Faculty Spotlight

Kenny Johnston

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Mr. Kenny Johnston


Mr. Kenny teaches middle and high school maths and sciences at different grade levels, as well as Spanish I and STEAM. He has a Bachelors Degree from LSU and will be certified in Computer Software Development by the end of the summer! Mr. Kenny has taught at Arden Cahill for 10 years, but was an Arden Cahill student beginning at 3 years old! Mr. Kenny is also our volleyball coach and one of our Camp Corral Directors.


“I love seeing the kids grow into their own identities from when I see them at camp when they are little to when I have them in high school as a teacher. I also love seeing the excitement in the students’ faces when the subject matter finally clicks for them. Particularly with STEAM this year, it was always awesome to hear about the kids taking what we did in class and making their own at home: vegetable gardens or greenhouses - all of the things they would replicate at home from school!”


We asked Mr. Kenny three random questions. Here is what he had to say!


What is the best present you have ever received? - “One year for my birthday I got a ticket to the Superbowl with the Saints in Miami from my parents - that was amazing.”


If there were 25 hours in a day, what would you do with the extra hour? - “I would play beach volleyball.”


What one song will you always know every word to? - “Lose Yourself by Eminem.”

Lauren Leighton

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Mrs. Lauren Leighton

Mrs. Leighton teaches elementary Speech and Drama, as well as High School Theater. Mrs. Leighton has a BS in Elementary Education from Holy Cross. She also studied Speech, Acting, and Theater Tech at LSU and studied Classical Voice for 7 years. Mrs. Leighton was a stage performer and seamstress in multiple theaters in multiple states, and has worked with Tulane Summer Lyric and Tulane Shakespeare costuming shops among others.

"What I like about teaching Drama to students is seeing how much they grow as performers over time. The excitement they feel when they get to walk on stage to perform, and how shy students become comfortable and have confidence performing in front of others. I like the fact that we have so many talented students who can share their knowledge and talents with each other. Working with students who love the "tech" side of theater and watching them learn how to run a show is always exciting! I'm just a teacher who loves her students and wants them to succeed in everything they do. To have the confidence in themselves to thrive in a world filled with so many challenges!"

We asked Mrs. Leighton three random questions. Here are her responses:

Who is the wisest person you know? - "I have two wise people that have taught me how to succeed in life - my parents. they have always been there for me, and encouraged me to do what makes me happy. They have given me great advice on how to treat others with respect, and how to keep going when I want to give up. Without their love and words of wisdom I would not be who I am today."

What is your go-to karaoke song? - "My go to karaoke song is "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar."

What is your favorite quote? - "My favorite quote is "family is everything". No Matter what choices you make, positive or negative, family will not turn their backs on you. Your family understands each other and knows the kind of person you truly are."

Alessandra Poggio

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Mrs. Alessandra Poggio

Mrs. Poggio is one of our Foreign Language teachers. She has Bachelors Degrees in French and Italian, and a minor in Art History from Georgetown University. She is a native Spanish and Italian speaker, and has a working background in fashion and interior design with certificate degrees from New York School of Interior Design.

"I have a passion for languages and linguistics. This stems from an upbringing surrounded by different cultures through family and travel. My goal as a first year World Language teacher was to impart my love of French and Spanish to my students by encouraging them to further their language studies and look at their own English vocabulary and syntax in a different way by understanding the etymology behind it and recognizing language patterns in a cool and fun manner. The sense of joy and pride I felt every time a younger student made a vocabulary or cultural connection and one of my high schoolers began conversing in the language was overwhelming. I hope my students are as proud of themselves as I am of them for having gone through this ‘it’s a small world’ journey with me this year and for years to come."

We asked Mrs. Poggio three random questions. Here is what she had to say!

If you had the world's attention for 30 seconds, what would you say? - "Spay and neuter your pets and support animal rescue and adoption in any small way."

If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be? - "I lived for the Brady Bunch. I wanted to live in that cool mid - century house and go on all their adventures as Marcia’s twin in her groovy outfits."

If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future? - "I would love to go back in time and talk to my grandparents and tell them how much I love them, go shopping and have lunch with my mother, and most of all hold my children as babies and watch them sleep in my arms (along with past fur babies as well)."

Dianna Rico

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Mrs. Dianna Rico

Mrs. Rico is one of our 1st grade teachers. She has a Bachelors Degree from UNO, a Masters from The University of Holy Cross, is Certified in ESL, and is a Reading Specialist. Mrs. Rico has been at Arden Cahill for 16 years!

"I love teaching first grade because I absolutely love seeing and being a part of students' growth throughout the year. They come to me as "babies" and leave me as strong independent students, reading chapter books! It is really amazing to be a part of that. I not only enjoy witnessing their growth within their first grade year, but also as they advance through our program. ACA is a true family environment, and they know they will always be "Mrs. Rico's First Grade Monsters."

We asked Mrs. Rico three random questions. Here is what she had to say!

If you had the world's attention for 30 seconds, what would you say? - “Please be kind. You never know what battles people are fighting. We really are more the same than different.”

If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be? - “The Goldbergs. I remember having/wearing some of that stuff from that show.”

If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future? - “Back in time. I wouldn’t change anything but I would love to spend more time with loved ones. Tell my teenage self- Let the little stuff go and enjoy each day.”