(702) 430-2722 info@farwestacademy.org

Our Staff


My Name is Marbara Payne.  I was born and raised in Orem, Utah.  My husband and I moved to Las Vegas with our family in 2003.   We are the proud parents of 6 amazing children.  We are also the proud grandparents of 12 grandchildren.

I attended BYU were I received my degree in early childhood development as well as in special education. I’m excited to be starting my 20th year in Education.  I am looking forward to a wonderful new year at Far West Academy.

Marbara Payne

Marbara Payne

School Director

Mariah Mears

Mariah Mears

School Director

My name is Mariah Mears. I was born and raised right here in Las Vegas, and my family and I love traveling around the area. I am married with two beautiful girls who are the apple of my eye.

I’m excited to be our new School Director this year and ready to work with families to ensure each student receives a quality educational experience. I have been in education for over 14 years, and I have received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a master’s degree in Reading Instruction and Development from Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

Jackie Arner - Office Manager

Blayne Publico - Preschool

Valerie Discon - Preschool

Yesica Martinez - Preschool

Kim Thomas - Kindergarten & 1st

Cyndi Solis - Kindergarten & 1st

My name is Cyndi Solis.  I am originally from Washington state and moved to Nevada in 2003 where I met my husband and started our family.   We have two amazing children that I love devoting life to.
When my children were younger, I owned and operated a daycare with preschool program.  As my kiddos grew past that age, I closed the daycare to continue working with youth closer to their age.  I have spent the last 8 years leading 4H youth programs through the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, teaching Sunday school, giving equine lessons, and even directing VBS summer camps.
This is the 3rd year my children have attend this amazing school, so needles to say, I was very excited to jumb on board as a teacher.  I feel very blessed to be able  work with almost EVERY student at Far West!
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he us older, he will not depart.
Proverbs 22:6

Gina House - 2nd and 3rd

My name is Gina House, and I am beginning my third year as an educator with Far West Academy.     Jesus himself spoke and said in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” With each of my students I am able to share the love of Christ, and educate them academically meeting their needs individually. I am happily married with a total of six children and six grandchildren. We are going to have an amazing year at Far West Academy, and I am so excited and blessed to be a part of our wonderful school.

Lisa Hoggan - 4th and 5th

Welcome to 4th and 5th Grade where we will be “Surfing into Learning”. I am a mother of 4, who enjoys being in the schools, working with children and seeing them succeed. I attended Whittier College where I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Development along with a Master’s Degree in Education. I retired from teaching (3rd grade) many moons ago to be a full time mom. During those years I was never far from working with young children from Primary, Activity Days, Cub Scouts along with working with The Cub Scouts of America. For the past five+ years I worked as a Substitute/Guest Teacher in grades K-8 for CCSD along with all levels at Far West Academy.  In those years I long term substituted in Kinder, 2nd, 5th, 7th, US History, Resource and am well versed in promoting behavior for positive learning and respect to those around them. I am really excited to have my own room again and to watch these children grow and succeed!

Christie Howard - Resource & Interventionist

My name is Christie Howard. I am married with 4 wonderful children. I was born and raised in Arizona. I love spending time with my family, Jeeping, motorcycling, and cheering on the Vegas Golden Knights! I have an Associates degree in Computer Science. I loved being a stay home Mom, and I would volunteer often at my kids schools. When one day I was asked if I would like to get paid to be at the school every day, and it became the 2nd best job I ever had. I became a Resource and Literacy Intervention Specialist.  I have been working with children with special needs now for 11 years.

Chris Budo - Math & Science

Dr. Chris Budo is a longtime Las Vegas resident who started teaching Science as a second career after over 18 years in the medical field. He graduated from Clark High School in Las Vegas prior to attending BYU-Hawaii. While at BYU-Hawaii, Dr. Budo received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with Minors in both Chemistry and Japanese. He attended Medical School at the American University of the Caribbean. Dr. Budo has worked in Family Practice and Anesthesiology.

After many years in medicine he decided that he would like a change in career and found that he had a love of teaching young people. Dr. Budo has taught High School Biology and Environmental Science, and Microbiology and Anatomy at Breckenridge College of Nursing in the past.   He is teaching Middle school math and Science this year here at Far West Academy.

Amanda Brooks - English

Cassie Fife - Social Studies

Hi there! My name is Cassie Fife. I was born and raised in  Las Vegas, NV. I received my Bachelors in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations from Southern Utah University. I have twin boys who keep my husband and I very busy! We love to just have fun together!
Since 2006, I have worked for an educational publishing company and learned so much about the importance of education and getting students on the correct educational path tailored to their individual plan. This will be my second year at Far West, and I am excited to be a part of my students’ education as they understand and plan their path!!

Ruth Anderson - Spanish

My name Ruth Anderson.  I was born in Mexico and moved to Reno, NV when I was 12 years old. I met my husband in a fun Spanish class while attending the University of Nevada, Reno. 
We got married in 2007 and have 4 wonderful children. My husband learned Spanish while serving a mission in El Salvador and we encourage our children to speak Spanish at home. I worked as an interpreter for 3 years and also taught a short Spanish course at an elementary school through the International Center at UNR. I graduated from UNR in 2006 with dual degrees, in Spanish and International business. We have a pet tortoise named Aggus and two Leopard Geckos I love to play the piano, do fun things with my family, and try new foods. We also love traveling as a family, learning about other countries and teaching our children about other cultures.I am excited to join the Far West family this year and have a fun time learning together. 

Buddy Hampton - P.E.

Mariah Baker - Music

My name is Mariah Baker. I am a Las Vegas native and love the outdoors. I love spending time with my husband and little boy in the fresh air. I attended Brigham Young University Idaho where I learned and became even more passionate about music. Music breaks down walls and helps kids to see their true potential. I love allowing children to express themselves through music by teaching them music theory, techniques, history, and appreciation. In the music classroom, we will have a lot of fun being creative and working together!