“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
At Discovery Ranch, our teachers and educators strive to help our girls learn in a way that can stay with them for the rest of their lives. We have a system to help those who have struggled in the past to learn. We want our students to acquire the skills necessary to find success and enjoyment in school and eventually be prepared for college and beyond. A major portion of this learning process involves experiential learning, which helps students actively learn.
Academic Director Elizabeth Grant is thrilled to join the fantastic team at Discovery Ranch for Girls as the new Academic Director. She has been working to improve learning and lives for students with learning differences, giftedness and 2E for more than thirteen years in California and Colorado. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Mild/Moderate Special Education from Brigham Young University and earned a Masters of Education in Prevention Science Practice from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Her particular focus has been on striving to mitigate anxiety in students with learning differences in order to support wellbeing and successful life transitions. Elizabeth is certified in Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education and Twice Exceptionality in the state of Colorado.
Elizabeth loves to visit her four children who live throughout the US and France and she enjoys yoga, singing in choirs, cooking, hiking, art, gardening and exploring locally and going on worldwide adventures.
Christi Orme is the Assistant Academic Director at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She was born and raised in Southern California and then moved to Cedar City her Sophomore year of high school. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Family Services from Southern Utah University. After working with the local school district in Special Education for a few years she received the opportunity to work here at DRG. Her future plans include attending a master’s program for School Counseling. She truly loves working with the students and guiding them through their academic endeavors.
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Rick Haag moved to southern Utah in 2005. His life has been an adventure. He grew up on a horse ranch in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Rick has been a professional rodeo athlete, a horse trainer, and a certified corrective horseshoer. He studied at Merced College and Southern Utah University with a literature emphasis. Rick has written a novel and is a professional copywriter. His life is centered on spending time with his family and coaching youth soccer. He is currently the Assistant Academic Director at DRG. Rick believes that we are all here to bring value to this world and to overcome adversity. Rick loves helping the girls at Discovery Ranch believe in their individual intrinsic worth as they develop academically, athletically, and personally.
Jessica Bulloch is the Special Education Coordinator at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She has been teaching for the past fifteen years. Jessica attended Dixie State College (where her grandma was an English professor). She graduated with an A.S. and attended Southern Utah University and graduated with a B.A. degree in Family and Consumer Science. Jessica taught for three years in St. George, Utah and established the Young Parent Program at Millcreek Alternative High School. She then married and stayed home to raise five children. After ten years and a divorce, she started teaching in Cedar City, Utah and went back to school and finished her Master’s degree in Education with an Administrative/Supervisory Endorsement. After teaching FACS for three years in Cedar City, she obtained her degree in Special Education from the University of Utah and has taught in that area since. She loves to shop, go to the beach, lay in the sand and read books. She loves professional football–Go Broncos!! Her biggest joy is her children and grandchildren. . .
Micah Baker is the History and Social Studies Teacher at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in History Education from Southern Utah University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2012. Micah has been with the Ranch from the beginning and loves sharing her passion for learning with her students. She is also the Academic Experiential Director. Some of her favorite activities have been: building and launching model rockets, teaching Braille, discovering the wide world of origami, exploring animation and Skyping with legendary animator Don Bluth, creating Medieval coat of arms, and helping students foster of love of Shakespeare by attending an all-day field trip to Cedar City’s Shakespeare Festival. When she isn’t teaching, Micah can often be found folding paper for her latest origami creation or solving puzzles. She is also quite the connoisseur of movies and enjoys finding lesser-known films to add to her eclectic collection. We are excited to share that Micah won the 2015 NATSAP Service Award! We shared more details about this accomplishment on our blog: Micah Baker 2015 NATSAP Service Award.
Math and Physics Teacher
Vicki Heaton is the math teacher at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She is married and lives in Cedar City, Utah. She recently retired as a Math and Physics teacher at Cedar City High School. Vicki obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics with an Art minor from Southern Utah University. Later, she earned a Master’s of Education with a Science Emphasis also from SUU. This included an endorsement to teach Physics. In addition to loving to read and do artwork, Vicki trained to become a luthier. She currently builds and repairs violins and guitars at her family business Whittlesticks in Cedar City. When time allows, she pulls a few weeds from her garden. She loves the outdoors, especially being in the mountains since she was born and spent her early years in Sun Valley, Idaho. Currently, she is learning how to engrave metal. It should be apparent that Vicki loves learning and hopes to continue doing that her whole life. She wants to share that love of learning with the young women at DRG.
Kaylee Green was born in Ogden, Utah. She attended Fremont High School, in Plain City, Utah and graduated with an associate degree from Weber State University. In 2007 she moved to Cedar City and married Phil Green. While in Cedar she attended Southern Utah University and graduated in 2010 with a bachelor degree in both art and PE with a coaching endorsement. For two years she worked as an art teaching at SEA (Southwest Education Academy). Kaylee continues to assist as a special needs Teacher Assistant for the same school district. She loves teaching and enjoys encouraging creative minds. Before teaching art, Kaylee taught and ran swimming lessons at the Cedar City Aquatic Center. She has also taught water aerobics at Southern Utah University. She is a proud mother of three kids, one daughter, and two boys. Family time is important to her and she loves her crazy busy life they cause. Kaylee has always enjoyed the outdoors and she particularly likes to go hiking with her family. She also loves to scrapbook and paint. Kaylee has always shown a passion for running, having completed many marathons. She hopes to qualify for Boston for bragging rights and to have an excuse to go to Boston.
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David Rees was born in Northern Utah but has lived in many places ranging from Florida to Hawaii. Watching the exploits of the Hubble Space Telescope in the 90s led to an incurable addiction to science. He graduated from Southern Utah University and now enjoys six years of sharing explosions, reactions, eclipses, transits and many other natural phenomena with his science students. David is credentialed as a Level 1 Earth Science Teacher.
Emalee Smith grew up in Southern Utah. She loves the rural desert landscapes of Cedar City, and spends much of her spare time mountain biking, running, and hiking. Emalee is also a shameless hoarder of books (although she prefers to be called a collector of books) and is typically in the middle of at least three writing projects. After completing a degree in English at Southern Utah University, Emalee began exploring a career in education. She has worked as a tutor, mentor, substitute teacher, and as an adjunct professor. She now teaches English at the local high school. Emily is credentialed in Level 1 English. She loves working with students and helping them to find their passion for learning.
Shelby Esplin is the science TA at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She grew up in Colorado and moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University. While attending college, Shelby dove on the school’s Swim and Dive team where she learned the importance of time management, discipline, and daily exercise. She just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Wellness. Before finishing school, she served a mission for eighteen months in Texas and Louisiana. During her time in the South, she learned to love teaching and helping people achieve their goals. Shelby lives in Cedar with her husband. She enjoys teaching girls to love science as much as she does.
Daniel is the History TA for Discovery Ranch for Girls. He is currently attending Southern Utah University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis in secondary teaching. Daniel grew up in St George, UT, and enjoys spending free time with his family. He loves teaching and watching people learn and grow academically.
Mikael is a Southern Utah native from her childhood and loves living in her homeland. After graduating high school in 2013 she attended Waldorf University in Northern Iowa, where she played right defensive back on the women’s soccer team. Shortly after returning from serving an LDS church mission in Chile, she transferred to Snow College where she met her husband, Quinn. Mikael graduated from Southern Utah University with a Bachelor of Communication Studies and a minor in Spanish. She also graduated as an SUU certified mediator. She loves spending time with her family and playing sports.
Josh Osborne is a science TA for DRG. He is completing his degree in Biology and Chemistry at Southern Utah University. Josh is passionate about helping others and he loves educating and mentoring our future leaders. Josh also enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and their dog.
Mykayla grew up in Cedar City Utah and lives there now with her husband. She attends Southern Utah University studying Elementary Education. When Mykayla isn’t tutoring at Discovery Ranch or going to school at SUU, she enjoys riding horses, helping with her family’s ranch, roping, and any other outdoor activity. She hopes to teach elementary school full time after she graduates from SUU.
Angel Pena is Math TA and Tutor at DRG. Angel grew up in Sonora, Mexico and moved to Cedar City to attend Southern Utah University and pursue a degree in Physical Education. He is currently getting his prerequisites for veterinary school, and hopes to be a vet in the active duty army. Angel currently serves in the National Guard as a 13B, cannon crewmember. He loves working with our students as they work to fulfill their potential and find their motivation and love for learning. In his free time Angel likes to spend time outside with his wife and dogs. .
Madie grew up in Moab Utah and now lives in Cedar City while she and her husband attend school at Southern Utah University. Madie is currently working towards becoming a Radiology Technician and plans on attending the Weber State University outreach program next fall to do so. When she isn’t at work or going to school, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, playing soccer, and enjoying the outdoors. She also loves learning new things and meeting new people.
Hailee Donner is a science tutor for Discovery Ranch for Girls. She graduated with a degree in Biology in 2014. After working for several years in the biomedical field, she decided to start a career in education. She is in the process of getting her teaching certification. She loves to travel and has lived in several states including Idaho, Nevada, Minnesota, California, and Utah. Hailee loves spending time with her family and fur babies, playing music, and learning new things. Hailee brings her enthusiasm for science and love of learning to the students at DRG!
Sasha Hardman is a math tutor at Discovery Ranch for Girls. Sasha is currently attending Southern Utah University and is working toward her bachelors of Secondary Mathematics Education. Sasha is passionate about teaching and working with children and teens and is excited to become a high school math teacher. When Sasha is not working or in school she loves spending time with her 3 children and husband. Sasha spends a lot of her free time outdoors with her family camping, fishing, hunting, and working on her backyard farm.