About Our School
Meet Our Team
At GEO Focus Academy of Indiana, our teachers, administrators, and staff share a passion for education and enthusiasm for delivering education one-to-one in a focused environment. Our staff members are adept at managing this unique process, guiding and supporting your student, and focusing on their individual needs; they're here to work with you to help your child master their education objectives.
Sandi Brueck | Academic Administrator for Special Programs
Mrs. Brueck has more than 30 years of experience in special education. In her various roles as a special educator, she has advocated for students with special needs and those who serve those students. During her career, she has taught all grade levels in special education and worked as a teacher consultant, an assistant principal in a center-based program for students with behavior disorders, a special education supervisor of students with autism, a special education consultant with the Michigan Department of Education, and most recently, as the academic administrator of special programs at a virtual academy in Michigan.
She graduated from Western Michigan University with her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in special education and reading. She also received her administrator certification from Grand Valley State University. Early in her career, she attended Indiana University at South Bend when working as a special education teacher. Mrs. Brueck received the honor of being voted "Autism Staff of the Year" while working as the supervisor of autism and was humbled to serve as a "Reading First" trainer during the "No Child Left Behind" legislative years. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and ASCD.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, adult daughter, her daughter's boyfriend, and three dogs. The family enjoys camping with friends several times during the summer. Mrs. Brueck is also an avid reader and often reads to gain more knowledge in serving the teachers who serve our exceptional students.
Mrs. Brueck's favorite quote is from Maya Angelou: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
Louise Cowell | Operations Manager
Mrs. Cowell has been with GEO Focus Academy of Indiana since its inception and has worked in online education with K12 for more than eight years. She started as an advisor at Insight School of Ohio and advanced to related services coordinator and operations manager roles. In 2018, she moved to Indiana Digital Learning School as a student support administrator and in 2021, became the central region program manager supporting the student support administrators in the region.
She is passionate about helping students succeed and supporting teachers, so they have the tools needed to help their students.
John Navarro | Academic Administrator
Mr. Navarro previously served as an assistant principal at a K12-powered school in Arizona. He has been an educator for more than 16 years and has worked with K12 for more than seven years.
In addition to his assistant principal role, Mr. Navarro has gained valuable experience as a teacher trainer, career program coordinator, department leader, and has taught all grade levels in physical education and career and technical education allied health.
He graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Master of Education in educational leadership and Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise physiology and physical education.
Mr. Navarro loves to be active and spend time with family. He and his wife have been married for more than 15 years, have two children of their own, and have fostered several more over the past few years. Some of their favorite activities include church, camping, hiking, club soccer, and youth football. Mr. Navarro currently coaches of his kids in their respective sports about eight months out of the year, and loves it!
Sarah Eyssen | High School Math Teacher
Building relationships and creating an inviting environment are key to Mrs. Eyssen's approach to education. She is passionate about making connections with students, discovering their interests, and building a foundation with their families. After these steppingstones are established, she delivers enriching math lessons of skills and concepts.
As a high school teacher, Mrs. Eyssen is an advocate for building and developing independent young adults. She models her own growth mindset in the classroom and shares educational and study strategies in hopes that those tools can help students become more organized advocates for themselves.
Mrs. Eyssen received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in education from Indiana University Southeast. She volunteers at the local Boys and Girls Club, on the board at the local little league park, and teaches gymnastics once a week. In their spare time when not at a ballpark for baseball or soccer, her husband and their two boys enjoy camping, hiking, and watching a good movie.
Katelyn Frantz | K–5 Teacher
Mrs. Frantz develops creative and immersive lessons for her students while connecting academic standards to their everyday lives. She understands the importance of fostering positive relationships with her students' families and believes that for a student to flourish, it truly does take a village. Mrs. Frantz makes sure to support every level of a student's life, whether that's academic, social, or emotional.
She is a huge mental health advocate, especially for children. In her classroom, students participate in daily mental health check-ins such as practicing gratitude and positive affirmations. Mrs. Frantz has an open-door policy with her students and their families to build those nurturing relationships. She wants the students and families to have an excellent experience at GEO Focus Academy.
Mrs. Frantz graduated from Ball State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and her reading specialist license. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. They enjoy traveling and spending time outdoors when the Indiana weather cooperates.
Lorna Guthrie | Middle School Math Teacher
Ms. Guthrie has been teaching for more than 35 years and absolutely loves it. Although she is certified to teach both science and math, she has concentrated on math for the past 17 years. She loves integrating technology into the curriculum and helping students apply math to their everyday lives. Ms. Guthrie absolutely loves interacting with the friendly and supportive staff at GEO Focus Academy, as well as with the inspiring students.
She lives in Indiana and has three daughters and two grandsons.
Matt Heagy | K–8 Special Education Teacher
Prior to coming to GEO Focus Academy, Mr. Heagy was a special education paraprofessional and coached basketball at all age levels (K–12) for six years. He is beginning his fourth year as the freshmen boys' basketball coach at Indian Creek High School.
Mr. Heagy believes all students can learn with the proper guidance. He strives to be a positive role model and is dedicated to making learning fun and worthwhile. One of his favorite quotes is from Tim Tebow: "The ultimate goal isn't to succeed or fail, the ultimate goal is to give it everything you have for something that's on your heart."
He graduated from Western Governor's University with a Bachelor of Arts in special education. He currently holds a dual teaching license in special education (P–12) and elementary generalist (K–6). He enjoys exercising, hiking, reading historical nonfiction books, and spending time with his wife.
Angela Holmes | School Counselor
As school counselor, Mrs. Holmes addresses students' mental, emotional, social, and academic development. She is driven to give valuable assistance to students, helping them with their academic goals, as well as their social, personal, and career development. She believes that with guidance, students can navigate problems a bit easier and with more confidence.
Mrs. Holmes has a Master of Education from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis in school counseling and is a member of the Indiana School Counselors Association. Prior to coming to GEO Focus Academy, she worked at schools throughout Indiana and one in Alaska.
She and her husband live on 20 acres with their goldendoodle, Argos, and a batch of chickens. She loves horror movies and all things Godzilla. Her favorite quote is from the History Guy: "If only we all had a spark of madness; so we could see life as it should be and not just as it is."
Matt Howell | Middle School Science Teacher
Mr. Howell has been teaching middle school science for more than 13 years, and he still loves it as much as he did his first day! He has worked in both public and private schools, serving as a teacher, an administrator, a coach, and a dorm parent at a boarding school. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Centre College, a Master of Art in teaching from the University of Louisville, and a gifted/talented specialist endorsement from Western Kentucky University. He is licensed in Kentucky and Indiana.
He is passionate about equity in education and removing barriers for students. It doesn't matter if a student comes from a difficult situation and struggles with reading or if a student is brilliant but never turns in work, Mr. Howell believes each student deserves a personalized education to help them reach their potential. This is what brought him to GEO Focus Academy of Indiana.
When he isn't telling cheesy jokes in class, Mr. Howell is relaxing at home with his wife and their two dogs—Bruce (a 2 pound Chihuahua) and Freyja (a 40 pound hound dog)—probably watching British TV shows.
Lindy Kimbrough | Middle and High School Physical Education and Health Teacher
Mrs. Kimbrough graduated from the University of Saint Francis with a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education with an endorsement in mild intervention. This allowed her to start working as a special education teacher, 13 years prior to teaching at GEO Focus Academy. She loves working with kids and is excited to use her strengths of creating meaningful relationships with students to help create a comfortable, welcoming environment that is conducive to growth and learning!
In her "free" time, she takes care of her five kids. They keep her busy with all of their various activities. Mrs. Kimbrough also coaches several basketball teams, one of which is her daughter's. She loves to encourage and motivate students and athletes to reach their full potential and be the best version of themselves!
Alesha Schleicher | Elementary School Teacher
Mrs. Schleicher previously taught her own children from home, and was their online Learning Coach for more than eight years—from kindergarten all way through twelfth grade. Mrs. Schleicher's been a substitute teacher for the School City of Hammond for the past four years and taught kindergarten for one of those years at a local elementary school.
She teaches all subjects and is passionate and driven to inspire her students to love learning. She is dedicated to personalizing her teaching style to meet the needs of every student, and thoroughly enjoys building genuine connections with her students and their families, so that they can feel confident and inspired to reach their full potential!
Mrs. Schleicher graduated from Western Governors University with a Bachelor of Art in elementary education K–8, and currently holds a professional educator's license for grades K–6. She is a very proud mother of nine beautiful children and one shepherd-husky mix, and an active church volunteer and ministry leader who enjoys serving her community in every way that she can!
Kelsi Testa-Avila | Middle School Social Studies Teacher
Ms. Testa-Avila has been teaching for more than seven years. She has taught social studies classes for grades 5–12, as well as reading, language arts, science, and math.
She is dedicated to helping students learn about the world so that they can better understand it, and where they fit into it, so that they can be leaders in their own ways. As the late U.S. Representative John Lewis said, “We must be headlights and not taillights.”
Ms. Testa-Avila's love of social studies started when she was a child growing up around multiple cultures and languages in California. She moved to Indiana 12 years ago to attend Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis where she earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary social studies education, with a concentration in geography. She holds a professional educator's license for social studies grades 5–12, with endorsements in geography and middle school social studies.
She lives with her boyfriend and dog, Delia. In her free time, she loves to read, hike, and learn new languages (she is currently studying Spanish and Chinese). She is a fan of coffee, bad history jokes and memes, and hockey, go Pens! Ms. Testa-Avila also loves to travel and is looking forward to going somewhere new soon!