Staff Qualifications

A listing of Staff Qualifications is available at each campus upon request.


Kaylee Smith


My name is Kaylee Smith and I am honored to be serving as the Principal here at Cambridge Academy East – Queen Creek Campus.  When you walk in our doors you will immediately feel at home.  Our school has a dedicated and involved group of staff members who are committed to ensuring all of our students have a safe, nurturing and fulfilling educational experience here at Cambridge.  The staff here is committed to providing your children with a challenging and rigorous curriculum that will facilitate the learning of each individual student’s needs.  Our school provides STEM Focused Learning, through targeted electives, specials, and project-based learning.  This provides our students with a great balance in instruction and learning in their classrooms.


Gina Cina


Hello! My name is Ms. Cina and I am the new kindergarten teacher! I am so excited! I obtained my Bachelor of Science and Educational Studies degree from Grand Canyon University. I had the opportunity at Grand Canyon University as a student to complete courses specialized in special education and general education classroom settings, structures, and strategies as well. I have also worked in both the general and special education classrooms throughout my career. I am looking forward to getting to know and teach my students this year!
I am originally from southern California. I moved to Arizona in 1999. I am the mother of two children. My son’s name is Rion, and he is 20 years old. My daughter’s name is Emily, and she is 18 years old. I love swimming and hiking! I have a cat and a dog, and my favorite color
is green!


Josh Williams

1st Grade

Hello everyone, my name is Mr. Williams. I am a first year first grade teacher full of excitement. I graduated High School in 2009 from Gilbert High School and I received my BS from ASU in December of 2012. Although I am new to this classroom, I have had plenty of adventures teaching. In the past, I taught aspiring Audio Engineers at The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences.  Over the last few years, I have worked closely with The Wild Things Bus and Project Exploration traveling and teaching all about this beautiful state and many of the living creatures in it. During this time, I have also worked with dogs at a daycare and boarding facility called Happy Pets Palace and Playground. My dog, Mac, is my best friend and he is used to coming to work with me almost every day so this is going to be a huge change for the little guy.

I am very close with my family and love spending time with them. We are a very tight knit group and they have helped shape the man I have become today. I love my parents, sisters and nephews dearly. They are always there for me and I can proudly say my parents raised me the proper way. I was born in Stuttgart, Germany but have spent most of my life in Colorado and Arizona. I proudly call Arizona home now. We have one of the most beautiful states in the country and there are so many hidden treasures throughout.

In my free time I enjoy listening to music, cooking, playing games (both tabletop and PC), drawing, painting, listening to podcasts, watching movies and reading. I like to stay busy but that just helps me enjoy my lazy time that much more. I also love traveling all over and trying new cuisine. I truly will try pretty much ANYTHING once. Life is full of awesome new things and I don’t want to miss out!


Caylah Cole

2nd Grade

Hello, my name is Caylah Cole and I am the 2nd grade teacher! I graduated from Perry High School in 2014 and earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree at William Penn University in December of 2017. I recently got married in March of 2022 to my wonderful husband, Javon, who is also an educator. He currently teaches at Perry High School and coaches the junior-varsity and varsity basketball teams.

Aside from being a teacher, I am also an abstract-realist painter. I absolutely LOVE art and being creative! Through my work, I explore various styles and look to enable people to see the light in a dark world. I believe the best way I can do that is through my work, and through teaching, which goes beyond creating.

Being part of cultivating children in a way that allows them to feel like they can be themselves has been enriching as a teacher and an individual. That is exactly what I dream to achieve at Cambridge Academy this year! I want to remind students that success goes beyond doing well in school academically and achieving your dreams. It is also about kindness, integrity, and how both can help improve our society in many ways. Having the opportunity to work with elementary students for the last two years has been nothing but rewarding and has shaped my teaching philosophy. I can’t wait to dive into year 3!

Nikki Dewees

Nikki Dewees

3rd Grade

My name is Nikki Dewees, and I teach 3rd grade here at Cambridge Academy QC. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with and get to know my
I was born in Arizona, and was raised in both Arizona and Kentucky. I have lived in Chandler for the past 10 years. I graduated from Ottawa University with a degree in
Elementary Education. This will be my 8th year teaching! I love working with students, and watching them grow academically, socially, and emotionally.
In addition to my love of teaching, I also love sports! I enjoy participating in sports, as well as watching them! My favorite sport to watch is football!
I am excited to be a part of the Cambridge Academy team!


Lori Andrews

4th Grade

I have been teaching for 5 years after a career in manufacturing technical support and management. I have taught fourth through eighth grades. Fourth was by far my favorite grade to teach. I like to supplement all subjects with hands-on projects and technology.

I have been married for 31 years and have two grown sons. My husband Jeff and I raised our children in Oregon, then moved to Arizona for the sunshine. We both love to travel. My favorite destination is to visit the whales of Maui in the winter. We also like to visit our children. My oldest son Jared lives in Portland, Oregon and is a maintenance supervisor for a company that provides equipment for Intel. My younger son Kyle lives in Venice, California and works for an internet fashion company.


Pam Virtue

Middle School ELA

Hi! My name is Pam Virtue and I have been teaching for 19 years.  I love what I do, especially creating interesting and stimulating lessons for our students. I am an Arizona native. I attended Arizona State University and earned my Masters Degree from Northern Arizona University. My favorite things to do are camping, riding, travelling, and going to the movies with my husband and friends.  I do love Arizona and all its beauty.  I have three grown children who all attended Cambridge Academy East.


Jessica Vasquez

Middle School Science

Hello and hola! I am so excited to join Cambridge as a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. While in college, I spent two summers in Panama teaching English to rural communities and served as a Spanish Instructor in Oakland, California working with middle school students. Post college, I’ve spent the last year working as a 5th grade teacher in South Mountain. As a first-generation college student, I believe in and have experienced how the power of education promotes change and hope for students, their families and their communities. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I value hard-work and the importance of diverse cultures, languages, and backgrounds. I am looking forward to joining such an incredible team this year, and have the ultimate goal of pushing students to their full potential through an emphasis on empathy, growth and strong parent-teacher relationships.



Math teacher

Lashon Placencia

Special Education Teacher

Hi, I am Lashon Placencia, I am the Special Education Teacher at Cambridge Academy. This will be my 3rd year teaching at the school. I grew up in Provo, Utah and moved to Arizona in 2009. I attended Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University where I received a Master of Education degree in Special Education. I have a true passion for working with our young learners and helping each student progress in all areas of their development and academic growth. I strive to create a community of learners that nurture growth in a positive and fun environment. I am excited and looking forward to the upcoming school year!


Cassidy Carrasco

PE / Music

We are fortunate to have Cassidy Carrasco as our P.E. and Music teacher here at Cambridge QC.  Mrs. Carrasco has been teaching young learners for the past 4 years. She combines her years cheering for QCHS, dancing, and playing sports with her experience as a preschool teacher and cheer/dance coach to be the perfect fit as our P.E. and Music instructor.


Mrs. Carrasco enjoys spending time with her husband, Kade, and their son, Maverick.  Both her and Kade are Cambridge QC alumni.  They met in 6th grade, and the rest is history!


Meagan Lopez

Administrative Assistant

Hello! My name is Meagan Lopez. I am married and live in San Tan Valley, AZ . I have lived here for about 10 years now and am originally from Washington. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 8 years raising my 2 daughters(7 and 3). I love to go camping and having lots of family time. I have substituted here and there for Cambridge and was an aide for part of last year. I am now the office administrator assistant and I absolutely love it!


Cindi Wilson

Preschool Teacher

Hi!  My name is Cindi Wilson.  This is my 21st year in education and my 6th year as teacher and director of Cambridge Cubs preschool at Cambridge Academy QC.  I have lived in Arizona since I was 5 years old, so I consider myself a native and I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live!  I have been married for 36 years, have raised 3 incredible “kids”, and am blessed with 2 amazing grandchildren.  My husband and I are “empty nesters” except for our sweet cat, Benny.  Teaching  preschool at Cambridge Academy is one of the greatest joys of my life.  Teaching children to be excited about school and learning is my daily goal.  In my free time, I love to spend time with my family, cook, and read.  I am a huge Disneyland fan, lover of Peanuts (Charlie Brown & Snoopy) and I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fanatic.  I am thrilled to be a part of the Cambridge Academy family, there is no place I would rather be!


Kristin Smith

Special Education Assistant

I moved to Arizona from Vermont when I was in junior high. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from ASU and a Master’s degree in English from NAU. I started volunteering at Cambridge when my son began kindergarten in 2009. I have been working at Cambridge since 2014. I have worked as a lunch/recess aide, an art teacher, and I am now working in the front office. Cambridge is truly like a family and I feel so fortunate to be a part of it. My husband and I have been married for sixteen years. We have two children, a rottweiler and a pug. When I’m not at Cambridge, I enjoy spending time with my family. We recently moved, so I am doing several Pinterest projects on my new house.

School Performance Report