Speak to any of our leadership team or administrators, and you will quickly realize they are absolutely committed to the mission, vision and values of our school. The quality of ASA begins at the top and is embraced in every classroom. Delivering outstanding academic results while also providing a top-notch performing arts experience and also maintaining high-academic results is no easy task. Our leadership team’s diligent work is an inspiring testament to ASA’s success.
Head of School/CEO
These people – adults and young people- inspire me everyday with their vision, creativity, and passion.
Leah Fregulia is the Head of School and CEO for Arizona School for the Arts where she was a founding faculty member when the school opened in 1995. She served as the school principal for nine years, and has led the organization in her current role since 2007. Her leadership has helped to establish the school as one of the top academic schools in Arizona and in the nation while maintaining a dual focus in the performing arts. Ms. Fregulia has worked to develop partnerships that uniquely position ASA in the Phoenix downtown arts and culture network. Prior to moving to Arizona, she taught in a variety of innovative public and private educational settings in California, Seattle, and New Orleans. Along with her teaching and administrative certifications, she holds a M.S. from the London School of Economics in England and a B.A. from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California in English and Anthropology.
Ms. Fregulia is the 2015 Athena Public Sector award recipient and a 2016 Piper Fellow through the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Hance Park Conservancy, Arizona Citizens for the Arts. She is also a member of the Phoenix Community Alliance, and Valley Leadership Class 35.
Degrees & Schools Attended
B.A. English and Anthropology – University of the Pacific
M.S. Anthropology – London School of Economics
Arizona Administrative Credential – University of Phoenix.
ASA is a shining example of the power of education. Over the past two decades, I have seen lives changed by the educational foundation provided by ASA’s program and teachers. By believing in the potential of all and providing support along the way, teachers nurture the mind and spirit of their students.
Sara Maline Bohn earned a BA in International Relations and a BA in French in 1992 at the University of Nebraska. After completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to France, fulfilling one of her childhood dreams. While living on the west coast of France, she taught English at an underserved middle school, working with students to improve their English reading and speaking skills. During her year abroad, she had the opportunity to travel to over ten different countries, experiencing a variety of cultures. Upon returning to the US, she continued her studies at the University of Nebraska, earning a MA in French Literature. She then moved to Lawrence, Kansas, to pursue her PhD course work in French Literature. In 1997, she left her midwestern roots to move to Phoenix, joining ASA faculty as the French teacher. After completing her MSW in 2005, she became Vice Principal in 2006 and the Principal in 2009. At the 20 year mark of her leadership, ASA is proud that Ms. Maline is recognized by the Arizona Charter Schools Association as the 2017 Charter Transformational Leader of the Year!
Degrees & Schools Attended
BA- University of Nebraska
MA- University of Nebraska
MSW- Arizona State University
ASA is amazing because of its commitment to its students, to the arts and the arts community, and for its energy and dedication. The level of collaboration, teamwork and focus on mission drew me to ASA.
Desiree Johnson is responsible for budgeting, financial reporting and accounting operations. She has worked in higher education, school accreditation and charter school administration. She has also taught accounting and accounting information systems at the college level. Ms. Johnson’s expertise is in information systems and process improvement.
Master’s degree Accounting – University of Wyoming
Bachelor’s degree Accounting – Langston University in Oklahoma
Certified Public Accountant
It is a magical place of learning, taking risks, failing, reflecting, collaborating, and cultivating creativity and innovation.
Marion Donaldson brings years of experience in forming strategic partnerships, cultivating gifts, managing relationships with donors and advocates, and raising the profile of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations throughout the Valley. In 2013, in her development role for Free Arts of Arizona, Ms. Donaldson secured the single largest, cultivated gift from a private foundation in their 21-year history. Ms. Donaldson is active in the community- a founding member of Suns Charities 88, serves on the Board of Local First Arizona as Vice Chair, serves on two Board level committees for Desert Botanical Garden, and is a volunteer advocate for MaxLove Project, helping children and families fighting cancer to thrive against the odds. Marion is an American Express Leadership Academy (NYC) 2014 Alumna, named as one of the 40 Under 40 by Phoenix Business Journal in 2015, and is a 2017 Valley Leadership Institute Class 38 Alumna. Ms. Donaldson loves working with ASA Ambassadors and other student groups as much as possible, as she is a lifelong learner like them, and is proud to develop resources for such deserving and inspiring students.
Degrees & Schools Attended
BA Social & Behavioral Sciences – Arizona State University
BA Psychology – Arizona State University
Arts Director & Vice Principal of Student Services
That started a long time ago with my personal friendship with the school’s founder. Then my son came to school here and I was simultaneously hired to teach orchestra. I realized that ASA was the place that I longed for as a student – college academics and phenomenal arts. After being here just a few weeks and seeing how my own child flourished, I never looked back. The secret of ASA is everything we do is for the students, hands down. Their development as scholars and artists is what makes every day a blessing and joy.
Laura Apperson has served as ASA’s Arts Director since 2009. Prior to becoming the Arts Director, she worked as the Arts Coordinator and as an instructor in the strings department from 1998 through 2009. Mrs. Apperson has extensive professional experience as a violist. She was a professional musician in the Phoenix area as a member of the Amabile String Quartet as well as the principal violist of the Phoenix Opera Orchestra. She is a former member of the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera Orchestra, Arizona Ballet Orchestra, and the Tucson Symphony. For over 30 years, she performed extensively with Broadway touring companies, touring ballet companies, and live headliner orchestras. She was the principal violist on two Grammy nominated CDs with native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. She holds an undergraduate degree in Viola Performance from the University of Arizona (1981). She was recognized by the Governor of Arizona in 2013 with a Support Music Merit Award.
Degrees & Schools Attended
BM in Viola Performance- University of Arizona
Graduate Studies in String Pedagogy – Arizona State University
ASA is one of the most unique schools that I have had the privilege to teach at due to its creative students, dedicated teachers, and supportive administration.
Elizabeth Beatty grew up in Massachusetts, enjoying the seasons, making music with her violin, and defending goals in soccer. She moved to Pennsylvania to earn her B.A. in History/Secondary Education in 2011 as the valedictorian at Susquehanna University. After graduation, she moved to Arizona to become a member of the 2011 Teach for America corps in Phoenix and taught high school English for two years. In 2013, she started working at ASA as the 10th grade social studies teacher. While teaching at ASA, she continued her education at Arizona State University, completing her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership in 2016. She became the 10th Grade Team Leader in 2016 and is happy to be leading such a talented and passionate team of professionals.
Where else can you continue to learn and grow amongst friends, family and amazingly creative students!
Drew Maxwell is a dedicated and lifetime supporter of ASA and its mission, purpose and values. His first encounter with ASA was as a teacher from 2002-2006. His two children were born as he began his career in education. He left ASA to complete a doctorate in historical theology in Canada, where he received the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal, the highest academic achievement awarded in Canada. Upon returning to Arizona, Dr. Maxwell served for several years as a full-time clergyman in the Eastern Orthodox Church. During this time, his two children became students at ASA, fulfilling a dream he imagined when he was a teacher. Dr. Maxwell’s passion for education and management led him back to ASA in the spring of 2018. A committed academic, Dr. Maxwell continues to hold membership in several academic societies dedicated to theology, and is a new and active member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix. Most importantly, however, he is excited to be engaged in the continuing growth and mission of ASA and brings a “can do” management style to operations at the school.
College Counselor, Grades 8-12
ASA is my family, my community. I love to empower students to discover their strengths and vision for their lives.
Having joined ASA in 2002, Liz Kuhl is a lifelong educator and college counselor with a passion for helping young people discover their college/career pathway by understanding their values, interests, and skills. The process for college and career exploration begins in 8th grade, where students learn about their strengths and how to discover the types of careers and colleges in which they would thrive. Mrs. Kuhl regularly meets with college admission officers from around the country and offers informational seminars for parents and students. She is ever expanding the college program and is in the process of developing a robust College Compass program that will focus on college preparation for students in grades 5-12. A graduate of Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, Mrs. Kuhl received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education K-12. She is a professional member of Rocky Mountain Association of College Admissions Counselors and the National Association of College Admissions Counselors.
College Counselor, Grades 8-12
B.M. Music Education (K-12) – Meredith College, Raleigh, NC
School Office Manager
I believe in the mission of the school, and love the ASA culture and community. More like family than co-workers.
Executive Assistant and Community Liaison
I attended ASA for high school and it helped to shape and create the person I am today. Really it saved me from being the “different” one among my peers. At ASA you are accepted for your differences and that changed my world. I went from being painfully shy growing up to being able to speak to audiences of 800-plus people with no problem. To be on the Leadership Team at ASA is such a privilege because I now get to spread the acceptance that I was fortunate enough to receive!
Tiffany Kell is an alumna of ASA, class of 2002. She continued her education at Arizona State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a minor in sociology. She is part of the sisterhood of Omega Phi Alpha, which is a national service sorority committed to developing service-minded leaders. She is also recognized by Lambda Pi Eta, a national communication honors society, as a leading member. Through Toastmasters International Ms. Kell enjoys public speaking and has won speaking awards at the division level. One day she hopes to compete at the international level. Ms. Kell is a lifetime Girl Scout and enjoys teaching her daughter’s troop about nature, camping and being kind to all things.
B.A. Communication Studies – Arizona State University
Substitute Teaching Credentials – State of Arizona
I am inspired by the teachers at ASA. They are extremely dedicated to their students and want them to succeed in all endeavors of life.
Christina Lytle comes to ASA after receiving her M.F.A. in Arts Administration at Southern Utah University in May 2016. While at SUU, she worked for the Utah Shakespeare Festival in their marketing and development departments. She assisted the annual fund manager in cultivating and retaining existing donors, and opening a new $30 million theater center for The Festival. Ms. Lytle is originally from California, where she received her B.A. in Theatre at Humboldt State University.
B.A. – Humboldt State University
M.F.A. – Southern Utah University
Registrar/Office Support Staff
The quality of education surpassed my expectation, and the unlimited support and community involvement is very impressive!