John H. O. LaGatta
*06/10/1934 – 12/04/2015 

John H.O. LaGatta was an active member of the community; he served on the board of Mariposa Academy. John had such an inquisitive mind that continually searched for answers to problems, and he remained focused until he had resolution. He was a tireless advocate for education.

John was capable of bringing extraordinary people together. Mariposa Families were invited into his home for the Annual Crawdad LaGatta fundraiser, where families were able to enjoy fishing for crawfish in the river as well as participating in various family games and best of all to enjoy the exquisite meal provided.  We at Mariposa Academy would like to thank you for opening the doors to your home and for always being an advocate for our children’s education.

Your dedication and service has become a beacon to the         Mariposa Academic Community.

Courtney G. Foster, Esq.


Shareholder Gunderson Law Firm

(775) 829-1222

Courtney Forster is a shareholder at Gunderson Law Firm admitted to the state bars of Nevada and California, along with all federal courts in both states. She practices in the areas of commercial and business litigation, real estate transactions and litigation, business entity formation and support, and appeals. She has previously served on the board of directors for the Crisis Call Center and is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School and the University of Oregon.

Wendy Mueller

CPA Treasurer 

(775) 772-9860

Ms. Mueller is a principal and co-founder of USDR Investment Management. She serves as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Investment Committee member. Ms. Mueller’s accounting experience commenced with Coopers & Lybrand, now PriceWaterhouseCoopers, in their Business Assurance practice (1993-1998) where she became an audit manager. Ms. Mueller then joined Acquisition Company of America to pursue M&A in water and wastewater companies. Ms. Mueller subsequently founded Mueller & Company in Incline Village in 2004, a local accountancy practice to provide taxation and attestation work for primarily high net worth individuals and their businesses. Ms. Mueller is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Nevada and the State of Texas. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Nevada Society of CPA’s, and the American Bankruptcy Institute. Ms. Mueller is an emeritus board member of Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, where she previously held positions on the grants committee and audit committee. Ms. Mueller received her B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration, from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1993.

Juan Palacios, Jr. 

Licensed Teacher

(775) 842-9445

Arturo Garzon

Board Member

(775) 560-4556

Arturo Garzon has worked for 15 years as the Community Outreach and Regional Representative for two Congressional offices, U.S. Senator John Ensign and currently with U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei.  
His responsibilities include a wide array of Federal issues concerning immigration, the State Department and Bureau of Prisons.  Arturo serves as the voice in the Hispanic community for Congressman Amodei.
Arturo has served on the Adelante Awards Committee as well as the Hispanic Leadership Summit Committee.  He was a mentor for ALTOS, the Alliance of Latinos Toward Opportunity and Success.  Arturo is a regular guest speaker in Washoe County schools as part of the Parent Involvement Program. 
 A member of Immaculate Conception Church and passionate about soccer, Arturo is married to Juana and has two children, Brian and Kassandra.

Niviam M. Lucas-Gutierrez
Parent, Board Member 
            (775) 335-6277    

Niviam Lucas is an enthusiastic mom of 4 children.  Three of her children study at Mariposa Academy.    She was born in Guatemala and graduated as an accountant in 1997.  She studied Pedagogy for three years at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala.  She has lived in Reno for almost 12 years, currently she works at Saint Albert the Great Catholic Church and is an active student in the TMCC.

     Niviam is part of the Board of Directors, representing the parents of Mariposa Academy and improving the bilingual education for all students. 

Mariposa Academy Governance Board

Michael McKemy  

(775) 303-3771                               

Jesee Gutierrez, M.S.  H.S.A.

Board President 


(775) 232-7925

Educating Children. Engaging Families. Empowering Communities.