Meet the Teachers

Math: Stacy Alley

Hi! My name is Stacy Alley and I’m excited to begin my 19th year with Las Cruces Public Schools.  I am a fully online teacher with LCPS’s Virtual Learning Academy and Math is my subject area.  I teach, Algebra, Algebra II, Honors Algebra, Geometry, Honors Geometry and Financial Literacy.  I believe that learning is most powerful when relationship based and while I don’t “see” my students face-to-face, I work really hard to make a personal connection with them online. 

I am a native New Mexican who loves chile, spending time at the lake and have an appreciation for the culture and scenic beauty that define New Mexico.

Tip for success- Communicate with your teacher!

English: Tara Andersen


Hello, my name is Tara Andersen. I have been in education in the state of New Mexico for 16 years and this is my 5th year teaching English for the Virtual Learning Academy through Las Cruces Public Schools. I am proud to be a 3rd generation educator in this beautiful state!  I have a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree from the College of Santa Fe.  In addition to teaching for VLA, I currently teach English III and IV at Rio Grande Preparatory Institute in Mesilla. I have been at RGPI for almost 9 years! I am a Level III teacher and I love working in the virtual setting for VLA and RGPI! I love working with a variety of students and working for VLA allows me to do so! I look forward to educator for many years to come!  

Pre-Calculus: Katie Strascina

Hello! My name is Katie Strascina and I am excited to be teaching Pre-Calculus for the LCPS Virtual Learning Academy.  I am a native New Mexican and am currently starting my tenth year of teaching math and engineering with Las Cruces Public Schools.  Since graduating from New Mexico State University, I have spent thirteen years teaching and coaching with a two-year hiatus spent teaching English in Japan.  Most recently, I have received a Master's degree from New Mexico State University in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in educational learning technologies and online teaching and learning.  I am very excited to be working with students from around the district in an online setting and hope I can enrich their learning experience through my VLA classroom.  

Social Studies: Juan Armijo

Social Studies Teacher, Mayfield High School and VLA
I have been teaching high school for thirty years and have been at Mayfield for twelve years and with the VLA since it started.  In the VLA I teach Principles of Democracy, New Mexico History and World History.  At Mayfield I teach AP US Government, US History and Principles of Democracy. I am a graduate of New Mexico State University, the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University.

General Business: LouAnn Vigil Womble

Hello, I am LouAnn Vigil Womble.  I am a native New Mexican.  I was born in Portales, NM, and have lived in Las Cruces almost 30 years.  I am a strong believer in education, thus I have many degrees.  I have a BA in Finance and Business Admin, Bachelor of Accountance, Master of Curriculum and Instruction and am currently working on my PhD in Education.  I come from a business background so I have many years of business experience.  I have been teaching for 18 years.  I have taught at Gadsden High School, Las Cruces High School and currently I am at Onate High School.  I have also taught for about 12 years at DACC in the technology department.  I have taught online for about 10 years and I believe online learning will continue to grow at the high school level.  I look forward to working with our LCPS community of online learners!

P.E.: Mark Dwake


Hello my name is Mark Dwake.  I have been teaching for over 12 years with Las Cruces Public Schools.  I have been teaching Physical Education at Hillrise Elementary School for all 12 years.  I am very excited to start teaching with Virtual Learning Academy.  I will be teaching middle school Physical Education.  I graduated from New Mexico State University and love being in the outdoors mountain biking, hiking, and all the wonderful opportunities the beautiful New Mexico outdoors has to offer.

Psychology and AP Psychology: Hanna Phillips

Hi!  My name is Hanna Phillips.  I've been teaching at Mayfield High School since 2004.  I love my job and my students and I'm looking forward to teaching on line for the Virtual Learning Academy!  I have taught Psychology, AP Psychology, Principles of Democracy and New Mexico History.  Having lived in many places, New York, California, Oregon, Alaska, and France, New Mexico has been my home since 1997.  I earned my bachelor's in education and master's in counseling and psychology from NMSU, and I am a level three teacher.  I like travelling and gardening and staying fit by eating well and exercising.  I have 2 cats and a dog and my husband is a musician and carpenter.  We like camping in our motor home and spending time with our family.  
I can't wait to meet my online students for the 2017-2018 school year!

English: Jo Anna Singer


Hello!  My name is Jo Anna Singer.  I have been a Special Education and English teacher at Las Cruces High School for 21 years; however, this will be my rookie season teaching for LCHS Virtual Learning Academy.  I am very excited to have this opportunity to teach and provide student support in such a unique setting.  Virtual learning will open windows and doors to desired 21st century student skills and knowledge.  I am a native of Las Cruces, a graduate of LCHS, and NMSU with a Master’s in FACS and educational licensure.  When leisure time permits I enjoy reading, crafting, and my guilty pleasure is Bubble Witch Saga.  I am looking forward to gaining skills and knowledge with all of you!  

Science: Amy Ewing

I was born in Rhode Island, but raised in New Mexico.  I obtained an education degree from New Mexico State University and taught at Hatch Valley High School.  Once my son, David, was born, I opted to eliminate the commute to Hatch and began working at Las Cruces High School.  It was during my time as a Bulldawg that I also obtained my Master's Degree from New Mexico Tech.  After 10 years as a Dawg, I opted to join Virtual Learning Academy where I teach multiple science courses.

Social Studies & NM History: Patty Sandoval

Hello, my name is Patty Sandoval and I am very excited to be a part of LCPS Virtual Learning Academy.  This is my 19th year teaching for Las Cruces Public Schools. I am a Level III teacher who earned both my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction degrees at New Mexico State University.  I am currently a Learning Coach for Distance Learning at the high school level.  In addition, I currently teach Financial Literacy and New Mexico History at Las Cruces High School.  As an eTeacher for VLA, I teach 8th Grade Social Studies and New Mexico History.

Online teaching has provided a unique opportunity to connect with students in a virtual setting while challenging myself as a teacher to support and engage a variety of learning styles.  My students encourage (or push) me to learn something new every day, which is exciting and refreshing. I believe VLA offers learners opportunities to be successful and move forward in life, and I am honored to play a small part in that success.  

English: Jesse Pareo

Hi, my name is Jesse Pareo! This will be my sixth year teaching English with the Virtual Learning Academy through Las Cruces Public Schools. I enjoy working in the virtual setting; the flexibility that it offers has given me the opportunity to work with and meet some great students all from different grade levels, backgrounds and interests.

I am also an assistant principal at Sierra Middle School. Before becoming an assistant principal, I taught for 13 years the high school level; I taught AP English Literature and English 9-12.

English: Joshua Silver

Hi! My name is Joshua Silver and I am excited to be working with LCPS Virtual Learning Academy again this year.  In addition to teaching for VLA, I currently serve as the Assistant Principal at Arrowhead Park Early College High School. I am a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescent English and this year, I am teaching Creative Writing, English IV and AP Language and Composition. 

Online teaching allows me the opportunity to work with students all over our community. I am a lifelong advocate for “leveling the playing field in education” and believe that VLA provides this for so many Las Cruces Students!

Tip for success - Use your Pacing Guide! 

NM History: Michael Brewer

I have been an educator for 26 years. I was a teacher for 18 years and have been an administrator for 8 years. I am currently the principal at Vista Middle School and enjoy teaching with VLA. I have been an online teacher for about 6 years. When I became an administrator I missed being involved with students as a teacher. Being an instructor with VLA has given me the opportunity to work with students again. I look forward to the start of each semester and the journey through New Mexico history that I take with my students.

Math: Courtney McVay

Hi Students and Parents! My name is Courtney McVay and I am so excited to be teaching online this year. This is my 8th year with LCPS and I have taught a variety of math, business and statistic courses over that time. I received both my Bachelors and Master’s degrees from University of Phoenix and I’m certified to teach math, business, engineering 1 and Career Tech courses. I am from Texas, lived in Phoenix and now I’m in New Mexico. I love the mountains and the weather here. I also love to do anything outdoors, teaching and photography. I’m looking forward to learning with all of you this year!

Math: Kissa Dixon

Hi! My name is Kissa Dixon. I am excited to begin my 17th year of teaching with Las Cruces Public Schools. I teach Psychology, Introduction to Engineering, and FACS classes at Las Cruces High School. Most recently I became a part of the Virtual Learning Academy where I am teaching 6th Grade Math and Social Studies. I earned both my Bachelors and Master’s degrees from New Mexico State University. I began my teaching career as a 6th grade Math and Social Studies teacher and working for the Virtual Learning Academy has allowed me to work with middle school students again, while still teaching high school students; the best of both worlds! I’m looking forward to working with you all this year!

Science: Tammy Miller-Dwake

Hello! My name is Tammy Miller-Dwake. I have been a science teacher with Las Cruces Public Schools for 14 years. I have taught grades 6-12 both online and in a traditional classroom setting. I am excited to continue working with the Virtual Learning Academy teaching middle school science online. 
    I was born in Las Cruces, NM but completed my k-12 education in Arizona. I have been in Las Cruces for over 22 years; during that time I received both my BS ( Secondary Science Teaching) and Masters from New Mexico State University (Science Teaching). I love to learn and believe that being a “lifelong learner” is the key to a happy life! 
   My hobbies include traveling, reading, hiking, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends.  Something else to know about me is that I love Disney movies, green chile,  and turtles are my favorite animals!