Middle School

MVPAZ Middle School Staff

Our MVPAZ Middle school is opened for students in 6th - 8th grade with students completing courses in Math, Language Arts, History, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Art, Music, and MORE! Students in our online public school should spend on average of 5 to 6 hours a day working in our online campus (platform). Our Arizona state certified teachers provide online class instruction, guidance, and support.

Eric Steele - 6th Grade ELA/History

Mr. Steele has been in online education for nearly 12 years. He has taught English and history at the middle and high school level, as well as created online curriculum across multiple virtual platforms. When not striving to teach his students critical thinking skills, Mr. Steele enjoys roller skating and playing with his two dogs.

Kristen Belt - 6th Grade Math/Science kbelt@mvpaz.org

Hello Students, Parents, and Learning Coaches! My name is Kristen Belt, and I am the 6th grade Math and Science teacher. I have been a teacher for over four years and I am very excited to be a part of the Stride community.

I was born and raised in Miami, FL. I moved to Tucson, AZ for college and graduated with a degree in education. I moved to Maricopa County in 2019 and live with my Siamese cat, Delilah. My favorite hobbies in middle school were reading and playing Pokemon.

Some of my favorite activities include reading, dancing, horseback riding, Krav Maga, going to concerts, and spending time with friends. I am also a part of a cosplay group that does non-profit work, including with Kids Need to Read.

Anna Elizondo - 7th Grade Math/Science

Ms. Elizondo is in her 14th year of teaching. She graduated from the University of Arizona and earned her M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University. She emphasizes the importance of growth mindset as a part of instruction to help students believe they can improve their skills at their own pace. She believes all mathematical thinking, questioning, and contribution from every child is an important voice in the classroom.

In her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, journaling, and spending time with her husband and two daughters working on puzzles, at-home escape rooms in a box, and playing video games.

Brianna Williams - 7th/8th Grade History

Brianna Williams earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History from UCLA in 2009 and is currently working on earning her Master’s Degree in Online Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University. Over the last 10 years, she has taught both middle and high school history online and in a brick and mortar classroom. She is passionate about history and can’t wait to share her excitement for the subject with her students.

Hamed Shirazi - 8th Grade Math/Science

I was born and grew up in Iran. I moved to the United States in 2012. I graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor's in Biology. I am currently working toward my Master's of Mathematics in Education at Grand Canyon University.

I taught one year of Biology and two years of Algebra 1. In my free time, you can find me in the gym or playing soccer.

My life motto is, "No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!"

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).

Jose Avalos Jr. - SPED MS/HS

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. I now live in a 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 third school year teaching virtually. It is my second 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/they gets the best guidance and assistance there can be.