Paul has worked with school-aged children in multiple capacities for the past 27 years. Prior to his arrival at Summit, Paul served as the Assistant Head of School & Academic Dean of Students at Scattergood Friends School (2018), the Head of School at the Willowwind School (2013-2017), and as the Academic Dean at Denver Academy (2005-2013). Paul holds an MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Iowa, an MA in Humanities-Culture and Gender Studies from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a BA in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Paul also holds a Master Educator and Administrator License from the State of Iowa.
Larisa BickelDirector of Business & Operations
Larisa has been a part of Summit in some fashion since it began in 1998. She graduated from Luther College in 1993 with a degree in Elementary Education. She has had a multitude of roles at Summit!
Kathleen ReinwartOffice Manager
Kathleen is thrilled to be part of the Summit team. As a Summit parent and former Board President, she is passionate about all things Summit! She brings many years of child-centered managerial experience to Summit, most recently as Assistant Director of St. Matthew Preschool.
Chris MaloneyEarly Childhood Teacher
Chris attended Mount Mercy University where she received her BS in Elementary Education with a reading endorsement. She also received her Early Childhood Endorsement from Teikyo Marycrest. Her favorite part of teaching is learning along with her PreK students. “Every day is different. I like to make school fun and interactive with materials, props, and ideas that encourage language and learning.”
Emily FlemingPrimary Teacher
Emily most recently served as a teacher at The Conrad Academy in Orlando, Florida. Emily has taught in K-6th grade classrooms for the past seven years. Emily brings a rich science background to Summit, and has effectively demonstrated a deep understanding of project based learning. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida and a TESOL endorsement.
Erin ValarezoEarly Childhood Associate
Erin graduated from Kirkwood with her degree in Early Childhood Education. She spent the beginning of her career as an assistant preschool teacher at College Community’s ECC. She then took a job nannying two young boys. Erin spent time volunteering at Summit while the youngest of the boys attended preschool at Summit. As they aged out of preschool, Erin joined the Summit team.
Sue MenkenPrimary Teacher
Sue is a familiar face at Summit – she has previously taught summer camps and been a tutor. Sue graduated from UNI and received her Master’s from Mount Mercy University. She has taught in Des Moines, Deep River, Marion Home School and for the last 14 years at Cedar Valley Christian in various primary grades. She is currently pursuing her certification through the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
Shawna WalkerPrimary Teacher
Shawna graduated from Coe College in 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education, with emphasis in Reading and Social Studies. Shawna’s previous work experience in local libraries cultivated her passion for making literacy accessible to all ages and abilities. When not teaching Shawna enjoys traveling, trying new foods, drinking coffee and checking books off her endless “to read” list.
Rebekah FordPrimary Teacher
Rebekah Ford will be the long-term substitute classroom teacher while Miss Shawna is on maternity leave this fall. Rebekah earned her degree in Elementary Education with reading endorsement from Mount Mercy University in December 2019. She is also trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of reading instruction that Summit proudly offers students. Rebekah has served as a substitute teacher, classroom volunteer, and caretaker of her three children at home. She enjoys a great campfire with family and friends, spending time outdoors – especially long hikes and exploring nature – and reading from a variety of genres.
Teresa ColemanMiddle School Teacher
Teresa grew up in North Liberty and graduated from UNI with a degree in Education and a minor in Mathematics. She moved to Texas and has taught 25 years in the 5-8th grade levels. She received her Master of Science in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. Teresa loves learning and passing the information on to the younger generations.
Angie NeuvilleMiddle School Teacher
Former Summit parent Angie Neuville returns as part of Summit’s middle school team in 2020. Angie received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary/Middle Level Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2003. She earned her Master Educator Teaching License while teaching Special Education at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids, later working as a consultant with Grant Wood AEA. She is the proud parent of a Summit alum, and in her spare time she loves reading, cheering for the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with family and friends
Amber MaasArt Teacher
Amber graduated in 2007 from UNI with a bachelors in elementary education and a certification in elementary art. After subbing at several area schools, she joined the Summit team.
Andrea HappelSpanish Teacher
Andrea studied abroad in Ecuador in college and graduated with a BA in Spanish and English Literature from Pacific University in Oregon. She has taught English in both Ecuador and Korea. Andrea holds teaching endorsements in K-12 Spanish, English, and Bilingual Education. Andrea was a Spanish teacher at Summit from 2000-2003 and is currently also a Spanish tutor in Summit’s tutoring program.
Christina AndersonTutor Manager
Christina is an Orton-Gillingham tutor and also works with homeschooling families through the Marion Home School Assistance Program. She has four children and lives with a menagerie of animals including cattle, hogs, poultry, goats, dogs and cats. She would love to set your student up with a great tutor!
Jamie DayPE/Health & Wellness Teacher
Jamie attended Kirkwood and then Central College where he received a degree in health and physical education. He believes that kids who move and enjoy physical activity make more effective learners. Jamie taught gymnastics while going through school which shaped his positive teaching style and the importance of having a growth mindset. In his free time he practices Olympic weightlifting, tends a garden, plays chess and likes to read.
After graduating from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Catharine moved to Cedar Rapids. This is where she met and married her spouse, Truman. Her last job was at D. C. Taylor Co. where she worked for 25 years. She sings with the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale, and has held the elected position of Treasurer for this organization since 2000 and shows no sign of stopping. Catharine joined Summit Schools in this part-time position in 2018.
Tonya TrudoMarketing & Communications Director
Tonya grew up in Cedar Rapids and received her communications/journalism degree from Augustana College. She was an associate editor at Soap Opera Weekly magazine in New York City and the public relations associate at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. She enjoys working with Summit staff and students in this part-time position.
Rachel EilersKitchen Manager
Rachel’s family was introduced to Summit Schools through summer camp in 2009. Rachel has volunteered for classroom activities, filled in at the main desk, subbed as an associate, served lunches and is now our Kitchen Manager. She lovingly cooks each school meal from scratch with only the healthiest ingredients, often incorporating produce from Summit’s own garden!