A.J. Basile, Science

E-mail: ajbasile@stgacademy.org


B.S. in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry from Dixie State University

Mr. Basile was born and raised in Saint George, Utah and graduated from SUCCESS Academy. Mr. Basile has interned in medical research laboratories at both Stanford University and the University of Arizona. With a love of teaching and mentoring students, Mr. Basile is excited to help the students of St. George Academy gain a greater appreciation for science and a renewed excitement for learning. Mr. Basile and his wife Shayla love hiking and spending time in the outdoors.




Joan Cartmill, Social and Behavioral Sciences

E-mail: jcartmill@stgacademy.org


BS in Secondary Education from BYU and Master of Education degree from the University of Utah


Ms. Cartmill was born and raised in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. At a very young age she knew teaching was in her future. As her interest in history and social studies grew it was obvious choice for what she would teach. After high school, she attended BYU where she earned a BS in Secondary Education with a Social Studies composite degree. Ms. Cartmill has been involved in education for over 20 years as a volunteer, substitute teacher, paraprofessional, adjunct university faculty and social studies teacher. Ms. Cartmill has a passion for education and helping young people make the classroom a place where academic, social and personal growth can be developed.


Paul Duston, German

E-mail: pduston@stgacademy.org


BS in Education from University of Maine and MBA from Western New England University


Mr. Duston comes to SGA from Tuacahn HS where he taught for over sixteen years. Mr. Duston has taught German, geography, world civilization, American history, United States government, financial literacy, multimedia and 3D graphics and animation. Teaching is a second career for Mr. Duston. He is a retired army officer with over twenty five years of service. He served in military intelligence and the infantry. He has traveled extensively and was stationed in Europe for over half of his military career. Mr. Duston is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College. Mr. Duston has two sons and two daughters. He and his wife Marcie reside in St. George.


Phil Ertel, Language Arts and Communications

E-mail: pertel@stgacademy.org


Bachelors and Masters in Philosophy


Phil Ertel worked for seven years in various positions in Student Development at the University of Dayton in Ohio. He left U.D. to work with College Survival, Inc., an education consulting and publishing company focusing on study skills. When he moved to St. George in 2000, he taught philosophy courses at Dixie State University before joining the faculty of St. George Academy.



Amanda Gerry, Mathematics

E-mail: agerry@stgacademy.org

Master’s in Mathematics Education from Western Governers


Amanda Gerry has been teaching in the field of Mathematics for 11 years. She loves working with students and developing curriculum to meet their needs. She received her Bachelor’s of Dance/Mathematics Education from Southern Utah University in 2006 and her Master’s of Mathematics Education from Western Governors in 2017. She was named Tuacahn’s Teacher of the year in 2016.




Kelsey Gonzalez, Natural Science

E-mail: kgonzalez@stgacademy.org


BA in Biology from Whittier College; Masters of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Molecular Biology from University of Nebraska at Kearney


Ms. Gonzalez grew up in the Los Angeles area of Southern California and graduated from Whittier College with a BA in Biology. She went on to complete her Masters of Science in Biology through UNK. With over a decade of teaching experience, Ms. Gonzalez has taught high school biology in both public and private schools and has worked as an Adjunct Professor of Biology and Lab Coordinator at Dixie State University. She believes strongly in taking an individual approach to education as each student learns differently and works to create a comfortable environment that fosters productive conversation.



Christy Hall, Mathematics; Language Arts and Communications

E-mail: chall@stgacademy.org


Masters of Education from Southern Utah University


Christy Hall has been in the field of education for 18 years. She received her Masters of Education from Southern Utah University in curriculum development in 2003. She teaches both mathematics and literature, but her love is the cultural studies of mythology. In 2007 she was named Teacher of the Year at Tuacahn High School and in 2011 she received the Charter School Teacher of the Year award for the State of Utah.



Karine Hall, French

E-mail: khall@stgacademy.org


Business degree from I.S.P.P. (Institut Superieur de Preparation Professionelle) in Rouen, France

Mrs Hall was born and raised in France. She went to school in France an got an Business degree (or Bachelors equivalent) from a French school as well. She has 25 years experience working with children in the foster care system. She has lived in St George for 18 years, is married with eight children and two grand children. She is excited about teaching at the academy this year.




Luna Hutter, Art

E-mail: lhutter@stgacademy.org


BS in Art: Art Education Emphasis and Secondary Education Degree from DSU.


Luna Hutter is an artist and an Art Educator. She loves teaching Art, and watching students who believe they aren’t capable of creating art, develop artistic skills and gain confidence in their abilities. She is coming to SGA to create an Art program that will provide students with a strong foundation in the Visual Arts. She will instill a strong fundamental education in Art that will prepare students who choose to pursue a degree in Art, as well as provide students with the ability to identify, analyze, and contextualize any art they encounter in their lives. She is a native of Arizona, and was raised in a family of artists and educators. She is passionate about her content area. She travels extensively to gather material to create a rich and meaningful curriculum for her students.


Joel Lewis, Social and Behavioral Sciences

E-mail: jlewis@stgacademy.org


BS in History and Political Science from Central Michigan University (CMU), Pg.Dip. in Social History from University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland), MA in European History from CMU, Ph.D. in Transnational History from CMU


Dr. Lewis has been involved in the historic profession for nearly two decades, researching and traveling widely throughout Europe and the United States. His main academic interests intersect traditional historic methodologies with media analysis, particularly in the study of totalitarian societies. Lewis is a staunch advocate of utilizing the classroom to empower students with a creative sense of self-knowledge informed by a dynamic global literacy. Outside of the classroom, he adores spending time with his grandchildren.


Lorell Loosle, American Sign Language

E-mail: lloosle@stgacademy.org


BS Utah State University in Elementary Education/Communication Disorders, Master of Education Degree from the University of Utah in Special Education/Deaf Education

Mrs. Loosle has taught in Utah, Guam and Texas. Her experience includes Deaf Education classrooms, Mainstream classrooms, American Sign Language and Elementary, and has taught all ages from birth to College students.  Mrs. Loosle has been teaching since 1994.

Mrs. Loosle loves travelling, especially cruising, with her husband and family. Her other passions are ASL, Deaf Culture and interpreting.


Darren M. Edwards, Language Arts and Photography

E-mail: dedwards@stgacademy.org

Bachelor’s of Science in English (creative writing) from Utah State University, Masters of Science in Literature and Writing (contemporary creative non fition) from Utah State University.


Mr. Edwards is a Utah local, born and raised in American Fork. He began writing poetry in third grade and playing with photography at fourteen years old. After spending seven years teaching University English courses, Edwards made the switch to working in publishing. During his time away from teaching he worked as the Editor in Chief of The Creative and later as the Managing Editor of The Independent. It was during this time that he also published his first book, Utah Sport Climbing: Stories and Reflections on the Bolting of the Beehive State, 2017, The History Press, and was a member of two National Poetry Slam teams. As a performance poet, Edwards has had dozens of individual poems published and given nearly a hundred performances across the Western United States. His essays and photographs have appeared in both regional and national publications, print and online. He didn’t think he would ever return to teaching until Dr. Lewis told him about this crazy school called St. George Academy that brought a very progressive approach to education. The school’s mission and philosophy were too intriguing to stay away. He believes one of the most important discoveries students can make during high school is the power of their own voice.


Jose Saraiva, Science and Mathematics

E-mail: jsaraiva@stgacademy.org


Electrical Engineer and MBA from BYU, Speaks Portuguese and Spanish

Mr. Saraiva was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is an engineer with degrees in Electronics and Mechanical Manufacturing. He has been a longtime educator, beginning at Tech High School in Brazil, teaching Mathematics, Physics and Accounting. He also taught graduate courses in the Latin America Business program at BYU. Since moving to southern Utah he has been a mathematics and science teacher at the middle and high school level.  When not in the classroom, he enjoys photography, astronomy, and running. He has completed three St. George Marathons so far and will keep going until the legs don’t respond anymore.




Valerie Sedgwick, Health and Wellness

E-mail: vsedgwick@stgacademy.org


Mrs. Sedgwick has had the opportunity to work in the educational system in numerous capacities for over 25 years. Her most recent appointment was at George Washington Academy, where she served as a founding faculty member. Mrs. Sedgwick is driven by her passion to create an experience for students where they can feel safe to explore and empowered to learn. Beyond the classroom, Mrs. Sedgwick has worked in the fitness and personal growth coaching industry for over two decades, and have been blessed to study and learn the discipline of Yoga all over the country.

Valerie is a mother of three amazing children and loves playing and laughing with her family. For her, running is her favorite form of therapy, and has blessed me with the stamina needed to keep up with the kids. She is looking forward to integrating her passion for health and wellness with her educational experience and utilizing her gifts in creating a meaningful and applicable physical and whole body health experience for the students at St. George Academy.


Michelene Taveren, Language Arts and Communications

E-mail: mtaveren@stgacademy.org


BS in English in Literature emphasis from DSU, Masters of Language Arts in Gender Studies from Baker University

Michelene grew up in Southern Utah and graduated from Tuacahn High School.  Michelene finished her undergraduate degree from Dixie State University followed by her Masters Degree from Baker University.  Having been teaching at DSU since 2011, Michelene sees learning as a collaborative experience among students, and between student and teacher.   Michelene has a passion for enhancing student learning, and finds that that is best accomplished with a mix of traditional and innovative teaching methods. Michelene anticipates learning along with this generation of internationally-minded students.




Watch for additional faculty profiles as they are announced!