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Special Education

  • Anne Trout
    Bio
    Anne Trout
    Special Education Director
    Anne Trout
    Special Education Director

    Anne was born and raised in Arizona. She attended Utah State University where she received her bachelor's in Communicative Disorders. After leaving USU, she taught for two years at an elementary school in Mississippi before returning to Utah. This is her fourth year at Early Light Academy. Anne loves working with the students at ELA.

    When Anne is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves photography, reading, playing flute and piano, and spending time outdoors. She also loves to play board games and is always up for learning a new one! 

    Anne is excited for another year at ELA and can't wait to see her students learn, grow, and become great leaders!

  • Shannon Henrichsen
    Bio
    Shannon Henrichsen
    Special Education Teacher
    Shannon Henrichsen
    Special Education Teacher

    Shannon was born and raised in Rhode Island and is the oldest of 5 girls. She grew up reading, drawing, fishing, jumping on trampolines, and playing Just Dance with her parents and sisters. She moved to Utah in 2017 to attend BYU, lived in Russia from 2018-2020, and has lived in Utah since returning from Russia. 

    While studying Special Education at BYU, Shannon met and married her husband Brandon. They love adventuring, spending time with friends and family, and eating yummy food together. 

    Shannon loves reading, cooking, baking, speaking Russian, and playing the guitar, piano, ukulele, and clarinet. She loves to learn, and loves helping students learn and grow.

  • Abagail Plaga
    Bio
    Abagail Plaga
    Special Education Teacher
    Abagail Plaga
    Special Education Teacher
    Abbey was born and raised in south Jordan Utah. She graduated from Bingham high school in 2017 and attended salt lake community college where she graduated with her associates degree in criminal justice. After that she transferred to USU to study special education, she lived in Logan from 2020-2023. 

    Abbey has been a tumbling and gymnastics coach since her junior year of high school. She enjoys dancing, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family. 
  • Melody Andreasen
    Bio
    Melody Andreasen
    Special Education Teacher
    Melody Andreasen
    Special Education Teacher

    Melody Andreasen has spent half of her life in California and the other half in Utah! As a child she loved to ride bikes, play hide ‘n seek, was wicked at tetherball and was excited for every moment she spent camping and hunting with her family. In her teens, she loved going to school and learning every chance she got, wherever she was. This was also when her love of fast cars and motorcycles developed and hasn’t dimmed! Her husband is retired military and she has one son, Walker, who she says is the best kid in the world! He has been married to his sweet wife Kayla for 8 years. They have six beautiful children that Melody spends every minute she can with!

    Melody has had many experiences in her life that have allowed her to become who she is. She has worked in retail management, as an administrative assistant to CEOs, human resources officer, owned her own business, worked with an airline, served as a substitute everything for a Utah school district, and found her favorite job when she became a teacher! She loves watching the students grow and work through solving problems and becoming a better student, a better person, a better leader and seeing the WHOLE world around them!

  • Ashlie Hatton
    Bio
    Ashlie Hatton
    Special Education Teacher
    Ashlie Hatton
    Special Education Teacher

    Ashlie Hatton is happily married to her husband and has a beautiful daughter. She was born and raised in Utah and has lived there most of her life, but had the chance to live in Japan and Virginia. While in Virginia, she played colligate softball as a catcher. Mrs. Hatton recently graduated college from Brigham Young University with her degree in special education and has completed all of the required classes for her special education secondary math endorsement. 

    Mrs. Hatton enjoys playing the piano, speaking Japanese, drawing, painting, hiking, camping and playing board games. Ashlie continues to look forward to helping children succeed, learn and grow. 


  • Minnie Sylvester
    Bio
    Minnie Sylvester
    Special Education Teacher
    Minnie Sylvester
    Special Education Teacher

    Minnie Sylvester grew up in the Philippines and speaks fluent Tagalog. She came to the United States to study at BYU-HAWAII, received a Bachelors Degree in Special Education and taught in the Ogden School District for several years. She decided to stay home after her first child was born. She thrives being around people, hearing their stories, adventures, learning about different cultures, cooking, letter writing, traveling with close friends and family. 

    Her favorites are: anything mango, the color green, art, Asian food, Fall and Spring, Cadbury chocolate with nuts, and pistachio ice cream. She is thrilled to be a part of ELA family.  Minnie is always at sports events and dance competitions. She is blessed to have 4 children together with her husband. They live in Daybreak. 

    Aloha🌺
  • Elizabeth Valenzuela
    Bio
    Elizabeth Valenzuela
    Special Education Teacher
    Elizabeth Valenzuela
    Special Education Teacher

    Elizabeth was born in the panhandle of Texas and spent most of her life in Western Oklahoma where she began her teaching career.  She graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma University with a dual major in Learning Disabilities and Mentally Handicapped. She spent some years in Texas teaching as well.  She moved to Arizona in 2004 and spent time in Tucson and Phoenix.  She moved with her family to Mexico and taught in Southern Arizona crossing the border daily.  She recently moved to Salt Lake City to be with her adult children.  

    She loves teaching special education.  That is truly her passion in life.  When she isn't working she loves to spend time with her family, reading and being with her animals.  

    Elizabeth is so happy to begin a new journey at Early Light and is looking forward to a great year.

  • Yvona Campbell
    Bio
    Yvona Campbell
    Special Education Teacher
    Yvona Campbell
    Special Education Teacher

    Yvona was born and raised in Czech Republic, formerly Czechoslovakia, where she also attended University of Mining. A few months after she graduated with the degree in Mining Engineering, Yvona immigrated to the United States. Following a brief experience of living in San Francisco, she relocated to Salt Lake City where she enjoyed residing for over 12 years. After her third child was born, she moved with her family to Gilbert, Arizona. There she discovered her affinity and passion for teaching and obtained the Master Degree in Special Education from the Grand Canyon University. Since then, Yvona has been teaching students mostly with moderate to mild disabilities. She can be characterized as a teacher who always has high academic and behavior expectations for her students and helps the children accomplish their goals in a caring and mind stimulating learning environment. 

    In her free time, Yvona loves to spend time with her family. She enjoys pilates, yoga and relishes hiking in the wondrous Utah nature. She can’t wait to experience skiing again! 

    Yvona is very excited to embark on her journey with Early Light Academy and, in collaboration with other teachers and staff members, enable her students to accomplish their full potential.

  • Halle Tucker
    Bio
    Halle Tucker
    Special Education Teacher
    Halle Tucker
    Special Education Teacher

    Halle Tucker grew up in Riverton Utah and is no stranger to Early Light Academy. She began 4th grade for ELA’s opening year in 2009, she then completed school here until she was in 9th grade. Halle went on to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Brigham Young University where she also was a member of BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble. 

    Halle has worked with children and teenagers in many capacities including helping run workshops and leadership camps with the Ivy Girl Academy Foundation focusing on personal leadership and confidence. Halle enjoys helping teenagers realize their own self confidence and personal power in and outside of the classroom. 

  • Felicia Patzke
    Bio
    Felicia Patzke
    Special Education Administrative Assistant
    Felicia Patzke
    Special Education Administrative Assistant

    In November 2020, Felicia returned to Utah after living 25 years in New York City.  She moved out east to attend Columbia University where she received her Master’s in Social Work.  She later received her Master’s in Elementary Education from CUNY Hunter College, where she then proceeded to teach grades Pre-K through 6th over the next 20 years.  

    While living in New York City, Felicia was an avid member of the community.  She was an active participant in the New York Cares program, team leading and participating in a number of volunteer projects, working primarily with the senior and homeless populations.  She also was involved in the Star Learning Program, mentoring a young lady from Honduras from 5th grade to her graduation from high school. 

    An avid reader, Felicia created and facilitated a book group in New York City that ran for over ten years.  In her spare time she also enjoys knitting, walking and eating anything chocolate!

    Felicia loves working in the special education department at Early Light Academy.  

Special Education Paraprofessionals

  • Jyoti Bhakta
    Bio
    Jyoti Bhakta
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Jyoti Bhakta
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Jyoti Bhakta moved here to Utah two years ago, she lives in Herriman. She has joined our ELA family and is very excited. HEr hobbies are watching movies and spending time with her family.

  • Berneen Peterson
    Bio
    Berneen Peterson
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Berneen Peterson
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Berneen Peterson was raised on a dairy farm in the small town of Tridell, Utah, where she worked and played hard. She credits her love of learning to her 6th grade teacher, Mr. McMullin, who instilled in his students self-worth and confidence and made school fun and interesting. After graduating from Unitah High, Berneen attended Ricks College (BYU Idaho) majoring in Elementary Education. She is married and has three children. As a family, they enjoy camping, hiking, and just being together.

    For the past twelve years she has assisted in special education programs in the area. She enjoys working with children and finds joy in watching them learn, progress, and succeed. Berneen is honored and excited to be a part of the Early Light Academy Special Education Team.

  • Deysi Harris
    Bio
    Deysi Harris
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Deysi Harris
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Mrs. Harris is very excited to be working at Early Light Academy!  She grew up in the Amazon rain forest in Peru and she has lived in the U.S. for 15 years and loves Utah.  She taught Kindergarten in Peru for 7 years and loves working with kids. She spends her free time with her Husband and two sons.  They like to go camping, hiking and spend time together.  Mrs. Harris loves to dance and work out.  She recently completed her long time goal by graduating from Salt Lake Community College with a degree in Education.   

  • JD Durrant
    Bio
    JD Durrant
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    JD Durrant
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    JD (Coach) Durrant has many passions, but her greatest passion is her 4 children. She is also very passionate about working with children and youth. She has worked in the Special Education field for schools for over 11 years. She wants the students she works with to know that they can do anything they set their mind, and she will be there to support, encourage, and cheer them on. 

    JD is a non-denominational pastor where she works with the youth and supports them in various areas of life. She is also a softball coach with many wins both on and off the field. JD loves the San Francisco 49ers, which is how her dog got his name "Niner." 

    JD truly loves supporting, helping, and encouraging children and youth and is so excited to continue to work with the students at Early Light Academy.

  • Lacey Ainsworth
    Bio
    Lacey Ainsworth
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Lacey Ainsworth
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Lacey Ainsworth (Miss Lacey as her students call her) is a mom to 3 crazy girls who all attend Early Light Academy, and is lovingly married to her husband Clint. She has a passion, some say an addiction, for house plants. She loves being both out in nature or curled up with her family at home.

    She is so excited to be working at Early Light Academy and can’t wait to get to know all of your students!

  • Cameron Price
    Bio
    Cameron Price
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Cameron Price
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Cameron is a ELA alumni who went to ELA from 2nd grade to 9th grade. After graduating ELA Cameron went to Herriman High School and graduated with the Class of 2020. Cameron loves ELA and enjoys working with the kids and the staff that are here at this great school. 

    Cameron Enjoys playing and watching Basketball and Football, listening to music, watching good movies and any activity in the Water. 
  • Cicilee Johnson
    Bio
    Cicilee Johnson
    Junior High Special Education Paraprofessional
    Cicilee Johnson
    Junior High Special Education Paraprofessional

    Cicilee Johnson, a Utah native, has lived up and down the Wasatch Front. She now calls South Jordan home with her husband and four kids. Cicilee studied at Snow College and worked in real estate investment before she became a mother. 

    For the past 14 years she has raised her four kids ages 14, 13, 10, 7, all of which attend Early Light Academy. When they aren’t in school, Cicilee loves to go camping and boating with her family. She also enjoys traveling, hiking and DIY remodeling projects.

  • Harlene Beckstrand
    Bio
    Harlene Beckstrand
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Harlene Beckstrand
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Harlene Beckstrand is very excited to join the ELA team.  She has loved ELA since it opened and 3 of her 5 kids attended and graduated from here.  

    She has worked in Special Education her whole life and even named her son after the first school she worked at. Harlene loves exploring and traveling with her family. She loves reading, eating, hiking with her beloved dogs. 
  • Mandy McMullen
    Bio
    Mandy McMullen
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Mandy McMullen
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Mandy McMullen was born and raised in Missoula, Montana until she graduated High School. Mandy met her husband Eric and moved to Phoenix, AZ and raised her 5 children who are now 24, 22, 21, 18 and 6. Her daughter Harper who is 6 attends Early Light Academy.

    In her free time Mandy loves to go camping and spend time with her family.

  • Tiffany Britton
    Bio
    Tiffany Britton
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Tiffany Britton
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Tiffany grew up in Sandy and is the oldest of 6. She attended the University of Utah and studied Exercise and Sports Science. She has been married to her best friend for 19 years and has 3 beautiful children. She loves to exercise, cook, read, hike, kayak, travel, go to Jazz games, and hang out with her family.

    She has many years' experience taking care of her mom with dementia, as well as working in her kids' classrooms and being a room parent. She enjoys helping people and is looking forward to working with the kids with special needs this year at ELA.

  • Megan Walburger
    Bio
    Megan Walburger
    Special Education Paraprofessional
    Megan Walburger
    Special Education Paraprofessional

    Megan grew up in Alaska, met her sweetheart at BYU, and together they moved to Alberta.  She received her Bachelor of Music from University of Lethbridge, and has been teaching violin lessons to kids of all ages and stages ever since.  

    Megan loves to spend time with her family.  She and her husband have 3 children (ages 20, 17, and 10), a golden retriever named Denali, and a Siberian cat named Luna.  At home she likes to sew, read, and watch movies.

    For 8 years Megan has had kids at ELA, and they love the great environment at the school.  This year she is looking forward to joining the team and working in the special education program.      

  • Nicole White
    Bio
    Nicole White
    Junior High Special Education Paraprofessional
    Nicole White
    Junior High Special Education Paraprofessional
    Nicky and her husband live in Riverton with their three kids, all of whom attend Early Light Academy. They have been part of the ELA community since their oldest began kindergarten there nine years ago, and she is excited to officially join the team!

    In her free time, Nicky enjoys music, reading, playing around with spreadsheets, and going on adventures--near and far--with her family.
  • Taylor Drury
    Bio
    Taylor Drury
    Junior High Special Education Paraprofessional
    Taylor Drury
    Junior High Special Education Paraprofessional

    Taylor Drury grew up in Huntington Beach, California and moved to Herriman, Utah about 10 years ago. Taylor is newly married to her high school sweetheart. After high school she furthered her education attending Southern Utah University and Salt Lake Community to obtain her Associates Degree. She thrives off of her friendships with her colleagues and being fulfilled with working with students that inspire her daily. 

    In Taylor’s free time she enjoys going out and spending time with her family. She loves the outdoors, games, and reading. Taylor wants the students she works with to thrive, and know that she is a safe place for them at school.

Speech & Language

  • Janell Frost
    Bio
    Janell Frost
    Speech Language Pathologist
    Janell Frost
    Speech Language Pathologist

    Janell Frost is looking forward to another great year with the students and parents at Early Light Academy. As an SLP, she has worked in many different settings: a hospital, rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities, home health agencies, early intervention programs, preschool programs, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Janell has also worked in public, private, and charter school settings. She graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Communicative Disorders/Speech Language Pathology. 

    She became a Speech Language Pathologist because she wanted to help students with difficulties improve their ability to communicate. She loves helping students realize their potential and watching them succeed. Janell and her husband are the parents of six children--the youngest being the only girl. She thoroughly enjoys spending most of her free time going to sporting events and activities for her children. Janell loves the outdoors and outdoor activities including golf, boating, and most sports. She also loves traveling and being with family and friends.

  • Janna Stoutenburg
    Bio
    Janna Stoutenburg
    Speech Language Pathologist
    Janna Stoutenburg
    Speech Language Pathologist

    Coming soon....

  • Caroline Pratt
    Bio
    Caroline Pratt
    Speech Language Technician
    Caroline Pratt
    Speech Language Technician

    Coming soon...

  • Maria Diaz
    Bio
    Maria Diaz
    Speech Language Technician
    Maria Diaz
    Speech Language Technician

    Coming soon...

  • Erica Bergman
    Bio
    Erica Bergman
    Speech Language Technician
    Erica Bergman
    Speech Language Technician

    Coming soon...

  • Mackenzie Skousen Norton
    Bio
    Mackenzie Skousen Norton
    Speech Language Pathologist
    Mackenzie Skousen Norton
    Speech Language Pathologist

    Mackenzie Skousen is excited for another great year at Early Light Academy. She received her Bachelors degree from Brigham Young University in communication Disorders in 2017. Mackenzie decided to become a Speech Language Technician because she loves interacting with kids and teenagers and helping them improve their ability to communicate.

    Mackenzie grew up in Mesa, Arizona and has lived in Utah for 5 years. She served a mission for her church in Guatemala from 2013-2014. This last summer she spent 4 weeks in Puerto Rico with youth building classrooms at a local elementary school. Mackenzie is fluent in Spanish and loves practicing. She enjoys being outside riding her bike, boating, or playing volleyball and tennis. She also enjoys floral arranging and doing anything creative. She loves traveling and learning about different people and cultures.

    Mackenzie is happy to be here and excited to work with you and your kids!

Occupational Therapy

  • Jena Hall
    Bio
    Jena Hall
    Occupational Therapist
    Jena Hall
    Occupational Therapist

    Originally from Montana, Jena earned her Masters degree from Colorado State University in 2006. She has experience in out patient pediatrics, rural hospital, travel OT, adaptive recreation, and most recently, Orthopedics in the Acute Care setting. Jena loves every minute of time spent outside with her family, and is looking forward to building relationships with the staff, families, and students at ELA.

  • Tina Schroeder
    Bio
    Tina Schroeder
    Occupational Therapist
    Tina Schroeder
    Occupational Therapist

    Tina was born and raised in Utah and has been and Occupational Therapy Assistant for the past 7 years in a Transitional Rehab working with the Elderly. Tina is excited to start a new chapter with pediatrics in the school system! Tina’s oldest daughter has special needs so she is very familiar with therapy and having kids strive to be the best with OT! I can’t wait to have “fun” with the kids... sheeesh don’t tell them it’s therapy.  

School Services

  • Jennifer Calcut
    Bio
    Jennifer Calcut
    School Psychologist
    Jennifer Calcut
    School Psychologist

    Jennifer Calcut  is a Licensed School Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, TBRI Practitioner and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional  She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, Masters of Science, in Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation, Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology with a Clinical and School Psychology emphasis.  She also has her Level 2 Special Education Teaching License with a Mild Moderate Endorsement. 

     Jennifer is clinically trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Accelerated Resolution Therapy, (ART), Trust Based Relationship Intervention Practitioner (TBRI), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Social Skills Training, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, and Theraplay.

     She is a member of Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) an association that works with court involved families in both the juvenile and district courts.  

     She is a member of International Association of Trauma Professionals, National Education Association, and Utah Education Association.

     She works in charter schools throughout Utah providing support to children, teachers, and families with a wide variety of educational and behavioral needs.

     She has a vast array of knowledge in working with children and adults with trauma, disabilities, and a wide variety of mental health needs.  She is very knowledgeable and fluent in psychological, neuropsychological and academic assessments.  She is able to determine classifications under IDEA for autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, other health impairment and emotional disturbance. 

     Jennifer has provided expert witness testimony in many court proceedings regarding trauma and its impact on children and families.

     Jennifer is forensically trained in interviewing children and spent her early years in her career as a social worker and providing case management services to families with a wide variety of needs.

     She is a founding board member and assisted in starting the non-profit Police Wives of Utah.  To provide support to law enforcement families across the state of Utah.

     Jennifer enjoys working in schools and the private sector.  She has provided training to allied agencies on trauma, attachment, sensory processing disorders, mindfulness, behavioral concerns in children, and parenting techniques.  She brings extensive skills to Early Light Academy and has a wonderful working relationship with a wide variety of community partners and other mental health agencies.

  • Sara Jogler
    Bio
    Sara Jogler
    Social Worker
    Sara Jogler
    Social Worker

    Coming soon...

  • Eden Steffey
    Bio
    Eden Steffey
    School Psychologist
    Eden Steffey
    School Psychologist

    Eden Steffey is a nationally certified school psychologist and is currently completing her postdoctoral fellowship. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Utah Educational Psychology program. Dr. Steffey has extensive experience working with children and families across the lifespan. She has been an elementary school teacher and a gifted and talented district director and has experience working with children who are twice-exceptional and children with disabilities.

    Dr. Steffey has experience conducting psychological evaluations and providing therapeutic services to preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school students. Her experience includes autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression and other mood disorders, noncompliance disorders in children and youth, specific learning disorders, and intellectual disabilities.

    When she is not working Dr. Steffey enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She also enjoys reading and playing and watching sports.