High School

MVPAZ High School Staff

MVPAZ High School provides an engaging, innovative experience that prepares individuals for success in a rapidly changing world, empowering them to realize their full potential. Arizona public school students in grades 9th -12th grade are expected to work 5 to 6 hours daily in their online campus (platform) and to stay on track for graduation should earn 6 credits each school year.

Olivia Noriega- Counselor

Ms. Olivia Noriega started her professional career as a classroom teacher twenty years ago; serving elementary and middle school students for six years. Ms. Noriega completed her graduate studies at the University of Phoenix, with a focus in School Guidance and Counseling. She has served as a school counselor for seven years, at both the elementary and high school level. Following her counseling work, she obtained her certificate in Educational Leadership. Over the past eight years, she has served as an Associate Principal in a brick and mortar school. Ms. Noriega is very excited and truly honored to return to counseling and serve the MVPAZ community. She is committed to working in collaboration with staff, parents, and the community to provide the best possible educational experience for every child. 

Jean Scherer - History/French jscherer@mvpaz.org

My name is Mr. Scherer and I am the U.S. and World History teacher at MVPAZ.

I was born in France and grew up in many countries, first settling in Michigan when I was a teenager, and after a brief return to Europe, I came back for good and finally moved to Arizona about 15 years ago. My upbringing made me appreciate the different cultures in which I lived and gave me a love of languages.

I began my teaching career as a French teacher, I have also taught American Government, but my favorite subject is History. I am fortunate to interact with students daily. We have taught each other a lot and will continue to do so.

I am the father of a dog and two cats. In my spare time I enjoy photography, reading, cooking, antiquing, and motorcycle rides.

I look forward to spending time teaching you and interacting with you. I look forward to seeing you in class.

Candice Evans - Science

Candice Evans earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She then went on to get a Master’s in chemistry from the University of Arizona, as well as a Master’s in Education from Phoenix University. She has taught for over 16 years and has taught online for more than 8 years.

Jennifer Gentle- English

My name is Jennifer Gentle. This is my 7th year teaching and my 2nd year teaching online. I have a Masters degree in Education. I love working with children and learning from them as much as they learn from me! When I am not teaching, I am spending time with my family. I have 8 children, 6 boys and 2 girls! I also enjoy doing puzzles and reading. I am originally from Oregon, but moved to Arizona one year ago. I am so excited to teach with Stride this year!

Katie Kokoskie - MS/HS Art

My name is Laura "Katie" Kokoskie and I am delighted to begin my eighth year teaching for Stride/K12! I have taught at the following K12 schools over the years: AZVA HS and Middle School, K12 International Academy and George Washington Online High School. Online education keeps evolving and that is also what continues to intrigue me. I very much enjoy sharing my love and passion for the visual arts with my students by encouraging them to brainstorm, teaching them how to create using various media, and showcasing completed works!

I have always enjoyed the arts while growing up in Central Pennsylvania. I gravitated to Ceramics while in high school and later pursued a Dual Business and Studio Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I headed out West for an adventure. I landed in Tucson, Arizona where I attended the University of Arizona earning a MA in Arts Education. My brick and mortar teaching experiences range from preschool through College! Along with teaching, I am also a working artist. Sombrero Peak Studio is where I create wheel-thrown vessels and uniquely individual mosaic works.

My other interests stem from my family and my love of sports. I competed for two years on the University of Pittsburgh Division I softball team where I met my wonderful husband, Justin. We have three beautiful children, Jackson (Age 15), Gianna (Age 13), and Lucy (Age 5).

Marlene Kanehailua - Health/PE mkanehailua@mvpaz.org

My name is Marlene Kanehailua and I am the Health/PE and Sports and Entertainment Marketing Teacher here at MVPAZ. As you can tell by my last name, I was born and raised in the beautiful Island of Hawaii also known as the Big Island. I have my Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Health and Physical Education from Linfield College. I taught at Aloha High School (yup that is right Ah-Lo-A- Indian word) in Beaverton Oregon for 17 years. I took 6 years off to work on my own clothing line and company of which I still own and operate with a couple of business partners. Realizing I missed teaching so much, I was hired by Arizona State University as an Adjunct Professor in the College of Education. I worked at ASU for 3 years prior to taking the position here with MVPAZ.

In my free time you can find me teaching or modeling in yoga live stream classes for Inner Vision Yoga or working out at the gym or dancing. I love to dance and spent 10 years dancing in the NBA. Go Blazers!!! I love fashion (hence starting my own clothing line) and also love homes and real estate shopping. My favorite foods are ICE CREAM and COFFEE. I love life, living in the moment, and building relationships with people especially my students.

Jan Esmay - Health Sciences/Medical Terminology

Hi! I am Mrs. Esmay and I am your Health Sciences and Medical Terminology Teacher for the 2021-2022 school year. After 31 years of teaching, this will be my second-year teaching online and I am very excited to start a new milestone.

I grew up in Parker, Arizona and moved to Lake Havasu City after graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in special education. Shortly after moving to Lake Havasu City, I began the adventure of earning a higher degree; thus I have a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University.  I then decided to further my education and worked diligently to earn my National Board Certification in early adolescent science.

I have been happily married for 29 years and together we have 2 beautiful children. Since they are married, we now have 4 awesome kids. I am excited to also be a Mimi of a rambunctious grandchild.

Jose Avalos Jr. - SPED

My name is Mr. Jose Avalos (Mr. A) and I am very excited to be your child’s Special Education teacher this school year! I grew up in the central valley of California. Years later I joined the Marine Corps and my last duty station was Yuma, AZ. After finishing honorably in the military, I decided to stay in this beautiful state of Arizona. I now live in small town by the border called San Luis, AZ with my beautiful wife and my two princesses. I love spending time with family, traveling, and coaching sports whenever I can!

This is my second school year teaching virtually. It is my first year with K12 though, and so far, it has been an amazing ride. I have worked in the law enforcement field as both an officer and educator. Also, I have worked in the public charter, and private day school systems. I am very familiar with special education and its components. I am here for your child, to ensure that he/she gets the best guidance and assistance there can be.