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Meet our Administrative Staff

Trust Our Expert Staff to Keep Things Running Smoothly

IDVA's administrative staff is composed of professionals and specialists dedicated to making a virtual academy a very real learning experience. Here are some of the people who work behind the scenes to keep IDVA responsive to your needs.

Amy Chadez, K–7 Principal, has returned to IDVA after spending two years teaching and leading the on-boarding procedures at Nevada Virtual Academy. Amy came to IDVA in 2008 as a teacher and on-boarding specialist. Prior to joining IDVA, Amy taught in the Vallivue and Caldwell school districts. While working for the Caldwell School District, Amy earned the Lincoln Elementary Teacher of the Year award, participated in aligning curriculum to state standards, and helped implement Power Standards in the district. Amy holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in learning and technology. She is completing her education specialist degree from the University of Idaho.

Jenny Whelan, Middle School Principal, completed her undergraduate degree in Education at the Bemidji State University in Minnesota.  She holds a Master’s in Education, with an emphasis in Mathematics and completed her Educational Leadership Program at Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Jenny began her teaching career as a first grade teacher in Minnesota for six years prior to becoming an online teacher. Her online teaching experiences include High school Advisor and Middle School Teacher at the Arizona Virtual Academy. When her family moved to Idaho, Jenny began teaching for the Idaho Virtual Academy as a Middle School Language Arts Teacher. The following year, she became the K–7 Master Teacher, and then was asked to serve as the Secondary Master Teacher. Now, as Middle School Principal she can share her love of learning by collaborating with colleagues and working with IDVA families.

Scott Miller, High School Principal, Alternative High School Principal lives in Idaho Falls. His first degree was in 1989 where he received his BS in Social Sciences from Idaho State University. In 1991 Scott earned his MPE in Athletic Administration from Idaho State University, and in 1999 he received his MEd in Educational Leadership, again from Idaho State University. Scott worked in several school and academic leadership positions in Idaho Falls, including principal of Skyline High School. In his spare time Mr. Miller enjoys traveling and fly fishing. The rivers and creeks of Eastern Idaho, Western Montana, Southern Alberta and Eastern British Columbia are typically where he spends time on the water.  He has also spent time fishing in Chile and Belize. Mr. Miller has been married to his wife since 1990; they have three daughters, Taylor (attending University of Montana), Bailey, and Kalli. Mr. Miller truly believes IDVA meets the needs of students who want an online environment!

Tara Ball, Special Education Manager, has been with Idaho Virtual Academy since 2002. She served as a special education teacher and both lead and master special education teacher prior to becoming the special education coordinator. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education, with an endorsement in special education, and an educational specialist master's degree in educational leadership with endorsements for special education administrator and consulting teacher from University of Idaho. Tara has taught in both general and special education, has a background as a home schooling parent, and also taught in a homeschool cooperative.

Allen Wenger, Financial Manager, joined K¹² in 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a master's in finance and banking from Wright State University in Dayton Ohio. Allen has work experience in the U.S. government, Peace Corps, and the Department of Defense. He spent 30 years in the Civil Service, working as a Financial Officer in the Air Force.

Chase Trapp, K¹² Technology Team, Western Region, majored in computer science at the University of Idaho and has been a computer technician for the past 16 years. He owned his own computer store and was the first commercial Internet service provider in Idaho. Before coming to IDVA, Chase was the state system administrator for the University of Idaho's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Department.

Mike Groshong, Human Resources Director, has been IDVA's operations manager since the school's inaugural year. His background includes four years as an intelligence analyst and Russian interpreter with the U.S. Navy, and almost 18 years in upper management with American Drug Stores. He served as the dean of students, athletic director, and student council advisor for Butte County School District. Mike has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Montana and is pursuing a degree in corporate training from Idaho State University.

Heidi Higgins, Local Development Manager, was educated at Brigham Young University. She schooled  three of her six children with IDVA and is the proud parent of an IDVA graduate. As local development manager, Heidi is responsible for state wide information sessions, arranging for marketing events, and working with teachers and families to ensure interactivity within the school. Heidi enjoys reaching out to families interested in online learning, and helping current families with the challenges of educating children at home. Heidi has been nationally recognized as a motivational and political speaker since 1978.

Andrea Hampton, Operations Manager, joined IDVA in October 2008. She began her work managing state testing, the state reporting system, Internet subsidy, and the day-to-day duties of the central office, now she coordinates all school operations. Andrea earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Boise State University.

Idaho Virtual Academy School Support Staff

Teresea Bannister, On-Boarding Specialist

Tisha Case, District Project Manager, joined IDVA in March 2010. She provides support in Medicaid billing, SES tutoring services, and student accounts. Tisha is working toward a degree in network management at Boise State University.

Natalie Christopherson, Records Clerk

Rozanne Clark, On-Boarding Specialist

Jennifer Edwards, Placement Coordinator

Julie Ingwerson, Virtual High School Registrar, joined IDVA in 2009. She attended Northwest College and BSU. Prior to joining IDVA, Julie worked in the banking industry.

Ashley McCurdy, Office Assistant, joined IDVA in September 2008. She is currently a student at BSU, studying toward a degree in social work.

Emily Smith, Operations Clerk, has been with IDVA since April 2011. Emily, who worked as a summer reading teacher for the Bear Lake School District, loves students of all ages and helping them feel important and become successful. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Western Governors University.

Trish Thomas, On-boarding Specialist

Laura Powell, Virtual High School Registrar, handles all registrations for high school. She contacts schools for transcripts and helps place students in their courses. Laura has been with IDVA since 2005.

Tiffany Jo Bannister, Family Engagement Coordinator for the Alternative High School, attended the Idaho Virtual Academy for seven years and graduated with honors in the first graduating class in 2009. Tiffany then attended Brigham Young University – Idaho and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English: Creative Writing in 2013. She has worked with K¹²'s marketing team as an intern for several summers in a row in various capacities and now serves as the Family Engagement Coordinator of the IDVA Alternative High School. Tiffany's extensive background with the Idaho Virtual Academy has given her the opportunity to attain and share her belief in the values and benefits of the virtual schooling option. She loves working with students and is always enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve others.

Ali Johnson, Family Support Team for Alternative High School, former IDVA Student

Jacquelyne Higgins. Family Support Team for Alternative High School, former IDVA Student

Kate Carlson, Family Support Team for Alternative High School

Erin Dixon, Family Support Team for Alternative High School

Starlit Pillarella, Central Office Receptionist

Stephanie Rose, Central Office Receptionist