About Our School
Meet Our Administrators
The administrative staff for the nine California Virtual Academies (CAVA) is ready to share their innovation, expertise, and enthusiasm with your family. The leadership is dedicated to empowering our school communities.
April Warren | Head of School
Mrs. Warren first joined CAVA in 2004 as a teacher. Over the last 16 years, she has served in various roles including supporting teachers and parents with curriculum and instructional strategies, developing processes and procedures to ensure compliance with various state and federal agencies, and working with teams to continue to increase the instructional programming and support offered to students. Under her leadership as the academic administrator, the elementary team developed a transitional kindergarten program, the middle school implemented a model more in line with the unique needs of middle school students, and the high school programs have seen increased growth in both passing rates and student engagement. Mrs. Warren became the head of schools for the California Virtual Academies in 2016 and has worked with the administrative team to increase the offerings of the California Virtual Academies including a CAVA2College program and Destinations Career Academy. Mrs. Warren graduated with honors from California State University, San Bernardino, in 2002. She resides in Southern California and enjoys spending time with her husband and five children.
Amy Maxwell | Academic Administrator
Ms. Maxwell received her teaching credential from Chapman University and started her teaching career in 1996. In 2000, she completed the administrative credential program at the University of California, Irvine. During her years in the brick-and-mortar classroom, she taught upper elementary and worked at the district level in the areas of GATE and history/social science. Ms. Maxwell started her career with California Virtual Academies in 2007 with the high school program. She has served in various roles at CAVA, including a K–8 teacher and leader. In the 2013–2014 school year, Ms. Maxwell began her role as the director of the elementary program where she served until she became the academic administrator in January 2020.
Amy Chadez | Academic Administrator
Mrs. Chadez received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Boise State University. She received a master's degree in learning and technology, and an education specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of Idaho. She spent the first eight years of her teaching career teaching in 1st and 2nd grades in a traditional school setting. She had the opportunity to teach in two Stride K12-powered schools, and spent five years as an academic administrator before moving into a regional academic director role with Stride K12. Mrs. Chadez joined the CAVA team in March 2020 as the director of academics. This role allows her to work collaboratively with our academic teams to continually strive to improve our academic programs for our students and offer professional growth opportunities to our faculty. Mrs. Chadez enjoys spending time with her husband and her three children.
Leah Fellows | Director of Engagement and Community
Mrs. Fellows received an associate's degree in child growth and development and taught pre-kindergarten while completing college. She received a bachelor's degree and multiple subject teaching credential from California State University, San Bernardino. Mrs. Fellows taught first and second grade in a traditional school setting where she worked with English language learners, served as a mentor for new teachers, and was part of various site and district leadership teams. Mrs. Fellows has been with CAVA since 2003 and has served students, families, and staff in various capacities. Her currently role of director of engagement and community includes our Compass team, as well as coordinating community development and WASC study. Mrs. Fellows has a Master of Arts in educational leadership and administration from Brandman University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their two college-age daughters.
Melisse Burns | Compass Program Coordinator
Mrs. Burns received bachelor's and master's degrees in anthropology from the University of Montana, Missoula. After earning her degrees, she spent time as a researcher and instructor in Montana, tutoring and advising at-risk college students. Mrs. Burns also worked with special needs high school students, helping them achieve their learning goals. She began working for CAVA as a family academic support liaison in 2015, helping high school students and families achieve success in our online school environment. Mrs. Burns subsequently served as a compliance liaison for students in TK–12 before beginning her role as the FAST Program coordinator in 2018. Mrs. Burns resides in northern California, where she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and many pets.
Sarah Neuenschwander | Director of Testing and Accountability
Ms. Neuenschwander received her teaching credential from Azusa Pacific University and started her teaching career as a 6th grade teacher in 2001. She joined California Virtual Academies in 2006. During her time at CAVA, Ms. Neuenschwander has been a K–8 teacher, elementary principal, and testing coordinator. In her current role as the director of accountability, she oversees all state reporting and state testing.
Victoria Nelson | Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator
Ms. Nelson is committed to growing and fostering relationships within our school community. She believes Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), for students and adults. SEL skills are foundational to success in school, college, career, and life. Ms. Nelson’s experience as an educator, administrator and clinician have equipped her to support our school in identifying strategies and resources that will support a safe and caring environment that fosters academic, social, and emotional growth.