I graduated from Potsdam Central High School in Potsdam New York in 1972. I graduated from Norwich University in 1976 and completed my Master in Education in 1977 also from Norwich University. Norwich University is the oldest Military school in the United States being founded in 1819. Its moto is “I Will Try”. Upon graduation I started teaching high school/middle school physical education in East Montpelier, VT. I completed 31 years of teaching and higher education by attaining my Administration degree. I finished teaching in Vermont when we moved to Arizona in 2009.I worked for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and traveled to many disasters in the United States. I was hired to help open Poston Butte as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director in 2009. In 2010 I was teaching health and physical education for the next four years. Now I love teaching with the Circle Cross family. This is my 37th year teaching.
I was born and raised in Mesa Arizona. I come from a big family with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. I love all sports but my favorite is soccer. I played at Mesa High and Chandler Gilbert Community College. I love exercising, the outdoors and watching kids progress. My husband and I met in jr. high and got married March 2011. Soon after that, I graduated from ASU in May and started teaching at Circle Cross Ranch the following school year. April 2013 my husband and I were blessed with our daughter Tessa. She is now 15 months and the cutest sassiest girl. This is my 4th year teaching PE at this school and I love it!
My name is Michelle Pappalardo and I am the librarian at Circle Cross Ranch. I am excited to begin my fourth year as the school librarian. I earned my Bachelors of Arts in Education at A.S.U. I taught fourth grade for many years. I have also been a reading assistant for an elementary school Title One Reading Department.
Nearly 40 years after receiving a B.S. in Recreation and Parks from Penn State University, I went to night school to begin my teacher certification “quest”. I attended Ottawa University in Mesa in the evenings while working as a paraprofessional during the day at Noah Webster Basic School in Mesa. Upon receiving my certification, the school hired me to be a 3rd grade teacher. I taught there for 3 years. Because the school was not affiliated with the AZ Retirement System (and realizing that it wouldn’t be too long before I reached retirement age) I attended an FUSD job fair and was hired to teach 3rd grade at Circle Cross Ranch. After 2 years with the 3rd grade team, I offered to loop to 4th grade when an additional teacher was needed to fill the spot. This year with the help and guidance of Mrs. Hendry I became the Technology teacher. The 2014-2015 school year marks my 6th year at this site. I couldn’t be happier!
My name is Nate Kievert, and I am the new band director for the 2015-2016 school year at Circle Cross Ranch K-8 STEM Academy, as well as at our sister school, Magma Ranch K-8, in Florence. Additionally, I will be serving as a marching band staff member at Poston Butte High School. This is my first year in the Florence Unified School District, and in Arizona as well! I am originally from a (relatively) small suburb of Chicago, Illinois, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education earlier this year at the University of Kansas. My primary instrument is the clarinet. I could not be more excited to start my career here at Circle Cross and Magma Ranch, and I am looking forward to a fun, productive, and educational school year!