Meet Our Team


The Kansas Virtual Academy (KSVA) leadership team is committed to empowering our virtual school community by providing exceptional learning experiences for all students.

Cassandra Barton, MSEd | Head of School

Mrs. Barton has been working with KSVA since the launch in 2013. Mrs. Barton taught high school English language arts for 11 years. She has a BS in secondary education–English and a master’s degree in school leadership. Mrs. Barton is passionate about online education as an option for students in the great state of Kansas!

Philip Thies, PhD | Academic Administrator (Principal)

Dr. Thies is thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the new academic administrator (principal) of KSVA and Insight School of Kansas (ISKS) for kindergarten–8th grades. Dr. Thies’ professional experience as an educator has included working with excellent students, teachers, and administrators throughout K–12 as a teacher, curriculum/instruction administrator, and principal for nearly 20 years. Dr. Thies is a graduate of Kansas State University, where he attained his bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He achieved his master’s degree in educational administration from Pittsburg State University and his doctorate degree in education in urban leadership and policy studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The focus of his research was supporting teachers who are personalizing learning for students in a blended/virtual learning environment. Dr. Thies’ own personal mission is to serve and inspire those around him to exceed their own expectations in learning and in life. You can be assured he will uphold this mission as the academic administrator (principal) of KSVA and ISKS.

Tynan Dowell, MEd | Assistant Academic Administrator (Assistant Principal)

Mindy Carlson, MSEd | Special Programs Assistant Academic Administrator

Elicia Harrison, LMSW | School Social Worker & Student Resource Coordinator

Elizabeth Hilleman | Operations Manager

Robert Felder | Community Engagement Specialist