Meet Our High School Teachers

Our Teachers Help Teens Chart a Course to Success

High school teachers at the Minnesota Virtual Academy are assigned for each course and are experts in their respective subjects. They are students' partners in education, and are available every school day to help guide teens through their lessons in every subject. Here are a few of the fantastic teachers you'll get to know at the Minnesota Virtual Academy.

High School Teachers

Michelle Andres received her bachelor's degree in elementary education with a 5th-8th grade language arts specialty from Bemidji State University. Before joining MNVA she taught in the Brainerd school district. Michelle loves teaching at MNVA and having the opportunity to work closely with the families.

Susan Borgen teaches high school English.

Jenna Brown received her bachelor's degree in math education in 2007 from Bemidji State Univeristy. She has experience working with a variety of different ages through substitute teaching in Itasca County before joining MNVA in 2010.

Gina Busch holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin, with a Pre-K–12 certification. She has been with MNVA High School since the start of the 2008–2009 school year. She has taken multimedia and graphic design courses at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI, and has more than six years of teaching experience, which includes teaching elementary grades and high school. She spent the last four years teaching elementary art at a small charter school in Dakota, MN, as well as the last three teaching online with Houston Public Schools. She enjoys working with MNVA families and teaching art to her students, and believes that MNVA offers a wonderful program to its students.

Mary Ann Buzzell teaches high school English.

Becky Carr graduated from the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse with a degree in secondary education and social studies. Before teaching at MNVA, she taught in private, public, and charter schools, and says online teaching is her favorite! Becky has been an online teacher with Houston Public Schools since 2003. "I'm a pioneer in education. Just like the early pioneers settling America, I'm charting new territory in education." Becky is MNVA's U.S. History teacher.

Deirdre Diggins began teaching Latin for MNVA in the fall of 2008. She is a graduate of Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she earned a bachelor's degree in classical languages. She earned a master's degree in classical languages from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania and has taught Latin at both the middle and high school levels for over 12 years. She has enjoyed her venture into online teaching and looks forward to imparting her love of the Latin language to students in the program. She also began a Community Service Club at MNVA and hopes to see this group grow and spread their passion to serve others throughout Minnesota.

Kelsey Glebke received a bachelor's degree from the University of La Crosse. She holds both a 6–12 social studies teaching degree and a degree in sociology, with minors in geography and psychology. She has earned a master's degree in reading literacy from St. Mary's University in Winona, MN. Kelsey has taught with Houston School District for ten years, both in the traditional high school classroom, and now with MNVA. Kelsey Glebke is originally from St. Could, MN and currently resides in La Crosse, WI with her husband and two young boys. They enjoy hiking the bluffs and traveling when possible.

Brandy Haglin teaches high school history.

Katie Hatteberg teaches high school history.

Sara Horne started teaching English at MNVA during the fall of 2009. She completed her undergraduate degree at Macalester College in St. Paul in English, and did graduate work in Special Education at St. Cloud State University. She is licensed in 7–12 English and K–12 Special Education–EBD. Before working at MNVA, Sara taught in public and private schools, charter schools and community colleges.

Mei Hu teaches high school Chinese.

Kelly Johnson teaches high school agriculture.

Rebekah Jorgensen joined MNVA in the fall of 2008. She received a bachelor's degree in German, with a minor in mathematics at Concordia College, Moorhead, and a Master's in Education-Learning and Technology from Western Governors University. Before joining MNVA she served as a substitute teacher for many schools in the Twin Cities metro area, and then taught for a year at Augsburg Academy in downtown Minneapolis before beginning online teaching at the Minnesota Center of Online Learning and Minnesota Virtual Academy.

Elizabeth Kisner is a science teacher at MNVA. She has a BS in physcial science and has since earned licenses to teach life and earth sciences. Elizabeth has experience teaching almost every science class in almost every kind of school. She began working for Houston public schools in 2003 when the district's first online high school began.

Peggy Knetter-Johnson (Mrs. KJ) joined MNVA in 2010 after nine years of teaching science for fifth through twelfth grades in brick-and-mortar schools in Wisconsin, Hawaii and Minnesota. Mrs. KJ earned her BS in biology and 6–12 education with a minor in chemistry from Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI and a master's in K–8 science education from Walden University. Mrs. KJ's favorite part of science is helping students explore their world!

Sarah Kueny has been an online teacher with Houston Public Schools since 2004. She graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, with a degree in business/computer education and a minor in coaching. Sarah has taught a variety of computer and business classes throughout her teaching career. Her favorite class to teach is career planning, as she enjoys exploring the many options for students after high school.

Rebecca Leither joined MNVA in the fall of 2012. She earned her bachelor's degree in K-12 physical education and her 8-12 degree in health education at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Before joining MNVA, Rebecca worked as a substitute teacher in the St. Cloud area. She is passionate about wellness and lifetime activities and loves to share that healthy lifestyle with her students.

Janine Lohman joined the MNVA staff in 2007 and is a high school mathematics teacher. She previously taught middle and high school mathematics in the Mankato area. Her teaching experience includes teaching seventh through twelfth grade mathematics, as well as college algebra and trigonometry. She received her master's degree in teaching from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Janine enjoys teaching mathematics, especially Geometry, and welcomes the unique challenges and successes of educating in a virtual environment.

Ann Lopez joined MNVA in 2008. She earned her bachelor's degree in K–12 Spanish education and her K–8 degree in elementary education with a specialty in Spanish from Bethel University. Before joining MNVA, Ann worked as a high school Spanish teacher at a charter school in Anoka. She is passionate about Spanish and loves to share that passion with her students.

Sally Mensink teaches high school FACS.

Jennifer Miller has been a teacher with Minnesota Virtual Academy since 2004. She received her bachelor's degree in secondary education (English), and is currently an English teacher with Minnesota Virtual Academy High School. She enjoys working with high school students, seeing the growth and satisfaction that those in this age group experience. Jennifer has a true passion to see her students succeed, and embraces the idea that not everyone fits into the traditional classroom mold. Her opinion on online education is that "...online education is an amazing vehicle for so many."

Steven Munderloh teaches high school music.

Jacob Nylund received his science education degree from Saint Cloud State University in 2010. He specializes in meteorology, geology, and astronomy. Currently an instructor for environmental science and earth science, Jacob is interested in teaching students valuable skills and ideas they can use in all walks of life.

Heidi Paulsen teaches high school math.

Jon Peterson graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in business education. He was in the banking industry before starting his career in teaching. He has taught at the post-secondary level for Rasmussen College in Fargo, ND, both online and in the traditional classroom. Jon has also taught online for Duluth Business College in Duluth, MN. His traditional classroom experience consists of teaching at the elementary school, middle school, and high school level for school districts in Wrenshall, MN and Duluth, MN. He also has experience as a football coach for a variety of schools in North Dakota and Minnesota, and currently on the Duluth Denfeld coaching staff.

Beth Robelia teaches physical science and biology at MNVA. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in zoology, and from Minnesota State University with a degree in experiential education. She has experience teaching both science and math in the metro area. Before entering the classroom, she was an instructor on canoe trips in the Boundary Waters, and a deckhand on educational tall ships.

Lori Schleif has been teaching mathematics for 20 years. She has taught students from sixth grade through college and from basic math to AP Calculus. She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a degree in mathematics and education, and graduated from the University of MN with a master's degree in work, community and family education. Lori has been an online math teacher since 2004 and enjoys helping all students find success in learning mathematics.

Katherine Schultz teaches high school English.

Timothy Stark has been teaching with MNVA since 2012. He has a degree in social studies education from the University of MN Duluth and is currently working toward earning a master's degree in educational technology from Boise State University. In teaching social studies, Tim enjoys helping students broaden their knowledge of their world and helping them in learning to see things from beyond just their own perspective. When he is not teaching, Tim enjoys mountain biking and cross country ski racing, camping, hiking, and a number of other outdoor pursuits.

Mary Beth Stromback joined the MNVA staff in August of 2008. She holds a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and a master's degree in education from Winona State University. She has 20 years of experience teaching several different science courses at Winona Senior High School, Winona, Minnesota. Her prior teaching experience also includes developing and implementing a high school science curriculum for at-risk students at the Winona Area Learning Center. She is excited about the K12 science curriculum and hopes to share her enthusiasm with the wonderful students at MNVA.

Nicholas Truxal joined MNVA as an English teacher. He holds a bachelor's degree in English education (Language Arts/Communication), and has taught 9th – 12th grade English courses, including Advanced Placement and basic English courses. He created the curriculum for AP Literature used at some schools, worked with master's degree and PhD-level students at the University of Minnesota Rochester Writing Center, and has served as a technology coach for a group of teachers in Rochester. Nick is currently trying to find new and engaging ways to reach every one of his students.

Kathy Undeland graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a major in secondary education. Licensed to teach French and math, Kathy joined MNVA-HS in fall 2008 as MNVA's French teacher. She also has extensive experience teaching a variety of courses for grades 7–12: French I–IV, AP French, Math 7–8, Pre Algebra, Algebra I–II, Geometry, Algebra Topics, Geometry Topics, Advanced Algebra Topics, College Algebra and Trigonometry, to name just a few. She says, "I have always been interested in technology and everything it has to offer students and teachers—and in the field of education in general. I believe that technology is an extremely important method of communication between people, and that Minnesota Virtual Academy High School is a forward-looking school, making the future with technology a reality. I am so glad to be a part of this team!"

Caroline Waskow teaches high school German.