Meet Our Staff
Gerry Verwey PrincipalSend an Email
Gerry serves as the Principal for MySchool@Kent and completed his post-secondary education at Grand Valley State University and Wright State University. He also serves as the Principal for Kent Innovation High and is the program supervisor for Kent ISD’s new teacher mentorship program called the New Teacher Community.
Ben Bell English InstructorSend an Email
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 InstructorSend an Email
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 InstructorSend an Email
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.
Theresa Truax Science InstructorSend an Email
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.
Jan Finkel Math InstructorSend an Email
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 InstructorSend an Email
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 ConsultantSend an Email
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.
Mari Price Teacher Consultant Send an Email
Talibah Sawyer Interventionist/Academic CoachSend an Email
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 RegistrarSend an Email
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 RegistrarSend an Email
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.
Elizabeth Schafer Academic CoachSend an Email
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.
Cat Willey Academic CoachSend an Email
Cat Willey joined the MySchool@Kent team in May 2021 after working in Kent ISD's Adult Education program for about 2 and half years. She attended Wyoming Park for 3 years (Go Vikings!) and was the first graduating class of Wyoming High School in 2013 after the merge. She comes to us with a B.A. in Spanish from Grand Valley and some Post B.A. credits in Secondary Education and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Michigan State. She has a passion for helping students and is excited to be here as a resource to help students to be successful.
Lisa Schantz CounselorSend an Email
Lisa Schantz is a school counselor for MySchool@Kent and Kent Innovation High. Lisa spent 27 years at Grand Rapids Public Schools where she started her career as a teacher for students with emotional impairments. After 17 years of teaching, she spent 10 years as a school counselor. Lisa then spent 2 years as a Teacher Consultant for KISD at KEC Beltline High School.
Deborah VanDyke, M.A., M.A.T. CounselorSend an Email
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.