Phone: (623) 376-4353


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Behrens

     I am very excited to be continuing with the Renaissance Gifted and Music Academy at Highland Lakes this year. This is my 9th year at the Renaissance Academy.  Prior to joining the Renaissance Academy, I have taught both 5th and 6th grades at several schools in the Deer Valley School District. Gifted education has always been my particular interest and I feel very fortunate to get to work with this amazing and inspiring group of students. I teach math and science to Renaissance 5th and 6th grade students. I also coach the middle school math competition team at Highland Lakes. 

     I am originally from Los Angeles, California. I have lived in Arizona since 1993. I have a B.A in English from Pomona College in Claremont, California and an M.B.A from U.C.L.A. My first career was as a financial analyst in the banking industry. I was a Vice President in the Planning and Analysis Dept. of First Interstate Bank in Los Angeles.  After moving to Arizona, I discovered a passion for the education profession and for working with children. I returned to school to work on a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate in order to pursue my goal of becoming a teacher. I have an Elementary (K-8) Certificate with special endorsements in Gifted Education and Structured English Immersion, and I am highly qualified in the following middle school content areas: Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Social Studies. I was a participant in the 2 year-long Arizona Mathematics Project to develop expertise in the new middle school level math standards. I am a lifelong learner and continue to take classes and participate in professional development activities. 

     I enjoy the music component of the Renaissance Academy since I also have a background in music. I studied piano and voice, and sang in choirs and chamber choirs. My three children studied different combinations of piano, voice, flute, saxophone, guitar, and ballet. I believe the arts are an enriching and important aspect of education. In my free time, you will often find me at a musical, play, concert, opera, ballet, or museum.

     My husband Dennis and I have 3 children, all adults now. We have twin daughters, Megan and Rebecca, and a son, Matthew. All three of our children are graduates of the Deer Valley School District and were participants in gifted education programs here. Matthew graduated from medical school at Tulane University where he also earned his undergraduate degree. He is doing his residency in Emergency Medicine at SUNY Downstate Health Center/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. Megan graduated from Boston University's School of Management and earned a Masters Degree in Business Analytics. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Matt. She works for Deloitte Consulting. Rebecca graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in Neuroscience. She lives in Brooklyn, New York where she is pursuing her dream of acting and writing. She also works as a UX Designer (UX stands for user experience) and has various other creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. 
The final member of our family is our dog Lucy. She is a catahoula mix.

     Some things I like to do besides teaching include reading, traveling, spending time with friends and family, stamping, dining out, going to the movies and going to music/theater/arts events. With our children spread out all over the country, my husband and I enjoy traveling to visit them when we can.