Meet Our Middle School Staff

Nicole Alaniz, teaching 8th grade Pre-Algebra, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2007, with a Bachelor's degree in Health Promotion & Fitness and a minor in Educational Psychology. Prior to joining TOPS, she taught in the Texas Public School System for 9 years, with 3 years of specialization in Mathematics. She holds certificates in Early Childhood Education through 8th grade and Physical Education grades EC-12. She resides in South Texas with her husband, head baseball coach for Sinton ISD, and 2 daughters. She enjoys creating content for blogging, photography, and spending time with her family.

Tiffany Nayar is a veteran teacher who brings more than 20 years of experience in education, curriculum development, and leadership.  She currently teaches 6th grade Science. Tiffany earned her master’s in Education and is continuing to pursue her education. She holds certificates in science, math, speech, history and communications.

Lauren Sotelo is a middle school advisor who has an BA in Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has 14 years in education and 6 years with K12 and online education. She taught 8th grade American History for three years before becoming an advisor. She loves supporting families as the navigate online education. 

Naomi Armstrong is an 8th grade teacher who joined the K12 team in 2012. She earned a BS degree from Texas Woman's University. She holds certificates in General Studies, Social Studies and Special Education.

Amanda Bohannan is an 8th grade teacher who joined k12 in 2015.  She has taught 8th grade science for 6 years, but she also enjoys math as well.  Amanda earner her BA at Stephen F. Austin University, and she plans on returning to school to complete her MA in 2019. 

Erin Cogburn is an 8th grade ELA teacher who joined the K12 team in 2014. She previously taught elementary special education in Abilene ISD for six years. Erin holds an MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Abilene Christian University and an M. Ed in Educational Administration from Sul Ross State University. Her teaching certificates include Special Education EC-12, Principal, Generalist 4-8, and ESL supplement.

Amber Cooper is a 6th grade social studies teacher who joined TOPS in 2017. She has been in education for 7 years. Amber earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University and holds a 6-8 Generalist teaching certificate.

Jamie Cranmore is an 8th grade science teacher who joined the K12 team in 2016. This is her 13th year teaching middle school science. Jamie earned a MA in Teaching from Texas Woman's University. She holds a 4-8 Generalist and ESL certification.

Angie Crow teaches 6th grade math.  She has been teaching with K12 for 4 years and has 19 years teaching experience.  Angie graduated from Montana State University with her Bachelor's Degree and Azusa Pacific University with her Master's Degree.

Brooke DuBose is currently a 7th grade teacher with TOPS. This is her first year with TOPS, but her 3rd year with K12. This is Brooke's 4th year teaching 7th grade English. Brooke earned her BA in Communications with a Journalism concentration. She went out into the customer service workforce before deciding that teaching is where she was meant to be. She then earned her alternative teaching certification as has never looked back since. She is currently certified to teach English and Language Arts 4-8.

Crissy Eliashar is a 6th grade ELA teacher who joined the k12 team in 2014.  She started her journey as an educator after graduating Texas A&M in 2001.  She has also enjoyed learning how to play "rock, paper, scissor" in multiple languages while teaching English in Japan, Thailand and Israel.  She holds a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Philosophy; Certification as Generalist 4-8, ELA 8-12, and English as a Second Language Supplemental Certification in the state of Texas.

Amy Falco is a 7th grade science teacher who has been a k12 teacher since 2014 and has taught math and science to middle school students since 2008.  She earned her degree in Math-Computer Science from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas and has a Math and a Generalist teaching certificate.

Miranda Frink is an 8th grade social studies teacher who joined the K12 team in 2014.  She has 7 years of teaching experience.  Ms. Frink earned her bachelors from Texas Tech University and is currently working on her masters at Texas Tech as well! She holds certificates in 4th-8th grade as well as an ESL certification.

Crystal Frost is an 8th grade lead teacher who joined the K12 team in January of 2014.   She earned a BS in Cultural Diversity and Education as Austin Peay State University and a MA in Teaching from Trevecca Nazarene University.  Crystal holds teaching certificates from Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas.  In Texas she holds certificates in 4-8 English Language Arts & Reading as well as Social Studies. 

Lauren Groeschel is a 7th grade Social Studies teacher who joined the K12 team in 2012.  This is her first year teaching middle school Social Studies.  From 2012 to 2018 she taught High School Fine Art.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Advertising and a Master of Education (Secondary Education) from University of North Texas.  She holds certificates in Art, Journalism, and Social Studies.

Ashley Harris-Shook is the 6th grade advisor who joined the K12 team in 2011. She brings more than 10-year experience in education, counseling, and social emotional learning. Ashley earned a BS in Psychology with a minor in Education from LeTourneau University. Mrs. Harris-Shook also brings personal experience as a Learning Coach.

Susan Hasz is a 7th grade Science teacher who joined the K12 team in 2015.  Susan earned a BS in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jessica Higgins is an 8th grade math teacher who joined the K12 team in 2015.  She taught 7th grade English, AVID, Journalism, and 7th and 8th grade math for 6 years in brick & mortar before joining the wonderful world of virtual education.  Jessica earned her Bachelor's degree at Texas Christian University, and worked as the Catering Coordinator at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth for 4 years before answering the call to teach.  She is certified 4-8 Generalist, and has a true passion for making math fun!

Heather Horn is the middle school Algebra I teacher and Math/Science Lead teacher at TOPS.  This is her fifth year with TOPS and her 15th year of teaching.  She earned a bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech University and a Masters in Gifted Education from Hardin-Simmons University.  She holds certifications in EC-8th grade all subjects, 7-12th grade Math, Gifted Education, and ESL.

Genny Horton is a Middle School Advisor who joined the K12 team in January of 2015.  She brings more than 30 years of experience in education including more than 10 years in Educational Leadership.  Genny earned a MS in Education from the University of Houston.  She has a Principal Certification as well as an Elementary Certification (Grades 1st -8th).   Genny has a passion for helping others. 

Lana Jackson-Brown is an 8th grade ELA teacher and middle school ELA lead who joined the K12 team in 2014. Lana earned a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of New Mexico, and a MS in Social Entrepreneurship from Fort Hays State University. She holds certificates in Early Childhood Education through 8th grade in all subjects.

Carie Johannsen is a 6th grade Math teacher who has taught with K12 since 2011.  She has been a middle school math teacher for 20 years and is currently getting her masters in Digital Learning and Leading.  She holds certificates in Reading, English, and Math.

Keith Little is a 7th grade math teacher who joined the K12 team in 2012. He has over 30 years of experience in management, leadership, training and education. Mr. Little earned both an MA in Education and a BA in Social Science/Education from Ashford University. He holds TEA teaching certificates for Grades 4-8 Mathematics and Grades 4-8 Generalist.

Marcie Lockett is a Spanish teacher who is enjoying her first year with K12.  She has taught for more than 10 years and is also a certified school counselor.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Texas A&M University and a masters in Counseling and Special Populations from Lamar University.  Spanish is a passion for her and she loves to share it with her students.  She is also certified in several other areas including ESL and Special Ed.

Nayane Olivas is a 7th grade ELA teacher who joined the k12 team in 2013.  In May of 2008, Mrs. Olivas graduated with a bachelor’s in Sociology from Abilene Christian University.  She is certified to teach k-8 General Education, K-8 Bilingual Education, k-8 Special Education, and K-12 ESL.

Heather Olson is a 7th grade math teacher who joined the K12 team in 2017.  She brings 7 years of experience as a 6th and 7th grade math teacher.  Ms. Olson earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree and a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Angelo State University.  She holds a certificate as a 4th - 8th grade Generalist with ESL endorsement.

Janna Reed is an 8th grade math teacher who joined us this year (18-19) from a B&M. She brings 7 years of experience in education. Janna earned a BA in Education from The University of North Texas and a MEd in Educational Administration from Lamar University. She holds certificates in grades 4-8 and SPED.

Gina Shulse is an 8th Grade English Language Arts teacher who joined the K12 team in 2015. She has worked in Education for 12 years teaching all grade levels from 8th grade to Seniors! Gina has a BA in Communication and English from Stephen F. Austin State university and she holds certificates in ELA Grades 8-12, Generalist Education Grades 4-8, Generalist Education Grades Early Childhood through 6th grade, and ESL.

Kelly Smith is the TOPS middle school counselor and high school counselor for last names Fo-H. She earned a BA in English from Texas A&M University-College Station, and a Master’s in School Counseling from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She joined the K12 team in 2017 as a TOPS middle school advisor and the middle school counselor. She spent seven years as a classroom teacher, teaching both high school and middle school.

Emily Swistak is a 6th grade ELA teacher who joined the K12 team in 2013.  She graduated on the Dean's List from Grand Canyon University where she earned her BA in Education.  She also holds her ESL Certification.  Mrs. Swistak has worked with children of all ages since she was 18 years old, including early childhood development, elementary education and early childcare abroad.  She is passionate about teaching and caring for the development of children and strives daily to serve that calling. 

Laurie Tweedle is the middle school PE and health teacher. She joined K12 in 2014. She enjoys teaching students about fitness and how to stay healthy throughout their lives. Mrs. Tweedle earned her degree from Tarleton State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and education.

Morgan Waters teaches 7th grade Social Studies. She has taught Social Studies for 4 years at K12. Her education includes a master’s in Education and an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University. She is currently certified to teach 4-8 Generalist (math, science, social studies and English) and holds her ESL certification.