Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO, Michigan Virtual serves as a catalyst for change and a champion of innovation in education. Mr. Fitzpatrick provides strategic leadership for Michigan Virtual, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization focused on advancing both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships. In addition to his previous leadership roles at the Michigan Department of Education and Saginaw ISD, Jamey also worked in the private sector for Pitney Bowes Corporation. Mr. Fitzpatrick serves on the Board of Trustees for Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. He is also a Board member for the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA), a nonprofit association of some of the most innovative K-12 virtual programs in the US.
Joe serves as a vice president for Michigan Virtual. He earned his Ph.D. in educational technologies from Michigan State University and is a nationally recognized researcher in the field of online and blended learning. He has taught in both face-to-face and online settings as well as at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels. Outside of work, Joe, his three boys, and his wife, Laura, do taekwondo together. Learning how to kiteboard is next on his list. Curriculum Vitae →
Before coming to Michigan Virtual, Ray spent more than 25 years in sales, service delivery, operations and general management in the business services industry and has broad experiences in strategic planning, service delivery excellence, business development and innovation. He joined Michigan Virtual as vice president of business strategy in 2016 after previously holding leadership positions at Bowne & Co., Inc., and RR Donnelley. He has a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a JD from St. John’s Law School. When not working or spending time with his family he can be found boating on the Great Lakes.
Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University with a major in accounting. Sarah is a certified public accountant and worked in public accounting for over seven years, auditing not-for-profit organizations and school districts. Sarah loves to travel, cook and spend time with her family.
Anne is passionate about education, leadership and telling a great story, which makes being the executive director of marketing and communications her perfect fit. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, Anne earned a master’s degree at MSU, taught high school for 10 years, worked in media sales and ran her own digital marketing firm. When not sharing the love of online education, you can find her riding her Harley, cooking a gourmet feast or serving a meal at the rescue mission.
For over 15 years Ken Dirkin has been revolutionizing education by creating technology solutions in education to help humans be better humans. Working with virtual worlds, mobile apps, new media and web, Ken is driven to decrease physical barriers in education and make learning more engaging and equitable. Ken’s energy is generated by work in education technology, international education, film and marketing. He strongly believes the best things in life are free. He lives with his awesome wife (Hi Kathy!), his #girlpower daughter and junior zoologist son.
Gina believes talented employees are an organization’s greatest asset, which makes being the executive director of human resources her perfect fit. Gina has earned a senior certified professional in human resources credential from the Society of Human Resource Management and has over 20 years of experience in the field. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, Gina spent time working in higher education and the corporate sector. When not in the office, you can find her snuggling her two Weimaraners, cooking wild game and enjoying the outdoors.
Andrea holds degrees in secondary education from the University of Michigan and curriculum and instruction from Spring Arbor University. She spent nearly 15 years teaching social studies face-to-face in Jackson, where she lives with her family and ever-barking dogs, before serving as the Lead Social Studies Instructor, Instructional Manager and Administrator of Instructional Leadership with Michigan Virtual. Andrea is passionate about making a difference in the lives of educators and students, and she can also be found living it up in a camper somewhere around the Great Lakes with her family.
Shannon is a dedicated educator who believes learning opportunities are found in every experience. As the director of Student Learning Services, she has the opportunity to utilize her knowledge and skills as a teacher, counselor and administrator. Shannon earned a doctorate in educational leadership at Eastern Michigan University and has over 15 years of experience in all levels of education. Aside from education, Shannon is an avid flower gardener, dystopia reader and loves spending time with her husband and dogs.
Michigan Virtual Staff
Adam earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a master’s degree in French language and literature from Michigan State University. Whether he’s supporting his colleagues at Michigan Virtual or guiding his French students at Olivet College toward acquiring a new language, Adam enjoys nothing more than helping others to reach their goals successfully. In his spare time, you will find him at the gym, running in his favorite local parks, or trying out new recipes.
Adam loves winning. If you are hosting a car wash or you have a crazy idea to exceed metrics next quarter, he’s someone you want on your team. His role as an information technology application specialist puts him in a position to make that energy available where ever it is needed most in the organization. IT consultant and technology problem solver for 20 years, Adam found a home at Michigan Virtual in 2013. Outside the office, he will most often be found knocking out the DIY project of the week or teaching his girls’ bad habits.
Amanda is a course development assistant at Michigan Virtual, where she helps bring to life the design and development of a variety of courses for students and teachers. Amanda was definitely one of those kids who was instantly enchanted and thrived in her educational experiences, both growing up as a curious learner and later on in higher education. She is thrilled to now be shaping others through their own educational growth, especially as technology continues to change our school experiences in incredible ways. Amanda graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. She has been working for Michigan Virtual since 2017. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys hiking and photography, listening to podcasts, spending time with loved ones and traveling.
Aminah is a focused, creative professional with a passion for higher education. Before joining Michigan Virtual, she was an administrative assistant for a fiber internet provider as well as a college adviser serving mid-Michigan high schools. Aminah’s background makes her a great fit for the learning services team. She has a bachelor’s degree in social science from Michigan State University. She enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and identifies as a doughnut connoisseur.
Amy is a very analytical person who loves puzzles and problem solving, which makes her great at being a learning applications specialist. She is a graduate of Michigan State University who has been able to gain years of knowledge in delivering great customer experiences. In her free time, she loves to eat ethnic foods (the spicier the better!), spend time with her family and curl up with a good book.
Ana is passionate about UX, design, and digital marketing. Prior to joining the team, she earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science, worked for Tribune Interactive as an online content producer for both Orlando Sentinel & Sun Sentinel publications, and ran her own design agency for 7 years. She lives in Florida, where she loves to spend her free time exploring the Gulf Coast, kayaking, and reading about history.
Andrea is Michigan Virtual’s Senior Student Programming Specialist since 2020, and was previously a German instructor with Michigan Virtual since 2008. She has taught German and Spanish at Gladwin Community Schools since 1998. Prior to beginning her teaching career, Andrea lived in Germany for three years. Andrea graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in German, Spanish and marketing, and earned a secondary teaching certificate from Saginaw Valley State University. She most recently completed a Master of Science degree in international relations from Troy University and holds a certificate in distance education from Indiana University.
Angela possesses over 15 years of experience as a sales and marketing professional armed with strong communication and interpersonal skills. She has broad sales experience from careers within the pharmaceutical, publishing and educational organizations supported by a Bachelor of Arts in advertising from Hampton University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Angela is adept at creating well-designed solutions for clients to address complex problems, along with excellent analytical and organizational skills that support risk-taking and new business development. She excels at creating and managing business relationships ensuring mutually beneficial results for her clients and the company. Angela is also a dynamic speaker with strong presentation skills to deliver maximum impact to any audience.
Anne is joining Michigan Virtual after fifteen years of classroom teaching. Anne’s experiences in diverse classroom settings have shaped her desire to continuously learn with and from others. She enjoys mentoring educators, problem-solving curriculum issues, and learning best practices, so her work with the Professional Learning Specialists team puts her passion into daily practice. At home, Anne and her husband have three children who keep their evenings full of sports practices and visits to the playground.
Austin is an eager, upbeat person who is motivated by his desire to learn new skills. He has been honing his skills in technology for the past five years and is always excited to take on new projects. He has many hobbies, including 3D printing, camping, fishing, hunting, golf and, most recently, drone racing.
Bennett, while very excited to join the team at Michigan Virtual, is one of the only Michigan fans in this Lansing-based company. He wishes to help make the transition many school districts and teachers are making to a blended learning focus. Through high school and college, Bennett took a majority of his classes online and understands the upsides as well as the potential downsides that come from learning online. Go Blue!
Brandon has worked at Michigan Virtual since graduating from Michigan State University in 2000. After spending time in the customer service, operations, enrollment and product development departments, Brandon is now the marketing manager. He enjoys sharing Saturday Night Live trivia with anyone who will listen.
Brandon is passionate about helping schools and students reach their full potential, which is why being the western region sales representative is so rewarding. Prior to Michigan Virtual, Brandon worked in the telecommunications field as well as healthcare staffing. When the workday is over, you can find him spending time with his wife and chasing around his two wonderful kids, taking dogs for walks or spending time up north during the summer.
Brett is director of infrastructure services with Michigan Virtual. His IT focus at Michigan Virtual is in applications, infrastructure and security. Helping to ensure Michigan Virtual systems are continuously available and serve the needs of our community is his goal. Brett has been a working professional in technology since 1998, all but the first year in education. He initially earned an associate degree in the technology arena and since has earned several certifications in areas such as leadership and security, including CISSO and GIAC GCIH.
Carla brings creativity, a varied background and a desire for quality to her role as an Instructional Designer. Before joining Michigan Virtual, Carla was a marine biologist, an officer in the United States Coast Guard and earned a master’s degree from Boise State University. She also spends her time learning handy skills through DIY home renovation projects, playing the ukulele, and camping and hiking in the mountains. Carla currently lives in Colorado with her husband, cats and flock of chickens.
Cassandra takes pride in making others feel welcome and important. Her work is an example of this. Currently, Cassandra, or Cassie as she is known around the office, serves as the professional learning community coordinator. In this role, she strives to ensure that educational professionals and partners feel connected and in-the-know when it comes to Michigan Virtual’s Professional Learning Services.
Cassie also has a passion for education, children and fitness. Prior to joining the organization, Cassie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and worked as a program director and teacher for Lakeshore Preschool. Cassie’s passion for fitness oftentimes spills over into the workplace. She regularly encourages colleagues to join her in various health or fitness endeavors. In her free time, Cassie finds her best inspiration practicing yoga by the lake, hunting with her dad, or enjoying a giant cupcake and conversation with a stranger.
Energized by challenging problems, Cheri’s solution-oriented mindset is ignited every day in her position as a learning application specialist at Michigan Virtual. Previous to working at Michigan Virtual, Cheri was a high school science teacher for Brighton Area Schools. This prior experience has allowed Cheri to excel in her position of supporting the learning applications for staff, teachers and students with student success as her top priority.
Christa received her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Kent State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She taught middle school language arts and social studies for seven years before coming to work for Michigan Virtual in 2018. As a Research Specialist with the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, Christa enjoys using her passion for education, curriculum, research, and writing to share and shape best practices in online and blended learning with other educators not only in Michigan, but nationwide.
Chris is an innovative educator, dedicated to students’ individual success. As Michigan Virtual‘s Administrator of Educational Programs, Chris strives to meet the needs of Michigan students and schools for quality online learning solutions. Before working with Michigan Virtual, Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies/secondary education, a master’s degree in political science and a graduate certificate in educational leadership. He has 16 years of prior experience in education, teaching at high school and community college levels, and serving as a school principal and district administrator. Chris enjoys cooking, barbecuing, fishing and tennis.
Christopher Harrington, Ed.D. has served public education as a teacher, an administrator, a researcher, and a consultant for more than 25 years and has experience assisting dozens of school districts across the nation in the design and implementation of blended, online, and personalized learning programs. He has worked on local, regional, and national committees with iNACOL and various other education-based organizations aimed at transforming education through the use of technology.
Cristina has worked in education for over ten years in a variety of areas including large public universities, small private, and local community colleges. Her past work focused on student success, specifically goal identification, progress, and achievement with a focus on confidence-building through strengths development. She received her B.A. in communication from Central Michigan University and her M.A in higher education at Western Michigan University. Cristina loves to read, travel, and spend time outside with her four-year twins, Eleanor & Griffin.
With a unique and uncanny ability to solving challenges, Dan’s talents are well suited to the planning services team at Michigan Virtual. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, Dan worked in the aerospace training industry for five years and as a business and project consultant for nearly 10 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business with a specialty in global project management from Davenport University and an associate’s degree in business with a focus on entrepreneurial studies from Lansing Community College. When he’s not working on personal or professional projects, he enjoys camping, exploring new ventures and watching the Detroit Lions.
Dan has been working in the information technology field for over 25 years, nine of them with Michigan Virtual. He has degrees in operations management, music education and photographic imaging. Dan also has teaching experience in Michigan public schools.
Dave is an instructional designer with the Instructional Product Development team. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, he worked for the Department of Defense and Northrop Grumman, where he was responsible for courseware development and the implementation of training programs that served the CIA, NSA, FBI and NRO. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in English and history and master’s degrees in instructional design, project management and business administration. He currently lives in Long Beach, California with his wife Ellen, their two sons, John and William, and their two German Shepherds, Bear and Pepper.
David is the Director of Instructional Product Development at Michigan Virtual where he manages the design and development of a variety of courses for students and teachers. He has been designing and developing online courses for over 10 years. Previously he has worked as a school technology coordinator and a high school math teacher in both face-to-face and online classrooms.
Debbie’s passion is teaching and mentoring! She joined Michigan Virtual in January 2010 as a part-time instructor. She taught business and technology courses at the high school and college level for 33 years. Debbie has a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree from Central Michigan University. Debbie is excited to be able to affect even more students in her new role as Outreach Coordinator – Mentors. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time up north with her family.
Emily comes to the Professional Learning Services team from a myriad of experiences. Having taught in elementary, middle and high schools, with a focus on literacy, she is happy to be having a new adventure with Michigan Virtual. Emily enjoys connecting with and learning from fellow educators, as well as learning new strategies to engage students and improve instruction. When she does not have her nose in a book, she is spending time with her husband and two sons, either attending MSU basketball games or playing in Lake Michigan.
Erica De Sousa
Erica believes in the power that language has to inspire and connect people and can embrace that daily in her role as French subject matter expert at Michigan Virtual. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she received a master’s degree in French language and literature, taught French undergraduate courses, and helped lead a summer study abroad program. In her spare time, Erica enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband, extra-long walks with their dog, and engaging in various DIY projects around the house.
Frances has managed educational technology projects for the past 20 years and earned her Ph.D. at Michigan State University from the College of Education. Her work as a senior manager of quality educational services at Michigan Virtual focuses on better serving the educational community. She is passionate about providing online education opportunities for all students.
Herbie comes to Michigan Virtual with nearly a decade of experience in bringing his visual storytelling talents to work for local and national brands. He uses his cinematic aesthetic to tell the stories of people who are driven to do the things they are passionate about, which makes him a perfect fit to tell the stories of the passionate, driven educators and their work at Michigan Virtual.
Holly is excited to blend her education and information technology backgrounds together on the Instructional Product Development team at Michigan Virtual. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree at MSU, Holly taught middle school and high school math. She then earned a master’s degree from MSU in curriculum and teaching and worked in school administration before becoming a curriculum developer and business analyst at an IT consulting firm. When she’s not at work, Holly enjoys reading, several outdoor sports, and most of all, spending time with her family.
Jen came to Michigan Virtual after 10 years of service to HP/EDS working in the information technology and customer service fields. After documenting hundreds of technical processes and teaching others how to duplicate results, Jen discovered her passion for technical writing. When not documenting the latest technology, you can find her reading, listening to music, or entertaining family and friends.
Jennifer loves to connect with people and match their qualifications and passions with employment opportunities that advance K-12 education. She holds both a bachelor’s in personnel management and a master’s of labor relations and human resources from Michigan State University. Her past human resources experience includes 10-plus years in benefits and compensation at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek and four-plus years as a human resources partner at Sparrow Clinton Hospital where she recruited and on-boarded health care professionals, managed caregiver relations and coordinated the labor negotiation process. When not at work, you will most likely find Jennifer spending time with her son, reading or playing tennis.
Jill’s role as an instructional Designer with the Instructional Product Development Team provides her the opportunity to put her passion into practice every day by working with talented professionals to design and develop engaging and meaningful learning experiences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degrees in English and Instructional Design. Previously, Jill has worked as a writing tutor, managed an adult education program, and taught writing at the college level.
Josh has over a decade of web and graphic design experience, as well as nearly a decade of higher education and nonprofit experience. With a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Northwood University, he seeks to make things beautiful and functional at the same time. When Josh isn’t passionately creating beautiful digital and print material, he’s spending time with his wife and daughter and enjoys being with his family.
Julie joined the planning services team at Michigan Virtual in 2014. She has an MBA in project management. Julie has a broad work experience in managing projects and process improvement collaborations in the field of banking, nonprofit work and small businesses.
Justin has spent nearly a decade in education, working to innovate and refine to make learning a better experience for those of all ages. His past experiences include serving as senior research & policy associate with MVLRI, professional learning services manager with Michigan Virtual, and as an 8th-grade social studies teacher in his home state of Louisiana. He earned a B.A. and M.A. in education from Louisiana State University as well as a master’s in educational technology from Boise State University. His areas of focus include agile and innovative learning development, adult learning theory, and instructional design.
Kathy began her adventures with Michigan Virtual in June 2018. Before this, her adventures included being an educator with a strong curiosity about what technology can do for education. This interest led her to start pursuing her master’s in educational technology. When she’s not plugged into technology, you can usually find her creating something in her sketchbook, practicing her photography skills or making her own yarn.
Keith comes to Michigan Virtual with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and over 20 years of federal human resources experience. He’s a military veteran with 29 years of enlisted service. In his spare time, Keith likes to ride his motorcycle. He enjoys working at Michigan Virtual learning another aspect of human resources and the inner workings of a nonprofit organization.
Kelly is enthusiastic about human resources and serving people. That’s why she is the perfect fit for Michigan Virtual’s Human Resources department. She has a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Davenport University and is currently working on her MBA. Before working at Michigan Virtual, Kelly helped Michigan boards of education hire their superintendents so recruiting is another passion of hers. When she’s not helping employees, you can find her spending time with her family, friends and working out.
Kelly likes working for Michigan Virtual because the core values of putting people first and acting with integrity are part of her values and to work for a company that feels the same is very important to her. Kelly’s family of five children and four grandchildren are spread out over the country. One of her greatest joys is to visit them. Kelly’s hobbies are quilting, gardening, walking and cooking. She loves cooking for family and friends.
Before joining the Michigan Virtual team, Krista earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Eastern Michigan University. From there, she went on to teach at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. One of the things that Krista most enjoys about teaching is being able to help students reach their academic potential. Currently, she is an assistant director for the Instructional Product Development team. In this role, even though she is no longer teaching, she is still able to influence student success by helping to develop quality courses that cater to diverse learners. In Krista’s free time, she enjoys spending time in nature, reading a good book or relaxing at the lake.
Kristen’s passion lies in working to continuously improve and advance the learning management systems used by Michigan Virtual. As the Assistant Director of Learning Applications, Kristen and her team work toward adding new and exciting features that help enhance the delivery and instructional needs of the programs within Michigan Virtual. A graduate of Central Michigan University, with a bachelor’s degree in science, Kristen is a passionate individual who is driven by fulfilling the mission of Michigan Virtual and seeks to constantly delivery a quality product to the customers using Michigan Virtual services.
Dr. DeBruler is the Research Manager at Michigan Virtual. She has been in the field of K-12 online education for nearly a decade and joined Michigan Virtual in 2012. During that time she conducted research on preparing K-12 online teachers and supporting K-12 students. Some of that work focused specifically on K-12 online teacher preparation, K-12 online learner demographics and success at several state virtual schools, and learning trajectories in K-12 online mathematics courses. Dr. DeBruler received her doctorate in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University and has experience teaching at the Master’s level, both face-to-face and online.
Kristi is a senior instructional designer for Michigan Virtual. She has been in the field of education for roughly 30 years. She has taught in face-to-face, blended and online environments at all levels: kindergarten through community college, including alternative education and adult education. Kristi had the opportunity to participate in NASA’s Frigid 2003 research as a “Teacher on the North Pole.” She has been working for Michigan Virtual since 2007.
Lenna’s background in education and customer service makes her an integral part of the Michigan Virtual team. Prior to beginning her journey at Michigan Virtual, she taught transitional kindergarten, worked in the hospitality field, and was a wedding and gift registry consultant. Lenna earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and is earning a master’s degree at CMU in educational technology. Outside of Michigan Virtual, Lenna enjoys camping, reading, baking and spending time with her family.
Lisa is a dedicated educator who truly believes that education is the key to changing the world. She holds a degree in English and secondary education from the University of Detroit-Mercy, as well as Master’s degrees in Special Education and Educational Administration from Saginaw Valley State University and Eastern Michigan University, respectively. Lisa joined Michigan Virtual in 2012 and has served as a part-time instructor, full time instructor, Outreach Coordinator for Special Populations, and currently as the Special Education & Instructional Support Manager. Outside of education, Lisa enjoys reading, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Mable is a certified teacher, community outreach, and workshop consultant. She is focused on technologies and best practices for helping all students engage in the learning process. She is an insightful problem solver and offers guidance, compassion, and tools for all to achieve. Mable has represented a number of software companies, which uses diagnostic data and prescriptive systems to inform teaching and learning. Mable has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a master’s in education from the University of Phoenix. She’s a sales representative for Michigan Virtual.
Melanie joined Michigan Virtual in 2001 and is the Senior Systems Analyst. Melanie earned a Master of Science in computer science from Central Michigan University and held various IT roles during her 14-year-career at Lansing Community College. Mel served on the LCC team that implemented the first completely online degree offered by a Michigan community college. Her non-IT past includes race track pari-mutuel manager and school board member. Mel enjoys dancing, sewing, and bicycling.
Melissa has worked for Michigan Virtual since February 2018. After graduating from Michigan State University in 2013, she has worked professionally as a clinical laboratory specialist, and she still lurks the halls of a hospital on an occasional weekend. Melissa lives with her husband and young children and is loving the life of being a wife and mom. She enjoys catching a good movie, camping and being outside.
Michael Allen brings the experience of a rich and varied professional career in management, customer service and technical support to his work with Michigan Virtual. A father of two and lifelong Michigander, his interest in the improvement of educational opportunities for all students traces back to years on the boards of his daughters’ pre-school and their elementary school PTOs, as well as a large neighborhood advocacy organization where he focused on local school issues. He is an avid gardener, Pilates practitioner and occasional poet.
Mike is an enthusiastic leader who is committed to educational excellence and building strong relationships with students, staff and stakeholders. He has a wealth of experience, including a background in business prior to entering education. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business education from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. He has over 25 years of experience in public education as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and as a high school principal. Mike and his wife, Missy, have two daughters, Danielle and Hayden, and they all enjoy spending time skiing on the water and the slopes in their free time.
Midori is an instructional designer for Michigan Virtual and is a former World Language educator. She loves what she does because designing online courses allows her to continue to be an educator. She earned her Master of Art at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, focusing on educational technology.
As a member of the implementation support liaison team, Nicole is passionate about building positive relationships while delivering unique learning environments to students and teachers. She has her B.S. in healthcare administration with a focus in HR management. Upon earning her degree in 2018, Nicole became a board member of her alumni association where she helps students reach their academic potential at a personal level. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time in nature, dancing, and watching Disney movies.
Nighat is the accounting manager for finance at Michigan Virtual. She has an MBA in corporate accounting from Michigan State University. Nighat loves working at Michigan Virtual because she feels like she is making a difference in the lives of children through education. She loves spending time with her kids, listening to music and reading books.
Nikki’s love for writing, editing and pedagogy brought her to Michigan Virtual as their Content Creator/Editor. A Michigan native, she studied writing at Grand Valley State University before continuing on to the University of Minnesota for her master’s degree. While there, she also taught first-year writing to college freshman. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, playing table-top board games, and curling up in front of the fireplace with a good book and her sassy, ancient cat, Princess Eugene.
Paula joined Michigan Virtual in 2010. She is passionate about education, believing it is important to advocate for today’s kids. Paula also has an interest in education policy. She has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. As Michigan Virtual‘s “Air Traffic Controller,” Paula has strong communication skills and a take-charge approach. In her spare time, Paula likes to spend time with her family, read and travel.
Renae Adams Almasy
As a member of the Michigan Lean Consortium, Renae is passionate about lean processes and increasing efficiency. She is an Adrian College graduate with her bachelor’s degree in business management. Competing as a tennis player through all of her schooling, she strives for excellence in all aspects of her life. Most importantly, she values continuous learning and making it possible for others to have access to resources to better their lives.
Robby joined Michigan Virtual in 2020, after graduating from Indiana State University with a B.S. in Music Business. Outside of the office, he enjoys the challenge of fixing things that have fallen into disrepair. From vintage tube amplifiers to old houses, Robby is always up for a challenge. His passion for problem-solving is what drives him to deliver an awesome customer service experience here at Michigan Virtual. In his free time, he enjoys spending time in his recording studio, using music as a canvas to paint pictures for your ears.
Roman has been involved in technology for over 15 years. He has an IT background that includes web development and design as well as customer support and systems administration. Continuing his passion for education and technology, Roman earned a bachelor’s degree in digital media arts and technology and a master’s degree in educational technology from Michigan State University. He is particularly interested in integrating everyday technology into educational environments.
Rosie is an Instructional Designer at Michigan Virtual. She earned a Master of Arts in Serious Game Design and a Bachelor of Science in Child Development from Michigan State University (Go Green!). Before joining the team, Rosie worked for a small consulting company, where she conducted research with children to better understand how they experience, engage with and learn from different digital interfaces. She used these insights, along with theoretical knowledge and classroom experience, to create engaging educational experiences for kids and families. When she’s not working, Rosie can be found spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Scott provides the Michigan Virtual team with leadership in market analysis, process improvement, new product development, and strategy development and implementation. He is a proud Spartan, holding bachelor’s degrees in international relations and marketing, and an MBA, from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Michigan Virtual, Scott was involved in several start-ups and was a consultant and executive with Anderson Economic Group.
Shanna Henderson joined Michigan Virtual in 2015 and has not lived the same day twice. The beauty of supporting both the Executive Office and Human Resources is that she learns and experiences something new every day.
She is a wrestling mom, which means that she spends a lot of time in high school gymnasiums on the weekends! She is also the director of the elementary program at her church, and she is passionate about teaching children. In her free time, you can find her on the slopes, or in her running shoes.
If you were to ask Shanna what should we know about her, the response would be that the way to her heart is through her belly — she loves food!
Shelia started working for Michigan Virtual in November of 2016. During that time she has greatly enjoyed becoming a valuable part of the Infrastructure, Research and Professional Learning Services teams. Her passion for learning, helping others succeed and organizing makes the company a great fit for her. Before working at Michigan Virtual, Shelia worked as an executive assistant to the Creative Solutions department at Amway for 15 years. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling internationally and domestically, taking her dog King for long walks, spending time with her family and friends and performing in musical theater.
Shelly serves as the HR coordinator & payroll specialist for the Michigan Virtual Human Resources Team. Shelly has over 25 years of experience in the human resources field with a diverse knowledge base in many different corporate settings. Throughout her career, she has worked in a large array of fields ranging from auto manufacturing, education, hospital, and mental health fields. She enjoys learning new things and the challenges this brings, and as this is her first nonprofit position, she is gaining a new set of experiences and knowledge. Shelly holds a B.S. in clinical psychology from Central Michigan University. When she is not working, she is reading, crafting, gardening, traveling, or spending her time in the outdoors with family and friends.
Stacey is the director of Professional Learning Services at Michigan Virtual. She is responsible for planning and implementing professional learning experiences and works directly with teachers and administrators to ensure personalized professional development. Stacey is a former classroom teacher, national presenter and is an instructor for the Master of Educational Technology program at Michigan State University.
Stefanie loves being a Senior Professional Learning Specialist at Michigan Virtual, where she researches new technologies and approaches to delivering professional development, finds ways to test and implement solutions and continuously strives to improve the quality of our products and services. Before joining Michigan Virtual in 2018, Stefanie worked on software projects from the design phase to implementation. During this time, she enjoyed teaching trainees, as well as her excursions into project management. Stefanie earned a master’s degree in Physics from Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. Outside of work, you will likely find her volunteering or gardening at a school, reading or spending time with her husband and son.
Steph is an Instructional Designer at Michigan Virtual. She earned a master’s degree in instructional technology from Bloomsburg University and is certified as a K-12 instructional technology specialist. Steph was a substitute teacher prior to entering the field of instructional design. As an instructional designer, she has worked on projects for nonprofit organizations, K-12 schools, corporations and a university. When she’s not working you can find her spending time with friends and family, walking dogs at the local shelter or reading.
Steve joined Michigan Virtual in May of 2018 to advance the integration of its information technology systems and, thereby, of its teams, products and relationships with clients. Apart from that mission, Steve enjoys performing music with his partner and others in the local music scene, writing songs, attending social gatherings with friends and fulfilling an unofficial — yet important — quality control role for local wineries and craft breweries.
Subodh is a seasoned troubleshooter who also likes to extract information and different metrics from complex data to help a business succeed in their goals. He played different roles in the technology field for over 18 years and continuing his passion for technology, Subodh earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Electronics Engineering from Pune University. He is particularly interested in integrating new technologies to improve the quality of the work and customer satisfaction. He spends most of his free time with family playing board games or working on projects with his daughters.
Tara is always looking for innovative methods to incorporate into her work as a senior instructional designer. Having almost 10 years of job experience in online education, as well as a master’s in educational technology from Boise State University, she has enjoys all aspects online education has to offer including teaching, training and designing engaging courses. Living life at full throttle with her husband, three children, dog, cat and various other creatures her children bring home, Tara’s home is a destination spot as she’s renowned for entertaining friends. Precision in her work ethic, wide interests, and loving friend and family plus adventures make Tara’s life a rich tapestry!
Terence enjoys working in the background and having his hand in all of the little details. A passion for successful systems and logistics were birthed during his years of an internship in an office setting. Since then, Terence has been part of many teams and helped create and execute many projects. The most recent project being the use of a mobile vehicle to create a fun atmosphere for children and families. In hosting these “block parties,” Terence and his team hope to inspire the city so they know they are loved, belong, and have purpose.
Teresa is passionate about structure, organization and detail, which makes her long career at Michigan Virtual as the Accounting Specialist the perfect occupation for her. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, Teresa worked three years as a bookkeeper for a small, mid-Michigan based machining business. Before that, she was a switchboard operator for three years, and she also provided daycare in her home for three years. When not balancing numbers, you can find her working on her latest crochet project, or volunteering time to her faith.
Thomas is Michigan Virtual‘s director of school partnerships. He has a demonstrated history of working with school districts, educators, students and parents. He has vast experience in online learning, conference networking, customer service, account management and professional development. Thomas is a strong sales professional with a Bachelor of Arts in education from Michigan State University, a former school teacher and professional paintball player. Thomas and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Diego and Aster.
Tracy’s role as a Senior Research Specialist with the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with Michigan’s education community. As online and blended learning reach an increasing number of K-12 students in Michigan, there is greater opportunity to learn from practitioners, research what’s fueling success and share best practices. Tracy enjoys collaborating with others to provide solutions and build capacity. She holds a bachelor’s in business leadership and much of her professional life has been with education-focused organizations. She also enjoys time with family and friends, spends time gardening and is an avid audiobooks listener. She has two daughters who are currently attending graduate school.