Meet Our Team

Omaha Virtual School (OVS) has a talented staff who will facilitate students' online and in-person learning activities at Omaha Virtual School (K-8th grade) or Metropolitan Community College-Fort Campus (9th grade).

Wendy Loewenstein, Ed.D., Principal

Dr. Loewenstein is a passionate educator who strives for the personalization of learning for all students. As OVS principal, she is responsible for the curriculum, instruction, and assessment of staff and students. She is excited to build relationships in the Omaha metro area with OVS students and stakeholders, as Omaha Public Schools develops the first virtual school in the state!

Dr. Loewenstein joined Omaha Public Schools in 2016 as an instructional technology trainer. In this role, she facilitated the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program for the district and worked closely on technology integration initiatives with executive directors, building principals, and curriculum specialists.

Dr. Loewenstein joined Omaha Public Schools in 2016 as an instructional technology trainer. In this role, she facilitated the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program for the district and worked closely on technology integration initiatives with executive directors, building principals, and curriculum specialists.

e-mail: wendy.loewenstein@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9618

Wendy Loewenstein

Our Teachers

Ms. Molly Blackburn

Molly received her bachelor's in elementary education with an endorsement in middle grades language arts and science from Doane University in 2010 and a master's in curriculum and instruction in 2012. In 2014, she received an endorsement in English Language Learning (ELL). She has taught with Omaha Public Schools for the last 6 years at Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School as a 7th and 8th grade language arts teacher. She has enjoyed coaching track, being a sponsor for Student Council and coaching the Speech Team. I look forward to cultivating strong relationships with students and families enrolled at OVS!”

Wendy Loewenstein

Molly Blackburn
6th–8th Grade Teacher
molly.blackburn@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9325

 

Mr. Mark Dowling

Mark graduated from Iowa State University in 2002. He began teaching 3rd grade for Omaha Public Schools Spring Lake Magnet Center in 2002. In 2007, he became the technology specialist at Spring Lake until 2016. "I am very excited to start the next chapter in my career as a teacher at OVS!"

Mark Dowling

Mark Dowling
2nd–3rd Grade Teacher
mark.dowling@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9548

 

Mr. Tom Gamble

Tom received his bachelor's in elementary education from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 1995 and a master's in elementary education in 2003. In 2015, he received a master's of arts in teaching middle school mathematics from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He has taught with Omaha Public Schools for over 20 years. Tom has taught at Indian Hill Elementary in 4th and 6th grades and in technology roles as well as 6th grade at Wilson Focus School. He has always had a love of teaching and integrating new and innovative methods with children. "I look forward to my role as a member of this team working with students, families, and staff."

Tom Gamble

Tom Gamble
6th–8th Grade Teacher
thomas.gamble@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9447

 

Mrs. Sarah Nommensen

Sarah graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in 2004 from Wayne State College.  She began teaching 5th grade at Belvedere Elementary in OPS.  While at Belvedere, she earned a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University and an English as a Second Language Endorsement from Concordia University.  After that, she taught ESL at Gilder Elementary before
becoming an Instructional Facilitator/Academic Data Representative at Spring Lake Magnet in 2012.  While at Spring Lake, she earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership with an Elementary Principal Endorsement from Doane.  In 2014, she left teaching to be a stay at home mom.  “When the opportunity to teach at such a forward-thinking school came up, I couldn’t pass it up!  I loved my time as a stay at home mom, but I couldn’t stay away from teaching for too long!  I’m excited to be a part of this team!

Sarah Nommensen

Mrs. Sarah Nommensen
4th–5th Grade sarah.nommensen@ops.org phone: 531.299.9453

 

Ms. Megan Rogers

Megan graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She began teaching with the Omaha Public Schools at Dodge Elementary where she taught 2nd and 3rd grade. During that time, Megan completed her master's degree in curriculum and instruction at Doane College. In 2011, she became the instructional facilitator/academic data representative at Skinner Magnet Center until 2016. Megan earned a second master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2013. "I look forward to being a part of the OVS team and working together to do what is best for our students and families."

Megan Rogers

Megan Rogers
Kindergarten–1st Grade Teacher
megan.rogers@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9367

 

Ms. Beth Sechrest

Beth graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2008 with her bachelor’s in education and human sciences. Following graduation, she worked in early childhood education teaching parenting skills to low-income parents with a focus on attachment and bonding with Early Head Start at the Salvation Army. She transitioned to Heartland Family Service (HFS) in 2011, where she developed and coordinated the Baby TALK program. While working at HFS, Beth completed her master’s in social work at Boston University in 2015. She is knowledgeable on a variety of resources in the community to assist families in meeting their needs. “I am very excited to be a part of your child and family’s educational journey with OVS!”

Beth Sechrest

Beth Sechrest
Student Learning Advocate
elizabeth.sechrest@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9368

 

Ms. Hope Gray

Hope joined Omaha Public Schools in the spring of 2016 as an executive assistant to the IMS Executive Director, Rob Dickson. Shortly after beginning her job with OPS, the Omaha Virtual School came about and she and Dr. Loewenstein began working together on preparing for start of this brand new school! In her role as the Virtual School secretary, Hope assists Dr. Loewenstein, Virtual School staff, students, and families as needed. She graduated from Metropolitan Community College in 2013, earning her associates degree in applied science professional studies pre-criminal justice. Hope also spent a lot of time studying the Social Work field and has a deep passion helping others whenever possible. “I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity to be a part of Nebraska’s first ever Virtual School and have enjoyed watching the school grow. The Virtual School staff are an amazing group of people who truly care about their students and work very well together.”

Hope Gray

Hope Gray
OVS Secretary
hope.gray@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9893

 

Ms. Jennica Heywood

Ms. Heywood graduated from UNO in 2012 and began teaching science for Omaha Public Schools at Omaha South High Magnet School in 2012, where she also graduated from. In 2017, she earned a Master's in Literacy and recently added an ESL endorsement in July. “I love implementing project based assessments and real-world connections. I am thrilled to join the OVS team!

Jessica Heywood

Jennica Heyword 9th Grade Science Teacher jennica.heywood@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9240

 

Mrs. Teresa Mendoza

Teresa graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a Language Arts endorsement in 2008 and a Master’s degree in Communication Studies in 2013. She has taught for Millard Public Schools, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Teresa has enjoyed her time spent coaching speech at her previous schools and preparing students for national tournaments across the country. “Teaching is my calling. I am tremendously excited to join the team at OVS for the 2017-2018 school year and to be back in Omaha, Nebraska!”

Teresa Mendoza

Teresa Mendoza
9th Grade English Teacher
teresa.oberdorfer@ops.org
phone: 531.299.9739

 

 

Derrick Brannan - 9th Grade Social Studies teacher

Derrick received an associate's degree in communications applications in 1995 and a bachelor's in economics from University of Nebraska Omaha, both during his 8 years in the USAF. In 2006 he earned a bachelor's in secondary education with endorsements in social sciences and history from Peru St College. He has spent the last 11 years teaching grades k-8 in multiple subjects for the Omaha Archdiocese. He is eager to work with families in an innovative program to help their students be successful.

Derrick Brannan

Derrick Brannan
9th Grade Social Studies Teacher
derrick.brannan@ops.org
phone: 531-299-9457

 

Nick Allman - 6th-8th Grade Physical Education Teacher

Mr. Allman is starting his 5th year of teaching this fall. Prior to working with Omaha Public Schools, he attended Wayne State College where he received a Bachelor's Of Science Degree for Physical Education and Health, along with a Coaching endorsement. He student taught in Bellevue Public Schools at Bellevue West High and Fort Crook Elementary Schools. He still teaches at Bellevue West every summer for summer school physical education. He is grateful to be able to continue those friendships with staff and students in Bellevue. Nick enjoys being physically active and teaching others how to enjoy the art of being and living a healthy lifestyle.

Nick Allman

Nick Allman
6th-8th Grade Physical Education
nicholas.allman@ops.org

 
 

Mrs. Shannon Barry-K-5th Grade Art 

Mrs. Shannon Barry has taught art with Omaha Public Schools for the last 7 years and has both taught elementary and middle school art. This year, she will be teaching at Lothrop Elementary School and OVS. Mrs. Barry is a tech leader in the district in her role as a Microsoft Innovative Educator and is always up for a new challenge. "I look forward to all of the creations our students will produce this new school year!"

 

Shannon Barry

Shannon Barry
K-5th Grade Art Teacher

shannon.barry@ops.org