to challenging curriculum, I want to improve children’s self-efficacy and cognizance of the talents they possess. Seven Habits of Happy Kids and Habits of Mind are some of the awesome tools we will use to assist us in building life-long habits and attitudes toward finding solutions that are critical in our ever changing society. As Thoreau believed, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.”
 

 | Email Maria Kantzos
About Hall...
Position: 6th Grade CATS
Room: E32
Phone: (480) 224-3262
Email: Hall

Connect With Us

Welcome!



My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Caroline Hall
About Mercer...
Position: Special Education
Room: D25
Phone: (480)224-3255
Email: Mercer

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Welcome!

Welcome! My goal this year is to provide both students and families with whatever support I can to help every student I work with reach their goals both in and out of school. I hope you are as excited to learn with me as I am to learn with you.

My Education and Professional Background

I am a product of the Chandler School District. I attended Andersen Elementary and Junior High School before graduating from Hamilton High School. I then attend Chandler-Gilbert Community College where I earned an Associate Degree in Elementary Education. I continued my college career at Arizona State University where I graduated with honors with dual Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Cross-Categorical Special Education. For the next year I was a Life Skills Specialist working with teens across the valley on independent living skills. I joined the Chandler family as a teacher in 2011 as the teacher for a self-contained K-3 behavioral needs classroom. After 4 years with those amazing kids I decided to explore other opportunities and became the Resource teacher at Carlson, Payne Junior High, and Ryan Elementary, before joining the Ryan staff full time. I enjoy being a Resource Teacher as well as Department Chair for all Special Education services on campus.

My Educational Philosophy

Every student has the ability to learn but they may not have the tools. It is my job as a Special Education Teacher to find the missing pieces or weaknesses and build my students a tool box of strategies that they can use. These tools will help them overcome those weaknesses and give them access to more than just their classroom work. It will give them access to a world of information and experiences where they can find their passion. My job is not done until my students no longer need my support and are able to fly on their own. I don't put limitations on my student's dreams. Instead I strive to give them the tools to chase those dreams down and make them come true through hard work and perseverance.
 

 | Email Kathryn Mercer
About Wells...
Position: Principal
Room: Office
Phone: (480)224-3200
Email: Wells

Connect With Us

Welcome!



My Education and Professional Background

This is my 36th year in education and my 17th in Chandler. I began working in C.U.S.D. as the principal of Sanborn Elementary in 2002 and had the privilege of opening Ryan Elementary in 2006. I grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York where I attended both high school and junior college. In 1978 I moved to Arizona and completed my B.A. degree in Secondary Education and Spanish at A.S.U. After several years of teaching at the middle school and high school levels, I completed my M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision at A.S.U. I taught Spanish at Coronado High School in Scottsdale for 14 years, and was an administrator in Scottsdale for 5 years.

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Diane Wells
About Sommerfeld...
Position: Special Education
Room:
Phone: (480)224-3238
Email: Sommerfeld

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Welcome!

Welcome!It is a pleasure to welcome my students to Ryan Elementary. I truly enjoy working with my students, and it is my goal to see that all of my students have a successful school year. With my instruction, strong effort from the students, and support from the parents, I am confident that this year will be a very productive one.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Milton Sommerfeld
About Steinbrecher...
Position: General Music and Orchestra
Room: Orchestra Room
Phone: (480)224-3271
Email: Steinbrecher

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Welcome!

I am the new Music/Orchestra Director for Ryan Elementary and CTA Freedom Schools. I am originally from Allentown, PA and taught there for 33 years, and in August of 2012 I moved 2300 miles to Fountain Hills, Arizona, and just recently moved to the Chandler area. I have two wonderful children and two awesome grandchildren whom I love and adore. Music has always played an important role in my life and I want to share that joy with others I come in contact with each and everyday.

My Education and Professional Background

I have a BA and Master's degree in Music Education from the College of New Jersey(which used to be called Trenton State College), and I taught in the Salisbury Township School District in Allentown, PA for 33 years. I taught band, orchestra, music instruction, general music classes, and the high school and middle school jazz band for a number of years. Here in Arizona, I taught orchestra, and music theory at BASIS Scottsdale for two years, and I taught one year in the Roosevelt School District, and presently here in the Chandler School District.

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Theodore Steinbrecher
About Marsh...
Position: Self-Contained
Room: D21
Phone: (480) 224-3251
Email: Marsh

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Welcome!

My name is Erica Marsh. I have been married to my husband, Mike, since 2009, and we have 3 children together. We live in Chandler just a few miles away from Ryan. All of my children go to Ryan (Kindergarten, 2nd, 4th). In my free time, I love going on adventures with my family, growing house plants, thrifting, and watching Netflix. Thank you for trusting me to take care of your child everyday; to teach them, push them to be their best, and comfort them when things get tough.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my undergraduate degree from St. Joseph's University in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education in 2002. With this degree and an emergency certification, I worked for 4 years for the Coolidge School District as a special education teacher. During this time, I went back to school and earned my Master's degree in Cross-categorical special education in 2007. I have been teaching at Ryan Elementary School since 2007, and have been fortunate enough to remain.

My Educational Philosophy

I believe every child deserves a quality education, a school environment they feel safe in, professionals that are invested in their success, guidance to become as independent as possible, and opportunities to contribute to the school community. I believe my students with special needs should be included in activities with their peers in the general curriculum when appropriate. These interactions are valuable for all students and staff members that are involved. This creates a climate of acceptance as well as opportunities to celebrate differences. I value parent input, involvement, and communication during the school year so that all team members can be on the "same page".
 

 | Email Erica Marsh
About Artist...
Position: Band/Grades 5-6
Room: Band Room
Phone: (480) 224-3212
Email: Artist

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Welcome!

Welcome to Band! I teach at Riggs, Ryan, Bologna and Hancock. I am so excited that your child chose to learn an instrument. It can be one of the most rewarding experiences. I hope your child enjoys learning their instrument as much as I enjoy teaching it. I thank you for supporting your child with this endeavor. Please feel free to email me(name/school) with ANY questions or concerns you may have and anything else you feel I should know about your child to make this experience most enjoyable.

My Education and Professional Background

I received my music education degree in 1995 from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. My main instruments are flute and oboe but I learned to play ALL instruments in college, including strings. I have taught many areas and levels of music from grades k-12 such as general music, choir, and concert band as well as marching band and jazz band. I have been teaching with Chandler Unified School District since 2006 and have taught at almost a dozen district schools including Basha High. I attended graduate school at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Beyond the classroom, I'm a private lesson instructor, a freelance musician and a colorguard tech for the WGAZ circuit.

My Educational Philosophy

Music is a universal language, 'the language of emotions'. For children, music has many benefits. It boosts their brain power and improves their memory. Music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas It teaches them confidence, patience, coordination and socialization. Music can be a much needed connection for kids in ways that other things will not allow. It teaches discipline, fosters creativity and is a great form of expression. Music is Math, langUage, hiStory, readIng, sCience! All of which is food for the mind, body, and soul!
 

 | Email Susan Artist
About Taylor...
Position: 3rd Grade
Room: C11
Phone: 480-224-3241
Email: Taylor

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Welcome!

Welcome to 3rd grade! I am so excited to be your teacher this year! I live with my husband, three children, and three pets. Our oldest daughter attends ASU, our son attends Perry High School, and our youngest daughter is a Ryan Royal.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Britta Taylor
About Ryle...
Position: 5th Grade CATS
Room: E32
Phone: (480)224-3262
Email: Ryle

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Welcome!

Welcome to 5th Grade CATS! I am excited to be your child's teacher this year, and look forward to having a fantastic year here at Ryan Elementary.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

I believe that each student is an individual. Every student has different strengths and weaknesses, different interests, and a unique home life. Therefore, I believe that students deserve a more personalized education. To that end, I am dedicated to using small group instruction for differentiation. In addition, I focus on creating a positive environment, using positive reinforcement and positive behavioral support techniques to help each student have successful habits and behaviors. In addition, I believe in creating successful student leaders and a strong community in my classroom. Students have many rotating responsibilities in class & also take responsibility for their own learning by monitoring their successes and making plans for the next steps in their learning.
 

 | Email Tanya Ryle
About Heredia...
Position: Technology
Room: Computer Lab
Phone: 480-224-3205
Email: Heredia

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Welcome!

Welcome! I am so very excited to be teaching technology here at Ryan! We are going to have a GREAT year!

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Monikkah Heredia

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About Malekooti...
Position: Kindergarten
Room: K2
Phone: (480) 224-3226
Email: Malekooti

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Welcome!

Welcome to Ms. Malekooti's Kindergarten class!

My Education and Professional Background

My name is Sasha Malekooti, and I am an Arizona native, born and raised in Tempe. I received my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Arizona State University, and my Master's is specifically in Early Childhood Education. In addition to working in the Chandler Unified School District, my professional background also includes working at a Montessori preschool for a number of years. My experiences have exposed me to many different teaching philosophies and curriculums including Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Fundations, and Spalding. I have also taught both CTA and Classic programs within CUSD, and all of these experiences have helped to shape my own personal philosophies for teaching and education.

My Educational Philosophy

My teaching philosophy has been formed as the result of my work experience, as well as my formal education. I believe that all children deserve a proper education that caters to their individual needs and promotes individual success. It is the responsibility of the teacher to discover each child's strengths and weaknesses and use this information to promote learning and development. I also believe that parents and teachers should work together as partners to help provide an education that encourages students to pursue academic excellence to the best of their abilities. In addition, it is important to provide children with a warm, safe, and inviting learning environment where they can play, discover, and grow. With an appropriate classroom and the proper guidance and instruction, I believe young children will develop a positive attitude towards education, along with the self-confidence and independence necessary to become successful adults in the future.
 

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About Matson...
Position: Dean of Students
Room:
Phone: (480)224-3210
Email: Matson

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Welcome!

Welcome back Ryan Royals! My name is Mrs. Bridgett Matson, this is my 4th year as the Dean of Students here at Ryan Elementary. I am extremely eager to meet all of the new families here at Ryan and I look forward to seeing all of the returning families for an outstanding 2017-2018 school year.

My Education and Professional Background

I was born and raised in Arizona. I graduated from Arizona State University (Go Devils!) with my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and I graduated from Northern Arizona State University with my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. I have a son named Grayson and two beautiful step-daughters, Chloey and Marlee. I have taught second, third, and fourth grades throughout my thirteen years. I began my teaching career in the Higley Unified School District, in which I remained for four years and then joined the Chandler Unified School District family.

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Bridgett Matson
About Leigh...
Position: Grade 3 CATS
Room: C17
Phone: (480) 224-3247
Email: Leigh

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Welcome!

Welcome to Third Grade CATS! I am excited to be your child’s teacher and look forward to a year where together we can have fun learning and expanding upon our innate curiosity about the world in which we live!

My Education and Professional Background

My teaching journey officially started in 1985, however, even as a small girl I remember "teaching" my dolls under the African sky. When I lived in South Africa, I earned my Bachelor degrees in Education and Elementary Education. I furthered my teaching credentials by earning a Master's Degree in Special Education from Chapman University in California. While teaching as a Resource Specialist I was fortunate to have been recognized as both Teacher of the Year at the district level and the county level. I was then selected as a semifinalist for California State Teacher of the Year in 2006/2007. My years of teaching experience include elementary, upper elementary and junior high levels."

My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Ashleigh Leigh
About Becker...
Position: Kindergarten
Room: K1
Phone: (480) 224-3225
Email: Becker

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Welcome!

Welcome to the new school year! My name is Mrs. Becker and I am going to be your kindergarten teacher this year. I hope that you had a FUN summer and are ready to learn a lot. This year you will be reading and writing across all subject areas, even math. Some things we will be studying in science and social studies include: plant and animal life cycles, clouds, citizenship, national symbols, community helpers, and maps.

My Education and Professional Background



My Educational Philosophy

 

 | Email Cheryl Becker
About Beauvais...
Position: General Music Teacher
Room: Music B
Phone: (480) 224-3213
Email: Beauvais

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