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Our Teachers

View Staff Profiles

If you want to know what makes us different…it’s our teachers.

Our Michigan-certified teachers and supporting staff are the foundation of iCademy and the growth of your student. They are talented, passionate, patient, and specially trained to excel in all the subtleties of online teaching. iCademy teachers are drawn to virtual schools because they know all kids are different and learn in different and unique ways.

We operate on a teacher-led structure, so our teachers are leaders in their teaching and in making decisions about our school through what we call a School Responsibility (S.R.). Check out their information below!

Staff Profiles

Meet Ms. Allison VanDyke! Ms. Allison loves being outdoors and snacking on dark chocolate. She’s visited over 12 countries in the last two years and taught students from all over the world. 

  • Can’t Live Without: at least 10 minutes of physical activity a day
  • Favorite Book in Grade School: Holes
  • Favorite Book with her last 3 groups of students: One and Only Ivan
  • Favorite Field Trip: Camping through upper Michigan

Ms. Allison’s favorite habit is, “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood” because listening is a powerful way to care for others. She wants her students to know, “we’re learning together.”

Email: allison.vandyke@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Rachel Heerspink! Ms. Rachel joins us this year at iCademy to teach our incredible 4th grade students. Her life motto, “Live life in the moment,” allows her to be the most effective teacher possible, each and every day!

  • Something you can’t live without: Sleep
  • Bucket List item: Travel to Switzerland
  • Special Talents: Scaring people
  • Favorite Snack: Classic Cheez It Snack Mix
  • Favorite Trip: Germany and Poland
  • Favorite Grade School Book: Among the Hidden

Ms. Rachel’s favorite habit is, “Sharpen the Saw” because everyone needs to take time for themselves and do what makes them happy. Happiness drives success!

Email: rachel.heerspink@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Bethany Redeker! Ms. Rachel is excited to embark on her iCademy journey teaching our 5th grade learners.

Bio coming soon!

Email: bethany.redeker@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Maria Merriman, who works with our elementary students and teachers as our K-5 special education teacher.

Bio coming soon!

Email: maria.merriman@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Katelyn VanDyke! She was a 5th grade spelling bee champion! She has spent the last 7 years at iCademy Global building spelling bee champions as the 2nd/3rd teacher and K5 Special Education teacher.  Beginning this school year, 2020-2021, Ms. Katelyn will be our full-time K-8 interventionist. We are so excited for her to continue her incredible work with our iCademy students in this new role!

  • Bucket List:  Open an independent bookstore  
  • Can’t Live Without:  Coffee  
  • Life Motto:  Do small things with great love  
  • Voted Least Likely:  To skip class  

Ms. Katelyn’s favorite habit is, “Seek first to understand, thent to be understood” because the world could use a little more empathy. She also wants her students to know “they belong here.”

Email: katelyn.vandyke@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Becca Beebe!  Ms. Becca’s first job ever was a lifeguard, but she now works as our speech-language pathologist.  

  • Bucket List:  Swim the Straits of Mackinac  
  • Special Talent:  She can spot a Petoskey stone faster than anyone she knows  
  • Life Motto:  If you pass physics, you can do this  
  • Favorite Book:  The Hobbit  

Ms. Becca’s favorite habit is, “Put first things first” because she is motivated by the reward at the end of the tunnel. She also really wants her students to know that ” I want out learning to be effective and always fun. When you are dismissed from speech we will celebrate together.”  

Email:  rebecca.beebe@innocademy.com

Meet Mr. Andy Meredith!  As a grade school student, Mr. Andy was “a teacher’s dream.” Thankfully he grew up to be a dream teacher and has shared his charming personality with the IES family for many years. Currently, Mr. Andy teaches science to middle school friends at iCademy Global.  

  • Life Theme Song:  Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song  
  • Can’t Live Without:  Breathing (Thanks, Mr. Science)  
  • Bucket List:  Petting a lion in Africa  
  • Special Talents:  Fire breathing and break dancing  

Mr. Andy’s favorite habits are “Synergizing” and “Sharpening the Saw” because there is nothing better. He would also like his students to always remember, “You will never know what you don’t know.”

Email: andy.meredith@icademyglobal.org

Meet Mr. Joel Siemen! Mr. Joel is thrilled to embark on his teaching career as iCademy’s 7th & 8th grade social studies teacher.

Bio coming soon!

Email: joel.siemen@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Kayla! Ms. Kayla loves working our middle school students and teachers as iCademy’s 6th through 8th grade special education teacher.

Bio coming soon!

Email: kayla.dolinski@icademyglobal.org

Meet Mr. Jacob Ferland! Mr. Jacob loves working with numbers and has a blast building math skills with our middle school learners.

Bio coming soon!

Email: jacob.ferland@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Amy Barager! Ms. Amy’s first job ever was working at a candy factory. While that was a sweet job, working at iCademy Global for the past few years as the high school ELA teacher has been even sweeter! 

  • Special Talent:  Loves to fry fish  
  • Bucket List:  See the Iditarod in person  
  • Life Hashtag:  #imraisingcrazies  
  • Can’t Live Without:  Coffee  

Ms. Amy’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand and then be understood” because this is the habit she wants to work on most which makes it a good reminder! She wants her students to know that “they are important and part of a bigger story.”

Email: amy.baragar@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Pam Carpenter! Ms. Pam has the ability to sit for hours and do math. That is a special talent! We are so glad she has joined the iCademy Global team this year for the first time to share her gifts as the high school math teacher.

  • Special Talents:  sewing and cooking…I love to do both!
  • Favorite Snack:  sweet potato chips
  • Favorite Trip: Houseboat trip with my family on Lake Powell, Utah
  • Life Motto:  “Whatever you are, be a good one.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • Voted Least Likely:  to find pants that are too long on me

Email: pamela.carpenter@icademyglobal.org

Meet Mr. Reid Nicholson!  Mr. Reid’s special talent is being a trivia whiz! We are happy to have him at iCademy Global sharing his plethora of knowledge with us teaching high school science! 

  • Can’t Live Without:  The Sun  
  • Favorite Snack:  Sweet Chili Heat Doritos 
  • Bucket List:  Pilot an airplane  
  • Voted Most Likely:  To jump out of a perfectly good airplane (skydive)  

Mr. Reid’s favorite habit is “Begin with the end in mind” because to be able to succeed, you need to know where you are going! He wants his students to know, “I am a total science nerd and love talking about anything that has to do with that!”  

Email: reid.nicholson@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Mandy Guppy-Koehn!  Ms. Mandy’s first job as a waitress has served her well as she now serves as iCademy Global’s high school social studies teacher!

  • Can’t Live Without: Diet Coke
  • Favorite Snack: Cheese Sticks
  • Bucket List:  Go Parasailing!
  • Life Hashtag: #lovewhatmatters
  • Life Motto: “Be  who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.”

Ms. Mandy’s favorite habit is, “Be proactive” and she wants all of her students to know, “Grade school is a very short stage in life, even though it doesn’t feel like it right now. Enjoy it, don’t talk yourself out of fun things!”

Email: mandy.guppy@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Laura Verkaik! Ms. Laura makes a huge difference in the lives of students and teachers as iCademy’s school counselor.

Bio to come!

Email: laura.verkaik@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Kate! Ms. Kate has joined iCademy this year as one of iCademy’s school social workers.

Bio coming soon!

Email: kate.meengs@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Lindsay Light!  Ms. Lindsay has been with IES for many years, but is excited to join the iCademy Global team for the first time as high school mentor and interventionist!

Bio to come!

Email: lindsay.vanderzwaag@icademyglobal.org

Meet Mr. Tyler Huizenga! He can’t live without love, and we have loved having him as part of the IES family for the past few years. Mr. Tyler shares his love with us as iCademy Global Point’s School Lead and high school electives teacher.

  • Life Motto:  Be Humble 
  • Bucket List:  Scuba dive with Bear Grylls in Indonesia  
  • Favorite Snack:  Meat sticks  

Mr. Tyler’s favorite habit is “Synergize”. He also wants his students to know, “Go Blue!”   

Email: tyler.huizenga@icademyglobal.org

Meet Ms. Leisa Lobbezoo! She believes her special talent is her super loud whistle, but after being part of the IES family for the last decade, we know she is a woman of many talents!  Ms. Leisa wears many hats at iCademy Global as she works to help all of our new families through the enrollment process as well as working in communications and marketing.  

  • Type of Grade School Student:  Teacher’s pet… for real…. they gave her an award  
  • Voted Most Likely:  To become an actress  
  • Life Hashtag:  #hangontightandenjoytheride 
  • Bucket List:  Visit Europe, walk on a glacier, watch the Detroit Tigers play in most of the MLP ballparks 

Ms. Leisa’s favorite part of RISE is respect because she believes respect is woven into EVERY. SINGLE. THING. we do as educators, students and people. She would like her students to know “how glad I am that they are here, learning with us!”  

Email: leisa.lobbezoo@innocademy.com

Meet Ms. Heidi! Ms. Heidi has been with IES schools for almost 10 years, starting as a parent volunteer and is now our pupil accounting and registrar for all three IES Schools. You may also see her smiling face at the front desk on Fridays.

  • First job:  Grocery store cashier  
  • Favorite snack:  Doritos  
  • Can’t Live without:  Her husband & kids  
  • Quote to live by:  “Life is all about the choices you make”  

Ms. Heidi wants all the students to know that “You are capable of great things in your life. Make good choices, move on from your mistakes and you will be capable of anything you set your sights on!”

Email: heidi.wolters@innocademy.com

Meet Mr. Dave Zimmer! Mr. Dave has traveled all over the world to Russia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Turkey, but thankfully ended up in Michigan to be in charge of IES Finances. Mr. Dave’s life motto is to be humble and kind and he has kindly been a part of our IES family the last few years.  

  • Favorite Snack:  Popcorn  
  • Can’t live without:  Coffee in the morning  
  • Bucket List:  To be a street performer  
  • Special Talent:  Plays the organ  

Mr. Dave’s favorite habit is to begin with the end in mind. He also wants the students to know “Be yourself and you can be anything.”

Email: dave.zimmer@iesschools.org