Teaching Staff by Department





Social Studies

Other High School

Middle School


Donna Harlow

I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in English and Health from the University of Campbellsville in South Central Kentucky. I completed my Masters degree in Secondary Education from the University of Louisville and began my teaching career 26 years ago at Eastern High School.

I coached tennis and golf while fulfilling my teaching responsibilities at Butler Traditional High School and lead the tennis team to the state tournament.  In addition, one of my golf team members participated in the girl’s golf state tournament two years in a row.  I enjoy helping students be successful on the court as well as in the classroom.

Online courses allow students the flexibility to keep aligned with their graduation plan. My eSchool courses cover literature through the ages and include reading genre by Shakespeare, Chaucer, George Orwell, poet Robert Frost, and short story author Saki. Students will engage in writing a ballad, persuasive and personal essays and writing an intellectual and interpretative answer to open response questions. I really enjoy reading student responses because it gives me an open window into their lives.

Grey Buchanan


I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a secondary education teaching certificate at Ohio Wesleyan University. I then completed a Masters in English at the University of Louisville and am currently enrolled in a post-graduate/Rank 1 program there.

I worked with a small team of teachers to jump-start Liberty High School, an alternative school here in Louisville. I taught at Liberty for 9 years before leaving to spend more time with my children. After a few years as a stay-at-home mom, I came to eSchool as an English teacher. 

Erik Nicholson

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University and a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University Southeast.  My teaching career began as a high school science teacher in Frankfort, Kentucky and then progressed to Moore Traditional School in Louisville.  While teaching, I furthered my education and earned my Rank 1 and Administrative Certification. 

In 2009, I worked as Dean of Students and as a part-time eSchool English teacher and night instructor at the Jaeger site of Jefferson County High School.  During the fall of 2011, I joined the eSchool staff as a full-time Resource Teacher and am excited to teach students across the United States in an online learning environment.

Kristina Sheldon


In 1993, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English and Theatre Education from Indiana University.  Upon graduation, I taught middle school for one year.  However, I soon learned that my heart was definitely at the high school level.  Since 1993, I have had the opportunity to teach every grade/level of English (grades 6-12) to include AP Language and Composition and AP Literature and Composition. 

Additionally, I have earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University and a Rank 1 in School Library Science from Eastern Kentucky University.  I was very fortunate in that both of these programs involved online courses.  In fact, my entire Rank 1 program at EKU was online.  Little did I know that this would prepare me for one day being an online teacher!  As a former online student, I know the importance of building a close student-teacher relationship in order to ensure academic success in the virtual classroom.  I am a strong advocate for online learning and know it has the potential of serving the needs of many students.  Please know that I always welcome constructive feedback as I strive to improve our English courses and provide quality instruction to all students.

Carol Rietze


I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL and continued my studies at the University of Louisville, completing a Masters Degree in Education with an Endorsement as a Reading Specialist. I participate in several continuing education programs, including Bellarmine University and Oxford University.

I have taught middle school and high School English and Humanities in Jefferson County Public Schools for more than 35 years. Now I am enjoying teaching English online where my students read American literary masterpieces, including novels by Mark Twain and John Steinbeck and poetry by Phillis Wheatley and Henry W. Longfellow. Welcome to my students in Jefferson County and across the country!



Amos Hall

I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from Centre College in Mathematics and Computer Science with a major in both fields.  I have a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Spalding University and I am a National Board Certified Teacher in Mathematics.  Prior to beginning my teaching career I worked for five years as a statistician for the US Census Bureau.  Afterwards, I taught for eleven years at Southern High School before starting at JCPSeSchool.  In addition to teaching I coached Southern’s Quick Recall team for eleven years and I was the School Technology Coordinator for two years.

The reason I love online learning and JCPSeSchool in particular is its ability to meet the students where they are.  JCPSeSchool is literally open and available to students all of the time—twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Students can access and learn at their own pace whenever they learn best and their schedule allows.  What’s more, JCPSeSchool has the power to serve students that have difficulty learning in a regular classroom or may not even attend school anymore as well as those students who want to move ahead with their learning beyond what they are receiving in the regular classroom.  JCPSeSchool delivers the content students need in a means and time that are friendly to them.

Amy Smith

I received my Bachelor of Science degree with a major in mathematics from the University of Louisville in 1991. I began teaching in 1992 and earned my Masters Degree in Secondary Education in 1996 also from the University of Louisville. In 2002, I obtained my Rank 1 status by becoming a National Board Certified Teacher in adolescent and young adult mathematics. My entire teaching career has been in Jefferson County Public Schools. I have taught mathematics at Central High School, Western High School and Southern High School. I began working at Jefferson County High School at the Ahrens site in 2012. I worked with students taking mathematics course from both the book version and eSchool version. In the Spring of 2013, I began updating the mathematics curriculum by revising the book version of the Algebra 2 course and then Amos Hall and I began collaborating to develop the newest eSchool course in Algebra 2. I transitioned fully to eSchool in August 2015. During my time at Western and Southern, I coached cheerleading and sponsored the Math Team. I have been the chairperson of the math department at Western, Southern and Jefferson County High School.

Our society is rapidly becoming an online world and it only makes sense that many students have decided that learning online is the best option for them. Students are able to work on eSchool courses whenever their schedules permit. The courses are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with support from an experienced teacher. I feel that my twenty-one years in the classroom is a definite benefit to me as an eSchool teacher. I am very comfortable with the mathematics and able to anticipate where students may encounter difficulties. I am looking forward to working with all of my students to help them be successful in the eSchool mathematics courses.

Jessica Bacca

My name is Jessica Bacca and this is my fifteenth year teaching. I received my Bachelor of Arts at Georgetown College with a teaching major in Psychology and teaching minor in Mathematics for grades 7-12. For my graduate degree, I attended Morehead State University and earned a Masters of Arts in Secondary Education with a focus on Mathematics and finally earned a Rank I in Secondary Education from the University of the Cumberlands. I have taught middle school math for 6 years in Bath County and high school math for 9 years in Jefferson County. This is my second year with JCPS e-school and look forward to many more.






Tonya Mann

I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology at the University of Kentucky.  During my time at the University of Kentucky, I cheered for men’s football and basketball, and competed on the National Champion cheerleading squad for 4 years.  Following my time in Lexington, I returned to Louisville, where I earned my Master’s degree in Secondary Education at the University of Louisville.  Upon graduation, I applied with Jefferson County Public Schools and have been a teacher in the school district since 2000. 

Before joining the eSchool staff as a science resource teacher, I taught science for 3 years at Iroquois High School and 9 years at Southern High School.  During my years with JCPS, I have taught biology and Integrated Science A and B.  While at Southern High School, I coached the girls cross country team.  While I enjoyed my time in the classroom, I am very excited to work with students in a new capacity at eSchool.  I believe online learning offers an excellent opportunity for students to earn high school and college credits while working at their own pace. 





Kristen Luken

I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Bellarmine University. I went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Louisville. During my time at the University of Louisville, I performed breast cancer research and received a fellowship from the Department of Defense. Upon graduation, I became an Adjunct Professor at Spalding University in the School of Natural Sciences. I eventually went back to Bellarmine University to earn a Masters of Arts in Teaching Degree and received state certification in High School Biology, High School Chemistry, and Middle School Science. I have been teaching for Jefferson County Public Schools since 2012. Before becoming a science resource teacher at eSchool, I taught chemistry and biology at Jeffersontown High School for 5 years. I am very excited to be on the eSchool staff and look forward to working with students in a different capacity. Online learning is becoming increasing popular and is an excellent way to allow students to earn high school credits in a non-traditional classroom environment.



Social Studies

Michael Ryan-Kessler


I was a substitute teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools from 1993 to 1997. I taught Social Studies at Liberty High School, Waggener Traditional High School, and I am now a resource teacher at JCPSeSchool. Like any learning environment, you get out of it what you put into it.


Laura Bowling


I earned my Bachleor’s of Science degree from Bellarmine College (now Bellarmine University) with a double major in History and Political Science. I then received my Master’s of Arts in Teaching (Secondary Education) from the University of Louisville. I spent 20 years teaching social studies at Eastern High School before joining the Jefferson County High School staff as an eSchool Resource Teacher. I am excited to work with online students throughout the United States as digital learning allows students the opportunity to personalize their education and work at their own pace. 

Outside of the classroom I am also the Varsity Volleyball coach for Eastern. In addition, I have worked as a consultant for the College Board, writing exam questions and serving as a Question Leader for the Advance Placement US Government and Politics exam.



Ford Smith



Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Biology

1985 Master of Arts in English
1999 University of Louisville 


  • Freshman, Junior, and Senior English  
  • Yearbook  
  • Journalism 
  • Biology 
  • Integrated Science 
  • Anatomy 
  • Humanities 
  • Reading Lab 
  • Speech and Communication 
  • Creative Writing    


  • Future Problem-Solving 
  • Quick Recall Debate Team    
  • Schools (all in Louisville): Trinity High School, Shawnee High School MCA, Fairdale High School MCA, DuPont Manual HIgh School, Jefferson Technical and Community College, Kentucky State Reformatory (Buckner)    
 "The future of education IS online learning." My lessons deliver content in multiple learning styles to accommodate as many students as possible. Jefferson County Public Schools uses my humanities course as the district standard.



Andrea Kirtley

 I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and a Masters of Arts in Teaching Foreign Language, both from the University of Louisville.  During this time, I traveled to Morelia, Mexico as an exchange student, attending college classes and living with a local family.  I have since traveled to several Spanish-speaking countries, including Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Spain. 

I began the first six years of my Spanish teaching career at Mercy Academy, teaching levels 1-3.  I then taught at Doss High School for two years, teaching levels 1 and 2.  For the next five years, I worked as an educational consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education and a private company, the Novel Management Group.  As a consultant, I worked with the children of migrant farm workers, ensuring that they were recruited into the Migrant Education Program and received educational services appropriate to their needs while in Kentucky.  I also traveled the country, working with various state migrant programs on how to use a national database to best serve their migrant students. 

I am excited to be able to share my love of the Spanish language and culture with students through the eSchool.  Each level incorporates vocabulary, grammar, and culture so that students can develop a robust understanding of the Spanish-speaking world.  The instructions is delivered through a variety of methods, including videos, websites, projects, and web quests.   ¡Bienvenidos a la clase de español!  Welcome to Spanish Class!



Todd Raque

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree and a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Louisville.  I am in my 22nd year working as a teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools.  I taught Mathematics and Business for 17 years at Southern High School, followed by four years at Male Traditional High School.  During my teaching career I have coached both basketball and golf.  I began teaching at eSchool in the summer of 2016.



Middle School

Alma Benedict

I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History, with majors in both fields from Western Kentucky University. I earned a Masters of Education and a Rank I from the University of Louisville, adding Gifted Certification and a 5th and 6th grade endorsement to my secondary certifications.

Prior to joining JCPSeSchool, I taught at Fairdale High School and Kammerer Middle School in Jefferson County, KY., teaching mainly English/Language Arts. My other experiences also include teaching courses at the University of Louisville for teachers of writing.

Online learning is highly consistent with the way students communicate and acquire new knowledge. This, combined with the flexibility online education provides to both the student and the teacher, makes it the ideal learning environment. 

For me, connecting with students is the beginning of effective instruction. Using humor coupled with understanding of the life experiences of students, I strive to create a common ground for trust and sharing. My approach to teaching involves using varied teaching techniques to reach students with different learning styles and multiple intelligences to help make them lifelong learners.


Marissa O'Neal

I earned my Bachelor's Degree from Bellarmine University in Middle School Education with an emphasis on Social Studies and Language Arts. I earned my Master's in Education and Rank I from the University of Louisville with an emphasis on Instructional Technology. 

Before joining JCPSeSchool I taught at Noe Middle School for twelve years. I spent my early years teaching both Social Studies and Language Arts in the 6th grade. I later taught Reading in grades 6-8. For the last three years, I was the computer teacher as well as the Related Arts Team Leader and Practical Living Department Chair.

Online learning provides students a second opportunity at material they didn't understand the first time. It also allows students to review the material at their own pace and as often as they need. Some students who have not experienced success in the regular classroom, can have high achievement through online learning. I break the material down into smaller pieces, provide helpful feedback, and give re-teach sections that allow the students to visit the material a second time in a slightly different way.


I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Cumberlands with an area of concentration in accounting, a major in mathematics, and an education certification. In addition, I earned a Masters in Math Education and a Rank I from Eastern Kentucky University. Since the fall of 1992, I have taught mathematics at Jefferson County High School locations in classroom settings and also in the JCPSeSchool online environment. During this time, I have developed both paper and pencil curriculum for high school students and online curriculum for middle school students. Providing content that allows students to see mathematics as sensible, useful, and worthwhile is one of my goals. Since making improvements to course content results in higher student achievement, I welcome feedback from students. I love it when the pieces fall together and a student has an “aha” moment.