about our faculty

Thomas McDonald

Head of School 

Thomas McDonald is a 4th generation AZ native who grew up in Tempe. Although raised in Tempe he spent summers and winters working at his family’s ranch and farm. In 2011, Thomas graduated from Tempe Preparatory Academy; Arizona’s first and oldest classical school. After high school Thomas moved to Illinois and attended college and has worked professionally as a firefighter paramedic for the City of Tempe as well as a critical care nurse for the Southern Arizona VA Heathcare System. In 2015 he married his wife Elizabeth who also attended and graduated from Tempe Prep. In 2021, the McDonald family decided to leave the Phoenix metro area and raise their children in rural southeast Arizona. Thomas lives in beautiful Elgin with his wife Elizabeth and 4 children where they raise miniature beef cattle and dorper sheep. Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management from Northern Arizona University, and a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Grand Canyon University. The McDonald family attends church at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Christian Church in Tucson, AZ. 

Jasmine Bird

3rd and 4th Grade – Grammar School Teacher

Jasmine Bird is a homeschool graduate of 2023. She was taught for several years in the classical education method through the Classical Conversations homeschool group. She is the oldest of 4 children and the only girl. In her free time she enjoys supporting her brothers at their many baseball games, spending time with her family and her dog Churro, and writing her many novels. She published her first novel, My Country Roots, in September 2023 and plans to continue her author journey for years to come. Teaching has always been dear to her heart and she is beyond blessed and thankful that the Lord has placed her at Crossroads to not only teach but encourage and impact the lives of the future generations.

Deborah Fellows

Fine Art – Rhetoric School Teacher

During her 40-year art career from 1971 to 2011, sculptor Deborah Copenhaver Fellows has been awarded 44 commissions of which eighteen are monuments. They stand with precision likeness and imposing emotion in state capitals, parks and museums celebrating their premise from war heroes to women and mounted cowboys.  The diversity of her subjects is a testament to her skill of capturing likeness. Deborah’s signature ability to design, create and complete nationally distinguished monuments is a product of her innate talent, a classic fine arts education, business experience as owner and founder of an interior design firm and foundry and her inborn competitive nature. Deborah was born and raised on a cattle and Quarter Horse ranch in northern. In 1966 at age 18, Deborah was selected as the first female delegate to represent the state of at the United States Senate Youth Leadership Program in. The following year she received a full-ride scholarship in political science too. Her second year of college Deborah transferred to of the Holy Names in , where she received a full scholarship in art.  There she met Sister Paula Mary Turnbull, a Catholic nun that taught sculpture.  In the next three years Deborah’s love for sculptue came alive and grew as she studied the works of the masters in with her mentor.


Rob Fleckenstein

Rhetoric Humanities and History Teacher

Robert Fleckenstein earned a B.A. from the University of Florida and an M.A. from Duquesne University in Criminal Justice. He served 30 years in law enforcement for the U.S. Department of Justice – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with over 20 years of experience as a supervisor. He was a Subject matter expert on Transnational Criminal Organizations and complex criminal conspiracy investigations, as well as intelligence collection and analysis. Robert is retired and active in numerous volunteer positions. He has lived in Arizona for 25 years and in Sonoita, Arizona for four years.

Sandra Frady

9th through 12 Grade – Rhetoric School Teacher

Sandra Frady graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Spanish Language, Literature as well as a K-12 Provisional Teaching Credential from the University of Washington in 1983. She substituted in Latin, Spanish, and French high school classes before becoming a full-time Spanish interpreter for the U. S. Courts and County Courts in the Seattle area and later in the Tucson, AZ area. Sandra attended a Catholic boarding school In Tecate, B.C., Mexico completing elementary school and “Comercio” (Business School) there before returning to the United States to complete high school. In 1962 she married Bill Frady who was a border patrol officer. She has two daughters and four grandchildren who live in Florida and Washington state. She was widowed in 1994 and is now married to Jay, who is retired in Sonoita. Sandra has an ecumenical Christian background and is an active Roman Catholic Christian. She taught CCD (religion) classes to 5th graders for five years in the 1970’s. Besides her active work as a court interpreter, Sandra loves to read religious books and historical novels in English, Spanish, and sometimes French. When time and rain permit, she enjoys mowing a green yard. Sandra is excited to join the staff at Crossroads Christian Academy and can’t wait to wrangle with the Rhetoric “discipuli” in their Spanish and Latin studies.

Tiffany Gottlob

5th and 6th Grade – Grammar School Teacher

Tiffany Gottlob earned her Associates of Applied Science degree, focused in Mortuary Science, from Arapahoe Community College in 2019 in Colorado, where she lived for 28 years. Prior to that, Tiffany worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant for 11 years; 4 years in geriatric care, 5 years on the Trauma unit of a hospital, and 2 years in an outpatient infusion cancer center. For the 2023-2024 school year, Tiffany ran a microschool out of her home, where she taught 2nd, 4th, and 6th grade, as well as Pre-K for her own children. Tiffany lives in Sonoita with her husband James, and their two small children. Tiffany also has an 18 year old son, a 2024 high school graduate that lives in sunny Florida. The Gottlob family attends Canelo Cowboy Church, where their young boys enjoy mutton busting, James assists with Ranch Family Fun Days, and Tiffany runs the T-Shirt booth, and assists in the kitchen. Tiffany is thankful to be part of the CCA family and grateful to God for paving this path for her.

Jeff Lalowski

7th through 12th Grade – Logic and Rhetoric Schools Teacher

Pastor Jeff Lalowski is a dedicated educator and experienced ministry leader, currently serving as a teacher at Crossroads Christian Academy. Born and raised in Illinois, he spent the first 35 years of his life there before moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 2014, and later to Elgin, Arizona in 2023. Pastor Lalowski holds a Bachelor’s degree in Historical Theology from the Moody Bible Institute. His impressive career in ministry spans over 23 years, during which he has served in various capacities including Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Missions Pastor, Development Pastor, and Senior Pastor. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in church revitalization, church planting, leadership development, theology, and church doctrine. His academic interests are diverse and include the Bible, koine Greek, Physics, and Language Arts. These subjects reflect both his theological background and his broader interest in the sciences and humanities. On a personal note, Pastor Lalowski is happily married to Melissa and they are proud parents of three wonderful girls. His family life enriches his understanding of community and relationships, which he brings into his teaching and pastoral roles. Pastor Lalowski’s commitment to faith, education, and community service make him a valued member of  CCA. His teachings inspire students to explore their faith and broaden their understanding of the world around them.

Ashley Mathews

7th and 8th Grade – Logic School Teacher

Ashley Mathews earned her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Pima Community College in 2009. She went on to work as a Pharmacy Technician for 10 years before their family moved to Sonoita. Her and Husband of 18 years have 5 beautiful children, and have been residents of Elgin for 11 years. They attend Canelo Cowboy Church and are involved with their community and church. Mrs. Mathews homeschooled their children for 3 years before enrolling them at Crossroads. Although this may be her first “official” year with the title of Teacher, her desire to teach has been evident since she was a child. She is very thankful to be part of the CCA family, and is excited to see what God will continue to do.

Amber Maxwell

Administrative Coordinator

Amber Maxwell is currently holding a volunteer administrative role at CCA-AZ. She and her husband Paul of 20 years and 15-year-old son Logan have called Elgin home for over 8 years. Amber comes to us with 16 years of school administrative experience. In her free time, she loves watching her cycling family race but when she gets to pick the activity you will find them all sitting quietly on the water fishing.

Elizabeth McDonald

9th through 12th Grade – Rhetoric School Teacher

Elizabeth McDonald lives in Elgin with her husband and four children. She attended Tempe Preparatory Academy which was the first classical charter school in Arizona and was founded by several of her family members who are nationwide leaders in classical Christian education. After graduating in 2011, she went on to study Computational Mathematical Science at Arizona State University and worked as a software developer and engineer at Salt River Project. In 2015 she married her husband Thomas who had also attended Tempe Prep and was a firefighter paramedic for the City of Tempe. In 2021, Elizabeth and Thomas decided to move out of the Phoenix metro and raise their family in Arizona’s rural countryside. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in Computational Mathematical Sciences from Arizona State University. The McDonald family attends church at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Christian Church in Tucson, AZ. 

Heather Robbs

1st and 2nd Grade – Grammar School Teacher

Heather Robbs is an Arizona native, who has been blessed to call Sonoita home the last 11 years. She and her husband Nick of 15 years share 4 wonderful children. Heather is a 10 year homeschool mom who has taught between her children from kindergarten to 7th grade. She and her family attend Canelo Cowboy Church where her husband Nick is an assistant pastor. As a family, they are very involved in various ministries and local community events. She has served on the Santa Cruz Little League Board, runs the community VBS, is a vital part of Christian Cowboy Ministries of Arizona, and leads several youth programs and events at Canelo Cowboy Church. Additionally, Heather enjoys gardening and founded Sonoita Soap Co. in 2021, making goat milk soaps in her limited spare time. Her favorite place to be is camping in the mountains with a good river to fish out of. She is excited for her family to be joining CCA this fall and can’t wait to see how the Lord works in the school this coming year and for years to come.


PO Box 777, Sonoita AZ 85637


Head of School

Thomas McDonald