Meet our Team
Meet Our Leadership Team
Our administrative and support staff is committed to ensuring the finest education possible for your children. From providing expert tools and strategies to teaching materials and parent support, our leadership team is dedicated to making sure that you have what you need to deliver a well-rounded, enriching education to your children. Here are some of the people who maintain our high standards of education.
Steven Hoff, Head of School
Mr. Hoff has been with K12 since 2010, and the Head of School at IAVA since it opened in 2012. Mr. Hoff brings a wealth of expertise with his past experiences in education. Mr. Hoff is originally from Minnesota, but has now called Iowa "home" since 2012. Mr. Hoff holds a Bachelors degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. Mr. Hoff enjoys spending time with his wife, son and daughter, along with hunting, fishing, being a river rat, and really just being outdoors. Mr. Hoff is an avid MN. Vikings fan! Mr. Hoff enjoys the interaction with his students and staff. Mr. Hoff loves proving that socialization happens in the online environment!
Judy Tepper, School Operations Manager
Judy joined the IAVA team in August of 2017. Ms. Tepper received her BA in Journalism and Mass Communications at Iowa State University. After graduation she moved to the East Coast where she worked in advertising and exhibit sales as well as customer service. After returning to Iowa she worked at the Clayton Ridge School District as a member of their library staff. She worked there for 12 years before joining IAVA. She is happy to be back in Iowa and a member of the IAVA team. The families and students are Ms. Tepper's favorite part of working at IAVA. They are all very appreciative to have this opportunity and are simply great to work with.
Luci Wulfekuhle, School Counselor
Ms. Wulfekuhle is the K-12 grade Professional School Counselor and 504 Coordinator and has been with IAVA since 2016. Luci earned her Bachelors of Science in Health, Wellness and Recreation from the University of Dubuque. Luci’s teaching certification is in K-12 Physical Education, K-12 Health Education and K-12 Athletic Coaching from Clarke University; and her Master of Science in Education is in Professional School Counseling for grades K-12 from Buena Vista University. Luci spent her first 6 years in education as a Health and Physical Education Teacher for a brick and mortar school. Luci has spent the last four years as a Professional School Counselor in the brick and mortar and virtual school setting. What she likes best about working in the online setting is the ability to support her students on a more personalized level that focuses on the students’ needs on an individual, social, emotional and educational basis.
Amanda Brezina, Academic Administrator
Amanda began her position as IAVA Academic Administrator in 2019. She was previously the Family Academic Support Liaison at IAVA for three years. Prior to that, Amanda taught music for the school for many years. Amanda was also a learning coach to some of her own children, and uses that experience to help her in her role supporting students and their support system. Amanda received her undergraduate degree in education from Wartburg College, and her graduate degree in educational leadership from Drake University. Her past work experiences include everything from teaching preschool through high school, college, and even supervising and teaching the professional development for college teachers. She is passionate about education! She enjoys traveling and learning about the Unites States and other countries around the world, but also enjoys walks and jogs around her neighborhood and spending time with her family. Amanda's favorite part about online education is that it can meet the individual needs of diverse students within one school.
Amy Cummer, 8th-12th Grade Special Education Teacher
Ms. Cummer is a middle and high school special education teacher who joined the IAVA team in 2012. Prior to this year, she was the K-12 special education teacher. Amy earned a BA in Education from the University of Dubuque, and a MA in in Education from Morningside College. She holds licensure in Elementary Classroom, K-12 Special education, and is a licensed special education consultant. Ms. Cummer likes being able to differentiate instruction in order to meet the needs of students and feels online learning gives students that opportunity to learn in an environment that best suits them.
Emily Hanna, K-7th Grade Special Education
This is Emily’s second year with IAVA. Her background is in Education – with an emphasis on reading and curriculum instruction in which she holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. She has had the opportunity to teach at both the elementary and collegiate level in a face-to-face capacity, as well as in a virtual setting. She loves learning and has a passion for helping students to reach their fullest potential. She is grateful to have the chance to help children develop in all areas of their development and strives to create an atmosphere that nurtures growth in a positive way through her class connect sessions and ongoing communication.
Meet Our Teachers
Iowa Virtual Academy (IAVA) teachers are among the best in the state for distance learning. They consider themselves partners in your children's education and are available every school day to help you and your children through any challenges you may face. Here are the highly qualified teachers you'll get to know at IAVA.
Emily Stevens, K-3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Stevens joined the IAVA team in 2017. She brings four years of experience in education and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She is currently studying curriculum, assessment, and STEM for her Master's degree from Adams State University. Besides teaching, Mrs. Stevens enjoys spending time with family, outdoor adventures, and reading. Her favorite part about teaching is seeing students succeed and being proud of their work. Mrs. Steven's goal as a teacher is to make learning fun and life lasting. She likes being able to deliver engaging lessons from home to students at their home.
Karen Zuercher, 4th-6th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Zuercher has been in education for 22 years. This is her 5th year with IAVA. She started in education as an early childhood associate working with students that had a variety of learning disabilities. She continued her associate assignment for another 13 years working with 8th grade students. This inspired her to continue her education and In December of 2012 Mrs. Zuercher received her teaching license from Grand Canyon University. Most of her education was done online, so she knows about the struggles and advantages of online learning. Mrs. Zuercher holds a standard K-6 teaching license with a K-8 math endorsement, K-8 reading endorsement, 5-8 Algebra for High School credit. One thing that Mrs. Zuercher likes about online teaching is getting to meet students from around the state, and planning field trips so that she can meet them in person.
Heather Jones, 4th Grade Teacher
This is Mrs. Jones 4th year the IAVA. With her years at IAVA she has taught 6/7th grade Language Arts, Kindergarten, First, Second and Third grade. This year she is teaching 4th grade. Before joining IAVA she taught for Nevada Virtual Academy teaching 7/8th grade Language Arts. She was also a learning coach for her two oldest children. She graduated from College of St Mary with a BA in Elementary, Early Childhood Education, and a MA in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Nevada Las Vegas. She holds certificates in Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Reading Specialist for K-8 grades. Before teaching for K12 she worked in the brick and mortar setting for 10 years.
Renee Mente, Science Teacher
Mrs. Mente is a secondary science teacher who joined IAVA in 2013. Renee earned her BA from the University of Iowa, and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from St. Ambrose University. She has been active in her community and church being on many committees and project planning events. Renee has endorsements in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science, General Science, and All Science. Mrs. Mente especially enjoys the small group or individual class connects because of the focused time to address those individual questions. I love those "AHA" moments where it just clicks with the students!
Patrick Beyer, Social Studies Teacher
Mr. Beyer joined the Iowa Virtual Academy team in 2013. He received his teaching degree from Morningside College and his master's degree from Wayne State College. He is certified to teach all the social studies curriculum in the state of Iowa. Mr. Beyer teaches 7th through 12th grade at the Iowa Virtual Academy as the main social studies teacher. Mr. Beyer believes that the online environment creates awesome opportunities for students that are seeking a more self-paced study environment and also create a safe place for students to share their own thoughts and while exploring new ideas.
Charity Moss, Math Teacher
Mrs. Moss is the 7-12 lead math teacher who joined the IAVA team in 2016. She currently resides in the middle of Iowa with her husband and 3 dogs. She has taught in South Carolina, Arizona, and Iowa over the past 15 years. Charity earned her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Maranatha Baptist Bible College, and a Master's Degree in Divergent Learning from Columbia College (SC). She works closely with students, parents, educators and administrators to provide the best possible educational experience so that students become lifelong learners. She finds the student community at IAVA to be very close knit. So much so, that the students are beginning to love helping each other, which really demonstrates their knowledge of the material. It's truly incredible.
Kate Burnett, Language Arts Teacher
Ms. Burnette is a high school English and Language Arts teacher starting her first year with Iowa Virtual Academy and K12. She was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to Iowa to play college volleyball and tennis. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education and English from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa in 2012. Ms. Burnette taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade in Des Moines for four years. She took a break to enlist in the Army National Guard in 2016 and is a proud soldier! Ms. Burnette appreciates online learning because it provides a safe opportunity for students to learn who did not feel successful in an on campus setting.
Brenda Oldenkamp, Language Arts Teacher
Ms. Oldenkamp is a junior high and high school English teacher who joined the IAVA team in 2016. Although she hails from rural Iowa, Brenda also lived and taught English for several years in Tokyo, Japan. Ms. Oldenkamp earned a B.A. in English education from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and an M.A. in education from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. She holds a certificate in English education and a reading endorsement. Brenda currently lives in Northwest Iowa with her husband, where she enjoys knitting, playing the piano and harp, and coffee on rainy days. Ms. Oldenkamp feels that one of the advantages of online learning is that it allows students to learn at their own pace, which often gives them more time to pursue other hobbies and interests.
Charnell Breitbach, Language Arts Teacher
Ms. Breitbach (aka Ms. B) joined Iowa Virtual Academy in 2013. She has been in education since 2008 and has experience in adult education, alternative education, blended learning, and online learning. She earned an AA in general education from North Iowa Area Community College, a BA in English Language and Literature, non-teaching, with minors in creative writing and professional writing from the University of Northern Iowa, a second BA in English Education from the University of Northern Iowa. She is anticipating a MA in English Language and Literature and ASC in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa. She holds certificates in English/Language Arts and Structured English Immersion. Ms. B enjoys teaching online because it is awesome to be able to work with students while they are out experiencing the world. She absolutely loves building relationships with students and families, and she loves when she is able to help students take risks academically.
Robert Hampton, Business and Technology Teacher
Robert Hampton II is a teacher that has been employed in the field of education on a full time or a part time basis every year since 2008. Mr. Hampton is certified to teach Business Education/Technologies 5-12 in Iowa and Georgia. He has been teaching with K12 since 2012 and he has earned an Associate of Science in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Organizational Management and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Mr. Hampton taught middle school and high school in a brick and mortar setting from 2008-2013. Mr. Hampton loves having the opportunity to serve students through technological platforms that continually evolve and provide new opportunities to advance educational outcomes and experiences for students and teachers.
Krista Reeder, Music Teacher
Mrs. Reeder is a 7-12 Music Teacher who joined the Iowa Virtual Academy team in 2016. Mrs. Reeder earned her bachelor's degree from Waldorf University in 2007 and completed her master's coursework in 2016 from the University of St. Thomas. She has taught a variety of music concentrations since beginning her career in 2007 including 5-12 concert, marching, pep, and jazz bands, color guard, K-6 general music, 7-8th grade music and technology, and private music studio lessons. She holds K-12 classroom music, instrumental music, and vocal music licenses in both Iowa and Minnesota. In addition to her work at IAVA, Mrs. Reeder is a full-time educator at a brick and mortar in Minnesota, operates a private music lesson studio, teaches dance, and is music director and organist for her church. The traditional classroom is ever changing and evolving. Mrs. Reeder appreciates the flexibility online learning offers for family and students to continue to receive an outstanding, rigorous, and challenging education but meeting the many needs of learning and family structures that exist.
Catherine Shaughnessy, Health and Physical Education teacher
Mrs. Shaughnessy joined the IAVA team in 2014. She brings to the table over 9 years of experience in education as well as 10 plus years of coaching experience. Cathy has earned a BA in Communication from Pennsylvania State University and an MS in Education from Canisius College. She resides just outside of Buffalo, NY, and is thrilled to meet and engage with students through the virtual platform! Mrs. Shaughnessy feels that online learning provides freedom and flexibility for students to progress and navigate through the course. It allows students to review material as needed and move at a learning pace that is suitable and successful for them. She also likes the ability to interact with students on their time and in a way that is and can be comforting to all learners.