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.

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!

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

Hi, I’m Bethanie Frank! I am originally from Kansas City, but now I live in Oklahoma with my husband and my daughter who is currently in college. I homeschooled her through middle and high school. I love to listen to music, do crafty projects, read, watch lots of movies, and see a ton of theatre in our area. We have two cats that are incredibly spoiled and a lot of fun. I have taught college for almost 25 years. I love being able to work from home! I feel that teaching is my calling, and I am so excited to help you on your journey.

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

My name is Brittany Valint and I am an Elementary Teacher and a Success Coach here at IVLA. I have been teaching Elementary for 10 years. I’m from Northern Virginia (a few minutes outside Washington, DC), but I moved to Florida almost two 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.

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.

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 Conz

Hi, my name is Emily Conz and I am an Enrollment Specialist at IVLA. I am a certified English teacher in Michigan and Indiana and am incredibly excited to explore a different side of education. My family and I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We have a house full of animals: 3 cats, a puppy, and a tankful of fish. I love living in Michigan–there are so many amazing opportunities to spend time outside. From fishing to kayaking and from hiking to swimming in one of the Great Lakes, there is never a dull moment. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, and anything that has a good story to follow. It is my life goal to visit every continent–so far, I have visited North and South America (Peru)! I am excited to be joining the team at IVLA.

Emily Julin

Hello! My name is Emily Julin and I am excited to be teaching math at IVLA! I have a Masters in Secondary Mathematics Education from Iowa State University. I have experience teaching both middle and high school mathematics. Additionally, I have a Masters in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Currently I live in Argentina with my husband and our three dogs. Fezzik is a Labrador Retriever, Lucy is a German Shorthair Pointer, and Iver is a Deutsch Drahthaar. In addition to playing piano and training my dogs, I also enjoy baking, gardening, and camping.

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 Boyd

Hello, my name is Heather Boyd.  I live in England with my husband and two daughters.  I was born and raised in Illinois and consider myself a Midwesterner at heart. My husband’s job keeps us moving every few years, so I’ve had the privilege of also living in Spain, California, Rhode Island and Virginia.  My family’s favorite activity is traveling, and we never pass up an opportunity to hit the road on a new adventure! After earning my bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Illinois State University, I taught middle and high school English and social science for almost 7 years in a traditional public-school setting and now over 4 years in a virtual school setting.  In 2012, I earned my master’s degree in educational leadership from The College of William and Mary.  At International Virtual Learning Academy, I am a success coach, high school social science instructor, and host the high school book club. It’s thrilling to be able to teach and connect with students from all over the world!

Jessica Durr

Hello! My name is Jessica Durr and I live in wild and wonderful West Virginia. I earned my MA in secondary education from Frostburg State University. I have taught middle and high school mathematics prior to IVLA. I am married to my best friend and we have three beautiful children. They are 18, 16 and 14 years old. We love to travel all over the world and my favorite thing to do on vacation is snorkeling. I love being outdoors and I enjoy hiking and camping.

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.

Kisha Crawford

Hello from the state of Smiling Faces. Beautiful places. My name is Kisha Crawford; I live in a small town in South Carolina. I am excited this is my 3rd year being a part of the IVLA family! I have been teaching high school biology, environmental science and physical science for the past 15 years. For the past seven summers, I have been an instructor in the Upward Bound program, where I taught Physical Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Anatomy. When I am not teaching full time at our local high school and IVLA, I am a Virtual Science Writer, meaning I create virtual science labs for elementary textbook publishers. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minor in Chemistry from Francis Marion University in South Carolina. I also hold a Master of Education from Cambridge College in Massachusetts. I am looking forward to spreading my love of science to new students and their families!

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 14 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 California. I love the sunshine, traveling different places, and making memories with my family.

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!

Lynnsey McGarrh

Hi, my name is Lynnsey McGarrh. At IVLA, I currently teach High School Social Studies and many different electives! I am also a Success Coach. Though I now call Lexington, Kentucky home, I was born and raised in Henderson; a small town in western Kentucky located along the Ohio River. In 2006, I graduated from Murray State University with my bachelor’s degree in History and International Affairs. In 2007, I joined the United States Peace Corps. For two years, I lived and worked in Quito, Ecuador as a volunteer. It was an experience that will stay with me forever and helped motivate me to return to the United States and become a teacher! In 2012, I graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with my master’s degree in Secondary Education! In my free time, I love to travel, read, listen to music, and spend time with my family! I love to experience new cultures, different types of food, and meet all types of people from all walks of life.

Maria Canterbury

Hello! My name is Maria Canterbury and I am excited to be a part of the IVLA team. I am a math teacher and success coach for IVLA. I have multiple years of experience in various school settings. I have taught both in person and virtually with middle and high school students. I have a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and secondary education from the University of Wisconsin Parkside. I live in Trevor, Wisconsin with my two daughters and my husband. We are planning on relocating later this year to California! In our free time, we love to hike new trails and travel to new places. We love the sunshine and warm weather and take advantage of the beautiful summer weather when possible.

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!

Matt Simpson

Hello awesome IVLA students! My name is Matt Simpson. I am a high school success coach for IVLA. I have been in education as a teacher, advisor, athletic coach, and mentor teacher for over 10 years! I am certified to teach in 8 states currently and have taught and worked in high school education all my career in education in PE, Health, Electives, CTE, and more. I live in SUPER sunny Arizona. I have 4 kids, two of which are adopted; Destiny – 13, Sierra – 11, Graham – 7, and Natalie – 6. I am into all things active, athletic, and challenging. One of the most extreme things I have ever done is Skydive in Oregon, Hood to Coast Marathon run (Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean), and cliff jumping in Idaho. Most days I spend working, working out, and walking my little Chihuahua.

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.

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.

Stacey Mankoff-Kirouac

Hello! My name is Stacey Mankoff-Kirouac and I am so thrilled to be an English teacher for IVLA. I have extensive experience in the online learning environment, having taught online for both community colleges and public schools in California. I earned my bachelor’s degree in English from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, my California single subject state teaching credential in English from National University, and my Master’s degree in English literature from California State University, Sacramento. I live in Omaha, Nebraska with my husband Keith, my Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Basil, and our four cats, Jezebel, Dorian, Twee, and Delilah. In our free time, we love to travel-in fact, my Spanish citizenship is pending! My favorite authors are Oscar Wilde and F. Scott Fitzgerald, my favorite band is Dave Matthews Band, and my favorite shows include Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation, The Good Place, and The Office.

Staci Fuller

Hello, my name is Staci Fuller. I am excited to join the IVLA team as a Success Coach & Science/Social Studies Middle School Teacher! I live in Nevada with my wonderful husband and amazing children. I have two teenage daughters and a five-year-old son whom I homeschool. In our free time we love to camp, paint, have movie nights and play with our animals. I study anthrozoology and ethnobiology as it will be my main focus during my Doctorate. I conduct scientific research in the hope to help in conservation efforts around the world and to assist children in therapeutic services involving animals. I graduated from Nevada State with my BA in Psychology and am currently working on my MS in Biological Conservation. I have taught an array of subjects in my lifetime with Science being my favorite. I really enjoy being able to help my students grow and learn. Teaching young minds has always been such a wonderful gift in my life. I really look forward to getting to know you all better and helping your children in their success!

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 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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