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 situation.
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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.”
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.”
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!"
Angela loves to connect with students and help them succeed. She has a BBA in Healthcare Management and worked for 10 years as an Allied Healthcare Instructor. During that time, she also founded and built a medical assisting program at a community college. Her driven and goal-oriented personality helps inspire students in their academics. She’s passionate about career planning and helping students with the transition from high school to adulthood.
Angela resides in Lexington with her three children and a plethora of pets. She owns a small side business making soaps and other body care products. She also loves to upcycle furniture, creating unique and functioning pieces. Her artistic talents also extend to canvas painting and playing classical piano
Why Angela chose MIPS:
“My journey in education began in 2008 when I landed my first job teaching in a post-secondary setting. I remember being so nervous on my first day that I could hardly introduce myself to the class. After getting used to talking in front of large groups, I quickly realized that teaching was what I was meant to do. I continued to teach at various community colleges and tech schools until I moved to the thumb of Michigan with my family in 2015.
While I absolutely love living in a rural area, one thing that is not abundant is available jobs in a post-secondary setting. I began to work as a substitute teacher for the local school districts until I was hired to be a mentor here at MIPS. After experiencing some disparity in primary and secondary educational settings, I was thrilled that MIPS was trying to provide some balance for the children that have unique needs. I have heard our Superintendent saying that the moment he makes a decision based upon anything other than the needs of our students is the moment he has lost his path. This is why I chose MIPS: because this school truly puts the student body first.”
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.”
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."
Mrs. Sauer is an elementary mentor-teacher at Michigan International Prep Schools. She has had extensive experience in the classroom, having been in the education field for several years. She loves being around children and is passionate about their growth.
Mrs. Sauer earned her bachelor’s degree from Madonna University in American Sign Language/ Deaf Community Studies. Mrs. Sauer’s passion for this language stemmed from her older sister who is Deaf and a true inspiration to her. Mrs. Sauer received her master’s degree from Oakland University in teaching elementary education with an emphasis in Language Arts. She is currently working on her second master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University.
One of Emily’s favorite hobbies is traveling and exploring the world as much as she can with her husband. She loves to read and spend time with family and friends.
Mrs. Sauer earned her bachelor’s degree from Madonna University in American Sign Language/ Deaf community Studies. Mrs. Sauer’s passion for this language stemmed from her older sister who is deaf and a true inspiration to her. Mrs. Sauer received her master’s degree from Oakland University in teaching elementary education with an emphasis in Language Arts. She is currently working on a counseling endorsement from Grand Valley State University.
One of Emily’s favorite hobbies is traveling and exploring the world as much as she can with her husband. She loves to read and spend time with my family and friends.
Why Emily chose MIPS:
“I chose the career path of teaching to enjoy those “ah-ha” moments, be the positive influence in students’ lives, and encourage them that they are capable of anything.
I wanted to be a part of the MIPS family because those three reasons are what we are all about. MIPS embraces uniqueness and we tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of all our students and because of this, they are successful.
We listen, adapt, and produce our caourses for the betterment of our students and are always in communication with our MIPS families. I am so excited to be a part of the MIPS team as I am eager to help fuel our students’ passion for learning and watch them grow and reach their full academic potential! MIPS is not just an online school…it’s a virtual experience.”
Mallory is a resourceful, quick-thinking educator who doesn’t hesitate to go out of her way for students and families. In her dual role as both elementary content teacher and mentor, Hoppe keeps her students on target while also guiding and informing their parents. Elementary students require much more attention and involvement from their parents, and Hoppe works diligently to maintain teacher-parent synergy throughout the school year.
Mallory received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI. She studied Performance and Songwriting at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville,TN, and earned a Master of Education in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia.
Mallory is a Michigan native. She enjoys singing, decorating, fashion, and reading.
Why Mallory chose MIPS:
“I started working for MIPS in 2017 and I’m thrilled to be here! I love the commitment to excellence and student-centered vision that’s shared by the entire MIPS team. It’s exciting to be in a work culture that truly puts kids first.
I love that we have the ability to create a truly differentiated learning pathway for each unique student. I enjoy getting to work closely with students and parents. I firmly believe that parents are the best advocates and expert on their student, so I work diligently to support parents in this important role. I love giving students the one-on-one attention that they deserve. I get to take the time to meet with students on an individual basis, giving them my undivided attention – a teacher’s dream! This not only builds a stronger relationship, but it also allows me to teach more effectively and specifically to that student’s needs.
Finally, I enjoy the innovative environment and fast paced growth at MIPS. We’re constantly looking to improve and expand opportunities for students. It’s amazing how much positive change can take place when you work with like-minded, forward-thinking, and passionate peers.”
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.”
Health & Physical Ed Teacher
Chloe is an Elementary Mentor Teacher based out of the Oak Park Lab. Chloe has worked with children for many years, serving as an assistant preschool teacher, camp counselor, ABA tutor, school psychologist intern, substitute teacher, and lead preschool teacher. She truly cares for all people, loves building relationships, and is passionate about education.
Chloe grew up in the Metro Detroit area. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Oakland University in 2011. Chloe then spent time studying School Psychology at Central Michigan University before deciding to pursue her passion as a teacher. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education from Oakland University in 2019.
In her spare time, Chloe enjoys reading, spending time with her loved ones and pug, working on personal growth, and traveling.
Why Chloe chose MIPS:
"At MIPS, everyone is incredibly welcoming and supportive, and is equally passionate about education and putting the needs of students first. I chose MIPS because I was looking for an alternative to the “traditional” school system. While I am very passionate about the field of education, I feel that our current school system has a great deal of room for improvement. In particular, I find it frustrating that there is only so much that a “traditional teacher” can do to cater to the needs of students on an individual level.
I’ve found that online teaching affords a greater ability to meet students at their level and personalize instruction to their needs. The nature of online education also allows for more one-on-one relationships, which is a dream come true for an educator! I also enjoy the dynamic environment at MIPS. No two days are the same in this environment, and I am excited to be part of a company that is always growing and looking ahead to advance the field of education."
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."
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.
Nicole is an elementary mentor-teacher at Michigan International Prep School. Nicole earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State University. She has many years of experience in a classroom setting, as well as in a virtual learning environment.
Nicole began her journey in education working as a School Age Child Care (SACC) supervisor. From there, she became the primary substitute for a school district in Macomb County where she taught Kindergarten – 12 th grade, and eventually became a permanent preschool teacher. Her passion for virtual learning began when she started working as a coordinator/mentor teacher for a large virtual academy. She also teaches English as a Second Language virtually to children in China!
Outside of MIPS, Nicole has a 9-year-old daughter, Giana. They spend a lot of time at the dance studio where Giana has been dancing and doing Acro since she was 2 years old. When Mom and Giana are not at the dance studio, they enjoy going on bike rides, swimming and taking their annual family trip to Caseville, Michigan. In Nicole’s spare time, she enjoys cooking and gardening.
Why Nicole chose MIPS:
"Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an educator. Over the years, I’ve worked in virtual settings, as well as a classroom setting. Teaching virtually provides me the opportunity to work one-on-one with students and to really understand what type of learning is best for them. I believe wholeheartedly that it is important to build a close relationship not only with my students, but also with their families.
I chose to be a part of MIPS because they are dedicated to putting the students’ needs first. I believe that every student learns differently, and it is essential to personalize education to fit the needs of each child with the hope that they will LOVE coming back to see what a new day brings! At MIPS, we strive to individualize education for each and every student. In my eyes, personalizing education and building relationships are the two most important aspects of education. I take great pride in being part of the MIPS Team!
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!"
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."
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.”
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.”
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"
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!"
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!"
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.”
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.
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.”
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."
Laura earned her degree in Elementary Education from Northern Michigan University, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Speech Communications. She then earned her Professional Teaching Certificate by working toward a Language Arts degree. Laura has a hard time deciding whether she loves math or reading best! She enjoys sharing her passion for both - whether it is forming book clubs (with kids in her neighborhood, or inmates at the Livingston County Jail where she held the position of Jail Educator), or encouraging students to say, “Math Rocks!!” and helping them believe that it is true. Laura has taught preschool, 3rd grade, 6th grade, and Adult Ed. She has owned her own in-home daycare and has cared for children her whole life. She enjoys being creative with her teaching and is always adding something new to keep things interesting! Laura is happy to be a K-5 Mentor Teacher at MIPS!
Laura, originally a “Yooper”, is enjoying living “downstate." She, her husband Marty, and their 3 kids moved to Howell in 2016 and live next door to her brother and his family. Laura enjoys spending time with family, playing cards, going for long drives, and boating.
Why Laura chose MIPS:
"I feel very fortunate to be able to teach at a very unique school that has quickly become a leader in virtual learning. The attention afforded to each student, the thought that goes into creating the best academic path for each student, and the care the MIPS staff shows toward each student’s well-being and happiness are the reasons why being a Mentor Teacher at MIPS provides a meaningful sense of purpose.
Teaching at MIPS is exciting because of the new and unique approach to educating children - where brick and mortar meets virtual learning, meets homeschooling, meets advising, meets focusing on the whole child, meets creating self-driven children. Michigan International Prep School’s mentoring approach to teaching is fascinating, and I believe it is what will change education. MIPS' focus is on the student...and the family. I like that."
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."
Zack Herman is a proud graduate of Oakland University and is thrilled to be teaching Spanish at MIPS. He’s passionate about Spanish and Latin American culture, having traveled to both Spain and Mexico. In Zach’s free time, you can find him writing the book he’s been working on for years, enjoying live music, or trying food from around the world (especially Chinese Dim Sum).
Why Kiwanna chose MIPS:
“As a classroom teacher in a traditional school, many times I am forced to pace lessons and move on even if a student does not comprehend the material. I believe in the MIPS way because students are able to work at their own pace. The curriculum is customizable so I am able to work with students who may need more practice, or alternatively, if a student masters a concept quicker than expected, I can move them on. The flexibility and individualization of MIPS is where we are headed in the future of education. That is why I 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.”
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."