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.”
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.
Rachel WillenborgPrimary Teacher
Rachel attended The University of Iowa where she received her B.A. in Elementary Education with a reading endorsement and a social-emotional learning leadership certificate. After graduating, she served as a long-term substitute teacher in the Cedar Rapids area. She also enjoys teaching dance classes when not at school. Rachel is excited to join 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 Cedar Valley Christian School in various primary grades. She is currently pursuing her certification through the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
Shawna WalkerIntermediate 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.
Shelby ParadiseIntermediate Teacher
Shelby hails from Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a Daniels Scholar, Shelby chose to attend Coe College, which led her to Cedar Rapids. Shelby graduated from Coe in 2018 where she received her B.A. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading and Social Studies. While attending Coe, Shelby taught English to Burmese refugees in Thailand one summer and then studied abroad and taught English in Ghana, Africa in the fall of 2017. After graduating, she served as a long-term substitute teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids. For the past two years, Shelby has been living in Boston, Massachusetts, where Shelby took a Teach For America position teaching 6th grade science. In her free time, Shelby enjoys being outside, working out, traveling, crafting, and being around friends and family.
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
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
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.
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.
Jacob Brandenburg Music Teacher
Jacob has helped bring music to school-aged children for several years. He is excited to officially start his teaching career at Summit. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in General Music Education, and from the University of Northern Iowa with a master’s degree in Music Performance-Saxophone.
Amber MaasArt Teacher/Summer Camp Director
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.
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!
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.
Stan Hughes, Jr.Development Officer
Stan earned his BA in Administration and Marketing from Sullivan University. Most recently, Stan has served as a Paraeducator for the Cedar Rapids Community School District at McKinley Middle School and Kennedy High School, and as an Assistant Coach for Kennedy Men’s Basketball. He is also Founder and CEO of EGOS Academy, a local nonprofit organization designed to empower youth while instilling in each individual the importance of accountability, responsibility, and integrity.
Ken is a graduate of Boston College with a BS degree in accounting and marketing, and a graduate of the University of Connecticut with an MBA in Finance. Ken has over 35 years of experience in accounting and investments working with large financial institutions. Ken moved to Cedar Rapids from Connecticut four years ago to be with his children and grandchildren.
Jill ElliottTutoring Manager
As a licensed teacher, Jill is passionate about the multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading method. She loves watching students with dyslexia (as well as other learning challenges) flourish, thrive, and apply their skills to learn. Jill has been a teacher in the Marion Independent School District for 16 years. With three grown children and two busy grandchildren, Jill always looks forward to their next adventure, card game, or laughter around the campfire. She is a professional photographer, loves to cook, and enjoys traveling.