Familiar Faces To Fill New Roles At Los Alamos Public Schools For Upcoming School Year

Mike Johnson will return to Los Alamos as principal of Topper Freshman Academy. Photo Courtesy LAPS

Kati Steinberg will be the principal of the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy. Photo Courtesy LAPS

Sharon Fogle is the new director of Professional Development, Assessment and Curriculum. Photo Courtesy LAPS


There will be several familiar faces  in new roles for Los Alamos Public Schools for the upcoming school year.  “We are pleased with the personnel changes and are looking forward to working with these individuals in their new roles and responsibilities,” said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus.

New Director of Professional Development, Assessment and Curriculum

Sharon Fogle has been selected as the new Director of Professional Development, Assessment, and Curriculum. She is replacing Kathryn Vandenkieboom who is retiring at the end of May.

Sharon taught math at Los Alamos Middle School for nine years before joining the LAPS Instructional Coaching Team. Prior to accepting the position of Director of Professional Development, Assessment and Curriculum, she served as the first director for the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy. During her 35-year career in education, Sharon has held a variety of teaching and administrative positions in both private and public schools in SC, FL, NM, and Malaysia. Sharon holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. Her personal and professional goal is to have a transformative impact on the lives of individuals by inspiring a desire for life-long learning and supporting those involved in the learning process.

Sharon and her husband, a retired engineer from LANL, enjoy dividing time between their homes in Vero Beach, Florida and Los Alamos. They have three adult children who are alumni of Los Alamos High School.

New Topper Freshman Academy Principal

Michael (Mike) Johnson will be returning to Los Alamos in a new role as the principal of the Topper Freshman Academy (TFA). He is currently the high school principal of The American School of Asuncion in Paraguay. Before moving to South America, he served as a teacher (LAMS), coach (LAMS/LAHS), assistant principal (LAMS/LAHS) and principal (LAMS) in Los Alamos. Mike  has over 25 years of professional experience in education.

Mike did not originally start in the field of education but came to it through a unique path. He received his B.A. from the University of Arizona in Russian and Soviet Studies. After receiving his degree he worked as a commercial real estate representative in Moscow, Russia. While in Russia he also worked for UNESCO as a teacher of English, where he discovered his passion for education. After Russia he returned to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he earned a B.A. and M.A., with an emphasis on multicultural education at the secondary level from the College of Santa Fe. While working for LAPS as a teacher in 2001 he received a grant from the Department of Energy’s-Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) to develop educational programs in the Russian Closed Nuclear Cities. He co-founded the Nuclear Cities Information Center (NCEIC) that is located in Novouralsk, Russia.

He, his wife Carrie (Pre-k teacher/LAHS Alum) and daughter Kylie are looking forward to returning to Los Alamos and the school district. Their son Liam Johnson is a 2017 LAHS graduate and pole vault state champ. Although South America has been a wonderful experience for their family they miss their friends, family and colleagues in Los Alamos. Mike is eager to reunite with many of the teachers and fellow administrators he worked with in the past as well as getting acquainted with a new group of colleagues. While in Paraguay, he has served on numerous AdvancEd/Cognia accreditation teams visiting schools throughout Central and South America and hopes to utilize this experience in his role as the TFA principal.

New Principal at Los Alamos Learning Academy

Kati Steinberg has been tapped as the new director of the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher with LAOLA. She spent two years as a Los Alamos Public Schools Instructional Coach where she collaborated with principals and teachers in Kindergarten through 8th grade to facilitate instructional strategies that lead to teacher and student success. 

Kati has been an educator for 23 years, starting as a preschool teacher and elementary schoolyard science coordinator in Lexington, MA. In 1998 she moved with her husband and two young daughters to Los Alamos. In 2005 Kati joined the LAPS team as a 2nd grade teacher at Piñon Elementary School. Since then she has taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades, served on district adoption committees for math, science and ELA, led professional development, and coordinated science materials for the district. Kati was 2013 Teacher of the Year for Piñon Elementary School and was nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Iowa and a Master of Education in Educational Technology from Lesley University.