Dr. Kelly Van Sande is a lifelong educator with a passion for children. She lives in Peoria, Arizona with her husband, two children, and their dogs. She is a certified teacher, principal, and superintendent in the state of Arizona and has served in all of those roles, including teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has more than 13 years of experience in online K-12 education including more than a decade of experience in online school executive leadership. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education (B.S.), a master’s in teaching and curriculum leadership (M.Ed.), a master’s in business administration (MBA), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration (Ed.D).
She believes school culture is at the heart of a school and must be the top priority in order for students to thrive. For, if we do not first address the needs of our students, they cannot effectively learn. Only when a leader commits to promoting and supporting excellence in her staff through open dialogue, professional development, deeply valuing everyone on the team, and celebrating their success, will the school’s team function as a cohesive unit with all goals centered solely around the mission and vision of the school. From there, our focus shifts directly to students so we can provide individualized attention and support which goes beyond academics and entails truly getting to know the whole child. Dr. Van Sande is so passionate about this topic that it became the focus of her doctoral dissertation.
As a parent and educator, she observed the traditional school system, including online public schools, often were not able to meet the needs of all students and she believed there had to be a way to make education come alive for students at all ability levels, from various backgrounds, and to allow students to learn in their own, meaningful way. She sought to develop a school that removed barriers to learning, allowed for acceleration and remediation, maintained very low student-teacher class sizes, and focused primarily on teacher-student relationships in order to foster a school community and culture driven by student success.
She looks forward to working alongside parents, students, teachers, and staff every day so we can build a thriving school community of students prepared for today, tomorrow, and the future ahead!
A fun fact about Dr. Van Sande is that she is a classically trained pianist and her own two children attend ILA!