Teachers

James Bachert has taught many social studies courses for Insight School of Kansas (ISKS) and Kansas Virtual Academy (KSVA), going back to the startup of ISKS in 2008. In addition to his formal teaching education and training, he has enjoyed a diverse background including active military service, volunteer service on local community boards, coaching, and supporting many youth sports, music, and club activities as a parent. Mr. Bachert holds a B.S. in management/accounting from Park College, Parkville, MO, and a BA in history from Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas and possesses a professional ‘highly qualified’ secondary comprehensive social studies license.

Courtney Burdick is in her first year on the K12 team, and she is teaching kindergarten and first grade! She has 5 years of experience, including three years in kindergarten, one year in first grade, and one year in fourth grade. Courtney received a BA in elementary education and an MA in ESOL from the University of Kansas.

Kelly Collard is the math specialist who joined K12 in 2016. She teaches 3rd, 4th and 5th grade math and hosts the elementary social club. In brick and mortar, she taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade in Texas elementary schools where she is still certified. Kelly earned her BA in education from Wichita State University and is certified kindergarten through 9th grade.

Tynan Dowell is the middle school science teacher at Insight School of Kansas and Kansas Virtual Academy. She joined the K12 team in 2018. Prior to working at K12, she taught and coached at a public school for 5 years. Tynan earned a double major in secondary education and biology from Tabor College (KS) and her master’s in educational administration from Emporia State University (KS).

Elizabeth Geiger is a 5th grade lead teacher who joined the K12 team in 2016. She brings more than 10 years’ experience in education, community service, and leadership. Elizabeth earned 2 BAs in education from the University of Nebraska, and 2 MAs in elementary education from Concordia University. She holds certificates in elementary education K-6, special education K-6, reading specialty K-12, and academic administration K-12. Elizabeth also spent 7 years serving in the Nebraska Army National Guard, is active in her community, and is the mother of 2 boys.

Heather Grimes is a kindergarten and 1st grade teacher at KSVA. This is her 10th year in education and 6th year teaching virtually. She earned her BA in elementary education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and is currently working towards her MA in educational technology.

Amy Hanna joined the K12 team in 2017. She teaches health on three different levels, middle school, high school and adults. She has been teaching for 12 years and graduated from the University of Kansas with a master’s in curriculum and instruction. She holds certificates in elementary and middle school education and has endorsements in science, physical education and social studies.

Cory Kramer is a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018. He has been a teacher for over 11 years. Mr. Kramer earned his BS in education from the University of Kansas. He holds a Kansas teaching license in grades 6-12.

Ashley Lairmore has recently started her 4th year with K12. She teaches General Music for K-8 and Music Appreciation for HS and our adult high school. She has been passionate about music and started performing at age 4, singing and playing the violin. Ashley holds a B.M.Ed.[SA1]  from MidAmerica Nazarene University and is excited to start her master’s in the next year.

Tiffany Pratt is the K-5 Reading Specialist and 6th Grade ELA teacher. She joined KSVA in 2015 and brings 13 years of experience in various positions in education. Mrs. Pratt earned her B.S. in education from the University of Kansas and her M.S. in education/reading specialist from Fort Hays State University. She is currently working on her Dyslexia Instructor certification. She holds licenses in K-6 education, K-12 reading specialist, 6-8 ELA and social studies, and 6-12 FACS.

Allyn Ochsner is a 2nd grade teacher who joined the K12 team in 2015. She brings 7 years’ experience in education with preschool students all the way to third grade. Allyn earned her BA in education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in Nebraska. She holds certificates in early childhood education and ESL.

Adriann Songster is the 4th grade teacher at KSVA. She joined KSVA in 2017 after three years at a brick and mortar school. Mrs. Songster has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in coaching.

Sarah-Emily Steinhardt is a 6th Grade Teacher with KSVA who joined the team officially in October 2018. Sarah-Emily Steinhardt is a graduate of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She holds both a B.S. in middle childhood education as well as a M.Ed. in reading. Mrs. Steinhardt is a veteran teacher, having taught nearly 20 years in both public and private/independent schools throughout Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma. In addition to her general teacher's license, Mrs. Steinhardt holds special certifications focused on middle school science, social studies, and language arts. Because Mrs. Steinhardt is passionate about strong literacy skills being the foundation for learning in every subject area, and she has completed Orton-Gillingham certification to better serve students with dyslexia and reading issues. Mrs. Steinhardt is especially involved with issues and training related to diversity, inclusion, and global education.

Trisha Spears is a 3rd grade teacher who joined the K12 team in 2018. She brings more than 10 years’ experience in education. Trisha earned a BA in education from Southwestern College and a MS in educational technology with an emphasis in library media from Pittsburg State University.

Kristopher Swearingen is a middle school English teacher who began his tenure with K12 in 2016. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2010 with a BSE in secondary education with an emphasis in language arts. After graduation, Mr. Swearingen worked as a substitute teacher for the Shawnee Mission School District before taking a job as a para at De Soto High school for 4 years, during which time he also served as a long-term substitute and acting special education teacher. Since being with K12, Mr. Swearingen has taught 6th/7th/8th Grade ELA, Grammar and Composition, and Gothic Literature with the passion and creativity of Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds.