• 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 Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing and is currently completing her Masters in Nursing. She has worked as a Registered Nurse at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea for the past 12 years. After becoming a mother, Amy switched her nursing roles from adult care to pediatrics. She has earned her pediatric nurse certification. 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 (7) and daughters Sophie (5) and Olivia (3 months). Amy loves being active and enjoys competing in sprint triathlons.

Lisa Kamps - Class 1B (12-17 months)


Lisa Kamps earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University.  She taught second grade at St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Phoenix for six years before becoming a stay-at-home mom to Charlie(20), Annie(18), Maggie(14) and Samantha(8).  Her experience in early childhood education includes eight years as a teacher at Cross Roads Preschool and Kindergarten-two years with three year olds and six years in the Time for Two class.  She will be starting her second year at Christ Church School as a co-teacher in the Play and Learn program and will also be the assistant in their kindergarten class.   Lisa is an NCPG alum and is looking forward to her third year as an instructor.  This organization served her so well in her early years as a mom.  She is excited to share parenting tips and talk through the challenges of life with a toddler.  In her free time, Lisa loves to travel, play tennis, take walks on the Bridle Path and play Scrabble.   Her greatest joy is being with Spencer, her husband of twenty one years, and having her whole family home together at the dinner table.   She is looking forward to a great year!

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

Debbie_HurstDebbie is a native of Arizona. 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 has 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 received training this summer 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 thirty-eight years and they are the proud parents of three children (including Amy Stewart, a fellow NCPG instructor) and six grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, cooking, playing the piano, and spending time with family!

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).

Karyn Kapellusch - Pre K (enrolled in Pre-K or Junior Kindergarten)

Krystn_Dale_2Karyn’s love is early childhood. She began her teaching career in 1995 at Shadow Rock Preschool in Moon Valley where her firm belief that children are unique and unrepeatable was forged.

In 2003 she joined friends from Shadow Rock at Christ Church School in Paradise Valley where she created a successful Mini-Threes Curriculum, and helped launch the Early bird, Lunch bunch and After Care Programs which she coordinated for over 10 years. She also taught Fine Motor Skills, Science, Math, and Yoga during her 11 years at CCS.

Karyn has 3 married children and 3 grandchildren. She loves to travel and read in her free time.

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.

Doreen Knight - School B (grades 4- 6)

image1Doreen Knight MS., earned her bachelors degree in Special and Elementary Education plus her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Education from ASU. She has taught fourth grade, fifth grade, ESL (English as a second language) and gifted education in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Summit, NJ Unified School Districts for over 30 years. As a teacher, Doreen has mentored and trained numerous student teachers and faculty members, in addition to serving and chairing many school committees. She facilitated Rainbows, a counseling group for students dealing with divorce, death and personal hardships, as well as raising two children on her own for over ten years. This has provided her true insight into helping students through the important stages of becoming a teenager.

She enjoys spending time with her husband Don, daughter Sedona (31), son Brett (25) and stepdaughter Falynne (24), as they become successful in their careers and life. She also enjoys hiking, gardening, biking, reading and spending time with family and friends. Doreen is excited to join the NCPG community to help parents learn, love and laugh through this journey through parenthood!





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.