Meet Our Teachers

Online learning is most effective when delivered by teachers experienced in their subject matter.  All our teachers are certified in the subject or grade levels they teach.

Teacher Support

Online learning is most effective when delivered by teachers experienced in their subject matter. At IVLA our teachers are certified in the subject or grade levels they teach and are dedicated to your student’s success.

While IVLA students have the freedom to learn virtually from any location, it’s reassuring to know that IVLA’s certified Teachers are passionate about providing students with constructive feedback, individualized learning, and additional online support and tools. IVLA families and students can access their gradebook anytime online, and our Teachers provide a grade report at the end of each class.

IVLA Teachers pride themselves on getting to know their students and families so they can provide the best possible customized and flexible educational experience.
Receiving input from an experienced and well-trained “human” teacher is invaluable. At IVLA, our students submit completed coursework to trained and certified educators for grading. 
By requiring teacher-graded coursework, IVLA ensures that the learning experience will be authentic while also providing an extra layer of accountability and educational expertise.
IVLA teachers are trained to identify areas where our students need additional help. Teachers then work with the student to achieve success in these areas. 
Our teachers are well-trained in our various curriculums and courseware, which allows them to work with our families and students to identify the best lessons, activities, and/or videos to create the ideal educational experience.

A Letter From the Director

Hello and welcome to International Virtual Learning Academy! My name is Brittany Knop and I’m proud to be the Director here at our unique school.  I am always thrilled when new families consider IVLA for their private, online K-12 education. Since 2007, IVLA has been empowering students from around the world to pursue their U.S. K-12 education, while being part of a community that strives to offer a safe and accepting learning environment for all. Our diversity and opportunities to learn from peers throughout all walks of life are part of what makes our institution and my job so extraordinary.

Having been with IVLA since 2016, I have experienced firsthand how invested the IVLA team is in their students' success. Our core belief is that all students can succeed when receiving a world-class education that also provides them with the flexibility to pursue their dreams. We pride ourselves in meeting each student and family where they are according to their individual goals.  

It is an honor to help lead International Virtual Learning Academy and to have a small part in helping to shape the goals, dreams, and ideas of the next generation. We accept students year-round, and cannot wait for you to join our IVLA family. I look forward to meeting every one of you!

IVLA Teachers:

Grade submitted assignments in a timely manner with effective and supportive feedback

Provide live sessions to help students grasp learning material in real time

Provide additional online learning tools such as personalized teaching videos and demonstrations

Provide certified training and expertise in various subject matter

Meet Our Teachers

At IVLA we not only pride ourselves on providing the best curriculum choices for our families, but we also have a fantastic staff! Our certified teachers are all experienced professionals who are highly qualified in their content areas. We are privileged to have them on our team!

Allison Halstead

Hello! My name is Mrs. Allison Halstead and I am a lead teacher, success coach and high school English teacher for IVLA. I am a certified English teacher and tutor in Connecticut and have experienced teaching many different classes at many different levels. My family and I live in beautiful Southbury, CT. I have two wonderful little boys – Ryan, who is 6, and Nathan, who is 3. I enjoy running long distances, reading science fiction and historical fiction for fun, and trying new things. My boys and I love all things Disney. The coolest thing I ever did was run a Ragnar Relay – 12 people in a team run over 200 miles all together over 36 hours! All together I ran about 20 of the 200. Now I spend most of my running time chasing around little Ryan!

Alyssa Baer

Hi! I’m Alyssa Baer. I live in sunny South Florida with my husband and our two feline children. I am originally from New York City where I completed my schooling. My MS is in Education. I have more than twenty-five years of teaching experience at various grade levels and in multiple settings. My excitement for learning is at the foundation of my desire to teach. When I am not teaching high school math at IVLA, I am studying applications of new math concepts or reading science and history.

Amanda Bills

Hello! My name is Amanda, and I am very happy to work as a high school success coach here with IVLA. I absolutely love teaching and the experience of seeing people grow as they learn new things. I have a bachelor’s degree in language education, and I have taught students at all levels – from pre-k all the way to adult learners. I live near Pittsburgh, PA and have an adorable dog and best friend, Gia. I love sports, especially football and basketball. As a lifelong learner who is always curious about new things some of my favorite hobbies include visiting art museums and new exhibits. A lot of my free time is also spent outdoors doings things such as hiking and horseback riding. I am looking forward to work with many families from around the world through IVLA.

Andrea Lee

Hi! My name is Andrea Lee and I live in Middlesboro, Ky. I am happily married and have a 2-year old son and a baby girl coming in September 2021! I am an English teacher for IVLA and have taught English in a traditional classroom for the last 16 years, from 6th-12th grade! I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and American Studies and Master’s in Instruction and Curriculum. When I am not working, I love camping, being anywhere on the water, crafting, and spending time with my family and friends! I am very excited to be joining the IVLA Team and to work with students and families to create a successful academic career!

Angel Aponte

Hello! My name is Angel Aponte. I teach science for IVLA and look forward to being your teacher! I love sciences but I understand that sometimes they can be difficult and challenging but I want to help you succeed and enjoy along the way. I have an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, a graduate degree in Medical Sciences from Liberty University and I got my teaching license from California State University-Bakersfield. I have been a science and math tutor since 2016 and a science teacher in California since 2021. I currently live in the Central Valley in California, close to the Sequoias National Park. I am always learning, from chemistry formulas to new languages. I also love working in the yard and “Do It Yourself” projects around the house.

Austin Hedden

My name is Austin Hedden and I am one of the science teachers here at IVLA. Along with teaching for IVLA, I also teach at a brick and mortar school in the mountain of Western North Carolina. When I was younger I never dreamed of becoming a teacher, but when I was in high school I fell in love with the art of teaching and that is what led me to where I am today. It is that experience of keeping your eyes open for your future career that I try and mirror towards my students. Along with teaching, I also love running, hiking, mountain biking, and coaching soccer and swimming. While I do not always have a lot of free time, what little time I do have I love to spend with my wife and our goldendoodle, Ellie. Living in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina it leaves me with almost an endless amount of outdoor activities to do and not a day goes by that I do not pause and look at how beautiful the area is that I live in.

Bethanie Frank

My name is Bethanie Frank. I teach a variety of Language Arts and English classes for IVLA. I am excited to start our journey together. During the days, I teach Theatre at our local college. I also do lots of comedy improv and used to do stand-up. I am an avid reader and crafter. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with my husband of 27 years. We have a 20 year old daughter and two terribly naughty kittens.

Blair Mohr

Hello! My name is Blair Mohr and I am a high school success coach and social studies teacher at IVLA. I have 14 years of experience teaching high school history and English in a traditional classroom setting, as well as internationally at a boarding school. I live with my husband and two young boys in Southern California, where we enjoy spending time at the beach and traveling. I hold a California teaching credential in social science, English, and administration. I have a B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a M.A. in Art History from Cal State Dominguez Hills, and a M.A. in Education Administration from Concordia University.

Brenda Forgerson

Hello, my name is Brenda Forgerson and teaching is a passion for me. I am married and have four children who I have homeschooled since kindergarten. I love inciting a love for learning! I earned a bachelor’s degree in math and master’s degree in education from UCLA. At CSUN, I earned a multiple subject teaching credential and went on to teach elementary school for five years. I then decided to make the move to high school and earned my single-subject teaching credential in math and taught high school for five years. I have worked alongside independent study families for the last nine years. I am currently a math teacher here at IVLA. I love watching students be successful and pursue their goals, and I consider it a privilege to play a role in that. In my free time, I love to travel with my family. I love reading, spending time with my family, and experiencing new things.

Brittany Knop

Hi! My name is Brittany Knop and I live in the Big Blue Nation of Lexington, Kentucky. I am married and we have a Jack Russel Terrier that we adore, named Zoey. I have been with IVLA since 2016 as the arts/music and humanities teacher and a success coach. In 2017, I became an IVLA Academic Advisor.  After being an Advisor for 2 years, I began working as IVLA’s Director for the 2019-2020 school year. I hold a Master’s in Music Education, K-12 and will be completing a Master’s in Education Administration in the Fall of 2019. I have had the opportunity to teach music, art, and special education courses in a traditional classroom setting for all grade levels, P-12. In my free time I enjoy traveling, being outdoors, and playing the trumpet. I love learning and having the opportunity to share my passion with my students! I am grateful to be able to partner with such a great school and help students reach their goals!

Brittany Valint

Hello! My name is Brittany Valint and I am an Elementary Teacher and Success Coach here at IVLA. I have been teaching Elementary for 13 years. I’m from Northern Virginia (a few minutes outside Washington, DC), but I moved to Florida four years ago. I am very passionate and enthusiastic about teaching and I love to use my energy and positivity to connect with students and their families. I have two young kids and I love to spend my time surfing, playing soccer, swimming, and creating music.

Brittney Follansbee

My name is Brittney Follansbee, and I live in Southern California. I am married and have 3 children. They keep me very busy with sports! When I am not cheering them on at their sporting events, I enjoy cooking, crafting, and camping! I have been teaching for 14 years now. I graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. I then attended the University of California, Irvine, with my teaching credential and master’s degree. I have taught in the classroom and been a home study teacher as well. At International Virtual Learning Academy, I am an elementary teacher and success coach. I also teach some elective courses. My favorite part about working at IVLA, is meeting new students from all around the world, and making learning fun and exciting for them!

Carin Jaramillo

My name is Carin Jaramillo. I currently live in Coronado, CA located in San Diego County. I have been teaching for about 20 years in a variety of capacities throughout multiple states and overseas. I am eager to work closely with IVLA families and students to support their needs and assist in keeping students accountable as an Elementary Success Coach & Teacher. We are a military family and have traveled extensively and enjoyed living in different parts of the country and overseas while learning about new and diverse cultures. I have two boys who are enjoying 8th grade and junior year in high school. In our free time we love going to the beach, surfing, and traveling. I look forward to being able to support families in their educational journey in meeting their familial and student needs.

Chandler Austin

Hello! My name is Chandler Austin. I teach math for IVLA and look forward to being your teacher! I understand that math can be a difficult subject and I want to help you succeed. I have a degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Utah, and I got my teaching license from Weber State University. I was a high school math teacher in Utah from 2016-2021. I will always call Bountiful, Utah my home, but I recently moved to Burbank, California to go after my dream of acting! When I’m not teaching, I’m either working on developing my acting skills, or I’m writing scripts and/or music. I also love traveling, with Scotland being my absolute favorite place. I hope to live there one day.

Christy Muehl

Hello! My name is Christy Muehl. I teach science for IVLA and look forward to being your teacher. I am here to help you succeed and enjoy learning about science. I have both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s Degree in Education. I was a middle school science teacher in Kansas City, Missouri from 2006-2022. When I’m not teaching, I’m either knitting or doing something crafty, or I’m tending to my plants. I also love traveling and hope to explore new places in the future.

Crystaline Breier

Hello! My name is Crystaline Breier. I am a science teacher for IVLA, and I love science! I have a B.S. in biology and environmental science and an M.S. in marine science. For many years I worked as a research scientist in the fields of oceanography, environmental science, biogeochemistry, and biology. I have worked as a certified MS and HS science teacher for over 6 years in public schools. I currently live in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas but have lived all over the U.S. and traveled to many places around the world. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, exploring, kayaking, swimming, sailing, and surfing with my two active boys, my husband and our two pups. I look forward to being your teacher at IVLA and seeing you succeed!

Dana Ahmadi

Hi! My name is Dana Ahmadi and I’m a Success Coach at IVLA. I currently live in Lexington, Kentucky with my dog Gilly. I studied Youth and Community Work at Manchester Metropolitan University in England and Social Work at University of Kentucky in USA. For many years it has been my privilege to coach students through their journey to success. In 2006 I started working as a social worker and a youth guide in schools and I’ve been in love with it since. Seeing my students grow and achieve their goals is an amazing feeling that I cherish very much. In 2008 I co-founded an organization that guided refugee and asylum seeker students in the northeast of England through their academic journeys; some of whom are now running the organization themselves. I love to travel and experience new cultures. I have lived in three different continents and speak two different languages. I like to spend my spare time with my family, read or go hiking with my dog.

Danielle Cook

Hello! My name is Danielle Cook. I teach middle school social studies for IVLA and look forward to being your teacher! Social studies can be a fun and interesting subject that I will help you succeed in! I have a teaching degree from Arizona State University for grades k-8. My favorite thing about teaching is building relationships with my students. I was born and raised in Missouri, but lived in both England and Arizona after getting married. I am now back in Missouri with my husband and two kids. We have two dogs and 14 chickens! I enjoy reading, making crafts on my Cricut, learning how to garden, going to the lake, and swimming.

Donna Mehalchick-Opal

Hello! My name is Donna Mehalchick-Opal (Me - hall - chick - opal). I am a success coach at IVLA and look forward to helping you meet your academic goals! I enjoy working with students as they grow in their understanding of themselves and the world. I have Master’s & Bachelor’s degrees in Writing Arts from Rowan University, where I focused on writing center work and technical and strategic writing. I also earned associate’s degrees in Psychology and Communications from Rowan College of Gloucester County. I teach college writing and do work surrounding First-Year writing and university writing tutoring support and training with a special focus on communities of practice, linguistic inclusion, and neurodiversity. When I’m not coaching or teaching my favorite hobby is reading. I also love hiking and camping.

Dr. Andre Lawe

Dr. Lawe has been an educator for over twenty years, serving as an elementary, middle and high school teacher. He has taught math and Science courses including several AP-level courses. He is humbled to be teaching at the International Virtual Learning Academy. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, Master’s degrees from Jones International University and St. Johns University; A certificate of advanced study in Education and a Doctor of Education degree from St. John’s University. He is extremely passionate about working with students and helping them to achieve academic and personal excellence. He works at building lessons that are extremely intellectually engaging and fun to keep the interest of young learners. Further, he is extremely students centered and works on building positive and impressionable relationships with students that will help to set them on a trajectory to attaining academic and personal success.

Emily VanDyke

Hello! My name is Emily VanDyke, and I am the Enrollment Specialist as well as one of the high school English teachers here at IVLA. I am a certified English teacher in Michigan and Indiana. My family and I live in Western Michigan, and we love it here! We have a house full of animals: 3 cats, a dog, and a tankful of fish. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, anything with a good story, spending time with the people I love, and being creative. We are big hockey fans in our house as well! Being from Michigan, our default team is the Red Wings, but we are happy watching anyone play. I love IVLA for many reasons, but the biggest reason is being able to connect with students and families from all over the world. I am excited to be part of your student's educational journey!

Eugene Wilson

I am a Social Studies Teacher for IVLA. I am a 2001 Graduate of The Florida State University and I have been a teacher for 18 years. I live in Jacksonville, FL with my wife, two children, humane society rescue dog. I enjoy playing golf, hiking, and cooking outside on my Big Green Egg. My favorite part of teaching is watching students reach their full potential. Teaching students and helping them maximize their full potential is very gratifying for me.

Heather Schoenherr

Hello! I’m Heather Schoenherr, a Success Coach at IVLA. I’m from the “Heartland” in Southern Illinois. My professional experience includes many years of teaching students of all ages from young children to university level students. As a Success Coach, my focus is to work with students and their families to help them achieve academic goals. When I’m not working with students, I love spending time with my husband and daughter. We enjoy traveling together (with the grandparents!) for fun family vacations. I also enjoy singing, playing piano, reading, sewing, and learning new things.

Jaime-Lynn Goodman

Hi there! My name is Jamie-Lynne Goodman, and I am so excited to be part of the IVLA team as a Middle School Math teacher and a Success Coach. I am originally from New York, but moved to Virginia to attend James Madison University, where I received my undergraduate and Master of Arts in Education. Since then, my husband and I have moved around the country with the military, currently residing in Virginia. I have been a teacher for 8 years and math is by far my favorite subject to teach. I am always excited for a challenge with numbers! In my free time, I enjoy reading as many books as I can, as well as practicing photography and calligraphy. My husband and I also enjoy playing with our dogs, Emma and Autumn, and traveling to new areas of the world. My favorite place we have visited is Amsterdam, but we love exploring any new city! I am looking forward to working with families all over the world through IVLA.

Jasmine Bowlin

Hello! My name is Jasmine Bowlin. I teach language arts for IVLA and look forward to being your teacher! I understand that language arts can be a difficult subject and I want to help you succeed. I have a degree in Education from Grand Canyon University, and I have my teaching credentials from the state of Arizona. I still live in the desert region of Arizona and currently homeschool my five-year-old daughter and stay home with a wild and fun one-year-old baby girl. I absolutely love reading novels, creative writing, and story-telling. When I am not teaching on IVLA or homeschooling my girls you can find me out in my garden or hiking the mountains near my home. I love to be outside with my family observing the world around us.

Jenny Glauser

Hi! My name is Jenny Glauser and I am a high school success coach at IVLA. I have a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Special Education from the University of Nebraska. I have taught kindergarten and second grade. I live in Southern California with my husband and our four kids. We love the beach and traveling. I spend most of my time going to football games, dance competitions, soccer games, and piano recitals. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is to run. My running partner is our 100-pound golden lab. He is a great running partner; he is always ready to go for a run and never gets tired!

Joel Gomes

Hello! I have been a Science Teacher for almost 30 years in Connecticut, and have taught in Middle Schools, High Schools, Alternative Programs, and as an Adjunct in Universities. I always suggest that my students become good observers to do well in their Classes, as well as to be successful in life! You never know when being aware of your surroundings will help you.I have also hosted Foriegn Exchange Students, and then visited them in Europe. I also have a degree in Radio and TV Broadcasting, and have been a Radio DJ in the past.

Kelsey Mire

Hi there! My name is Kelsey Mire and I live in San Antonio, Texas. I’m happily married, and my husband and I have a baby boy who we adore, Hudson. We also have three other kids: our two dogs, Scout and Riggins, and our cat, Ralph. I am an English teacher at IVLA and have taught in a traditional classroom for the past five years. I am a graduate of Texas A&M (whoop!) and am certified to teach English grades 7-12, as well as ESL certified. In my free time, I love to read, go running, play golf with my husband, walk my dogs, cook, and spend time with my sweet son and the rest of my family. I’m thrilled to be joining the IVLA team and look forward to working with new faces from all over!

Kelsey Tomes

Hey y’all! I live in New Orleans, Louisiana and I’m so pumped to join IVLA as a Success Coach this year! I have a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of Louisiana (Geaux Ragin’ Cajuns!) and a Master of Education in Literacy from American College of Education. I truly love traveling to new places and learning about other cultures. In 2014 I had the unique opportunity to teach English in the Republic of Georgia at a small village school. During that time, I lived with a Georgian family and worked hard to learn the language while exploring as much of the country as I could. After that year I moved back to Louisiana and had a blast teaching Kindergarten and then 4th grade. I’m so glad to be back to my first love: coaching! For fun I enjoy training for and running ultramarathons, reading, and discussing what I’m learning with others, watching live sports, playing softball, competing in literally anything, and spending time with friends.

Kimberly Monk

My name is Kimberly Monk and I am a Middle School Language Arts Teacher and Success Coach here at IVLA. I have experience as a private homeschool teacher and have 5 year’s experience teaching in the Texas Public School System. I am certified in many different areas within the state of Texas including ESL and Gifted and Talented. I have a passion for learning and hope to instill that passion into all my students! I currently live in Amarillo, TX with my amazing husband, two children (Aiden and Anna), and dog Bailey. In our spare time we love to travel, go camping, and spend time with our extended family. My favorite activities include photography, scrapbooking, writing, and baking.

Laura Constantin

Hi! ¡Hola! I’m Laura Constantin and I am so happy to be a Spanish teacher with IVLA. After graduating college my love of travel, cultures, and teaching brought me to Costa Rica. There I was fortunate to teach in a wonderful high school and work for an adventure company, booking and participating in all kinds of fun outdoor adventures around the country! After 2 years in Costa Rica, I moved to Mexico to continue my language studies and to teach in an elementary school. I loved everything about Mexico! Upon returning home to the Bay Area, I decided to pursue a Spanish Language credential and share my love of the language and my passion for teaching with students in my hometown. Over the past 9 years, I have been fortunate to work with students of a variety of ages and levels. I understand learning a new language can be intimidating at times, it can also be lots of fun and very rewarding! I love watching students develop their world language skills and gain confidence at the same time. I am a patient and understanding teacher who will guide you and support you through your language learning in an engaging and positive manner. I love to spend time with my husband, our two little girls and our little pup, Lucy. We enjoy going to the beach, bike riding, and camping. We also love eating all the international cuisine found throughout the Bay Area. I look forward to working together with you!

Lauren Herrera

My name is Lauren Herrera and I am the Elementary Lead Teacher and a Success Coach here at IVLA. I have been teaching for 17 years and have been working at IVLA since the school opened in 2008. I love connecting with families from all over the world, and helping each individual student get the best personalized education possible. It is my pleasure to serve the amazing families we have here at IVLA! I live with my wonderful husband, and 5 fantastic kids in Idaho. I love the sunshine and blue skies, traveling to different places, and making memories with my family.

Lindsey Pellow

Hi there! My name is Lindsey Pellow. I teach Social Studies for IVLA and look forward to being your teacher! Sometimes students struggle in Social Studies, but I want to help you be successful and see the relevance of history. Understanding history is important in understanding the world we live in today. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, I got my teaching credential from California State University, Fullerton, and have a Masters Degree in Humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills. I’ve taught Social Studies at both the middle and high school levels in Orange County, California since 2010 and love engaging with students over the curriculum. I am also a mom of a very busy toddler and love spending time with my family. We have land in Northern California and travel back and forth between the beaches of Southern California and the mountains and woods of Northern California. Getting outside and enjoying nature with my family is my favorite way to spend my days!

Lynda Watson

Hello, My name is Lynda Watson. I have been with this wonderful school since 2015 and have taught math and now science. I have lived in the same small Kentucky town, Henderson, ever since I was six months old. My family consists of 4 boys, 2 daughters-in-law and a grandbaby. After working in the medical field for 16 years, I decided to go back to college and pursue a teaching degree. I have been a teacher since 2001. I have taught middle school and high school science and math in the traditional classroom setting and have been a cheer and dance team coach. I currently work as a Home Hospital teacher for the Henderson County School District. I have also been a certified fitness instructor ever since 1987. Other than teaching, I enjoy teaching fitness classes (Body Pump and ZUMBA), riding a scooter with my husband, walking, and playing Words With Friends ©. I love working for IVLA as it gives me the opportunity to share my passion for teaching with students all over the world!

Maria Ibanez

Hola! Bonjour! My name is Maria Carmen Ibanez and I am really happy to be part of this great school IVLA. I am from Madrid, Spain, and I moved to the U.S. to be part of a program organized by the Spanish government to promote Spanish language at schools across the United States. I studied a Masters in English with minor in Linguistics in the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid and also a MA in Bilingual Education by Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. I currently live in Franklin, TN and I love the countryside and country music! I have taught languages, French and Spanish, for 14 years, at very different levels and High School is my favorite. I am also an IB trained teacher and I am currently certified by the state of TN to teach French, Spanish, and English. I love the outdoors, spending time with friends and traveling. I love diversity of cultures and most of my close friends are from different continents around the world! I love teaching languages and supporting students to open a new window to new forms of living, expanding horizons in their future. À bientôt! See you all soon! Hasta pronto!

Micheal Wood

Hello, My name is Mr. Micheal Wood. I am a Success Coach here at IVLA and I’m looking forward to working with you this year! I have earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology and a Masters of Arts in Education Leadership. I’m credentialed in Both the state of Texas and California. I’ve had the pleasure of being an educator for over 15 years around the world. I’m very passionate about the education experience and sharing it with others. In this time, I’ve gained a vast knowledge of online learning and education policies in order to drive student success. When I’m not teaching, you can find me exercising or enjoying family time. I also love traveling and have lived in several countries! I've been to France several times. It is my absolute favorite place to travel! I’ve been several times.

Nicole Hedden

Hello! My name is Nicole Hedden and I live in the beautiful mountains of Hayesville, North Carolina with my husband and our spoiled golden doodle, Ellie. I am currently in my third year of teaching high school social studies and love it! I have been a lifelong “history nerd” as my family calls me. I enjoy reading historical non-fiction, historical sewing, and traveling to all places history! My favorite is Boston, where I visit at least once a year to visit with family and also explore new sights! My favorite class to teach is American History and I love the Revolutionary era, so Boston is a definite favorite! In my free time I also enjoy hiking and sewing. I live about 25 minutes from Winding Stair Gap on the Appalachian Trail, so there are plenty of trails and waterfalls to explore out here! I am originally from Charlotte and grew up just outside the city. I moved to the mountains to attend Western Carolina University and never left! I have fallen in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and don’t ever see myself leaving. I love the mountain culture and Cherokee history in our area. Going from the city of Charlotte to a small town of less than 400 residents was a big adjustment, but I love it! I am so excited to be part of the IVLA family as a success coach! I love meeting students from all over the world and helping them grow! I am passionate about working with students on creating study plans that align with the way they learn best! We are all different and learn differently!

Patrick Navas

My name is Patrick Navas. I am a Social Studies and Spanish teacher for IVLA. I have been a teacher for 12 years. I love learning and sharing knowledge with others. I live in Los Angeles, California with my wife and three boys. I love reading, writing, riding my bike at the beach, lifting weights, watching my sons play sports, listening to music, and traveling to Mexico to see family when time allows.

Rachael Webster

Hello! My name is Rachael Webster and I currently live in Pensacola, Florida. I have been a teacher for over twenty years in various school settings. I have a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education K-6 from Clarion University of Pennsylvania I am married with two daughters, 8th grade and 10th grade. In my free time, I love to travel with my family. We were fortunate to have lived in Sicily, Italy for two years. We enjoyed the food, the people, and the history that we experienced while in Europe. When I am not traveling, I love to run, bike, coach basketball, and read at the beach.

Rachel Tarbert

Hi, my name is Rachel Tarbert: high school IVLA success coach and proud mom of three awesome boys. I am certified to teach in five subject areas and have taught every age and subject. I am passionate about helping high-schoolers reach their graduation and post-graduation goals. I will do my best to provide you with whatever you need to achieve them. I have lived in all four corners of the USA, overseas, and have taken my sons to four different countries. I love to cook for my hungry teenagers, cut their hair, and have game night with them. I have not missed a workout since my youngest started kindergarten and always have fitness goals. I volunteer mostly at the Ronald McDonald House and in my sons’ schools.

Robert Gilliam

Hi, my name is Robert Gilliam, and I’m so excited to be a part of the team here at IVLA as a high school math teacher. As your teacher, I am committed to giving you the best possible experience I can as you complete your high school math requirements. Math can often be a challenging subject, but it can definitely be made much easier with the right teacher. I hope to be that teacher for you. I have a Bachelor in General Studies degree from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in Mathematics, Education, and Spanish. I received my teaching certificate from National University. I have been a counselor/teacher to at-risk youth in Florida, a middle school math teacher in California, and a private tutor for students in Los Angeles. I currently reside in Los Angeles, where I enjoy hiking and biking with my partner. I have a rescue dog named Kevin that can be found with me on most of my adventures. Lansing, Michigan is my original home, but now my partner and I are building our own family here in Los Angeles as I’m a soon-to-be father!

Sarah Garcia

Aloha! My name is Sarah Garcia and I am excited to join the IVLA team as a middle school social studies teacher and Success Coach. I am originally from the Northeast, and love traveling and exploring big cities. My passion for American History took me to Gettysburg College, and I’ve been fortunate to live in many beautiful places around the world, from Maine to Hawaii to Europe. My favorite teaching jobs have involved middle school social studies, service learning, and research. Reading is my favorite way to explore other worlds and ideas, but also the best way to learn new things before I experience them. When visiting a new place, I am eager to engage in local music, food, and culture. I have visited over 20 countries and 42 US States. When I’m not teaching, I love museums, but also spending time outside: running, skiing, hiking, or going to the beach. I enjoy practicing speaking French and Italian but am fluent in Hamilton! I am looking forward to connecting with IVLA families around the world.

Shanna Alexander

My name is Shanna Alexander. I am a certified Secondary English teacher in the state of South Carolina. I worked in the Aiken County School District for five years. I am excited to now be working for IVLA. My husband, two daughters (ages 6 and 4), and I live in North Augusta, South Carolina, about ten minutes from where the Masters golf tournament is held. Although, the golf that I actually keep up with is disc golf. We have several courses nearby, which we spend a lot of Saturday mornings going to. If I’m not playing disc golf with my kids, I’m reading the latest young adult series or watching a documentary on different cultures around the world. Since, I love learning about other cultures, I am very excited for the opportunity to teach students from all over the world at IVLA!

Stephanie Fernandez

I graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and later attended Nova Southeastern University and received a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. I worked in the Elementary School setting as a teacher for 7 years and one year as a school administrator. As well as spent the last 4 years teaching High School student in English and Social Sciences. To share a little more about me personally, I was born and raised and still live in Miami, FL.

Teri Helton

Hi! My name is Teri Helton and I live in Fresno, California. I am married and we have two young children; a set of boy-girl twins. We also have a goldendoodle named Benny. I just joined IVLA in 2019 as a success coach and instructor for math. I graduated from Chapman University with a B.S. in mathematics. I earned my masters in School Counseling from California State University Fresno. I hold a multiple subject credential, a single subject credential in Mathematics, a P.P.S in school counseling and an admin. credential. My passion is helping students reach their goals and experiencing success. In my free time, I love exploring nature with my family and dog. I also love playing sports especially water polo and volleyball and watching the Red Sox win! I enjoy crafting with my daughter. I look forward to supporting IVLA students and I am grateful to get to work for such a wonderful school.

Tricia Chadwick

Hello! My name is Tricia Chadwick. I am a success coach for IVLA and look forward to working with you! I want to help you succeed. I have degrees in Education and Varying Exceptionalities. I was a Reading Specialist and Language Arts teacher in Lancaster, PA, and a Senior Case Manager for The Department of Family Services and Juvenile Justice in Pomapano Beach, FL. I am from the beautiful state of West Virginia, but I’ve lived in South Florida, Pennsylvania, and now New Jersey. When I’m not working, I’m spending quality time with my husband, three teens, two cats and a dog! I also love writing and listening to music. I hope to publish a children’s book soon!

Tricia Rhude

Hi there! My name is Tricia Rhude and I am a Middle School Math Teacher and Success Coach for IVLA. I am very excited to be a part of such an amazing school! I live in Michigan with my wonderful husband, two incredible little boys, two dogs, and one cat! I graduated from Grand Valley State University with my BS in Elementary Education and majored in Mathematics. I moved to Arizona upon graduation to start my teaching career, and I ended up meeting my husband there. We had our first son and then decided to move back to Michigan since it is where I grew up. I taught here for a couple of years as well and then decided to change things up and go virtual after the birth of our second son. I have taught in the classroom for over 7 years. Being outdoors and enjoying nature is a lot of fun for our family! We live only 5 minutes from Lake Michigan, so we spend as much time at the beach as we can. Camping and hiking are also some things we try to do often when the weather cooperates. I am very passionate about teaching and love getting to build relationships with students and their families. I am looking forward to getting to know, and educating, as many students as I can!

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