Meet Our Elementary School Staff

Jennifer Bass teaches Music for grades 3-12 at TOPS. This is her 6th year teaching Music for K12 Texas, and her 13th year teaching. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education at Texas Christian University (go Frogs!), and has certifications in the Orff Schulwerk and Kodály teaching methodologies.

Jamie Buchanan is the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Art, Health and PE teacher. She joined TOPS in 2014. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a B.S. in Industrial Technology Design and Development with a minor in Art. Ms. Buchanan holds her teaching certification in EC-8.

Ashley Cummings is the Elementary Lead Teacher who joined K12 in 2014. She is also the 3rd Science teacher. Ashley earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston-Downtown. She holds certificates in Early Childhood Education, General Education, Special Education and ESL.

Erin Deegan-Smith is the 3rd grade English Language Arts teacher who joined K12 in 2013. She graduated with honors from the University of North Texas and began her teaching career in 1999. She holds certificates in Elementary Reading, Gifted and Talented, as well as English as a Second Language. She has served as third grade point-of-contact and is currently serving as the Gifted and Talented teacher for grades 3-8.

Laura-Sue Karl is a 5th grade ELA teacher who joined K12 in 2015. She has taught for 10 years, with two years being in Japan as an English as a Second Language teacher to local nationals. Laura-Sue earned her BS in Communication Studies from Texas Christian University in 2008, her M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership from Lamar University in 2012, and is currently attend Abilene Christian University working on her Doctor of Education degree. She holds certificates in Early Childhood-8th grade Generalist and English as a Second Language K-12.

Heather Lipscomb is the elementary social studies teacher for TOPS. She joined the K12 team in 2007. She brings more than 14 years’ experience in education. Heather earned a BA in Education from the University of Houston Clear Lake. She holds certificates in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Pre-K through 6th and generalist 4th through 8th grades.

Kirk McIntosh is a 4th and 5th grade science teacher and has been with TOPS since Jan. 2018. He has taught science, math, Spanish, and language arts in elementary and high school. He earned a B.A. from Austin College in Sherman, TX and attended Texas Tech University to become a teacher. He is certified in Elementary (K-8) Education and K-12 level Spanish instruction with additional certificates in Gifted/Talented and ESL.

Lorie Medina is currently the 4th grade math teacher and has been with K12 schools for 11 years. She has an additional 7 years of experience teaching in the brick and mortar classroom. Mrs. Medina earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-RGV in Elementary Education and also holds a Special Education certificate.

Jennifer Moore is a TOPS 3rd grade math teacher with 18 years of teaching experience. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, she has taught computers, math, ELA and science to kindergarten through seventh grade students. Mrs. Moore is certified in Elementary Education (1-8), Technology Applications, ESL, and Special Education. 

Kim Vandever is a 5th math teacher who has been teaching for more than 10 years. She joined the TOPS team in 2016. Kim earned her BA in Education at Texas Christian University. 

Yvonne Walbek is a 4th grade ELA teacher who joined the K12 team in 2013. Yvonne earned a BS in Human Resources from Geneva College and a MA in Instructional Leadership from Robert Morris University. She is certified to teach PK-6th grade.