HIGH SCHOOL MENTORS
Dr. Elizabeth Smailes, Mentor for Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, and English: Writing Essentials
Dr. Elizabeth Smailes is a mentor for serious readers. She believes that edification and education can, in the right setting, support and build on one another. As a seminary teacher for over 15 years she has a broad gospel base. She believes that when this gospel base is used to judge all other literature, the result is electrifying. Dr. Smailes is a graduate and former mentor from George Wythe University. This educational background enables her understand how students can see themselves and the world through the lens of great leaders and thinkers of the past and present. She studied Logotherapy and received a certificate of completion from the School of Logotherapy, located in Dallas, Texas. Logotherapy was developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frank. It is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. She believes that we are here to inspire one another and receives her most tender inspiration from her grandchildren, as she sees hope and joy in their eyes.
Jeff Jensen, Mentor for Modern World History
Mr. Jensen is a beloved mentor for youth and has taught online history, geography, government and economics course for over 6 years. He is a popular speaker and has logged over 3000 public speaking hours, most in classroom settings across the state as a guest lecturer on the Titanic and U.S. history. He was recognized by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library as a noteworthy Reagan historian and invited to address them in September 2018. He is currently working towards publication of his first book, a history book called “The President’s Pages.” He has published articles in peer reviewed history and academic journals on the RMS Titanic and serves as assistant editor and historical consultant on 3 BYU publications in the “Saints at War” program. He enjoyed serving an LDS mission in Korea and Hong Kong, and as a service volunteer in two orphanages in Thailand. He stays politically active and has taken leadership roles in local politics.
Leah Jeppson, Mentor for Music Appreciation
Leah Jeppson was born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. She currently resides in Rexburg, Idaho where she is completing her Junior Year at Brigham Young University – Idaho. She is working to earn her BA in Music with a string emphasis and a minor in Marriage and Family Studies. She has been playing music since she was five years old, when she received her first violin. Leah enjoyed 19 years of private violin lessons, including 8 years under the instruction of Emily Day-Shumway, former member of the Utah Symphony and Concert Mistress of the Utah Chamber Orchestra. Leah performed in the Utah Youth Philharmonic for 6 years, and in the BYU-Idaho Symphony Orchestra and ensembles for 3 years, along with multiple community orchestral and choral events. Leah attended the Lyceum Music Festival in 2011. Leah also performed with her family bluegrass band “The Wildflowers” as a fiddler and vocalist for 8 years, which brought her much joy and sparked her desire to perform and share music with others. While violin is Leah’s main instrument, she also enjoys playing the piano, guitar, and singing in home activities and numerous events. Leah has 2 years’ experience as a private tutor in elementary level reading, literature, art and music theory, and has 10 years’ experience teaching private violin lessons to students of all ages. She taught an online Music Appreciation course for the Learning Communities program in 2017-2018. Leah served an LDS mission in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, Portuguese speaking, which was one of the great joys in her life. Along with music, Leah also enjoys drawing, painting with watercolors, reading, and being with her friends and family.
Paul Hinkson, Mentor for Chemistry
Paul graduated from UVU with an Associates of Science and is currently working on a Bachelors in Physics Education and Masters in Education. He is a foam sword enthusiast and plans how to terraform Mars in his spare time. Paul will respond to the names Paul, Beardy, Brother Beardy and ‘you.’ He lives in Mt. Pleasant, UT with his wife Christine (Sister Brother Beardy) and a flock of chickens and ducks.
Julie Luckart, Mentor for Health
Julie Luckart is a family nurse practitioner and registered nurse in Washington and Oregon. She earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Arizona in 2018 and was honored as The March of Dimes Nurse of the Year for the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington in 2017. Dr. Luckart lives in Camas, WA, with her husband and three children. She enjoys reading, hiking, and water aerobics during her free time.
Samara Starchman, Mentor for Financial Literacy
Samara earned her Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1994. Since then, she has had many adventures in education and business. From managing car dealerships to teaching High School Algebra to managing commercial high rises, she lives by the motto “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” [Helen Keller] Currently, she is homeschooling her children, teaching English to children in China online, and taking on creative projects in graphic design and video editing. She lives in Avondale, Arizona with her sweetheart Ray and her two favorite children. If you ask her why they are her favorite children in the whole wide world, she’ll tell you it is because she made them.
Kaleb Albee, Mentor for Computer Technology
Photo and bio will be posted soon!