Teachers

  • NCPG Social

NCPG is delighted to have an outstanding group of teachers returning to NCPG this year, and have also expanded our teacher community with a fabulous addition of new teachers. We encourage you to get to know each of these highly educated and knowledgeable women.

Monique Nelson - Pre-Infant (Child Due October- May) & Newborn (0-5 months)

Monique_NelsonMonique Nelson is an Arizona native. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University in biology/premed. She holds an additional degree in nursing with a clinical focus in pediatrics. Over the past 20 years she has enjoyed working in the field of pediatrics as a pediatric triage/advice nurse. She has also been teaching pregnancy, newborn, infant and toddler classes for the past 17 years. Monique teaches not only for North Central Parenting Group but Scottsdale Parenting Group as well. She also taught for East Valley Positive Parenting group before the group dissolved. Monique and her husband Dave just celebrated 20 years of marriage this past June and they are the proud parents of Taylor age 17 and Dylan age 12.

Amy Stewart - Class 1A (5-11 months)

Amy_StewartAmy has a Masters of Science degree in Nursing and is a Certified Pediatric Nurse. She has worked as a Registered Nurse at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea for the past 14 years. In addition to hospital nursing, Amy works as a University nursing professor. With a love for teaching Amy has directed various programs and teaching projects throughout the hospital system. She has also led women, family and children groups with her church organization. Amy feels her greatest accomplishments are found in her home. She loves being the wife to her husband Drew and mother to her son Merik (8) and daughters Sophie (7), Olivia (2), and Gracie (1). Amy loves being a part of NCPG.

Cara Denby - Class 1B (12-17 months)

Cara_DenbyCara loves working with individuals and families to find the joy through gratitude. She believes strongly that by learning with and from each other, we can personally grow and build happy, satisfying and productive lives together. Cara graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a BA in Elementary Education. After a few years of teaching 2nd grade, she transitioned into a career in Human Resources and received her MBA from ASU. As one of the first employees hired for a local financial call center, she recruited to help build it to 2,000 employees. During her HR tenure, she oversaw all the employee relations issues, and developed and managed the employee human resources training programs. Cara left her HR career after she had her first child. As a mom, Cara has worked a preschool teacher as well as a Parent and Life Coach, offering workshops, facilitating parent support groups and meeting one on one with clients. She is the proud mom of 3 wonderful young women, whose current ages are 15, 14 and 12. She loves being a mom – finding each stage of development to be a new opportunity for all to learn and grow. Aside from playing with her husband and children, Cara enjoys hiking, reading, playing with their many diverse animals and being with friends.

Debbie Hurst - Class 2A (17-23 months)

Debbie_HurstDebbie is a native Arizonan. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Elementary Education with a minor in Child Development and Family Relations, and her Ma.Ed from the University of Phoenix. Debbie recently retired from the elementary classroom after twenty-nine years of teaching, specifically in grades one and three where she provided parenting tips and benchmarks of child growth and development in her weekly parent newsletters throughout the school year . She is currently under contract as adjunct faculty with Grand Canyon University in the College of Education, and has received training with the Rosemond Leadership Parenting Institute as a certified parent coach. As a teacher, Debbie has trained and mentored numerous interns, student teachers, and new faculty members in addition to serving on school advisement committees. She believes a nurturing environment containing love, leadership, communication, positive reinforcement, and mutual respect are paramount and fundamental in a child’s life. Debbie has been married to her husband Craig for forty-years and they are the proud parents of three children (including Amy Stewart, a fellow NCPG instructor) and eight grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, cooking, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends.

Kristin Klecka - Class 2B (24-29 months)

Kristen_KleckaKristin Klecka is an educator who has been working with children since the early 2000’s.  Trained in  Elementary Education, she has worked full­time with two different grade levels (fourth and second)  for six years and has also substitute taught in grade levels K­6, including leading gifted/honors classes.  Teaching in both California and Arizona, Kristin has a firm grasp of critical early years teaching skills  and methods such as Core Knowledge.  Kristin’s course work at the University of Arizona resulted in a  Bachelor of Arts in Family Studies and she subsequently obtained a Master’s Degree in Elementary  Education at the University of Pepperdine in Los Angeles, CA.  She also achieved her teaching  credential in California.  But, her greatest accomplishment has been being a wife and full­time mom to three children ages 10, 8, and 6.  They have taught her more about love and life than anything else.  Kristin likes to cook, exercise, spend time with friends, and travel.

Amy Guido - Class 3A (29-35 months)

Amy_Guido_2Amy Guido is a masters prepared Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her over 19 years of non-profit and for-profit behavioral health experience with children, teens and adults includes evaluation, case management, crisis intervention, counseling, program development, leadership and consulting with government and corporate clients. She’s provided services in inpatient (Phoenix Children’s Hospital), residential treatment centers, home, school, office and telephonic settings. She is comfortable addressing a variety of common parenting challenges. Her strengths include helping parents lead with intelligence, humility, awareness and playfulness. She is a grateful NCPG alumni and parent with her husband David and two sons ages 8 and 10. Privately, she enjoys walks with her goldendoodle, spending time with extended family and friends, school volunteerism, fitness and spirituality.

Barb Grady - Class 3B (36-41 months)

Barb_GradyBarb begins her 26th year teaching for NCPG. She is a nationally certified counselor and certified teacher. In 1999, Barb began her business, Parenting-Plus, where she provides consultation services, parenting classes and workshops, individual consulting and life/parent coaching for adults, teens and kids. Barb has taught preschool, kindergarten, first and second grades as well as high school and college. Barb has two daughters: Jody, who is an oncology nurse and has two children (Carter 6 and Grady 4), and Annie who is coordinating 5 school gardens for a farm to school non-profit in northern California. Barb loves being an involved grandparent! She is delighted to return this year to share her passion and motivate and inspire others.

Annemarie Mansour- Class 4A (41-47 months)

Annemarie_MansourAnnemarie has her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Child Development from Saint Mary’s College of California, and her Master’s Degree from Palo Alto University in Psychology.  Prior to moving to Phoenix in 2011 her family lived in Maryland and California where she served on the board and worked at her children’s preschool as well as worked as a Family Behavioral Specialist, helping families with children ages 0-6 manage behavior problems to ready their children for kindergarten. Annemarie was the Director at Cross Roads Preschool and Kindergarten for several years prior to joining Saint Thomas the Apostle School as their Preschool Director in 2016.  Annemarie and her husband Nick have been married for 19 years and have four children; Nick (18), Isabelle (16), Marissa (13) and Joseph (10).  Annemarie’s favorite days are those spent with her children and husband relaxing at home, reading, cooking and making each other laugh.  Annemarie is excited to join the NCPG community to help parents navigate this journey of parenthood.

Lesley Isaak- Class 4B (48-53 months)

Lesley_IsaakLesley Isaak is a Licensed Professional Counselor, specializing in the treatment of children and teenagers (ages 4-18), as well as their families. Lesley graduated with a business degree from the University of Arizona and worked in administrative and management positions until becoming a stay-at-home mom. After 9 years of fun and exhaustion at home, which included enjoying classes at NCPG as a new mom, Lesley returned to school and earned her Masters in Professional Counseling from Ottawa University. For the last 6 years, she has focused on providing education, therapy, and ideas to assist families in creating a healthy, supportive environment at home.

When she has free time, Lesley enjoys being outdoors – hiking, biking, working in the yard – and most importantly, hanging out with her husband and their four boys (now ages 12, 13, 14, and 15 years old).

Liz Imparato - Pre K (enrolled in Pre-K or Junior Kindergarten)

Liz_ImparatoLiz Imparato is a licensed professional counselor. She earned her master’s degree in professional counseling in 2015 and has had a life-long interest in psychology. Liz’s practice involves working with a variety of personal issues with clients including ways to be effective and present parents. Liz has two grown sons (36 and 34) and when they were young she enjoyed being involved in teaching Sunday school and leading a den of cub scouts. Liz brings a passion for parenting and the issues mothers face to her teaching and excited to be joining the NCPG this year.

In her spare time, Liz enjoys time in her vegetable garden, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family, especially her 7 month old grandson.

Jemeille Ackourey - Kindergarten (enrolled in Kindergarten)

Jemeille_AckoureyJemeille Ackourey is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has a master’s degree in counseling. She provides  services to individuals and families at her North Central Phoenix office. Her compassionate assistant is Ellis, a golden doodle and certified therapy dog. Jemeille served the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix for 23 years before retiring in 2005 as their Vice President of Operations. Throughout her professional career, Jemeille has been volunteering her time and expertise at various community agencies, associations and schools where she trains staff, educates students, mentors youth, and advises on program and organizational development. She has served on numerous educational and community boards and advisory committees. Jemeille’s greatest joy is her family. Her marriage to Karl has brought together a blended family of 5 children, their spouses, significant others, and 4 grandchildren.

Michelle Cox - School A (grades 1-3)

Michelle_CoxMichelle has been married for 20 years and is the mother of four teens.  She loves to spend time with her family as they discover new places and explore the outdoors. Michelle is the founder of Build Family Connection and has been coaching and teaching parents for the last 7 years.

Michelle graduated with a BS in Education from Northern Arizona University, completed “The Choice in Coaching: Arbinger Mastery Training for Coaches,” a graduate of the Coachville School of Coaching, and is a PCC certified coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Joan Sarin, M.S. - School B (grades 4- 6)

Joan-Sarin-picture

A veteran practitioner certified as a Six Seconds facilitator and trained in numerous experiential and mindfulness-based programs, Joan has taught emotional intelligence and character development to the full range of preschool through university students for the past 10 years. Her vast experience as a teacher, school administrator, and corporate leader also informs her current work as a Senior Trainer at the Casa Center for Positive Social Change in Phoenix, Arizona, where she develops and teaches social-emotional learning (SEL) and mindfulness curricula for K-8 school districts, as well as trains teachers in these skills so that they can successfully model and integrate SEL and character development in their classrooms and for their own well-being. She also facilitates parenting groups, helping them to develop their own social-emotional competencies.

In addition, Joan was a regular contributor for years to Stepmom Magazine, and has appeared on several radio programs discussing the challenges of step-parenting. Her private coaching practice focuses on helping individuals to achieve goal and relationship breakthroughs. She holds a B.A. from Tulane University and an M.S. in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a long-time yoga and meditation practitioner and lives with her husband in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

 

 

 

The information provided by NCPG instructors should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.