Our Staff: Fostering Innovation and Development
Cheryl Mango-Paget, Coconino County Associate Superintendent of Schools and Director of Innovation and Development, has been leading educational initiatives since 1989. For the past nine (9) years, Cheryl has worked for the Coconino County Education Service Agency as a Professional Development Coordinator and Associate Superintendent. During her tenure at the Education Service Agency, Cheryl has co-authored/led successful Mathematics and Science Projects, Title III, Arizona Community Foundation, STEM, and literacy grants, totaling over 10 million dollars. Through these awarded funds she has collaboratively developed and served as an instructor on twelve (12) STEM professional development courses which have impacted over 1000 teachers and their students in Flagstaff and throughout Arizona. In 2015 Cheryl received a National Public Service award and received it again with the Innovation and Development team in 2017. Previous to joining the Coconino County ESA, Cheryl spent twenty years as an educator in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cheryl taught elementary school, served as a building level administrator, district Master Teacher, and taught graduate classes at Marian University. During her tenure, she earned the Teacher of the Year Award, Olin B. Davis Award, two school-based National Blue Ribbon awards, and was the recipient of several programmatic grants. Ms. Mango-Paget earned her BS in education at Indiana University. She also holds a MS in Curriculum and Instruction and an Ed.S in School Administration from Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis.
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Floyd Nelson was born in Winslow, Arizona and raised in the nearby communities of Leupp, Canyon Diablo and Flagstaff. His early childhood years were spent herding sheep and tending to horses and cattle on the Navajo Reservation.
Floyd’s mother had a strong desire for her children to obtain an education, contribute to community and have healthy and stable families. Because of his mother’s persistence, Floyd developed a strong desire to stay in school, learn, read and do his homework. At the age of eight, he was placed in an LDS educational placement program in American Fork, Utah where he established close and lasting ties with his foster family.
After graduating from American Fork High School in Utah, Floyd continued his education and search for a career path at Brigham Young University. From there, he completed a mission for the LDS Church and served in the Utah Army National Guard/Army Reserve for seven and a half years. After two years in the work force, he found that he loved “crunching numbers”. A year and a half later, Floyd graduated from NAU with a Bachelors of General Studies in Small Business Administration and a minor in accounting.
For more than 25 years, Mr. Nelson has gained valuable experience in clerical and managerial accounting. He has worked in various accounting positions in retail, business ownership, government and the non-profit industry. Floyd has worked in clerical positions in Accounts Payable, Payroll and Accounts Receivable. In the last ten years, Mr. Nelson has worked in managerial positions such as: Assistant to the Controller, Contracts Manager, Finance Officer and Contracts and Budgeting Specialist.
Floyd has been married to his lovely wife Kathryn for 22 years and has three beautiful daughters: Olivia, McKenna and Milan. The family enjoys pets, traveling, hiking, camping, sports, and living in the mountains. Floyd’s hobbies include coaching volleyball and basketball, animal husbandry, gardening, mountain biking and a good movie.
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 has served as a professional learning coordinator, developing and facilitating teacher trainings, since 2013. 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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Jacob Lesandrini has been providing trainings as an ELA Specialist for the CCESA for two years. Jacob is from Madison, Wisconsin, where he attended the University of Madison. He graduated from the UW in 2003 with a BA in English and Italian. After moving to Arizona in 2003, Jacob began his graduate studies at Northern Arizona University, where he graduated in 2006 with a MA in English Education. Jacob began teaching high school English in Winslow, Arizona. Since that time, he has taught 9th-12th grade English, AP English, Special Education English, and English to Second Language Learners. After 6 years teaching at Flagstaff High School, Jacob left the District for a job working for Upward Bound at Northern Arizona University. In his free time Jacob enjoys hiking, camping, and watching his Chicago Cubs raise his hopes and destroy his dreams. He loves working with teachers to provide relevant and timely professional development that helps support all students to become better readers, writers, and thinkers.
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Lee Irby, I & D Professional Learning & ELA Specialists, 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, a Literacy Innovation & Development Specialist for Coconino County Education Service, 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 is an ELA Specialist and a veteran teacher working in the Flagstaff Unified School District. With a life-long passion for literacy, Joey earned her National Board Certification 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), a trained Cognitive Coach, and a specialist in instruction for the gifted. Working with teachers through CCESA has profoundly influenced her work with teachers and her enthusiasm for supporting on-going professional development.
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Hesper Petersen, I & D Professional Learning & Data Coordinator, has worked as a middle school math teacher for 10 years & a professional learning coordinator 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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