Meet our Middle School Teachers
Supportive, Minnesota-Licensed Teachers
Minnesota Virtual Academy (MNVA) middle school teachers are truly your partners in education, bringing their subject-specific expertise and teaching skills to your child each and every school day. They will help you and your student through any challenges you may face. Here are a few of the middle school teachers you'll get to know at MNVA.
Aneesa Adams | MS/HS Art Teacher
Ms. Adams has been teaching art since 2003 and working online developing and teaching multi-media courses since 2009. She holds a BS in Art Education from Winona State University and an MS in Media Design and Technology Education from Full Sail University. Ms. Adams enjoys working with students from all over the state of Minnesota because everyone brings different perspectives into the classroom. She feels online learning gives students a personalized and safe learning environment.
Tammy Bartz | MS Music Teacher
Ms. Bartz earned her BS degrees in vocal music, instrumental music, and elementary education from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND in 1994. In 2008, she completed an MA of education from Walden University and is currently working towards her second master’s degree in music education through Kent State University. She has more than 23 years of experience teaching students in kindergarten through university level. Ms. Bartz has been with the Houston Public School District since 1994 and with MNVA since 2003. She has a high admiration for students and parents who take on the challenge of online learning!
Elizabeth Brown | MS Language Arts Teacher
Ms. Brown is an 8th grade English teacher who joined MNVA two years ago. She has been teaching for 12 years. Ms. Brown earned a BA in Education from The University of Minnesota, Mankato. She received an MA in Teaching and Learning from St. Mary's University. Ms. Brown loves being able to connect with students in a one-to-one learning environment and feels that online learning is a great opportunity to provide personalized learning to students.
Kevin Condit | MS Art Teacher
Mr. Condit has been teaching online for 15 years. He has more than 20 years of experience in art and education. Kevin earned a BS in Art Education from Moorhead State University, an MA in Graphic Design from Minnesota State, Mankato; an MFA in Interactive Design from the University of Minnesota, and a graduate certificate in instructional technology from St. Cloud State University. Mr. Condit believes that online education provides a great learning option for many students that need a different learning environment. It also allows parents to be more involved in their student's schooling and success.
Anthony DeCamillis | MS History Teacher
Mr. DeCamillis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Social Studies Education from Bethel University with a minor in history. He has taught upper-level high school courses in south Florida, as well as middle-level social studies in Minnesota. Anthony completed international baccalaureate training and taught both IB and Advanced Placement® courses in History and Psychology. He began his online teaching career in the fall of 2007 with the Minnesota Center of Online Learning, teaching courses in AP® U.S. History and AP® Micro/Macro Economics before joining the MNVA team as a teacher for seventh- and eighth-grade students.
Jill Deitering | MS Math Teacher
Mrs. Deitering joined MNVA in 2017. She has taught for over 11 years, with experience teaching elementary-aged students up through adults. She earned a BS in Applied Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin–Stout and an MA in Education from St. Mary's University. Her professional experience includes working as a business systems analyst for the National Marrow Donor Program. Online education has perfectly blended her information technology and education skill sets to help her provide an optimal learning experience for her students. Mrs. Deitering thinks online learning gives students flexibility in reaching their educational goals.
Deirdre Diggins | MS & HS Latin Teacher
Ms. Diggins began teaching Latin for MNVA in 2008. She is a graduate of Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA where she earned a bachelor's degree in classical languages. She earned a master's degree in classical languages from Villanova University in Villanova, PA, 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. Ms. Diggins has seen the benefits of the flexibility and individualization that online learning offers to students.
Kelsy Flowers | MS Health and Physical Education Teacher
Mrs. Flowers graduated from the University of Wisconsin River Falls in the spring of 2009 with a double major in health and physical education. She joined MNVA-HS in 2009 as the health and physical education teacher. She received her Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in instructional strategies in 2016. Mrs. Flowers feels that online learning is a great opportunity for students because it allows students to be comfortable in their own learning environment and get the individual attention they deserve and require to be successful.
Melissa Friberg | MS Science Teacher
Mrs. Friberg joined the MNVA team in 2007. She has taught every grade from K–8 and brings more than 15 years of experience in education and community service. Melissa earned a BS in Elementary Education with an emphasis in middle school science from Bemidji State University. Mrs. Friberg feels online learning gives students a quality education without the distractions of a typical classroom.
Sara Gibbs | MS/HS Earth Science Teacher
Mrs. Gibbs has been with MNVA since 2010. Mrs. Gibbs holds a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's in teaching, both from Bethel University in St. Paul. Mrs. Gibbs loves the collaboration of teachers, students, and Learning Coaches in the online environment to help students reach their full potential.
Erin Holey | MS Math Teacher
Ms. Holey has been with MNVA since 2010. She has degrees in math and biology and completed the MAI program at Saint Mary's University. Erin loves the one-to-one time that she is able to give her students at MNVA and loves to get to know students and their many hobbies from all over the state!
Alicia Katka | MS Math Teacher
Alicia Katka has been a teacher at MNVA for eleven years. She is currently teaching pre-algebra and algebra courses for MNVA middle school. Alicia has served as a district Q-comp coach for seven years and teacher mentor/instructional coach for two years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in mathematics from Carthage College, and a master’s degree in education with a certificate in computer science from the College of Saint Scholastica. Mrs. Katka feels online learning gives students a safe learning environment where they can be free to interact with their peers and learn without fear of harassment for being who they are.
Elsbeth Krumholz-Stark | MS English Teacher
Mrs. Krumholz-Stark (or Mrs. Stark) has taught 6th and 8th grade language arts at Minnesota Virtual Academy since the 2013–2014 school year. She has a BA in English education with a minor in German from Concordia College in Moorhead and a Master of Education through The College of St. Scholastica. Additionally, Mrs. Stark has a certificate in professional editing from UC-Berkeley Online Extension and a Cambridge University CELTA certificate for teaching ESL. She feels being able to have a more personalized education and more individual contact with each teacher makes online learning a good option for students.
Ann Lopez | MS/HS Spanish Teacher
Señora Lopez has been at MNVA for 11 years and has been teaching for 16 years total. She earned a BA in Education from Bethel University and is currently working on her master's in ELL. Señora Lopez likes to be able to meet with students individually and in groups to help them understand and be able to use their Spanish. The online world allows students to work closely with teachers and create a schedule that works for them.
Kris Nitti | MS English Teacher
Mrs. Nitti joined MNVA as an English teacher in 2011. She is a dually-licensed teacher in English and social studies and has a master’s degree in education focusing on brain-based education strategies. Mrs. Nitti has worked in education for many years in both faculty and administrative capacities. Her experience includes computer training for faculty, staff, and students at the University of St. Thomas, middle and high school students in various subjects, and one year teaching at Globe University. Mrs. Nitti’s academic interests include: literature, grammar, writing, world history, U.S. history, cultural anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. Mrs. Nitti thinks that online learning is a great opportunity for students because it allows students to do school at whatever time works for them.
Alexandra Peterson | MS Social Studies Teacher
Ms. Peterson joined MNVA in 2010. She earned her BA in Sociology: Law, Crime, and Deviance from the University of Minnesota and worked in the non-profit sector while earning her MS in Education from the College of Saint Scholastica. She holds certificates in online instruction and education technology. Ms. Peterson also leads the “Helping Hands Club” for MNVA. Ms. Peterson feels that online learning provides a flexible setting in order to meet student needs. It is a great option for students and families.
Jennifer Saathoff | MS Science Teacher
Mrs. Saathoff joined the MNVA team in 2009. Jennifer earned her bachelor's degree in middle school science education and elementary education from the University of St. Thomas. She is currently working on her master's degree from Augustana University. Mrs. Saathoff likes teaching online because it provides a safe environment for all students to learn regardless of past school experience. It provides students who have been bullied a positive school experience and atmosphere.
Dean Sonsalla | MS Physical Education Teacher
Mr. Sonsalla is a middle school physical education teacher with 20 years of experience in education and 15 years of teaching online. Dean earned his BS in Health and Physical from Winona State University and an MA from Viterbo University in Educational Leadership. He lives in Onalaska, Wisconsin with his wife and two sons. In his free time he enjoys curling and outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. Mr. Sonsalla believes that students who succeed in online schooling set themselves up for success as adults with 21st-century skills.
Paige Uggerud | MS/HS Science Teacher
Mrs. Uggerud started at MNVA in 2016. She went to college through the University of Minnesota Duluth education program. While there she got her BS in 5–8 general science, life science, and physical science with an emphasis in chemistry. At MNVA she has taught 8th grade earth science, integrated science, core biology, and applied chemistry. Mrs. Uggerud likes that students are able to find an alternative schooling system that fits their needs and offers more one-to-one attention.
Kathy Undeland | MS/HS French, HS Math Teacher
Mrs. Undeland graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a major in secondary education—teaching math (5–12) and French (7–12), and a minor in coaching (emphasis in volleyball and basketball). Mrs. Undeland joined MNVA in the fall of 2008. Mrs. Undeland received a ROE (Recognition of Excellence) Award, for scoring in the top 15% of all test takers who have taken the math content area exam. Mrs. Undeland loves being able to work with students throughout the school day in small group or one-to-one. Mrs. Undeland understands the need for alternative options for students, whether working on a professional career, athletic specialty, medical needs, or just taking a French course with MNVA because it is not offered in the student's home district.
Emilee Van Blaricom | MS Social Studies Teacher
Ms. Van Blaricom joined Minnesota Virtual Academy in 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Broad Field Social Studies Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Before starting at MNVA, she gained valuable experience working with students of all ages as a substitute teacher and summer school teacher in several school districts in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ms. Van Blaricom likes being able to work and communicate with students in a way that is best suited to their individual needs. Ms. Van Blaricom feels online learning is a great opportunity for students because it allows them to prioritize their education in a safe and flexible environment that helps them build technology skills for the future.