Meet the Faculty and Administration

Texarkana ISD Virtual Academy features a distinguished faculty and staff who like you share a commitment to ensuring the best educational environment for your child. Following the Calvert curriculum that is built upon a foundation of reading, writing and arithmetic, these Texas-certified teachers create a positive environment for children that encourages learning and success in the virtual classroom.


Marsha Burris, Principal

Marsha Burris, Principal

Hometown: Texarkana, TX
Education: Masters of Science in Science Education — Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Biography: Marsha Burris has been in education for 24 years. After working for many years as a “staff” accountant in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, she stumbled into education when she began volunteering at her children’s elementary school in Birdville ISD. Working as an educational aide for 5 years, she went back to college and earned her BSIS in 1993 from East Texas State University-Texarkana. She completed her student teaching and immediately began her career as a teacher in Texarkana ISD at Westlawn Middle School.  She spent six years as a 6th grade Science Teacher serving as Science Department Chair and campus Team Leader and earned her M.S. from Texas A&M University-Texarkana in 2000. She served one year as the testing, textbook, technology coordinator for district’s middle school while continuing her education for Principal Certification. In 2000, she became the principal of OPTIONS Academic Alternative High School in Texarkana ISD and also serves as principal of TxkVA since May 2011.

Marsha has been married for 28 years to Ricky Burris and they have three wonderful children and two beautiful granddaughters. She is an active member of FBC-Texarkana where she sings in the church choir.

Kim Icenhower, Teacher

Kim Icenhower

Hometown: Texarkana,TX
Education: Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology Leadership, Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Biography: For the first 22 years with TISD, Kim taught students in grades 2, 4 and 5 at Wake Village Elementary and helped those students with abilities ranging from special needs to advanced placement in all subject areas. She spent the last two years with the district as an Instructional Technology Specialist where she delivered timely trainings to teachers, helping them to utilize technology in the classrooms. As a Mimio Certified Trainer she was able to support educators on their journey from the most basic to the advanced computer setups that involved interactive whiteboard technologies, helping them become successful using 21st Century tools.

Diane Niemeyer, Teacher

Diane Niemeyer

Hometown: Texarkana,TX
Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education; Kindergarten certification, Master’s Degree in Special Education and a 2nd Master’s in Administration

Biography: Diane Niemeyer has been teaching for 20 years. She has taught 2nd, 5th grade, 6th grade, Special Education and Behavior Adjustment Class. Her philosophy of teaching is regardless of age, intelligence or economic situation, every student has the right to learn to their individual learning style, respectfully, in a safe environment, with SUCCESS and a feeling of accomplishment.

Jo Cochran, Teacher

Jo Cochran

Hometown: Texarkana,TX
Education: BS in Elementary Education , Texas A&M University-Texarkana, MS in Education and Educational Administration

Biography: Jo Cochran grew up in Texarkana and graduated from Texas High School. Jo has been teaching for 26 years in two states: Arkansas (15 years) and Texas (11 years). She earned a BS in Elementary Education from Texas A&M in 1987. Additionally, she earned a Master’s Degree in Education and Educational Administration (1992 & 2004). Jo holds a K-12 Principal’s Endorsement and English as a Second Language certification.

She is the mother of two children – Allison and George III. She loves going to the local HS football games and watching college and professional football games on the weekends. Cooking, singing, and her three cats take up her additional time. She is an active member of First Baptist Church-Moores Lane and sings in the choir.

Amanda Wilburn, Teacher

amanda wilburn

Hometown: Texarkana,TX
Education: BS in Interdisciplinary Skills, Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Biography: Amanda Wilburn grew up in Texarkana and graduated from Redwater High  School. She has been teaching for 12 years and has been with TISD for four and half years. Married with a son, daughter and two stepdaughters, Amanda spends her free time reading, dabbling in various crafts, traveling and enjoying time with her children.

Texarkana LP Copy

Texarkana LP Copy