Our iConnect Teachers


iConnect Academy is committed to providing quality instruction by local, certificated teachers supported by the excellent reputation of the Olympia School District.

ORLA would like to welcome you to the iConnect Academy for 2021-2022! 

Leonard OngLeonard Ong will be teaching and facilitating Math 6 to 12th grades and CTE Business electives and Computer Applications electives, and other general electives.


I am excited to be one of your iConnect teachers. I love ORLA because of its fabulous global education climate of positive family traditions. I believe that the state of the art learning choices ORLA offers, combined with persistence and determination do make impossible dreams come true and that many students become naturally equipped with creative minds and powerful ideas.

Thankfully, I have had quite a diverse experience in STEAMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Sports) in the various stages of life as a child, youth, family person, mentor, coach, community member, and in the world of business, technology, and government. This experience makes me ready for ORLA! If you have any questions, I will try my best to answer or research for you.

In my 3rd career as an educator, I have taught in North Thurston Public Schools, Tacoma Public Schools, and the nearby school districts for over 10 years. My passion is to provide young adults the opportunities to explore their many strengths and how they can apply them toward fulfilling productive lives. I believe that families are the first classroom and parents are the first teachers. Together we build our students’ foundation for a meaningful and successful future. Needless to say, I am honored to partner with you in your children’s education. Thank you!


Telephone: 360 596-6287   Email (preferred): [email protected]

Joined ORLA in 2019


Richard Harrington  Social Studies and English for 6-12th Grades
I am the 5th oldest of 7 children and went to high school in St. Louis, Missouri. R HarringtonI spent a lot of my free time canoeing around Southern Missouri, sailing on the area lakes, hiking and exploring caves.

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Kansas and taught and coached in Kansas for 5 years. My wife is an only child and a nonprofit consultant; as she grew up in Dallas we moved there start a family close to her parents. We raised our two children there and both kids went to college out of state. Our daughter is now a librarian in Chongzhou, China for Wycombe Abbey International School. Our son teaches social studies and coaches football, wrestling, and track coach for the Dallas School District (where I worked for 27 years).

I spent two years in Fuzhou, China teaching and running an international school; which gave me an excellent base to explore China and the rest of Asia. My wife and I decided we needed to escape the heat of Texas and make changes in our lives so we headed to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I look forward to exploring and learning all about the area. Joined ORLA hConnect in 2019. [email protected]


Ashley Arvidson will be teaching k-5th grade courses in the iConnect Academy.Ashley Arvidson


I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas then moved to the Pacific Northwest to go to college and have been here ever since.  My family still lives in the West Texas desert but I am thrilled to be living among the beautiful evergreens and gorgeous mountains peaks! 

I earned my Masters of Arts in Teaching from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and spent the first years of my career as a math teacher in traditional classrooms, but I have always been drawn to alternative education.  At ORLA I am a part of both the iConnect (online learning) and hConnect (homeschool partnership learning) programs.  In the iConnect Academy, I teach students in kindergarten through 5th grade and oversee coursework in ELA, math, social studies and science.  

My absolute favorite part of being an iConnect teacher is getting to know my students in our family meetings held throughout the year.  By taking the time to form strong relationships, we are able to move beyond the curriculum and work with students on building perseverance, fostering a growth mindset and nurturing curiosity.  It is a privilege to be a part of the ORLA community and I look forward to the new opportunities this school year will bring!

[email protected]

Joined ORLA in 2019


Mayra Mayra Velilla Ryte will be teaching k-5th grades in the iConnect Academy


I was born into a military family and had the privilege of living in various cultures around the world.  My parents are from Puerto Rico and grew up immersed in both the English and Spanish languages.  I am a mother of four adult children and am blessed with two very special grandchildren.

I am thrilled to be part of the ORLA iConnect team!  I recently moved from South Carolina where I lived for most of my adult life, but I lived in Olympia for 6 years about 34 years ago.  I am so happy to be back in Olympia and teaching 3rd, 4th and 5th grade ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies in the iConnect Academy.


I earned my Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies K-8 at Western Governors University.  Most of my experience is in distance learning as a virtual teacher.  I have also worked in several charter schools and alternative learning environments. 


I enjoy reading, historical non-fiction, puzzles and spending time with my family.  I am looking forward to working with our ORLA families and connecting with them in ways that will nurture and help them feel at home in our iConnect program.

[email protected]

Joined ORLA in 2020