Head of School (Ex-Officio Member)
Leigha Johnson is Lead Founder of Monarch Classical School of the Arts and Head of School. She is a passionate, high-performing, agent of change within public education. Leigha has over a decade of diverse classroom experience, including instructional coaching and intervention support. Additionally, she has served as a curriculum writer and consultant with several publishing organizations, specifically in the area of cross-curricular lesson structures and differentiation strategies. Leigha received several awards for her distinction within public education to include classroom achievement data, character development initiatives, and community outreach and advocacy. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology, Masters of Art in Teaching, Masters of Art in Educational Technology, Education Specialist in Education Administration, and currently nearing program completion for Doctor of Education in K-12 Leadership.
In her free time she enjoys crafting, interior design, curling up with a compelling biography, taste-testing almost any savory cuisine, and working through her DIY and upcycle Pinterest projects.
Leigha holds professional licenses in:
Early Childhood-6 th Grade Elementary Education
4-8 Math, Science, History, and Language Arts
6-12 Family Consumer Sciences
7-12 Career and Technical Education
K-12 School Administration (Principal)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board President (Expert Adviser- Information Technology)
Dr. Gregory M. Williams
Dr. Williams is a Director for the Governor's Office of Information Technology, Assistant Professor of Information Technology and Sciences and served as a member of Monarch's founding team. He has developed new courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix, Red Rocks Community College, and DeVry University. Dr. Williams’ teaching interests includes database, SQL, information security, and rhetoric and literacy. Prior to being the Director for Security, Risk, and Compliance for the State of Colorado, Dr. Williams was a Information (Cyber) Security Officer for the Department of Veteran Affairs, and a member of the United States Air Force. Dr. Williams is an exceptional corporate trainer, classroom facilitator, and information technology professional with 12 years of classroom instruction, 6 years of course design coupled with 15 years in the computer industry, and 5 years of research experience. He holds a Bachelor in Computer Science, Master of Human Services and Health Care Administration, and Doctor of Philosophy in Information Technology. In his free time, he enjoys reading, mentoring, and physical training.
Board Vice-President (Expert Adviser- Academics & Child Wellness)
Cara has worked as a classroom teacher and instructional coach within various parts of public education. She has a Master of Art in Education Administration and graduated Summa Cum Laude. As a mother of a special needs child, she finds herself particularly focused on effective differentiation and equitable service within diverse student populations. She has extensive experience working with emotionally challenged students, gifted education, and creating highly-customized 504 and IEP documents that generate true fulfillment in student’s learning experiences. Cara is an active contributor to research and family support within childhood epilepsy and is always willing to share her experience with this illness to anyone who could benefit from the information. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, and taking pictures of and with them as they build lasting memories together.
Board Secretary (Expert Adviser- Special Education)
Sophia grew up in Texas, but moved to Colorado as an adult and has made Colorado Springs her home for over the past decade. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has used her language ability to assist the development and best interests of children that are often underserved. Through her work as a Special Education Teacher, Classroom Support Professional, Registered Behavioral Clinician, and Family Case Manager she has come to know many different methods of supporting fair and equitable education. Sophia is an active member of the community and is committed to serving as a resource to families as they navigate the dimensions of modern parenting and societal endeavors. She considers her service on Monarch’s Board of Directors to be an opportunity to assist more children (especially special needs and at-risk) in reaching their greatest potential, within the structures of public education. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family, sharing dinner with great friends, learning new photography tricks, and relaxing around the house with her puppy and a great, new book.
Board Treasurer (Expert Adviser- Finance)
Lisa was born and raised in England and came to the United States after marrying her husband, Gary, during his overseas assignment as an Airman of United States Air Force. Being a military spouse of twenty +plus year, she had the great fortune of visiting and living in over a dozen countries. In addition to being a globe-trotting military spouse, Lisa raised three children while forging a career of her own in finance and public banking.
Starting out as a Bookkeeper for an independently owned spa and hair salon, Lisa quickly worked her way up to holding a managerial position within a corporate insurance agency. It was there that she discovered her ability to organize comprehensive financial projects that required in-depth market analysis and savvy operational strategies. Through her time at that organization, Lisa was able to oversee, coach, and audit financial processes ranging from risk & loss prevention, policy compliance, and human capital support. After moving from insurance to banking Lisa has served as a Branch Manager for US Bank and Bank of America, Regional Manager of Operation, Assistant Director of Operations for OneAZ Credit Union, and most recently Director of Retail Operations & Member Engagement. Lisa has an extensive number of certificates as a professional leader of finance, and is currently enrolled in a marketing-leadership program. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, browsing through fashion and home design magazines, and traveling the world with her husband and college-bound daughter.
Board Director (Expert Adviser- Academics & Governance)
Recruited right out of college, Barbara was a soloist with the United States Air Force Academy Falconaires and Moods in Blue Singers. It was during her tenure at the Academy that she married her husband Bruce, also an USAF Academy Bandsman. After serving a four-year contract with the USAF, she decided to resign from her position and focus on the development of their young daughter- who had significant care needs. That was the decision that propelled her into a twenty-seven-year odyssey of learning, teaching and coaching.
Having earned a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, and nearly three decades of experience as an educator, Barbara’s professional resume runs the teaching and leadership gamut. Ranging from teaching high school courses such as Forensics, Music, and Drama all the way to elementary students in literacy, language arts, and enrichment. As Director of BOCES for Miami-Yoder School District, she created specialized literacy programs further qualifying her for the coveted position that she would be offered within Colorado Springs District 11, Literacy Resource Teacher (LRT). As LRT she had the privilege of collaborating with innumerable other reading and language professionals and facilitating the district-wide training to all teachers on testing protocols and practices within DIBELS and other curriculum-based measures of achievement.
Barbara is a long-time member of Delta Kappa Gamma educational society. She served as President of the RHO chapter for 4 years. Now retired, Barbara enjoys performing as a local musician, staying current and active within issues involving public education, and is passionately committed to her work as a member of Monarch Classical School of the Arts’ Board of Directors.
Member (Expert Adviser- Health & Safety)
Dr. Tanya Howard
Dr. Tanya Howard served as an adviser to the founding team, specifically on issues related to math and science and urban youth philanthropy. She is an Emergency Medicine Attending Physician and social activist. As an accomplished U.S. Navy Veteran, Medical Doctor, and mother of two, Tanya is passionate about educational equality and school opportunities for low-income families. Originally from a working-class family in Trenton, New Jersey, Dr. Howard attributes her success to a learned work ethic (gained from her mother), that forged a love of learning, commitment to excellence, and devotion to paying opportunity forward. Dr. Howard’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University, Doctor of Medicine from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Emergency Medicine Residency at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and numerous other professional certifications. Tanya is an active member of many professional and social boards and enjoys participating in the advancement of humanitarian efforts. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world, absorbing new cultures, and making memories with her two children.
School Accountability Committee
SCHOOL LEADERSHIP MEMBERS:
Pauline Eltagonde- Dean of Students & Outreach
Dr. Phillip Williams- Dean of Instruction & Assessments
Barbara Thompson- Board of Directors
Emmy Alarcon- Teacher
Brooke Maas- Registered Nurse
Jacob Rast- Community Supporter
SCHOOL FINANCE COMMITTEE
Harold Johnson- Business Office
Sarah Sierist- Business Office
Lisa Hagins- Board of Directors
Harold Johnson-Business Office
Greg Williams- Board of Directors
Sofia Futty- Board of Directors