Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Purtell

Holly Purtell

Masters in Educational Leadership

Bachelors of Arts

Major: English Literature

Minor: Psychology

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: Laugh and learn…in that order.

HOW TO CONTACT ME: Students and parents/guardians may message me at any time through TEAMS, Synergy or email

HOMEWORK IN LIVE CLASSES: Homework is an extension of class work. If students do not complete work in class, they may have extra time to complete it outside of class.

EVIDENCE-BASED GRADING IN LIVE CLASSES: Students will have multiple opportunities to establish that they have mastered standards. Students may retake tests and quizzes, resubmit written assignments, and/or complete alternative assignments when requested. Message me for more details.

TUTORING: Students are welcome to see me for Advisory tutoring Tuesday-Friday. After school tutoring is available Monday-Friday upon request.

LESSON PLANS IN LIVE CLASSES: Lesson plans and assignments are posted on the TEAMS account every day.


My Teaching Journey...

I began my teaching journey in 1994 in Arcola, Illinois. I taught at a Junior/Senior High School. The community was so small, they decided to house k-12 graders all in the same building. There, among other demographics, I served the Amish community. Some students drove horse-drawn carts and tied their horses to a hitching post at the front of the school. It was a picturesque town and a beautiful moment on my teaching journey.

My next teaching experience landed me in Crete-Monee High School, where I taught psychology, sociology, and college-level Abnormal Psychology. I served a mixed community of Anglo and African-American students. I met many wonderful students during my time here and honed my skills for teaching multi-cultural studies. One of my students was the grandson of Margaret Burroughs, co-founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History! Needless to say, we had to take a field trip there!

The next leg of my teaching journey landed me in Agua Fria North High School which later became Millennium High School in Goodyear, Arizona. I taught English there for seventeen years. Many of my students won writing contests and even got published. One of my fondest accomplishments was augmenting our district Tolerance Unit which included teaching about the Holocaust. It was during this unit that I invited Holocaust survivor and published author Harold Minuskin to speak to my students. Students lined up to meet him, get hugs, take selfies with him and his beautiful wife Arlene. His book My Children, My Heroes: Memoirs of a Holocaust Mother is a valuable resource I still use today.  Thank you, Harold and Arlene Minuskin for personalizing education so that our youth understand the importance of tolerance.

The next step in my journey was teaching English at Maryvale High School. One of my fondest accomplishments was inviting former Maryvale student, Olympic Gold Medalist, and MMA fighter Henry Cejudo to guest speak for our Junior class about the concept of the American Dream. Mr. Cejudo spoke to students from his heart about the struggles of growing up in a neighborhood challenged by hunger, poverty and substance abuse. By the end of his presentation, he invited students up to the stage with him to speak and react to his message. Many (including myself) were so touched by Mr. Cejudo’s message that we were brought to tears.

            “You can accomplish anything that you dedicate yourself to. Think how many people struggle across the world, across the country, I know anything is possible if you set your mind, your body, your soul, and your faith to it.” —Henry Cejudo

Finally, Linda Abril Educational Academy! There is no other academy like it. I chose LAEA because if I were a student again, I would enroll here. Every student has an educational plan specifically tailored to their needs and future goals. Students can even graduate early if they put in the work. I am looking forward to serving this community of Phoenixes who R.I.S.E. above all adversities and challenges!