Rachel began teaching dance while at the Phoenix Dance Academy. She graduated from NAU in 2004 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. Rachel is Certified with the Royal Academy of Dance and Acrobatic Arts.
Rachel has been teaching the love of dance for over 25 years and founded Liberty Performing Arts in Cottonwood in 2013. Rachel had a vision to start a performing arts charter school many years ago and began the application process in 2017. She was awarded the charter for Liberty Leadership Academy in 2019.
Truly Blakely has worked with preschool age children for over 20 years. She has also worked in schools in many different capacities such as teacher, secretary, and admin assistant. After being a stay at home mom and in home childcare provider for 8 years Truly is ready to start a new adventure at Liberty Leadership Academy.
Misha Serene is a born raised local of the Verde Valley. Misha is an avid reader and enjoys spending time with her family as well as furthering her own education.
From 2008-2011 Misha was a Big in the Big Brother’s Big Sister’s program. In 2015 Misha earned her Associates of General Education degree and started her teaching career in 2016 at the Beaver Creek Preschool where she was introduced to the Special Education System.
Misha spent 2019-2022 working one on one with Special Education students from Kindergarten to 12 grade, as well as adult day program participants.
Now she is excited for the next adventure in her life as she enters into the exciting world of education and performance arts at Liberty Leadership Academy.
Passionate about teaching, Nicci has dedicated the past 12 years to working with students from pre-K to eighth grade. Within the Cottonwood Oak Creek school district, she has taken on various roles, including conducting hearing and vision screenings, serving as a health aide, and delivering impactful lessons in the classroom. Witnessing her students' growth fills her with excitement and fulfillment, and she eagerly anticipate embarking on another fruitful year at Liberty Leadership Academy.
During her 17-year tenure coaching cheer and dance at Mingus Union high school and Cottonwood middle school, Michelle discovered her passion for teaching. Over the past decade, she has dedicated herself to working with children of all ages, from primary to middle school. Her experience has been incredibly rewarding.
Now, Michelle eagerly anticipate many more fulfilling years of teaching at Liberty Leadership Academy. Her commitment to shaping young minds and fostering a love for learning remains strong, and she looks forward to making a positive impact on the lives of her students.
Ceara has lived in the Verde Valley for 27 year. She enjoys reading and many forms of art as well as spending time with her husband, two children, family and close friends.
As a mother of a special need child, Ceara became passionate about behavioral health over a decade ago and earned Associates of Arts degree from Yavapai and then her Bachelors degree in Applied Human Behavior with an undergrad certificate in Speech and Language Pathology from NAU. After working in the kindergarten setting for multiple years as a paraprofessional while finishing her degree, Ceara moved on to work as an Educator and one on one student support for students ages 5-25 with a range of developmental disabilities. In addition she took on responsibilities such as academic planning for multiple grade levels and preparing and writing IEPs for her students. Here is where she spent the last 4 years and became passionate about teaching and recognizing that every child learns differently and it is an educators job to offer a range of learning techniques to ensure student success.
She also believes that sensory regulation provides a foundation for learning. It is key to maximizing a child’s ability to take in what they are being taught. Ceara believes the use of movement, music, and dance are just a few sensory strategies to assist in a successful learning environment and is looking forward to incorporating these and many others into the classroom setting.
Ceara is currently working on her teaching certificate and is very excited to enter this new adventure with the students at LLA.
I have lived in the Verde Valley since 1975, graduating from Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood in 1980 and from NAU in 1995. Yes I took a few years off to get married (to my High School sweetheart, 42 years ago in July!!) and start a family, but I always knew that teaching was in my heart! I have been a classroom teacher for 15 years and have spent 5 years as a school Administrator. My goal is to make each year an amazing adventure, where my students learn more about themselves and our amazing world! Life in my classroom is rarely dull and I love creating life-long learners!
Vanessa is a loving mother, sister, daughter and friend. She was born and raised in Southern California and in 2016 moved to Cottonwood, Arizona with her family. She grew up in love with creativity and the arts and all the ways to express it including creative writing, theater, musical theater, photography, animation design and interior design. Vanessa completed her Associates of Arts Degree at Yavapai College in 2020 where she found her interest in America Sign Language. Alongside her daughter, they learned the beautiful language together. She hopes to continue expressing her love for the arts, music and ASL by sharing what she has learned with the students at Liberty Leadership Academy.
Rebecca has been working with kids of all ages for many years. She has been teaching Tae Kwon Do for 6 years. Rebecca is working towards her bachelor’s degree at Grand Canyon University for Health Sciences. She loves working with her students and seeing them grow in her classroom.
Paige is a loving Wife and Mother. She has homeschooled her children for 8 years before accepting a position at Liberty Leadership Academy. Paige has also filled the role of a Sunday School Teacher and Coordinator for the past 3 years. She enjoys the opportunity to interact with children from the community in the school setting.
After earning a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Texas, Emily began working as a behavioral therapist for children with autism. She has worked in special education for 12 years in homes and at schools. Emily loves music and has taught music, guitar and ukulele classes.