Meet our Staff and Board of Directors

We’re a tight-knit team with a deep passion for language education. Our mission is to increase literacy for all children and adults by using THE SPALDING METHOD® to develop skilled readers, critical listeners, and accomplished writers and spellers.

Spalding Staff

jim sexton

James B. Sexton

Chief Executive Officer

James has more than 30 years of experience as a school and district administrator with an emphasis in Curriculum & Instruction. James has led schools through start-up, turnaround and growth modes.

Among his significant previous positions, Jim served as Curriculum Director for Humboldt Unified School District, Prescott Valley, AZ; Elementary Principal with the Peoria Unified School District, Peoria, AZ and an Elementary Classroom teacher for grades K-8 in Skull Valley and Prescott, AZ

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Arts Education Northern Arizona University.

kerri porter

Kerri Porter

Chief Financial Officer

Kerri joined the Spalding team in Feb. 2014 working in the business and financial area. Kerri has worked with many Arizona schools in assisting them in the business management area for over 25 years. Kerri has experience in creating budgets, cash flow projections, and assisting in strategic financial planning and analyzing company financials.

Kerri attended GCC, Mira Costa College and The University of Arizona and continues to maintain current business practices by joining webinars and business courses on nonprofit accounting and auditing in order to maintain current and fiscally sound financials.

mckenzie hawkins

McKenzie Hawkins

Co-Chief of Operations

McKenzie has been implementing Spalding for over twenty years. She has more than ten years of experience as an elementary school teacher and academic coach, and she has been working in the curriculum department of Spalding Education International for ten years.

McKenzie has been a Spalding Certified Teacher Instructor and Executive Trainer for thirteen years and has been teaching Spalding courses for thirteen years as well.

McKenzie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and a Master of Arts degree in Multiple Subjects Education from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

kia spilsbury

Kia Spilsbury

Co-Chief of Operations

Kia began teaching Spalding in 2000. She has 17 years of classroom experience implementing Spalding as an elementary teacher and academic coach. She has been working full time for Spalding since 2017.

Kia was certified as Spalding Certified Teacher Instructor in 2013 and an Executive Trainer in 2015. She enjoys teaching courses and coaching teachers new to implementing The Writing Road to Reading program.

Kia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University.

crystal telep

Crystal Telep

Director of Customer Relations

Crystal focuses on providing customers with the products and services that meet their needs. She has a proven track record in building long-lasting customer relationships and is dedicated to improving customer satisfaction.

Crystal has over 15 years of experience in education. She taught multiple grade levels and served as an academic and intervention director. In 2013, she became a Spalding Certified Teacher Instructor and enjoyed instructing courses before joining the Spalding team full time in 2019.

Crystal continues to serve as a Spalding Certified Teacher Instructor and Executive Trainer and enjoys working with teachers and administrators to improve student achievement. When she is not working, Crystal enjoys tutoring students, playing golf, and watching the Phoenix Suns.

Crystal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Arizona State University.

kelli adams

Kelli Adams

Education Specialist

Kelli has more than 10 years of experience as a middle school and elementary school teacher. She is the mother of 5 children who all have attended a Spalding Accredited School allowing her to be involved with Spalding either as a parent or teacher for 16 years.

Throughout her career, Kelli served as a district mentor teacher for four years as well as a campus lead teacher for six years at Benjamin Franklin Charter School. She was a Spalding Certified Teacher for four years before becoming a Spalding Certified Teacher Instructor and Executive Trainer.

Kelli holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University.

chris kalmbach

Chris Kalmbach

Education/Business Services Specialist

Chris joined the Spalding team in August 2021. He previously spent seven years as an elementary school teacher in Las Vegas, including three years teaching THE SPALDING METHOD®.
When Chris is not at the Spalding office, he enjoys going to concerts, watching the Suns and Diamondbacks, and spending time with his family, friends, and pet Chihuahua.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Central Washington University, and a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of Phoenix.

carol lewis

Carol Lewis

Business Services Specialist

Carol joined the Spalding team in October of 2020 and has over 30 years of experience managing her own business with her husband and provides customer service and data management, she is methodical and likes to keep things simple, develop routines and has a place for everything and puts everything in its place. When Carol is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and exploring back road trails in her all-terrain vehicle.

tracy lewis

Tracy Lewis

IT Specialist

Tracy has been in the Information Technology field for over 35 years and has a strong knowledge of network topologies and protocols, Tracy joined the Spalding team as an IT Specialist in early 2014 and continues to provide the best possible IT solutions for the company. When Tracy is not working, he enjoys fishing and riding his motorcycle in the pines. Tracy holds a degree in Computer Science from Arizona State University and stays current with the latest technologies.

Spalding Board Members

ron sipus

Dr. Ron Sipus

President of the Board

jim north

Jim North

Board Member

linda ash

Linda Ash

Board Member

allen nahrwold

Allen Nahrwold

Board Member

jarred muller

Jarred Muller


susan toohey

Dr. Susan Toohey

Board Member