Our Staff: Fostering Innovation and Development
Suzie Hite joined the CCESA I & D team in 2014 as an Administrative Specialist. She primarily supports the Professional Development efforts for the Division. Suzie attended the University of Vermont and Northern Arizona University. She has held administrative positions at Honeywell in Phoenix and Northern Arizona University School of Nursing. She and her husband owned and operated Northern Arizona Wilderness Tours, Inc. in Flagstaff, conducting tours in Northern Arizona from Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly to the red rocks of Sedona. Suzie has been a longtime resident of Flagstaff, enjoying all that this region of the state has to offer. When not at work, you will find Suzie on one of Arizona’s many beautiful golf courses!
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Samantha Abramowitz graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education. She then went on to teach Special Education for Kindergarten through sixth grades for five years before becoming the Special Education Coordinator for the Coconino County Education Service Agency. Samantha received her Master’s degree in 2014 from Grand Canyon University in Curriculum and Leadership with a reading emphasis.
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Native to Arizona, Joe Donaldson has worked and lived throughout the Grand Canyon State. He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northern Arizona University, while serving in the Arizona Army National Guard. Joe is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist having the privilege of working with children, parents, and teachers from Phoenix, Tucson, Colorado City, Kayenta, Rough Rock, Yuma, Bagdad, and Bullhead City (to name a few). Joe is a former program specialist and director with the Arizona Department of Education Exceptional Student Services and has a strong background in special education compliance related to parts B and C of the IDEA. Presently, Joe is the special education director for the Yavapai County Education Service Agency and a contracted school psychologist specializing in low-incidence disability assessments (e.g. autism, intellectual disability). Joe and his wife, Geovani, have two daughters and sons-in-law living in Flagstaff. In his free-time, you can find Joe with his family kayaking on the Colorado River; coaching youth basketball with the Phoenix Suns’ Camps; or, headed out for an early morning run/bike ride on the trails near his Prescott Valley home.
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Kelly Donatell, Coconino County Education Service Agency I & D Professional Development Coordinator, has been developing and facilitating teacher trainings since 2013. Kelly is a skilled and adaptable educational professional specializing in formative assessment and project-based learning. She possesses knowledge of effective teaching pedagogy and best teaching practice and is committed to helping educators advance practice to transform the educational experience. Prior to joining the CCESA, Kelly worked as a physical education and health teacher for the Flagstaff Unified School District for six years. After graduating from Northern Arizona University with a BS in Health Promotion Secondary School Health and Physical Education, she began working for Flagstaff Unified School District, where she has taken on many roles. Over the years she has served as a coach, club sponsor, department chair and Content Area Specialist for Secondary PE. In 2012, Kelly was selected as the AZAHPERD Health Education Teacher of the Year.
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Emily Evans, Coconino County Education Service Agency I & D Professional Development and Research Coordinator, has a broad background in science education and research. She has taught in a variety of formal and informal education contexts through professional positions with State Parks, Outdoor schools, after-school programs, University undergraduate programs, and the K-12 school system. Since moving to Flagstaff in 2013, she has focused her work on preparing and providing professional development and support services for K-8 teachers. Emily has a PhD in science education from University of California Davis and complements her work as a professional development coordinator by developing and implementing grant-supported projects that incorporate education research and evaluation components. As part of this work, she has had the opportunity to work with teachers, administrators, and science education professionals across the state of Arizona. She enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with other educators, think creatively about education strategies, and help teachers access the resources and professional learning opportunities they need to support their students.
Lee Irby, Coconino County Education Service Agency I & D Professional Development Specialist, is originally from the Midwest, but considers Flagstaff her home. In 2004, she graduated from NAU and began her teaching career with FUSD in 2005. Her areas of expertise are in literacy training and social studies instruction. She facilitates Arizona English Language Arts awareness classes across Northern Arizona.
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Catherine “Cate” Malone, Coconino County Education Service Agency I & D Professional Development Specialist, is also an Instructional Specialist for Puente de Hozho Elementary, a tri-lingual school, in Flagstaff, AZ. As an accomplished educational professional, Ms. Malone has a proven track record in producing high quality presentations. She is a dynamic presenter who has delivered seminars to educators in the areas of literacy innovation, mathematics, and special education. Catherine has taught and worked with students in multi-cultural environments from kindergarten through sixth grade. She has coached elementary, middle school and high school teachers and teams focusing on student achievement. Ms. Malone earned her Master’s in Bi-Lingual and Multi-Cultural Education from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Iowa. She also has certifications in Elementary Education and English as a second language.
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Joey Persinger, Coconino County Education Service Agency I & D Professional Development Specialist, is a National Board Certified teacher working in the Flagstaff Unified School District. With a life-long passion for literacy, Joey earned her NBCT in Early-Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading, Language Arts in 2013. She is a certified teacher for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) and Teaching Reading Effectively (TRE). Working with teachers through CCESA has profoundly influenced her enthusiasm for on-going professional development.
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Hesper Petersen, Coconino County Education Service Agency I & D Professional Development Specialist and Data Analyst, has worked as a middle school math teacher for 10 years & a professional development specialist for three. Ms. Petersen’s areas of expertise are in Arizona's Mathematics Standards and pedagogical practices. She facilitates Mathematics Professional Development across Northern Arizona. She also compiles and analyzes school assessment data to inform that the CCESA’s development of professional learning is designed to meet the needs of Coconino County educators.
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