Due to COVID-19, all Open House events have been CANCELED until further notice.

Additionally, K-12 schools are closed indefinitely, but staff is working remotely to address questions and concerns. Please contact the school’s front office for assistance.
We appreciate your understanding during this time!

Click for Virtual Learning Support!

Preparatory Academy

Desert Heights Preparatory Academy (“DHPA”) fosters college and career readiness with equal focus on academic excellence, social awareness and integrity of character. We build college resumes with competitive athletic programs, fine arts opportunities and clubs such as Honors Societies and Student Councils. Accredited by AdvancED, we backwards map our curriculum with a focus on readiness for Advanced Placement and dual enrollment coursework. Homework is also minimal due to the project-based instructional opportunities.

DHPA students are equipped with a school issued Office 365 account to access email and Microsoft Offce applications since technology is integrated into all curriculum units to prepare students for college and career expectations. Additionally, our school offers a bring your own device (“BYOD”) model while leveraging the use of iPads in all grade levels. With a 1:1 implementation for all 8th-12th grade students participating in high school courses, iPads are used to access coursework along with email and other collaborative, productivity tools like iWorks. We believe immersing students in technology not only assists them in the preparation for college, but also provides students with the hands on experience that benefits them once they enter the workplace.

Welcome to DHPA!

At DHPA, we focus on preparing all students for college and career readiness in several aspects. In 5th-8th grade students learn tools like using Cornell notes, conflict management and more to develop good study habits and build self esteem.  We also encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities to further develop leadership skills and teamwork.

As students enter high school, they begin to receive individual attention and access to an Academic Adviser to plan for their future, a rarity in traditional public schools. Advisory offers students an opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops designed to assist students in the development of their post-graduation plans.  From building resumes, learning interview skills, completing community service hours and applying for scholarships, students gain irreplaceable life skills.  In addition to the workshops, high school students frequently meet with their grade level adviser and attend several local college tours. College tours present an opportunity for students to explore options which helps them narrow down their preferences.

Click here to learn more about our College & Career Readiness program!

Desert Heights has partnered with EF Educational Tours to offer a variety of travel opportunities to our students. From east coast college tours, to international trips to Germany or Spain, we believe educational travel can extend a student’s learning.  Click here for additional details regarding our scheduled trips and contact the appropriate sponsor with any questions.

With programs designed to help students learn to manage their money, be ready to enter the workplace and to think innovatively, Junior Achievement of Arizona is the perfect partnership for DHPA.  While at DHPA, students have an opportunity to participate in the following activities:

DHPA has a primary objective of developing a community of learners, dedicated to the highest standards of academics and deportment. As such, a distinctive uniform is a unifying factor within our school community. It is also a visible signature of our school to the larger community, an indicator of our unity and of our pride of purpose. We utilize multiple school uniform providers so parents have a choice when making decisions about their child’s needs. Please review the approved uniform and dress code policy prior to making any purchases since not all uniform items must be purchased from these vendors.

Contact us with any questions.

Lands’ End is an online only uniform company that offers a variety of items that are DHPA dress code compliant. When using Lands’ End to purchase uniform items, please use our school’s number (900161795) and make purchases that are in compliance with the student’s grade level and gender.

The Perfect Touch does not provide online ordering, but offers DHPA uniform polo shirts, P.E. apparel, sweaters and high school blazers. Click here to access the summer order form.

French Toast is an online only uniform company that offers a variety of items that are DHPA dress code compliant. When using French Toast to purchase uniform items, please use our school’s source code (QS5PWKZ) and make purchases that are in compliance with the student’s grade level and gender.

Desert Heights Preparatory Academy offers an after-school Study Skills Program for working parents of our 5th-12th grade students. The program provides a safe, and structured environment for the children of our working parents from the hours of 2:30 – 6:00 PM (except half or early release days). Please review the Study Skills Program contract for registration and additional details. Click here for contract details.

Although the school does not provide before care, these services are offered by a staff member starting at 6:15 AM for $35/week per student. If you are in need of before care services, please contact Casey Morrell directly for assistance.

School Administration

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Mark Jiles

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Katherine Miller


Courtney Martin
High School Dean
Advisory Program Administrator
Athletics Director


Neeru Verma
Junior High Dean
Assessment Coordinator


Darna Davis
Middle School Dean
English Language Coordinator

Administrative Support Staff


Cynthia Jordan
Office Director
Data Compliance


Yolanda Ruiz-White
Office Manager


Carolynn Shives
Office Assistant

Sydney Pisano
Food Service Director


Marissa Robles
Events Coordinator


Ruth Doyle
Health Assistant

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Beth Gue
Federal Programs Director


Annie Diaz
MS/JH Behavior Coach
C.U.T.S & 504 Coordinator


Brian Wicker
HS Behavior Coach

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Alexandria DeFlorio
Health Coach Liaison


Michelle Anderson
Health Paraprofessional


Krissi Elliott
Director of Technology

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Mark Nunez Sr.
IT Support Specialist

John Winston
IT Support Specialist


Brandon Hartley

Lamont Holmes

Percy Kincaid
Director of Security


Ashley Munson
Human Resources

Jonathan Lockhart
Lunch Supervisor
Maintenance/Security Support

Nancy Kautz
Lunch Monitor

Sophie Okmen
Lunch Monitor

Kaitlyn Keicher
Lunch Monitor



Courtney Martin
Advisory Program Administrator


Michelle Robles
Junior & Senior Adviser


Amanda Brownlow
Freshman & Sophomore Adviser


Stephanie Delion
8th Grade Adviser



Patricia Aguirre


Otilia Dominguez


Lawrence Vilhauer
District Facilities Manager


Rafael La O Garcia


Adam Perez
Events & Maintenance Support

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Jay Jiles
Transportation Director & Maintenance

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Ryan Larimore
Bus Driver

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Frances Mercado
Bus Driver

Middle School (5th & 6th Grade)

Christina Reategui
Middle School Teacher


Olivia Gurney
Middle School Teacher


Casey Morrell
Middle School Teacher


Ilysia Murray
Middle School Teacher


Jennifer Rogers
Middle School Teacher


Miranda Woodward
Middle School Teacher


Keely Gilbreath

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David Blackburn
Physical Education

Junior High (7th & 8th Grade)


Kevin Chappell
Jr High Social Studies


Neeru Verma
Jr High Math

Jaide Epting
Jr High Science

Anayensi Huerta
Jr High
English/Lang Arts


Keely Gilbreath


Beth Krogmeier
Jr High Electives


Andrea Guzzo

Lamont Holmes
Physical Education
Sports Management

High School


Stefanie Haldiman


Darian Miller


Kira Okray

Ojeen Korkes


Julie Hatton
College Prep


Dan Johnson
Weight Lifting


Cole Steffen


Matt Brist
Social Studies


Amanda Brownlow
Social Studies


Andrea Guzzo


Hannah Neal


Susana Zaragoza


Stephanie Delion
Physical Education


Keely Gilbreath

Ross Nelson
Fine Arts


Linda Waymire
Fine Arts


Cassandra Hamza

Exceptional/Supplemental Student Services

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Beth Gue
Federal Programs Director
Speech & Language Pathologist


Liane Kilmain
Dean of Special Education


Kristina Washington
Special Education Support Staff


Cassandra Hamza
Special Education Support Staff


Danelle Clark
Special Education Support Staff

Adriann Gardner
Special Education Support Staff

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Sue Otto
Title I


Darna Davis
English Language Coordinator


Annie Diaz
504 Coordinator

5th-8th Grade Curriculum

Middle School (5/6) and Jr High (7/8) students participate in the following core curriculum with opportunities to advance grade levels in mathematics.

Note: Specials and elective courses may vary year-to-year.

  • English/Language Arts (Great Minds Wit & Wisdom)
  • Mathematics (Great Minds Eureka Math)
  • Science
  • Social Studies (Prentice Hall World History & Pearson American History)
  • 5th & 6th Grade Specials (Quarterly)
    • College Prep
    • Dance
    • Mentoring
    • Performing Arts
    • Physical Education
    • Sports Management
    • Technology
  • 7th & 8th Grade Electives (Semester)
    • College Prep
    • Dance
    • Physical Education
    • Sports Management
    • Technology
    • Video Productions

*Desert Heights Charter Schools’ curriculum adoption, review, and revision cycles are available upon request to the site Principal.

High School Curriculum

High school students participate in courses intended to build their college and career resume. Students are encouraged to participate in Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment course which provide opportunity to earn college credit while in high school.

Note: Excelling 8th grade students may also be invited to participate in high school courses.

Curriculum may vary depending on the class but several English courses leverage Pearson myPerspectives.

  • English 1
  • English 2
  • English 3
  • English 4
  • AP English Language & Composition
  • AP English Literature & Composition

Applicable high school math courses leverage the College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) curriculum and College Board approved curriculum is used for Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment courses.

  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus I & II
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • College Algebra 151
  • Biology
  • AP Biology
  • Chemistry
  • AP Chemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Physics
  • AP Physics 1: Algebra Based
  • AP Environmental Science
  • Forensic Science (Elective)
  • German/Spanish I
  • German/Spanish II
  • AP German 4
  • College Spanish 101
  • College Spanish 102

Elective courses change from year-to-year, but below are a sample of classes typically offered.

  • Physical Education/Health
  • Intermediate Dance
  • Advanced Dance
  • Acting for Film/TV
  • Intro to Acting
  • Theater Productions
  • Video Production
  • Weight Lifting
  • Yearbook


As a member of the Canyon Athletic Association, we offer competitive athletics at both the Junior High (5th-8th grade) and Varsity levels (High School).  With many championship titles, the Coyotes are a disciplined group of student-athletes with a strong work ethic.

Come check us out! Click here to access the Athletics website and game schedules.  YOTES UP!


Offering tackle football at the Varsity level, our championship program is undeniable.  With 5 state championship titles, this program builds champions by instilling commitment and work ethic in its athletes.

Junior High flag football is also offered for 5th-8th grade students and is a great way for students to start learning football fundamentals.


Volleyball is offered for Junior High, Junior Varsity and Varsity level athletes.  Our Junior High program continues to learn the fundamentals for volleyball and we couldn’t be more proud of the Junior Varsity team for having undefeated season in 2018! Our “3-peat” championship Varsity program continues to excel, and with a young team in 2018, the future it bright!

Boys Basketball

This band of brothers is a family of hardworking athletes. Our Junior High program continues to build while the Varsity team is leaving a legacy of championships. In 2017, they won another state championship giving them an unprecedented “3-Peat”!

Girls Basketball

The Lady Coyotes basketball program is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with! Making the playoffs last year, both the Junior High and Varsity teams have some unfinished business in 2019. Looking forward to the season!


The Coyote Spiritline brings energy and school spirit to all events! With a variety of performances, the pep assemblies and games would not be the same without this team!


Available at the Junior High and Varsity levels, baseball continues to develop into a competitive program. Varsity has advanced to the playoffs the past few seasons so we can’t wait to see what this team has in store for 2019!


Don’t miss an opportunity to come out and watch our softball teams! Junior High made it to the playoffs and Varsity brought home their first state championship in 2017! The 2019 season will be one you don’t want to miss.

Clubs & Activities

We encourage all students to be involved in clubs and activities.  If you don’t see something you enjoy, find a staff sponsor and petition for a new club to be created!

Competitive Dance Team

Throughout the school year Dance Team attends and competes at dance conventions.  They learn a variety of dance styles while also developing the skills to work as a team.  Dance team also performs at many school functions including pep assemblies and dance shows.  If you love to dance, this team’s for you!

Drama/Musical Performances

Those interested in the performing arts are encouraged to tryout for our annual drama/musical performance.  Learn acting skills while increasing your dance and singing abilities in performances like Hairspray Jr., Alice in Wonderland and Annie Jr.

Student Council/Government

Participating in Student Council/Government allows students to have a say in the activities that occur on campus, but also provides leadership opportunities to hold a position on the board. This student-led organization is responsible for the organization of pep assemblies, school dances, annual activities like Mr. DHPA and much more!

Honor Societies

Being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) or National Honor Society (NHS) is a prestigious award and earned by those students that excel academically. Additionally, Honor Society candidates exhibit leadership characteristics and have a heart for serving the community. These student-led organizations facilitate our annual food drive, Christmas Angel program and much more! Nominations for Honor Society typically occur in January and students must apply to be considered for the annual induction.

The Spanish National Honor Society/La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (SHH), Chapter Jorge Ibargüengoitia, is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). The ideal candidate for this high school society are students who want to continue their Spanish studies after completing Spanish 2. Bilingual and Dual Enrollment Spanish students with high academic performance are the primary inductees, but Spanish 2 students may also be considered. SHH members are responsible for hosting community events to foster and enjoy some of the most relevant aspects of the Hispanic culture and the Spanish language.

Other Clubs

Each year new clubs are considered and offered by staff members so keep an eye out for club information in August. Additionally, students interested in creating a new club can find a staff sponsor and submit a petition to Marissa Robles for consideration!