Meet Our High School Staff

Tarah Awai is a 10th grade English teacher who joined the K12 team this year. She has been teaching English, reading, and poetry for the past 5 years. Tarah earned a BA in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University, and earned her teaching and ESL certificate here in Texas.

Ellen Barnhouse is a world history teacher. She joined the K12 team in 2012 and has 20 years of experience in education. She has a degree from Sam Houston State University and is certified to teach all Social Studies classes for grades 7-12. Mrs. Barnhouse also serves as the department chair over social studies and foreign language.

Roiann Baskin is a high school Spanish teacher who joined K12 in 2016. She brings more than 17 years of experience in education. Mrs. Baskin earned a BA in Education from Saginaw Valley State University and a MA in Spanish from Texas A&M University.

LaTasha Beasley is a high school English Language Arts teacher and department chair. She joined the K12 team in 2017. She has over 18 years of experience in Human Services, including education and counseling. LaTasha earned her BA degree from DePaul University, and her MS and ED degrees from Walden University. She takes pride in providing engaging instruction that challenges critical thinking skills, fosters intelligent discussion, and develops logical writing skills for every student.

Alisha Brannan is a high school Advisor who joined the K12 team in 2013. She brings more than 15 years of experience in education. Alisha earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Baylor University. She holds certificates in early childhood, reading, and middle school.

Robin Brown is a high school physical education teacher who joined k12 in 2010.  She brings 19 years of experience in physical education with experience in elementary, middle school & high school.    Brandi earned a BS in Kinesiology from Southeastern Oklahoma.  She holds a certificate in physical education for all grade levels for the state of Texas. 

Candice Brown is a high school Spanish teacher who joined the K12 team in 2014.  She has been teaching Spanish for the past 14 years and loves teaching students.  She is married and has 4 children.  She has traveled around the world with students and on mission trips.

Sheena Brubaker is a world history teacher who just joined the K12 team this semester. She brings four years of teaching experience with her. Sheena earned a BA in History from Sam Houston State University. She holds a certificate in social studies.

Melanie Burney is a high school teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018.  She brings more than 20 years of experience in education.  Melanie earned a BS in Accounting from University at Albany, SUNY.  She holds certificates in special education, business and finance, math and PE.

Melissa Butler is a high school advisor who joined the K12 team in 2009. She earned her BA in Liberal Studies and English from California State University San Bernardino.

Heather Caronna is a 12th grade economics teacher who joined K12 in 2018. She has 17 years of experience in the classroom and school library. Heather has a BS in Political Science (UT Tyler) and an MLIS in Library Science (UNT). She is certified to teach all areas of social studies and English, and as a school librarian.

Rachel Carroll-Brumbalow is the high school web design instructor who earned a BS in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Tarleton State University and a MA in Education from Western Governors University.  She is certified to teach secondary social studies classes and technology classes to all grade levels.  This is her first year with TVAH, and she absolutely loves it.

Jamie Casarez is in her 11th year in the English classroom and currently teaches English IV. This is her first year with TVAH and K12. Jamie has taught all grades from 7-12 in her career and received her BA from Angelo State University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Curriculum Development from Angelo State. She holds Texas certifications in English Language Arts & reading grades 8-12.

Alicia Castile has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Texas. She began her teaching career in 2007 after leaving her career in Child Care Administration. She taught for Ector County ISD and Mesquite ISD before joining K12 in the spring of 2017. She is currently a high school Family & Consumer Sciences teacher for Texas Virtual Academy at Hallsville.

Cassandra Chirhart is a high school counselor who joined the K12 team in 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Italian Languages and Literature from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Education in Counseling from Texas Christian University and has worked in education for twelve years as a teacher, academic advisor, and counselor. She holds all-level certificates in Spanish and school counseling.

Cari Cochran is a high school counselor who joined the K12 team in September 2018.  She brings more 24 years of experience in education.   Cari earned a BS in Elementary Education from Texas Woman's University, and a MS in School Counseling from Texas A&M University, Commerce.  She has certifications in School Counseling and Elementary Education.  Cari has five years of experience in elementary education and 19 years of experience in school counseling.

Lindsey Colvin is a 9th grade English teacher who joined the K12 team this year. This is her second year teaching. She has earned her BA in English from the University of North Texas and holds a teaching certificate in English Language Arts.

Karen Couey is a 10th grade world history teacher. She joined K12 in 2016 as a substitute then went on to become a full-time teacher the following year. She earned her BA Teaching Degree from Sam Houston State University.

Julianne Curtis teaches high school biology for TVAH. She joined K12 in 2016. She has been teaching for 14 years, and has taught biology, anatomy & physiology, and special education. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Texas Woman's University, and her M.Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of North Texas. She holds certificates in life science and special education.

Katheryn Daniell is an US History teacher and content lead who joined K12 in April 2015. She has 6 years of experience in education, with much of her experience teaching virtually.  Mrs. Daniell received her BS in Secondary Education Social Studies from Texas Christian University (GO FROGS!!). She holds certifications in 8-12 social studies, 4-8 social studies, 4-8 English Language Arts and reading and English as a Second Language,

Bethany DeLeon is a 9-12 teacher who has taught for K12 since 2012. She currently teaches Family Consumer Science, but has also taught English I, English II, Reaching Your Academic Potential, interpersonal studies, and Parenting for Teenage Parents during her 17 years as a public school teacher. Mrs. DeLeon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health from Texas A&M University. She holds teaching certificates in secondary English, health, and Family Consumer Science.

Jill Diaz is in her 4th year as a high school advisor with K12.  She has been with K12 for 6 years and was a teacher for 15 years before that.  Jill earned her BA from SUNY Potsdam and her MA in Education from Texas Tech University. 

Shawna Dixon is a high school math Teacher who joined the K12 team in 2016. She brings more than 9 years total teaching experience comprised of junior high to university level instruction. Mrs. Dixon earned a BS in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a MS in Mathematics from Tarleton State University, and is currently working on her EdD in Christian Leadership from Liberty University. She holds certifications in mathematics (grades 4-8 and 8-12).

Ralinda Fenton is a high school Algebra 2 teacher who joined the K12 team in 2014.  She has more than 12 years of experience in secondary education.  Mrs. Fenton earned her BS in Math Education at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.  She has taught all levels of high school math.

Christine Floyd is the Lead High School Advisor. She has been working in education for 8 years and has been with K12 since February 2016.  Christine has a Master's in Social Work and is currently working on her Doctor of Education degree.

Terri Foxworth teaches high school math.  This is her third year with K12 and she has been a middle school and high school math teacher for 16 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree and is currently working on her master’s degree.  She is certified in math 4 - 8, math 8 - 12, generalists 4 - 8, and ESL 4 - 12.

Emily Gapinski is a high school music teacher and is new to the K12 team. Mrs. Gapinski earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Texas Lutheran University.

Ashlee Gardner is a high school biology teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018. She brings more than 9 years of educational experience working with students in middle school, high school, and college. Ashlee earned a BA from the University of Texas at Tyler and a MS in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. She holds a composite science (7-12) teaching certificate.

Jennifer Halderman is a high school math teacher who comes from Arizona K12. This is her 3rd year teaching online but her 8th year in education. Jennifer earned her BA in Secondary education, Mathematics from Arizona state University.

April Hanson is a geometry teacher and the math department lead who joined the K12 team in 2014. She is in her 10th year in education, 5 of which has been in the virtual setting. April earned her BA in Mathematics with emphasis in math education.

Yarnale Hayner is a high school advisor who started with K12 in 2013. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies.

Stacy Head joined K12 in 2010 and has served in many roles while at K12.  She currently teaches sophomore ELA and holds a Texas teaching certificate for grades 6-12 English. Mrs. Head received her Bachelor of Arts from Texas Tech University with a major in English and minor in secondary education.  She has also completed 18 hours of her Master’s in School Counseling from Lamar University.  Mrs. Head is passionate about teaching, serving in her community, and helps to raise funds, awareness, and supplies for the Ronald McDonald House Dallas.

Lyndsay Heartsill is our 12th grade counselor who has been working with K12 students since 2010. She has been working in education for more than 16 years in roles as an English teacher, middle school counselor and high school counselor. Lyndsay earned her bachelor’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University with a major in math and a minor in English with a focus on secondary education. She then earned her Master's in School Counseling from Dallas Baptist University.

Morgan Henry is new to K12 this year and is teaching high school world geography.  She is not new to teaching, however, having taught middle and high school social studies for the last five years.  Mrs. Henry also has 6 years of experience teaching ESL in China.  She graduated from Oklahoma Christian University with a BS in Social Studies Education and is certified to teach middle and high school social studies, with an additional ESL certification.

Ashley Hughes is a high school speech teacher. She joined the K12 team in 2018. She has five years of teaching experience. Mrs. Hughes earned her BS from Texas A&M University, and a MS from Tarleton State University. She is a certified Texas teacher in speech, agriculture, English 4-8, and art.

Elizabeth Jones teaches English II, and she joined the K12 team this year.  She began her career in 1989 in New Orleans and is certified in both Louisiana and Texas in Secondary English Education.  Her career has focused on instruction mainly encompassing writing styles and techniques, structural grammar exploration, literature studies, and drama.

Shanelle Jones is a high school Advisor who joined K12 in December of 2017. She brings more than 10 years in the education field and community service. She is a leader in her community.  Mrs. Jones earned an Associates in Teaching from Collin College and a Bachelor of Education from Texas Woman's University.

Lauren Kellogg is high school art teacher who joined the K12 Team this year.  She brings 8 years of experience in art education and creative development. Lauren earned a BA in Fine Arts from New England College and her teacher certification from Texas A&M Commerce.

Jenifer Kim is an advisor who joined the K12 team in 2015.  She has been in the education field for 20 plus years.  Jenifer earned a BA in Education from Mississippi State University. 

Mara Leebert is a high school Spanish teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018. She brings more than 4 years of experience in education. She is from Argentina. She has been a volunteer for the Red Cross and blood source as a translator. Mara earned her BA in Psychology and her MA in Psychology with a concentration in child and adolescent's development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Kelly Loeffler is a high school advisor who joined the K12 team in 2012. She was an elementary school teacher for 8 years before joining K12. Kelly earned a BA in Education from Texas State University, San Marcos and a MA in Educational Administration from Lamar University. She holds certificates in early childhood education, EC-4, 4-8, and ESL.

Cynthia Marley is a high school Graduation Coach.  She has been with K12 for 5 years as an English teacher, Counselor and Graduation Coach.  She has 35 years of education experience as a teacher, counselor and mentor.  Cynthia earned her BBA in Business Education/English from Sam Houston State University and MS in Counseling and Psychology from Texas A&M Corpus Christi.  She holds certifications in business, reading/language arts and all level counseling. 

Marisa Marquardt is a high school science teacher who has taught science for a total of 17 years and has taught all levels of high school science. This is her 4th year with k12. She lives in the DFW area with her husband, 4 children and her dog Nash.  She is a Texas girl and an Aggie by the grace of God. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology/Chemistry. She is science composite certified and has a Master of Education. Her favorite sciences are astronomy and meteorology.

Joseline Martinez is a high school English 1 teacher who joined the K12 team in 2012. Coming from a background in teaching brick and mortar middle and high school English and reading courses, she has a wide range of teaching experience. Joseline earned a BA in English Language Arts and Reading from Texas A&M International University. Her certificates include English Language Arts and reading for grades 4-8 and 8-12.

Shad McChesney is a Chemistry teacher who joined K12 in 2018. He brings several years of teaching in the public and private sectors as he has taught biology, chemistry, and engineering. He has also coached robotics club, football, basketball, and martial arts. He has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in psychology. Mr. McChesney loves physical fitness and performance in all aspects and enjoys competition. Living life with intensity is a must and he is always striving to become the best version of himself.

Janet Moore is a high school Science teacher who joined K12 in October 2014.  She brings 15 years of science teaching experience.  Mrs. Moore has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in chemistry and a Master of Science in Secondary Education.  She holds 6 different certifications covering all grade levels.

Marl Murphy is a TVAH high school music Instructor, who originally joined K12 at the Tennessee Virtual Academy in 2012 and then came to Texas in 2014.  He has been in education for eight years and has taught in elementary, middle, and high school.  Marl earned a BA in Music from Maryville College and a M. Ed in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Lincoln Memorial University.  In addition to these degrees, Mr. Murphy has also completed post-graduate work in both music history and public relations.  He currently holds certifications in general education, and music.

Sarah Neal                        is a math high school teacher who joined the K12 team in 2016.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in mathematics from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Science with a major in mathematics teaching from Texas Woman's University. 

Ashley Owen is a high school physical education teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018.  She brings more than 9 years of experience in education, community service and development.  Ashley earned a BS in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University – Kingsville.  She holds certificates in all-level physical education, all-level health, and early childhood education (EC-6).

Ellen Paraskevas is a TVAH high school advisor.  She has been with K12 since the fall of 2009.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Texas Christian University in 1993 and has been in the field of education ever since. 

Raymond Russell Parker Jr. has been a part of k12 schools since 2012 and has twice been voted Teacher of the Year by seniors in his English 4 classes. Mr. Parker graduated from Plano East Senior High school, the largest high school in the United States, before getting a degree in literary studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is certified to teach all levels of high school English. 

Sarah Patterson teaches personal finance and joined the K12 team in 2016.  She has taught for 10 years.  She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from University of North Texas, specializing in finance.  She is currently pursuing her MBA and will graduate from Texas A&M University in May 2019.  She holds certificates in business education, 6-12 as well as composite science, 8-12.

Alejandra Paul is a high school Spanish teacher who joined K12 in 2016. She brings more than 10 years of experience in foreign language education at the high school and college level. Alejandra earned a Bachelor of General Studies from McNeese State University and a Master of Hispanic Studies from Auburn University. Mrs. Paul is certified to teach Spanish in the state of Texas and is working towards her ESL certification.

Jessica Philips is a biology teacher that joined K12 in 2017. She brings 8 years of teaching in science to K12 and has a master’s degree in education. She has a BS in Education from Tarleton State University.

Tina Poer is a high school math teacher and is currently teaching precalculus/trigonometry. This is her 7th year in online education with K12. She has served in education for 14 years as a teacher, math department chair, and testing coordinator. Tina earned a BBA in Accounting from Tarleton State University and later returned to obtain her alternative certification in mathematics.

Gena Powell is a high school counselor who joined the K12 in January 2016.  She has more than 10 years of experience in education.  Gena earned her BA in Fashion Merchandising from Texas State University.  She decided she wanted to be a teacher, so she went back and received her teaching certificate soon after.  She received her master’s in Education for School Counseling in 2005 and started her career as an elementary counselor in 2005.    I enjoy working with high school students helping them work towards their ultimate goal which is to graduate. 

Jamie Priesmeyer is a high school advisor who joined the K12 team in 2011. Jamie earned both her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and her MA in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She brings over 12 years of experience in education and works diligently to provide the highest level of support to her students and families.

Kaitlyn Purcell is a high school teacher who joined K12 in 2015. She has taught for 8 years after earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Cedarville University followed by a post-baccalaureate degree in secondary education from West Texas A&M University. She is certified in social studies grades 8-12 as well as ESL.

Kristen Richardson is a high school world geography teacher who joined the K12 team in January of 2015 and has 7 years of experience teaching in a social studies classroom. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2008 and holds certificates in social studies for grades 8-12 and also early childhood education.

Crystal Richardson is a “Skills for Health” teacher who joined the K12 team in 2014. She brings more than 13 years of experience in education. Kristen earned a BS in health from Texas A&M University, Gig 'em!

Jan Richburg is a high school counselor at TVAH who joined the K12 team in 2015.  She has 24 years of experience as a counselor and 20 of those years have been at the high school level.  Mrs. Richburg worked in Garland ISD and served as the lead counselor when opening Sachse High School in 2002.    She earned a BS in Elementary Education from the University of North Texas and an MS in Guidance and Counseling from Texas A&M Commerce.  Jan holds certifications for elementary education grades 1-8, and guidance and counseling K-12. 

Laura Robason is a high school teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018.  She brings more than 12 years of experience in education.  Mrs. Robason earned her BA in English from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.  She holds Texas certifications in English Language Arts (4-8), English Language Arts (8-12), special education and ESL.

Alison Rodgers is a high school art teacher who joined K12 in 2018.   Mrs. Rodgers recently has been teaching art on the elementary school level. She has taught preschool, directed a preschool and has been a substitute teacher for many years.  Mrs. Rodgers has a BS in Interior Design with a minor in Fine Arts from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. She holds certificates in art and Family Consumer Science.   Mrs. Rodgers is married and the mother of two sons.   Mrs. Rodgers loves all kinds of art but most recently has been designing jewelry and working on mosaics.

Cynthia Ruvalcaba is a high school Spanish teacher who recently joined the K12 team this year. She has 8 years of experience in teaching all levels of Spanish. Cynthia earned her BA in Spanish with a secondary education minor from Texas Tech University.

Taylor Schaffhauser is a high school world history teacher who first joined the K12 team 2016. She has taught in Mississippi and Texas, and now resides in Maine due to her husband's job. She earned her BA at Mississippi State University. She has two sweet dogs, Coco and Carl and loves the outdoors, cooking, and baking.

Heather Skeen is a high school English Language Arts teacher who joined the K12 team in 2011.  She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lamar University and is certified in secondary English Language Arts, elementary English and reading, and elementary self-contained. 

Rena Sovde is a high school English Language Arts teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018 to teach RYAP. She holds a BA in English Literature with a teaching emphasis from the University of Washington, and a master’s degree in Education from Western Washington University. Her ten years of experience includes teaching AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and English literature and composition at every grade level.

Emily Spivey is a high school algebra teacher who joined the K12 team in 2017.  She brings 16 years of experience in education.  Emily earned a BS in Mathematics from Southwest State University in 2003.  She holds certificates for 4-12 grade mathematics.

Christie Stephens is in her thirteenth full year as a high school science teacher and her sixth year with K12! She has had the pleasure of teaching various science courses, including biology, anatomy and physiology, AP Biology, and physical science. Ms. Stephens went to college at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. She currently holds a composite science certification for 6-12 science.

Lisa Strong is a high school Algebra 2/math teacher. She has been teaching and tutoring math in public, private, and virtual schools since 1989. She’s taught middle and high school math online since 2011. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from UT Austin and holds a lifetime certificate to teach Mathematics in grades 6-12. Teaching is her passion. Math is her love.

Penney Thorne is the high school lead for the science department who teaches marketing and business. Mrs. Thorne joined the K12 family in 2014, making this her 5th year with the company. Prior to coming to K12, Mrs. Thorne taught marketing and business at Estacado High School in Lubbock for 2 years, and taught marketing and business at Reese Education Center, the alternative high school for Friendship ISD in Wolfforth, Texas. Penney holds an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies from South Plains College, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management, a Master of Science in Leadership, and a Master of Education in Administrative Leadership, each from Lubbock Christian University. She is certified to teach business 6-12, marketing 8-12, and holds a principal certification for K-12 in the state of Texas. She is also currently the advisor for the TVAH chapter of NHS.

Mayra Velez is a high school Spanish teacher. She has been with K12 for 3 years. She has a BA in Spanish and a MA in Student Leadership and Development from Angelo State University. She is also certified in ESL. She has taught Spanish at multiple levels and programs such as AP and International Baccalaureate Program in South Carolina and Texas.

Megan Ware is a high school geometry teacher who joined the K12 team in 2013. She brings over 10 years of experience in education. Megan earned a BS in Mathematics from East Central University. She holds certificates in advanced mathematics.

Misty Watt is the lead counselor who joined the K12 team in July of 2015. She earned a BS in Mathematics from West Texas A&M University and a MA in School Counseling from West Texas A&M University. Misty holds certificates in 6-12th mathematics and all level school counseling.

Karin Webb teaches high school Public Speaking.  She has been with k12 for the past 6 years.  She has over 13 years of experience teaching several different subjects in High school.  Mrs. Webb earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas in Denton.

Candice West is a high school Personal Finance teacher who joined K12 in 2015. She has 5 years of experience in CTE education. She earned her BS in Hospitality Management from University of North Texas in 2006. She has worked in the hospitality industry for 4 years before entering the field of education. She holds certifications in both family and consumer science, and business and finance.

Anna Westbrook is an English III teacher who joined K12 in the fall of 2017. This is her 6th year working in public education. Anna earned a BA in Fine Arts from California State University Fresno and a MS in Sports Administration and Recreation from Western Kentucky University. She holds certificates in General Education for grades 4-8, English for 7-12, and in ESL.

Cynthia Wimberley is an elective teacher, teaching Reaching Your Academic Potential (RYAP). She joined K12 in August of 2016, bringing more than 30 years of teaching/coaching. Cindy earned both a master’s and bachelor's degrees in physical education and English from Angelo State University.

Jennifer Wolford is the high school mythology teacher who joined the K12 team in 2012. She brings 12 years of experience in the classroom, 6 of those being in a virtual setting.  She earned her B.S in English from Sam Houston State University. She holds certifications in ELA EC-12, EC-4 generalist, 4-8 social studies and ESL. She has taught several years as an alternative school teacher and has taught almost every grade level.  Mrs. Wolford lives in Brazoria, TX with her husband, children, and 4 legged babies! She loves books and movies - Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight, Percy Jackson are some of her favorites. The magical, mystical, etc., in literature fascinates her.

Pamela Woods is a 9th grade English teacher who joined the K12 team in 2017.  She brings more than 20 years of experience in education.  Pamela earned a BA in English with 8-12 Certification from Tarleton State University. 

Carrie Zachry is a high school social studies teacher who joined the K12 team in 2017.  She brings 10 years of experience in education.  Mrs. Zachry earned her BA in Education from Baylor University and her master’s in interdisciplinary studies from Western New Mexico University.  She holds certificates in general education & high school history.