Meet Our Staff

  • Cary Stamas Interim Principal

    Cary holds a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Physics and Mathematics from Hope College, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Central Michigan University, and is finalizing his dissertation as a PhD candidate at Western Michigan University in Educational Leadership and Administration. In addition to serving as Interim MySchool Principal, Cary is the Director of College and Career Readiness. Prior to serving as Director of College and Career Readiness, Cary held several administrative positions in Kent County, including Administrator at Kent Career Tech Center, Principal of MySchool@Kent, and Middle School Principal and Director of Technology in Caledonia Community Schools. 

  • MelanieRose Straub Administrative Assistant

    MelanieRose is the administrative Assistant for MySchool@Kent. Her experience includes working for a non-profit managing a grant from United Way to prepare young adults for their GED exams. Additionally, MelanieRose previously worked as an instructor/academic coach for SuccessLink from 2012-2015. She is very happy to return to MySchool@Kent serving students and their families from all over Kent County.  

  • Ben Bell English Instructor

    Ben Bell has worked for the MS@K program since its inception in 2012. He is certified in English Language Arts and Psychology (via GVSU, 2008) and teaches a variety of elective courses as well. He runs “Game Club” for students and is passionate about student achievement.

  • Doug Hicks Social Studies Instructor

    Mr. Hicks grew up in Wyoming, Michigan and graduated high school in 2001 from Wyoming Park (Park Pride!!!). After high school, he attended Grand Rapids Community College to obtain various prerequisite credits. In the fall of 2004, Mr. Hicks transferred to Michigan State University and pursued a degree in Public Policy and Administration through the College of Interdisciplinary Studies. In 2007, Mr. Hicks was accepted to graduate school at Michigan State University and attended the College of Education to pursue his teaching degree in Group Social Studies (RX).

  • Kellie Murray Science Instructor

    Mrs. Kellie Murray began her career with MySchool@Kent in 2014.  Before that she spent 14 years teaching at Wyoming Public Schools primarily teaching Chemistry and Biology.  Her passion is working with students of diverse backgrounds and leading students to reach their potential as learners and as citizens.   Mrs. Murray enjoys teaching at Myschool@kent because everyday brings something new.  

  • Jan Finkel Math Instructor

    Jan Finkel was born and raised in Grand Rapids. She graduated from Northview H.S. (go CATS!) and Grand Valley State University with a B.S. in Mathematics and Psychology. After working in Florida for a couple of years as a mathematics educator, she moved back home to Grand Rapids. Jan started with MySchool in 2018 as a blended learning coach. In 2020, Jan transitioned to a full-time mathematics instructor for both middle and high school courses. 

  • Matt Reda English/Social Studies Instructor

    Matt Reda started teaching in 1998 and has worked in a variety of environments: traditional, charter, vocational college, ABE, and GED preparation. He has a master's degree in education from Aquinas College and a bachelor's degree with majors in both History and English from Grand Valley State University.

  • Tamara Cnossen Teacher Consultant

    Tamara Cnossen is the Teacher Consultant at MySchool@kent. She has been teaching and helping teenagers since 1988!  Yes, it has been a few years.  Tam started her career at Coopersville High School and ended at Sparta High before moving to MySchool.  She loves the energy and enthusiasm of high school students. Helping student’s transition to the working world and being successful at high school is her passion.

  • Talibah Sawyer Interventionist/Academic Coach

    Talibah  has been working in the social work field for the past 18 years with at risk youth through various positions from a Direct care provider to her last position at DA Blodgett- St Johns as a Learning and Development Specialist. Talibah also has experience as a Crisis Intervention Instructor. Talibah is happy to support MySchool@Kent students who may need a little extra encouragement to complete their course work and meet their graduation requirements. 

  • Bonnie Lewis Registrar

    Bonnie Lewis has worked in the education field for over 20 years. She has been an Administrative Assistant at Kent ISD for over 20 years and started working for MySchool@Kent in 2012.

  • Emilee Ryder Registrar

    Emilee joined the MySchool@Kent team in the fall of 2019 after graduating from Aquinas College with a degree in Business Administration and Communications. Prior to Aquinas, Emilee graduated from Northview High School and also attended Kent Innovation High School for 4 years. She works as both a member of the registrar team, and assists new students in their transition to MySchool. 

  • Tyler Bennett Academic Coach

    Tyler Bennett joined as an academic coach in February of 2020. He graduated from Forest Hills Central High School in 2004, and from Western Michigan University in 2009. His bachelor's degree is in Secondary Education: English, and Communications. He has spent most of his career helping students with unique learning needs, with a focus on developing literacy and language skills for long-term academic success.

  • Rodney Riley II Academic Coach

    Rodney Riley has been with MySchool@Kent since 2017. His passion for education shows in current practice and throughout his professional experience. Grand Valley alumnus, Mr. Riley has promoted postsecondary education and training, served as a mentor and job supervisor. Mr. Riley often sites his past experiences to students as evidence to the importance of education, specifically education of self.

  • Elizabeth Schafer Academic Coach

    Elizabeth joined the Myschool@Kent program as an Academic Coach 4 years ago and enjoys building relationships with high school students.   Previously, she spent many years working in the banking industry and volunteering with numerous youth organizations. She believes strongly that every student deserves the chance to reach their full potential and is honored to help them achieve their academic goals.

  • Theresa Truax Academic Coach

    Theresa Truax joined the MySchool@Kent team at the start of the 2016/2017 school year. She earned her BS in Education from Western Michigan University, as well as several post-graduate credits from Grand Valley State University. She has a passion for helping students navigate successfully through high school.

  • Lianne Lindner Social Worker

    Lianne joined KIH in 2021 as the social worker and as part of Student Support Services.  Originally from upstate New York, she landed in Chicago after college, where she worked in acute and residential behavioral health settings as a recreational therapist. However, she has called Grand Rapids home for the past 14 years. Most recently, she went back to school to receive an MSW degree after having worked for 6 years in an area school district as a special education parapro and behavior interventionist. Most of all, she has always found joy in listening to people and hearing their stories. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage daughters and husband in the outdoors, hiking, biking, or cross-country skiing. 

  • Colton Cnossen Mental Health Liason

    Colton Cnossen, MSW, is the school’s mental health liaison.  Colton works closely with students addressing mental health in the school setting. Along with assisting and supporting students better adjust to school with mental health and linking them to community resources. He aims at creating a positive culture centered around mental health.

  • Deb VanDyke Counselor

    Deborah Vandyke, M.A., M.A.T., has provided innovative, cutting-edge English Language Arts instruction and Student Support for 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, as well as Counseling and Reading Specialist Masters degrees. She is available to MySchool@Kent students and their parents for scheduling, career planning, college preparation, as well as psychological and social support.

High School - Personalized

MySchool@Kent combines new ways of learning, with the best part of school - the caring relationships. We take instruction and coursework online with a laptop/wireless card for learning anywhere. Plus, you'll experience just-in-time learning, tutoring, and group discussions in our café-style face-to-face learning labs.

Flexible Take courses at the time of day you prefer
Personal Complete high school with us or take just the classes you need to graduate a la carte
On Site Support Our Personal Online and on-campus Instructors and Success Coaches provide the support you need when you need it