Meet our team
Meet our Administrators
Virginia Virtual Academy (VAVA) leadership is committed to empowering our school community and providing students with high-quality learning experiences.
Suzanne Sloane | Head of School
Suzanne has worked for K12 since 2001 in product development, evaluation and research, academic services, enrollment/placement and school management. Suzanne opened VAVA in its inaugural year, 2009. She was an award-winning Virginia public school teacher and has been involved in education in the state for more than 25 years. Suzanne has met with governors, members of the state board of education, legislators, and other leaders along with her students and families to encourage expanding online learning opportunities for all children who wish to have school choice. Suzanne is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and holds a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia. Suzanne was elected to the Fauquier County School Board in 2016. She is married to the head of school for Friendship Public Charter School Online in Washington, D.C. She has two sons in Fauquier County high school and a German shepherd named Blue.
Caitlin Owens | Elementary Principal
Caitlin joined VAVA as the K-5 Assistant Principal in 2019 and served as the 3-5 Assistant Principal the following year. Caitlin earned her Bachelor’s degree from Radford University and began teaching 3rd grade upon graduation. She continued to teach while completing her master’s program with Liberty University. After receiving her Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision, Caitlin worked as the assistant principal for the same PreK-7 school in which she taught. Caitlin lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. She has a passion for instructional leadership and enjoys working with teachers, students, and families to help all students be successful.
Vanessa Mullins | K-2 Assistant Principal
Vanessa Mullins joined the VAVA team in August 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech in 2006. After working in the corporate child care field, she attended graduate school at The College of William and Mary, earning a Master of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. She taught for six years in a brick and mortar school in Virginia before joining VAVA. Vanessa resides in Southwest Virginia with her husband and three children. Vanessa is passionate about education and meeting the needs of all students.
Ashley Boone | 3-5 Assistant Principal
Ashley joined the VAVA team in January 2021. She began at VAVA as a 4th grade teacher and is extremely excited to be serving as assistant principal. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Ferrum College and began teaching 5th grade directly upon graduation. During Ashley's time teaching 4th and 5th grade in her local brick and mortar school district, she earned a Master's of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Radford University. She resides in southwest Virginia with her husband, daughter, and their family dog. Ashley has a passion for relationship building amongst teachers, students, and families and is excited to be a part of the VAVA family.
Suhad Garcia-Batiz | Middle School Principal
Suhad Garcia-Batiz joined the VAVA team in 2019. She earned her Undergraduate Degree in Psychology at George Mason University in 2004. She continued her education at GMU to earn a Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2007. In 2012, she earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision. Her teaching career began in Prince William County in 2004 where she taught students with Specific Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disabilities and Middle School Math until 2016. At that time, she joined K12 as an Instructional Coach where she worked closely with K12 educators across the country to improve their teaching practices. Suhad joined the VAVA family in 2019 and is currently the Middle School Principal. She has a passion for supporting the growth and learning of not only her students, but her staff. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, spending time with her family and finding fun outdoor adventures. She looks forward to continuing to work with all of our students, families and staff at VAVA.
Elizabeth Clark | Middle School Assistant Principal
Elizabeth Clark began working with the Virginia Virtual Academy as a math teacher in 2010. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where she majored in mathematics. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Since beginning her math teaching career Elizabeth has enjoyed working with students in grades four through twelve. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida with her husband and their three boys McLean, Grey and Blair. In her free time Elizabeth spends as much time outdoors as she can. She loves to hike, kayak, paddle-board, bike and spend time at the beach with family and friends.
Maddie Lamb | Middle School Assistant Principal
Maddie Lamb has been with VAVA since 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech in 2003, where she majored in Accounting and Information Systems. She then continued on to earn a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University. She recently earned a second master’s degree majoring in Educational Leadership from Radford University.In 2004 she began her teaching career focusing on helping students with disabilities succeed. She started her time with VAVA working in Special Education at the middle school and then transitioned to 504-RTI Coordinator. She strives to ensure every student receives the supports and accommodations they need in order to have equal access to the education they deserve. Maddie resides in Madison County, VA with her husband and three children on a dairy farm. In her spare time, she can be found outside playing with her children, pigs and dogs. She is so excited to continue with the VAVA family and to create positive relationships with her students and learning coaches.
Dr. Kenny Moles | High School Principal
Kenny joined VAVA's team in August 2017 as the academic administrator for our high school. He earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. He completed his graduate work at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, earning both a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership. Kenny has 15 years of administrative experience encompassing all programmatic levels of K–12 education. Those experiences involve service in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina, including work at the West Virginia Department of Education. He was a high school social studies teacher prior to entering administration. Kenny is married to Sara Moles, a kindergarten teacher for VAVA. Together they have three children, Madilyn, Kent, and Josiah. Their weekends are spent enjoying the events their kids are passionate about and spending quality time together as a family.
Brian Kitts | High School Assistant Principal
Mr. Kitts joined the Virginia Virtual team in August 2020 to assist with academic assessment and state testing. Mr. Kitts earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Virginia Tech. He completed his graduate work at Radford University, earning a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Mr. Kitts has fifteen years of administrative experience serving as an elementary teacher, elementary principal. high school assistant principal, and high school principal. Mr. Kitts serves the high school team assisting with special projects, teacher licensure, assessment, and compliance. He also serves as the liaison for our Region VII Virtual Academy in Southwest Virginia.
Jessica Carter | High School Assistant Academic Administrator
Jessica Carter joined the Virginia Virtual team in 2018 as a special education teacher, and currently serves the students and staff at VAVA as an assistant administrator at the high school. She has served students in K-12 over her 20 years in education in special education and as an instructional technology resources teacher. Jessica earned a Bachelor of Science in Special Education, K-12 from Radford University. Her graduate work consists of a Master of Arts for instructional technology from George Mason University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Radford University. Jessica lives in Fredericksburg, VA with her husband and 4 children, two of which are students at VAVA. Her children are busy with many sports and theater and she enjoys spending her time supporting them do what they love. Jessica’s family enjoys supporting the community by fostering dogs that have been rescued and looking for their “furever” home. They have been known to have up to 9 dogs at one time, along with their 4 cats. Supporting the school community at Virginia Virtual Academy brings a lot of joy to Jessica and she loves being part of the VAVA family!
Christine Taylor | Special Programs Administrator
Christine joined the VAVA team in August 2014. Before joining VAVA, Christine spent many years as a Fairfax County Public School teacher. She mainly taught English and reading, but also gained experience in science and all elementary content. Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and holds a master's degree in special education from George Mason University. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, children, and dogs. In her time away from work, Christine enjoys traveling, completing home projects, and gardening. Christine looks forward to assisting families with any special needs and is happy to answer questions about special programs.
Jennifer Trotter | Operations Manager
Jennifer joined the VAVA team in August 2011 as a K–4 teacher. She earned a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies and a Master of Science in reading from Radford University. Jennifer is also a national board certified teacher in early childhood education (preK–3). She has 13 years of teaching experience in a variety of elementary grade levels and has taught as an adjunct professor in the education department at Radford University. She lives in Southwest Virginia with her husband and two children. She thoroughly enjoys working with VAVA students and families to help them along their education journey.
Deanna Swortzel | Academic Data and Assessment Administrator
Deanna Swortzel joined the VAVA team in July 2014 as a K–1 teacher and is excited to oversee the data and assessment team this school year after serving as the elementary principal for several years. She comes with a variety of background experience including teaching 1st and 4th grades, community organizing and working as a gifted specialist teaching students in kindergarten through 12th grade. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Radford University. She also holds a gifted endorsement and has a passion for working with high-ability students. Deanna lives in Southwest Virginia with her husband Brian and four sons. She enjoys being outside and watching her boys play sports.