Our Faculty/Staff

Click on each photo or name to view each staff member’s contact information and biographical information.

Stacia Belanger

Middle School English, English Lab, English 9
sbelanger@mymwa.org
  • B.A. English, Western Michigan University

Stacia teaches middle school English classes, English Lab, and English 9. She taught Middle School Language Arts and worked as a Support Teacher in Upper Elementary in a North Carolina Montessori school before moving to Indiana. Stacia received her B.A. in English (Practical Writing), from Western Michigan University. She has also worked with English as a New Language students and taught homeschool cooperative high school English composition classes.  Some of her other experience includes university Writing Center tutoring, marketing for an organic family farm, and working as a technical writer. She hopes to bring her varied experiences to the classroom and create a safe, challenging, and inspiring environment for the incredible students at Midwest Academy. Education is the primary means of discovering one’s unique path in this world, and she is excited to join students on the journey.

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Stacia Belanger

Stacia Belanger

Middle School English, English Lab, English 9

Judy Bess

Mathematics, Lead Teacher
jbess@mymwa.org

• M.S., Elementary Education, IUPUI
• B.S., Elementary/Early Childhood Education, Indiana University

Judy teaches Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Probability/Statistics and Precalculus. She enjoys teaching math and wants students to know that math doesn’t have to be as scary as they think. She has experience teaching math in Florida and Massachusetts. She also taught with the Department of Defense Schools in Germany and England. Judy’s favorite quote by Robert Frost: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” She enjoys reading, traveling, getting together with friends, sewing, and cross-stitch.

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Judy Bess

Judy Bess

Mathematics, Lead Teacher

Alex Browning

Art, World History
abrowning@mymwa.org

• B.S., Visual Arts Education, Indiana University

The impact of Alex’s teaching is visible throughout the school’s hallways. You can see students’ works of art proudly affixed to walls, hanging from ceilings, and displayed on cabinets everywhere. Alex was drawn to Midwest’s close-knit, supportive learning community. Not only does she teach art and world history, but she also co-teaches our film class and helps facilitate our aftercare program. Additionally, Alex is an advisor for our Student Council. Prior to joining Midwest, she completed her student teaching at the Orchard School, another progressive education school in the area. Her former experience with children includes working as a Kid City counselor, volunteering at Camp Kesem, and substitute teaching with IPS.

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Alex Browning

Alex Browning

Art, World History

Jen Cirrincione

Student Services
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Jen Cirrincione

Jen Cirrincione

Student Services

Jean Coffman

Director of Finance
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Jean Coffman

Jean Coffman

Director of Finance

Casey Danubio

Director of Counseling & Human Development
cdanubio@mymwa.org

• M.Ed., Educational Psychology, West Chester University.
• B.S., Counseling, University of Scranton.

Casey has been building and leading our counseling team since 2014 and comes to us with deep experience counseling students with learning differences from Pennsylvania. She was drawn to Midwest by our progressive education model, small class size, and emphasis on the social and emotional aspects of each child. She is extremely gifted at quickly relating to and connecting with kids and their families. In addition to counseling our students, Casey manages our students' ISPs and also teaches our Health class. Her favorite quote by E.E cummings: “The most wasted of all day is one without laughter." In her free time, she enjoys tennis, exercise, good food, sports, and reading.

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Casey Danubio

Casey Danubio

Director of Counseling & Human Development

Sarah Figueroa

Office Administrator
sfigueroa@mymwa.org

Sarah is entering the workforce after running an in home daycare for 13 years. She has been at home with her 4 children over the past 24 years. Her son, Simon, is entering his 4th year here at Midwest Academy. Sarah enjoys being in nature, time with her family, making art in a variety of mediums (painting, photography, pottery, creative writing, dance). She feels passionate about the environment, food as medicine and Kindness. Sarah is our new Office Administrator at the front desk.

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Sarah Figueroa

Sarah Figueroa

Office Administrator

Katie Foster

Director of Enrollment Management
kfoster@mymwa.org

• B.A., Social Studies Education, Purdue University

Katie has worked with children with learning differences since she graduated from Purdue. Midwest is a second home to Katie; the staff and students are family to her. She is here because of the kids who she finds simply amazing, including her own son. In addition to helping families find a place at Midwest, Katie teaches Government and Economics to our high school students. Her favorite quote: “Do not train children to learn by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds so that you may be able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” She enjoys photography, loves history, and is a die-hard Notre Dame football fan.

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Katie Foster

Katie Foster

Director of Enrollment Management

Kevin Gailey

Head of School
kgailey@mymwa.org

• B.S., Psychology, Springfield College
• M.Ed., Elementary Education, Lesley University
• Certificate in Fundraising Management, IU School of Philanthropy
• Certificate in Non-Profit Business Management, IU Kelley School of Business
• M.A., Exercise Sports Science/Administration, University of North Carolina

As the Head of School and also a parent of a child with learning differences, Kevin focuses on keeping the child at the center of everything we do. His passion is to provide a progressive education for kids with learning differences since he has seen the tremendous difference that it makes in their lives. After being drawn to these complex learners as a teacher over 25 years ago, he believes that progressive education fits with their unique stages of development. Kevin joined Midwest in 2010 and provided leadership in the areas of Counseling, Transition Planning, and Curriculum Development. He then focused on relocation and growth of the school in 2012. As Head of School since 2013, Kevin has focused on strengthening our mission, staff development, and student programming. At school, you will find him interacting with students on a day-to-day basis, developing teachers, and leading staff to achieve Midwest's strategic goals. He enjoys coaching soccer, tinkering with tools, reading books, kayaking, hiking, and fly fishing.

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Kevin Gailey

Kevin Gailey

Head of School

Jane Gailey

Student Services
jgailey@mymwa.org
  • BA Education and History Hobart/William Smith Colleges 
  • M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, Lesley University
 
Jane joined the staff officially in the Fall of 2017.  Yet, she is no stranger to the benefits of the Midwest community as it has been a part of her family for the past 8 years.  As a parent of a child with learning differences, she appreciates the progressive education, caring environment, and differential learning practices that encompass the Midwest educational experience.  Jane has a passion for serving others in the community.  She brings 25 years of administrating and teaching in a variety of educational settings.  At Midwest, she is involved in coordinating service learning opportunities, overseeing the BOOST program for students needing extra support, and assisting with admissions testing.   She enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
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Jane Gailey

Jane Gailey

Student Services

Katy Galbraith

Physical Education
krude@mymwa.org

• M.S., Kinesiology, IUPUI
• B.S., Exercise Science, IUPUI

Katy teaches physical education to all of our students at Off the Wall Sports, just next door to our school. She has been a certified personal trainer/coach for over 8 years. She also offers private individual and group personal training to our staff and parents in our onsite fitness room. Midwest excites her since we believe in every single kid and what they can accomplish. Her morals and beliefs align with how we teach kids to excel in everyday life. She is passionate about helping others physically and mentally better themselves, growing others’ confidence, and spending time with family and friends.

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Katy Galbraith

Katy Galbraith

Physical Education

Madie Hamsley

Behavior Specialist
mhamsley@mymwa.org
  • B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Interpersonal Relations
  • M.S. in Counseling- in progress
This is my third year working at Midwest Academy on the counseling team. I received my bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in interpersonal relations as well as human development at Ball State University. I am currently in my third year as a graduate student at Butler University in the school counseling program. I am currently developing and delivering a comprehensive guidance program with over 180 guidance lessons involving social and emotional work, practical life skills as well as careers and transitions. I chose to work at Midwest Academy to open my eyes to a unique school setting with an opportunity to learn more about individuals with learning differences and pursue my passion of addressing and fostering the social emotional needs of students.
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Madie Hamsley

Madie Hamsley

Behavior Specialist

Kara Hanley

Marketing and Development Coordinator
khanley@mymwa.org
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Kara Hanley

Kara Hanley

Marketing and Development Coordinator

Tom Harrison

US History, College Prep, Philosophy, Dual Credit, Electives
tharrison@mymwa.org

• M.S., Education/Instructional Research, Purdue University
• M.Div., Theology, Christian Theological Seminary
• B.A., Radio/TV/Film, Oklahoma State University

Tom has been teaching many of our high school and dual credit courses, with a focus on preparing our students for college, for many years now. Some of his most popular courses include “History Rocks,” “NPR 101,” and “What’s Your Problem.” His background in instructional design and media, along with his natural skill at connecting with our students, has given him a knack for making classes engaging and relevant. Prior to his life as a teacher, he served as a minister/chaplain and as a radio personality. His son is an alumnus of Midwest. He enjoys attending concerts, playing guitar, and spending time with his wife and kids.

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Tom Harrison

Tom Harrison

US History, College Prep, Philosophy, Dual Credit, Electives

Chad Inman

Middle School and High Science Teacher
cinman@mymwa.org

• B.S., Secondary Science Education, Indiana University

Chad has been with Midwest for over 20 years. As a key leader, Chad helps our kids work through social and academic issues, helps teachers with accommodations for students, and ensures a positive learning and social environment is maintained for our middle school students. Additionally, Chad teaches Ecology, Astronomy, Chemistry and Biology. He helps students explore and solve problems by applying science concepts in interactive projects and experiments. He leads our exciting Astronomy Nights throughout the school year. He enjoys camping, building models, and launching rockets.

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Chad Inman

Chad Inman

Middle School and High Science Teacher

Becky Johnson

Head of High School, English
bknapp@mymwa.org

• M.S., Education, Indiana Wesleyan University
• B.S., Humanities, Indiana University
• A.S., Early Childhood Education, Ivy Tech

Besides providing leadership to our high school, Becky teaches English to many of our high school students. Becky finds creative ways for students to interact with language arts in a way that entices them based on their interests. She is happy that teachers at Midwest have the freedom to do what is best for students. She wants to make a difference for students who have not been given an adequate chance to shine. She dedicates much of her non-teaching time to humanitarian missions to Uganda and Haiti. She does much volunteer work through Helping Hands and Hope Refuge Schools. She loves to read.

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Becky Johnson

Becky Johnson

Head of High School, English

Bill Johnson

Technology and Engineering
wjohnson@mymwa.org
  • BS Mechanical Engineering Technology - Purdue University (2007)
  • Transition to Teaching - IUPUI (2014)
  • MS Engineering Technology Education - IUPUI (In Progress)

Bill is a Purdue trained engineer who spent six years working in the production and design field and 6 years in a management role.  He was selected for a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship in 2014 and became an engineering and technology teacher. After making connections with students with learning differences, he discovered a passion for working with students who need a different approach to education and he joined the Midwest team.  He is excited to help the Midwest technology program expand to serve our students’ needs and interests. Bill also enjoys reading non-fiction, especially books about engineering and music history.

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Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson

Technology and Engineering

Dave Knapp

Maker Space, Facilities (Part-Time)
dknapp@mymwa.org

• Automotive Repair, Lincoln Technical Institute
• 8 National Certifications in Repair
• 100+ Training Certifications

Dave has enjoyed working with his hands since he was a kid. He spent 40+ years as a mechanic on all types of vehicles and construction equipment. He now works with students in the Maker Space on a limited volunteer basis, teaching them the design process, tool usage, safety, maintenance, and repair. He has enjoyed this transition to teaching the skills he has spent a lifetime developing. He also helps takes care of the school’s building maintenance as time allows. In his spare time, he volunteers at church, develops his woodworking skills, tinkers with electronics, and enjoys car restoration.

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Dave Knapp

Dave Knapp

Maker Space, Facilities (Part-Time)

Kristina Majors

Middle School Social Studies
kmajors@mymwa.org

B.S. in Social Studies Education from Indiana University

My name is Kristina Majors and I am absolutely thrilled to be starting my first year at Midwest Academy! I will be teaching middle school Social Studies.
I am originally from Terre Haute, Indiana and received my B.S. in Social Studies Education from Indiana University in 2012. While in college, I volunteered for an organization called Camp Kesem, which is a free, student-run summer camp for children whose parents have or have had cancer. After my time as a counselor, I served as an advisor to Camp Kesem chapters at the University of Florida and Brigham Young University. Fun fact: I first heard about Midwest Academy from Alex Browning, who I met while volunteering for Camp Kesem at IU!

After receiving my undergraduate degree, I began working at Shonto Preparatory School in Shonto, Arizona where I taught 7th-8th grade Social Studies for two years. My experience at Shonto was particularly unique because the school was located on the Navajo Reservation. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in a culture other than my own, trying to learn the language, and working with the amazing teachers and students there.

My experience teaching on the Navajo Reservation sparked an interest in language acquisition and bilingual education, so I decided to work toward a Master’s Degree. There were several schools that I wanted to apply for, but my heart was pulling me back toward my home state and alma mater. So, I moved back across the country to attend Indiana University…again! I graduated in May 2017 with my M.S. Ed. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education.

My fiance Chris and I live in Bloomington, Indiana with our cat, Piper. When I’m not at Midwest Academy, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, walking around IU’s campus, cooking, reading, singing along to my favorite Broadway tunes (I love Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen), and traveling to new places!

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Kristina Majors

Kristina Majors

Middle School Social Studies

Alicia McClure

Music/Drama, Taekwondo, Study Skills
amcclure@mymwa.org

• B.S.M., Music Composition, Lincoln Christian College

Alicia fell in love with Midwest when she first joined several years ago to lead our music program, which includes daily music classes, choir, music theory and drama. Our school is always brimming full of excitement around our winter program and our theatre productions, as you see everyone participating in music, acting, and/or stage production. She has a true gift in encouraging our kids to try new things, uncover and grow hidden talents, and grow their confidence. Being a second-degree black belt, she has also introduced Taekwondo to our students as an afternoon elective to help grow their confidence. You can see the deep love she has for our students and in the work that she does. She likes classical and classic rock music. She enjoys painting with watercolors and collecting stamps.

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Alicia McClure

Alicia McClure

Music/Drama, Taekwondo, Study Skills

Sally Morris

Animation, Robotics, Coding, CAD
smorris@mymwa.org

• M.S., Instructional Media, Wilkes University
• B.A., Journalism, Ball State University

Sally recently joined Midwest after relocating back to Indiana from Texas. She has over 10 years of experience in education and formerly taught high school Computer Animation, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Robotics while in Texas. She is certified/licensed in Technology Applications, Technology Education, and Computer Education. Sally has worked with students of all ages through programs such as Campfire USA and Upward Bound, and has experience working with students with various special needs. Before becoming involved in education in 2005, Sally was an IT manager and computer consultant for 18 years. She is the parent of four grown children, and her personal interests include travel, music, and science fiction.

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Sally Morris

Sally Morris

Animation, Robotics, Coding, CAD

Sean Oatis

Director of Student Activities, Behavior Specialist
soatis@mymwa.org

• B.S., Music, University of Indianapolis

Sean’s passion is working with kids to provide them with positive life experiences. As a result, his roles focus on the social and emotional aspects of our kids’ development. As Director of Student Activities, Sean develops after-school clubs and extracurricular activities for our students. As an integral member of our counseling team, he is highly trusted and constantly sought out by many of our students to help resolve and work through bumps in their days, “resets,” and/or other dilemmas. He helps students find the right words and learn appropriate reactions for certain situations. He loves the environment at Midwest and how we work together to help our students succeed. The context of his experience includes ABA therapy, behavior management, residential treatment, recreational programming, and teaching life skills. He has been involved in coaching Special Olympics. He is a gifted and talented classical guitar player who enjoys performing and teaching. He also loves playing and teaching sports.

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Sean Oatis

Sean Oatis

Director of Student Activities, Behavior Specialist

Becky Smith

Elementary Teacher
bsmith@mymwa.org
  • B.S. Elementary Education, Millikin University
  • B.S. Child Life, Ball State University
  • Masters in Elementary Education, Marian University

    Becky was born outside Cleveland, OH, and moved to Indianapolis when she was 1 year old. She attended Sycamore for Elementary and Middle School, and Brebeuf Jesuit for High School. Becky then went to Millikin University in Illinois and got her B.S in Elementary education. After Millikin, she attended Ball State and got a B.S in Child Life (working with children in hospitals). She taught a year of preschool and went back to get a Masters in Elementary Education from Marian University. This will be her 12th year of teaching. Becky previously taught at public schools, private schools and has worked in ABA education. She lives in Carmel with her 2 cats Stoma Lou and Parker.

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Becky Smith

Becky Smith

Elementary Teacher

Aiyasami Salem Sreenivasan

Math, BOOST
asreenivasan@mymwa.org

• M.V.Sc, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, India
• B.V.Sc, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, India

Aiyasami teaches middle school math and 2-year Algebra. He also supports the remediation of student skills in our BOOST program. Mathematics is his favorite subject! He has been amazed by the student-centric educational approach at Midwest and has recently joined our teaching team. He enjoys teaching math to children using creative math techniques, which makes math much more fun, easy and enjoyable. He believes that everyone can excel in math by adopting better math strategies and have fun while learning it. In his many previous incarnations, he was a guest teacher at the Orchard School, math tutor at a non-profit center, environmental toxicologist, wildlife veterinary consultant, and veterinarian. In his free time, he loves to cook, listen to 80s music, take pictures, walk his dogs, solve puzzles, play chess, watch movies, and read.

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Aiyasami Salem Sreenivasan

Aiyasami Salem Sreenivasan

Math, BOOST

Hannah Todd

Administrative Coordinator
htodd@mymwa.org
  • Early Childhood Education from Indiana University
  •  Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from Butler University

Hannah begins her first year at Midwest Academy after eight years of teaching at The Orchard School. During this time she discovered her passion for progressive education and was a dedicated teacher leader in her school community. In addition to teaching, she was the Team Lead for her grade level, English Department Chair, Diversity Council member, and served on the ISACS Accreditation team. Hannah has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from Butler University, and has spent time in both Scotland and England studying their educational philosophies and systems.

In her free time, Hannah enjoys being in nature, reading, cheering for the Indiana Hoosiers, playing with her dogs, and traveling to see family and friends!

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Hannah Todd

Hannah Todd

Administrative Coordinator

Lisa Zack

Spanish
lzack@mymwa.org

• B.A., Education, Spanish, Ball State University

Our students also know Lisa as “Seńora Zack,” our Spanish teacher. Midwest excites Lisa because we are always growing and changing to meet our students’ needs. She loves Midwest since she is able to teach through hands-on projects instead of rote methods requiring students to answer to a singular test. Often, you may see her cooking ethnic foods in the kitchen with our students. Not only does she teach Spanish, but Lisa also helps lead the Optimist Club and the Student Council for Midwest. She serves as a chairperson for the Indiana District Optimists, and she sits on the Board for the Fishers Optimist Club. She is the proud grandparent of three grandchildren. She enjoys playing golf, swimming, cooking, dancing, reading, and learning to play the piano.

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Lisa Zack

Lisa Zack

Spanish