• Palmdale Innovations Academy is more than a K–12 online public school available for students in Palmdale, CA. It's also a tight-knit online school community offering you an award-winning curriculum, credentialed teachers, and opportunities for parent involvement. Explore our school!


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    At Palmdale Innovations Academy, we strive to serve the needs of your child while allowing the parent and student the flexibility to learn online in the comfort of your own home. We understand that in today's world many parents and students prefer to use technology to guide their education. We offer a rigorous curriculum that is aligned to California Content Standards delivered by certificated, highly qualified teachers.


    Innovations Academy is a school of choice within the Palmdale School District. All families at Innovations Academy must sign the contract agreeing to the established guidelines and rules set forth by the state of California regarding the long-term independent study. Students must complete work independently and have adequate progress similar to other students in their grade level. Students are expected to engage with the online curriculum weekly and complete all assignments designed by the instructors. We welcome all students and families that are excited about extending their learning opportunities online.


    In light of the COVID pandemic, the state of California is requiring all districts to offer an alternative to in-person instruction during the 2021-22 school year. Innovations Academy is designed to meet that need with highly qualified staff that can deliver instruction and guidance to students while learning at home and a rigorous, standards-based online curriculum.

Melissa Garcia

  • Melissa Garcia photo


    I have worked in education for over 21 years in both K-12 and college environments. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Arizona State University. I attended the University of Phoenix and Azusa Pacific University for my three Master’s Degrees, which are in Organizational Management, Education, and Educational Leadership. I firmly believe that all students are capable of success, with no exceptions.


    Melissa Garcia

Mendy Hampton

Armando Ledezma

  • Armando Ledezma


    I am the school secretary for Innovations Academy. I have served the Palmdale School District since 2012. I have dedicated a great part of my life to serving parents, students, teachers and my community by working for the public school system for 24 years now. I enjoy spending time with my family and dogs but most of all I take pride in helping others.



Tonya Nelson - Teacher

  • Tonya Nelson Photo


    I started teaching in 2005 and was a Boy Scout Den Leader and Merit Badge Counselor for 12 years. In 2018, I joined Palmdale School District and began to know the great families in the Antelope Valley. I have been married for 24 years and have 6 children ranging in age from first grade to college. 



Patricia Huerta - Teacher

  • Patricia Huerta Photo


    I am a mother of four grown children and a grandmother of eight. I have been with the Palmdale School school district since 2005. In this time I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the best and brightest people. I consider each child that I am fortunate enough to teach as one of my own and love watching them all grow and succeed. Reading is a passion of mine that I try to foster in all of my students. I take pride in teaching our next generation of professionals. 



Jessica Cowan - Teacher

  • Jessica Cowan Emoji


    I am Jessica Cowan, teacher at Innovations Academy. I have been a teacher with the Palmdale School District since 2005, and have spent most of my time with 6-8th grades. I have taught many subjects, but math is my favorite! Although I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, I have spent most of my life in Palmdale, attending schools in the Palmdale School District. I love to travel and love spending time watching my kids play sports. 



Kate Townsend - Teacher

  • Kate Townsend Photo


    In 1990, I loaded up my geo prizm and moved from snowy Montana to sunny California to start my career with Palmdale School District. For 30 years, I've taught grades 2-6 across town at Ocotillo Elementary School. My husband is from Scotland, and we have two handsome ginger-haired boys. In the summers, we enjoy hiking and visiting National Parks. My other great loves are my chickens and my dogs. I am excited to be part of the Innovations Academy team.



Jazmine Worsham - Teacher

  • Jazmine Worsham Photo


    This is my 4th year in education as a Lead Teacher, and this is my third year teaching 1st grade. I love it! I completed my Bachelor’s Degree at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. I majored in Education in grades K-6 with a focus on students whom English is their second language. I can’t wait to share my love of education with my students! I know that your child will quickly adjust to our program at Innovations Academy, and demonstrate that they’re learning! 



Lori Nystrom - Teacher

  • Lori Nystrom Photo


    This is my 28th year of teaching. I have taught grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 at Chaparral and Summerwind before coming to Innovations Academy. My husband also teaches in Palmdale School District and we have three grown children. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and going to the beach. I love working with children and seeing the educational growth they make during the school year.