Mr. Withers has completed ten years of service in the Great Hearts network. During this time he has taught history, economics, poetry, rhetoric, and humane letters. Additionally, he has served as an Academic Dean and Assistant Headmaster at one of Anthem Prep’s sister schools. He is passionate about reviving the Liberal Arts Tradition in the 21st century, and very excited to now be serving as Anthem Prep’s new Headmaster. He lives on a two-acre homestead with his wife, three children, and an assortment of farm animals.
Doug Pillsbury has served at Anthem Prep since the school’s inception. A graduate of Eastern Nazarene College, a liberal arts school in Boston, Mr. Pillsbury went on to receive a Master in Business Administration from Arizona State University, A Master of International Management from Thunderbird and is completing coursework for a Master in Humanities with a concentration in American History at Adams State University. Mr. Pillsbury is the Dean of Student Life and teaches 10th-grade Economics. Residing in Anthem since 2000, Mr. Pillsbury is grateful to be a part of a learning community that values the classics and believes in the precious nature of each student. His wife, Kendra, is a 4th-grade teacher at Anthem Archway. Mr. Pillsbury has one child attending Anthem Prep currently and has three children who graduated from the school.
Peter Wilson has been teaching and directing in Phoenix for over 20 years. He earned his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Arts in Theology and Biblical Studies from Fuller Seminary. He has been involved in performance, technical theater design, and directing in local community theaters since he was in high school. Mr. Wilson came to Anthem Prep as a parent when the school opened and joined the teaching faculty 9 years ago. He is currently teaching Drama I & II, in addition to serving as Dean of Curriculum and 504 Coordinator. In his free time, he volunteers at his church and teaches adult courses in history and theology.
Kent Taylor is beginning his sixth year with Anthem Prep as the 6th Grade Pre-algebra and Dean of Pedagogy for Middle School. Mr. Taylor earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Grand Canyon University and received his teaching certification from Arizona State University. Mr. Taylor also earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Northern Arizona University. Before joining Great Hearts Academies, he was a math teacher in the Deer Valley Unified School District for 8 years and in the Cave Creek Unified School District for 13 years. In addition to teaching, Mr. Taylor has served as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, watching sports, and spending time with family, especially his wife of 33 years, Donna, and his granddaughter, Rose (age 7).
Diane Tyson is excited to begin her 12th year at Anthem Prep | Archway Anthem. Early on she served as an office manager and enrollment coordinator, but the for the past 9 years, she has been the Academy Giving Manager. She is thankful for the families and our community for their ongoing generosity and support.
Diane has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Washington State University; Go Cougs! She has been married to Art for 32 years and they share two kids, Trevor who is serving in the United States Army and Ava who will be a senior in college in New York City.
Rick Watmore is currently Anthem Prep’s Athletic Director. This begins Mr. Watmore’s 10th year as a faculty member and his 8th year as the Athletic Director. Mr. Watmore began at Archway Anthem as a 4th-grade teacher, and then became the Athletic Director beginning his third year at the school. Rick Watmore has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Ottawa University. Mr. Watmore enjoys spending time with family, watching the Minnesota Vikings, and U of A basketball.
Daniel Barkley is excited to be returning as the ESS Coordinator for 6th -12th grades. This is his fifth year at Anthem Prep and his 12th year of teaching overall. Daniel is a 3rd generation Arizona resident and has been living in Anthem for the past 15 years. He graduated high school from Casa Grande Union High School and immediately upon graduation, joined the United States Marine Corps where he served for 10 honorable years. Daniel is a three-time Arizona State University Graduate with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, a Master’s degree in Special Education, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Additionally, he has a son who also attends Anthem Prep. During his free time he enjoys; reading, practicing archery, swimming, and hiking. Daniel is a big fan of all Arizona sports teams and a huge supporter of the U.S. National soccer team.
Bev Abbott is currently a school counselor at Anthem Prep | Archway Anthem. Bev has worked as a Guidance Counselor at the high school level for seven years and ten years within the elementary school setting. She has also taught in the classroom setting. Ms. Abbott has a School Counseling Certificate from Ottawa University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Norther Arizona University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, hiking, reading and being outdoors. She is excited to be a part of the Great Heart’s Family.
MeLisa DeSilva has been with Great Hearts since 2017, starting at North Phoenix Prep, and with Great Hearts Anthem since 2020. Originally hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, she moved to the Phoenix area as a child and grew up in the Valley of the Sun. Her eclectic business background includes working in the trucking industry, directing a performing arts center, and many years as an early childhood professional, both as a teacher and an administrator. As a mother of a large blended family, MeLisa feels blessed to be able to partner with students and families on their educational journey with Great Hearts. MeLisa lives in the Anthem area, enjoys long walks with her unruly pitbull mix Lilah, bike riding, swimming, and eagerly accepts any dance off challenge.
Patti Grimm has been in education for over 16 years and joined Great Hearts Anthem in 2022. Originally from Long Island, NY, she moved to Arizona in 1996, however, her strong “back east” accent, never left! Three years ago, Patti moved from Gilbert to Tramonto to begin her new life.
Patti’s working in education began as a parent volunteer, which led to being hired on as a Paraprofessional. From then on, she has worked in both back office and front office administration. Her constant drive to learn and grow, as well as plain old “common sense”, allows her to handle any situation that comes her way.
Patti has a love for all animals, enjoys staying active, creating designs on her Cricut machine, but most of all, she loves doing home renovations! Just hand her a tool and she be in her happy place.
Amy Ebersole is a Registered Nurse and started at Great Hearts Anthem in April 2021. She looks most forward to going to work everyday to be with her students and co-workers. She has a lot of fun with the kids and finds it a privilege and humbling that parents entrust their children under her care. Outside of school, she is involved with the Women’s Ministry at her church and helps on committees with her HOA board. She enjoys being with family and friends, playing games, going on road trips- especially when headed to the water.
Cathy Sparks has been with Great Hearts since 2013. As College Counselor for Anthem Prep, she passionately supports the Classical Liberal Arts education and the Great Hearts teachings of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty for our young scholars. She believes a Great Hearts education is a powerful foundation for any future path our students may choose.
She is originally from Arizona, having also lived in California, Texas, and Florida. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas. She has been with her husband Bill for 36 years. Their son Jackson graduated from Glendale Prep in 2022 and is currently attending Grand Canyon University. Their daughter Jessica graduated from Glendale Prep in 2023 and is attending Purdue University. She loves traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Karli Anderson has been working at Anthem Prep since 2017. She earned a Master’s in Music from the University of Texas in San Antonio, and a bachelor’s degree in Musical Studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing video games.
Kimberly (Kim) Bidleman is starting her first year as a middle school math teacher. This is her 5th year as a faculty member at Anthem Prep, and she has been a member of the Anthem Prep community as a parent since the 2012-13 school year. She taught 5th grade for four years and spent one year as an instructional aide in 5th grade. Mrs. Bidleman has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, and cooking.
Cameron Blaauw is a native of Southern Ontario and grew up in South Holland, Illinois. He developed a passion for languages and literature while studying at Hillsdale College. In 2010, he graduated with a BA in Spanish from Hillsdale and went on to further his studies to work in education. At New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho he earned an M. St. in Classical Christian Studies with an emphasis on classical languages. While finishing this degree he taught Latin at Logos School. He then went on to receive an MA in Classics at the University of Kentucky. Following this, Mr. Blaauw accepted a position to teach Latin at Veritas Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, Arizona where he has taught for the past five years. He is delighted to join Anthem Preparatory Academy and further the mission of shaping the minds and hearts of young men and women. Mr. Blaauw is teaching Latin I and 6th-grade literature and composition at Anthem Prep this year.
Johanna Chumley received a bachelor’s degree in Human Development with minors in Bible and Studio Art from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. She has held teaching certificates in both Tennessee where she taught 5th grade; and in Arizona where she taught 3rd and 6th grade at a charter school in downtown Phoenix. Her work with the Great Hearts network of schools began in 2019. She has a passion for education and the arts as well as a desire to contribute to the strong community at Anthem Prep.
Jonathon Duffey is new to the Anthem Prep faculty, currently teaching 9th Grade Humane Letters and 6th Grade U.S. History. He has previously taught Creative Writing at Phoenix Center for the Arts. A lifetime Phoenix native and ASU alumnus, Mr. Duffey has a deep-rooted faith in the liberal arts tradition and is eager to share his love for literature and cultural history with the Great Hearts community. Most of his downtime is spent playing guitar and enjoying films from the 1970’s New Hollywood period.
Marion Lerner has been a Lead Teacher at Anthem Prep since 2019. A California native, she grew up in Virginia, where she earned her BA in Linguistics at the College of William & Mary. She now shares her fervent love of language with students in teaching Latin and medieval literature. Previously, she taught 6th Grade History and 8th-grade Latin. In her leisure time, Ms. Lerner enjoys playing music, talking to family, and testing the limits of her kitchen.
Gabriel Herrera is entering his second year with Anthem Prep, teaching Studio Art I and Introduction to Fine Arts. He grew up in Moultrie County of central Illinois before moving to Surprise, Arizona where he earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma. He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2020, with a focus in Studio Art (2D) and Spanish. Mr. Herrera enjoys drawing, painting and reading esoteric novels in his spare time.
Dr. Christian Holland has been teaching, both high school and college level, at various institutions for over 20 years. He earned a Bachelor’s from the Great Books Program at St. John’s College, Annapolis, a second Bachelor’s in Historical Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, a Master’s in New Testament Studies from the Biblical Institute in Rome, Italy, and his Doctorate in Comparative Literature from Emory University. His dissertation, entitled “Time for Paul: Lyotard, Agamben, Badiou,” studies the historical and philosophical resurrection of Paul by leading French and Italian thinkers at the end of the twentieth century. After returning to his alma mater as a tutor in Annapolis to teach Great Books, he taught French, as well as electives in History and Philosophy, at a therapeutic boarding school in New England. He has now come full circle with his recent appointment at Anthem Prep. He serves on the staff as a teacher of Humane Letters, currently working with tenth graders on Modern Literature and Political Philosophy and with eleventh graders on Ancient Greek Literature, Plato, Aristotle, and the Hebrew Bible. In his free time, he enjoys classical music, cinema, running, and swimming, following current events mainly from French and European news outlets, reading, writing, and keeping in touch with friends.
Marius Mateescu is entering his third year with Great Hearts academies, 2nd here at Anthem Prep. Mr. Mateescu has a wide range of experience teaching since he first began in 2002, teaching students from kindergarten to 10th Grade in Social Studies, Algebra, Computer Literacy, Science, and English. Mr. Mateescu has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Geography from the University of Illinois. He received his teaching credentials from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University in Christian Studies. Mr. Mateescu is married and has 6 children. He enjoys bicycling, reading, basketball, hiking, and spending time with his family.
Dr. Derek Morrow is a founding faculty member of Anthem Prep. Courses he has taught at the academy include 6th grade Lit/Comp (seven years), 6th grade Latin, 7th grade Lit/Comp, 9th-grade Humane Letters (two years), and 9th through 12th grade French (eight years). Starting in 2012, he developed the four-year sequence of the French program and served as Master Teacher of Modern Languages for five years. Dr. Morrow graduated from Chaparral High School in Scottsdale before earning his Bachelor of Arts in French from Arizona State University. He went on to graduate studies in biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew) in Chicago, and doctoral work in philosophy at the University of Dallas, where he earned his Ph.D. in philosophy and liberal arts in 2009. Before joining the faculty at Anthem Prep, Dr. Morrow taught for four years at the university and five years in secondary education. In the current academic year, he is teaching Humane Letters, French, and the American Rhetorical Tradition. He loves witnessing the joy in the faces of his students, especially when they suddenly grasp an exciting truth, or bask in the beauty of conversing in French!
Thomas Mosmeyer is eager to begin his teaching career at Anthem Preparatory Academy. He will be teaching Ancient History and Introduction to Fine Arts this year. Born and raised in Texas, he is new to Arizona but excited to learn about the area. Thomas graduated from the University of Dallas with a degree in Politics. In his free time, he enjoys braving the heat and playing disc golf.
Lucas Pieraccini began his journey with Great Hearts in the sixth grade, graduating from Anthem Prep as a senior in 2016. Lucas earned admission into Hillsdale College, where he studied biology, graduating in 2020. While at Hillsdale College, Lucas competed on the Hillsdale College Clay Target Team, where he won two national championships and ranked 46th in the nation in all disciplines over all four divisions of competitors at the ACUI 2019 National Championship. Lucas also served as captain of the Clay Target Team in his senior year at Hillsdale. After spending six months post-graduation accruing volunteer hours at local hospitals in preparation for medical school, Lucas discovered the medical field was not his calling. Instead, Lucas answered a call to pursue service in education and came back to work for Anthem Prep in the Fall of 2021. Lucas finds deep fulfillment and joy in serving the Anthem community as a biology teacher, DJ at school dances, and more. In the Fall of 2023, Lucas began serving the Anthem community as an Assistant Dean of Students in addition to teaching. Outside of school, Lucas fills his time pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Dallas, playing the piano, songwriting/producing, reading, hiking, and serving at his parish.
Cosette Rijke found her way to the Great Hearts Anthem desert in 2022 after traipsing through a myriad of places such as New York City, Michigan, and California. After receiving her undergraduate degree in History, she spent a year in a small town on the eastern coast of Scotland studying to receive her masters in Medieval Studies. When the heat of Maricopa Valley proves oppressive in its eternal prospects, Cosette likes to imagine that she is back on the Scottish coast in a stone-walled library pondering the ageless glory of a medieval manuscript, preferably while it is raining outside. Cosette deeply enjoys teachingabout medieval conceptions of beauty, memorizing lines from Hopkins, disdaining introspection, and pursuing any wonder-filled endeavor. She alsoaspires tohave a life-sizeRota Fortunaeby the chalkboard.
Gregory Syssoyev has been with Great Hearts since 2021, starting at Glendale Prep, and with Great Hearts Anthem since 2022, teaching, in various years, 9th Grade Geometry, 10th Grade Chemistry, and 12th Grade Physics II. Originally from Palo Alto, California, he has lived in Utah, New Mexico, Maine, and Massachusetts at different points in his life. He graduated from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, receiving his undergraduate degree in philosophy and the history of math and science. He briefly worked as a political field organizer before growing disillusioned and returning to the world of liberal arts education. He finds fascinating the interplay between mathematics and the natural sciences; namely the way in which mathematical language can be used to express fundamental truths about the cosmos.
Mr. Wang started teaching at Great Hearts Anthem in 2022. He moved to Anthem in 2008 from Sacramento, California. He attended Great Hearts Anthem since he was in 5th Grade and graduated in 2018. He graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California in 2022 with a BA in Liberal Arts. He enjoys reading, writing playing basketball and practicing his mathematics.
Elizabeth Washburn has been a member of the Great Hearts community since 2011, starting as a 6th grader at Trivium Prep and graduating in 2018. From having developed an ardent love for French at Trivium, Elizabeth continued to study the language along with her passion of art history at Northern Arizona University, where she received her BA in the two subjects. She had the privilege to live in Paris and study art at university for six months where she enjoyed feeling like the world was French class every day. Upon graduating, she became a French and Lit/Comp teacher with Great Hearts Anthem in the Fall of 2022. She deeply appreciates the wonderful Great Hearts community she has been a part of for almost 15 years and is grateful for all the meaningful relationships she has across several campuses. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys reading various forms of literature, spending time with family and friends, rock climbing, and helping coach the middle school cross country team.
Great Hearts has had to put up with Mr. Wilson since 2011, when he was but a sixth grader roaming the halls of Glendale Prep. After graduating from Glendale in 2018 and getting a BA in Philosophy & Literature from a school near Philadelphia, he convinced Mr. Withers it would be a good idea to pay him and has been teaching at Great Hearts Anthem since 2022. Additionally he has a background in choir, theater, and martial arts, and is surprised when people read his bio, since that seems like something not very many people do. Good for you, intrepid reader. Keep up the good work.
Isaiah Wood is teaching Calculus I, Calculus II, and Logic and Computation. He received a Mathematics degree from ASU and has been teaching at Anthem Prep for seven years. Isaiah is also a Great Hearts graduate. In his free time, he reads a variety of books, plays video games with his wife, and takes care of his two young children.
Ms. Robin Roiger started teaching at Great Hearts in 2015 and has taught U.S. History, Nature of Science, Ancient History, Humane Letters I, III, and IV. After growing up in rural Montana, she moved to the Midwest to pursue a bachelor’s in history education. Teaching at Great Hearts introduced her to classical education and inspired her to continue her own education; she completed a master’s in liberal arts (’22) from St. Johns College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in four consecutive summers while teaching full time. Ms. Roiger serves as Senior Trip coordinator at Great Hearts Anthem. During her leisure time, she enjoys home improvement projects, traveling internationally, country swing dancing, and hiking to and through water. Her favorite books are Shakespeare’s Othello, Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, and Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.
Kaelyn Marble started with GreatHearts Anthem as a student from the years 2016-2018. In December 2022, Miss Marble graduated Summa Cum Laude from Holy Apostles College and Seminary with a degree in English Language and Literature. 2023 is her first year teaching at GreatHearts Anthem. She has worked with children for most of her professional life and is the oldest of four siblings. In her free time, Miss Marble enjoys exploring the many things to do in her hometown of Phoenix, reading, and weightlifting.
This is Samantha’s first year at Great Hearts. She grew up in the North Phoenix area before heading to college at Northern Arizona University, where she got her BS in Astrophysics. After spending some time doing physics research in the area of dark matter detection, she realized that her true passion is teaching science and getting to share her love of math and physics with students. She also recently got engaged and can’t wait to marry her fiancé at the end of 2023. In her free time, Sammie enjoys rock climbing, reading, and playing the piano.
Victoria Phelps was inspired to join the community after her brother joyfully started his high school career here at Anthem. She began her time at Great Hearts Anthem in November 2022 when she joined the Athenaeum program. She was brought on as a program assistant and quickly climbed the ladder to lead teacher. Shortly thereafter Victoria felt a yearning to pursue teaching her passion, science. In her free time, she enjoys (attempting) crochet, drawing, and watching beautiful Arizona Sunsets.