Diane Hughes

Spanish Teacher

Diane is returning for her eighth year as the Spanish teacher at Awakening Seed. She has a B.A. in Fine Arts and Spanish, a minor in Latin-American Studies and a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Elementary Education, all from ASU. She has two children who are students at the Seed. When she isn’t at school, Diane enjoys working with fibers, reading Spanish literature, practicing yoga and spending time with her family.

Jay Cleveland

Music Teacher

This is Jay’s sixth year teaching music at the Seed. He graduated from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri, with degrees in music therapy and music education in 1992. Jay completed his music therapy internship at the Children’s Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies, a school for children with autism and other spectrum disorders. Outside of the classroom, he teaches guitar and other music lessons.  Jay hopes to share with students his knowledge of music, as well as his love of music and guide them in their use of music in their everyday lives. When he isn’t working, Jay enjoys reading and spending time with his family, including his wife Christine, and kids, Emily and Jack.

Mindy Bender

PE Teacher


Mindy, a native Arizonan, and has always had a passion for working with children. At fifteen, she was an assistant teacher at her family’s dance studio and by eighteen was teaching and choreographing for her own dance classes. In 2003, as a senior at Mountain Pointe High School, she volunteered her afternoons working in classrooms at an elementary school. Over the next few years Mindy  continued her hands-on training as a classroom assistant at The Chrysalis Academy, a private school for children with autism. In 2009, she became a certified yoga instructor and in 2010 started her journey at the Seed teaching P.E.  She quickly became the Toddler After School Lead, as well as an assistant in the Toddler 2s classroom.  Last year she was the Preschool 2.5/3s Lead. This year Mindy is assisting in the Toddler 1s classroom and is returning to her role of P.E. teacher. Mindy is in the process of completing her Child Development Associate credential through the Care Courses program.