Academic Staff

Classroom-n-books-at-DRG

“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.

Educator Bios

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

Academic Director
Monica Venida

Monica Venida

Assistant Academic Director
Jessica Bulloch

Jessica Bulloch

Special Education Coordinator
Jade Barney

Jade Barney

Assistant Special Education Coordinator
Micah Baker

Micah Baker

Social Studies Teacher/Academic Experiential Director
Brooke Behling

Brooke Behling

Social Studies Tutor
Kyle Peterson

Kyle Peterson

Social Studies Tutor
Vicki Heaton

Vicki Heaton

Math and Physics Teacher
Angel Pena

Angel Pena

Math Tutor
Sasha Hardman

Sasha Hardman

Math Tutor
Tyler Hugentobler

Tyler Hugentobler

Math Tutor
Cierra Salcido

Cierra Salcido

Math Tutor
Rebekah Yamashita

Rebekah Yamashita

Science and Math Tutor
Rick Haag

Rick Haag

English Teacher
Kasei McGhie

Kasei McGhie

English tutor
Tasha Worth

Tasha Worth

English tutor/Jammerz Team
Hailee Rogers

Hailee Rogers

Science Tutor
Alex Niemala

Alex Niemala

Science Tutor

Elizabeth Grant, M.Ed

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.

Monica Venida

Assistant Academic Director

Monica started working at Discovery Ranch for Girls in 2018 as a mentor. She has moved forward to become the Assistant Academic Director.Monica graduated from Southern Utah University (SUU) in 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Life and Human Development with minors in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies and an emphasis in Family Services.Monica was involved in various things around SUU’s campus as well as the Cedar City community, including being a part of the Student Programming Board, which planned events for the student body. She also volunteered at the Women’s Crisis Center.When Monica is not at Discovery Ranch for Girls, she enjoys painting, yoga, reading, being outside, and spending time with friends and family.

Jessica Bulloch

Special Education Coordinator

Jessica has worked at Discovery Ranch for Girls for many years. She loves working with students and their families. She loves to swim, to be near the water, to travel, and to have her grandkids over so that she can spoil them.

Jade Barney

Assistant Special Education Coordinator

Jade is the special education aide at Discovery Ranch for Girls. She is currently attending Southern Utah University to earn her degree in Education with a Special Education emphasis.Jade has learned a lot throughout her years at the ranch. She has learned about how to provide aid to students with various emotional disabilities. She loves working with the students at DRG and has enjoyed gaining special education experience. Jade grew up in Cedar City and enjoyed exploring and experiencing the natural beauties found in Southern Utah.

Micah Baker

Social Studies Teacher/Academic Experiential Director

Micah Baker is the Social Studies Teacher/Academic Experiential Director 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.

Brooke Behling

Social Studies Tutor

Brooke Behling has an Associate degree from Snow College. She is from Fountain Green, Utah. Brooke enjoys being a mom, baking, and cake decorating. She also likes riding horses and being outdoors.

Kyle Peterson

Social Studies Tutor

Kyle is a native of Cedar City native and grew up hiking some of the world’s most beautiful countrysides. He’s an Eagle Scout, a deeply spiritual person, an avid inviter, accepting of all people from all walks of life. For the past four years, he lived near the Canadian border in Minot, North Dakota. Kyle enjoys biking (especially in the snow), CrossFit, playing and teaching the piano, and working as a team of individuals to serve and improve our community. Future goals include pursuing a Ph.D., as well as hiking the Zion Narrows with his kids. He hopes to coach swim and Waterpolo teams and get his tennis and golf game back.

Vicki Heaton

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.

Angel Pena

Math Tutor

Angel grew up in northern Utah then later moved to Cedar City to attend Southern Utah University. He graduated with a degree in Physical Education. While working at Discovery Ranch for Girls, he discovered his passion for teaching. When not at work, he likes to spend time with his wife and son.

Sasha Hardman

Math Tutor

Sasha Hardman is our head tutor at Discovery Ranch for Girls. Sasha is currently attending Western Governors University. She is working toward her Bachelor of Secondary Mathematics Education.Sasha is passionate about teaching and working with children and teens. Sasha is excited to become a high school math teacher and work with teens on overcoming obstacles with school and math.When Sasha is not working or in school, she loves spending time with her three children. Sasha spends a lot of her free time outdoors with her family, camping, fishing, and hunting.

Tyler Hugentobler

Math Tutor

Tyler Hugentobler has been working at the ranch as a math tutor since November 2017. He recently graduated from Southern Utah University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. His goal is to continue his education and earn a Master of Accounting degree so that he can become a Certified Public Accountant.Tyler grew up in Moab, Utah, where he learned to love the outdoors. On a typical summer day, you can find him riding his dirt bike, hiking, mountain biking, or hanging out with his wife. He loves watching and playing sports. He is also a huge Oregon Duck fan.

Cierra Salcido

Math Tutor

Cierra is a student at Southern Utah University and is studying Biology and Mechanical Engineering. She has a math minor, and she loves using that knowledge to help others learn math. Cierra is from Arizona, and she loves to camp!

Rebekah Yamashita

Science and Math Tutor

Rebekah Yamashita grew up in Parowan, Utah. Rebekah works as a science and math tutor. She attends Southern Utah University and is working towards her Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. Rebekah is motivated to get a career in aerospace engineering after graduation. She enjoys encouraging the girls to pursue STEM and helps them gain a better understanding of STEM subjects.

Rick Haag

English Teacher

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. 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.

Kasei McGhie

English tutor

Kasei currently attends Southern Utah University. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Kasei was raised in Cedar City, Utah. In her free time, Kasei enjoys reading, watching baking shows, or going hammocking.

Tasha Worth

English tutor/Jammerz Team

Tasha Worth is an English tutor/Jammerz Team. She also teaches in the school’s Jammers program and assists in the guitar class. She is working hard toward her Bachelor’s degree in Family Life and Human Development at Southern Utah University. Tasha has a passion for learning, making music, trying new things, and making meaningful connections with people. She spends her free time hiking new trails, playing the piano, hanging out with her family, and playing ultimate frisbee.

Hailee Rogers

Science Tutor

Hailee Rogers 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!

Alex Niemala

Science Tutor

Alex Niemela is a science tutor for Discovery Ranch for Girls. He is passionate about education and has a general love for the sciences.Alex is working towards finishing his degree in chemistry. He hopes to pursue a career in pharmacology. Besides work, Alex also enjoys sports, computer technology, and reading everything from novels to research studies.
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