Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week: Meet Our Teachers

By May 8, 2019 Blog

Teachers are an important part of a child’s life. They dedicate countless hours and resources to guide and support them. Children are our future, and they depend on teachers to point them in the right direction, guide their curiosity and encourage the pursuit of their dreams.

Teachers deserve to be celebrated for their dedication and passion, so this week, in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week and California Day of the Teacher, we’re featuring stories from four of Compass Charter Schools (CCS) teachers. Read their perspective on being an educator and being part of the CCS family:

Karle Roberts, Educational Facilitator

I am an Educational Facilitator and I support families in our Options (homeschooling) program. I have been married to my husband for 17 years and we have three adorable children: Preston, Peyton, and Presley. I have been part of the CCS community for four and a half years and I have been teaching for 18 years! When I am not teaching, I love an early morning run, do-it-yourself projects around our house, and spending time with my family.

There are so many reasons why I enjoy being part of CCS. But, I would have to say my absolute favorite part is feeling valued. Working for a school that asks for teachers’ input, learning coaches’ input, and scholars’ input means that the school truly wants to be strong and grow! It takes a lot to ask the question, “What can we do better?” and it’s even more impressive when the school leadership staff listens! I also love hearing the stories from my learning coaches about how homeschooling has positively impacted their family. The stories are so encouraging and motivating. I love that CCS offers flexibility to so many families. Relationships are also very important here at CCS. The relationships formed between teachers and their families are very special and our scholars and their learning coaches also deepen their bond which is wonderful to see. CCS is not only a wonderful school to attend but a great place to work!

Joyce Popelar, Elementary School Teacher

I am an elementary school teacher for the Online program at Compass. I have been teaching at Compass for over four years! I am married to a wonderful man and we have a beautiful nine-year-old son who’s pet fish is named Pebbles! We enjoy spending time together and doing many different activities like camping, going to the beach, hiking and riding our bikes. We enjoy the great outdoors but also enjoy spending time together at home during a game or movie night.

At Compass, I support our wonderful elementary scholars and they are such a joy to work with. In addition to teaching and working with our scholars, I am also an advisor for one of our scholar clubs. I enjoy teaching and meeting with my scholars during our weekly learning labs and monthly club meetings. I am honored to be part of such a wonderful school that is dedicated to providing a quality educational experience for children and has a dedicated team of teachers who ensure that scholars and their families are given all the support they need. I consider myself privileged to be a teacher at Compass. I enjoy teaching and meeting with our scholars and I like working with our dedicated, supportive and encouraging staff and teachers!

Our school leadership continually provides input and updates about our school. They provide an open forum for staff and teachers to share and collaborate with each other. Teachers are given a voice and their feedback and opinions are heard. The school and staff members definitely show their appreciation everyday by encouraging and supporting myself and all of the teachers through their daily interactions. Compass truly provides an encouraging, motivational and positive environment that I am grateful for!   

Crystal Villegas, Elementary School Teacher

I am happily married to my husband, William, and we have two sons. My oldest son, Westin, is six years old and in Kindergarten, and my youngest son, Clayton, is four years old. I have been an elementary school teacher for the Online program at Compass since July 2013. I’ve been part of the Compass family for almost six years and I have been teaching for 12 years. I have taught all of the subject areas for elementary school scholars, but I have focused much of my efforts on Language Arts, facilitating reading intervention programs, Success Academy, mindfulness and movement, social-emotional learning workshops, Learning Coach Lounges, and recently writing boot camps offered to all Compass scholars in third, fourth and fifth grade.

I choose to teach at Compass for many of the same reasons that parents choose our school for their children. I love the flexibility that I have because it allows me to meet the needs of my scholars and the needs of my own family as well. I am very passionate about lesson design, and I have the ultimate playground here at Compass to bring all my ideas to life! Plus, partnering with parents to support their child’s education is also quite an honor, and our unique virtual environment allows me to work closely with families and build strong connections that make have an overall positive impact.

I feel supported and appreciated by the staff, scholars and learning coaches at Compass. The encouragement and support I receive is amazing. I am often taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone, so a supportive team is always appreciated!

Heather Hardy,  Educational Facilitator

I am a lead educational facilitator, and also a middle school history teacher for the Navigators’ community at our Orange County Learning Center in Santa Ana. I have been teaching at Compass since July 2016. I married one of my best friends from high school in May 2016 and together we have six children ranging in age from 12 to 22. We have three dogs, a cat, and three horses!

I love Compass because all of the staff share a common goal! We are all passionate about creating well-rounded, educated scholars that are curious about the world around them and passionate about being life long, compassionate learners. I also love my co-workers! The Navigators’ community is filled with like-minded passionate teachers that desire to make the world a better place. I consider those teachers family!

Compass gives me autonomy and support to be creative and to be the best possible educator I can be. I think if you asked the scholars in my class, they would say my history lessons are impactful, and that they have learned to love history because Compass gives me the flexibility to tailor my lessons to the way that they learn the best.


Compass Charter Schools (CCS) is a WASC-accredited virtual charter school that serves families throughout California. Interested in learning more about CCS’ flexible academic programs? Visit our website, or contact our enrollment team at [email protected] or (877) 506-8631.

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