Advanced Academics Staff


Julie Leslie, Ed.D., Director of Advanced Academics
[email protected] | 817-251-5621

Dr. Julie Leslie has spent nearly 25 years in public education. She taught all levels of  middle and high school English in grades 8, 10, and 11, including GT and Pre-AP sections as well as AP Language and Composition, in Plano and Frisco ISDs for eleven years. When Frisco ISD opened Liberty High School, Dr. Leslie was asked to teach in the Independent Study & Mentorship Program (ISM) and to establish this prestigious program at LHS. She taught ISM for three years before moving to the central office in Frisco ISD to lead the ISM Program as well as all elementary and secondary GT programming. She held this position for nearly seven years. In 2015, Dr. Leslie won the Administrator of the Gifted award from Texas Association of Gifted and Talented. In February 2017, Dr. Leslie resigned from FISD to help her husband Gary battle pancreatic cancer. (He survived!) The story she wrote about her husband’s battle and how they “waged hope” together was featured in a book entitled Trusting in Him. Dr. Leslie re-joined the ranks of public education in 2018 as GCISD's Director of Advanced Academics. 
Dr. Leslie graduated with a B.S. in Secondary English Education from the Pennsylvania State University and a M.S. in Secondary and Higher Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce. In April of 2021, she defended her dissertation and obtained her doctorate in Educational Leadership K-12 from Dallas Baptist University. In her free time, Dr. Leslie enjoys home improvement projects, being outside with her two border collies, researching interesting things about animals and nature, hiking or walking, reading, and watching football with her husband.


Sara Hartsfield, Administrative Assistant, Director of Advanced Academics
[email protected] | 817-251-5522

After graduating from college, Mrs. Sara Hartsfield began working at Pepperdine University as an Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Fundraising. After a few years, she was promoted to Executive Assistant for the Vice President of Finance and Administration. Shortly after having their first child, Mrs. Hartsfield and her husband moved back to Texas from California. She worked part-time as a personal assistant for six years and three years as a Business Analyst in Procurement at Fidelity Investments.

Mrs. Hartsfield is a graduate of Texas Tech University (Guns Up!) with a B.A. in Finance, with a specialization in Real Estate. She lives with her family in Grapevine and has two kids that attend GCISD schools. Mrs. Hartsfield enjoys going to the beach, watching movies, and spending time with her husband and children.

G Mishoe pic

Gypsy Mishoe, M.S., Advanced Academics District Liaison
[email protected]

Gypsy Mishoe has been an educator for 21 years. She began her career as a high school history teacher and then moved to GCISD where she taught at Cross Timbers Middle School for 12 years. At CTMS, Ms. Mishoe taught all levels of 6th grade World Cultures, including Pre-Ap and GT Discoveries. Ms. Mishoe was one of GCISD’s first instructional coaches and worked to support the departments of Instructional Technology, Humanities, and Advanced Academics. Ms. Mishoe currently serves as the district’s Advanced Academics Liaison. In this position, she coordinates GT testing, facilitates professional learning, and collaborates with campus leadership to advance learning opportunities for our gifted and high-achieving students.

Ms. Mishoe was born in Grapevine and is a proud graduate of Grapevine High School. She has a B.A. in History from Southern Methodist University and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University. Gypsy and her husband, Jeff, have four children that keep them busy with their various sports and extracurricular activities. In her free time, she enjoys logic puzzles and listening to history podcasts.


Dr. Cheryl Taliaferro, ASPIRE Academy District Liaison
[email protected]

Dr. Cheryl Taliaferro has worked with advanced and gifted students for over 25 years. She has written curriculum and taught humanities courses for all grade levels 6-12, including AP English Language and AP English Literature. She has also served as an academic and college advisor at a private high school. In addition, she has worked as a teacher educator for over a decade, teaching graduate courses in Texas A&M-Commerce’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction and mentoring instructors and designing coursework for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. She came to GCISD several years ago to work with the ASPIRE Academy, starting as a 7th-grade Humanities teacher and GT Lead at Cross Timbers Middle School before accepting her current position as ASPIRE District Liaison.

Dr. Taliaferro received her B.A. in Politics from the University of Dallas, her M.A. in Reading from Texas Woman’s University, and her Ph.D. in Reading (with a minor in Anthropology) from the University of North Texas. After completing her doctorate, she served for one year as a Malone Fellow with the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. She has written several journal articles and book chapters about teaching and has presented at numerous national and state conferences. In her free time, she enjoys visiting art museums and attending lectures about literature, architecture, and history.


Lisa Cheyne, Advanced Academics Instructional Coach
[email protected]

Ms. Lisa Cheyne's first career was in the Aviation Business where, over the course of 20 years, she served in roles including business unit leadership and employee development. After a successful first career, she was then inspired by the power of education to cultivate future global citizens and leaders and decided to pursue a M.Ed to prepare for a career in education. Ms. Cheyne spent her first year as a teacher teaching grade level and PAP Physics at Northwest H.S. When Ms. Cheyne joined GCISD, she started as a grade level Physics and AVID teacher at Grapevine HS. For the last five years, she has taught AP Physics 1, AVID 3, and AVID 4. Additionally, she has been the AVID Site Coordinator for four years. Ms. Cheyne has served the GCISD community in a variety of capacities including GHS Department Learning Leader, GHS Guiding Coalition team, AVID Canvas Curriculum team, Vertical Alignment Science team, Science textbook adoption committee, and facilitating WICOR strategy workshops during GCISD Learning Institute. She is a VALOR Alumni from Cadre 5.3. In her current role as Advanced Academics Instructional Coach, Ms. Cheyne is working to increase access and success for all GCISD students in the area of advanced academics.
Ms. Cheyne graduated with a B.S. in Aeronautical Studies with a minor in Business from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a M.Ed from Southern Methodist University. She lives with her family in Colleyville. Her son currently attends SMU and is a GHS class of 2020 graduate. Ms. Cheyne enjoys reading about social science and research, cooking for family and friends, and exploring gardens.