Staff Biographies

ACP Administration & Faculty Members

Superintendent/Founder: Margaret Williamson Director/Counselor: Teofila Makiling-Angst Office Manager: Betty Ramos Office Assistant: Maria Zarate
Facilities Supervisor/Athletic Director: Gary Williamson Special Ed. Coordinator: Bob Jones English Teacher: Kaitlyn Boyd English Teacher:Natalia White

Math/Foreign Language Teacher: Shonin Tobar

Law/Social Studies Teacher: William Chenausky English Teacher: Amy Hardgrove Head Basketball Coach: Kurtis Gipson 
Science Teacher: Mary List

Margaret T. Williamson


Margaret was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the youngest of three adopted children. Their family ran the funeral/furniture business in SW Minnesota. She attended SW University for 2 years, and her last two years of undergraduate college were spent at Mankato University where she completed her education degree in special education. Her lifetime dream has always been to open her own school. Margaret spent her first 2 years of teaching in Council Bluffs, Iowa, teaching special education. The school was featured on 60 Minutes, as it was the first open school in the US.

Margaret arrived in Arizona in 1976 and signed a contract in Mesa the following year. She taught Learning Disabled/Emotionally Handicapped until 1993. She spent two years at Kino Jr. High, then a year at EVIT, and finished out the time at Dobson High School. She married Gary Williamson in 1987 and has lived in their home in Chandler since then. They both try to stay active in their families in Arizona, Minnesota, Texas and California.

Margaret returned to graduate school in 1991 and graduated from the University of Phoenix with a M.A. in Education specializing in Administration and Supervision. In 1993 opened her own school, Academy with Community Partners, which was a private school for one year, and then was approved as a charter school in 1995. She continues to maintain her certification with the state of Arizona in the area of special education and her superintendent certification. She was recruited to the Reno area to open the first charter school in Nevada in 1998. The great staff at the Academy allowed her to be a part of the charter movement across the country.

This is the 22nd year as a charter high school and in 2000 purchased over 4 acres of land and have built two buildings on the site. It is because of the great students, staff and the community members that this school exists in Mesa. When she has leisure time she enjoys traveling, shopping, reading, fishing, pets, and being with friends and family.

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Teofila Makiling-Angst


Mrs. Angst began her journey with the school in August 1996. She served as a Principal/Counselor from 1998 to the present. Currently she is the Director/Counselor. Her vision for the Academy is to provide and create a nurturing safe environment and enhance student learning. Through a collaborative team effort (staff, students, & parents) and the Academy’s At Hope Philosophy; no child will be left behind in achieving their high school diploma. Throughout her life journey, she has seen the many facets of students’ successes and knowing that the school is making a difference in their lives. The students’ successes are the school’s success. Everyone can succeed if given the opportunity to learn and excel in their endeavors.

In 2007, she graduated with her second Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. Her first Master’s Degree is in Guidance and Counseling from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. She is certified in Guidance and Counseling in the state of Arizona. Mrs. Angst’s previous experience/employment includes: Sales Director, Barbizon School of Modeling, Phoenix, Arizona; Dean of Student Services, Parks Junior College, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Assistant Coordinator-Vocational Education Studies, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois. Her lifetime goal is to travel to Greece, Alaska, and the Caribbean with her 6 grandchildren. Back to the top

Betty Ramos


Bethania (Betty) Ramos was born in East Los Angeles, California and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1997 with her family to start a new life. She attended Alhambra High School, graduating in 2007. Right after high school she began working at a charter high school located in Phoenix as the Administrative Assistant. She was referred to ACP high school and began working in the front office as Office Manager. Her goal in life is to go back to school and begin her career. She enjoys shopping, listening to music, watching movies, and last, but not least, she loves working at ACP! Back to the top

Gary Williamson


Gary was born in Riverside, California and is the eldest of four children. He grew up living in southern California and graduated from Pomona High School in 1973. He began working in a machine shop as a machinist while attending school at Mount San Antonio Junior College. In 1977 he moved to Arizona and again found himself working in a machine shop. He attended Mesa and Gateway Community Colleges taking related manufacturing courses. In 2002, he received his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Manufacturing Technology from the University of Pacific. In his 30 plus years of manufacturing experience he has worked as a Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, Manufacturing Engineer, Engineering Manager, Facilities Manager, and General Manager for several aerospace companies. He also has extensive training in hazardous materials, CPR and safety as well.In 1984, he was introduced to Margaret and they were later married in 1987. In 1994, Margaret and Gary opened the Academy chasing Margaret’s dream. Gary continued to work in the aerospace industry and help out at ACP. In 2004, Gary came to ACP full time and became the Industrial Arts teacher, Facilities Manager, and Athletic Director. In his spare time he enjoys racing, golf, being with family, traveling and spending time with their dogs.

Bob Jones


Bob Jones pastored churches in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona for seventeen years before going back to college to get his Master’s Degree in Special Education. His wife was teaching at public schools while he was pasturing churches, and he did some substitute teaching for about fifteen years. In 1997, he attended the University of Arizona and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Special Education. He then went into teaching special education full time. In 2000, he took a position as a special education director of six charter schools. He has been the special education director for several charter schools in the Phoenix area for the past six years.

Kaitlyn Boyd


Kaitlyn Boyd was born and raised in Arizona. She attended McClintock High School in Tempe where she graduated second in her class. She went on to attend Arizona State University and in May 2010 graduated with two Bachelors degrees: English with a concentration in creative writing, and History. In December 2011 she graduate from ASU with a Masters in Secondary Education.Ms. Boyd loves stories in any format: books, movies, and plays. One can often find her behind a book, at the movies, or at Gammage Auditorium. Even her classroom is decorated with movie and Broadway musical posters.She  looks forward to many more years at ACP.

Natalia White


It all started out teaching my stuffed animals when I was young, and now I have been teaching for over 20 years.  I am originally from Russia, so I have worked with students in two countries. Prior to ACP, I worked for Pueblo del Sol Middle School and Phoenix Job Corps/Siatech High School. I am dedicated to helping my students achieve their potential, so please feel free to ask for extra help whenever necessary.



Mr. Chenausky is in his 5th year certified to teach world and U.S. history and American government classes. Mr. Chenausky is also teaching physical anthropology (human evolution) and legal studies which is an introductory law class. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University (1999), majoring in history with an emphasis in Medieval studies. His minor was in political science. He finally obtained a master’s in education degree from the University of Phoenix (2010) in secondary education. Prior to teaching, he was employed for 11 years with a prominent Arizona law firm working as a civil trial paralegal, working primarily in wrongful death, product liability law. Mr. Chenausky is also a U.S. Army veteran (1985-1990). He has been married for 18 years and has two daughters.

Shonin Tobar


Shonin Tobar was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. He came to the United States to live in California in the year 1981, then moved in 2006 to Tucson, Arizona.He graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a BS in Mathematics. Later he went on to earn a MS in Mathematics at California State University, Los Angeles.Mr. Tobar has been teaching math at different levels, which include junior college and high school for many years. He is bilingual Spanish/English and he enjoys teaching Math and Spanish at ACP.In his spare time he loves to read books in the topics of Science and Astronomy, travel, and listening to music.

Mary List


Mary List grew up and went to school in a small town just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She earned her biology degree at Framingham State University, and spent some time working for a special education program. When she was 23 she moved to San Jose, California, where she spent fifteen years teaching various courses in biology, health, and physical education. During this time she earned her master’s in natural science from San Jose State University and attended the Stanford Leadership Academy for teachers. In 2013, Mrs. List relocated with her family to Mesa, Arizona, and began teaching biology at ACP.In her spare time, Mrs. List enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, practicing yoga and tae kwon do. She also enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and horseback riding.

Amy Hardgrove


Mrs. Anne (Amy) Hardgrove, MS, MA, began teaching English and Fine Arts at ACP in October of 1997and loves it!. She believes that ACP is a very special place where students regain their hope and learn to succeed. Mrs. Hardgrove enjoys the opportunity to forge partnerships between Academy with Community Partners and community organizations such as ASU, Mesa Arts Center, Year Up Phoenix and Act One in order to enrich and broaden ACP students’ educational experience. Mrs. Hardgrove earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University in New York City. Shortly after, she began her teaching career as a college professor of English at Five Towns College where she remained until she and her husband moved to Arizona. She earned her Master of Arts in Education from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Mrs. Hardgrove grew up in Long Island, New York: twenty minutes from the beach and 40 minutes from the city. She is the daughter of a college professor and a school psychologist and one of nine children born in eight years. She has a twin sister and her brothers are twins too! Mrs. Hardgrove has three children: Olivia (15), Jack (10) and Nicholas (7). In her spare time, Mrs. Hardgrove loves to spend time with her family at the beach or the skate park. She also enjoys running, reading and remaining on an eternal quest to find the best “New York like” pizza available in AZ! Arizona Department of Education, United States Department