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Our Team


Dr. Michele Hudak

Director of Special Education  |  Curriculum Development  

Michele earned a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Innovation with an emphasis in Policy and Administration from Arizona State University.  She holds a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in gifted education from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Special and Elementary Education from Notre Dame College of Ohio.  Michele is a certified K-8 teacher with endorsements in Special Education/Specific Learning Disabilities (K-12), Gifted Education (K-12), and Structured English Immersion. She also holds the designation of Highly Qualified by the Arizona Department of Education.  In November 2010, Michele was named Arizona Charter Schools’ Association Teacher of the Year. In November 2012, Michele presented her doctoral work at the Association for Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER) national conference.  In 2013, Michele was published in The Handbook for Professional Development Pre-K-12:  Successful Models and Practices (The Guilford Press).  Her vignette highlights Candeo’s innovative approach to the professional development of teachers. In 2019, Michele was invited to contribute to E.D. Hirsch, Jr.’s newest book, How to Educate a Citizen, which was published in 2020.

Currently, Michele works for True North in several capacities including as an educational contractor and private tutor, specializing in working with students and families with learning disabilities.  She is certified in Orton Gillingham through the Dyslexia Training Institute.  In addition to her work with children and schools, Michele also evaluates incoming charter applications for the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, serving as a technical review panel member.  

From 2009-2020. Michele Hudak worked at the highly successful charter school, Candeo Peoria. For most of her tenure, she served as the Dean of Academics at Candeo where she often split time between teaching and administration. In her administrative role, she led the professional development of teachers and provided internal support for curricular and instructional integrity. When she began at Candeo in 2009, she served as a third-grade teacher and building-wide literacy coach.  In addition to her work at Candeo, Michele also supervised student teachers at Arizona State University.


Michele believes that her mission is to work collaboratively with teachers and families to create joyful classrooms where learning is paramount and children are not only academically successful but passionate about learning.


Kaitlynn Banek

Lead Teacher  |  General Education

Kaitlynn received a dual bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Northern Arizona University in 2011. She holds an Arizona Elementary Education Certificate with endorsements in both Structured English Immersion and Middle School Mathematics. She is currently completing coursework to obtain a reading endorsement.

Kaitlynn comes to True North Academy with ten years of teaching experience. She has taught first grade, second grade, middle school mathematics, as well as special education. From 2015 to 2022, Kaitlynn worked in a high-performing charter school. During her time there, she led teams of teachers as a grade level delegate, planned and implemented professional developments for other teachers in the areas of Singapore math, Core Knowledge, Love and Logic, and created a productive and joyful learning environment. She also served as a mentor for student teachers from Grand Canyon University.

Kaitlynn believes that all students are capable of success, and every child deserves to be offered a safe learning environment in which they feel not only academically successful but respected and appreciated for the individual they are. She strives to create this environment and works to identify and meet the unique needs of each learner to encourage and guide them along their educational journey.

Ann Becker
Gifted Intervention Provider | Paraprofessional

Ann comes to True North with a career in teaching spanning 28 years, is certified in Arizona to teach Kindergarten-8th grades and has an endorsement in Gifted Education.  She obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northern Arizona University.  Ann’s diverse educational leadership roles throughout her career have included Associate Dean of Academics, Gifted Education and State Testing Coordinator, and Instructional Coach.


Over the years, Ann developed an affinity for science education.  She planned and coordinated local science fairs for four schools which led to state competitions and top awards earned by students.  Ann was among a select group of teachers chosen to attend the Honeywell Beginner and Advanced Teacher in Space Academies at Marshall and Kennedy Space Centers.  She coordinated a Telemed Education Program through the University of Arizona under the direction of Dr. Ronald Weinstein which allowed middle school students the opportunity to take part in a medical education course.  Most recently, she has taken courses on developing science lessons aligned to state and national standards using a three-dimensional model developed by Brett Moulding.  


Ann strongly believes learning is and should be fun.  Keeping the whole child in mind, Ann strives to create a strong understanding of how each child learns best.  Through metacognition, personal reflection, and brain-based research, Ann challenges each child to understand their own potential and strive to improve on a daily basis.

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Board of Directors

Alisa Brodkowitz

Board Member

Sarah Gavigan


Dr. Michele Hudak

Board Member

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