LEADERSHIP TEAM AND ADMINISTRATION

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.

Why ASA?
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

Why ASA?
I am at ASA because of the students. They are the most incredible group of people to be around. I am continuously amazed and inspired by their willingness to take risks, be involved with their community, and explore new ideas. I had the honor of working with students from every grade level, and I am amazed by them all. The students challenged me to continuously grow in my teaching craft and as an artist. It is a privilege to be a part of their learning journey.

Monica Sauer Anthony is driven by her pillars of leadership: Community, Change, Reflection, and Balance. She recognizes that when the community and relationships are strong, the work is inspiring and exciting. She believes change allows for growth and innovation, but there needs to be reflection in order for change to be effective. With change, we must seek balance to restore ourselves and remain centered. As Arts Director and Vice Principal of Student Services, Monica focuses on ASA’s culture, community, the unified standards rooted in the school’s mission and core values, and the interdependence of academic and arts instruction. Before joining the ASA leadership team, Monica was taught in the band department for 13 years, Band Team Leader, Technology Trainer, New Teacher Trainer and Mentor, Honorary Board Member, Showcase Producing Director, Conservatory Prep Program Advisor, and Professional Development Writer. Ms. Anthony also enjoys an active performance career as a flutist specializing in chamber music.

Teaching Experience:
TOTAL 18 Years: ASA – 14 Albuquerque Public School District – 3 Maricopa Community Colleges – 4

Total Years at ASA: 14

Education and Degrees Earned:
B.M. Flute Performance – Arizona State University, 2001
M.M. Flute Performance – Arizona State University, 2007

Why ASA?
I chose ASA because I would love to contribute towards creating a nurturing environment for students. It is wonderful to visualize that someday, some of our graduates could win a Grammy or a Tony award. It would be gratifying to know that our team of dedicated staff had a hand in their journey. Meanwhile, students are already winners because they have chosen to pursue their artistic dreams while completing a high school diploma in a rigorous academic setting. That takes courage and dedication.

Dr. Eva Miles has taught English for 8 years from grades 8-12 before serving as an Instructional Lead for two years. Afterward, she was promoted to Assistant Principal. She has worked as an AP for the last eight years. Her administrative experience is varied having worked in a comprehensive high school and a continuation high school within the same school district.

Administration Experience: TOTAL 8 years: Lynwood High School and Firebaugh High School

Total Years of Teaching Experience: TOTAL 8 years: Hollenbeck Middle School, Palomares Middle School, Lynwood High School, and Vista Continuation High School

Total Years at ASA: First Year

Education and Degrees Earned:
University of Nevada, Las Vegas – B.A. Communication Studies
Loyola Marymount University – M. Ed. – Teaching Credential
California State University, Northridge – M. Ed. – Administrative Credential
University of Southern California – Ed. D. – Teacher Education in Multi-Cultural Settings

Why ASA?
I have come back to ASA to be a part of the same team that dedicated their careers to teaching me. As an alumna I hope to encourage my students to achieve their dreams, just as past ASA teachers encouraged me to reach out for my dreams. ASA provided me with my first teaching opportunity as a teaching assistant in the strings department and I take those lessons with me every day. ASA is an important part of our community, creating dedicated, lifelong learners. I strive every day to be an ounce as influential as my past educators here at ASA.

Emma Popish was born in Luton, England but grew up in downtown Phoenix. She earned her Associate of Arts in Elementary Education with Highest Distinction at Phoenix College in May 2013. She then went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Magna Cum Laude at the University of Arizona in May 2015. As an ASA alumnus, Ms. Popish was thrilled to return to her roots in 2015.

Total Years of Teaching Experience: 6

Total Years at ASA: 6

Education and Degrees Earned: 
A.A Elementary Education – Phoenix College, 2013
B.A. Elementary Education – University of Arizona, 2015

Why ASA?
I am a lifelong believer in the importance of the arts as a major component to a well-rounded education. ASA is the gold-standard not only in the quality of the curriculum , but in the outstanding and supportive community that nurtures its mission.

Carolyn Smith is native New Yorker and majored in Photography at SUNY-The Fashion Institute of Technology, but found her true vocation as an administrative professional at Macy’s New York planning internal meetings for the division. Having worked in both nonprofit and for-profit companies, including the American Heart Association, Heart Havens and NRI Staffing Resources in a career that has spanned fundraising, event planning, operations, payroll and human resources, the common thread and her joy has always been the support of the people with whom she works.    

Development & Marketing

Why ASA?
It doesn’t take long to realize that ASA is a special place with remarkable students, faculty, staff and board members committed to the advancement of performing arts and education. Students grow into intellectual, creative, reflective, and engaged leaders who are ready to take on the world. They make a difference in our community by moving human emotions and minds with their art and academic achievements. One can’t help but be inspired by their possibilities!

Leslie Religioso comes to ASA with an enthusiasm for building community, connecting with others, and developing mission-focused fundraising opportunities to influence growth, drive success, and make a positive impact.

Before joining ASA, Leslie was the Director of Special Events at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona. In this role, Leslie directed and oversaw their fundraising events program, implementing leading practices in the areas of partnership/sponsor cultivation, individual giving and donor relations, volunteer and committee engagement, marketing, communications, and event logistics that contributed to the organization’s year-over-year fund development success for 11 years. Leslie began her professional non-profit career at CancerCare, a national social services organization based in New York City. There she gained knowledge and experience through various fund development roles that ignited her passion for non-profit work.

Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Boston University. A mom to a young son, you’ll likely find Leslie and her husband exploring the Phoenix Zoo, local aquarium, or Children’s Museum; they can’t wait to share the joy of the performing arts with him soon! He already sings a repertoire of songs/nursery rhymes at the top of his lungs, so maybe he’s destined for choir or theatre!

Total Years at ASA: 2

Degrees & Schools Attended
B.A. Economics minor in Business Administration – Boston University, 2003

Why ASA?
As a classically trained vocalist, the arts and education have always been extremely important to me. Through ASA’s incredible faculty and staff, students are able to cultivate their outstanding accomplishments within the arts, while also achieving academic excellence.

Min holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and English Literature from Hope College in Holland, MI. She is originally from Michigan but has lived in Arizona since 2012. Before joining ASA, Min served as the Marketing & Outreach Manager for the Epilepsy Foundation Arizona, providing programs, support, and services for individuals and families affected by epilepsy, statewide. During Middle School and High School Min attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts Vocal and Musical Theatre Summer Programs. Min can be found volunteering, traveling, and spending time with her two cats, Nahla and Aria.

Total Years at ASA: 2

Degrees & Schools Attended
B.A. Communcation and English Literature – Hope College, 2011

Front Office & Enrollment

Why ASA?
I believe in the mission of the school, and love the ASA culture and community. More like family than co-workers.

Why ASA?
I have the opportunity to build strong and positive relationships with children and their families. I find watching children learn and develop very inspirational. Being part of a team that is there for the community is very rewarding.

Ms. Samora has a total of 15 years experience in school districts. 10 of those years in a school front office. Working in schools has been a great growing experience for her personally and professionally. She is most proud of the great friendships that were built along the way.

Why ASA?
Our family first came to ASA when my two oldest children started in 5th grade in 2012. I’ve been trying to figure out how to work here ever since! Now that I do have the privilege to work with this team of educators, I can safely say it’s the most welcoming and engaging school I’ve had the pleasure of working in. As a music educator and former theatre kid, I would have totally thrived in a school as dedicated to academics and arts as ASA so being able to work with these creative, thoughtful and amazing students is such a fulfilling experience. I’ll always be their cheerleader and hope they can feel that everyone here truly cares about them and wants to see each and every one of them succeed. If ASA ever opens up to early elementary students, my ukulele and I are ready to go!

Education:
B.A. Music Education, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

Front Office Administrative Assistant

Business & Accounting

Why ASA?
Everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the success of those around them.

Elizabeth Shaw is a native Phoenician.  She attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Theatre.  After completing her studies, she began a 20+ year career with several Fortune 500 companies that included leadership roles in Human Resources, Training and Development, and Finance.  Prior to ASA, as a lifelong lover of dogs and cats (the animals, and the musical) Elizabeth owned and managed a boarding kennel in Taos, New Mexico.  Family and community motivated her return home to Phoenix in 2018. Now, after dreaming of a career in theatre as a child, she has come full circle and uses her finance background at a performing arts school.

Why ASA?
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

School Operations

Why ASA?
I love ASA because of how it treats its students, staff, and community members.

Eden Lewkowitz grew up in Phoenix, where he attended Brophy College Preparatory.  He then attended Northern Arizona University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with an extended major in history.  Mr. Lewkowitz then was recruited to teach English in Incheon, South Korea.  In 2010, he began teaching at Magnet Traditional School in Phoenix. While at Magnet Traditional, he served the education community as vice president of the Phoenix Elementary School District Classroom Teachers Association and as the founding chairman of the Arizona Education Association’s eSWAG committee. He has been teaching at ASA since 2015. Mr. Lewkowitz is very excited to be teaching at ASA where he can bring his innovative approach and love of history to his students.

Education and Degrees Earned: 
B.A.-Extended History-Northern Arizona University, 2009

Why ASA?
My favorite part of ASA is the community – everyone is so friendly and welcoming! I enjoy being surrounded by such a dynamic group of people each day.

Cody has spent his entire life in Arizona and comes from a family with a long line of educators. After high school, he began his studies at Arizona State University with the goal of teaching art or history, but soon discovered his interest in audio and visual technology. Prior to joining ASA, Cody was an Audio/Visual Producer through VAS Communications and provided multi-media services for major health institutions and corporations. Cody is excited to use his knowledge and experience to support the ASA Community.