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.
Michelle Stokes has been working with children of various ages, from middle school to primary age children for the past 8 years. Prior to her eight hers at COCSD she coached cheer and dance for 17 years at Mingus Union High School and Cottonwood Middle School. Michelle has taught in the classroom for the past 3 years and has found that teaching is her favorite. She is looking forward to many more years of teaching with Liberty Leadership Academy.
Nicole Loper has worked with school age-8th grade students for the past 8 years. She worked at Cottonwood Oak Creek school district in many different capacities such as screening for hearing and vision, health aide and teaching. Nicole is super excited to start a new chapter at Liberty Leadership Academy!
Amanda Geffe has worked with children for fifteen years in a variety of settings, including teaching swim lessons, being a camp counselor, working in preschool and daycare facilities, as well as teaching in public education. She has taught PreK, 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade over the years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Reading from Grand Canyon University. In her spare time, she loves to box/kickbox, dance, do yoga, read, write, make art, and go on outdoor adventures with her friends and family.
Shelly Wilcoxson has worked with preschool age-8th grade students for 20 years in many different settings. Miss Shelly has an Associates Degree in Graphic Design and is finishing up her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education. We are excited to have Miss Shelly on the Liberty Leadership Academy team!
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.
Kathy Babcock has worked with children for over 30 years beginning with preschool up through high school. Mrs. Babcock has been teaching Tae Kwon Do in the Verde Valley for 10 or more years. Kathy is very excited to work with your children, helping them gain confidence strength thru TKD.
Beth Ackerman is an Arizona native born and raised. She’s a firm believer in her faith, family, freedom and firearms. Her and her husband have been married since 2004 and they continue to survive the teenage years of their daughter and son. As a family they enjoy going camping, target practice and watching movies together. Beth is also a firm believer in schooling starts at home first and classroom second. She has worked for two Christian Preschools in her past and she’s delighted to return to LLA for another year as a Paraprofessional and the Enrichment Teacher. She’s looking forward to helping the teachers in any way she can to enrich the education of the students.
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