Our Faculty and Staff

  • Administration

    • Dawn Miller
      Principal and Chair

      I enjoy listening to and collaborating with students, teachers and parents to find more opportunities for students and help the school continue to improve. I have been a parent, teacher, assistant principal and principal during my 17 years at Burris Laboratory School.

    • Vince Edwards
      Assistant Principal

      I have been in school administration since 2012 and am currently working toward completing my Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.  I am a big proponent of a well-rounded education that includes an emphasis on related arts and character education.  I love my job because I get to lead great people in making a difference in the lives of our students.

    • Abigail E. Comber
      Assistant Principal

      I have been a classroom teacher for 16 years and have been with Burris since 2008. My education research interests include secondary education curriculum and instruction with emphasis in project-based learning and student-centered activities; stakeholder and community involvement in schools; professional development as adult learning; student ambassadors and school discipline.

    • Susan Adair
      Systems Administrator and Office Supervisor
    • Amber Foster
      Receptionist and Attendance Secretary

      I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Ball State University in fall of 2016. I am currently seeking my Master’s Degree in Education through Ball State University. I am so thankful to work at Burris and be a part of the Burris family. Working at Burris has encouraged me to follow my true passion to be an elementary teacher. I will graduate from Ball State next year and want to be a kindergarten or first grade teacher.

    • Malissa Garrison
      Financial Coordinator

      I am a graduate of Ball State University with a B.S. in Communication Studies-business and a Minor in Voice Performance. I worked in Adult Education for many years, co-owned a consulting firm and joined Burris Laboratory School in 2015. I love systems and operations and thrive on finding new and efficient ways to enhance performance.

    • Megan McMullen
      Secretary to Superintendent and Principal
    • Julie Price
      Superintendent of University Schools and Office of Charter Schools Fiscal Analyst
    • Chad Wlodarek
      Athletic Director

      I became a member of the Burris family in 1998. My mission is to offer a variety of opportunities for our students to develop athletically, mentally and academically through sports, activities and clubs.

    • Lucas Reese
      Technology Coordinator


    • Carlotta Blair
      Library Coordinator

      My goal as the Burris Library Coordinator is to provide a friendly, encouraging and informative library experience for our students, plus striving to provide updated materials that support our teacher’s curriculum. I have been at Burris nearly 22 years. I am the school Notary and an Indiana Certified Librarian.  I am a member of the Indiana State Literacy Association, American Library Association and National Notary Association. I feel very honored to be on the staff of one of the best schools in Indiana!

    • Cassie Bolander
      Temp Burris Classroom Aide

      A Burris parent prior to becoming staff, I wanted to find a way to give back to the school community. The aide position allows me to help both faculty and students work toward academic success.

    • Brad Canada
      Instructor of Social Studies

      I have taught high school social studies for 15 years.  Since 2005, I have taught Economics, U.S. Government, and U.S. History at Burris.  I enjoy giving students hands-on experiences through field trips.

    • LeighAnne Canada
      Instructor of Elementary Education (First Grade)

      I am in my 15th year of teaching.  This is my 5th year at Burris.  I have taught in all grades 1 through 6.

    • Heather Chalfant
      Health Care Coordinator

      I started in health care in 1996 and became a nurse in 2002.  I have worked at IUBMH in critical care, progressive care unit, medical/stroke unit, outpatient dialysis, served on the hazmat team and worked pediatric triage for a pediatric office.  I have been a Burris parent since 2000 and started on staff in the health clinic in 2013.

    • Leah Chandler
      Instructor of Secondary English

      I have taught in a variety of settings – from an after-school program for at-risk kids to a small town junior/senior high school, and now Burris Laboratory School. No matter where I teach my goal is the same, to create lifelong learners who value the written word and think deeply about what they are reading, who are able to communicate their thoughts and opinions with clarity and conviction through writing and speaking, and are prepared to contribute to the conversation in the world around them.

    • Bethany Clegg
      Instructor of Physical Education and Health

      I am an Indiana licensed K-12 physical education, health and high ability teacher. I am a Nationally Certified Adaptive Physical Education educator. I seek opportunities to grow as a teacher and have demonstrated leadership in my profession by being a past President of the Indiana Society of Health and Physical Education.  I am a recipient of the 2018 Walter Daly Excellence in Teaching Award.

    • Kaitlyn Colby
      Instructor of Secondary English

      I hold a B.A. in English Education & Theatre Education from Ball State University and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from IUPUI. In addition to teaching in public schools, I have created and facilitated theatre programming for a variety of schools and nonprofits in the greater Indianapolis area.

    • Melody Crehan
      Instructor of Social Studies and Secondary English

      A native of Muncie, I received both my BS and MA from Ball State. My affiliation with Burris has encompassed many years teaching, as well as travel experiences with students locally, regionally and in Europe and Japan.  I believe a caring attitude, welcoming rapport, and genuine interest in the student, as a whole, promotes a positive view of academics for educational growth and development as well as aiding the child’s social and emotional well-being.

    • Rhonda Cunningham
      Director of Special Education/Special Education Teacher

      My desire to engage, challenge, and inspire growth in my students is not limited to the classroom. It is my goal to share with my students the awe and excitement, as well as the dedication and hard work that comes along with continued education to advance into a position that can continue to make a difference in the lives of many children. I hold myself to the same standards that I hold my students. That is, I strive to become a skilled thinker and learner, and I believe that this process is life-long.

    • Michael Dodrill
      Instructor of Secondary Science

      I earned my BS in Secondary Science Education, with a primary focus in Physics, and my MA in Athletic Coaching Education at Ball State University. I have been teaching at Burris since August 2002 and I am the current Varsity Volleyball Head Coach. Burris is a great educational opportunity for learners and instructors alike, providing an exceptional life-long holistic experience.

    • Edilia Ferrer
      Instructor of Spanish Education

      Teaching Spanish is exciting! I enjoy interacting with students. I always feel inspired by my students’ drive. I believe in a flexible approach of instruction, where students are encouraged to evaluate, interpret, and apply their new foreign language skills and cultural knowledge beyond the surface level.

    • Sarah Gaither
      Title 1 Instructor

      I have worked at Burris for a total of 11 years. My current role is Title 1 Instructor, which means that I work with struggling students in reading and math.

    • Elise George
      High Ability Counselor

      I hold a master’s degree in Counseling, Educational Psychology, and a certificate in High Ability Education. I have several years of experience of counseling in both the school and private practice setting. Though I work with students of all ages at Burris, I have a passion for elementary and high ability students. I have a heart for meeting students where they are emotionally, socially, and academically; I am dedicated to helping them grow and develop their skills in these areas.

    • Diane Goodpaster
      Instructor of Special Education

      I have eleven years of experience implementing special education services for students who need mild interventions. I taught at Eastview Elementary in Connersville, Indiana and R.J. Baskett Middle School in Gas City, Indiana before starting at Burris in 2015. I believe in offering a wide variety of research-based curriculum, instructional settings, and support services to help each individual reach his or her full potential.

    • Felicia Gray
      Instructor of Elementary Education (First Grade)

      I have been an educator for 20 years, teaching at primary, upper elementary, and university levels. The majority of my career has been spent in elementary grades 1 and 2 teaching high ability and general education students at several schools in Muncie.

    • Lisa Halley
      Instructor of Elementary Special Education

      I have taught many students with a wide range of special needs. I believe that every student has the potential to learn and succeed and I enjoy helping my students on their journey to success.

    • David Harman
      Instructor of Physical Education and Health

      I teach both Health and Physical Education from a wellness standpoint emphasizing the whole person. I currently coach Volleyball (assistant), Ladies Basketball, and Track and Field.

    • Lisa Haughn
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Fourth Grade)

      This is my 6th year teaching at Burris. I enjoy working with students through Math Bowl, Japanese Exchange Program, Camp Crosley, and on a daily basis in fourth grade. I am proud to be Burris Owl and I am looking forward to many more years teaching at such an awesome school!

    • Michelle Harris
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Second Grade)

      I have been an elementary educator for 19 years with experience in second and third grades. I have an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Ball State.

    • Renee Huffman
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Kindergarten)

      I have been a Burris teacher for 25 years. I truly enjoy teaching young learners and watching their success and maturity during their kindergarten school year. Each year I look forward to family interaction and participation because teaching is a team-effort! I also enjoy collaborating and working with Ball State professors and participants.

    • Laura-Lea Hughes
      Librarian/Media Specialist and Instructor of Technology

      Books and technology are my passion. I believe that when students are given the ability to explore what is of interest to them in a structured but open classroom, the sky is the limit!

    • Scott H. Jackson
      Director of Choral Activities and K-5 General Music

      I am a graduate of Indiana State University with B.A. in Music Education. I have been an educator for 18 years and have taught Choral, Band, Orchestra and Elementary classes in my tenure. I enjoy playing piano professionally in different bands in Central Indiana and am grateful for my wife of 10 years, Tiffany, and my daughter Viola. I believe that embracing music will create a lifelong joy and discipline in all facets of life.

    • Eli Jones
      Instructor of Social Studies

      The 2018-2019 academic year will begin my third year at Burris and my third year teaching overall. I take an active approach to social studies. My goal is for students to not just know history, but for them to do history so that one day they will change history.

    • Becky Juday
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Fifth Grade)

      I have taught 5th grade for seventeen years. In my classroom, students “own their own learning” by engaging in hands-on experiences as often as possible.

    • Tara Karnes
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Third Grade)

      During my 18 years of teaching, my goals have continued to include collaborating with parents to inspire a love of learning in my students. My wish for the children who come through my class is that they will always be kind, rise to difficult challenges, and become problem solvers.

    • Karen Koch
      Instructor of Secondary English

      I love teaching middle school language arts. I am licensed in English, Speech Communication, Theater, and High Ability Education. I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Educational Technology. My professional interests include project based learning, high ability education, curriculum writing and development, instructional coaching and staff development, and school culture.

    • Lainey Marshall
      High School Mathematics Instructor

      I have been teaching math at Burris for almost 5 years now, and there is no place that I would rather be. I love working with an amazing group of colleagues to provide our students with an exceptional learning experience. I enjoy creating a positive classroom environment and helping students build their confidence with mathematics.

    • Michael E. McClure
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Fourth Grade)

      This is my fifth year teaching at Burris. I love working with all of the Burris students and I probably enjoy the adventures that we go on the most. Seeing students in different environments such as Camp Crosley, Japan, Conner Prairie, the statehouse, or even at events on campus reminds me how special our school is.  Burris is an example of education in action and I am so proud to be a part of that.

    • Amy Miller
      Instructor of Secondary Science

      As a former research scientist, my approach to teaching science is to integrate the lab experience in every situation possible. I believe that students learn through hands-on experiences and become more engaged when given the opportunity to do science. My goal is to have students leave my classroom as capable science learners possessing critical lab skills needed at the next level.

    • Megan Miller
      Speech-Language Pathologist

      I have completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, both in Speech-Language Pathology, at Ball State University. I began working at Burris in 2016. My job as the speech-language pathologist at Burris is so rewarding!  I thoroughly enjoy getting to know my students on an individual and small group basis. I love to see my students gain confidence when they are able to communicate more effectively as we work together to improve their speech and language skills.

    • Rachel Milligan
      Middle and High School Counselor

      I have worked in Education for the past eleven years, first as a teacher and then as a school counselor after completing my Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Ball State University. Having a background in education allows me to encourage students towards successful educational choices. I work to create lessons, groups and experiences that support students and help them be successful in their educational careers at Burris and as they transition after high school.

    • Evelyn Mocherman
      Instructor of Secondary Mathematics

      Since joining the Burris Faculty in 2014 as a member of the Mathematics Department, I have loved being in an environment where students and faculty support and encourage each other through both struggles and successes! Some of my most rewarding experiences in teaching have been watching students push through their mental block when it comes to understanding mathematical concepts. It is a privilege to be a part of the moment when a student realizes they can put into practice the skills we have learned together to solve what used to be an unsolvable problem, building confidence in their own abilities.

    • Stefanie Onieal
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Second Grade)

      I have been an educator for over 20 years. My experience includes teaching Special Education, Reading Recovery, grades 1-4, technology literacy specialist and math coach.

    • Jessica Papandria
      Instructor of Social Studies

      I have taught Social Studies to grades 7-12 for 12 years; this is my third at Burris Laboratory School. I enjoy reading mysteries and history books, traveling and spending time with my husband, Nick and two children, Vivian, 9 and Henry, 5.

    • Danielle R. Phelps
      Instructor of Visual Arts (K-8)

      This is my 15th year teaching elementary art and my 2nd year teaching middle school. Teaching art is truly my passion and it is a pleasure to educate and influence the future artists at Burris every day.

    • Emily Shepherd
      Instructor of Secondary Mathematics

      I have been a teacher at Burris since August 1999. I believe it is important for students to be able to construct their knowledge about mathematics.

    • Kelly Sloan
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Third Grade)

      I have been teaching elementary for many years. I feel all students can learn and excel when given challenges and high expectations.

    • Judith Sponseller
      Instructor of Spanish Education

      My students are rewarded for effort, process, and progress and not correctness, and are encouraged to aspire to understand versus being understood. The Spanish language and culture instruction aims to affect the learner to progress from being a local citizen to that of a self-actualized, global, bilingual citizen who is empathetic to other cultures, races, genders, religions, economic inequality, and political perspectives beyond the local environment.

    • Josh Stimmel
      Instructor of Secondary Math

      I am in my first year of teaching at Burris and my first overall.  I graduated from Taylor University and earned my BS in Secondary Mathematics Education. My goal as a teacher is to help my students cultivate problem solving skills through mathematics, while also helping them develop a growth mindset in all aspects of their lives.

    • Jennifer Stacy
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Fifth Grade)

      I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ball State University. I have been teaching for 20 years.  In that time, I have taught first grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade. In addition, I have been a primary grade intervention teacher.

    • Christian Starnes
      Director of Orchestra

      I have been a performing musician over 30 years, a private lesson teacher over 20, and a secondary classroom music educator for the past twelve years.

    • Carmen Lili Stokes
      Visual Arts Instructor

      I have been teaching visual arts for 18 years. I am honored to teach students from grades K-12 visual communication and to work closely with the David Owsley Museum of Art.

    • Cristina Suits
      Instructor of Physical Education and Health

      My classroom is rooted in multifaceted, student-centered, and self-directed learning models. Action Based Research is performed yearly around the most recent physiological research to enhance individual cardiovascular health, leg strength, hand-grip, healthy eating behaviors, and flexibility. My research interests include climbing and hand-grip and its impact on K-12 education, student-centered/self-direct learning, participatory learning, and transformational learning. The 2017-2018 School year will focus around a climbing project funded through Discovery Education. Please come visit our PE classroom to see the children’s creations on the climbing wall.

    • Jenny Wood
      Instructor of Secondary Mathematics

      I have a variety of teaching experiences from rural to urban, from small town advanced placement to city alternative schools. One thing all students have in common is the desire to be cared for. This premise is always in the forefront of my mind.

    • Nicole Zirkle
      Instructor of Elementary Education (Kindergarten)

      I am driven to be innovative in the teaching process. I am certified in Orton Gillingham, a reading approach that helps students understand how to read and spell. I look for ways to make learning fun and I love seeing those moments in my students’ faces when they are in awe of what they can do.