Meet our team
Meet Our Leadership Team
Our administrative and support staff is committed to ensuring the finest education possible for your children. From providing expert tools and strategies to teaching materials and parent support, our leadership team is dedicated to making sure that you have what you need to deliver a well-rounded, enriching education to your children.
Mrs. Elizabeth Nelson | Executive Director
Elizabeth Nelson has 12 years of experience in education, including teaching math and economics, writing math curriculum, helping at-risk students achieve success, and focusing on a data-driven culture. She joined the K12 team in 2014 as a math teacher at Arizona Virtual Academy and transitioned to middle school lead teacher before joining Texas Online Preparatory School as the middle school and high school principal in 2017. She left Texas Online Preparatory School to launch Texas eSchool Prep as the head of school in 2019 and to launch Lone Star Online Academy at Roscoe in 2020. She is thrilled to be returning to her TOPS family for the 2021-22 school year as the Executive Director.
Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Mathematics with a minor in economics and a second bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Indiana University. She also holds a Master of Educational Leadership from Ball State University and principal certification in Texas and Arizona.
Elizabeth and her family, including 4 out of 8 children, 2 dogs, 11 dwarf goats, and 3 geckos, enjoy the country life in the Texas Hill Country in the Cowboy Capital of the World.
Mrs. Jayne Iley | Elementary School Principal
Jayne Iley has 35 years of experience in the field of education including positions ranging from a classroom teacher to principal. She joined K12/Fuel Education as an English teacher in 2009, transitioned to a state lead in 2015, moved to a teacher supervisor in 2018, and served as the academic administrator/principal for Texas eSchool Prep for the 2019—20 school year, and Lone Star Online Academy for the 2020—21 school year. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education from Texas State University. She holds a Master of Science in educational administration from Walden University and a Texas principal’s certification. Jayne and her husband live on their cattle ranch in South Central Texas. In the fall, they operate a pecan harvesting business. They have two daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law, and three amazing grandchildren. This year Jayne is excited to work with the amazing team at TOPS Elementary School.
Mrs. Crystal Frost | Middle School Principal
Crystal graduated from Austin Peay State University with a bachelor’s degree in cultural diversity and education. In 2010, she earned her Master of Arts in teaching in from Trevecca Nazarene University. She is currently enrolled in Lamar University’s Principal Certification Program. Crystal has taught grades K–8 in Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas. Her experience in the Stride K12 family includes five years of 8th grade ELA, first at Texas Virtual Academy and then at TOPS. Most recently she was 8th grade ELA and lead teacher at TOPS Middle School.
Mrs. Juli Laechelin | High School Principal
Mrs. Laechelin graduated from Texas A&M University with an undergraduate degree in wildlife and fisheries science. She earned her Master of Education from Texas State University. Mrs. Laechelin has been honored to teach science courses ranging from AP® physics to 6th grade science. In 2016, Mrs. Laechelin joined the Stride K12 family as a southern region instructional coach where she helped schools across the nation improve instruction and student learning. In 2019, Mrs. Laechelin joined the TOPS family as high school assistant principal where she is principal. She and her husband live in south Texas with their four boys, dogs, cattle, cows, horses, donkeys, chickens, peacocks, and more. Mrs. Laechelin has a love for education and supporting each student to reach their potential. When not working, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time outdoors with her family.
Mrs. Marissa Lopez | Career Learning Principal
Mrs. Lopez is excited to continue serving TOPS students, staff, and families as the TOPS Stride Career Prep principal. This is her tenth year in education. She joined TOPS High School as an assistant principal in September 2020. As AP, she facilitated growth of the TOPS Career Learning program. Prior to joining TOPS, Mrs. Lopez served as a high school business teacher, CTE department head, and work-based learning coordinator. She also managed active chapters of the student organization, Business Professionals of America. Her favorite thing about TOPS is to walk alongside students in their educational journey and help them reach their full potential while becoming future-ready.