GCPA At A Glance

Meet The Team

The Grand Canyon Private Academy (GCPA) team is committed to empowering our virtual school community by providing exceptional learning experiences for all students.


Bouchra Bounani

Bouchra Bouanani | Executive Director.

Ms. Bouchra Bouanani is a dynamic and passionate educator who began her career as a skilled electrical engineer. With a proven record of successful programs and project management from concept to completion, she worked for years at the multinational company Siemens before falling in love with education and dedicating herself to developing effective educational strategies and curricula. Ms. Bouanani started her career in education 17 years ago and spent more than nine of them with AZVA and ISAZ. She has served as a math teacher, curriculum specialist, and federal program director. She also successfully led the launch of the RISE@AZVA gifted program in 2018. Ms. Bouanani tenaciously follows a quest for success and learning and believes every experience and interaction is an opportunity to learn, sharpen skills, and extend knowledge. She is passionate about students’ growth and creating differentiated learning opportunities for all students. Her motto: Empower with joy and a growth mindset for a better tomorrow!

Kyle Azbell

Kyle Azbell | Operations Manager

Mr. Kyle Azbell joined Stride in January 2021 as a community engagement specialist for MVPAZ before moving into operations here at GCPA. He moved to Arizona from Nashville, Tennessee, where he was the program coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle TN. Mr. Azbell completed his master’s degree in public administration at Texas A&M University with a focus on public and nonprofit management. He holds his bachelor’s degree in political science from Austin Peay State University. He is a huge Texas A&M and Tennessee Titans fan and loves to talk with students and families about their interests and goals. As the operations manager, Mr. Azbell is a resource for our staff, students, and Learning Coaches for any assistance they may need.

Jessica Cox

Jessica Cox | Grades K–2 Teacher

Ms. Jessica is a true Floridian at heart who loves to fish and be anywhere on the water. She has been teaching for 13 years and has a special passion for science! Outside school, Ms. Jessica loves exercising, traveling, and making new friends.

Andrea Ordoñez

Andrea Ordonez | Grades 3–5 Teacher

Ms. Andrea Ordonez joined Stride in August 2022 to pursue her passion for online education. She earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Florida International University (Miami) and a master’s in STEM education from American College of Education (Chicago). As an educator, she has a true passion for helping each child progress in all areas of their development: academic, social, emotional, language, and motor. Ms. Ordonez always strives to create a positive, fun environment for her community of learners. Her goal is to create an academically engaging learning experience that fosters creativity, curiosity, and kindness in her students.

Cynthia McCallum

Cynthia McCallum | Special Education Teacher

Cynthia has experience as a Special Educator with all levels Kindergarten -12th grade as well as post-secondary. She specializes in inclusion and holds two graduate degrees specializing in inclusive teaching and learning. She has joined GCPA because virtual teaching and learning provides the unique opportunity for both individualized instruction and inclusion that virtual learning affords. Her philosophy revolves around relationship-based learning. She has vast experience in Special Education compliance and DEI programs and clubs. In her free time, she loves to read and escape to nature.

Middle School Team

Erica Conte

Erica Conte | Middle School Math Teacher.

Ms. Erica Conte brings 17 years of teaching experience with her to MVPAZ. She graduated from National-Louis University (Elgin, IL) with a bachelor’s degree in education. Then she earned her master’s in educational leadership from the American College of Education (Chicago). Ms. Conte is endorsed in all subject areas but feels her passion and excitement for teaching are off the charts when she teaches math! She wants her students to know that math can be FUN, and anyone can learn and succeed. Ms. Conte enjoys doing Sudoku puzzles for hours and cheering on her hometown sports teams: the Bears, Hawks, and Cubs!

Christine Zinzeris

Christine Zinzeris | Middle School Science Teacher

Ms. Christine Zinzeris joins GCPA for her fifth year teaching middle school. She will teach middle level science and American History for our 6th grade students. After more than a decade in the corporate world, Ms. Zinzeris returned to school to earn an elementary education degree and middle level science certification to teach middle school science. She loves teaching science because it gives kids a better understanding and appreciation of the world around them. When not in school, Ms. Zinzeris enjoys going to the beach. She is always on the watch for dolphins. She is a foodie at heart and enjoys cooking and watching cooking competitions.

Jeremy Ryan

Jeremy Ryan | Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Mr. Jeremy Ryan loves to laugh. Whether it’s watching cartoons, visiting a new place, cracking dad jokes to his wife and boys, or making an incredible play in a videogame—if it makes him and others smile, he’s there for it. An educator for life, Mr. Ryan’s passions are teaching about world culture, historical events, and fitness while geeking out about pop culture. He is part of the middle and high school teaching teams.

Erin Hendrix

Erin Hendrix | Middle School English Teacher

Ms. Erin Hendrix is a dedicated and thoughtful educator with experience guiding students in their academic pursuits for 20+ years. She graduated from the University of Utah with her Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd). She started her first year of teaching at a school where she found herself working with many students who were ELLs (English Language Learners). To equip herself with the appropriate skills to foster her ELL students’ learning, she spent late nights after full days of teaching, earning her ELL endorsement. Ms. Hendrix has experience teaching in public, parochial, and private schools. She hopes to instill a love of reading and writing in her students.

Cynthia McCallum

Cynthia McCallum | Special Education Teacher

Learn more about Dr. McCallum in the Elementary School Team section. 

High School Team

Sage Norrie

Sage Norrie | High School Science Teacher

Mr. Sage Norrie joined Stride in August 2022 to pursue his passion for online science education. He earned a BS and an MS in molecular biology from the University of South Florida (Tampa). As an educator, Mr. Norrie has a true passion for helping each child progress in all science courses. He always strives to create a positive, fun environment for his community of learners. Mr. Norrie can’t wait to be a part of this exciting adventure with you!

Jeremy Ryan

Jeremy Ryan | High School Social Studies Teacher

Learn more about Mr. Ryan in the Middle School Team section. 

Emily Wendt

Emily Wendt | High School English Teacher

Ms. Emily Wendt joins GCPA with 17 years of English teaching experience at the high school and community college levels. She graduated from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences and a minor in secondary education. She then attained a master’s in English literature from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA). Ms. Wendt brings her passion for literature and writing into the classroom to motivate students to challenge themselves while having fun and to excel as critical readers and writers. Outside the classroom, she loves seeking new experiences with nature, history, and culture. She is excited to embark on an adventure in virtual education at GCPA!

Hafsa Arif

Hafsa Arif | High School Math Teacher

Ms. Hafsa Arif brings more than four years of dedicated teaching experience in high school mathematics to our school community. As a seasoned educator, she has inspired countless students and served as a valued content lead within her institution. With a background in chemical engineering, Ms. Arif brings a unique perspective to her math classes, emphasizing real-world applications and problem-solving skills. Beyond the classroom, she’s a passionate traveler who relishes experiencing different cultures and, as a loving parent, enjoys spending quality outdoor time with her toddler. Ms. Arif embodies the spirit of lifelong learning and looks forward to empowering students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

Cynthia McCallum

Cynthia McCallum | Special Education Teacher

Learn more about Dr. McCallum in the Elementary School Team section.