• David Black
    David Black
    Science
  • Grace Brown
    Grace Brown
    6th Grade
  • Ryan Hagge
    Ryan Hagge
    English
  • Rebecca Ingersoll
    Rebecca Ingersoll
    Media Specialist
  • Katherine LaLonde
    Katherine LaLonde
    Foreign Language (French)
  • Ally Morgan
    Ally Morgan
    History
  • Kathy Nuttall
    Kathy Nuttall
    CTE
  • Justin Perfili
    Justin Perfili
    CTE
  • Ashley Price
    Ashley Price
    English
  • Dave Ringle
    Dave Ringle
    History
  • Amanda Rogers
    Amanda Rogers
    6th Grade
  • Marshel Troop
    Marshel Troop
    6th Grade
David Black
Science

david.black@aaiutah.org

David Black has 25 years of experience teaching in California and Utah. He began his teaching career at a small start-up school called Tioga High School in the Sierra Nevada Mountains west of Yosemite National Park. He taught biology, earth science, chemistry, world history, photography, computer applications, and even art.

Since then he has taught in small public, private, and charter schools in Utah. He developed the Media Design Technology program at Mountainland Applied Technology College in Orem, Utah, where he taught courses to high school students in digital imagery, illustration, desktop publishing, video production, website design, interactive authoring, and 3D modeling and animation. His students used 3D altitude data of Mars to create Martian terrains and built a multimedia program on the history of Mars exploration. They interviewed disc jockeys to tell the story of Utah’s AM radio stations as a 2-hour documentary for KUED (Channel 7).

For the last six years, Mr. Black has taught science, engineering, computer science, and media design courses at Walden School of Liberal Arts, a charter school in Provo, Utah. His students worked with NASA scientists to create animations of the Moon, Mars, and Mercury. They created video documentaries on the process of making chocolate and how to measure the distances to stars. They printed prototypes of their engineering projects on a 3D printer. They used real astronomical data to search for alien civilizations and study orange giant stars and presented their work at the American Astronomical Society conference in Seattle.

Mr. Black looks forward to bringing these and other exciting projects to American Academy of Innovation. He hopes to teach all students how to express themselves visually, communicate and collaborate effectively, solve problems creatively, and engage with science authentically. When not creating something on his computer,

Mr. Black enjoys camping and hiking with his family, exploring old mining towns, photographing beautiful scenery, building junk sculptures and drawing ink and watercolor paintings. He loves all things about science fiction and astronomy. He represents charter schools on the board of the Utah Science Teachers Association.

You can check out more of his work on his blog sites at: http://elementsunearthed.com and http://spacedoutclassroom.com.

Grace Brown
6th Grade
grace.brown@aaiutah.org
My name is Grace Brown. My husband and I will be moving to Utah during the summer of 2016. We are coming from the quaint, little town of Menard, Texas. I was born and raised in a small town in south Mississippi. I spent much of my childhood outdoors and love to fish, play softball, and swim. I graduated Valedictorian of my high school and attended the University of Southern Mississippi. I graduated with highest honors and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. I worked in the field of Social Work for three years. During that time, I worked in adoption and foster care. My passion has always been working with children, and I felt I could make the biggest impact in a school setting, so I decided to get my teaching certificate. My background in social work has given me a deeper understanding of the factors that contribute to the whole child. I strive to get to know each of my students, connect with them, and have them know that I care about them. I always refer to my students as “my kids,” because they are. I believe that every child is capable of learning, and my desire is to create life-long learners. I want my students to be excited about learning and trying new things.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for eight years, and we welcomed our first son into our family this past February. As a family, we enjoy travelling, trying new restaurants, and watching the Texas Rangers. We are excited to be a part of AAI.
Ryan Hagge
English

ryan.hagge@aaiutah.org

My name is Ryan Hagge, and I am a teacher. If you look at my family photo you will notice how my son is squinting at something besides the camera. This image has come to symbolize one of the core purposes for why I teach. I want to help people discover. I honestly believe that whatever my son is so focused on is more important than the photograph and that he has the innate human right to follow his curiosity. Thus, my educational philosophy revolves around something I term pedagogical curiosity. This term represents the innate desire of the human soul to discover and learn. I believe this desire is being crushed by the weight of pseudo-learning and pseudo-teaching: pretending to learn (playing the education game) and pretending to teach (playing the survival game). Many students play a guessing game in school: how do I change my work to fit the desires of the teacher, what do I have to do to get an “A”, how much work is enough? These questions often undermine the desire to discover and lead students and teachers into the vortex of people pleasing. I have been guilty of such antics as a student and a teacher, but I often desired something more. I have not achieved my desire, but I strive to seek the curiosity personified by my son.

By way of identification, I am eclectic. I try to gather educational information from all relevant sources, and I use the resources that I believe will work (based on published research). This preference stems from my college experience . I began college as a computer science major, which means I took several math and science courses not required for an English Education degree. I also minored in music for a time, as well as math, drama, communications, history, and computer engineering. I grew up telling people, “I am a jack of all trades, and the master of none.” I have several years of experience working as a mechanic for Les Schwab; I grew up on a cattle ranch, riding horses, working cows, and driving heavy machinery. I am a paid-on-call firefighter for Madison Fire Department and run two small businesses from my home. There is so much in the world that interests my curiosity, and I have tried to discover all I possibly could from this curiosity. Now, I am trying to share, with others, that eclectic experience: the experience of discovery.

Rebecca Ingersoll
Media Specialist

rebecca.ingersoll@aaiutah.org

Salutations! My name is Becca Ingersoll, and I am absolutely ecstatic to be joining the American Academy of Innovation team this year. I will finally be working at my dream job: as the school’s Library Media Specialist.

I grew up in beautiful Cache Valley, Utah, and I have always known that I wanted to work in education. From a very early age, I have enjoyed learning and, especially, READING. As I got older, I became one of “those” students who actually enjoyed grammar lessons and taking out a red pen to correct my own and—I admit—others’ work. Fear not, however; as my knowledge of the mechanics of language has increased, my desire to correct people in conversation has decreased.

While working my way through college, I had a variety of jobs including being a retail sales associate at several locations, a substitute teacher, a tutor, and the founder of an after-school drama program at an elementary school. I graduated Cum Laude from Utah State University in December 2010 with a B.A. in Secondary English Education and an endorsement in School Library Media Administration. Since then I have taught at several different schools. I simply love catching those “lightbulb moments” when students get excited about something they just learned or realized.
While I have had many wonderful experiences as a classroom teacher over the past five years, my true passion is in the library. Being able to select and share books and other resources I think students and staff will fall in love with is so rewarding. Libraries offer so many opportunities for lifelong learning and entertainment, and I am so looking forward to helping others discover all that AAI’s new library will have to offer.

I have been married to my college sweetheart for ten years, and we’ve enjoyed turning our first house into a home over the past few years. We also love snuggling with our two kitties. Aside from reading as much as possible, I also enjoy playing games, traveling, discovering new favorite restaurants, crafting, attending theatre productions, watching movies, binge-watching TV series, and napping.

Katherine LaLonde
Foreign Language (French)

katherine.lalonde@aaiutah.org

As a passionate educator with an M.S. from the University of Utah, focused in Experiential Education and a BA in French and Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, I have a lot to contribute to the community of AAI. I have five years experience teaching students in a variety of public, private and informal school settings, including teaching at Salt Lake Community College, Realms of Inquiry, Escalante Elementary and the Leonardo Museum. I have great communication, relationship building, presentation and organizational skills that are beneficial to the students, colleagues, parents, administrators and partners that I work with. Additionally, I have traveled to and worked in 14 countries of varying economic stabilities, which has given me a deep appreciation of the diversity and unity of the human condition. My career vision is to enhance the quality of individual’s lives within our community through Experiential Education and a focus on Positive Psychology.

Ally Morgan
History

ally.morgan@aaiutah.org

My name is Ally Morgan, and I cannot wait for this upcoming school year at AAI. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, meaning I have a deep and abiding love of mountains, industrious people, and Diet Coke.

I attended Brigham Young University, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2013, followed by a Juris Doctorate in Law in 2016. During my time at BYU, I participated in study abroad programs in India, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia; interned in Washington D.C. and Ireland; won first place in the David O. McKay essay contest; worked on a presidential campaign; volunteered at a juvenile detention center to assure legal detainment; worked to promote the rights of Utah crime victims; performed in stand-up comedy clubs; and routinely went to bed too late.

I love traveling, reading, writing, and America. I believe strongly in the transformative power of education, and I hope to make my students as excited about learning as I am.

Kathy Nuttall
CTE

kathy.nuttall@aaiutah.org

My name is Kathy Nuttall. I received my BS in Animal Science with a specialty in Veterinary Technology from Brigham Young University. Upon graduation, I moved to Denver where I taught and worked as a Veterinary Technician for 14 years. When I received an opportunity to come back to Utah, I moved back to my home state.

I established Jordan District’s Veterinary Assisting program, which was the first secondary program in the country. During my 17 years of teaching with the school district, I was able to see student’s lives change for the better when given the opportunity to believe in themselves and their capabilities.

I received my MS in Agricultural Systems at Utah State University. I had the opportunity to write the state Veterinary Assisting Curriculum while working on my degree. I have established strong community partnerships in providing service for non-profit organizations and continuing education.

My teaching philosophy is centered on the student. I believe that any student if given the skills, opportunity, and encouragement can become whatever they truly want to be. Without support and guidance, a student can become lost and discouraged. My purpose as an educator is to open up new doors and opportunities for students to discover who they are and what they want to become.

Justin Perfili
CTE

justin.perfili@aaiutah.org

My name is Justin Perfili. I began my career in the business world by serving in many customer relationship roles over the past 17 years. I received my BS degree in Business from Western Governors University, with a focus in Sales and Sales Management. I have worked for many cutting edge technology companies, the latest of which was Hewlett-Packard.

I recently received my M.B.A. from Western Governors University with an emphasis on Management and Strategy. It was shortly after I received this degree, that HP was splitting into two distinct companies and my division was dissolved which resulted in my opportunity to seek out what I really wanted to do with my education and experience.

It was during this time that I realized my passion for life is for business, but teaching the fundamentals and preparing others for success. I have created a curriculum that encompasses a deeper understanding of how private and public opportunities in the real world impact our lives and it is through multiple simulations that will allow each student to better be prepared to not just survive the real world, but to thrive by providing them with the tools and mindset to overcome any challenge that he or she may face in life.

I enjoy coaching team sports as well. I have had many opportunities to coach intramural sports, the latest of which was the Girls Basketball Freshman High School team for Elk Ridge Middle School, in the Jordan School District. I enjoy the strategy involved with sports as well as determining a strategic approach to improve each players’ performance by analyzing the data and making the adjustments necessary to refine his or her performance.

I look forward to teaching your children and watching them learn and grow throughout many successful years at the American Academy of Innovation.

Ashley Price
English

ashley.price@aaiutah.org

Ashley Price was born and raised in Ogden, Utah and received her Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching from Weber State University in the spring of 2015. Ashley spent her first year teaching in rural Alaska and is excited for the opportunity to return to Utah and begin a new adventure. Ashley is happily married and the mother of a handsome one-year-old boy. Ashley is a fan of all things nerdy; Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, comic books, Star Wars, Doctor Who… you name it she loves it. With a passion for teaching and love of working with students, Ashley is always working to improve her craft and be the best teacher that she can be so as to provide the best opportunity for her students to succeed.

Dave Ringle
History

david.ringle@aaiutah.org

My name is Dave Ringle and this will be my eighth year as a teacher. I graduated from Burley High School in Idaho. I continued my education at Ricks College (BYU-I) and Utah State University where my degree was Social Studies Composite. While recently married, my wife and I both earned our Masters degrees in Curriculum and Instruction. I have since returned to school and have nearly finished my Special Education degree. I love to learn.

I have always wanted to be a teacher. My father and grandfather were both teachers. I remember kids much older than I telling me what a good lesson my dad taught. Looking back, I realized what teachers do and can do and I always wanted to be a part of this process.

I believe for students to learn and succeed, they must be engaged and have a desire to learn. This can be done is a few ways. I think if a student enjoys what is being taught or the material is being taught in such a manner that is enjoyable more learning and understanding can be accomplished.

I love to be inspired. There are many things that inspire me as an individual but, in general, the things that inspire me the most are the people that overcome extremely high obstacles. I love true stories like “Rudy.”  I love when a student, child, or  adult, struggles for something and  eventually, after many attempts, and never giving up, accomplish the task at hand.

I look forward to teaching and learning at American Academy of Innovation.

I grew up the oldest of 7 kids (6 boys and 1 girl), and we were able to do some really fun things as a family, Disneyland, Little League World Series, asked to move because they were filming a movie “Beaches”, Yellowstone, whitewater rafting. Since then,  I have been married to the woman that I fell in love with at first sight for over 10 years now. We have 3 awesome kids. Raquel age 8 (9 in May), Mark age 6 (7 in May) and Sander age 1 (and yep you guessed it 2 in May). We have lived in Arizona, Utah and Idaho.

Amanda Rogers
6th Grade
amanda.rogers@aaiutah.org
My name is Amanda Rogers and I am thrilled to be sharing my passion for History and English with my students this year at American Academy of Innovation. I received my Bachelor of History from Southern Virginia University. During my time there I discovered a love for learning that I wanted to share with others.
After graduation, I worked at Paradigm Schools in both the middle school as a teacher for seventh and eighth grade and in the special education department. During my time in special education, I was able to help students who struggled with their education.I learned that every single student has brilliance in them no matter their struggles. I believe that every student has amazing potential and as their teachers, we have the opportunity to help them recognize it and achieve it.
When I am home I love to read English literature, sing Opera, play the piano, and perform on stage. I also have a not so secret love for Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, and long British mini-series.
Marshel Troop
6th Grade

marshel.troop@aaiutah.org

I am Marshel Troop, often known to my students as Mr. Marshel. My journey to AAI is a long and unusual one. I grew up in the Salt Lake City area. At the age of 9, I figured out that I could sing. I sang in choirs, church, musicals and soon got involved in theatre. I attended Dixie State on a theatre scholarship and transferred to SUU to complete my B.S. in FACS (home economics). I was the only guy in the whole department.

I lived in Italy from 1992-94 and learned a lot about the people, the culture, and the food. I returned to Utah wanting to go to culinary school and becoming a chef. Well… I met my wonderful wife and instead of going to culinary school, I decided to learn the ropes on the job. I started out as a cook and quickly became the lead chef in a fine dining restaurant and a supervisor over the restaurant.

Management soon became my focus. I have been in food service for about 20 years. During that time, my wife and I began our own business. We operated an award-winning photography and video production company on the side for about 10 years. We have 4 children ranging from 2 to 12, and are licensed foster parents – a labor that brings both sorrow and immense joy.

After teaching teenagers to cook and operate a business, I realized the part I really loved was teaching. Plus I loved the idea of having more time to spend with my family! I was recently at Spectrum Academy working with students that have Autism Spectrum Disorders. This was a valuable opportunity for me as I learned to work with children and youth with special needs, but I fell in love with these kids. Each day was a new adventure.

My teaching philosophy: If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind? -Maria Montessori