Our Teachers

View Staff Profiles

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

Our teachers 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 kids are different and learn in different and unique ways.

iCademy has 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

Deedee DeFrell

Deedee DeFrell

K/1st Grade Teacher

Meet Ms. DeeDee! Ms. DeeDee’s quote to live by is “wherever you are, be all there” said by Jim Elliot. Ms. DeeDee has been all here since the start of iCademy Global! For the last 5 years she has been the Kindergarten/1st grade teacher at iCademy Global.  

  • Favorite Snack: Double stuffed oreos 
  • Can’t Live Without: Music  
  • Favorite Book: “The Hunger Games”  
  • Special Talent: She can stick her shoulder blades out so it looks like she has wings  

Ms. DeeDee’s favorite habit is “Sharpen the Saw” because it is important for students and adults to re-energize and take time to do things that they enjoy. She needs reminders to do this as a busy working mom. She wants her students to know “you are a good person and you are loved.”  

Email: deedee.defrell@icademyglobal.org

Katelyn VanDyke

Katelyn VanDyke

2nd/3rd Grade Teacher

Meet Ms. Katelyn! She was a 5th grade spelling bee champion! She has spent the last 5 years at iCademy Global building spelling bee champions as the 2nd/3rd teacher and K5 Special Education teacher.  

  • 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

Brett Heppler

Brett Heppler

4th/5th Grade Teacher and Middle School Math

Meet Mr. Brett! Finishing an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile marathon) is on Mr. Brett’s bucket list! As he works towards ironman success, we are thankful he has spent his last 4 years at iCademy Global teaching 4th/5th Grade & 7th/8th Grade social studies.  

  • Voted Most Likely: To live in a school bus or shipping container  
  • Voted Least Likely:   To own a planner  
  • Life Motto:  Hulkmania is running wild, Brother!  
  • First Job:  Rolling burritos and making tacos at La Senorita  

Mr. Brett’s favorite habit is “Think Win-Win” because both sides come out on top. He would like his students to know “You are going to be a human for a long time, and you have such a smart brain that it’s important you learn how to be aware of what you’re doing. Accidents can be prevented, but it’s still okay if they happen. As long as you take responsibility for your mistakes, the clean up is a breeze” (from the view point of a random dad talking to his son about a spilled slurpee).

Email: brett.heppler@icademyglobal.org

Mellissa Zoerhof

Mellissa Zoerhof

Middle School English and Spanish

Meet Ms. Melissa!  She was voted most likely to be on Broadway, but we are glad  this talented lady chose to go into teaching! She has been part of the IES family for over a decade and currently teaches middle school Language Arts at iCademy Global.  

  • First Job:  Craig’s Cruisers Go-Kart Getter  
  • Can’t Live Without:  Sleep, Music, Exercise, Laughter & COFFEE 
  • Bucket List:  Live in Spain for a while with her family and write a book  
  • Special Talents:  Singing & she can touch her nose with her tongue  

Ms. Melissa’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” because it is the hardest habit for her and everything that everyone does comes from somewhere and everyone deserves the honor of feeling understood and heard. She also wants her students to know that “they matter and their voice is worth sharing.”

Email: mellissa.zoerhof@icademyglobal.org

Andy Meredith

Andy Meredith

Middle School Science

Meet Mr. Andy!  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 the last 6 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

Ryan Martinez

Ryan Martinez

Middle School Math

Meet Mr. Ryan!  He has been all over the world to Canada, Italy, France, Spain, England, Czech Republic, Ireland, and Switzerland.  We are excited to have him and his worldly experiences join the iCademy Global team this year teaching math to Middle School friends.  

  • Favorite Snack:  Nutter Butters 
  • Can’t Live Without:  Great Music  
  • Bucket List:  Learn 5 languages  
  • Special Talents:  Pen spinning and swing dancing  

Mr. Ryan’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” because people are often terrible listeners and that is a crucial to healthy communication. Poor communication is a common thread in life’s problems. He also wants his students to know “that mistakes are wonderful and you should not fear failure.”  

Email: ryan.martinez@icademyglobal.org

Amy Baragar

Amy Baragar

High School English

Meet Ms. Amy! Ms. Amy’s first job ever was working at a candy factory. While that was a sweet job, working at iCademy Global the last 5 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

Janece Ellers

Janece Ellers

High School Math

Meet Ms. Janece!  Ms. Janece 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 special talent as the High School Math teacher.  

  • Bucket List:  Go on a hot air balloon ride  
  • Voted Most Likely:  To get married  
  • Can’t Live Without:  Water  
  • Life Motto:  “Don’t close the book when bad things happen in your life. Just turn the page and begin a new chapter.”  

Ms. Janece’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand, and then be understood” because accurate communication is critical!” She wants her students to know “I love what I do and hope it shows every day.”  

Email: janece.ellers@icademyglobal.org

Reid Nicholson

Reid Nicholson

High School Science

Meet Mr. Reid!  Mr. Reid’s special talent is being a trivia whiz! We are happy to have him join the iCademy Global team this year for the first time. Thankfully he is 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

Rachel Rich

Rachel Rich

High School Spanish

Meet Ms. Rachel! She is joining our family for the first time this year teaching High School Spanish at iCademy Global as well as Innocademy Middle School Spanish.  She lives by  the motto that #Asíeslavida and we are thrilled to have her in our vidas.  

  • Favorite Snack:  Chips and cheese  
  • Bucket List Wish:  To watch the Olympic games in person  
  • Favorite Book:  The Harry Potter Series  
  • Special talent:  Art such as drawing, sketching & painting  

Ms. Rachel ‘s favorite habit is “Put first things first” because she is a visual person and likes to have a To-Do list to help her feel ready for the day.  Ms. Rachel would like all of her students to know “I am excited to be here! I’m looking forward to getting to know you and the unique way that you learn, and to help you have a successful school year!”  

Email: rachel.rich@icademyglobal.org

Lindsey Freiburger

Lindsey Freiburger

High School Special Education

Meet Ms. Lindsey!  Ms. Lindsey loves Gardetto Garlic chips and sleep. We have loved having her as part of the iCademy Global team the last 5 years as the High School Special Education teacher.   

  • Bucket List:  Run a marathon  
  • Special Talent:  Painting  
  • Voted Least Likely:  To arrive on time 
  • Type of Grade School Student:  Chatterbox   

Ms. Lindsey’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood” because tolerance and acceptance is built through understanding. She wants her students to know “they are loved!”

Email: lindsey.freiburger@icademyglobal.org

Tyler Huizenga

Tyler Huizenga

Middle School Social Studies

Meet Mr. Tyler! He can’t live without love, and we have loved having him as part of the IES family the last 6 years. Mr. Tyler shares his love with us as the iCademy Global Point Person and High School Social Studies teacher.  

  • Special Talent:  He can name every tree species in Michigan  
  • 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

Kristina Boersma

Kristina Boersma

School Social Worker

Meet Ms. Kristina! Ms. Kristina’s first job ever was pushing the “Good Humor” ice cream cart at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but we are thankful she went into social work. She has been the school social worker for both iCademy Global and Innocademy the last three years.  

  • Can’t Live Without:  Sunshine  
  • Countries Visited:  Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, South Africa, England, Italy, and France. 
  • Life Hashtag:  #Cantmakethisstuffup 
  • Favorite Book:  “To Kill a Mockingbird”  

Ms. Kristina’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand and then be understood” because it focuses on respect and valuing the input of others. She also wants our students to know “You are valuable.  You are important.  You make a difference.  You are LOVED!”  

Email: kristina.boersma@icademyglobal.org

Becca Beebe

Becca Beebe

Speech and Language Pathologist

Meet Ms. Becca! She has been a part of the IES family the last two years through CTC and joins us this year officially on our staff! 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

Leisa Lobbezoo

Leisa Lobbezoo

RtI support, Middle School Foundations

Meet Ms. Leisa! 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 as the iCademy Global interventionist as well as working in communications and enrollment.  

  • Type of Grade School Student:  Teacher’s pet… for real…. they gave her an award  
  • Voted Most Likely:  Tto 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 habit is “Be Proactive” because you can’t beat the feeling of being prepared and ready for whatever life is going to throw at you.  She would like her students to know “how glad I am that they are here, learning with us!”  

Email: leisa.lobbezoo@innocademy.com

Heidi Wolters

Heidi Wolters

Meet Ms. Heidi! Ms. Heidi is the Boss and Queen bee as she does it all for all three IES Schools. She does the registrar, pupil accounting, the front desk and countless other tasks for our schools.  

  • 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

Sara Vereeke

Sara Vereeke

Human Resources

Meet Ms. Sara! In grade school, Ms. Sara was a social butterfly, but also a rule follower. She continues to be a social butterfly while also following the rules as she takes care of all our Human Resource needs!  

  • Can’t Live Without:  Lipstick  
  • Special Talent:  Plays the piano  
  • Favorite snack:  Chocolate, lots of chocolate 
  • Favorite book:  The Secret Garden  

Ms. Sara’s favorite habit is “Seek first to understand, then to be Understood.” She believes it is great to focus on understanding others’ point of view before expressing one’s own point of view.  Ms. Sara would like all the students to know…”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: sara.verkeeke@icademyglobal.org

Dave Zimmer

Dave Zimmer

Finance

Meet Mr. Dave! 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 four 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@icademyglobal.org