Meet the faculty & staff at awakening seed school
Ashley Ruiz | After School
About Ashley: This is Ashley’s first year working at the Seed. She has always found joy and laughter when it comes to engaging with children. She was very young when she learned how to take care of children and their needs in education. Since then, she’s come to learn that there is no greater feeling than to see the impact you have on the kids with whom you have grow close. Ashley is very excited to be a part of the after school program and lending her assistance with subbing.
Emily Cleveland | After School
About Emily: Emily has lived in Tempe her whole life. She discovered her passion for becoming a teacher by interning at the Seed summer art camp during the summers. As an intern, she could not wait until she was able to become a teacher.
Education: Emily graduated from Tempe Preparatory Academy in the spring of 2016 and is now attending Mesa Community College to receive her degree in early childhood development. She is thrilled to be working after school and subbing in the classrooms this year!
Free time: In her free time Emily enjoys hanging out with her friends, spending time with family, going on bike rides, and hiking.
Cylie Martin | Toddler 1s Assistant Teacher, After School
About Cylie: Cylie is the second oldest of nine kids, six boys and three girls. Cylie has worked with children as a daycare assistant, a nanny, and as a teacher’s assistant in a special needs classroom. This is Cylie’s first year at the Seed and first year being in the Toddler 1’s room. She is looking forward to spending time laughing and learning with the toddlers. She is a hands-on learning who is always willing to learn and take on anything new. She enjoys teaching children as well as learning from them.
Education: Cylie is pursuing a degree in education, as she wants to become a teacher one day herself.
Free Time: In her free time Cylie enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, and spending time with family and her husband, Josh.
Hanna Beels-Barfoot | Early 3s Assistant Teacher, After School
About Hanna: Hanna grew up in Tempe and discovered the joy of working with kids at a young age. While in school, she experienced the excitement of the Seed summer art camp working as an assistant. While living in Flagstaff she worked at a Montessori school where she fell in love with elementary school learning. Last year she returned back to the Seed and was pleased to fill a position as the second assistant in the Toddler 1 classroom. This year she moved up with many kids from the toddler room to Lyndsy’s Early 3s class. She is excited to play, garden and explore.
Education: Hanna graduated from NAU in May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences. In the spring of 2017 she will be graduating with a second bachelor’s degree in elementary education, as well as completing her Arizona teaching certification.
Free time: Hanna loves finding hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, cooking and gardening. When she’s not working or doing homework, she enjoys running and camping with her husband and their two dogs.
Lisa Gatchalian | 3rd/4th Assistant Teacher, After School
About Lisa: Lisa will continue as the assistant teacher this year in the 3rd/4th grade classroom. She worked in Major League Baseball for ten years prior to staying home with her young children. Her son, Ashton, is in Brenda’s first grade class, and her daughter, Gwenyth, is in the Preschool 3s. Lisa enjoys working with children and has worked on and off with them since she began babysitting in junior high school.
Missy Green | PreK Assistant Teacher, After School
About her: Missy was born in Killeen, Texas, and moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, with her family when she was seven. Most of her family still resides in Texas but she does have some family in Arkansas, which is where she gets her love for the Arkansas Razorbacks. This is Missy’s second year at the Seed and in the PreK classroom. Before finding the Seed, Missy taught at Rockhouse Preschool in Flagstaff. She also worked for Universal Cheerleaders Association teaching summer cheerleading camps all over the west coast for eight years. During that time she coached cheer at Flagstaff High School. While being here at the Seed her love for teaching and education has grown and she is thankful for the opportunity to work here and with such great teachers.
Education: Missy is in the process of finishing her bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education at Northern Arizona University through the distant learning program.
Free Time: In her free time you can find Missy at the gym, out exploring, or at the movies.
Deana Hernandez | Preschool 3s Co-Teacher, After School Toddler Lead
About Deana: Deana is a former Seed. This is her sixth year working at the Seed. She has previously assisted the PreK, Early 3s, and Preschool 3s, as well as leading the toddler after school program. Deana is excited to co-teach with Kaylee in the 3s classroom this year. She’s extremely happy to be a part of the Seed’s unique community!
Education: Deana is in the process of completing her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education through NAU.
Free time: When she’s not at work, Deana enjoys playing with her two boys, hiking, practicing yoga, and reading.
Mary Martori | 1st/2nd Assistant Teacher, After School
Free time: In between working in the first and second grade class and after school program, Mary enjoys hiking, painting, playing with her dog June, practicing yoga, and devouring books.
Mary Vaughan | K-1 Assistant Teacher
About Mary: Born in Illinois, Mary moved to Tempe when she was ten. She has been married for 28 years and has three grown children. Mary has taught in Threes, Fours, and Pre-K classes at Temple Emanuel, Desert Sun, and Dayspring preschools in recent years. This is her second year assisting Kerri in the K-1 class. She came to Awakening Seed so she’d have a place to do the Hokey Pokey and play with glitter.
Education: Mary graduated from Marcos de Niza High School, then attended ASU where she earned her BA in English.
Free time: Mary loves to cook, write, read, hike, and travel with her family, and she is a docent at Phoenix Art Museum.
Gavin Anderson | After School
About Gavin: Gavin is a freshman at Mesa Community College and just graduated from McClintock High School in the spring of 2016. He is also a Seed alum. He started working with children four years ago as an intern at a summer camp he attended as a kid. Every year he waited for summer so he could get back to work. Now he has a job in the after-school program at the Seed where he attended as a kid, and he could not be happier.
Free time: Some of his favorite things are hanging out with his little brother (a current Seed), seeing his friends, and his car, which is his pride and joy.