Our Team

Administration

Kelly Mangan
Principal
I am so proud and thankful to call SKILLS Private Academy my home. I have two MAs; one in Education and one in Special Education. I have taught for over 35 years, working with infants to high schoolers, general education to special education, public schools and private schools, and a bit of admin along the way. I took some time off when I was home with my babies. I gave birth to 6 beautiful children and call 6 more my own (step, foster and adopted). I also have 7 kids that call me Grammy. Seeing SKILLS students learn and grow with kindness and confidence makes me very proud and I can’t wait to see SKILLS serve more of our community.
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Mark Mangan
Director
I am retired military; I was a Drill Sergeant for 17 years. I've done administration in the military for 19 years and later became a military contractor doing systems administration. After retiring from contracting, I wanted to support Kelly’s vision for her school and we began the adventure that has become SKILLS. There is no way to be in a bad mood driving the school bus. When I see the kids each morning it always puts a smile on my face.
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Amanda Wolfe
Administrative Assistant
I have been an Administrative Assistant for 21 years. I recently moved back home from Boston. My favorite thing about working at SKILLS is watching our students have fun at school and feel comfortable and safe. SKILLS is a FAMILY and that is very important to me. Outside of school, I love spending time with my sons and my beautiful cat, Betty. I also love volunteering, whether it be with animals, the homeless or just fundraising for a good cause. ~I HAVE FOUND THAT IS YOU LOVE LIFE, LIFE WILL LOVE YOU BACK
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Teachers

Amanda Unger
Kinder-3rd Grade Teacher
This is my first-year teaching and I hold a BS in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education. I am currently going to school for my MA in Special Education. I know many students don’t think teachers have a life outside of school but we do. I love playing volleyball, spending time with family and crafting. When it comes to teaching, I let the children explore new ideas for themselves, show them how to be kind to one another, and teach them how to wash their dirty hands. 🙂 -The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see. Alexandra K. Trenfor
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Elizabeth Kordosky
High School Life Skills Teacher
This is my second year teaching at SKILLS. I went to school at Northern Arizona University and I have been working with special needs children for over seven years. My favorite thing about working at SKILLS is having a small enough class to individualize my lesson plans to each of the children’s needs. Outside of work I enjoy hiking and reading as well as spending time with my family.
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Joshua Velazquez
High School Teacher
I have been working at SKILLS Private Academy since it opened. I have been working in education for 8 years, and am currently going to school for a BA in education. I have wanted to be a teacher since before I graduated high school and am so happy for this opportunity. At work math is my favorite thing to teach. Outside of work I enjoy doing stand up comedy and playing disc golf.
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Claire Jackson
3rd to 6th grade Teacher
I studied Psychology at NAU. My background is in social work and counseling. My favorite part about teaching at SKILLS is our emphasis on Social Skills as I love helping my students learn how to handle their emotions, self-regulate, and be able to identify and communicate their needs. A few of my other favorite things outside of SKILLS are: going on adventures with my husband (like backpacking in New Mexico!), cooking and eating different kinds of food, and playing board games with family and friends.
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Madison Beecher
Elementary Life Skills Teacher
This is my first year teaching at SKILLS but my second working at SKILLS. I previously worked in special education in Alamogordo, New Mexico for about 5 years. I am working towards my Bachelor’s in Special Education with an emphasis on Moderate to Severe. Outside of work I love hiking, crafting and playing with my two dogs.
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Rebecca Hetherington
Middle School Life Skills Teacher
I grew up a Kansas girl but took a chance and moved to Sierra Vista in 2012. I absolutely love this area and the people. I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2017 where I earned a Bachelor’s in Human Services with a minor in Educational Psychology. I have experience working with kids of all ages, from Kindergarten to high school. I have also done home visits with parents of infants and toddlers. Returning to education, especially this environment, has been a dream come true. I look forward to teaching here for years to come.
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Para-Professionals

Kyle Hop
Para-Professional
Working at SKILLS is a new experience for me. I previously worked with high risk students at Mary’s Mission. I like the variety of students and the different needs each has. I'm a sports fan so on my off time you will find me watching or playing sports. My favorite is football.
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Heather Wilson
Para-Professional
I love the environment at SKILLS. The staff always have a positive attitude, and every day I fall more in love with the kids. I am currently working towards my Associate’s Degree in Horticulture, but since I started working here I found a love for teaching children with special needs. I would like to use my degree to become an agriculture teacher. I think of myself as a modern day 1940’s housewife because I like hair curlers, big band music, and vintage clothing.
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Alexis Morris
Para-Professional
For the past two years I've been working as a private childcare provider. This is my first year at SKILLS as a para. When I'm not working with kids I find myself at the barn where I spend the end of the day with my livestock!
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Alyssa O'Daniel
Para-Professional
This is my first year as a para at SKILLS. I am currently finishing up my associates degree in Early Childhood Education. I enjoy traveling, working with the kiddos, and eating bread.
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Therapist

Grey Avery
Speech Therapist
Dale Bryan
Physical Therapist