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.

John Huber, Head of School

John Huber

Mr. Huber is the Head of School at Insight School of MN.  He began at ISMN in 2009 and has been leading the school ever since.  Mr. Huber earned his BA degree in Physical Education and Health Education at the University of WI - Lacrosse.  He continued his education at St. Cloud State University earning an MS degree in Health Education and a sixth year certificate in Educational Administration.  Prior to joining ISMN, Mr. Huber was a teacher, coach and assistant principal in a local school district.  Mr. Huber enjoys the challenge of looking at the best of what is happening in a typical brick and mortar school and trying to replicate that in a virtual environment to provide as much of a traditional school experience in an online setting.

 

Angela Kalcec, Academic Administrator

Angela Kalcec, AA

Mrs. Kalcec joined ISMN as the Academic Administrator in the Fall of 2019; however, Angela has previously worked at a K12 school prior to her move to Minnesota. Her favorite part about her role is working with all of the wonderful teachers and collaborating to make ISMN a great learning environment for students to succeed. Angela's favorite quote is "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." ~ Helen Keller. Her words of wisdom to new students and Learning Coaches is to create a calendar and a to-do list!

 

Jenny Ryan, School Operations Manager

Jennifer Ryan, Ops Mgr

Jenny joined the ISMN team in 2014. Jenny likes being able to provide the flexibility that students and families need for a successful school experience. She feels online learning gives students the opportunities to be successful in school without the stressors that can occur in a traditional school setting.

 

Samantha Etim, School Counselor

Samantha Etim, SC

Sam joined the ISMN team in December 2015. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from South Dakota State University, and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling from St. Cloud State University. She holds a Minnesota K-12 School Counseling License and has been working in the field for over 9 years.  Mrs. Etim enjoys being able to work with students in the online environment helping to provide additional opportunities for their education.

 

Alysia Halverson, Student Support Administrator

Alysia Halverson, SSA

Mrs. Halverson is the Student Support Administrator who joined ISMN in 2016. She previously was an Advisor before accepting the position as SSA. She received her BS in Family Social Science with a minor in Applied Psychology in Education and Community Settings from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2015 and is currently working towards her Master's in School Counseling. Prior to working at ISMN, Alysia worked as a Behavior Therapist working with children diagnosed with ASD. Her favorite quote is "Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching." Her advice for newly enrolled families is to be patient and kind to yourself; there is a lot to learn but with time, you'll make new routines and become a master at online learning.

 

Mollie Ostrow, PT Advisor

Mollie Ostrow, Advisor

Advisor Mollie has worked for ISMN for 4 school years and holds a degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota.  Mrs. Ostrow had previously worked as a Social Worker for 15 years and is now enjoying the change of pace while her children are still little. She enjoys that each week she can influence her students and give them the individual attention they deserve in order to be successful. Advisor Mollie's favorite quote is "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" ~ Nelson Mandela.   Mrs. Ostrow firmly believes that online learning allows students to concentrate on their studies during classes and then socialize with their friends outside of the learning environment. Her favorite part about working as an Advisor at ISMN is knowing the impact she is making in children's lives.

 

Grace Mustafa, FT Advisor

Grace Mustafa, Advisor

Mrs. Mustafa is heading into her 3rd school year at ISMN and previously worked as a teacher in St. Paul Public Schools.  She enjoys being able to connect with students and their families and create a community through the virtual setting. Mrs. Mustafa's favorite quote is "Do one thing everyday that scares you." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt.   Grace's advice for newly enrolling families is to feel empowered to reach out when questions, concerns, or comments arise. It is a LOT to take in at first, but all of the staff at ISMN are here to help. She is confident that you'll be a pro at online school in no time!

 

Kendrix Fonts, Administrative Assistant

Kendrix was hired as ISMN's Administrative Assistant in the Spring of 2020 and is excited to be starting her first full school year.  Kendrix is the friendly face on the other side of the phone when calling the main ISMN office and is more than happy to take your questions or excuse your student's absence.

 

Meet Our Teachers

Insight School of Minnesota (ISMN) 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 ISMN.

 

LeAnn Burke, Special Education Teacher

LeAnn Burke

Mrs. Burke is a High School special education teacher who joined the ISMN team in 2017. She brings more than 15 years’ experience in education and professional development. LeAnn earned a BA in Elementary Education and Special Education from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. She holds license in Elementary education, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Emotional Behavioral Disabilities. Mrs. Burke likes the fact that students have an opportunity for an education when they struggle and the setting online is positive and encouraging. Her words of wisdom for new students and Learning Coaches is to keep trying your best! It will get easier.  

 

Wendy Smart, Special Education Teacher

Wendy Smart

Mrs. Smart is a Special Education teacher that will be starting her first full school year at ISMN in the Fall of 2020. One of her favorite parts about her role at Insight is making connections with her students in all parts of Minnesota! Her favorite inspirational quote is "Treat others how you want to be treated." To newly enrolled families, Wendy shares that it is very important to reach out for any help needed and to be patient. 

 

Angela Mejdrich, Special Education Teacher

Angela Mejdrich

Mrs. M is also heading into her first full school year at ISMN in the Fall of 2020 but was hired last school year as a Special Education teacher. Her favorite thing about teaching at ISMN is helping students experience success at school. Mrs. M's favorite inspirational quote is "You don't have to be perfect to be amazing." Angela wants new students and Learning Coaches to know that there is a steep learning curve to starting a new school and learning new systems and processes. Don't be afraid to ask questions and to seek out help. Everyone at ISMN wants to see you succeed! 

 

Karie Strauss, Special Education Teacher

Karie Strauss

Ms. Strauss is a Special Education Teacher who joined ISMN in 2013. Karie earned her BA in Psychology from Winona State University. She earned her teaching license from Augsburg University specializing in Special Education. Karie holds certificates in Emotional Behavior Disorder and Specific Learning Disabilities. Ms. Strauss loves teaching online because it eliminates any type of first time impressions. As a teacher she gets to see students as who they are academically. Not who they are behaviorally or even physically. She is able to see what they are capable of and make adjustments as necessary without any physical judgmental thoughts.

 

Tammy Botten, High School Chemistry, Trigonometry, Physics Teacher

Tammy Botten

Mrs. Botten the ISMN team in 2015. She brings 25 years of teaching experience in teaching high school math, chemistry, and physics. Mrs. Botten earned a BS in Math, Chemistry, and Physical Science from the University of WI-Superior, and a MA from Saint Mary's of Winona. Mrs. Botten likes being available to her students more than just an hour a day, and she likes if her students miss her lesson they can watch her lesson's recording. Tammy says that she loves the flexibility of online learning both for her and for the students. Mrs. Botten feels that online learning is a great opportunity for students who cannot attend their local school for various reasons, and is a stress-free learning environment for those who had troubles learning in a classroom setting. Her advice for new students is to not fall behind, as it can be hard and overwhelming to get caught back up. The best way to do this is to keep up with things weekly and make sure all assignments are completed from the week prior to enjoying your weekend.

 

Stephanie Engelbrecht, Language Arts Teacher

Stephanie Engelbrecht

Mrs. E joined ISMN in 2011. Prior to teaching, she was the ELA director for multiple states in the area of English Assessments. She earned her B.A. from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD and her M.S. Ed from St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. She holds her teaching license in 5-12 Language Arts and Communication. Her favorite inspirational quote is "I am not afraid; I was born to do this!" ~ St. Joan of Arc. Steph loves being able to personalize students' educational experiences in the online setting. She firmly believes in education being accessible to all students no matter what environment they find themselves in. Mrs. E's favorite part about teaching is discussing good books with students and seeing them grow as fantastic writers and readers! Her advice to new students is to reach out to your teachers, come to Class Connects (live classes), and participate. We are always here to help!

 

Jenny Engkjer, Life Science Teacher

Jenny Engkjer

Ms. Engkjer started teaching online the year that ISMN opened. She has 18 years of teaching experience and ten of those are online. Jenny earned a BS in Biology from the University of MN and her master’s degree in Education from the University of St. Thomas. Her favorite quote is "Whatever you are...be a good one." ~ Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Engkjer loves the ability to connect with students and families and help them experience success that they may haven't in traditional schooling. She feels that online learning is a great option for students that have finally found a place to excel. They can work without distractions and focus on their goals. Plus, the teachers at ISMN are so inviting, talented, and caring. Her favorite thing about teaching is connecting with students and hearing their stories and goals. Her advice to new families is that when you start online school, you will get so much information all at one time. Be patient and hang in there; in a week or two, it will all make sense. Reach out and ask questions along the way!

 

Mary Fink, Language Arts & Music Teacher

Mary Fink

Miss Fink graduated in 2014 from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Secondary English Education. She has taught ESL (English as a Second Language) for two summers in Italy. She also taught English and Music at two private schools and a homeschool coop, before coming to ISMN. She enjoys books, coffee, ice cream, hiking, and spending time with her four younger siblings. Her favorite thing about her job is meeting students from all over Minnesota. Favorite quote: "Aim for the moon. If you don't reach there, you'll still land among the stars." Her advice to students is to ask questions to your teachers! We are here to help you and we love to hear from you.

 

Bryan Franklin, Social Studies Teacher

Bryan Franklin

Mr. Franklin began working for ISMN in 2018. He has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies within the United States with a focus in African American Studies. Mr. Franklin continued his education at Washington State University and obtained a M.A. in Political Science. Upon graduation he began teaching at the community college level for three years. Returning to school, Bryan obtained a teaching license in secondary Social Studies. Mr. Franklin believes that online education provides a necessary platform for students to learn and excel in an environment that suits their learning needs. His favorite quote is "With confidence, you have won before you have started." ~ Marcus Garvey. Mr. Franklin's favorite part about teaching at ISMN is interacting with students. For new students and Learning Coaches: Bryan would say be patient, ask questions, and work daily in the courses. We are here to support your academic goals and to help you reach your academic potential!

 

Alexander Hindin, High School Math Teacher

Mr. Hindin is a third year teacher with ISMN. Mr. Hindin enjoys the ability to bring a world of online resources and experts, including other teachers and learning coaches, into the virtual classroom. He believes in online learning's potential to bring a wide range of students from different locations and backgrounds together to pursue their interests, with all the world's learning resources at their disposal.

 

Sara Keane, 6th-8th Grade Math Teacher

Sara Keane

Sara has a Fine Arts degree from SCSU and her MA in Art Education form the UM of the Twin Cities. She has taught at multiple school ranging from public to charter settings. Mrs. Keane has always enjoyed working in non-traditional environments that is where she is most successful and happiest professionally. She feels that not all students will succeed in the traditional school setting. Every student is different and learns uniquely. The educational system needs to create environments that work for everyone.

 

Samantha Klersy, Math Teacher

Samantha Klersy

Mrs. Klersy joined the ISMN team in 2014. She graduated from St. Catherine University with Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Middle School Math, and then later returned to school at the University of Minnesota to earn her Masters of Education in Online Learning Technologies. She has been teaching multiple levels of Math for 8 years and currently teaches a combination of Middle School and High School Level Algebra courses. Her favorite quote is "Your mind is like a garden, your toughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds." Mrs. Klersy loves teaching online because it truly provides students with a learning environment that is current, relevant, and adaptable to all students' needs! Her favorite part of teaching is working with students and families. Her advice to new families: Be patient! There's always a few weeks of adjustment before you find your rhythm!

 

Ann Lendino, Spanish Teacher

Ann Lendino

Mrs. Lendino who joined the ISMN team in 2013. She brings more than 15 years experiences in education. Ann earned a BA in Education and Spanish from College of St. Benedict, and a MA in Learning Technology from University of St. Thomas. She has been taking classes toward her K-12 Reading Licensure. Mrs. Lendino feels online learning is a great way for students to get personalized learning. They can go at their own pace and get as much or as little individual help when needed.

 

Katie Miller, 6th–12th Grade Math Teacher

Katie Miller

Mrs. Miller joined the ISMN team in 2015 and is excited to head into her 5th school year. Katie earned a BA in mathematics education as well as a ME-PSD all from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She has 10 years’ experience working in education and with at risk youth. Her favorite quote of inspiration is "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney. Her favorite thing about teaching is working with the youth, challenging them to be the best they can be, and being my students' biggest fan 100% of the time! Mrs. Miller enjoys being able to build relationships with students through the use of small group and one to one sessions offered through the online setting. She also enjoys being able to teach students a subject with eliminating the anxiety that might come with it. To new ISMN families, Mrs. Miller says: Welcome! Come to Class Connects regularly to build those very important relationships with your teachers. We (your teachers) are here to help you every step of the way. Be sure to communicate and let us get to know you!

 

Kristin O’Brien, Science Teacher

Kristin O'Brien

Ms. O'Brien joined the Insight School of Minnesota team in 2013. She brings more than 10 years’ experience in education and curriculum development. Kristin is glad to be a part of such a unique learning experience at ISMN and her favorite part is working with students and their families. Kristin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Metropolitan State University, a Master’s degree in Teaching from the University of St Thomas, a Creative, Gifted, and Talented Certification from the University of St Thomas, and an Elementary Education license at Hamline University. Kristin holds teaching certificates in General Science, Life Science, Creative Gifted & Talented Education, and Elementary Education. Teaching is the most fulfilling job she has had outside of being the parent of three elementary aged students. Her favorite quote is "All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talent" ~ John F. Kennedy. New students, please do not be afraid to ask questions!

 

Kathleen Rittenour, Health, Physical Education, Life Skills Teacher

Kathleen Rittenour

Mrs. Rittenour has been teaching for over 30 years with a third of that in the online setting. Kathleen earned a BS degree in Health Education and Coaching licensure from Southwest State University, Physical Education degree from Moorhead State University, DAPE (Developmental Adapted Physical Education) from St. Cloud State University, and MA in Curriculum Instruction with emphasis in Physical Education and recreation “how to play” from St. Thomas University. She also has held teaching certificates in Minnesota, Ohio, and South Dakota as well as additional certificates: EMT (Emergency Medical Technician, CPR, First Aid, LGT, WSI (Water Safety Instructor), HSI (Horsemanship Safety Instructor), FSI (Firearm Safety Instructor), SSI (Snowmobile Safety Instructor) and many others. She takes pride in helping students understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. She will also take an occasional “Bird Walk”, in her classes but it is important to allow some “fun time” in life…that’s why her MASTER’S degree is in recreation/leisure… “How to Play”. She was brought up in a family that worked extremely hard but also PLAYED even harder.

 

Sarah Kesting, Social Studies Teacher

Sarah Kesting

Ms. Kesting is a high school social studies teacher and has been with ISMN for 6 years. She started in fall of 2012. She brings 10 years of teaching experience to Insight, and taught in South Saint Paul school district before starting with ISMN. Sarah earned a BA in political Science and a Master’s in education from the University of Minnesota in 2009. Ms. Kesting feels that online school is a great opportunity for students because it gives them a safe space to be themselves and there are not the same distractions as the classroom with their peers.