Vail Virtual Live! Staff

Amy Hunter
Kindergarten

Amy Hunter has taught a total of nineteen years. Sixteen years have
been in kindergarten, two years were in first grade, and then this
past school year, she taught both grade levels kindergarten and first
grade online at the Vail Innovation Center. She graduated high
school as Valedictorian in 1996 and started working as a Recreation
Leader for six years throughout her schooling. Then in 2000, she
graduated from the University of Arizona and received her
Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an Early
Childhood and SEI endorsement.
She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Lamar, for
nineteen years. He is a Physical Education teacher who has taught
for twenty years in the Vail School District. They have an amazing
and sweet daughter named Jaime who will be going into the eighth
grade at the Vail Innovation Center. She is truly their greatest
blessing!
Mrs. Hunter has worked with children her entire life. The greatest
gift she can give to her students is to help set a strong foundation for
their future, while teaching them to love learning. She is super
excited for this new school year and can’t wait to meet her students
and families.

Jennifer Stock
1st Grade

*Pending Governing Board approval

Hello Families! My military family and I moved to the Vail area in January 2021.  I am married to my wonderful husband, Jason, and we have two beautiful daughters, Addy (9) and Harley (7). My husband’s job in the USAF has allowed me to travel and live around the country and gain many wonderful experiences.  I grew up in South Carolina and attended Columbia College where I received my Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood Education.  I have spent most of my professional career teaching in the primary grade levels with twelve years spent in the Kindergarten and First Grade. I have also taught fifth and sixth grades for four years. This will be my first year working with the VIC in the virtual first grade classroom. I love the work I do and I love watching students grow.

In the last year and a half I have had the opportunity to be a strictly remote instructor for first grade students. Creating and developing engaging lessons for my virtual learners and providing a balance of “live” and independent instruction that allows my students to reach their best potential has become a personal passion of mine.  This experience has allowed me to grow not only as an educator, but also as a leader in developing material and lessons for my fellow colleagues.

Outside of teaching, I love spending time with my family and enjoying the outdoors. Some of my favorite outdoor activities include hiking, camping, and going to different festivals. One of my favorite hobbies includes baking, especially desserts. I love having my little helpers in the kitchen with me and teaching them the fun they can have with cooking. 

Holly Allison
2nd Grade

I graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2002 and began my teaching career with my very first class of second graders. I taught second grade in Gilbert for 4 years. Then our family moved all over the country for my husband’s schooling and work, living most recently in California, Virginia, and Ohio. I am so happy to be back home in Arizona.  We moved to Vail in 2019.  This is my third year teaching for the Vail School District.  I hold a State of Arizona Early Childhood Certificate and an Arizona Elementary Education Certificate.

I am married to Darcy, an aerospace engineer and we have four fantastic boys: Benjamin, Matthew, Samuel, and Luke. They are all attending Vail Schools. When I am not in the classroom, I love hiking, baking, swimming and riding bikes with my family. I enjoy introducing my children to all the things I love about the southwest. 

Rochelle Robles
3rd Grade

Hello!, My name is Mrs. Robles. Teaching is truly my dream job, and I am grateful to say, “ I love my job.”

I was born and raised right here in beautiful Tucson, AZ. I have found and married my best friend about 3 years ago, and now have two beautiful daughters. We love to spend time together as a family playing games, watching movies, cooking/eating food, or being outdoors.

 I graduated from the University of Arizona with my bachelors in Education with an endorsement in English as a Second Language. I have been teaching in the Vail School District for four years now. I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I was a small girl, but it was confirmed in high school. I had an amazing Mathematics teacher who truly made me feel I can do anything, even if I had to work more than others. I knew then I wanted to aid in helping mold small children into their best selves. More importantly I aspire to teach my students they can do anything they dream of as long as they persevere, and reach for their highest levels. In our classroom we encourage growth mindset. With this mindset we are able to learn from our work, and celebrate our successes as a team.

Caryn Hellman
4th Grade

My name is Caryn Hellmann. I am very excited to join Vail Innovation Center this year as a fourth grade teacher.  Here’s a little about myself.  After graduating high school, I attended Northern Arizona University and studied elementary education as well as early childhood development.  While I was in school, I began teaching preschool.  I taught preschool for about 8 years.  Then, I taught kindergarten for 2 years in Northern Nevada.  This past year I had the opportunity to teach 2nd and 4th grade online.  I absolutely loved 4th grade.  There is so much fun learning and growing throughout the year.  

 

On a more personal note, I moved to Tucson when I was 10.  After finishing college, my husband and I left Arizona for a job in Ely, Nevada with our three children.  We are moving back to the Tucson area this summer so my husband can continue his education at the University of Arizona.  We are excited to be back home near family.  Our three children are 12, 10, and 8.  In our spare time, we like to play games, spend time outdoors, camp, dance, and go to Disneyland!  I am looking forward to getting to know your students and families this year.

Sarah Brown
5th Grade

Hello, I'm Mrs. Brown. I hold a Master's Degree in Elementary Education and have been a teacher in the Vail School District for the past two years. I am also a mother of three wonderful children. I am passionate about education and making it fun and engaging for my students. I am an avid seamstress and all around crafty person. I am a huge history buff as well as a fan of anything related to Jane Austen.  I look forward to meeting all of my new students this upcoming year!

Kristin Sixt
6th Grade Math/Science

*Pending Governing Board approval

Hello, my name is Kristin Sixt and I am looking forward to being a part of the team at VIC! I will be teaching 6th grade math & science. I am a University of Arizona grad (bear down!) and love living in Tucson. I began my teaching career in 2015 and I've taught upper elementary since then. I absolutely love working with kids and enjoy making learning fun & engaging for them. I'm very excited to begin teaching my two favorite subjects in 6th grade this year. 
 
A bit about me - my husband and I got married in 2019. We love spending time outdoors, whether it be hiking, backpacking, camping, or walking our dog. We enjoy living close to Saguaro National Park and exploring all the great trails there! I also love cooking and baking, spending a lot of my free time trying new recipes. 
 
I'm looking forward to an awesome year with you and your 6th grader!
Melissa Countryman
6th Grade LA/SS

Hello Families! I am so excited to be part of the Vail Virtual team! I am passionate about teaching and I can’t wait to share that with you! Through creative projects and investigation, I hope to instill a love for learning in every student! 

I grew up in West Texas where I met my husband. As a military family, we had the pleasure of moving all around the world. After retiring from the military, my family settled in Arizona. I graduated from Grand Canyon University and began teaching at Acacia Elementary as a 5th grade teacher. I later moved to Esmond Station, where I’ve worked the past six years. During my time at Esmond, I taught 5th grade and 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies. 

My husband and I have two daughters. Emily is in the 10th grade and Peyson is in 1st grade. We love to spend our free time outdoors, reading, shopping, and crafting. 

 

I am so excited to work you and your middle schooler! I look forward to an amazing school year! 

Stephanie Reynolds
7th Grade Math

I am so excited be a part of the Vail Virtual Live! team. I love math, technology, learning new things and teaching. All of these come together for me in Vail Virtual Live!

Teaching is my second career. I spent 20 years in public accounting (lots and lots of math!) before becoming a teacher. When my own children were in middle school, I did virtual school at home with them, and I fell in love with concept of teaching online. I earned my Masters’ Degree in Secondary Education in an online program through the University of Phoenix. After graduating in 2006, I became certified to teach both Math and Language Arts. In 2012, I earned my National Board Certification in the area of English/Language Arts and moved to Vail, where I have been teaching English and Math ever since!

My husband and I have been married for 30 years. We have two sons. Our oldest son, Niel, is a pilot in the Air Force and our youngest son, Travis, is attending Loyola University School of Law in Chicago. I have one granddaughter who is the light of our lives! We look forward to holidays and vacations when we can travel and visit our boys and their families. In addition to planning trips to visit the kids, I like to spend time outside. My favorite hobbies are gardening,  camping, model rocketry, and hanging out with my dogs, Bisbee and Lucky. 

This year, I am looking forward to combining my love of math, technology, and teaching to provide you with unique and engaging educational experiences in math! We are going to have a GREAT year!!

Amy Johnson
7/8th Grade Language Arts

*Pending Governing Board approval

I have been in education for 16 years, 11 years as a teacher all grades K-6, and an interventionist for the past 5 years. I have a Master’s in Educational Leadership and a Reading and SEI Endorsement as well. I am passionate about education and I love reading and writing!

Mary Ann Pinkston
7/8th Grade Science

I am very excited to join the VIC Team and teach 7/8th grade Science for the Vail Virtual Live Program!  So who is your teacher?

I was raised in Wisconsin, and moved to Arizona when I was 18. Growing up in Wisconsin I gained a love of animals and nature.  I was a rescuer and my parents never knew what I would find and bring home. Animals brought home from the wild were returned after I enjoyed them for a few hours.  It was a wonderful place to grow up and experience nature.

I began my career as a Licensed Optician, and then went back to school to get my BA in Rangeland Management, and got my Masters in Teaching with a Science minor. My love for animals and nature made it an easy choice to teach science, but I chose Middle School and have been here for 27 years!  I just don’t seem to move on to HighSchool with the kids!  🙂

If COVID has taught me anything, it is that I love online teaching.  I get to interact with the students in a more personal way.  I have gotten to meet younger siblings, parents, and a large variety of pets!  It was an amazing teaching experience.

I look forward to meeting you and your students in the coming year!

Joyce Ayn Harris
7/8th Grade Social Studies
Hello, my name is Joyce-Ayn Harris and I will be teaching 7th and 8th grade social studies. I began working in the Vail School district back in 2003, starting my career in elementary school.  After years of teaching the 4th grade at Sycamore, I decided to put my love of history to use and make the leap to middle school. For the past five years I have had the pleasure of teaching 8th grade social studies at Old Vail Middle school. 
 
On a personal note, I recently celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary with my husband James and I am the mother of two grown children, Zac and Alyssa.  I love animals, movies and books. I am also a huge fan of Disney and Star Wars!
 
I am looking so forward to starting my new adventure at VIC and getting to share the importance of history a new set of students!