Meet the Michigan Virtual School online instructors

MVS instructors include full-time employees and part-time, independent contractors, all Michigan certified, highly-qualified teachers. Visit Jobs @ MVU for employment information.
 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Zachary Abeel
Zachary Abeel has been teaching high school and middle school social studies for 10 years, and joined MVS in 2011. He spent his first two years teaching American history and economics in Cairo, Egypt. Currently, he lives in Oxford with his wife, daughter and two dachshunds. Zachary coaches basketball and is involved with the Michigan Youth in Government Program. Zachary teaches AP Macroeconomics for Michigan Virtual School. He is certified to teach economics and social studies.

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  Norma Jean Acker
Norma Jean Acker became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2006. She is a member of the English department and is certified to teach English and social science. Norma has a Bachelor of Arts from Oakland University and an MAT from Marygrove College. She teaches Film Studies, English and a leadership course for MVS.

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  Gwen Alim-Young
Gwen became a Michigan Virtual School 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.

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Ben Ashby
Ben Ashby became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2008. He is a member of the World Language department and is certified to teach Spanish and physical education.

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James Barry
James Barry is a full-time English Language Arts instructor and subject matter expert for Michigan Virtual School. He joined MVS in 2011.

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2012-13 Online Teacher of the Year

Tara Becker-Utess
Tara Becker-Utess has been teaching at Michigan Virtual School since 2008. She teaches Personal Finance, Math Skills, Legal Issues, Pre-Algebra, and Middle School Math. Tara also teaches social studies and mathematics at Charlotte High School and serves as the interventions coordinator. She coaches junior varsity volleyball and runs the Harvard Model Congress and Freshmen Mentoring Program. Tara graduated from Western Michigan University in 2005 with a degree in Secondary Education. Tara completed her master’s at Michigan State University in Curriculum and Teaching and has an administrative certificate.

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  Carrie Begick
Carrie Begick became a Michigan Virtual School health instructor in 2014. She teaches 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 received her master’s degree from SVSU with an emphasis on Principalship. In addition to teaching, she has also coached volleyball. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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2014 Outstanding Person in Education

David Beyers
David Beyers has been teaching Personal Fitness and Geography for Michigan Virtual School since 2011. He's a graduate of Central Michigan University and has a master’s in technology from Walden University. He also teaches for Wolverine Community Schools and coaches golf.

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  David Binkley
David Binkley has been teaching high school for 15 years and for MVS since 2014. He has taught a variety of business and computer courses including Game Programming, AP Computer Science, Accounting, Marketing and Retail, Adobe applications and Web Design. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Career Technical Education/Business and a minor in Computer Science. He also holds a Master of Education in Leadership.

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  Theron Blakeslee
Theron Blakeslee has taught physics and mathematics for Michigan Virtual School since 2014. He’s also taught high school physics, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics, as well as middle school science, plus courses for Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. Theron received his Ph.D. in Science Education from MSU in 1995. He has also worked as a mathematics and science specialist for two intermediate school districts and the Michigan Department of Education. Theron enjoys teaching more than anything.

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Holly Boleski
Holly Boleski joined Michigan Virtual School in 2013 as a full-time science instructor and subject matter expert. Holly received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Oakland University. After graduation, she became a W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellow and has since earned her secondary teaching certificate while pursuing a master’s degree in Education at Wayne State University. She currently teaches Anatomy & Physiology, AP Biology, Forensic Science and Biology.

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2010-11 Online Teacher of the Year

Molly Bruzewski
Molly Bruzewski has been teaching for Michigan Virtual School since 2001. She teaches AP Government, Civics and Legal Issues. Molly has also served on the Online Instructor Training team, training new teacher for MVS. 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.

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  Gaia Buttweiler
Gaia Buttweiler became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2014. She is a member of the World Languages Department and teaches American Sign Language. She graduated from the Sign Language Interpreter Program at St. Paul College and also has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Religious Studies from Macalester College as well as Secondary Education from the University of Minnesota. Gaia lives in Minnesota with her husband and two sons. As a family, they enjoy baseball games and snowboarding.

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  Ryan Call
Ryan Call has been teaching since 2010 and is a full-time social studies instructor for MVS. He currently teaches AP U.S. History, U.S. History, World History, Civics, Economics and Psychology. Ryan received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in social studies and history. Prior to joining MVS, Ryan proudly served in the U.S. Army for five years.

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  Grace Carpenter
Grace Carpenter has been teaching with Michigan Virtual School since 2012, and is the full-time lead instructor and subject matter expert for English Language Arts. She teaches Advanced and Beginning Composition in the English department and Web Design Basics HTML with the Multidisciplinary department.

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Mary Carpenter
Mary Carpenter became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2008. She is a member of the Multidisciplinary department, and is certified to teach math, health and social studies. Mary also has had many classes in computers. She has worked in different schools and universities and has taught many of these subjects. Mary loves to learn and challenge herself with new ideas. She has been teaching for many years and have been a student her whole life.

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Yolanda Carter
Yolanda Carter became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2006. Yolanda is a member of the Multidisciplinary department and is certified to teach family and consumer science, library media and vocational family and consumer sciences. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from Mercy College of Detroit, a Master of Arts degree in Educational Practice from University of Detroit Mercy, and a Master of Library Information Science degree from Wayne State University. She has also taken several technology courses and participated in various technology in-services throughout her career.

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  Jennifer Cathey
Jennifer Cathey has been taught business and computer courses to elementary, middle and high school students for 11 years. Currently she is using her business skills and working as an Office Coordinator at Grand Valley State University. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Michigan University and a master’s degree in Career and Technical Education from Western Michigan University. Jennifer lives with her husband, Glenn, and their two young boys James and Camden. She is an avid runner and has completed nine marathons including two Boston Marathons.

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  Tina Chambers
Tina Chambers has taught English, Psychology and AP Psychology since starting with Michigan Virtual School in 2005. Tina began her career in the classroom in 1994 teaching high school English. After earning a master’s degree in counseling, she worked as a high school counselor for eight years. Currently, she not only teaches for MVS, but also serves as a middle school administrator and has an Education Specialist in Leadership degree.

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Dale Coats
Dale Coats teaches at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills. He currently teaches AP Microeconomics, Economics and Practical Law. Additionally, he coaches freshman girls basketball and JV girls lacrosse at Stoney Creek. Dale received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Oakland University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Wayne State University. Dale joined MVS in 2013 and teaches AP Microeconomics. Currently, he resides in Rochester Hills with his wife, two children and faithful companion Lily (Mastador/Lab/Mastiff mix).

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Theresa Daly Commean
Theresa Daly Commean started teaching at Michigan Virtual School in 2009. She graduated from Trinity University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management and went on to become an interpreter for the deaf. She received her master’s degree in Education at Stetson University in 2007. Theresa began the American Sign Language program at Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida, in 2000 and has been teaching at Seminole for the past 10 years. She is currently teaching American Sign Language 1A and 1B for MVS.

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  Liz Conrad
Liz Conrad became a full-time mathematics instructor with Michigan Virtual School in 2014. She attended the University of Michigan for mathematics and education. She also has degrees in English and psychology. Liz is a big math geek, but also loves to travel, read, do crosswords, play and follow sports (Go Blue!), and spend time with her family and friends. She currently lives in Traverse City with her dog, Annie Arbor.

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Bridget Cooper
Bridget Cooper became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2010. She is a member of the World Language department and is certified to teach English, history and Japanese.

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  Lori Coyle
Lori Coyle has been teaching social studies courses for Michigan Virtual School since 2012, and is a full-time social studies instructor and subject matter expert. She also teaches in the classroom at Conner Creek Academy High School in Warren. Lori earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies and History at Eastern Michigan University and a master's degree in Educational Media and Technology. She lives in West Bloomfield with her husband and two children. Outside of spending time with family, Lori enjoys gardening, cooking and boating.

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  Julie Crossman
Julie Crossman has taught Introduction to Forensic Science and Advanced Forensic Science online for MVS since 2007. She is also a high school science teacher at Charlotte High School. Julie holds a professional teaching certificate for all science content and earned her undergraduate teaching degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in Natural Science from Michigan State University. Julie enjoys teaching students from across the state online.

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  Brent Cubitt
Brent Cubitt has been teaching mathematics to high school students since 2006. Brent holds an engineering degree from Michigan State University, a master’s in Business Administration from Oakland University and a degree in education from Saginaw Valley State University. Brent joined MVS in 2015. He currently resides in Troy with his wife and three daughters.

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Melanie Depray-Learst
Melanie Depray-Learst is an educator for Ypsilanti Public Schools, and has been teaching various science classes for the last nine years. She's been teaching at MVS 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.

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Alicia Dubisky
Alicia Dubisky has been a secondary teacher of English Language Arts and German since 2002. She is the full-time German instructor for Michigan Virtual School since 2014. Alicia is certified to teach English 6-12 and German 6-12. She spent her first two years teaching middle school English Language Arts in Sebastian, Florida. Alicia has taught English, German, journalism, law and music (percussion, specifically) in public schools, studios, private schools, tutoring centers, vocational high schools and online. She participates in writing groups, tango dance classes, German language groups, and a variety of music organizations (both as a performer and as an officer on the board of directors). She is an internationally certified EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher, and volunteers often with a local health management organization. Currently, she lives in Ann Arbor with her two cats.

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  Darcy Ebert
Darcy Ebert has taught French for Michigan Virtual School since 2014. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, where she also studied in France, and her 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 as well. 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.

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Bob Elenbaas
Bob Elenbaas has been teaching high school computer science for over 20 years. He has also taught mathematics. Bob attended Central Michigan University for undergraduate work and also has an advanced degree in computer science. He has taught students programming in BASIC, Visual BASIC, C++, Pascal, and Java, as well as other computer applications. Bob has taught AP Computer Science and Java Programming for MVS since 2012.

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  Dirk Fenner
Dirk Fenner became a full-time science instructor and subject matter expert with Michigan Virtual School in 2013. Dirk is a graduate of Spec’s Howard School of Broadcast Arts, and has degrees from Delta College, associate degree in chemistry; Saginaw Valley State University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry; Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Juris Doctorate; and Wayne State University, Master of Arts in secondary education. Dirk worked over 20 years as a chemist for Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, Schaefer Technologies and with his own chemical company. Dirk has worked in law and as a counselor. He says he has found that teaching chemistry is the most enjoyable career he’s ever had.

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2014-15 Online Teacher of the Year

Annette Gleason
Annette Gleason is a full-time, lead math instructor and subject matter expert for Michigan Virtual School. She’s taught at MVS since 2010. Annette taught math for four years at Gwinn High School where she now coaches junior varsity volleyball. Annette loves being outside in the summer so she walks the Lake Superior shoreline, hikes large bluffs and plays softball. Most of her spare time is spent with her husband and three children in the Upper Peninsula.

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Jennifer Guthrie
Jennifer Guthrie has been with Michigan Virtual School since 2008. Jennifer is in her eighth year as a high school deaf teacher for Reading Intervention and Deaf Culture at Michigan School for the Deaf. Jennifer earned a master’s degree in Deaf Education from Michigan State University. Before moving back to Michigan, Jennifer taught ELA for four years at Indiana School for the Deaf. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Gallaudet University. She is currently teaching American Sign Language 1A and 1B for MVS.

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  Linda Hanson
Linda Hanson has been a science instructor with Michigan Virtual School since 2011. She is also an instructor of chemistry at the University of Southern Mississippi in Long Beach, MS. 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.

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Diane Harrington
Diane Harrington has been teaching vocational business education in the Eastern Upper Peninsula since 1989. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Northern Michigan University and master’s in Educational Administration, also from NMU. She holds the following industry certifications: MS Office 2010, 2007, XP, 2000, Novell 5.1, IC3 2005 Standard and iCritical Thinking. Diane’s been at MVS since 2011. She is a member of the Michigan Business Education Association along with being an advisor for her high school’s Business Professionals of America chapter.

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  Stacey Harrison
Stacey Harrison became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2008. She is a member of the English department and is certified to teach English and sociology. Stacey received her bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. She went on to earn her master’s degree from Grand Valley State University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Reading and Literacy Instruction.

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  Stacey Hicks
Stacey Hicks has taught and written curriculum for the journalism courses offered through Michigan Virtual School since 2013. She also taught English and served as publications adviser for 14 years at the high school level. During that time, she earned a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Grand Valley State University. Before returning to school to earn her teaching certification, Stacey worked as a journalist, photographer and advertising sales representative for several publications across the state.

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  Amanda Hill
Amanda Hill has been teaching and coaching basketball for the last eight years. Her undergraduate degree is from the College of the Holy Cross and her master’s degree is from Wayne State University. Amanda lived in California for five years before moving back to Michigan with her husband and daughter.

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2014 Lenawee County Teacher of the Year

J.R. Hill
J.R. Hill has been a mathematics instructor with Michigan Virtual School 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.

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Freda Jackson
Freda Jackson has been teaching German at South Lyon Community Schools since 1996 and at Michigan Virtual School 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 her Master of Arts from CMU in Library Media.

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2010 American Psychological Association Psychology Teacher of the Year

William James
William James joined MVS in 2015. He has been teaching 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.

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Michelle Jennings
Michelle Jennings joined Michigan Virtual School as the lead multidisciplinary instructor and subject matter expert full-time in 2014. Michelle received her Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and business from Ferris State University, a master’s degree from Central Michigan University in information technologies and a master’s degree plus from University of Colorado. Michelle holds professional teaching certificates for computer science, business education, business administration management and operations, and vocational business services. Michelle has taught high school and college classes for over 20 years. She is the Michigan Council of Women in Technology Mid-Michigan K-12 chairperson. She enjoys spending her free time with family, reading and riding her motorcycle.

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  Teresa Johnson
Teresa Johnson has been a high school teacher for the past 30 years. She’s taught at MVS 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 her 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.

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  Aaron Jurek
Aaron Jurek is a full-time science teacher in Bay City at John Glenn High School. His interest for teaching science comes from growing up on a family farm in Omer, Michigan, where my father instilled in him an appreciation for the outdoors. Aaron happily share his passion for nature and science with his students. He lives in Bay City and has a daughter named Emerson whom, he says, he loves with all his heart.

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  Chris Kaiser
Chris Kaiser, instructor and course developer, has been with Michigan Virtual School since 2001 and was among the first cohort of online instructors. He currently teaches World Civilizations, World History and Geography, and AP U.S. History. A veteran public school teacher of over 11 years, Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Michigan State University, a master’s in Education from Aquinas College and is currently a doctoral student at Michigan State University with research interests in global education, the teaching and learning of history, and pre-service teacher education.

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  Rebecca King
Rebecca King has been a Nationally Certified Sign Language interpreter for the past four years but has been working in the interpreting field since 1999. She graduated from the interpreter program at Lansing Community College and also has a bachelor’s degree in applied science with a major in sign language from Siena Heights University. Following graduation, Rebecca taught in the Sign Language Interpreting program at LCC and also taught in the children’s gifted and talented program though LCC. At present, she works for the State of Michigan, as an interpreter for Sorenson Video Relay Service and also as a freelance interpreter. Rebecca has been a Michigan Virtual School instructor since 2013.

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Lori Kinsey
Lori Kinsey became a Michigan Virtual School instructor in 2009. She is a member of the Science department and is certified to teach biology and science. Lori received her bachelor’s degree from Oakland University in biology, her master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in general science, and her education specialist degree from Nova Southwestern in technology, management and administration. She has taught Earth Science, Environmental Science, Medical Terminology, and Anatomy & Physiology for MVS.

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Andrea Kistler
Andrea Kistler has been a German instructor with Michigan Virtual School 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.  

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Amy Kotsch
Amy Kotsch, English and business education instructor, as been a Michigan-certified 7-12 educator since 1996 and a Michigan Virtual School instructor since 2003. She is the lead instructor for English 10A, English 10B and Beginning Composition courses, and a second section instructor for Employability Skills. In addition to being a member of the MVS 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.

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  Christine Kunst
Christine Kunst has taught the Health and Medical Terminology course for Michigan Virtual School since 2010. She also teaches health science at the Newaygo County Career Tech Center. Christine is a Registered Nurse, with a bachelor’s degree in the Science of Nursing from Grand Valley State University. She received her teaching credentials after earning a bachelor’s degree in biology.

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Diane Labut
Diane Labut has been teaching with Michigan Virtual School since 2014, and is the full-time Multidisciplinary instructor.

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  Christine Ladner
Christine Ladner has taught Japanese at Michigan Virtual School since 2007. Prior to teaching, she managed a translation company and worked in web and graphics fields in England, Germany and the U.S. Christine graduated from Baylor University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies and Political Science and did an exchange program in Japan for one year. In 1998 she earned her master’s degree in journalism and Japanese from the University of Michigan and her teaching certification in Japanese language and political science from Eastern Michigan University. She has taught Japanese at the K-12 level, both face to face and online.

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

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  Megan Larson
Megan Larson joined MVS in 2015. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education, and also earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Central Michigan University in 2014. She teaches American Sign Language. Megan is also is a full-time teacher in St. Louis, Michigan, where she teaches ASL as well as various other subjects to students with hearing loss. She lives with her husband and 110-pound bullmastiff in Mt. Pleasant, and enjoys sports, traveling and “DIY-ing.”

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  Nichole Lemon
Nicole Lemon has taught for MVS 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, Nichole worked for Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center and Disney’s Animal Kingdom where worked as an animal keeper. While at Walt Disney World, she did shows and presentations with a variety of different animals including everything from dolphins to tarantulas. Nichole 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.

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  Christopher Luea
Christopher Luea became a Michigan Virtual School 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 a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Christopher also teaches at Williamston Community Schools.

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  Bryan Lynch
Bryan Lynch joined Michigan Virtual School in 2015. He graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010 with a major in mathematics and a minor in physical education. He enjoys playing and watching sports, and being with friends and family. He teaches mathematics and physical education at the high school level. He has a passion for teaching and has taught just about every high school level class there is.

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  Debra Lynch
Debra Lynch joined Michigan Virtual School in January 2010. For over 25 years, she has taught business and technology courses at the high school level and serves as a work based learning coordinator. Debra has a Bachelor of Science degree and master’s degree from Central Michigan University. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Baker College teaching in the Business and Office Administration Department. Debra lives with her husband, Jeff, and has two kids who attend Central Michigan University. She enjoys reading, traveling, scrapbooking and spending the summers up north with her family.

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Sara Maison
Sara Maison has been a science teacher for over 10 years. She has taught AP Biology and Astronomy for Michigan Virtual School since 2012. She also teaches science for Standish-Sterling Community Schools. In addition to teaching, Sara has been coaching Science Olympiad for over six years. She has always enjoyed learning about science and understanding how things work. Sara earned an undergraduate degree from Ferris State University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. She also earned an MAT in natural science from Saginaw Valley State University.

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Shawn Maison
Shawn Maison has been a science educator since 2012. He has taught Earth Science at Michigan Virtual School since 2012. Additionally, he is a full-time biology, honors biology, biotechnology and anatomy teacher at John Glenn High School in Bangor Township Schools in Bay City. He also teaches geology, biology and environmental science for the University of Phoenix online. In the summer months he works for Central Michigan University in the engineering, biology, chemistry and education departments as a researcher in the research experience for teachers program through the National Science Foundation. Shawn also works as a consultant through BAISD and Bangor Township Schools teaching 21st century teaching skills to his home district teachers.

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  Becky Manore
Becky Manore grew up in Lewiston, a small town in Northern Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Spanish and social relations and later received a master's degree in teaching and curriculum. She completed two study abroad programs in the extraordinary country of Spain, in Madrid and Cáceres. Becky is a college sports fan and frequently attends football and basketball games. She enjoys cooking, running and traveling around the world, and currently teaches Spanish at Eaton Rapids High School. Becky has taught at MVS since 2013.

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  Angela Martin
Angela Martin has taught all levels of French at the high school level for seven years. She just got back from living in Paris for the 2013-2014 school year where she finished her master's degree in French and was a nanny for a 5-year-old French boy. In addition to teaching at MVS, Angela also teaches French at Eastern Michigan University, which is where she got her bachelor's and master's degrees. Angela loves to travel, whether it is to different countries (she’s been to many European countries) or around the U.S. and Michigan.

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  Adam May
Adam May graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in education with a major in mathematics and a minor in geology in 2008. He currently teaches and works as the department chair for mathematics at Mount Clemens High School in Mount Clemens. Adam has taught every subject from pre-calculus to 7th-grade math. He's taught at MVS since 2013. In his free time, he enjoys working on his house and going to see the Detroit Tigers play.

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  Jerry May
“Salve,” from Gerald May, aka Dominus Maius (Mr. May to his MVS Latin students). Jerry retired in 2005 after teaching high school Latin and English for 38 years. He has been teaching the MVS 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.

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  Andrea McKay
Andrea McKay joined MVS in 2014 and is the lead Social Studies instructor and subject matter expert. She has greatly enjoyed teaching AP Psychology since 2009 at Jackson High School. Andrea is a University of Michigan graduate, where she earned her B.A. in education with a concentration in psychology. She completed her M.A. in curriculum and instruction from Spring Arbor University in 2007 and can often be found talking to other teachers about instructional technology. Andrea enjoys life with her husband and two children, as well as their two ever-barking dogs.

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  Don McLaughlin
Don McLaughlin is in his thirteenth year of teaching economics. He spent five years as a social studies teacher and track & field coach in Southern California. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Don received a master’s degree in education from California State University. He is also a National Board Certified teacher in the field of social studies. Don has taught AP Micro Economics for Michigan Virtual School since 2011.

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  Rhonda Medford
Rhonda Medford began teaching at MVS in 2015. She holds a professional teaching certificate in business, programming and various computer applications. Rhonda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business, master's degrees in Business Administration and Instructional Technology, and a doctorate in Education. In addition to teaching at MVS, she teaches as an adjunct instructor for Gardner Webb University in the Degree Completion Program, as an online teacher in North Carolina, and a face-to-face teacher at a high school in North Carolina.

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Sandra Miller
Sandra Miller became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2003. She is a member of the Multidisciplinary department and is certified to teach family and consumer science, health, and guidance and counseling. Sandra taught health education and home economics for more than 20 years and served as a high school counselor and career prep director before retiring. Sandra enjoys the opportunity to continue teaching with MVS. She also works as a consultant and trainer with nonprofits across the state.

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Jacqueline Mitchell
Jacqueline Mitchell, instructor and content specialist, has been with Michigan Virtual School since 2008. She teaches math and science courses, and helps with science course revisions. Prior to working at MVS, she taught secondary math and science in a live classroom for eight years. Her other job is raising four children at her home in Western Michigan. Jacqueline's favorite part about MVS is communicating online with the students, helping them to experience new ways of learning.

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

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Rebecca Mulrooney
Rebecca Mulrooney teaches Personal Finance and Algebra II for Michigan Virtual School. She joined MVS in 2010 and concurrently teaches mathematics and science in Madison Heights. Rebecca holds engineering, business and education degrees from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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  Heather Murphy
Heather Murphy became a Michigan Virtual School instructor in 2015. She taught middle and high school English for 12 years before becoming an Instructional Coach & Assessment Coordinator for the Westwood Community School District. Heather graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and earned a Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction from Eastern Michigan University.

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Judith Nixon
Judith Nixon became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2008. She is a member of the World Language department and is certified to teach Japanese and Spanish.

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Betty Ong
Betty Ong, MVS teacher of MS Office programs, has been with Michigan Virtual School since 2003. She has taught online business and information management programs, developed course curriculum and continues to provide instruction in Microsoft Applications. Prior to joining Michigan Virtual School, Betty taught business education and technology integration at the high school level. She is currently a media specialist at two secondary schools in Oakland County.

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  Dana Plaxton
Dana Plaxton became an online instructor with Michigan Virtual School in 2013. She is currently teaching Accounting A and Accounting B. Dana received a Bachelor of Science and master's degree in business education from Central Michigan University. She has over 15 years of teaching experience and enjoys working in an online and face-to-face setting.

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Alanna Prieditis
Alanna Prieditis became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2012, and is now a full-time World Language instructor and subject matter expert. Alanna received her Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish language and literature and has secondary certification to teach both Spanish and English. While completing her undergraduate work at Oakland University, Alanna participated in a study abroad program and attended back-to-back summer sessions at an American Institute in Valencia, Spain, where she took 12 college credits while living with a host family. After Alanna’s first year of teaching, she went back to Oakland University and received her Master of Educational Studies degree.

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  Brigitte Rex
Brigitte Rex is certified to teach German, history and social science courses. She joined MVS in 2015 and teaches. Brigitte received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan-Flint. She has been teaching for 20 years in 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.

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  Megan Riherd
Megan Riherd became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2014 and currently teaches Latin. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies and a Master of Education from the University of Florida. She has four years of classroom experience teaching all levels of Latin, including the International Baccalaureate program. Megan is also very involved in the American Classical League and National Junior Classical League and enjoys making the language and culture of the ancient Romans come alive for her students.

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Sheila Robertson
Sheila Robertson joined Michigan Virtual School in 2010 and  teaches Spanish. She is currently retired from full-time teaching after 33 years. Through MSU, Sheila holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with minors in French and education and a Master of Arts in reading. She has additional coursework in world languages at Calvin College and has translator certification from WMU's Translation Studies Program. In her leisure time she enjoys travel in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Europe. Other pastimes are gardening, camping and crafting. She looks forward to helping students learn Spanish and expanding her own knowledge and use of the language.

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  Kevin Robinson
Kevin Robinson has taught physics at Charlotte High School since 2001. He graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in astrophysics. Kevin started teaching for Michigan Virtual School in 2014 and teaches AP Physics.

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  Lisa Rohde
Lisa Rohde became a Michigan Virtual School online instructor in 2013, and is now a full-time English Language Arts instructor and subject matter expert. Prior to working with MVU full time, Lisa taught English at the secondary level and post-secondary levels in traditional settings for several years. Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and teacher certification from the University of Detroit-Mercy and her master’s degree in special education from Saginaw Valley State University. Currently, she is certified to teach grades 6-12 English and Speech, and grades K-12 Special Education Learning Disabilities.

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Holly Rupprecht
Holly Rupprecht has been teaching for Michigan Virtual School since 2003. She received a Bachelor of Science from Alma College, majoring in biology and natural science, with a minor in math. She received her master’s from MSU in science curriculum and her 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. 

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  Darci Schulze
Darci Schulze has taught American Sign Language for Michigan Virtual School since 2013. She earned a degree in business and worked as a director of sales for a couple of years before returning to school for sign language interpreting. Darci became an interpreter 10 years ago and has worked continuously in the field ever since. She enjoys interpreting and looks forward to working with the students in helping them learn sign language.

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Member of Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association Hall of Fame for Educators

Andrew Spiece
Andrew Spiece became a full-time mathematics and computer science instructor with Michigan Virtual School in 2014. Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 2005. He comes to MVU 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 the Fall of 2012 was inducted in to 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.

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William Springer
William Springer has been a French instructor with Michigan Virtual School since 2009 and is currently MVS's full-time, lead World Language instructor and subject matter expert. Prior to teaching online, William taught in both face-to-face and distance learning classrooms through Gratiot-Isabella RESD’s Interactive Television program. He enjoys sharing his love of the French language and authentic cultural experiences from France and Canada with his students.

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Chevon Starnes
Chevon Chenault-Starnes has been teaching high school American Sign Language I/II/III for three years. She has been teaching for five years, and joined MVS in 2015. Chevon has started up a Performance ASL program at her physical school. Currently, she lives in New Haven with her husband, Stephen, and their three children: Tyler, Kennedy and Raegan. Chevon runs a photography business in her free time.

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  Kurt Steiner
Kurt Steiner 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 MVS has been a great experience and given him an excuse to make web videos and mess with fancy recoding software. Learning Latin was and continues to be one of the great joys of his life; Kurt wants his students to enjoy it, too!

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  Karee Strome
Karee Strome 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 addtion to teaching ASL at Michigan Virtual School, Karee teaches ASL face-to-face in a public high school setting. She became a MVS online instructor in 2015.

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  Zsofia Sutter
Zsofia Sutter has been teaching high school and middle school German classes for six years, and joined MVS in 2015. She has a master’s degree in German and ESL, with a bachelor’s in education. Zsofia 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.

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D. Jonathan Tobar
D. Jonathan Tobar became a Michigan Virtual School Spanish instructor in 2012. A native of Quito, Ecuador, he loves the Latin culture and has been involved extensively with helping the Latin community in Lenawee County. He holds an M.A. in K-12 Educational Administration from Michigan State University, an M.A. in TESOL from Eastern Michigan University, and a B.A. 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 an adjunct professor of Spanish at Siena Heights University and Adrian College.

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2010-11 Online Teacher of the Year

Andrew Vanden Heuvel
Andrew Vanden Heuvel has been teaching physics and astronomy with Michigan Virtual School since 2009. As a former research astronomer, Andrew has a variety of unique experiences that he brings to his online classes. He has discovered five asteroids and an extra-solar planet, flown onboard a zero-gravity research plane and was considered a highly-qualified astronaut candidate. Andrew was a finalist for 2010-11 National Online Teacher of the Year and a Google Glass Explorer.

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  Anna Wicks
Anna Wicks has taught for Michigan Virtual School since 2012. She teaches English 9 and 10, Career Planning and Find Your Future. Anna has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College and Master of Education in School Counseling from University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Her first teaching experience was in Kodaikanal, India. Then she taught secondary English and was a school counselor in Minnesota for 10 years. Anna lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and twin sons.

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E. Anne Williston
Anne Williston has been an instructor for Michigan Virtual School 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 her 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.

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  Meredith Young
Meredith Young started teaching at Michigan Virtual School in 2014. She currently teaches American Sign Language. In 1998, Meredith graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s in Deaf Education and two minors in Math and Computer Science. She was then recruited for a position in California teaching Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students. After moving to California, she received her master’s in Deaf Education from California State University, Northridge. Her deaf parents still live in Michigan and she comes back occasionally to visit. She enjoys playing softball and Bikram yoga, and she still roots for the Spartans!

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