Our Staff


Ms. Devereaux

Exceptional Student Services - rdevereaux@cornerstonehs.org
I am the special education teacher and also serve as the Special Education Director. I have been working at Cornerstone since 2011 and feel blessed to call it my home away from home. Before moving to Arizona in 1994, I lived in a small town in Michigan where I graduated from St. Johns High School. I earned my bachelor's degree at Arizona State and my Master’s degree in Education from University of Phoenix. Effective education is about making connections and building relationships with students and I am able to do that everyday at Cornerstone.

Ms. Duarte

Secretary/Prom Coordinator - eduarte@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working at Cornerstone Charter School since 2015. I was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico and have been living in Arizona for 21 years. I am currently working on getting my degree as a Spanish Interpreter. Fun fact about me, I was a Cornerstone student back in 2005.

Ms. Ellis

Teacher/Guidance Counselor - mellis@cornerstonehs.org
Originally from Oregon, I came to Arizona in 1992 to complete my degree in teaching. I joined the staff at Cornerstone Charter School in August of 2016. Before coming to Cornerstone, I worked in a variety of educational settings. I received my bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University and Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Mr. Hunter

Teacher - chunter@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working at Cornerstone Charter School since August 2014. I was born and raised in California. In 2002 my family and I moved to Phoenix, Arizona. I received my bachelor's degree from Colorado Christian University and my master’s degree from Multnomah. I am married and have 4 kids.

Ms. Lynch

Teacher - k.lynch@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working at Cornerstone Charter School since August 2017. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. I graduated from Sunnyslope High School. I received my bachelor's degree from Azusa Pacific University. I also have a Certification as a Dyslexia Specialist. I have been working in education since 2008. At Cornerstone High School I am an elective teacher. I absolutely love getting to teach my students and work with the staff at Cornerstone. There is no place else I would rather teach!

Mr. Malakowsky

Teacher/Guidance Counselor - dmalakowsky@cornerstonehs.org
I have had the honor of being a part of the Cornerstone team since September 2015. I am a native Phoenician and graduated from Alhambra High School prior to receiving a bachelor's degree from ASU and a master’s degree in Leadership Development. When not teaching math or history, I serve on our school's administrative team as a guidance counselor and academic advisor. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family, traveling, and a good game of basketball, especially during open gyms with the Cornerstone students. I am grateful to be a part of such an invested and loving educational environment and to serve with such an amazing staff and team.

Mr. Melendez

Teacher - mmelendez@cornerstonehs.org
Matt Melendez has been working at Cornerstone High School since the beginning of the 2019 academic school year. A native of Hawaiʻi, he and his wife moved to Arizona in 2018 to explore life beyond the Pacific Islands. He holds an Associate degree from Kapiʻolani Community College; as well as a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Currently, Matt has been admitted into the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, where he will pursue his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education; and is expected to graduate in 2022. He has been working in classrooms both here in Phoenix, and in his hometown of Kailua, Oʻahu since 2017. At Cornerstone, Matt serves as an English Language Arts Teacher; and additionally tutors students in Mathematics. When asked why he loves working here at Cornerstone, he replied by saying, “The students here at Cornerstone are awesome! They are such bright youth with brilliant minds. I enjoy working here because I find great fulfillment in helping them succeed in academics and in life.” When he is not at work, Matt enjoys spending quality time with his wife Lauren and their dog Laʻi (Luh-EE). He also enjoys training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and is a big fan of the UFC; his favorite athlete is Hawaii’s own Max Holloway. Additionally, Matt also loves playing music; and has recently released his first single titled, Home on Spotify. His favorite motto is the Hawaiian proverb, “Kūlia i ka nuʻu” which means to “strive for the highest.”

Ms. Murphy

Teacher - lmurphy@cornerstonehs.org
I'm a native Arizonan and I still live in the same neighborhood I grew up in. I graduated from Arizona State and taught for seven years in the Peoria District. I have been teaching at Cornerstone since 2019 and I've loved the smaller class sizes and the chance to get to know my students better.

Mr. Quinn

Teacher - mquinn@cornerstonehs.org
I have been teaching at Cornerstone High School 2005. I grew up in the Garden State of New Jersey, the son of a high school English teacher, and moved to Arizona to finish my degree at ASU in History and Political Science. After graduation, the plan was to go to law school, but four more years of research and law books didn’t sound all that appealing. So on a whim, I decided to take a job at a summer camp and fell in love with mentoring kids. After spending several years working at places like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the YMCA, Nature's Classroom, and the University of Phoenix, I found myself here at Cornerstone High School and have loved every year of it! My personal philosophy of teaching is ‘Love them, and they will learn.’ It’s a view that is foundational to our school and to what many of the teachers here at Cornerstone believe.

Ms. Rychener

Teacher - jrychener@cornerstonehs.org
I have been teaching at Cornerstone High School since 2015. I received my teaching certificate from Arizona State University. Before Cornerstone, I taught English to young adults for Rio Salado College and have worked teaching Reading and Language Arts in multiple other schools. I am originally from Mexico City and moved to Arizona with my family when I was 12 years old. I have been married for 30 years and have three grown children. Some of my hobbies include painting, gardening, and my favorite, spending time with family.

Ms. Salas

Attendance Secretary - ssalas@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working at Cornerstone Charter School since January 2020. I love the people that I work with because of their genuine hearts. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. I love hiking, swimming, and spending time with my family.

Mr. Smith

IT Director - connor@cornerstonehs.org
As a native Zonie, I joined the Cornerstone team in 2018 as their IT Administrator and have thoroughly enjoyed working with our staff and students. Previously, I worked as a System Administrator for Estrella Mountain Community College where I earned several associates as well as my bachelor's through their Connect 2 NAU program. Every one of our staff is extremely dedicated to ensuring our student's success; it's great to be able to support and contribute to that vision.

Mr. Souders

Registrar/NSLP Coordinator - jsouders@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working at Cornerstone Charter School since August 2012. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I also lived in Houston, Texas and Minneapolis, Minnesota, so I've lived in dry heat, wet heat, and no heat environments. I received my undergraduate degree from Baker College. I am qualified to teach English and Social Studies. My primary responsibilities at Cornerstone are the National School Lunch Program and Admissions. But I also get to spend time working with students who are searching for jobs. I really enjoy getting to interact with students in their job search. I spend time helping students write resumes, learn how to apply for jobs, how to dress and communicate in an interview, and working to develop skills that an employer is looking for in an employee. It is rewarding to see how excited a student is when they tell me they were hired.

Mr. Steenhoek

Assistant Principal - bsteenhoek@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working in education since 2001 and I've been working at Cornerstone since 2012. I was born and raised in the great state of Iowa (Go Hawks!) where I completed my undergraduate degree at Northwestern College. I also have a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. The students and staff here at Cornerstone are what makes this such a special place. I am truly grateful to get to be a part of our incredible team that sets out to impact our students each and every day.

Mr. Suarez

Teacher - asuarez@cornerstonehs.org
I have been teaching at Cornerstone Charter School since August of 2015. Before teaching at Cornerstone I spent 13 years working in Higher Education. I was born and raised in Riverside, CA, but have called Arizona my home since 2004. I received my undergraduate degree from California Baptist University and my Master's degree in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. I absolutely love teaching at Cornerstone because I have the privilege and opportunity to get to teach and personally know some amazing students.

Mr. Swigart

Teacher - bswigart@cornerstonehs.org
I began working at Cornerstone in 2019. Prior to that, I taught middle school at Orangewood School and elementary school at CEM Hipatia. Here at Cornerstone, I teach various science classes as well as Spanish. I am an Arizona native, and went to high school, community college (PVCC), and university (Southwestern College/Arizona Christian U) here in Phoenix. I love teaching for many reasons, especially being able to help students realize and fulfill their potential.

Ms. Vargas

Teacher - cvargas@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working as an English teacher at Cornerstone Charter School since August 2014. I taught English and Spanish previously at Trivium Preparatory Academy for a year and spent eight years teaching Spanish at Cactus High School. I also designed and taught language classes for adults for nine years in between my years teaching in high school. I was born and raised in Bolivia and have lived in Arizona since 1985. I am bilingual and a third culture kid. I did my undergraduate degree at Grand Canyon University and graduate education courses at Ottawa University. It is a privilege to work with a staff and administration who care whole-heartedly for our students and each other.

Mr. Wait

Teacher - dwait@cornerstonehs.org
I teach science and math, and have been working at Cornerstone Charter School since 2009. I attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where I earned a bachelor's degree in 2005 and a master’s degree in 2006. In 2012 I earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. I was born and raised in California, attended college in Nevada, and moved to Arizona in 2006 after completion of my first master's degree. I enjoy teaching math and science because I enjoy watching students be successful in subjects that they find difficult, and watching this success boost their confidence.

Mr. Weiss

Principal - cweiss@cornerstonehs.org
I have been working at Cornerstone Charter School since August 2003. I was born and raised in New Jersey and have lived in Arizona since 1998. I received my undergraduate degree from Grand Canyon University and my Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. One of my favorite things about working here is when former students stop by to visit or a friend or relative of theirs enrolls in our school. These moments are priceless as it is confirmation to me that our school staff had left a positive and lasting impression in their life.

Mr. G. Smith

I grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1983. I was married in 1983 and moved to Arizona in 1984. Using all of my credit cards, Cornerstone Charter School was opened on September 25, 2000. I have been at this school the past 20 years and in education for 30 years. Opening this school has been one of the biggest blessings of my life!