Meet our administrators
Leverage the Experience of Seasoned Administrators
MNVA's administrators have extensive experience in serving public and private enterprise. Together, they provide a strong backbone for the day-to-day options of the Minnesota Virtual Academy.
Angela Specketer, Principal
Mrs. Specketer holds a BS in Industrial Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, an MA in Education from the College of St. Catherine's, and has completed post-graduate work in educational administration through St. Mary's University. After a 12-year career in manufacturing management, Mrs. Specketer began her teaching career as an elementary teacher for the Anoka Hennepin School District, teaching first and second grades. She has been with the Minnesota Virtual Academy since its inception in 2002, working as an elementary teacher and a lead teacher before becoming principal in 2006. Mrs. Specketer believes online education really affords students the opportunity to take ownership of their own educational experience in a way traditional models cannot. She states that students cannot be passive, hiding out in the back of the classroom, as it were, and be successful in an online environment. Online education encourages students to be actively engaged with their content, their instructors, and in their educational path.
Jon Baietto, Elementary Assistant Principal
Mr. Baietto received his undergraduate degree in elementary education from Winona State University. Upon graduation, Jon moved to Southern California and taught third grade for two years. Following that experience, he taught math and science at the middle school level. While teaching sixth grade, Jon went to California State University to obtain his master's in administration. Jon moved back to Minnesota and joined the MNVA team in 2006. Mr. Baietto feels that online education is a wonderful learning model for some students because the student can really approach the curriculum on their terms. They can attend sessions live and also re-watch recorded lessons if they missed anything or would simply like to review the material again.
Laura Yehlik, HS Assistant Principal
Mrs. Yehlik joined MNVA in July 2016. Mrs. Yehlik obtained her degree in educational administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2016 and holds a master’s degree in biology from SUNY Fredonia. Prior to working in administration, Mrs. Yehlik taught high school and college level science courses for 20 years. She enjoys working with staff and students in an environment that meets their individual needs. Mrs. Yehlik believes that online learning allows students the flexibility to control their learning and balance educational goals with other activities that interest them.
Shelley Gates, K–12 Special Education Assistant Principal
Mrs. Gates joined the MNVA team in 2018. She has 15 years’ experience in education as a teacher and assistant principal. She earned her BA in Secondary Education from the University of WI–La Crosse and an MA in Educational Leadership from Winona State University. She also holds a Wisconsin administrative license from Viterbo University and a Minnesota administrative license from Winona State. Mrs. Gates feels that online learning gives students an opportunity to work at a pace that is comfortable for them while receiving instruction and support from high quality teachers in their individualized learning environment.