Jr. High Teachers

Sarah Cannon

Sarah Cannon

Math

Hi!  My name is Sarah Cannon.  I'm excited to be the Junior High math teacher at Ascent Academy here in Lehi!  I originally majored in secondary education, English and math.  Later, I got a masters in accounting, which is all about using numbers to communicate.  You'll find I like making connections--between math and English, between math and history, between math and engineering, and between math and accounting, among other things.

I'm a native Michigander (or in my case, Michigoose).  Living in Utah is a new experience.  I love the mountains, but I miss the trees.  I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, making puzzles, knitting, and crocheting.

Email:  scannon@ascentutah.org
Website:  http://blogs.ascentutah.org/scannon/

Lauren Carpenter

PE/Health

Lauren Carpenter

Lauren Carpenter

PE/Health

Hello! My name is Lauren Carpenter and I am proud to be a part of the Ascent Academy community! I have the pleasure of being the Junior High Physical Education and Health teacher. This is my seventh year teaching Physical Education and Health, and my second year with Ascent Academy. Previously, I taught Physical Education and Health for grades kindergarten through eighth in Illinois. I received a Bachelor of Science in Education in the areas of physical education and health education from Illinois State University in 2010.

Physical health and wellness are components of life in which I truly understand and value. Health and wellness play such a vital role in overall wellbeing, and ones level of health can set the tone for ever other aspect of life. There is nothing I am more passionate about than being in a field that can have such a significant impact on one’s life.

As a physical education and health teacher I have the opportunity to equip young people with the confidence and competence necessary to lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. My job is to promote a safe, fun, and effective learning environment that fosters ingenuity, positive social interaction, and success through innovative and enriching experiences. My objective is to not only teach the students about health and wellness, but to also instill a personal value for health and wellness in their own lives.

Interesting facts about me:

I was born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois (a western suburb of Chicago). I relocated to Salt Lake City in June 2015 with my husband, Patrick, and our dog, Coco. I am also a certified archery instructor. In my free time I enjoy: running, hiking, snowboarding (pretty much anything that involves being outside!), yoga, recreational sports, spending time with family and friends, playing with my dog, traveling, reading, and painting.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions, comments, or concerns.  I look forward to another great year!

Email:  lcarpenter@ascentutah.org
Website:  http://blogs.ascentutah.org/lcarpenter/

Danielle Divis

Danielle Divis

Math

I live in Lehi Utah with my husband Ryan and 1-year-old son Kingsley. This is my 5th year teaching secondary mathematics. I earned a master's degree in Mathematics Education from Brigham Young University in April, 2016, and hope to one day return to school to earn a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction so I can fulfill my dream of being a teacher educator at a university. When I'm not teaching math, I enjoy traveling to National Parks with my family, singing and playing the piano, crocheting, pencil sketching, and most of all, playing with my son. I am excited to incorporate my other musical and artistic passions into the curriculum here at Ascent to help my students engage in Mathematics in a way they haven't before.

Email:  ddivis@ascentutah.org
Website:  http://blogs.ascentutah.org/ddivis/​

Rachel Ebeling

English

Rachel Ebeling

Rachel Ebeling

English

I am so excited to be teaching at Ascent Academies in Lehi a second year! I received my B.A. in English from Brigham Young University, and then I completed my M.Ed. in Secondary English at Marymount University. In addition, I earned a graduate certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from George Mason University. Over the past four years, I have worked as an English tutor and Special Education teaching assistant as well as an ESL instructor. I knew I wanted to become a teacher while volunteering in Portugal and Brazil and my love for literature and theater solidified while completing a study abroad program in England. I have had several other opportunities to work, study, and travel and each experience has been both mind-broadening and transformative.

As a former homeschooler, I firmly adhere to John Dewy's assertion that “we do not learn from experience” but rather “from reflecting on experience.” My approach to education, then, seeks to establish a balance between doing and thinking, or experiencing and reflecting. Ultimately, my goal as a teacher is to provide my students with meaningful experiences—experiences that encourage them to step outside of themselves (and certainly the classroom), see the world from different perspectives, reflect on those differing perspectives, and better interact and communicate with others as a result.

My interests in addition to teaching include reading, writing, running, hiking, and playing the violin and piano. I love visiting museums and attending plays as well as spending quality time with close friends and family. As my students will soon learn, I am an ardent conversationalist and am addicted to having meaningful and thought-provoking discussions both in and out of the classroom.

Email:  rebeling@ascentutah.org
Website:  http://blogs.ascentutah.org/rebeling/

Dustin Ferguson

College and Career Awareness

Dustin Ferguson

Dustin Ferguson

College and Career Awareness

My name is Dustin Ferguson, and I am excited to teach Junior High CTE classes as well as Utah Studies this year at Ascent. This is my second year of teaching at Ascent, but my first year in the Junior High classroom. I have worked with 7-9 graders in the past, and I truly enjoy kids in this stage of life. It’s a unique opportunity to be apart of such a significant time for them.

I was raised on a cotton farm in the West Texas panhandle where I graduated from a very small high school. In 2013 I graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Secondary Education. I completed a semester of student teaching for 10th grade World History and loved every minute of it. Right after I graduated, I started a full-time job leading the student ministry at my church in Lubbock and did that for 3 years. During that job, I grew a passion for working with students and decided to go back into education. I have a background in history, but I love learning and teaching about all career fields and pathways.

I love to spend time with my wife and kids, being outdoors with them, and eating good food. In my free time, I enjoy riding anything with two wheels, doing anything that involves endurance, and playing or watching any sport.

Looking forward to working with students to help them learn and grow this year.

Email:  dferguson@ascentutah.org
Website:  http://blogs.ascentutah.org/dferguson/

Julie Johnson

Science

Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson

Science

My name is Julie Johnson and I am very happy to be a part of the Junior High team at Ascent Academy!

I was raised in the Republic of Panama with my five brothers and enjoyed running through the rain forest, catching frogs and snakes and climbing trees. I love bird watching, hiking, reading and the beach, although it has been a long time since I have been to the ocean. After graduating from high school in 1993, I moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University. While there I studied Zoology with an emphasis in Biology/Composite Teaching. I also earned a minor in International Development. It was then that I learned what an incredible impact education has on developing nations and developing individuals.

Education changes lives. It affords, those who take advantage of it, greater opportunities and a higher standard of living. This is true no matter where you come from; whether you grow up in a third or first world country, your access to equitable education, coupled with the priority with which you give your investment in yourself, has a direct correlation to your overall wellbeing. To be educated is a great gift and I thoroughly enjoy passing that gift on to others!

While at BYU I also had the opportunity to study at BYU-Hawaii. I spent one summer there taking classes, which included Pacific Natural History and Marine Biology. I loved my experiences there so much that when it came time for my student teaching I applied for the opportunity to teach in the South Pacific. I boarded a plane that took me across the ocean, first to Fiji and then to the beautiful coral atoll of Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati. It was an amazing experience. Upon my return to Utah I graduated from BYU and took my first teaching position in Granite School District. I taught there for seven years in my subject areas of Biology, Human Anatomy & AP Biology. I also taught Earth Systems and a course on Academic literacy.

When my 2nd child was born, I hung up my lab coat and stayed home with my growing family for the next eight years. Enrolling my own children at Ascent Academy when it opened a few years ago proved to be one of the best moves for our family.  I was so impressed with the focus on individual achievement that the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) provides that I jumped at the opportunity to come back to teaching.  I am proud to be a Husky right along side my three youngest kids.  I taught some pretty fantastic 5th graders last year. This year I am thrilled to get back to focusing on science in the junior high! I love Ascent Academy, our mission and our school climate.  I feel very lucky to be part of such a great team of educators and hope you will enjoy exploring the world around you as much as I do!​

Email:  julie.johnson@ascentutah.org
Website:  http://blogs.ascentutah.org/juliejohnson/

Mariel Miller

Spanish

Mariel Miller

Mariel Miller

Spanish

I lived here in Utah County for almost 11 years.  Originally from Costa Rica,  I grew up speaking Spanish as my native language, and has spoken fluent English for the past 13 years.

When I'm not home spending time with my family, I love to travel, cook amazing Costa Rican food, spend time outdoors, and shop!!

My husband Aaron and I  have 3 sons.  Boston is 7 years old, and Michael and Sammy are 2 years old.

I am really excited for this opportunity to teach, I hope to bring a fun learning experience.

Email:  mariele.miller@ascentutah.org

Jay Ransom

Geography

Jay Ransom

Jay Ransom

Geography

I am super excited to be a part of the amazing junior high team at Ascent Academy Lehi. As a Lehi resident I am especially excited to have the opportunity to work with local youth to support their growth as they become young adults and learn to be responsible citizens. I am passionate about history and its influence on the world we live in today and the world our children will inherit tomorrow.
In 2015 I earned my B.A. in Social Science education, secondary emphasis, from Western Governors University. I have a Social Studies composite endorsement from the Utah State Office of Education.
My experience supporting and facilitating youth personal development is rich and diverse. I have spent years as a Boy Scout leader and I also spent a year as a 4H after school program coordinator at American Fork Junior High. These experiences reinforced my belief in the value of individuality and that the single most important responsibility I have as an educator is to support the development of each student’s interpersonal skills and nurture their unique talents. Today’s students do not respond as well to traditional teaching philosophies. As an educator I don’t want to stifle imagination and abstract thinking I want to stimulate them. I will strive to aid students in the building of a positive self-image that will be the foundation of their educational experiences. A positive self-image and confidence in their abilities will strengthen their metacognitive skills, giving them the tools to accomplish scholastic goals.
My wife Julie were both born and raised in Seattle, Washington. We have lived in Lehi for 9 years. We have 5 children ranging in age from 4 months to 13 years, so we enjoy most hobbies together as a family. We love the outdoors, which is a big part of why we love Utah. We like to hike, bike, visit lakes and reservoirs, garden, and play all kinds of sports. In our family we have gymnasts and soccer, baseball, football, and lacrosse players (we also have some semi-professional monkey bars climbers).

Email:  jransom@ascentutah.org
Website:  http://blogs.ascentutah.org/jransom/

Mel Robison

Mel Robison

Art

Hello students and parents of Ascent Lehi! I am so excited to be a part of this amazing school and faculty.

My name is Melissa Robison and I teach art at Ascent Academy Lehi. I have been been an artist for as long as I can remember, starting way back with stick figure horses in Kindergarten (who needs stick figure people when you can draw horses).

I am originally from Fort Bridger WY,  after high school I moved to Columbus, OH where I received a BFA in Fine Arts, from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2001. Since then I have worked in several advertising agencies, creating brands and advertising for major companies throughout the world. I currently own an advertising agency with my husband, as well as teach visual art.

Over the years I have done varying kinds of art, from traditional fine art to illustration, graphic design, advertising, web design, branding, commercial design, app design, and teaching art. I love using my background, degree and skills to show students all the different aspects of art in the world. I enjoy helping students grasp these concepts and apply their own ideas and creativity to them, coming up with their own unique art, and furthering their artistic skills.

When I am not teaching, drawing, or building brands, I like to spend time with my husband (also an artist) and two kids, enjoying Utah's wonderful outdoors. As a family we try to hike in the mountains at least once a week during the summer months. I am also an avid runner, always trying to find some place new to run, currently enjoying the mountain trails.

Email:  mrobison@ascentutah.org

Parents of registered and attending students have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of their student’s classroom teacher(s). Ascent Academy will provide, upon request, information regarding state qualification and licensing criteria, licensing status, degree and certification held, and other relevant qualifications and in a timely manner. Please contact Tricia Remington at tremington@ascentutah.org if you would like more information.