Instructor Bios

The Brains of This Operation


Michigan Virtual’s instructors and staff are passionate about and dedicated to the advancement of blended and online learning.
Zachary Abeel

Zachary Abeel

Instructor - Social Studies

Zachary has been teaching high school and middle school social studies for 14 years. He spent his first two years teaching American history and economics in Cairo, Egypt. Currently, he lives in Oxford with his wife, two daughters and dachshund. Besides teaching, Zachary also coaches middle school and high school basketball. In his free time he likes traveling, reading, playing the guitar and building with Legos.

Bryron Aldrink

Byron Aldrink

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Byron is a very dedicated, caring teacher (for 25 years). He has a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in Spanish and a master’s in bilingual education from Wayne State University. Byron volunteered to sponsor clubs such as the Asian Pacific Affairs Club, Christian Club and Anime Club. He believes in relevant teaching and uses real-world experiences, drawn from his own real estate and credit recovery businesses. He is positive, fun and genuinely connects with people. When not teaching, you can find Byron racing, watching football or volunteering at church.

Gwen Alim-Young

Gwendolyn Alim-Young

Instructor - Social Studies

Gwen became a Michigan Virtual employee in 2003 and serves as an online instructor and content specialist. She is a multidisciplinary educator with degrees in secondary education (English & sociology ) plus a Master of Arts in teaching. Gwen recently retired from K-12 education and currently teaches at Lansing Community College. Gwen resides in Grand Ledge where she enjoys gardening, reading, and attending high school and college sporting events.

Ben Ashby

Ben Ashby

Instructor - World Languages

Ben lives in Zeeland and teaches high school level Spanish at Cityside Middle School. He loves playing, watching and coaching sports. Ben’s a huge Michigan fan, even though he went to grad school at Michigan State, after earning his undergraduate degree at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. He’s been teaching Spanish since 2005. Ben’s other interests include playing fantasy sports (football, baseball, basketball), making music for his Spanish classes and hanging out with his family. Ben’s wife, Sarah, is a former teacher, but is now a stay-at-home mom for their four boys.

Stephen Atwood

Stephen Atwood

Instructor - Science

Stephen started with Michigan Virtual in the first cohort of iEducators in 2015. He is currently a full-time science teacher at Marquette Senior High School and continues to teach science courses for Michigan Virtual. Stephen has a B.S. in environmental science and policy and a DX and DI teaching certificate from Northern Michigan University. When not in his face-to-face or online classrooms, Stephen likes to spend time with his wife and two kids outside in the woods of Marquette.

Derek Baad

Derek Baad

Instructor - English Language Arts/Visual Performing Arts

Derek has been teaching with Michigan Virtual since 2013. He currently holds a bachelor’s in English from Michigan State University, a master’s in information science from Wayne State University, and a master’s in English literature from Eastern Michigan University. For the past 21 years, Derek has been teaching a wide variety of English classes at Milford High School. When not teaching, he is an avid reader, writer, traveler and father.

Jim Barry

James Barry

Part-time Instructor

Jim is a seasoned ELA professional whose energy, humor and love of literature continue to inspire students. Before joining Michigan Virtual, Jim enjoyed 14 successful years in the high school classroom and has effectively transferred his creative skill to online education. Since Jim is also a musician and songwriter, you can easily guess where he can be found when he is away from his students. He’ll be performing with his band, writing songs or chasing an idea. This educator possesses a unique combination of experience, talent and erudition. One of his favorite quotes? “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”

Tara Becker-Utess

Tara Becker-Utess

Instructor - Math

Tara has taught mathematics and social studies at Michigan Virtual since 2009. She also taught in a face-to-face classroom for nine years before moving to Ingham ISD as an academic consultant. She is passionate about using technology to help personalize learning for all students. Tara loves meeting students from all over the state and providing them detailed feedback so they know where they are at in the learning process.

Carrie Begick

Carrie Begick

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Carrie has been teaching health for Michigan Virtual since 2014. She has taught physical and health education at the high school level. Carrie graduated from Saginaw Valley State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in physical, health, dance and recreation education. She also holds a master’s in educational leadership degree from SVSU. In addition to teaching, she has coached high school volleyball. She enjoys camping, sports and spending time with her husband and two children.

David Beyers

David Beyers

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

David takes his passion for personal fitness well beyond the classroom. Having taught physical education for over 15 years he has recognized the impact on lives it has including his own. David models the importance of a consistent routine of activity and healthy eating through running marathons, participating in recreational sports, coaching his kids and exercising with his wife. The energy he receives from his active lifestyle spills into his virtual and face-to-face classrooms.

Holly Boleski

Holly Boleski

Senior Instructor - Science

Holly has enjoyed working as a full-time instructor in our science department since 2013. She considers herself a lifelong learner and educator. Holly earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Oakland University (Go Grizzlies!) and her master’s degree in teaching from Wayne State University. Along with having a passion for science, she enjoys cooking, gardening, going for a run and spending time with her family.

Marilyn Bolster

Marilyn Bolster

Instructor - World Languages

Marilyn retired from the face-to-face classroom in June 2015. She majored in Spanish and minored in English and linguistics at Oakland University. Through a variety of graduate programs, she has maintained her Michigan Teacher Certification. She has studied in Spain and Mexico as well as traveled to Costa Rica. Marilyn has 26+ years of classroom experience and another 15+ in tutoring homeschool students. She is a wife, mother of five, and grandmother of 10 and counting. She started teaching at Michigan Virtual in 2015.

Alison Bourassa

Alison Bourassa

Instructor - World Languages

Alison joined Michigan Virtual in 2016 as a Japanese instructor. She has been teaching Japanese at the high school and middle school level for 20 years. Alison earned a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese language and culture from Madonna University and a master’s degree in teaching from Marygrove College. She also holds certification in history and social studies and has developed and taught many courses in those fields as well. Alison lives in Linden with her husband and has two boys in college. She enjoys traveling, cooking diverse ethnic recipes, reading and most of all, meeting people.

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Andrea Bright-Fontana

Instructor - American Sign Language

Andrea loves to work and live within the Deaf community. She currently works as an American Sign Language Interpreter in Austin, Texas, as well as teaching at Michigan Virtual. Prior to interpreting, Andrea earned a B.A. in deaf education from Michigan State University and an M.A. from Texas State University in theater. She also taught at the Texas School for the Deaf from 1999-2005. When not working, her family spends time camping, at various sporting events for their boys and being foster parents for little girls.

Molly Bruzewski

Molly Bruzewski

Instructor - Social Studies

Molly has been teaching for Michigan Virtual since 2001. She teaches AP Government, Civics and Legal Issues. Molly has also served on the Online Instructor Training team, training new teachers for Michigan Virtual. Molly has two bachelor’s degrees from Central Michigan, a master’s degree from the University of Tulsa, and is currently working on her Education Specialist degree from Saginaw Valley State University. She was a recipient of the Gerstacker Fellowship from SVSU and a national James Madison Fellow.

Hannah Bur

Hannah Bur

Instructor - Science

Hannah joined Michigan Virtual in 2016 as an iEducator. She teaches many different courses as a member of the science department. Hannah is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology, a minor in chemistry and specialization in global education. Hannah studied education in China and she hopes to keep traveling around the world. She currently resides in Kalamazoo with her husband. In her spare time, she loves to follow sports, read and cook!

Cheryl Butterfield

Cheryl Butterfield

Instructor - Science

Cheryl graduated from Arizona State University in 1990 with degrees in psychology and family studies where she went on to work at a children’s psychiatric facility for eight years. When she moved back to Michigan she added biology and general science degrees with a teacher’s certification from Saginaw Valley State University. She has two master’s degrees from Walden University. Cheryl teachers science at Lapeer High School which is also her hometown. She has three children, Andrew, Paige and Colin, who keep her and her husband, Dave, very busy in sports and other extracurricular activities.

Ryan Call

Ryan Call

Senior Instructor - Social Studies

Ryan has been teaching for Michigan Virtual since 2010 and is a full-time social studies instructor. He earned a Bachelor of Science in social studies and history at Eastern Michigan University. Before joining Michigan Virtual, Ryan proudly served in the U.S. Army for five years and was able to see the world and experience many different cultures. When Ryan is not teaching, he enjoys traveling, camping and photography.

Erin Cambron

Erin Cambron

Instructor - World Language

Erin became a Michigan Virtual iEducator in 2015. She teaches French for grades 6-12. Erin graduated from Western Michigan University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in social studies and French secondary education.

Mary Carpenter

Mary Carpenter

Instructor - Math

Mary became a Michigan Virtual online instructor in 2008. Mary earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University. She is a member of the math department and is certified to teach math, health and social studies. Mary also has had many classes in computers. She has worked in schools teaching middle school and high school students. She has also taught at several universities. Mary loves to learn and challenge herself with new ideas. She loves being with her family and seven grandchildren. The seven boys make a perfect sports team.

Yolanda Carter

Yolanda Carter

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Yolanda loves teaching, learning and technology, which made being an instructor at Michigan Virtual a seamless transition from teaching face-to-face to teaching online. Yolanda has over 30 years’ experience in public education, teaching family and consumer science, computer literacy and as a high school library media specialist. She earned two master’s degrees, one from University of Detroit Mercy and the other from Wayne State University. Yolanda enjoys reading, volunteering at her church, shopping, travel and spending quality time with her grandchildren!

Tina Chambers

Tina Case

Instructor - Social Studies

Tina has taught since 1995 and started with Michigan Virtual in 2006. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University, a master’s in counseling from Oakland University and an education specialist in administration from Oakland University. Currently, she is a curriculum director as well as a Michigan Virtual instructor. Tina is also a certified yoga instructor and enjoys the practice as well as traveling, reading and watching college basketball.

Jennifer Cathey

Jennifer Cathey

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Jen loves teaching business and career courses because of their practical application in everyday life. Jen has a master’s degree in career and technical education from Western Michigan University and has taught middle and high school business and computer classes since 2005. Outside of Michigan Virtual, Jen currently works as an office coordinator at Grand Valley State University and is an avid distance runner having completed 12 marathons including three Boston marathons.

Stephanie Clark

Stephanie Clark

Instructor - American Sign Language

Stephanie has been a Deaf education teacher consultant for 16 years. Before that, she was an educational sign language interpreter. She graduated from Gallaudet University with a master’s degree in Deaf education, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Madonna University and an Ed.S. degree in leadership from Oakland University. Stephanie lives in Mendon on a farm with her husband and son. She also has a stepson and stepdaughter. She enjoys being with my family and reading.

Dale Coats

Dale Coats

Instructor - Social Studies

Dale began teaching at Michigan Virtual in 2013 and currently teaches AP Microeconomics and Economics. Dale is in his seventh year of teaching at Adams High School in Rochester Hills. He teaches AP Microeconomics, economics, U.S. history and philosophy. Additionally, he coaches junior varsity girls basketball and varsity girls lacrosse at Stoney Creek High School. Dale received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Oakland University and a Master of Arts in teaching from Wayne State University. He resides in Rochester Hills with his wife, two children and faithful companions Lily and Zella.

Theresa Commean

Theresa Commean

Instructor - American Sign Language

Theresa graduated from Stetson University with a master’s degree in education in 2007. She started as an interpreter for the deaf in 1992 and became a teacher of ASL in 2000. Theresa loves teaching American Sign Language! Her inspiration was Helen Keller growing up, and she inspired Theresa into her chosen field.

Lori Coyle

Lori Coyle

Lead Instructor - Social Studies

Lori has been teaching social studies for over 10 years. She has experience teaching in the traditional classroom setting as well as online. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary teaching and master’s degree in educational media and technology from Eastern Michigan University. Outside of teaching, Lori enjoys spending time with family, gardening and cooking.

Julie Crossman

Julie Crossman

Instructor - Science

Julie is a science teacher both online as well as in a traditional face-to-face classroom. Julie earned her undergraduate science teaching degree at Western Michigan University and a master’s degree at MSU. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and cooking.

Brent Cubitt

Brent Cubitt

Instructor - Math

Brent is passionate about math and science education. He teaches face-to-face at Lake Orion High School along with being a part-time instructor for Michigan Virtual. Prior to teaching, Brent worked in the automotive industry for eight years as a sales engineer. He holds an MBA from Oakland University, an engineering degree from Michigan State University and was certified to teach through Saginaw Valley State University. When not teaching, Brent coaches basketball and spends quality time with his wife and three daughters.

Jennifer Daddow

Jennifer Daddow

Instructor - English Language Arts/Visual Performing Arts

Jen has been teaching both high school and middle school English in either face-to-face or online capacities since 2006. Additionally, she is an assistant principal at Clague Middle School in Ann Arbor. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and communications/theater arts and later received a master’s in special education from Madonna University. In January 2017, she headed back to school to earn her master’s certificate in administration. She joined Michigan Virtual in the summer of 2015, and she teaches a variety of English classes at both the middle school and high school level. She loves to travel, cook, bake, exercise, read, take pictures and learn new forms of technology.

Lori Dailey

Lori Dailey

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Lori enjoys teaching marketing classes at Michigan Virtual. She also teaches in high school and colleges. Prior to teaching, Lori was a marketing coordinator and also owned and ran a small computer consulting and resume preparation business. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Eastern Michigan University and considers herself a lifelong learner. When Lori’s not in the classroom or on a computer (online classroom), she loves to read, try new recipes and travel with family and friends.

Allison Davert

Allison Davert

Instructor - World Language

Allison is a passionate German teacher for Michigan Virtual. She has been teaching with Michigan Virtual since August of 2015, but she has been a full-time German teacher since 2010 in a public school. Allison also teaches German at Oakland University in the summer as a hybrid in-person/online course. She currently holds a master’s in the art of teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in German and English both from Oakland University. She has studied German since she was 12 and has studied at the Goethe Institut in Bonn, Germany. In her free time, Allison enjoys writing and working on her memoir, spending time with her family, and shopping.

Kellie Davis

Kellie Davis

Instructor - American Sign Language

Kellie works at Michigan Virtual and the Michigan School for the Deaf and lives in Swartz Creek. She has three children and one granddaughter. Her oldest son is Deaf and so is her granddaughter. She has a Deaf education degree from Michigan State University.

Robert Delisle

Robert DeLisle

Instructor - English Language Arts/Visual Performing Arts

Bobby was in 9th grade when he began playing music. His dad is a jazz drummer, but Bobby discovered that the bass was his instrument. He graduated from Wayne State University in 2010 with a bachelors degree in music education and began his teaching career right away. He’s taught many different types of music: general, orchestra, band, jazz band, guitar, piano, vocal and music appreciation. Bobby received a master’s degree in music composition from Wayne State University in 2014 and has had compositions performed in California, South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, and of course, in Michigan. He’s performed in many different jazz clubs with some fantastic musicians. His wife is also a music teacher and they have a pet dog named Harper.

Melanie Depray Learst

Melanie Depray Learst

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Melanie is an educator for Ypsilanti Public Schools and has been teaching various science classes for the last nine years. She’s been teaching at Michigan Virtual since 2012. Previous to her career in education, she worked in the IT industry and was also a certified recreational therapist. She has a master’s degree in K-12 administration, completed through Eastern Michigan University’s online program. Melanie is married and has three children and three stepchildren. She enjoys softball, camping, boating and biking and is a huge Detroit Tigers fan.

Cynthia Duncan

Cynthia Duncan

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Cynthia has been teaching for Michigan Virtual since 2015 and teaching in face-to-face classrooms for over 20 years. Teaching is her passion and she enjoys teaching life science classes. Cynthia has a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from Virginia Tech University and a Master of Science in biology teaching from Michigan State University. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, a neuroscience professor at the University of Michigan. She and her husband have three children. As a family, their favorite thing to do is go to the movies together.

Heather Durrant

Heather Durrant

Instructor - English Language Arts/Visual Performing Arts

Heather joined Michigan Virtual in 2015 and teaches Music Appreciation. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Wayne State University and a master’s from the University of Phoenix online in educational leadership. Music is Heather’s passion. She believes it is what keeps us all connected. Heather says she’s married to a wonderful man and has a gorgeous little boy who makes her so proud every day.

Darcy Ebert

Darcy Ebert

Instructor - World Language

Darcy has taught French for Michigan Virtual for Students since 2014. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, where she also studied in France, and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University. Darcy taught for several years at Portland and DeWitt high schools. She also teaches French at Lansing Community College. Darcy enjoys teaching and traveling to France and various francophone countries with her family and when she leads student groups. Darcy is happily married with two gorgeous children. She enjoys spending her free time with family and extended family and attending her children’s events.

Bob Elenbaas

Bob Elenbaas

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Bob studied math, science and computer science at Central Michigan University. He has spent many years teaching computer programming to high school students using many computer languages. Bob enjoys working with online students and seeing students flourish while working at their own pace. In his free time, he enjoys reading, movies and home improvement.

Rachel Filar

Rachel Filar

Instructor - American Sign Language

Rachel loves teaching American Sign Language at Michigan Virtual. In addition to teaching at Michigan Virtual, Rachel teaches Deaf/HH students at Michigan School for the Deaf. In her free time, Rachel enjoys open water swimming — unless the lakes are frozen — then you will find her swimming laps or teaching swim classes at the local pool. She also takes pleasure in spending time with family, traveling and creating art.

Kimberly Garvison

Kimberly Garvison

Instructor - Spanish

Kimberly joined Michigan Virtual as an iEducator in 2015. She received a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and is certified to teach Spanish and earth science. Kimberly is currently in the School Counselor Education graduate program at Western Michigan University. She walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, reading and traveling.

Annette Gleason

Annette Gleason

Lead Instructor - Math

Annette is an enthusiastic teacher and a lifelong learner. Before working as Michigan Virtual’s lead math instructor, Annette received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics secondary education, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and taught high school math for five years. In 2015 she was selected as Michigan Virtual’s Online Teacher of the Year. She is passionate about helping students build confidence and aiding them in reaching their potential. When not teaching, Annette finds enjoyment volunteering as an assistant volleyball coach, playing in a summer softball league and cheering on the Detroit Lions with her four sons and husband.

Jenifer Gould

Jenifer Gould

Instructor - Social Studies

Jenifer is passionate about education and making a difference in the lives of young people. As a part-time instructor, Jenifer gets to live out her passion for education as well as making a difference. Jenifer earned a bachelor’s degree in group social studies and German from Grand Valley State University in 2012. Prior to being an instructor with Michigan Virtual, she taught middle school and high school students in both German and social studies. In her free time, Jenifer loves being a mom to her young children and spending time with her husband and dog, exploring her new adopted city of Dallas, working out and reading.

Jennifer Guthrie

Jennifer Guthrie

Instructor - American Sign Language

Jennifer is caring and passionate about education especially being the only Deaf teacher at Michigan Virtual teaching American Sign Language. Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gallaudet University and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. She is still teaching and has been for 16 years and counting. When she is not working, she enjoys being a mommy to her four children (two hearing boys and two Deaf girls).

Kristen Hansen

Kristen Hansen

Instructor - American Sign Language

Kristen joined Michigan Virtual in 2015 and teaches American Sign Language. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Deaf education from Michigan State University. Her passion for ASL and the Deaf community continues to be strong 20 years later. Kristen married her high school sweetheart and has three grown children. In her spare time, she enjoys refurbishing antique furniture, running, biking, kayaking, hiking and spending time in the U.P. where two of her children live.

Linda Hanson

Linda Hanson

Instructor - Science

Linda has been a science instructor with Michigan Virtual since 2011. She is also an instructor of chemistry at the University of Southern Mississippi in Long Beach, Miss. She retired from Reeths-Puffer Schools in Muskegon after 30 years of service at the high school level and moved south to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Linda’s master’s degree in chemistry was earned from Central Michigan University and her pharmacy degree was earned from Ferris State University. Her hobbies include sailing, golfing and skiing.

Diane Harrington

Diane Harrington

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Diane is enthusiastic about constantly learning new things to improve her teaching. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, Diane earned both master’s and bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University and is currently teaching high school business courses and serving as a co-advisor for Business Professionals of America. When not sharing her love of teaching and technology, you can find her playing golf, boating, reading and spending time with her family.

Stacey Harrison

Stacey Harrison

Instructor - Social Studies

Stacey became a Michigan Virtual online instructor in 2008. She is a member of the English department and is certified to teach English and sociology. Stacey received a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. She earned a master’s degree from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in reading and literacy instruction.

Jaclyn Hartman

Jaclyn Hartman

Lead Instructor - Science

Jaclyn has a passion for science, which lead her to study chemistry and physics at Marquette University for a bachelor’s degree. She also has a master’s degree in education from Cornerstone University. On top of teaching for Michigan Virtual, Jaclyn has been a face-to-face teacher since 2005 in Forest Hills Public Schools. When not teaching, you can find Jaclyn teaching fitness classes, spending time with her family and their bulldogs.

Brendan Howard

Brendan Howard

Instructor - World Language

Brendan is a very passionate about teaching and learning. He has been teaching French since 2005 in the classroom and now enjoys teaching it virtually as well. Brendan has a bachelor’s degree in French and physical education from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree in educational administration from the Scranton University and studies for an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Walden University. When he is not teaching, you can often find Brendan touring around the country on his Kawasaki Concours14 with his wife on her Ninja 1000 or spending time with his wonderful family.

Amanda Hill

Amanda Hill

Instructor - Math

Amanda has been teaching math and coaching basketball for over 10 years. Before becoming a teacher she worked in public accounting at Deloitte. She earned her undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross and her master’s degree in education from Wayne State. She loves to travel the world and has lived in both Boston and California. Right now, she is living in the Metro Detroit area with her husband and two small children.

J.R. Hill

J.R. Hill

Instructor - Math

J.R. has been a mathematics instructor with Michigan Virtual since 2004. He currently teaches Algebra 1 and Mathematics of Baseball. In the past, J.R. has taught Algebra II, Geometry, Math Skills, Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry. He has also served as the Mathematics department head and helped develop many math online courses. J.R currently works at Clinton Middle School teaching seventh-grade math. He also teaches two engineering courses at Clinton Middle School through Project Lead the Way. J.R. has also coached varsity basketball, junior varsity baseball and varsity baseball. Prior to coaching high school, he was a college baseball coach with Siena Heights University, where he played four years of college baseball. J.R. has also volunteered for the American Cancer Society, Lymphoma and Leukemia Society and Catholic Social Services. He is married and has three children.

Freda Jackson

Freda Jackson

Instructor - World Language

Freda has been teaching German at South Lyon Community Schools since 1996 and at Michigan Virtual since 2013. During her studies at Central Michigan University, she was granted a scholarship to study abroad in Bamberg, Germany. Freda enjoys traveling in general but especially in Germany and has organized many student trips to Germany. She received a Master of Arts from CMU in library media.

William James

William James

Instructor - Social Studies

William joined Michigan Virtual in 2015. He has been teaching numerous social studies courses, primarily focusing on AP and general psychology, since 2002. In 2010, William was named the APA TOPSS (American Psychological Association Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools) Psychology Teacher of the Year. He has served as an AP psychology college board reader for nine years, with the last two years serving as a table leader overseeing essay graders. William is a co-author of the AP Psychology test preparatory book Fast Track to a Five: AP Psychology. Additionally, he has consulted on numerous introductory to psychology textbooks. William enjoys sharing his passion for psychology and education.

Michelle Jennings

Michelle Jennings

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Michelle is passionate about education, creating opportunities for students in IT and reading a good book, which makes her an outstanding instructor. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science and business at Ferris State University, a master’s degree from Central Michigan University in information systems and a master’s degree 30+ in educational psychology. She taught at the high school and postsecondary level for over 20 years and worked at a fortune 500 IT company. When not teaching, you can find her riding her Harley, spending time with family or volunteering at STEM camps.

Teresa Johnson

Teresa Johnson

Instructor - Math

Teresa has been a high school teacher for the past 30 years. She’s taught at Michigan Virtual since 2013. The majority of her career has been spent teaching Algebra I, Algebra II, Trigonometry and AP Calculus at Charlotte High School. Teresa graduated from Hope College with a B.A. in mathematics and English. She then completed a master’s degree in secondary school administration from Michigan State University. An avid golfer, she enjoys her time coaching in high school girls golf and loves running, playing tennis and spending time in northern Michigan with her family.

Sarah Juntune

Sarah Juntune

Instructor - World Language

Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts in German from Duke and a Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics from Princeton before moving to Michigan, where her husband taught at MSU. She taught German for 33 years at Okemos High School, then retired “Up North” to Bellaire. She helped develop the Aventa German courses and continues to be passionate about helping students grow both as persons and as future citizens of an increasingly connected world. She loves to travel, cook and sing in choirs.

Adam Jurek

Aaron Jurek

Instructor - Math

Aaron grew up on a farm in Standish. He attended Saginaw Valley State University and obtained a degree in mathematics and natural science. He is a full-time science and mathematics instructor at John Glenn High School in Bay City. Aaron has three wonderful children. His hobbies are to hunt and fish in his local watershed.

Jason Katt

Jason Katt

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Jason has been teaching English, history and physical education with ardor since 1995 and began working with Michigan Virtual in 2009. He earned a B.A. in English from Hillsdale College and an M.A. degree in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University.

Sara Kelly

Sara Kelly

Instructor - Social Studies

Sara spent 12 years teaching high school social studies in Wisconsin before moving to Michigan and starting at Michigan Virtual in 2016. She earned both her B.S.E. in broad field social science and a Master of Science in educational leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Sara has taught a variety of social studies courses, including AP psychology and AP human geography for Michigan Virtual. She currently lives in Marquette, where she loves to explore the outdoors with her husband and three daughters.

Debbie Kim

Debbie Kim

Instructor - World Language

Debbie has been teaching Japanese for over 10 years. Her passion is education advocacy, bringing Japanese language and culture to students who do not always have access. Debbie received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Michigan State University. When she is not teaching, she enjoys playing board games with her family, exploring new ethnic restaurants and going to museums.

Lori Kinsey

Lori Kinsey

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Lori retired from a 25-year career as a high school biology teacher and has been teaching at Michigan Virtual since 2009. She has an Ed. Specialist degree in technology, management and administration from Nova Southeastern University, and a master’s degree in science from Eastern Michigan University. She completed her undergrad degree at Oakland University in Rochester. Prior to her teaching career, she worked as a medical technologist in the chemistry and hematology departments for 20 years at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac. She also became a master gardener through MSU extension and loves working with plants. She also loves to knit and sew and has recently taken up soap making.

Andrea Kistler

Andrea Kistler

Instructor - World Language

Andrea has been 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.

Kristin Koch

Kristin Koch

Senior Instructor - American Sign Language

Kristin has been an avid member of the Deaf community for the past 12 years. While attending college for her undergraduate degree in education, Kristin discovered Deaf education and decided to make the change. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Deaf education from Michigan State University, she taught in the Deaf education setting for eight years before making a change to teach American Sign Language for Michigan Virtual. She enjoys being able to reach out to so many students, spreading her passion for ASL!

Kayla Kolean

Kayla Kolean

Instructor - World Language

Kayla has taught Japanese at Michigan Virtual since 2015. She graduated from Michigan State University with a secondary teaching certificate in Japanese and English. Prior to joining Michigan Virtual, she lived and worked in Japan for two years. During that time Kayla traveled to many places, but her favorite traveling experience was hiking in the mountains with the “Kansai Ramblers” hiking group. After returning she taught English as a Second Language in Lansing. Now she works as an online Japanese instructor. Kayla is pursuing a master’s in foreign language instruction and acquisition.

Amy Kotsch

Amy Kotsch

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Amy, English and Business Education Instructor, has been a Michigan-certified 7-12 educator since 1996 and a Michigan Virtual instructor since 2003. She has taught English 10A, English 10B and beginning composition courses as the lead instructor, and a second section instructor for employability skills and business ethics. In addition to being a member of the Michigan Virtual team, Amy teaches English and computer courses at a small school in Michigan’s thumb. Amy graduated from Central Michigan University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in English, business education and recreation. In 2002 she earned a master’s degree in educational technology from Central Michigan University.

Christine Kunst

Christine Kunst

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Christine enjoys getting to know her students and is excited about the courses she teaches. She has a bachelor’s in nursing and biology, and a master’s in teaching. Before teaching for Michigan Virtual, she worked as a Registered Nurse and CPR instructor and taught at the secondary level, and some college courses. Her career as a nurse has definitely enriched her background in the courses she teaches (health, medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology). When she is not teaching, Christine loves to spend time with her family and also runs, bikes and does triathlons. She has run the Boston Marathon and completed seven full distance Ironman triathlons in addition to many shorter triathlons (many of these with her husband and two of her sons).

Christine Ladner

Christine Ladner

Instructor - World Language

Christine has taught Japanese at Michigan Virtual since 2007. She graduated from Baylor University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies and political science and studied abroad at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan. Christine earned a master’s degree in journalism and Japanese from the University of Michigan and teaching certification in Japanese language and political science from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to teaching, she managed a Japanese translation company and worked in the U.S., England and Germany. She has taught K-12 Japanese, both face to face and online, and currently teaches at Michigan Virtual and Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.

Aaron Lang

Aaron Lang

Instructor - Math

Aaron became a Michigan Virtual online instructor in 2010. He is a member of the Math department and is certified to teach history and math.

Nicole Lemon

Nicole Lemon

Instructor - Science

Nicole has taught for Michigan Virtual since 2015 and also teaches science at a private school in Ann Arbor. She has a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Michigan State University and master’s degrees in natural resource policy and behavior and science education, and a graduate certificate in museum studies, from the University of Michigan. Prior to becoming a teacher, Nicole worked for Disney World’s Epcot Center and Disney’s Animal Kingdom as an animal keeper. While at Disney World, she did shows and presentations with a variety of different animals including everything from dolphins to tarantulas. Nicole moved back to Michigan to work in conservation education at the Detroit Zoo and to pursue her graduate degrees. She lives in Ypsilanti with her husband, Ryan, and son, Quin.

Jamey Logan

Jamey Logan

Instructor - Math

Jamey has been teaching AP statistics at Michigan Virtual since 2014. She has 22 years of teaching experience at the high school level. Jamey has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in K-12 education leadership from Grand Valley State University. She is certified to teach secondary mathematics and science. Jamey lives in Fenton with her husband and four children. When not teaching she enjoys running, spending time in the Upper Peninsula and coaching gymnastics.

Christopher Luea

Christopher Luea

Instructor - World Language

Christopher became a Michigan Virtual online instructor in 2011. He is a member of the World Language department and is certified to teach Spanish and history. Having several opportunities to travel to Mexico and Central America throughout high school and college motivated Christopher to study the Spanish language and become a teacher. Christopher also enjoys teaching Spanish at home to his two young children and wife. He is a graduate of Michigan State University where he received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Christopher also teaches at Williamston Community Schools.

Bryan Lynch

Bryan Lynch

Instructor - Math

Bryan is from the Lansing area and went to Central Michigan University. He has a degree in math (major), as well as a minor in physical education. He enjoys playing and watching sports and being with his friends and family. He loves what he does and has taught just about every math class there is! Whether students love math, or it is not their favorite subject, Bryan hopes that students find something that they can improve upon throughout their time together.

Sara Maison

Sara Maison

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Sara is a science teacher with a passion for animals and the outdoors. She has taught for over 10 years and is also a boys and girls varsity coach, and USA Swimming coach in Standish-Sterling Schools. She has earned an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from Ferris State University, and a graduate degree in natural science from Saginaw Valley State University. When she is not coaching or teaching, you can usually find her out for a jog or headed to the lake with her family.

Shawn Maison

Shawn Maison

Instructor - Science

Shawn is a science teacher with a desire to spend as much time teaching outdoors as possible. He has taught biological sciences for over 10 years. Shawn is also the head varsity swim coach at Standish-Sterling Schools, and he runs a USA Swimming team for the school as well. His degrees range from an undergraduate degree majoring in biology and physical education from Ferris State University, as well as a MAT in natural science from Saginaw Valley State University. Shawn has a passion for coaching and teaching but is drawn to the open water and fishing with his family when time allows.

Becky Manore

Becky Manore

Instructor - World Language

Becky is dedicated, athletic and outgoing. She earned two undergraduate degrees at Michigan State University in Spanish and social relations and later earned a master’s in teaching and curriculum. She uses these skills at Michigan Virtual and teaching high school near Lansing. She loves to cook, to spend time with her two children (Maximus and Isabella) and to watch sports, especially college basketball. She wants to give students a different perspective on their own culture and how they view the world by learning another language.

Lori Marino

Lori Marino

Instructor - World Language

Lori joined Michigan Virtual in 2015 as a Spanish instructor. She has 16 years of teaching experience at the high school level. Lori earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Central Michigan University in 1999 and a Master of Arts from Oakland University in 2002. She is certified to teach Spanish, English and reading. Lori lives in Oxford with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling, running, reading and spending time with family.

Angela Martin

Angela Martin

Instructor - World Language

Angela has loved the French language and France since a high school trip to Paris. She then decided to major in French at Eastern Michigan University where she earned her bachelor’s in French and communications. She then returned to her former high school where she subbed for five years and then taught French and several other subjects for seven years. During that time, she also got a master’s degree in social studies, and then a few years ago, another master’s degree in French from EMU. During the 2013-2014 school year, Angela moved to Paris to finish her master’s degree, and while living in Paris for that year, she was also a nanny for a French family. After returning to Michigan in summer 2014, she started working for Michigan Virtual and also as a part-time professor at EMU. She continues to love both jobs to this day. Recently, she also got her realtor’s license so that she could continue working during the summer. When Angela isn’t busy working, she loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.

Adam May

Adam May

Instructor - Math

Adam is a Michigan Virtual math instructor. He has been teaching face-to-face mathematics since 2008 and online since 2012. Adam has taught everything from pre-algebra through calculus. He’s married to an art teacher and lives on the farm that he grew up on with two basset hounds (Edison and Lucy) and two cats (George and Marmalade).

Gerald May

Gerald May

Instructor - World Language

“Salve,” from Gerald, aka Dominus Maius (Mr. May to his Michigan Virtual Latin students). Jerry retired in 2005 after teaching high school Latin and English for 38 years. He has been teaching the Michigan Virtual Latin 1, 2 and 3 courses since the day he retired. Jerry majored in Latin and English at the undergraduate level and has a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. He lives with his wife on a 50-acre farm near St. Clair. They are the proud parents of three sons. Jerry spends every non-winter day tending to an acre of gardens surrounding his 150-plus-year-old Greek revival farmhouse.

Brooke McCully

Brooke McCully

Instructor - American Sign Language

Brooke is a diehard Spartan who found herself teaching in the land of maize and blue, Ann Arbor! She’s lived in Ann Arbor for over 10 years with her husband, Tristan, and two beautiful daughters: Quinn and Reese. Brooke teaches in the Ann Arbor Public Schools at Pioneer High School. She has taught a self-contained class for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, been a teacher consultant and now strictly teaches American Sign Language. Brooke and her husband are self-described “foodies.” She has always loved movies and traveling, and her whole family loves sports and are obsessed with animals. They currently have three dogs (Cairn Terrier, Shiba Inu and German Shepherd for those who share an affinity for fur kids), her older daughter is begging for a cat, and they essentially keep their entire neighborhood bird population fed at their backyard feeders.

Kyle McGrath

Kyle McGrath

Instructor - Social Studies

Kyle has been teaching at Michigan Virtual since 2015. He also teaches several social studies subjects at Milford High School in Huron Valley Schools. Prior to teaching, Kyle worked in both business and government. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in public policy from Michigan State University and a Masters of Arts in teaching from Oakland University. Kyle is a published children’s book author and the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Teacher of American History award from the Daughters of the American Revolution Piety Hill Chapter.

Emilia McGuckin

Emilia McGuckin

Instructor - English Language Arts

Emilia joined Michigan Virtual in 2015 and serves as a full-time English instructor. She attended Madonna University where she double-majored in English and communication arts as well as earning a teaching degree. She believes all kids deserve a great education and is committed to bringing quality learning opportunities to students of all backgrounds and abilities. She lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and two children.

Jennifer McKay

Jennifer McKay

Instructor - American Sign Language

Jennifer joined Michigan Virtual in 2017. She has been passionate about Deaf education as long as she can remember. Jennifer grew up in Grand Blanc and was regularly at Michigan School for the Deaf where her mother taught. She graduated from MSU in 1997 with a degree in Deaf education. She continued at MSU to receive a master’s in Deaf education. After working at MSD for a few years, she transferred to Bentley High School where she teaches American Sign Language I, II and III. She currently instructs 10 districts in Genesee County daily. When she is not sharing her love of the language and culture of the Deaf with her students she is at home with her family or playing soccer. Jennifer and her husband Jeff have three children.

Don McLaughlin

Donald McLaughlin

Instructor - Social Studies

Don has been teaching economics since 2001. He spent five years as a social studies teacher and track & field coach in southern California before returning to the great state of Michigan. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he received a master’s degree in education from California State University. Don is also a National Board Certified teacher in the field of social studies. He teaches AP Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and general education economics for Michigan Virtual. Don enjoys running, reading, traveling and cooking.

Jayme McWain

Jayme McWain

Instructor - Social Studies

Jayme joined Michigan Virtual in 2016 and teaches AP Psychology. She absolutely loves teaching and helping students to understand the world around them. She also teaches four sections of AP Psychology and one section of English 9 in Grand Rapids. Jayme is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a major in English and a minor in psychology.

Rhonda Medford

Rhonda Medford

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Rhonda lives in the foothills of North Carolina. She likes to ride four-wheelers with her two boys and to watch her youngest play baseball. She has been in education since 2002 after working 16 years as a network administrator. Rhonda earned an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, an MBA from Gardner-Webb University, an instructional technology master’s degree from Appalachian State University and a doctorate from Gardner-Webb. She loves teaching online. Her goal is for students to succeed in the online world as well.

Dakota Miller

Dakota Miller

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Dakota is a new teacher who hails from Grand Rapids. He teaches social studies and personal fitness courses for Michigan Virtual. Much of Dakota’s spare time is spent exercising or hanging out with his dog and his girlfriend.

Tammie Mirolli

Tammie Mirolli

Instructor - Science

Tammie has taught high school chemistry and AP chemistry for 10 years at Brandon High School. She received an undergraduate degree from Butler University in Indiana, and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. Tammie enjoys spending her time watching her son play sports and in the gym weightlifting and exercising.

Jacqueline Mitchell

Jacqueline Mitchell

Instructor - Science

Jacqueline graduated from Western Michigan University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and secondary education. She added a secondary mathematics teaching endorsement in 2005. Jacqueline also received a master’s degree in science education from WMU. Besides teaching, Jacqueline enjoys cooking, playing the piano and spending time with her husband and six children.

Brian Moore

Brian Moore

Instructor - Social Studies

Brian has taught economics for Michigan Virtual since 2014. He has taught elementary, middle and high school classes in Kansas, Arizona and Michigan.

Rebecca Mulrooney

Rebecca Mulrooney

Instructor - Math

Rebecca is a lifelong learner, which lends itself well to her being a dedicated online instructor. Rebecca has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and business and a master’s degree in teaching, all from the University of Michigan. She currently teaches high school science and math in a face-to-face setting as well as for Michigan Virtual. Outside of teaching, she loves running, knitting and dogs.

Elisha Murphy

Elisha Murphy

Instructor - Math

Elisha has been teaching at Michigan Virtual since 2005. She teaches personal finance, math skills, algebra and geometry. She also teaches mathematics at East Grand Rapids High School. Elisha graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in secondary education. She completed her master’s at the University of Michigan in public administration. She has four amazing children.

Heather Murphy

Heather Murphy

Lead Instructor - English Language Arts

Heather has been an educator since 1998. Before becoming the Lead Social Studies Instructor and then the Lead Instructor – English Language Arts at Michigan Virtual, she taught in a face-to-face setting, as an online instructor and in adult education; she was also the director of an online high school for at-risk students. Majoring in education, Heather graduated from the University of Michigan and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Outside of the classroom, Heather can be found baking, camping and spending quality time with her family and five crazy pets!

Judith Nixon

Judith Nixon

Instructor - World Language

Judy, a believer in lifelong learning and Japanese teacher for Michigan Virtual, loves studying and teaching languages. Before joining Michigan Virtual more than nine years ago, she taught special education, English, Spanish and Japanese at Eaton Rapids High School. A graduate of Spring Arbor and Michigan State universities, Judy enjoys cooking, gardening and studying new languages she can try out while traveling with her husband, Mark. She is a volunteer with the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel and several other charitable organizations.

Erin Osman

Erin Osman

Instructor - World Language

Salve, sum Magistra Erin Osman! Erin lives and teaches in Holland. She has taught Latin for over 20 years and loves sharing Greco-Roman culture with students whether it is through language-teaching, experience-travel or recognizing how Latin surrounds us daily.

Steven Parks

Steven Parks

Instructor - English Language Arts/Visual Performing Arts

Steven joined Michigan Virtual in 2015. He attended Wayne State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in K-12 music education. Steven attended Wayne State University on a full talent scholarship playing the trumpet in the jazz band. He has performed with many jazz artists multiple years at the Detroit Jazz Festival. Steven has also played in a Detroit hip/hop and funk group for many years. The band has opened up for Snoop Dogg, played tracks for local rappers including Eminem and played across the country. He is finishing his master’s degree in K-12 administration from Eastern Michigan University in 2015. Steven happily teaches K-12 music classes.

Kimberly Payer

Kimberly Payer

Instructor - World Language

Kimberly has been a part-time instructor with Michigan Virtual since 2015. She is passionate about education, leadership and helping students and colleagues with anything they need. Kim earned her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in secondary education with certifications in French and mathematics. She also holds a master’s degree from the University of Scranton in educational leadership and administration. She has been teaching 2004. She currently teaches French 1 through AP French and Geometry at Onsted High School in Onsted, where she’s been employed 2005. Prior to Onsted, she taught all levels of math at Washtenaw Christian Academy.

Stephanie Pearsall

Stephanie Pearsall

iEducator

Stephanie strives to cultivate a growth mindset and to continue to expose herself to greater challenges and learning opportunities. Prior to working at Michigan Virtual, Stephanie earned a bachelors’ degree at Saginaw Valley State University, taught in the K-12 setting for three years, worked in philanthropy, and owns a small business as a professional artist. When not sharing the love of online education, you can find her enjoying nature with her family, trying new and spontaneous challenges, or serving in her local community.

Dana Plaxton

Dana Plaxton

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Dana has been teaching at Michigan Virtual since 2012. She enjoys getting to know students from outside of her community through her online courses. Dana has also been teaching in the business and technology department since 1999 at Williamston High School. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University. Dana enjoys being active outside and participating in various sports. She has a husband and two children.

Jennifer Post

Jennifer Post

Instructor - American Sign Language

Jennifer has been signing her whole life, both her parents are deaf and it’s the first language she learned. Jennifer’s not deaf but has a great knowledge of ASL and the Deaf culture. She has a degree in hearing impairments and has worked for Ann Arbor Public schools since 2005. Jennifer has a lot of other passions like watching reality television and has a seven-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever that has a lot of energy.

Alanna Prieditis

Alanna Prieditis

Lead Instructor - World Language

Alanna became an online instructor with Michigan Virtual in 2012 and is currently a lead World Language instructor. While completing her undergraduate work at Oakland University, Alanna participated in a summer study abroad program at an American Institute in Valencia, Spain, receiving 12 college credits while living with a host family. After Alanna’s first year of teaching, she went back to Oakland University and received a master’s in educational studies. Alanna is a proud mom of two young children who, in addition to two Dogos Argentinos, keep her and her husband quite busy. She looks forward to sharing her love for traveling when the kids are a little bit older.

Linda Radjewski

Lisa Radjewski

Instructor - Science

Lisa has been working for Michigan Virtual since 2015. She has taught biology, AP biology, anatomy and physiology, and oceanography. Her passion is biology and has been teaching face-to-face since 2000 at Brandon High School in Ortonville. Outside of class, Lisa can be found spending time with her two children, husband, scrapbooking or traveling.

Angela Rasmussen

Angela Rasmussen

Instructor - World Language

Angela joined Michigan Virtual in 2015 as a Spanish instructor. She has 10 years of teaching experience at the secondary level. Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from Michigan State University. She is certified to teach Spanish and English. Angela lives in Lapeer with her husband and two children. She enjoys reading, traveling and everyday adventures with her family.

Cheryl Reger

Instructor - American Sign Language

Cheryl joined Michigan Virtual in the Fall of 2018 after serving in education for over 20 years.  Her bachelor’s degree is in deaf education from Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida, and she earned her master’s degree in counseling at Central Michigan University.  Cheryl has a strong passion for building connections with students and establishing relationships that build on student learning.  Cheryl currently is a high school guidance counselor and works closely with her students to guide them toward success.  She enjoys teaching ASL to students because it allows them to connect with others.  In addition to her professional status, Cheryl spends much time with her two teenage daughters traveling the midwest as they are very involved in travel softball.

Brigitte Rex

Brigitte Rex

Instructor - World Language

Brigitte is certified to teach German, history and social science courses. She joined Michigan Virtual in 2015. Brigitte received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan-Flint. She has taught both German and social studies classes in a face-to-face setting. Brigitte teaches German and history at Flushing High School. Brigitte enjoys camping, traveling and, most of all, spending time with her husband and four children.

Erin Rodger

Erin Rodger

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Erin enjoys working with kids. She has a passion for mathematics and computer science. In addition to working at Michigan Virtual, Erin is a teacher at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester. Erin has a husband and three beautiful children that keep her very busy. In her spare time, you can find her coaching and playing soccer and enjoying her children’s sports.

Sarah Ross-Koves

Sarah Ross-Koves

Instructor - Social Studies

Sarah began teaching in 2003 in Northern Michigan after graduating from Central Michigan University. She has taught at both Northwest Academy (Charlevoix) and at Onaway Area Schools before moving to Carson City-Crystal in 2009. Sarah completed the National Writing Project Summer Institute in 2007 and worked with the 4T Digital Writing conference. Sarah currently resides in Carson City with her husband, daughters and cats, but returns to Northern Michigan in the summers to visit with her parents and brothers.

Holly Rupprecht

Hannalore Rupprecht

Instructor - Science

Holly has been teaching for Michigan Virtual since 2003. She received a Bachelor of Science from Alma College, majoring in biology and natural science, with a minor in math. She received a master’s from Michigan State University in science curriculum and a specialists degree from Nova Southeastern University in technology management and administration. Holly has over 30 years in education and enjoys the challenges of teaching in both the online and face-to-face classrooms.

Adam Sanborn

Adam Sanborn

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Adam teaches math in the L’Anse Creuse School District and previously taught for the Lansing School District. He holds degrees in computer engineering and mathematics from Michigan State University. Adam’s interests include game theory, writing, stage performance, church volunteering and attempting to make his two young sons behave themselves.

Kevin Santer

Kevin Santer

Lead Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Kevin began his career by working in IT as a software developer, designer and manager. He made the bold move of returning to school to earn a master’s degree in math education. Kevin then taught face to face for 10 years, exploring math and computer science with high school students. Online education now provides the perfect opportunity to combine his passions for math, technology and teaching. When not teaching, Kevin loves to read, cook (and eat) and enjoys time hiking with his family.

Laura Schaffer

Laura Schaffer

Instructor - American Sign Language

Laura has been involved in the field of education for 15 years, joining Michigan Virtual in 2016, and has a strong interest in innovative and creative instructional practices. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Deaf education from MSU and a master’s degree in reading and language arts from Oakland University. Laura has taught in Deaf education, worked as a literacy specialist, a principal and as a curriculum and assessment specialist. She has presented research at national conferences on literacy. In her free time, Laura enjoys traveling, reading, kayaking, playing tennis and spending time with her family.

Christin Schmitt

Christin Schmitt

Instructor - Science

Christin has been teaching for nine years and has certifications in biology and integrated science. She started teaching with Michigan Virtual in 2015. Aside from teaching, Christin keeps busy by chasing her two kids around, reading and spending time outdoors. She also loves sports and keeping up with exciting new findings in the scientific community.

Susi Shaw

Susi Shaw

Instructor - World Language

Susi became an online instructor at Michigan Virtual in 2015. She earned her B.A. in international studies and German from Michigan State University with one year of study at Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany. She is certified to teach K-12 Japanese and German and has an M.A. in teaching English as a Second Language from Eastern Michigan University. Susi lived in Japan for two years teaching English and traveled with high school students to Japan three times. Susi has taught World Languages in K-12 schools for over 20 years. She and her husband live in Ann Arbor with their two sons.

Kim Shawver

Kim Shawver

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Kim is determined for her students to succeed, to promote inclusion, and is an advocate for teaching process in mathematics and computer science. Her favorite phrase to use with students is “follow the process, the process works.” Kim worked previously as an engineer but has been teaching since 2005. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s in engineering and three master’s degrees, including one in teaching. When she isn’t teaching, Kim loves to read and exercise.

Photo of Sara Sibble

Sara Sibble

Instructor - American Sign Language

Sara joined the Michigan Virtual team in August of 2018. She is passionate about teaching American Sign Language and Deaf culture. Sara teaches part-time for Michigan Virtual and also teaches in a face-to-face classroom of elementary Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in West Michigan. Outside of work with her face-to-face and virtual students, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and their three teenage daughters, being active outdoors, and playing board games.

Amy Smith

Amy Smith

Instructor - World Language

Amy is thrilled to be a part-time French and health instructor with Michigan Virtual. Her subject areas of French and health are more than academic for her as she uses French in her everyday life and does her best to live out what she teaches in health education. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, Nick Smith (also a Michigan Virtual instructor), and their young daughter Caroline, cooking, running and going to the beach.

Nicholas Smith

Nicholas Smith

Instructor - Science

Nicholas is in his fourth year teaching high school math and physics in face-to-face and virtual settings. He joined Michigan Virtual in 2015. Nicholas studied math and physics at Grand Valley State University and completed a Master of Arts in science education (physics) from Western Governor’s University. He enjoys being in the outdoors (hiking and kayaking), fixing up his house (learning to do plumbing) and spending time with his awesome wife (also a Michigan Virtual teacher).

Andrew Spiece

Andrew Spiece

Instructor - Math

Andrew became a mathematics and computer science instructor with Michigan Virtual in 2014. Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 2005. He came to Michigan Virtual with eight years’ experience teaching in a face-to-face classroom for the Brandon School District in Ortonville. His passions lie in STEM education, Project-Based Learning and inspiring students to pursue STEM careers. In February 2013, he was named the Oakland County Teacher of the Week and in the Fall of 2012 was inducted into the Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association Hall of Fame for Educators. Andrew also spends his spare time as the team leader for the award-winning Truck Town Thunder Robotics Team, FIRST Team 68.

William Springer

William Springer

Lead Instructor - World Language

William is passionate about engaging students and equipping teachers, both of which he regularly practices in his lead World Language instructor role. He was named Michigan Online Teacher of the Year in 2016. William has enjoyed learning and teaching in many varied settings, including touring with a French-Canadian musical ensemble, living with a French family, graduating from Central Michigan University, and video teaching students across the U.S. Enjoying faith, family and playing music is where you’ll find him when not teaching online.

Kurt Steiner

Kurt Steiner

Instructor - World Language

Kurt has been happily teaching Latin for the past six years with some history classes sprinkled in. He attended Calvin College and formerly worked as a journalist for the West Michigan NPR/PBS affiliate. Kurt says that teaching for Michigan Virtual has been a great experience and has given him an excuse to make web videos and mess with fancy recording software. Learning Latin was and continues to be one of the great joys of his life; Kurt wants his students to enjoy it, too!

Janelle Sterling

Janelle Sterling

Instructor - Science

Janelle joined the Michigan Virtual in 2015. She holds a B.A. in secondary education from Eastern Michigan University. Janelle is certified to teach physics and mathematics. In addition to teaching, Janelle coaches both basketball and tennis at her high school.

Noel Strieter

Noel Strieter

Instructor - American Sign Language

American Sign Language has been a part of Noel’s life since her early high school years. She’s worked for Michigan Virtual since 2017. Noel attended Michigan State University for Deaf education. Since then she has taught in a variety of capacities, from ASL through televised virtual learning, Deaf and Hard of Hearing students (elementary and high school) and is currently a full-time teacher of American Sign Language at a high school. What began as just a class has become a passion and a career. She hopes that her class can also encourage and inspire others to make ASL a lifelong learning opportunity. Noel is married and has a daughter. Noel and her family enjoy hiking, kayaking and just spending time playing and making memories. They have a yellow lab named Larry and a cat called “the kitty.”

Karee Strome

Karee Strome

Instructor - American Sign Language

Karee has been teaching students who are Deaf and hard of hearing for 20 years. She uses American Sign Language to communicate with her students and Deaf adults. In addition to teaching ASL at Michigan Virtual, Karee teaches ASL face-to-face in a public high school. She became a Michigan Virtual online instructor in 2015.

Zsofia Sutter

Zsofia Sutter

Instructor - World Language

Zsofia has been teaching high school and middle school German classes for seven years and joined Michigan Virtual in 2015. She has a master’s degree in German and English as a Second Language, with a bachelor’s in education. She spent several years in Freiburg, Germany, and lived in Italy and Ireland for an extended period of time. She came to Michigan in 2008 where she started teaching German at West Ottawa Public Schools. She loves to travel and watch foreign movies. Her favorite countries to visit are Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

Jonathan Tobar

Jonathan Tobar

Instructor - World Language

Jonathan is a consummate educator with a rich background in K-12 education. He holds a Master of Art in K-12 educational administration from Michigan State University, another master’s degree, TESOL, from Eastern Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and international business from Cornerstone University. He has taught Spanish, English as a Second Language, and drama at the middle and high school level. In addition, he has served as adjunct professor of Spanish at Siena Heights University and Adrian College. He also serves as president of the executive board of directors for the Michigan Association for Bilingual Education.

Jenna Tucker

Jenna Tucker

Instructor - Science

Jenna began teaching with Michigan Virtual in 2015, previously teaching life sciences for Detroit Public Schools. She has a bachelor of science in biology with a minor in psychology from Oakland University where she was a teaching assistant in a human cadaver lab for two years. Jenna worked in the medical field for six years prior to teaching and was trained as an EMT. She was a Woodrow Wilson Teach Fellow and has an M.A.T. from Wayne State University. Jenna lives in St. Clair Shores with her husband and son.

Cheryl Ulicny

Cheryl Ulicny

Instructor - American Sign Language

Cheryl has been a teacher for the Flint School District for more than 10 years. Previous to that, she was the interpreter for Deaf students for 15 years in the same district. Her teaching degree is from the University of Michigan-Flint (Go BLUE). she also has a master’s degree in special education and master’s degree in education. When not teaching, Cheryl enjoys spending time with her family, working outdoors and riding her motorcycle.

Ryan Vanden Heuvel

Ryan Vanden Heuvel

Instructor - English Language Arts/Visual Performing Arts

Ryan is a part-time instructor with Michigan Virtual who works full time in a face-to-face school. Ryan enjoys both the challenges and rewards of teaching. He values a good story, the precision of good writing and the camaraderie of collaboration. While not teaching in person or online, Ryan is a theater director and a throwing coach. When not working, Ryan enjoys woodworking, watching movies and throwing knives.

Breanna Wagenmaker

Breanna Wagenmaker

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Breanna has been teaching high school/elementary health and physical education for the last 11 years in East Grand Rapids Public Schools and joined Michigan Virtual in 2015. She received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University. She currently resides in Rockford with her husband, two daughters and her two Labrador Retrievers. Her favorite pastime is spending any spare time with her family exploring Drummond Island where she has a cabin on Lake Huron.

Channon Washington

Instructor - Social Studies

Channon joined Michigan Virtual in 2015. She taught economics, U.S. history, AP U.S. history and world geography at Rochester Stoney Creek High School for 11 years before moving to Saline in 2016. She teaches social studies with Michigan Virtual. Channon graduated with a B.A. in dance and B.A. in history from Western Michigan University and an M.A. in education from Indiana Wesleyan University. She enjoys life with her husband, two kids, two cats and a dog.

Betsy Wellfare

Betsy Wellfare

Instructor - English Language Arts/Visual Performing Arts

Betsy is passionate about art, art history and travel. She has taught for Michigan Virtual since January 2006 and was named Michigan Online Teacher of the Year in 2017. Betsy teaches AP Art History, Art Appreciation and Digital Imaging and Communication. She earned a BFA in art and design from the University of Michigan, an art education certificate from Northern Michigan University, and an MFA in curriculum and teaching from Michigan State University. Betsy taught high school art face-to-face for 11 years. When not teaching you can find her creating artwork, traveling or spending time with her family.

Anna Wicks

Anna Wicks

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Anna has taught English and career courses for Michigan Virtual since 2012. Prior to that, she spent 10 years as a high school English teacher and then a secondary school counselor. She earned a B.A. from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and an M.Ed. in school counseling from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. She currently lives in Grandville with her three children (Benjamin, Eli and Annika) and husband (Andy) who keep her busy and happy!

E. Anne Williston

E. Anne Williston

Instructor - Career & Technical Education

Anne has been an instructor for Michigan Virtual since January 2009. She thoroughly enjoys teaching business courses such as Business Ethics and Entrepreneur Business Management. In addition, she teaches face-to-face English and business classes in Jackson. Anne received a Master of Education in alternative education from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 2008. She completed the requirements for English and business secondary education at Olivet College in 2003. Anne also has a Bachelor of Science in library science with a business administration minor from Illinois State University (1981). Her goals are to continue growing as an individual and a teacher. Anne writes nonfiction and poetry. She is constantly working to stretch her knowledge of technology so that she may utilize it in the best capacity when teaching.

Meredith Young

Meredith Young

Instructor - American Sign Language

Meredith is a strong advocate that all students, hearing or deaf, should learn ASL. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in Deaf education. She was then recruited for a position in California teaching Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students. She received her master’s degree in Deaf education from California State, Northridge. Her Deaf parents still live in Michigan and she comes back occasionally to visit. She enjoys playing softball and practicing Bikram yoga, and she still roots for the Spartans!

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