IVS Faculty

Meet Our Outstanding Instructors

IVS is proud to have teachers who reside all across the state of Illinois. Over 90% of our teachers hold a Master's or Doctorate's Degree, and 70% are teachers who also work in local face-to-face schools.  On average, teachers have been with IVS for 8 years.

Agriculture

Benjamin Alexander

Introduction to Agriculture

I became a teacher because I enjoyed working one on one with students to impart knowledge of the world around us.

Mallory Jenness

Agriscience

I became a teacher because I wanted to be the person that I had looked up to when I was in high school. FFA and Ag provide so many unique opportunities to students that other learning areas cannot. It’s a great joy to be able to help make tomorrow’s leaders!

Joseph (JC) Walker

Veterinary Science

I became a teacher to spread the word and importance of understanding the agriculture industry. Almost everything we have and use on a daily basis can trace its way back to the agriculture industry!

Business and Economics

Julie Bryar-Smith

AP Computer Science Principles, AP Microeconomics, and Consumer Economics

I am passionate about helping people learn steps they can take to become financially independent and, hopefully, retire early. Teaching offered me a wonderful opportunity to work with students directly to help them understand subjects I love.

Ryan Gerenstein

Consumer Economics (Summer Only)

After leaving the Board of Trade I reflected long and hard about my next move, I considered the fact I love to help others, as well as the deep tradition of educators in my family, it is in my blood! I am very happy I made the move, it has been the most rewarding 5 years of my career.

Dr. Joan Harris

Economics and Consumer Economics

I became a teacher to help students develop the skills and understanding needed for sound financial decision making that will enable them to succeed in life.

Janelle Hoeksema

Consumer Economics (Summer Only)

I love working with high school students and seeing their growth.

Susan Miller

Consumer Economics

I'm a teacher - what's your superpower? I enjoy teaching students hands-on skills and encouraging them for their future careers. I never regret the decision to teach!

Robert Riggins

Consumer Economics

A benefit of teaching online is meeting students from other schools and cultures. It is always great seeing students from far different backgrounds coming together to become friends. For many students the online environment pushes them outside the comfort level of the traditional school they attend on a daily basis.

Tom Rodman

AP Macroeconomics/Computer Concepts and Software Applications

I had always wanted to be a teacher, and I am glad to have that chance every day.

Tonya Rueff

Consumer Economics (Summer Only)

I have always enjoyed sharing my knowledge with others. In high school my favorite subjects were the business classes I took. It was a perfect match.

Theresa Twaddle

Career Planning and Entrepreneurship

I became a teacher to empower students through technology, motivation, and encouragement so they may reach success and become productive members of society, while instilling a value of life-long learning and a sense of responsibility to others.

Marva Weisenborn

Accounting, Consumer Economics, and International Business

I knew I wanted to be a teacher back when I was in high school and I knew I wanted to be a business teacher when the business subjects I took in high school were very interesting to me.

Krista Wilcox

Consumer Economics (Summer Only)

I became a teacher because I loved my Marketing and Accounting classes in high school. My teachers had a huge impact on my love for business.

Fine Arts

Marianna DeBolt

American Art History and Advanced Digital Photography

I have always known I wanted to be a teacher from a very young age. Sharing my love of art and learning with others is the best career in the world.

Dawn Huffstutler

Art History and Digital Photography

I became an art teacher because I had an amazing art teacher in high school.

Pamela Shaw

Music Appreciation

I've been fascinated with teaching and learning since I was a child. My first teaching experience was in high school as an apprentice to my piano teacher, and I haven't stopped since.

Health Education

Jerod Bruner

Health Education (Summer Only)

I became a teacher to help students understand the difference between total human development and academics with the hope the choose to grow in all aspects of their lives.

Maureen Cwik

Health Education

I am passionate about helping my students learn about and take charge of their own wellness. I loved my health classes and health teachers growing up and am so grateful that I have the opportunity to do this job every day!

Ashley Francis

Health Education and Orientation to Health Occupations

I became a teacher because I want to make an impact on kids the way my teachers made an impact on me.

Jackie Lawton

Parenting

I became a Family and Consumer Science teacher because I believed it was a way I could help students learn things to help them form happy, healthy families.

Language Arts

Anna Burhans

Reading Skills and Strategies/Writing Skills and Strategies

After seeing a talented person get turned down for a job because he struggled to communicate on paper. I decided I wanted to help kids, who would one day join the workforce, learn how to communicate their talents and be able to do whatever they want one day.

Dr. Kathleen Clesson, NCBT

British Literature and Creative Writing

I am passionate about my subject area and I love sharing those things with others. And like everyone else here at IVS, I wanted to make a difference.

Misty Mapes

American Literature

Raised in a family of educators, I have seen the impact teachers have on their students on a regular basis. So in addition to other great teachers, my family, especially my parents, inspired me to join the team of educators.

Dr. Margaret McGregor

World Literature

Since I am a life long learner, I want to learn from others as well as support students in their own journey of life long learning.

Michael Murphy

British Literature and English

After graduating from college, I went to work at my uncle's business and found that I had a knack for training new hires. My cousins told me that I should go back to school and get a teaching certificate, and so I did, and found that I loved the process of inspiring young people to learn something new. I have never lost my passion for that process.

Jennifer Smith

Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies

I wanted to become a teacher at a very young age because I love learning and the process of education.

Bonita Walker-Jones

English

Twenty years ago, when I was asked to pilot courses for a new online school (Illinois Virtual), I knew I had found the perfect match of my love for English and technology. I teach students anywhere, any time, and any place while giving each one individualized learning experiences to meet their educational needs.

Mathematics

Dianna Allen

Precalculus

I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was 7 years old. I never wavered from that goal, but I did change subject matter. It seemed I had a knack for tutoring students in math, so I changed my goal from being a 2nd grade teacher to being a high school math teacher. I mathematics and I love technology. Teaching online courses is the perfect blend for me...my dream job.

Kathleen Beard

AP Statistics

One of my high school teachers told me that I would make a great math teacher. A wonderful middle school teacher that I was paired with during my sophomore year practicum made me teach a lesson. It was then that I knew my true calling was in fact teaching.

Rebecca Blachford

Honors Geometry

I became a teacher because I love watching students gain confidence through something that they may have struggled with before. Math is my passion because I love how there are so many ways to solve the same problem, but we end up with the same solution.

Carole Coartney

Fundamentals of Geometry and Algebra and Pre-Algebra

Stephanie Haverback

Geometry and Probability and Statistics

I have wanted to be a teacher as far back as I can remember. In middle school my math teachers had a huge impact on my life and I have wanted to be a math teacher ever since.

Sandra Lee

Algebra and Mathematics of Personal Finance

It has always been my firm belief that anyone can understand math. It is that belief that drove me to become a teacher so I could encourage students and help them gain the confidence they need to advance their understanding of math.

Aaron Moskowitz

AP Calculus and Calculus

I love working with students and helping them get to that moment of understanding. Many students think that math is difficult. I enjoy helping students see that they can do it and that it can actually be fun.

Dario Palacios

Algebra, Beginning Programming, and Intermediate Programming

I like technology and teaching gave me the opportunity to apply technology to mathematics in the regular school and online environment.

Science

Heidi Bjerke

Anatomy and Physiology/Physics

I became a teacher because I enjoy working with students and helping them discover the wonders of science.

Deb Chabi

Middle School Astronomy, Earth Science, and Physical Science

For nearly 20 years I have been teaching Science and Spanish. I started out in other fields as I have a degree in Microbiology and then went on to earn a degree in Secondary Science Education. Other than teaching I do various volunteer work in charities to help the neighborhood and teach about the Fox River.

Michael Davis

AP Physics

I enjoy the opportunity to work with young minds.

Margaret Donnelly

Astronomy, Earth Science, and Meterology

Teachers make the world a better place. As a teacher, I have the privilege to work with young adults and help them sculpt their futures. It is my passion in life, to share my knowledge and inspire the next generation.

Meredith Hepburn

AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, and Chemistry

I became a teacher due to my passion for science and desire to bring high quality science instruction to all students.

Melissa Magill

Environmental Science and Oceanography

I became a teacher to help students better understand the world around them as they learn about the intricacies of the natural world.

Tim Plotke

Biology

I teach to make a difference.

Brandi Segura

High School Biology/Middle School Human Biology and Life Science

I knew I wanted to be a teacher in first grade; I simply fell in love with school and learning. I used to come home from school, carefully arrange my stuffed animals, and teach them what I learned that day. Over the years, my passion for learning and teaching only grew as I continued my formal education and practiced honing my craft. Making connections with students and being part of their “aha” moments brings me the greatest joy.

Social Studies

Ellen-Marie Allen

Anthropology

I teach online because this is a wonderful way to learn/explore your subjects; plus it's a rewarding experience. I am very excited about it and I hope that my enthusiasm will be felt by my students too!

Cassandra Bilyeu

Honors American History

I love showing people the interesting parts of history and comparing them to modern times.

Tyler Breitbarth

American History, Psychology, and World History

Teaching is incredibly challenging work, but it is the most rewarding job and every day is different. I want to inspire others to reach their fullest potential and learn from them in the process.

Ron Chernobrov

American History and Consumer Economics

I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to help young people connect to the past and understand that history impacts our present. One cannot understand the world today without understanding what came before.

Susan Conlon

AP Psychology

I became a teacher because I love exploring Psychology with students.

Brenda Elvers

Civics and Introduction to Sociology

I became a teacher after one of my college professors just had a way of getting his students EXCITED about the history of our country. He truly made studying interesting and enjoyable.

Jim Kinsella

AP US Government, AP US History, Civics, and US Government and Politics

I am not a teacher, I am a facilitator. The student learns, and I direct.

Jennifer Kolar-Burden

Psychology

My favorite part of teaching is talking with students and helping them navigate their lives as teenagers in today's overly complicated world.

Danielle Lewis

American History (Summer Only)

I have always loved history, especially the history of the United States. It was my favorite subject in school. When I started college, I took an Introduction to Education class and loved it so much I changed my major to teaching. It allows me to combine my love of teaching with my love for American history.

Gordon McKavanagh

Civics

I believe every student has the potential to learn in a safe, respectful, and quality environment. As a teacher, I work every single day to instill in students the necessary skills and intellect to function as a positive contributing member in the global society of today.

Jennifer Smith

Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies

I wanted to become a teacher at a very young age because I love learning and the process of education.

Technology

Julie Bryar-Smith

AP Computer Science Principles, AP Microeconomics, and Consumer Economics

I am passionate about helping people learn steps they can take to become financially independent and, hopefully, retire early. Teaching offered me a wonderful opportunity to work with students directly to help them understand subjects I love.

Dario Palacios

Algebra, Beginning Programming, and Intermediate Programming

I like technology and teaching gave me the opportunity to apply technology to mathematics in the regular school and online environment.

Tom Rodman

AP Macroeconomics/Computer Concepts and Software Applications

I had always wanted to be a teacher, and I am glad to have that chance every day.

World Languages

Cornelia Bannister

Latin

I decided to become a teacher of French when I was a student majoring in French with a Russian language minor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. My interest in the classics led me to Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, where I completed course work to become certified to teach Latin in Pennsylvania. I believe I made the right choices.

Evelyn Barrientos-Perkins

Spanish

I became a teacher because I wanted to share my language and culture with others and make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Kathy Carey

Spanish

I became a teacher because I love learning and sharing my enthusiasm with others.

Carly Carron

Spanish

I knew I loved teaching from a very young age, starting with teaching my little brother and playing "school" with him. As I got older, I always found jobs as a babysitter, camp counselor, swim instructor, etc. and I continued to love working with kids and watching them learn and grow. As I got older, I just knew that it's what I wanted to do! :)

Trisha Crull

Spanish and Consumer Economics

I am a 3rd generation Spanish teacher. I love the language and culture and love sharing it with my students.

Jennifer Elwell

French

I love helping kids progress in their knowledge and learning, both inside the classroom and in extra curricular activities like sports, band, clubs, etc.

Sharon Gerdes

Spanish

I became a teacher to help students become successful learners.

William Johnson

Spanish

My life turned out the way it did due to the hard work and dedication of my teachers. I hope to have a similar impact on the lives of my students.

Ulrike Kieffaber

German

She became a teacher to instill a love for the German language and culture.

Randy Krepel

Spanish

I became a teacher so that I can bring to life the Spanish language and culture for my students. I enjoy working with students, and I hope to be able to provide meaningful, worthwhile and enjoyable experiences to the classroom (the same ones that were provided to me when I was in school).

Kim Lavado

Spanish

I became a teacher because I enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of students as well as helping them to learn new things and discover what they are capable of.

Beth Leidolf

Spanish

I have always been fascinated with languages, world cultures and travel. I became a teacher so that I could share my interests with students, encourage them to visit new and exciting places and inspire them to make this world more interconnected!

Dr. Stephen Shaw

Spanish

I I became a teacher because I admired my own teachers in high school. They were Dominican nuns from Columbus, Ohio, and always seemed to care for their students. I hope to continue to pass on that care and learning to my students.

Christine Strelecky

German

I love teaching German because it teaching German because it allows me to keep my native language alive and help others learn to communicate in German.

Corinne Torres

French

I love languages, people, and learning, so it made sense that I would make my way into teaching. I also love working on the French curriculum and finding fun ways to introduce new material.