High School Core Team

Samantha De Palo, BA, M.Ed.
Samantha De Palo, BA, M.Ed.High School Director
Sam was an instructor for On-Track Tutoring and Academy (prior to our school’s name change) while she attended ASU’s Barrett Honors College. After graduating, Sam went to Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar; there, she autonomously taught university courses, launched an English language Book Club to promote healthy literacy practices, & honed her own Spanish fluency. Upon her return, Sam became a Teach For America Corps Member. At a local public high school, she taught Spanish & math, spearheaded a district-wide Collaborative STEM Initiative, oversaw the AVID program, & was honored as a Teacher of Distinction for student growth. Sam also has extensive experience helping students with college prep & entrance exams. She earned her M.Ed. just before rejoining our team in 2016. Recently, Sam was honored as an appointee of the Barrett Campaign Cabinet at her alma matter.
Barry Boulanger, BS
Barry Boulanger, BSScience & Math
A born teacher, Barry has facilitated learning both in and out of the classroom for most of his life: “I started teaching in 8th grade when I ski instructed for the local ski club. In college I tutored at ASU, helping fellow students make sense of the challenging concepts of math and science. And since college I have been making those same confusing and scary subjects fun and more interesting to hundreds of grade school, high school, college, and post grad students.” Barry emphasizes the benefits of study skills & organizational strategies to his students: “Organization is often the first step to confidence and success, even when tackling challenging concepts and subject matter.”
Mike DeLaura, BA, MA
Mike DeLaura, BA, MAHistory, ELA
A tutor (with our affiliate On-Track Tutoring) and teacher since 2006, Mike holds degrees in History from ASU and Central Michigan University. He has worked extensively with students for over a decade, ages 5 to 18, as a mentor, tutor, and role-model. He possesses a unique ability to make History and Language Arts relatable, fun, & interesting for students, and has had the distinction of igniting a passion for history in students who previously found it boring and irrelevant. His favorite aspects of teaching are when students gain an understanding for a subject and engage in critical thinking, helping students to achieve their goals, & seeing them thrive.
Josh Murray, BA, M.Ed.
Josh Murray, BA, M.Ed.English, Mandarin
Josh studied East Asia culture & linguistics as an undergrad at ASU. After earning his BA, he joined Teach for America and taught English & college prep courses—while simultaneously obtaining his master’s. “I’m an ‘outside-the-box’ thinker, and I apply that way of thinking to every lesson I deliver.” That creativity & dedication is exemplified by a news-making promise that he made (and kept!) to a group of his students, many of whom had thought that college was out of reach: “If every one of you can get at least $5,000 in college scholarships, then I’ll get a tattoo with all of your names.” With his guidance, every student gained college acceptance & together they earned a total of $700,000+ in scholarships! We are thrilled to have Josh (& his enthusiasm!) join our team this year.
Jennifer Nimlo-Edmonds, BA
Jennifer Nimlo-Edmonds, BASpanish & Electives
Jen graduated from Whitman College with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. She has worked within Arizona to serve youth, as her own life was greatly shaped by purposeful and dynamic teachers and mentors. Her professional journey has taken Jen from mentor programs to prevention programs to twelve years at (JGS affiliate) On-Track Tutoring to special education classrooms and, FINALLY, back to On-Track and JGS!
Leigh Stapinski, BS, MS
Leigh Stapinski, BS, MSMathematics
An On-Track Tutor and Jones-Gordon teacher since 2011, Leigh is a gifted, dynamic teacher. At Bowling Green State University, Leigh studied Adolescent/Young Adult Mathematics Education. Before moving to Arizona, she taught in Ohio for 6 years with a focus on high school mathematics, particularly Geometry and Algebra. She is a math master in the classroom; you haven’t witnessed differentiated math instruction until you’ve seen her teach! Leigh is an active learner herself; she recently completed her master’s degree in―you guessed it―Mathematics.
Tesla Therrien, BS, M.Ed.
Tesla Therrien, BS, M.Ed.Science
New to JGS, Tesla holds an undergraduate science degree & M.Ed. in Instructional Practice. With a deep passion for all things science & its interplay with culture, she was driven to study biological anthropology at the U of A. It wasn’t until she spent a semester in Botswana completing her biology and public health minors that she realized that education was the true cornerstone of her interests. While teaching at a Botswanan preschool for children affected by HIV/AIDS, she saw the true impacts that education can have. Eager to integrate her belief in the power of science to her newfound love of education, she joined the Teach for America Corps & taught high school biology in Nashville while simultaneously earning her M.Ed. (suma cum laude). Tesla “cannot wait to be a part of the innovative work being done at Jones-Gordon. I believe that science is the key to understanding our own realities, & that all children deserve a rigorous science education!”
Jared Vogel, BA
Jared Vogel, BAGeneralist
Jared joined the JGS High School team in 2015, after nine years of professional tutoring (much of that time with our sister-company, On-Track Tutoring). He holds a bachelor’s in Education, Social Science, and English from Millikin University. K-12 certified with endorsements in English, General Science, and Social Science, Jared has helped students of all ages improve their skills in nearly every subject. Prior to teaching at Jones-Gordon, Jared had experience instructing students with ADHD, Asperger’s, autism, & traumatic brain injuries. He believes that learning is a very personal journey, and loves when his students tell him that he explains concepts in a way that finally make sense!