School is always in session at MIPS! We will continue to work in our courses as usual. However, for safety reasons, all drop-in Learning Labs are temporarily closed as we monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Logan is a high school mentor who wants to connect with students and help them bring out the best in themselves. He has a BBA concentrated in operations management and worked for 8 years in the automotive industry at General Motors. This helped him learn a systematic approach; a skill set he hopes to instill in his students with their educational goals.
Logan is currently working towards a degree in education through online schooling. This experience helps him relate with his students with regards to what it takes to be successful in an online setting.
Logan’s favorite leisure activities are grilling, cooking, playing/watching sports, and most of all spending quality time with his wife and son. He believes the most important things in life are family and having passion in everything you do.
Why Logan chose MIPS:
“My reason for joining the MIPS team is that their vision on education aligns with mine. I have a strong belief that education should be personalized for every student. Having a unique learning style myself, I know that every student learns differently and their education should reflect that. I’ve seen MIPS make this a reality with personalized education. Every interaction at this school is personalized. I’ve seen MIPS unlock a higher potential in students by giving them learning flexibility and tools they’ve never had. I believe in this approach to education and my passion will make the students believe in themselves too.”
Meggan graduated from Delta College with an Associate's Degree in Business Administration. She comes from a purchasing and business admin background, having spent the past 11 years as a purchasing manager. Prior to that, Mrs. Evans owned her own small business - a horse tack supply shop, which she sold in 2008.
Mrs. Evans was led to MIPS because she had been desiring a change in career, and was looking for something that was more than just a job; something that could actually make an impact in someone's life and future.
Megan enjoys traveling to new places, spending time outdoors, hiking, hunting, and spending time with horses. She also enjoys baking, reading, watching movies, and spending time with her husband, her teenage daughter, her 2 kitties and her Jack Russell.
Why Meggan chose MIPS:
"I chose MIPS because I see the value of providing a different platform of learning for students. Every student is individual in the way they learn and the support they may need. School should be individual to each student in order to meet them where they are. The support provided at MIPS - mentors, teachers, and administration - is like no other and I'm excited to be a part of this team!"
Douglas Butler was born and raised in Highland Park, MI. He attended and graduated from Highland Park Community High School, 76th in a class of 476 students. After graduating high school in 1985, Douglas furthered his education on scholarship at Western Michigan University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, Communication, and Sociology, as well as a Masters Degree in Human Resources Training and Development.
Douglas excelled at sports, he was All State in track and earned varsity lettering in basketball as a sophomore at Highland Park High School. He went on to play 1 year of basketball and 4 years as a track standout at WMU. Douglas’s remarkable performances in track led him to obtain a professional career in Athens, Greece.
Douglas brings an enormous amount of experience in working with young people. He was Program Director for the Detroit Behavioral Institute, where he currently serves on the Board of Directors as Treasure. He was also the Dean of students for Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences.
For the past 11 years, Douglas has been the Senior Pastor of Mayflower Church. Douglas is the youngest Pastor in the church's 90 year history.
Why Doug chose MIPS:
"I joined Michigan International Prep School because it offers today’s youth the opportunity to become accustomed to a College environment. The wide range of freedom it creates for students to utilise their time and become multi tasked oriented.
The one-on-one conversations with students allows the students to operate at a pace that may feel less threatening than your traditional schools. A customised fit into the MIPS community is what sets this school apart from any other. The difference in the students brings out the creativity in the teachers and mentors.
Middle School Teacher Mentor
Brenda is a Middle School Mentor Teacher here at MIPS and is based out of the Howell Lab. In addition to mentoring and tutoring her own students, Brenda helps any student that comes into the lab. She goes above and beyond to make herself available to her students. Brenda is known as being a reliable, kind, and patient advocate for her students. Middle School math tutoring is her favorite way to help students.
Van Eck grew up in west Michigan but moved to the Howell area in 2005. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Calvin College in Grand Rapids with a focus in math and science. She’s taught in a brick and mortar schools and also homeschooled her own two children for eight years, which she enjoyed immensely.
In her free hours, Brenda enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, camping, reading, and organizing.
Why Brenda chose MIPS:
“After my own homeschooling years were finished, I came across MIPS and I loved the idea of being able to offer other students a personalized education like the one I’d given my own children. Every student at MIPS has the opportunity to have a very individualized education that they can tailor to work best for them.
I enjoy having one-on-one conversations with my students and getting to know what works best for them. When I am tutoring, I can approach a lesson one way for one student and a different way for another, based on what that particular student needs. Having a class of one is every teacher’s dream! I love to see students learn and to be a part of getting them to that “aha” moment.”
Mrs. Murphy is easy-going, soft-spoken, and always thrilled to help. She also likes to vroom around on a Harley and has a pet rottweiler named Gus. We’ve never met Gus, but we assume he’s really great at math.
As the Math Instructor at MIPS, Mrs. Murphy’s enthusiasm for numbers is contagious. She’s passionate about her subject and about instilling that enthusiasm in her students.
Mrs. Murphy has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics, a Master’s degree in Educational Studies, and a Secondary Teaching Certificate for grades 6th-12th from Oakland University. She resides in Oxford with her husband, Michael. They love traveling and experiencing new places during their leisure time.
Why Ashley chose MIPS:
“In school, I was an exceptional math student and always had a passion for numbers. I have teaching experience in the traditional public classrooms of Oakland, Genesee, Macomb, and Wayne counties. While I loved the in-person interactions I got with students, I wanted more for my students.
I joined MIPS because I wanted to personalize learning by providing valuable, student-focused, academic support. At MIPS, I teach students all around the state of Michigan and I now have the tools and time needed to help kids.
I believe in the MIPS way because I feel supported and comfortable where I work. MIPS is flexible so I can work from anywhere, even though I have an office I travel to five days a week. Our four Drop-In Learning Labs give me autonomy to meet with students from across the state, and provide a change of scenery when necessary.”
Lauren graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelors in Anthropology and Theater. She began her teaching and education career while adventuring in South Korea for a year. When she returned to the U.S., she worked with at-risk young in an after school program.
In her spare time, Ms. Jimerson enjoys walking, meditation, and traveling. She's also a published fiction author working on her second book.
Why Lauren chose MIPS:
"I chose MIPS because this is a once-in-a-lifetime job that gives mentors like me the opportunity to help mold and shape young minds into becoming the best that they can be."
Health & Physical Ed Teacher
Mrs. Murray brings 18 years of teaching experience to MIPS, having taught a variety of elective courses in Florida and Texas. As an educator, she has a track record of building award-winning arts programs, but her passion is connecting with students. Based on her experience teaching students with various social-emotional and physical needs, she loves meeting students in their need and helping them grow. She is a natural at building relationships and helping students find their passions.
Mrs. Murray obtained a BA in Acting and Directing from Texas Tech University, with a minor in English and an MA from the University of Houston in Theatre Education. During her schooling, she studied abroad at the Richmond International University in London, and has completed summer course work at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (London), The Actor’s Studio (Chicago) and the SITI Company of New York City. She is in the process of completing a degree in School Counseling and has interest in the field of social services.
Mrs. Murray resides in the Great Lakes Bay Region with her husband, two boys and their goldendoodle. In her free time, Mrs. Murray enjoys exploring Michigan, hammocking, bicycling and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Why Amanda chose MIPS:
"I chose to work at MIPS because of its relevant and individualized approach to education and for the opportunity to connect one-on-one with students. I love that MIPS puts an emphasis on the social-emotional growth of students. So often in education, a holistic approach is lacking, and MIPS provides the opportunity to dive deep with our students to understand their various needs.”
Cara recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Family Studies. Originally, she had entered college as an Elementary Education major. Having previously worked at a preschool, Cara spent three years in various capacities (substitute teacher, office aid, etc.) at Sacred Heart Academy. She also volunteered as a tutor at three different elementary schools and worked as a counselor at Point O’ Pines in upstate New York. All of this had contributed to her desire to become a teacher.
She enjoyed her classes as an Elementary major, but something wasn’t right. She wanted to do more for students at a more holistic level, and the teacher’s role was simply too restrictive. Halfway through her junior year, her frustrations came to a head; she marched into her counselor’s office and switched her major.
After some experimentation, her journey eventually led her to MIPS. As a mentor, she has the flexibility to provide students with a unique level of support and care.
In her spare time, Cara loves spending time with her dogs and with anyone else’s dogs. She enjoys being outside, camping, cooking, hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Why Cara chose MIPS:
"Last summer I had my internship with the Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County. I loved this position, but hearing such difficult stories day in and day out was not something that I could do long term. All of this is what lead me to MIPS. When I changed my major, I had a hard time with a system that passed kids along with no extra help or relief for teachers. I told everyone that I still wanted to work in a school and be connected to students, but I did not want the title of teacher. That is why I am so happy to be a part of this team. This is exactly what I wanted to do! I get to be that voice and supporter for students who need someone to be there. I get to help students who have had trouble with school and help to direct them."
Candace earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Rochester College. She has worked in the helping profession for over 10 years and has had the opportunity to form many great relationships with families and the community through that experience. Candace has experience in Child Welfare, Criminal Justice, food pantries, and as an ABA Therapist (Applied Behavioral Analysis). For the past 3 years, she has been able to combine her love for education with her love for helping others by working in an online educational setting. Candace is super excited to be housed in the Detroit lab where she plans to connect with many students from the downtown area.
Outside of MIPS, Candace is the proud mother of a 10 year-old daughter. They love spending quality time together going on bike rides, camping trips, and doing fun painting projects. They have a 1-year-old Shih Tzu named Brownie who has some really awesome soccer skills. Candace loves expressing her creative side whether it be through painting, photography, or dance. She has been teaching hip hop dance classes in the Metro Detroit area for the past 20 years and finds joy in this form of self-expression.
Why Candace chose MIPS:
"For me, MIPS is a great opportunity to build relationships with students across Michigan. Through virtual learning, I am able to connect with a great group of students who all have such unique stories. I have always had a passion for making connections with people and helping whenever I am able. I love feeling like I am a part of something bigger and MIPS allows me to do that daily through the connections I make. It brings me pride to know that I can assist students with their needs, whether they be big or small."
Mentor/Social Studies Teacher
Mrs. Sharkey is a secondary Social Studies Teacher/Mentor at MIPS. She has wealth of experience in education, having served as a teacher in traditional and online learning environments, adult education, and district program coordination in Michigan and Minnesota. With an intense commitment to student success, she embraces creative and holistic best practices and is always ready and willing to go the extra mile to serve the needs of her students. Becky received her Bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Central Michigan University, her Master’s degree in Liberal Studies in American Culture from the University of Michigan and a Secondary Teaching Certification in grades 6-12 from the University of Minnesota.
Becky is currently working to complete her M.Ed. She lives in Fostoria with her husband and son on their working farm, sustainably raising grass-fed cattle, free-ranging chickens, flowers and vegetables. When not pulling weeds and calves, Mrs. Sharkey likes to spend time with family and friends, read, hike, refurbish old furniture, practice yoga, and travel.
Why Becky chose MIPS:
“I joined MIPS because of their commitment to an individualized educational approach that meets the needs of each and every MIPS student and family. I believe strongly that meaningful teaching and learning is not a “one-size-fits all” process. In order to prepare all learners for the promises and challenges of the twenty-first century, we need to employ holistic, creative, “out of the box” strategies. I searched for a school which embodied these beliefs and in MIPS I found it!”
Kiwanna is a middle and high school mentor who wants to help students every step of the way in accomplishing their educational goals and achieving the greatest academic success. As an enthusiast of history and politics, she is a few credits away from completing her degree in Political Science. Before entering the education field, Kiwanna worked in administration for local and state government, and campaigned for some local politicians. Those experiences helped to change her focus towards helping children, as she believes they are the core of the community she wishes to influence.
Kiwanna and her high school sweetheart recently purchased a “fixer upper” in Detroit, which they’ve worked tirelessly to renovate and make into a “home sweet home” for their son. Aside from volunteering in her community, she likes to watch DIY videos, draw, and attend family events.
Why Kiwanna chose MIPS:
"I struggled as a student during my childhood, and it was only through the encouragement and motivation of educators that I was able to achieve success. Joining MIPS is my opportunity to give back what has been given to me. After being welcomed into MIPS, I quickly learned that I joined a team that has no limit as to how far they’re willing to go in ensuring the success of a single student. It’s reminiscent of my own experience, and makes me grateful to be apart of such a dedicated team!"
Eric is a mentor here at MIPS who wants to engage with and support students in ways that foster successful academic and personal growth. He loves working with students and seeing them do their best wherever they are!
Eric has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Writing from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Following his degree, he spent three years as a Youth Pastor in Grand Haven, Michigan—a beautiful town right on Lake Michigan. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree online at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
Eric and his wife, Mary, moved to the east side of Michigan in the fall of 2020, where he discovered MIPS and began as a mentor! Eric is also an avid reader and writer, a photographer and videographer, and would call himself a film buff. He loves going on adventures with his wife as well! He is primarily known as “the bald guy with the big beard.”
Why Eric chose MIPS:
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of what MIPS is doing for the education of so many students.The exceptional vision and goals for the academic and relational success of its students clearly put the students first. At MIPS there is an amazing opportunity to have one-on-one interactions and relationships between the students and their teachers/mentors. Additionally, the faculty and staff all share a deep passion for the wellbeing and success of the students. Here, staff and students alike are able to be authentic and personalize their learning environment in a way that truly helps us all grow.”
6-12 Science Teacher
David looks forward to teaching various science courses this year at MIPS. His 34 years of experience include teaching a wide range of science and math classes in Texas, Alaska, and Michigan. He has been a Distance Learning Instructor and Educational Technology Trainer since the early 90’s. He has served on multiple building, district, and state level technology committees.
He is a continual learner and has enjoyed learning, presenting, training, and being on staff at multiple education conferences and programs. Among these, he has worked on the MDE Tech Integration Workgroup designing tech integrated lesson plans and is part of the 2011 MERIT (Making Education Relevant through Innovative Teaching) Cohort and was on the 2013 MERIT staff at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothills College. He was a co-founder of the Michigan Flip conference and a consultant for the Illinois Flip and Blended Learning Conference.
David is currently part of the Michigan Department of Education GoOpen Strategy Team. Having served the statewide Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning as a Board Member, President, Secretary and Past President, he is currently a Technology for All Learning Area Delegate. He has been a Microsoft Innovative Expert, Surface Expert and currently is a ScreenBeam Expert. He is versed in both the Mac and PC environments and mobile computing.
David has a B.S. from Olivet Nazarene University in Geology and Chemistry and a M.S. from Nova Southeastern University in Educational Technology.
My wife Cheryl and I have four children and three grandchildren, the last of which just graduated from college this year. My oldest daughter and her husband say they plan to drop off the three grandchildren for a very extended stay as soon as COVID is over.
Why David chose MIPS:
"I chose MIPS because I see an opportunity to serve students across the state of Michigan regardless of geographical location or economic status. Teaching for me has always been about educating students as individuals and MIPS allows me to educate students at a pace and time to fit their life. I am excited to join MIPS to help students reach their full potential."
Ms. Adams is a Middle and High School Mentor at MIPS. She works from the Ortonville Learning Lab. She attended Central Michigan University and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies in 2017. Elizabeth joined the MIPS family in November of 2018 and is excited about the growth she’s experienced since entering the education field. Ms. Adams is known for her warm, enthusiastic, and passionate care for students.
Elizabeth (Liz) enjoys reading, painting, and cooking in her spare time. She has an energetic Boxer-Terrier mix at home who loves to bury herself in blankets. She’s a Broadway musical enthusiast and would love to see Hamilton performed live someday. Liz likes to spend most of her time with friends and family.
Why Liz chose MIPS:
“Joining the MIPS family has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I get to spend my day interacting with students from all over the state, who bring so many new and unique perspectives with them. I like that MIPS not only cares about providing a quality education, but also providing everything a student and their family would need in order to be successful. Instead of students having to try to live their lives around school, MIPS provides the flexibility needed in order to fit schooling into their lives and have the two blend perfectly.”
Molon is a high school English mentor teacher at MIPS and is based out of the Oak Park lab. She is a patient, empathetic educator who loves the relationship-building aspect of teaching. Molon values each and every student as a person and cherishes the time she spends getting to know her students' stories. Molon's classroom always has a reputation for being a welcoming environment where students are treated with kindness and respect.
Molon grew up in Madison Heights, MI. and attended Lamphere Public Schools. She graduated from Wayne State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and has continued to teach high school English and History since completing her degree. Molon's experiences teaching in alternative education settings have solidified her belief that the one-size-fits-all approach to education simply doesn't work for every student; therefore, she has always sought out opportunities to teach in settings that celebrate the individual differences and unique learning needs among students.
Outside of teaching, Molon enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and their cat, Mochi. When she's not being a complete homebody, Molon is out on food adventures and in search of the best pastries the world has to offer. She loves reading Young Adult literature and travelling to National Parks.
Why Molon chose MIPS:
"When I visited Michigan International Prep School's website and read about the school's core values, I felt an immediate connection with the school's educational philosophy. The idea that education should be student-centered and custom fit to address the needs of students is such an exciting and fresh idea, that I knew I had to find out more about the program. Now that I'm here, I can already tell that each and every person involved in MIPS has their heart in the right place"
Middle School English & Language Arts Mentor Teacher
Ms. Klebba is a Middle School ELA teacher here at MIPS. She graduated from Oakland University with her Bachelor’s in Education and Language Arts in early 2018. Ms. Klebba is always trying to find new and innovative ways to keep her students engaged and make learning as fun and interesting as possible. She believes strongly in meeting each student where they are and that teaching with their interests at the forefront will lead to greater strides in student learning. Ms. Klebba knows that every student may not have the same love for reading and writing as she does, but she aspires to make everyone love it a little bit more.
When Ms. Klebba is not teaching or grading, she loves to travel and listen to her favorite music. She is a firm believer that seeing new things and experiencing life outside of your comfort zone leads to the greatest learning there is. Reading and writing are also passions of Ms. Klebba. She loves reading mystery novels and writing creatively and about her travel/life experiences.
Why Hanna chose MIPS:
"I just started at MIPS in the 2020/2021 school year and I am excited to begin this journey! MIPS educators have a passion for truly educating students and it shows each day. MIPS is structured in such a way that teachers can differentiate learning pathways for individual students. This allows students to shine in ways traditional schools cannot.
I love that here at MIPS, teachers can create impactful relationships with their students through 1:1 learning. This learning format allows teachers to get to know their students well and to create educational experiences that are meaningful to each student. One of the primary things to remember in education is that each student and their families have previous experiences that differ. My job as an educator is to meet the students and their families where they are and to build trusting relationships that will carry them through their educational career. MIPS makes my job easy by offering a platform for teaching and learning that allows just that."
Genna recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Psychology. Ms. Peterson began her college career at CMU with the intention of earning a medical degree, but changed course to Psychology, discovering a passion for helping people. Genna worked 3 years in a Special Education classroom, which is where she became interested in the education field. When Ms. Peterson felt she was no longer making a difference through her work, she applied at MIPS because she felt it had great potential for working with and helping students more directly.
Genna loves to cook and bake, read books, and play with her 2 kitties, Leo and Enzo.
Why Genna chose MIPS:
"I love working with students and feeling like I can make a difference in their lives. Education can be difficult when you feel like you are doing it all alone, I wanted to be there for students and let them know that they have a whole team of people that are here cheering them on!"
English & Language Arts Teacher/Mentor
Carianne Gray has been an English teacher for the past 15 years, having taught in Arizona and Michigan. She comes from a family of teachers and grew up making visits to her mom’s elementary classrooms and her dad’s high school guidance counseling office. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages/Education.
When she’s not grading essays and novel projects, she enjoys spending time with her two boys (both in elementary school). They love camping, playing outdoors, playing soccer and baseball, and chasing their goldendoodle puppy. Carianne also enjoys reading, playing her guitar, and traveling the world whenever she gets the chance – especially to Zambia where she spends three weeks each summer, hiking to villages and delivering clean water solutions and medical care.
Why Carianne chose MIPS:
“Just over a year ago, I left the traditional public school system and joined the MIPS team. I LOVE the opportunity to connect with students one-on-one in order to help individualize how students learn. I enjoy getting to know about each of my students in this way.
MIPS is unlike any other virtual school – students can truly work at their own pace and take courses according to an individualized schedule. They can reach out to their personal mentors and teachers any time for instruction and guidance. I love being able to explain concepts and help students further their learning and performance in a very personal and individual way. In this way, MIPS feels like the best of personalized education with the care and attention of one-on-one tutoring and mentoring.”
Special Education Teacher
Alisha is a K-12 Special Education teacher who mainly works with our elementary aged students here at Michigan International Prep School. She has worked with children for many years, serving as a nanny, camp counselor, assistant preschool teacher, substitute teacher, and lead preschool teacher. Alisha holds a Bachelors Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education and Special Education.
Alisha resides in the Ann Arbor area with her husband, their two young sons, and their dog and cat. In her free time, Alisha enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, and traveling
Why Alisha chose MIPS:
"As an educator, I truly believe that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to education. I joined MIPS because they strongly believe that individualized learning is one of the keys to providing students with success in their education and beyond. MIPS has allowed me to provide personalized education to my students and develop one-on-one relationships that I don’t feel I would have been able to form in a traditional learning environment. Being a part of the MIPS family has also given me the opportunity to work with other like-minded educators who all have the same priority- our students!"
Daisy is a middle school mentor. She is currently attending Mott Community College to earn her Associate’s degree in Arts. Her goal is to transfer to Oakland University to earn a teaching degree. Daisy can’t wait to be a third grade teacher! She has several years of experience working with children of all ages. Her work experience started when she worked at a daycare center for 2 years. She also has experience working in a library. Daisy enjoyed recommending books for students to read for fun or books needed for school work. While working at a daycare center and library she discovered she has a passion working with kids. Daisy is also a member of the Lapeer Kiwanis Club and volunteers her time to raise money for the children of her community. She has a strong desire to see children succeed in life and follow their dreams.
In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with friends and family, reading, checking out different libraries, volunteering and shopping.
Why Daisy chose MIPS:
“I wanted a change in career because I wanted to learn something new and be challenged. Being a mentor is the perfect position for me. I’ll be able to work more closely with students and gain experience for when I become a teacher. I will make sure my students succeed in their classes and personal life. I want them to be able to follow their dreams. Thank you MIPS for this opportunity."
Stephanie graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts and a minor in Language, Literature and Writing.
Before joining the MIPS team, Cogo was the Assistant/Program Director for KingCare (a before-and-after care center in Ann Arbor) for the past 6 years.
Stephanie is an avid reader (she has a book close by at all times). She's also an enthusiastic crafter who loves to crochet and knit. If it’s crafty/artistic she's probably either tried it, or plans to.
Stephanie has two cats, Morph and Zephy.
Why Stephanie chose MIPS:
"I heard about MIPS from my family friend Genna (a fellow mentor) as I was in the process of re-evaluating my life and career plan, and I knew just from the way she was talking about the team and the job itself that this was where I needed to be. MIPS focuses on making sure every student is treated as an individual and given all the tools and access they need in order to be successful. That's something I believe in strongly and felt drawn to as an educator and mentor."
English & Language Arts Teacher/Mentor
James is a middle and high school mentor who wants the students he works with to understand that their individuality is the driving force behind what is going to help them reach their full potential, on both a personal and academic level.. For the last six years, he worked for Wyandotte Public Schools in their Special Education department as an associate teacher and paraprofessional and then as a substitute teacher in their general education program. James would describe himself as a "professional helper." He takes great pride in going above and beyond when helping someone. He is currently working towards a bachelors in human services through online schooling so he understands what his students need in order to be successful. After he completes his bachelor's degree, he plans to return to school and work towards earning his master's degree and teacher certification.
Being a father of five, James does not have a lot of spare time, but when he does, he enjoys cooking, taking walks with his family, reading and watching recipe video's with his daughters.
Why James chose MIPS:
"I chose to join MIPS because I believe that education is an individual journey that needs to be tailored to every student on a personal level. Working in a special education setting for as many years as I did, I was able to experience firsthand just how far students can go when their education is uniquely tailored to them as an individual. It made me realize just how quickly students can reach their full potential if every detail about themselves is taken into account when developing their educational plans and goals. I always said that if this philosophy works in a special education setting, it most certainly can work in a general education setting and was always discouraged when I realized that the extremely large sizes and lack of other resources made it nearly impossible to implement in a traditional school setting. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered MIPS. After learning all about the mission at MIPS, I knew that working here would be a great fit for me!"
Kimberly is an individual who strives to always be the best version of herself. She believes that it’s the little things in life that truly matter and have the power to make a big impact. Kimberly is currently enrolled as a senior at the University of Michigan for a bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management/Organizational Behavior. With this degree, she hopes to earn her way into a position that will allow her to utilize her strong communication skills and passion for working with the people. Holding over 5 years of experience working with children in an early child development center and 3 years in a managerial position have shaped Kimberly into the individual that she is today. She is an individual who is dedicated to the well-being of both children and adults alike. She has consistent motivation to support and encourage others to keep moving forward- no matter the hardships life may offer.
During her down time, Kimberly can be found either being crafty via painting or playing with her music. As well as making time to get active outdoors (kayaking, hiking etc.) and living for new life experiences that come her way.
Why Kim chose MIPS:
“I had come to a point in my life where I felt that what I was doing, in that moment, wasn’t fulfilling. I’ve always had this drive in me that wanted to do more - be kind, help others and make a difference. I love working with kids but wanted to find a position that allowed me to continue to work with them in a more influential way - and then I found MIPS. Being a mentor meant that not only could I continue to work with students of all ages, but I get to finally do “more” by working with them one-on-one and developing genuine connections which allows both myself and the student to grow and prosper together."
Clayton is a mentor who is dedicated to helping students achieve success while enjoying the learning experience. His goal is to present a positive and exciting environment for education to help cultivate a place where goals and dreams can thrive. "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." -Harriet Tubman.
Clayton has a creative mindset with many different outlets, including game design, creative writing, storytelling, acting, and outdoor events. Clayton has three wonderful kids and a beautiful wife of 13 years. He loves the outdoors and the inspiration nature can provide. Clayton is a people person and loves interpersonal engagement on any level.
Why Clayton chose MIPS:
“When I heard about MIPS, I knew it was something I had to be a part of. To have the opportunity to help bring positivity and motivation to the lives of others was a dream come true. To be a part of uplifting the next generation to greater heights is an honor and a privilege for me. I spent a few good years as a mentor in a different role in the past, and since then it has always been my dream to pursue that further in my career and life. I feel blessed to be able to do what I do.”
Allison is a Michigan native who earned her BS in Psychology from Grand Valley State University. During her time at Grand Valley, she taught technology classes as a parent engagement coordinator for Grand Rapids Public Schools.
Allison earned her Masters degree in Higher Education at the University of Louisville, and served as Graduate Assistant in the U of L Athletic Department, gaining experience as an Academic Adviser for student athletes. She also served as Academic Adviser to the Indiana University Division I football team.
Allison currently serves as academic success coach for Total Package Hockey/MIPS student athletes in the Detroit area.
Why Katlyn chose MIPS:
Special Education Teacher
Mr. Theisen serves as a special education mentor at MIPS. Previously, he has taught for 14 years in brick and mortar schools. He spent the first ten years as a mathematics teacher for grades 6-12th and the last four years as a special education teacher. He holds a Masters Degree from Wayne State in Secondary Mathematics and a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in Special Education.
Matt has a ten year old daughter, Ava. Together they enjoy living with many pets, including: Henry the rabbit, three parakeets, and axolotl salamander. Matt loves to plant flowers and follow local sports teams, especially the Pistons and Lions.
Why Matt chose MIPS:
“I chose to teach at Michigan International Prep School because it is an online school that offers diverse, flexible, and customized education solutions for all students. Additionally, MIPS allows students who have special needs to flourish and feel supported to do their very best.”
Speech Language Pathologist
Why Sydney chose MIPS:
HS Math Teacher/Curriculum Development
Nicole is a secondary Math Teacher and Curriculum Developer at MIPS. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from The University of Michigan-Flint with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Psychology. She earned her Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College.
After teaching for 12 years, she became a stay-at-home mom for her two boys. When her sons began attending school, she worked as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher. As a paraprofessional, Mrs. Haynes was in charge of organizing, developing and facilitating math interventions. She was responsible for personalizing instruction for students and saw remarkable growth in each student over just a few short months. Being a substitute teacher and a parapro developed her ability to be flexible, patient and to relate to students quickly.
Nicole lives in Davison with her husband, their two sons, a red lab, and an old lady cat. In her free time, Nicole enjoys reading, baking, and spending time around a bonfire.
Why Nicole chose MIPS:
“I chose to join the MIPS team because of their vision to serve students first and their mission to create an individualized educational pathway for each student. Students are like snowflakes - no two are exactly alike. I love that MIPS embraces these differences and encourages individual growth.
Special Education Teacher
Kellie is a special education teacher with 21 years of experience. She has taught in multiple states due to previously being a military spouse and moving around the country. She has worked with students in kindergarten through 11th grade, with the majority of her time being with middle school students.
Kellie is a lifelong learner who believes that continuous learning is the best way she can support her students - both in-person and virtually.
She earned her Bachelors of Science degree from Ohio University in Special Education with a concentration in learning disabilities and cognitive impairments. She has a Masters of Special Education with a concentration in autism. Kellie is currently enrolled in an Education Specialist degree in Social Emotional Learning. In addition to her formal education, she has taken numerous professional development courses in distance learning.
Outside of the classroom, Kellie is a single mother to three great kids, ages 14, 18, and 20. All three of her kids are currently doing virtual school - one high school and two college students. Kellie enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, binge watching a good series, and writing for her blog. She keeps busy with her four dogs and two cats.
Why Kellie chose MIPS:
"I joined the MIPS team to work with students with disabilities in a virtual environment because I felt my experiences, knowledge, and training will allow me to provide critical support to students and families. I'm comfortable with the virtual setting and I know that connections can absolutely be made with students through consistency, commitment, and communication in a virtual environment."
Why Gabriela chose MIPS:
HS Social Studies Teacher
Mr. Pilgreen is a high school Social Studies teacher at MIPS. He has worked in both virtual and in-person classrooms, and written curriculum for his former district. He started his career at his alma mater, Garner High School in North Carolina, and has spent the last 5 years teaching at a charter school in Austin, Texas.
His passion for history is evident in his teaching style (with a focus on primary source analysis and project-based learning), but the best days in his class are when he can engage his greatest strength: storytelling.
David earned his B.S. in History Education from East Carolina University, and is a diehard Pirates football fan.
He loves exploring the country in his 25 foot travel trailer with his wife, Kendall, and rescue goldendoodle, Mosey. He also enjoys watching and playing sports of any kind, smoking brisket in his Weber Smokey Mountain, and frequenting any historical monuments, museums and National Parks.
Why David chose MIPS:
"I chose MIPS because we are in a time where education can take shape in many forms and in many locations. I am enthused by the prospect of learning from co-workers and students about what works best for the digital classroom and how to bring the things I did well in traditional classroom to a virtual platform. School does not have to look like a Monday-through-Friday work week. It is exciting to be a part of an organization that realizes that school should be personalized to the wants and needs of each student, and does so while promising to provide a world-class education along the way.
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