Meet the Faculty

Melanie Laber

School Leader
ABD Instructional Design for Online Learning, Capella University
MA Education in Curriculum and Technology, University of Phoenix
BA Mathematics and Secondary Education, University of Michigan


For the past 12 years, Melanie has been a mathematics educator working at both the middle and high school levels. In addition to teaching as a face-to-face instructor, Melanie has been highly involved in online learning. She worked as an online instructor for Michigan Virtual High School and was named Michigan's Online Teacher of the Year, 2009. Aside from teaching in the classroom, Melanie has also spent the past five years developing math curriculum for the online classroom. Furthermore, Melanie has worked as an adjunct online math professor for the University of Phoenix. Melanie brings a lot of enthusiasm and passion to her position as School Leader. She is committed to ensuring that students have a positive and successful experience at FlexTech High School. Melanie has been married to Dr. Corey Laber, a local chiropractor for 11 years. They have one daughter, Madeline, who is in elementary school.



Kristen Moore

Math Teacher
BA Mathematics and Secondary Education, Michigan State University


Kristen joined the FlexTech High faculty in the 2011-2012 school year after completing her BA in Mathematics and the Secondary Education Graduate Certification program at Michigan State University. She is excited about increasing students' higher order thinking skills in the classroom through project based learning and relevant real-world examples that highlight the usefulness of mathematics in students' lives.



Christopher Quiambao

MA Educational Studies, University of Michigan
BA Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan


Chris's decision to become a teacher was influenced by his past experiences as a summer camp director/counselor, tutor, and mentor for numerous organizations in the area. He is very excited to work with students on their projects and opening their minds to the everyday applications of scientific concepts.



Ryan Gillis

English/Vice Principal
BA in Education, Central Michigan University


Ryan Gillis is an English teacher and Vice Principal at FlexTech High School, and has been a part of the school since it opened in 2011. He completed his Bachelor's degree in 2008, and is on track to complete his Master's in Education Administration with a focus on charter school is 2014, both from Central Michigan University.




Jennifer Gambrel

School Counselor
MA in Counseling, Oakland University
BA in Psychology, University of Michigan


Jennifer attended the University of Michigan where she graduated in 2008 earning a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on development and education. She went on to earn her Masters Degree in Counseling from Oakland University in 2011. In addition to a School Counseling License, she currently holds her Professional Counseling License (LPC) and is also credentialed as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Jennifer has had the experience of working in various educational settings with students ranging in age from preschool through college. She has enjoyed facilitating counseling groups on Anger Management, Friendship, Study Skills, Divorce, Bullying, and Bereavement. Her favorite part about being a school counselor is building relationships with her students and getting to see them grow and develop throughout their time in school. She hopes to empower students to make positive and healthy decisions throughout high school and beyond.



Emily Polaczyk

US History & Geography, Economics, Civics
MA in Educational Studies, University of Michigan
BA in Political Science and Sociology, University of Michigan


Emily joined the FlexTech staff during it's first year, and leads curriculum in US History, Economics, Civics, and Sociology. With a background in mentoring middle- and high-school students coming from years of volunteering for a non-profit, Emily's focus is balanced between social studies content and meeting students where they're at. Emily enjoys learning experiences that have real world connections, and believes that the social sciences are an essential part of understanding yourself and your community. Emily's goal is to help students to become informed, responsible and contributing citizens in whatever path they choose. Emily & her husband, Joshua, are fans of cooking together, building community with friends, and find Michigan Football to be a way of life.


Keith Jones

World History and English.
BA Telecommunications Media Arts, Michigan State University
Post-BA Certification Secondary Education Social Studies and English, Michigan State University


My name is Keith and this is my second year at FTHS. I am a graduate of Michigan State University, a proud Spartan, and will be teaching World History and English this coming year. I was born and raised here in Michigan, but lived in Florida for most of my twenties working outside of education. Returning to school in 2006 led me to the front of the classroom, and finally here to FlexTech.  I consider myself lucky to be part of such a cutting edge school here at FlexTech and for the incredible faculty I get to work with. I look forward to sharing my passion for the Social Studies and Literature with my students in an open and democratic classroom, using the Project Based Learning design to insure that each of them have authentic educational experience.



Rob Daly

Rob Daly is a second year teachers’ aide.  He is currently finishing up his teaching degree in Secondary Mathematics and Integrated Science at Eastern Michigan University.

Rob will be working with the students in both of these content areas, as well as working in the Digital Design lab.  Rob has a broad range of life experiences that include construction, culinary, and working in the securities industry.  He tries to bring these experiences, along with his love of the outdoors, into his teaching in order to make the lessons more applicable and enjoyable.  It is this aspect that he finds greatly suited for FlexTech HS, where we are preparing students for a whole life experience.  Rob is married to his lovely wife Nancy with whom he is enjoying raising their four year-old, daughter Gillian.


Pete Benson

B.S.E. in IOE (Industrial and Operations Engineering), an M.S. in Mathematics, a PhD in IOE, and an M.A. in Education, University of Michigan


Pete teaches math, computer science, and physics. In the classroom, he brings experiences from his careers as a fighter pilot, financial engineer, and software developer. Pete and his wife have three children: a daughter in middle school, a son at the Air Force Academy, and his oldest is starting her graduate program in education at the U of M. He is a passionate believer in the importance of always learning, and applying that knowledge to build something new.




Mary Merwin

Art and Yearbook Advisor

BFA in Drawing and Photography, Eastern Michigan University


Mary joined the FlexTech High School staff in February 2012 a year after she graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BFA in drawing and photography. Mary is a working professional photographer and portrait artist. She is personally invested in the process of creating, evaluating and analyzing art. “I love watching my students take pride in the work they do and gain a critical eye for the art that exist around them.” She doesn’t expect that every student walk away prepared to be an artist. Rather, she hopes that they will leave with a better appreciation for and a stronger connection to art as a whole, along with the abilities necessary to handle life in a visually dominated world.


Tonya Krause
 Math and Physics Teacher
BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Missouri- Rolla
Post- BA Certification Eastern Michigan University


Tonya joined FlexTech in 2012-2013 school year.  She choose a career change from technical sales in the automotive industry to be more involved with our future leaders.  Her goal is to help students become more excited about technical fields and careers.  She is passionate about her students and strives to build a close relationship with each one.  Tonya has been married to Rick Krause for over 16 years.  They have two sons, Thomas (8th grade) and Wesley (6th grade), who bring joy and happiness to their busy lives.




Katie Schrock

Physical Education and Health, Advisor

BS Physical Education, Adapted Physical Education, and Health, Eastern Michigan University


Katie joined the staff at FlexTech in the fall of 2013 and teaches Physical Education, Health and Student and Community Outreach.  She is passionate about sharing her love of health and exercise with students.  Her goal is for students to benefit physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually through learning how to live a healthy, physically life.  Some of the Katie's personal accomplishments include being a alumni of the Eastern Michigan University Women's Soccer team, being a marathon runner, and working in Alaska on a fishing boat as a deckhand.  She is also a soccer coach for the Michigan Alliance Football Club.  She is married to Eric Schrock and they currently reside in Brighton, Michigan.


John Maxwell












Karen Smith












Michelle Blythe

Special Education Teacher

BS Criminal Justice/Psychology, Wayne State University

K-12 Special Education Certification, Eastern Michigan University

Secondary Certification English, Eastern Michigan University


Michelle has dedicated nearly half her life to the care and well-being of children in many different capacities, but found her true passion in teaching. She has taught pre-school, ran her own daycare business, and mentored at-risk youth. Michelle also substitute taught in all academic areas and grade levels  for many years. Michelle enjoys reading, sports, boating, and spending time with her family. She is currently finishing a program at Eastern to receive her Special Education Masters degree. Michelle believes that no two students are the same and thus each student has individual needs. “As a special educator, I have the privilege of helping students with unique abilities, struggles, and achievement levels to reach their fullest academic potential.” Michelle is excited to have the opportunity to work together closely with students in all their academic areas, in addition to, helping her students advance using Project Based Learning.