Our Leadership Team

Leverage the Experience of a Seasoned Leadership Team

ISKS's administrative leadership team represents some of Kansas's leading experts on school management and is committed to ensuring the finest education possible for your children. From providing expert tools and strategies to parent support, the ISKS team is dedicated to making sure that you have what you need to deliver a well-rounded, enriching education to your children. Here are some of the people who maintain ISKS's high standards of education:


Mrs. Cassandra Barton is the Head of School for Insight School of Kansas and Kansas Virtual Academy. This is her 5th school year in this role. Before moving into the HOS role, she served as principal for two years. Mrs. Barton also taught high school English language arts for 11 years. She has a BS in secondary education–English and a Master's in school leadership. Mrs. Barton is passionate about online education as an option for students in the great state of Kansas!

Heather Appleby joined the Kansas team in November 2014. Previously, she worked with Arizona Virtual Academy as an Academic Administrator of a blended learning site. She received both her Bachelor of Science in elementary education and master of educational leadership degrees from Northern Arizona University. During the past 18 years, she has taught and supervised in both public and private schools. Working with students and teachers is truly her passion and she is honored to have the opportunity to continue her life's work with ISKS.

Dr. Phillip Thies is thrilled and honored to have the opportunity as the new Academic Administrator (Principal) of Kansas Virtual Academy and Insight School of Kansas for grades Kindergarten–8th. Dr. Thies’ professional experience as an educator has included working with excellent students, teachers, and administrators throughout K–12 as a teacher, curriculum/instruction administrator, and principal for nearly twenty years. Dr. Thies is a graduate of Kansas State University, where he attained his bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He achieved his master’s degree in educational administration from Pittsburg State University and his doctorate degree in Education in Urban Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Missouri-Kansas City. The focus of his research at The University of Missouri-Kansas City was in supporting teachers who are personalizing learning for students in a blended/virtual learning environment. Dr. Thies’ own personal mission is to serve and inspire those around him to exceed their own expectations in learning and in life. You can be assured he will uphold this mission as the Academic Administrator (Principal) of Kansas Virtual Academy and Insight School of Kansas.

Jennifer King joined the K12 team in 2015 as the Special Populations Administrator. Jennifer has a B.S. in elementary education and an M.A.Ed. in curriculum and instruction. She is certified to teach special education and EL for PreK–12th grades and elementary education for PreK-8th grades. This is her 16th year in education.


Elizabeth Bukaty graduated from Washburn University with a BA in public relations. She began working at ISKS and KSVA as a Registrar and moved to the Compliance Coordinator role in September 2016. She often participates in marketing events for prospective families in the Kansas City area.

Rachel Hagan is the Family Academic Support Team Lead and joined the KSVA/ISKS team in 2016. Her previous experience with K12 started in 2010 serving as the Local Development Manager. She earned a BS from the University of Iowa.

Elicia Harrison is the Family Resource Coordinator for Insight School of Kansas and Kansas Virtual Academy. Elicia is also a licensed master level social worker. Elicia started her employment as an advisor with Insight School of Kanas in 2011. This is her third school year as the Family Resource Coordinator. Elicia earned her bachelor’s in social work at Avila University, and earned her master's in social work at the University of Kansas.

Jacob Rutherford is the Operations Manager of Insight Kansas and Kansas Virtual Academy. He has worked in education for 15 years, both in the classroom and in administration. Jacob earned both his BA and MA in English from The University of Memphis.