Teacher Leaders

KCA is run differently than most other schools:

  • KCA is a teacher-run school without a principal
  • Teacher Leaders share teaching and administrative responsibilities
  • Teacher Leaders earn the same starting salaries in the spirit of cooperative parity
  • Like all charter schools, KCA staff are overseen by the KCA Board of Directors
  • To learn more about teacher-run schools, visit Teacher-Powered Schools

Meet our Teacher Leaders!

Teacher Leader Melissa DeNardo:

  • Social-Emotional Learning, Health & Nutrition Department Chair
  • Physical Education Department Chair
  • Student Discipline/Restorative Justice Practices Oversight
  • Facility & Grounds Management
  • Academic Advising & Home-School Liaison

Teacher Leader Kaci Elder:

  • Social Studies & English Language Arts Department Chair
  • Three Rivers School District Liaison
  • Community Connections & School Culture Management
  • Special Education, Talented & Gifted, & English Language Learner Services Oversight
  • Academic Advising & Home-School Liaison

Teacher Leader Ryan Forsythe:

  • Math Department Chair
  • Literary, Performing, & Visual Arts Department Chair
  • Budgeting & Financial Integrity Management
  • KCA Board Liaison
  • Academic Advising & Home-School Liaison

The following roles have been managed by current and former Teacher Leaders, yet will shift to incoming Teacher Leaders (to be hired) and the Office Manager (to be hired):

  • Science Department Chair
  • Spanish Department Chair
  • Student Data & Performance Management
  • Safety & Risk Management
  • Communications (social media, website, family newsletter)
  • Bookkeeping & Payroll
  • Legal & Compliance Oversight
  • Registration, Enrollment & Attendance Management
  • Transportation Management
  • Curriculum & Materials Oversight

Co-Creators of the Past

It takes a village to raise a school, and the KCA village is more than the folks described above. We wouldn’t be here without inspiration from the Dome School; friends who have read our newsletters, completed surveys, offered help, answered questions, and donated their money and time; local teenagers who created and shared artwork through The Kalmiopsis Collection; and the dedicated former co-creators who worked so hard to bring KCA this far:

Kimiko Maglio

Kimiko spent two years as a Teacher Leader, working with Sara, Melissa, Ryan, and Kaci from 2020-2022. After the KCA proposal was accepted by the school board in September 2022, Kimiko decided to help create a strong school board.
Kimiko is now the Chairperson of the KCA Founding Board of Directors.

Sara Kinstler

Sara joined Melissa, Kimiko, Ryan, and Kaci from 2020-2022 to create the proposal for KCA. Sara dedicated two years to the project, researching, writing, interviewing, meeting, dreaming, talking, and thinking the current KCA into being.
Sara is now a teacher at our sibling school, Illinois Valley High School.

Gina Angelique

Gina joined Kaci and Ryan from 2018-2020 to begin developing a new high school for the Illinois Valley. Gina helped name the school, apply for our first grants, shape the school philosophy, and catalyze KCA with her passion, wit, and drive. Gina is the Artistic Director of Dancefarm.