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
mlaber@flextech-hs.org

 

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 virtual 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
kmoore@flextech-hs.org

 

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

Science
MA Educational Studies, University of Michigan
BA Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan
cquiambao@flextech-hs.org

 

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/Administrative Intern
BA in Education, Central Michigan University
rgillis@flextech-hs.org

 

My name is Ryan Gills and I am an English teacher and Administrative Intern at FlexTech High School. I have a strong passion for literature and language, and am very excited to have the opportunity to share that passion in a new and exciting high school where learning and success are the highest priority. I graduated from Central Michigan University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in English and Social Studies, and am currently working on a Masters from Central Michigan that I should complete in the summer of 2014. I have been married for 4 years to my wonderful wife Kristina and have three cats named Norman, Simba, and Baby Kitty.

 


 

Jennifer Gambrel

School Counselor
SCL, LPC, NCC
MA in Counseling, Oakland University
BA in Psychology, University of Michigan
jgambrel@flextech-hs.org

 

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
epolaczyk@flextech-hs.org

 

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.

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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

kjones@flextech-hs.org

 

My name is Keith and I am a new edition to Flextech High School this year. 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.

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Rob Daly

rdaly@flextech-hs.org

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.

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Mary Merwin

Art and Yearbook Advisor

BFA in Drawing and Photography, Eastern Michigan University

mmerwin@flextech-hs.org

 

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.

 

 

 

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Tonya Krause

tkrause@flextech-hs.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Katie Lozar

klozar@flextech-hs.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John Maxwell

jmaxwell@flextech-hs.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Karen Smith

ksmith@flextech-hs.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

mblythe@flextech-hs.org

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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