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NHA Logo Vista Charter Academy 711 - 32nd Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49548
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Heather Guerra_Vista.jpg

Heather Guerra, Principal

Melanie Cassar, Dean of Lower Elementary


  • Western Michigan University; bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis on english and communications
  • Western Michigan University; Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, K-12 Principal

Previous education experience and number of years in the field: 

Directly after graduation, I was hired by Kalamazoo Public Schools to teach a newly launched Recovery Program.  I have experience with 6th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grade Language Arts.  I was with KPS for 8 years prior to joining NHA.

What do you like most about working here?

I love working at Vista because of the positive movement that we are all so passionate about.  My Vista community has the dedication, desire, and drive to see success soar throughout the school.


My journey in this country began when my family and I moved here from Europe when I was 13 years old.  Later in life, I attended Western Michigan University where I met my now husband.  We started expanding our family when we brought our Great Dane, Bishop, into our home.  We then continued growing when we welcomed our daughter, Kinley, and our son, Lincoln, into the world.  We enjoy spending time together at the beach, watching movies, going to the park, or simply going for walks and bike rides.  Family time is what is treasured most in my personal life, and I am lucky to have such amazing people to share my life with.

Jenny Pudelko, Dean of Upper Elementary


Grand Valley State University – Bachelor of Arts; Psychology Special Education and Elementary Education
Grand Valley State University – Master of Education; Educational Leadership

Previous education experience and number of years in the field:

Special Education Teacher at Knapp Charter Academy – 6 years
Kindergarten thru 2nd grade dean at Timberland Charter Academy – 2 years

Why did you choose education as a career?

Helping children has always been my passion.  When I was in elementary school I was a peer buddy in a classroom for students with Autism.  That experience made such an impact on my life that I knew when I grew up I wanted to be teacher!

Jessica Kaminski, Dean of Intervention


  • Grand Valley State University
  • 2007 B.A. Elementary Education/Language Arts
  • 2011 M.Ed Curriculum & Instruction
  • 2014 Administrator Certification

Previous education experience and number of years in the field:

  • Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • 2007-2014
  • K-5 Grade and Reading Coach during my time in GRPS

What do you like most about working here?

I love the positive atmosphere that promotes student learning.  All of the NHA schools have the same goal and use collaboration to achieve that goal.    

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