Middle School Teachers 2018-02-12T22:45:10+00:00

Middle School Core Team

Elizabeth Westerfield, BA, MS, Ed.D.
Elizabeth Westerfield, BA, MS, Ed.D.Math, Science, Music & Theater; and Middle School Lead
Liz earned her doctorate in Special Ed. (her dissertation investigated the impact of theatre-based reading interventions on reading comprehension at the middle school level—wow!); MS in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins; & BA in Theater from Ohio Wesleyan. She takes pride in her eclectic background & finds it serves her well in her interdisciplinary approach to education. A certified special education teacher, Liz previously worked with students on the autism spectrum at the Temple Grandin School in CO, & has taught just about every subject in her 20+ years as an educator.
Sandee Levine, BS, MA
Sandee Levine, BS, MAMath & Humanities
After obtaining a bachelor’s in marketing, Sandee worked in commercial real estate. Five years later, she realized that she wanted to work with children & help them to be as impassioned about learning as she is. She went on to earn her post-baccalaureate and master’s degrees in Curriculum & Instruction. Sandee has now been an educator for 20 years. Prior to joining JGS in 2015, as a public school math specialist Sandee helped improve the skills of students labeled “at-risk.” She has also created & conducted seminars for teachers to help them discover new and innovative ways to reach all students.
Amber Struthers, MS, M.Ed., Ph.D.
Amber Struthers, MS, M.Ed., Ph.D.Science & STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math)
After graduating with two bachelor’s degrees—a BS in Biology & a B.Ed. in Secondary Education—Amber began teaching middle & high school science. Since then, Amber has earned her MS in Biology, M.Ed. in Elementary Ed., & Ph.D. in Education (Curriculum Instruction & Assessment). Amber additionally holds a certificate in gifted instruction. She’s had a fascination with science from a young age, with a particular interest in paleontology. (Amber is a published scientist for her work in determining dinosaur body size …how cool is that?!). Experienced in working with learners of all abilities, Amber joined JGS in 2013.
Karen Turner, BS
Karen Turner, BSMath & Humanities
Karen has been credited as having developed a love for reading in students who previously refused to read. We can’t imagine a better endorsement! Karen pursued her teaching degree after working for a nonprofit agency that supported children and adults with varying special needs (ADHD, learning and intellectual disabilities, speech/language impairments). After graduating, Karen moved to AZ to teach 4th & 5th grade students with learning differences. A certified Special Education teacher, Karen loves “using ordinary objects to teach extraordinary lessons.”
Amy Rasmussen, BA
Amy Rasmussen, BAHumanities
Amy graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English. An Arizona native, she most recently worked as a public high school English teacher. We are excited to have her join us this year!