Our Extended Day Team

Meet our Extended Day Team
    • Andrea Briggs
      LEAP 4's Teacher / 3's Teacher Assistant

      Andrea Briggs

      LEAP 4's Teacher / 3's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 4
      Years at DKH Academy: 4
      Education: BS degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas Women’s University, Certified EC-6th Grade
      Experience: Mrs. Briggs worked for the federal government before becoming a stay-at-home mom. During that time, Mrs. Briggs volunteered for many positions in her children’s elementary, middle, and high schools.
      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Briggs is married and has a daughter in college and a teenage son. She enjoys decorating, sporting events, gardening and time spent with family and friends.

      Email: briggs@dkhacademy.org

    • Gabriela Cardenas
      Business Manager/Spanish Immersion Teacher

      Gabriela Cardenas

      Business Manager/Spanish Immersion Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 7
      Years at DKH Academy: 6
      Education: Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
      Experience: In 2012 I started working as a 2 year old class assistant and in 2014 began teaching Spanish at DKH Academy, last year I started working as Business Manager in the office too.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Cardenas is married with 3 kids, twins Paulina and Rodrigo (15) and Mia (12). She loves spending time with them, watching them play their sports, they all love the beach and traveling. She also enjoys cooking and baking.

      Favorite Quote: Today is the day to learn something new!

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: Excitement! I get excited so my students get the same feeling.  I want everyone to feel confident and welcome to learn a new language.

      Email: cardenas@dkhacademy.org

    • Noelle Griffith
      2's Teacher/ 2's & 3's Leap Teacher

      Noelle Griffith

      2's Teacher/ 2's & 3's Leap Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 25
      Years at DKH Academy: 13
      Education: B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Kent State, Certified EC-6th
      Experience: Mrs. Griffith taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades in both public schools and a private catholic school in Ohio before becoming involved in the curriculum and development of a Multi-Age Program. She went on to be one of the first teachers in the district to instruct students in a 1st/2nd grade classroom. Before leaving the district, Mrs. Griffith also spent time teaching a classroom of 3rd/4th graders.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Griffith is married and has two grown sons and a daughter who attended DKH Academy. When she toured DKH as a prospective preschool for her daughter, she knew it felt like him from the moment she stepped through the doors. Mrs. Griffith enjoys walking/running, reading, spending time with her children, Netflix marathons with her husband, and snuggling with her dog.

      Favorite Quote: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”  – Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I am big believer in fostering kindness, acceptance, and positive self perception. I have adapted my favorite quote for use in my neighborhood (classroom). “You are KIND. You are SMART. You are IMPORTANT. You are LOVED.” These four phrases now serve as what we refer to as “our special words.” At the end of every day, we gather on the carpet, hold hands, and say these special words to ourselves and each other, from our hearts. It makes my heart happy to watch the children as these words start to take root in them.  It becomes a mini hug fest among friends. It truly is one of the best parts of our day!

      Email: griffith@dkhacademy.org

    • Leea Plank
      LEAP Assistant

      Leea Plank

      LEAP Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 3
      Years at DKH Academy: 1st year
      Education: Attended San Diego State & Sacramento State with an emphasis in Psychology
      Experience: Mrs. Plank spent the last several years creating jobs for people with disabilities and worked in special education.
      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Plank has been married for 16 years to Jim and they have two amazing and active boys, Ethan (13) and Garrett (11).

      Favorite Quote: “Hardships often prepares ordinary people for extraordinary destiny.” – C. S. Lewis

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I believe children learn best through constructive play.