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!
TOTAL 13 Years: Nebraska University – 2 years; Kansas University- 2 years; ASA- 9 years
Total Years at ASA: 22
Education and Degrees Earned:
B.A. International Relations- University of Nebraska, 1992 and B.A. French – University of Nebraska, 1992
M.A. French Literature – University of Nebraska, 1995
M.S.W – Arizona State University, 2005
Arts Director and Vice Principal of Student Services
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.
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
Vice Principal of Student Support and Assessment
ASA is one of the most unique schools that I have had the privilege to teach and lead at due to its creative students, dedicated teachers, and supportive administration.
Elizabeth Clark 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 in 2018, became the Vice Principal. She is honored to continue to work with such a compassionate and inspiring administration, teaching staff, and student body.
TOTAL 7 Years: 2 Years – Arizona Collegiate High School; 5 Years – Arizona School for the Arts
Total Years at ASA: 14
Education and Degrees Earned:
B.A. History and Secondary Education, Minor in Art History – Susquehanna University, 2011
M.Ed. Educational Leadership – Arizona State University, 2016
Executive Assistant to Head of School/CEO and Alumni Engagement Coordinator
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 and Marketing Director
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!
Donor Relations and Marketing Manager
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 is an active member of the Junior League of Phoenix and can be found volunteering and spending time with her two cats, Nahla and Aria.
I believe in the mission of the school, and love the ASA culture and community. More like family than co-workers.
The quality of education surpassed my expectation, and the unlimited support and community involvement is very impressive!
Attendance Clerk/Health Center
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!
Front Desk/Admin Support
I believe in the importance of exposure to and involvement in the arts in order to educate well rounded individuals. I love the creative environment and positive attitude of Arizona School for the Arts and I am so excited to be a part of this outstanding community.
Business and HR Director
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.
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
Business Administrative Assistant
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
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 as ASA’s Operations Director. His son graduated in the Class of 2020, his nephew joined ASA as a 5th grader in 2021, and his daughter is set to graduate in the class of 2022. 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.
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.