Faces of GBAPS 2020-21

The Green Bay Area Public School District is lucky to have staff and students with a wide range of talents, interests, and rich life experiences. The Faces of GBAPS series profiles these unique members of our community each week during the school year.

Lori MironLori Miron is the new Chief Human Resources Officer for Green Bay Area Public Schools. Prior to joining GBAPS, Lori worked for the Manitowoc Public School District and the Oshkosh Area School District. Lori comes from a family of educators - her husband is a retired teacher, her parents were educators, and all four of her children are either directly or indirectly involved in the field of education. Lori is passionate about her career and excited to be part of a large school district. She is looking forward to supporting GBAPS staff members so they can do the most important work of supporting our children. Having a positive impact on society and contributing to the next generation is important to Lori. Outside of work, Lori enjoys staying active with a variety of hobbies, including gardening, reading, paddleboarding, kayaking, yoga, biking, and spending time with her family. 

Carrie Richardson

Carrie Richardson has been teaching students at Tank Elementary School for 22 years. She loves teaching third graders, and enjoys watching her students learn and grow. Carrie knew she wanted to be a teacher from a young age. A graduate of West High School, she credits her former teacher Ellie Hinz-Radue for inspiring her path to the field of education. Carrie’s favorite part of teaching is staying in touch with former students and hearing about their adventures after leaving her classroom. Outside of teaching, Carrie can be found reading, exercising, spending time with her family, and traveling when possible. 

Taylor WerchekKindergarten teacher Taylor Werchek has been a teacher at Sullivan Elementary School for five years. Although she didn’t dream of becoming a teacher as a child, her family noticed her joy and positive energy around children, and encouraged her to pursue a career in education. After doing some tutoring, Taylor knew she had found her niche, and went on to complete her teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. Although teaching young children virtually has had its challenges, Taylor expressed that her student’s communication skills grew immensely. She is proud to see how much her kids have grown during this unique school year. Taylor works hard to instill a love of learning in her students. She enjoys planning parent events at Sullivan and being part of the school’s leadership team. Outside of the classroom, Taylor loves reading, spending time with her family, and cooking.

Ryan LongWebster Elementary School teacher Ryan Long has been teaching fifth graders for more than 20 years. He enjoys making a difference in the lives of children, and loves when past students visit him to share their successes. A true love for children drew Ryan into the field of education. After high school he was prepared to attend the University of Iowa to become a lawyer, until he spent the summer coaching youth baseball in Green Bay. He realized his true passion from that experience, and went on to get his teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, and his masters in educational leadership from Marian University. In addition to teaching students at Webster, Ryan also teaches English Language Learners at Northeast Wisconsin Technical college a few evenings per week. He calls this experience a “true joy.” In his free time, Ryan enjoys reading, traveling, exercising, and following his favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. 

Brooke RousseauFranklin Middle School School Counselor Brooke Rousseau knows all the ins and outs of being a great school counselor. Everyday may look a little different, and that’s what Brooke enjoys most about her role. A lot of her time is spent meeting with students and checking in on their progress or helping out with challenges they may face. Brooke is the Student Services department chair and also a member of the Building Leadership Team (BLT), Universal Behavior Team (UBT), and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) committees. She assists students in scheduling their classes so they can meet their academic goals. During virtual learning, Brooke has been able to meet with students whenever possible. She follows up with each of her responsibilities to the best of her ability. Brooke works to ensure students grow both academically, socially, and emotionally. Brooke has always had a passion for helping people. She enjoys working with students at all grade levels. Primarily, Brooke assists seventh grade students at Franklin, but her door is always open to lend a helping hand. Her ability to utilize her nurturing personality is one of the many reasons why she loves coming to work. Being together with family is how Brooke spends most of her time. She also enjoys spending time outside, even with the extreme Wisconsin climates! As a family, they enjoy going to the zoo and having bonfires. Brooke is grateful to have family and friends close by to enjoy each other's company. 

Amy Olson GuillenSchool Psychologist Amy Olson Guillén has worked at Preble High School since 2005. She also worked many years at Wequiock Elementary. Amy is very involved with her students and loves working with them. She assists students with work completion, grade improvement, and social/emotional development, and pushes them to be the best version of themselves. Amy is dedicated to supporting students at all age levels. She is the Diversity Liaison and runs the Multicultural Achievement Committee (MAC) Scholars and Diversity Leadership groups at Preble. One aspect of virtual learning Amy is extremely pleased with is the collaboration amongst the four high school Diversity Leadership groups. Once a month, members meet virtually to discuss ways to improve the schools and the community and to work towards a sense of belonging for all. Amy encourages students to be involved and to make a difference. Amy has always enjoyed working with children. She worked for various schools and childcare programs throughout the years and found her passion for school psychology. Amy tells everyone that kindness and patience go a long way. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you have impacted another person. Amy is very adventurous and loves spending time with her family. Favorite places to visit as a family are Bay Beach and the Wildlife Sanctuary during the summer. Amy is big into gardening, reading, camping, and spending time at the family cottage in Fish Creek.

Ben LancourBen Lancour has served as a Physical Education teacher at Danz and Sullivan Elementary Schools for the past three years. Ben loves working with students, and encourages students to interact and build relationships through physical activity. Over the course of virtual learning, Ben found some great resources for his students. He and other physical education teachers produced videos to maintain physical activity. Ben also created a Bitmoji virtual gym so that virtual students can do some fun fitness activities. Students being able to see one another virtually and participate in exercise has been great for supporting students’ emotional and physical needs. Ben is excited about a children’s book called Henry and the Gym Monster that he has written. Ben's inspiration for writing the book came from his time working both as a Special Education and Physical Education teacher. The story is centered around taking responsibility and improving social skills in a gym setting. 

Robyn WoodRobyn Wood is a School Psychologist at East High School and John Dewey Academy of Learning. She has worked in multiple schools within the District for the last 14 years and has been a school psychologist for 19 years. Robyn’s work days are a little different each day. She is a building-based school psychologist which means she supports students, teachers and staff at both of her schools. Robyn fills multiple roles within her buildings. She supports students in their social emotional learning and facilitates groups or individual counseling sessions to improve student’s mental health and achievement in school. She also works with students and staff in the classroom to put special education interventions into place and track the weekly progress data of these interventions. Robyn helps to evaluate and develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans for students. Robyn typically supports students who receive special education services, but enjoys working with all students. A lot of factors have influenced Robyn’s journey to becoming a school psychologist. In high school she had a great support system of role models which pushed her into the world of psychology. She began working and providing therapy for children with autism during undergrad and loved it. Robyn also worked under other school psychologists and was a part of IEP meetings during graduate school. Her favorite part of being a school psychologist is spending time with kids and helping them reach their full potential. Robyn is very family oriented. She, her children, husband, and dogs all enjoy spending time together. One thing they love to do is golf. During the summer, the family spends a lot of time at their cottage in Door County. Robyn loves to be outdoors - gardening, biking, and hiking.

Jasmine LohmanJasmine Lohman, a junior at Southwest High School, is a member of the junior varsity swimming team, Academic Decathlon, and Girl Scouts. She also performed with Southwest’s jazz and concert band, where she played clarinet and saxophone. Jasmine is a writer and has written two novels and competed in some short story contests. Jasmine really enjoys the independent learning aspect of virtual education. She appreciates the self-directed approach, and being able to control her own schedule. Jasmine discovered a passion for forensic science from watching true crime documentaries. She also loves spending time with family and friends. Jasmine’s family enjoys traveling (pre-COVID) and hopes to make it to all 48 continental states. After high school, Jasmine plans on attending a four-year university, and hopes to study forensic pathology and/or science. She is taking several AP and dual-credit courses that are helping her prepare for the future.

Iris PinchartIris Pinchart joined the District in 1980, and currently serves as a monitor at Edison Middle School. Iris spends her days working in the cafeteria and supporting students in study halls. In addition to Edison, Iris has also worked at Franklin, Preble, and West. According to her colleagues, Iris is beloved by students and staff. Iris enjoys working at Edison, where there is always someone willing to lend a helping hand. She loves working with the students and getting to know them, and especially likes when they share what they are learning or how their day is going. Iris is an avid card player. Some of her favorite games are Sheepshead, Couillon and Thirty-One. She also loves singing at her church, taking long walks, and spending time outdoors.

Tammy LaReneTammy LaRene, Literacy Coach at Franklin Middle School, has been in her role for more than eight years. She has worked within the District for 29 years. Tammy began her career teaching Family & Consumer Science, traveling to different schools for her first five years. As a Literacy Coach, Tammy works with students in the classroom to help guide their reading abilities. She also partners with teachers to monitor student progress. Tammy provides professional learning for staff as well. During virtual learning, Tammy has used all of her teaching skills. In the first semester, Tammy filled an open classroom position in her building, teaching 6th grade Language and Literature as well as Individuals and Society. As the school year progressed, she found engaging with students online became easier. Families have been able to connect more and are more involved during the school day. Tammy grew up knowing that her dream was to be an educator. As she went through school, that became even more clear. Tammy’s position in Family and Consumer Sciences progressed into an interest in reading and literacy. She earned her Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Literacy and the 316 Reading Teacher Certification. Tammy loves spending time with family. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, reading, and traveling (pre-COVID). Out of the many places she has traveled, London, England is her favorite. Tammy also loves mid-century design and architecture.

Shanna DevosSchool Social Worker Shanna Devos has been working in her field for more than 19 years and currently works at King and Keller Elementary Schools. Family outreach is the core of Shanna’s work. She works to ensure that students and their families have all the necessary resources to succeed. Understanding the importance of the relationships between students and staff, Shanna works hard to connect teachers with families. During virtual learning, social workers, including Shanna, have supported students by delivering Food Service meals and dropping off student materials to their homes. In the virtual setting, Shanna also supports students individually, and in groups with peers. Social workers have become more creative in how they access students and families. Shanna continues to build relationships that benefit the social and emotional learning for students. Outside of work, Shanna, her husband and two daughters spend time at the family cottage. Shanna also enjoys crafting, traveling, gardening and relaxing outside.

Tosha WilliamsBaird Elementary fifth grade teacher Tosha Williams plays a key role in encouraging students. Her positive attitude and bright demeanor allows for a wonderful learning environment. Tosha is also the Positive Behavior Incentive System (PBIS) Instructional Facilitator at Baird. She works to ensure students are engaging in positive behavior. Almost all of the schools within the District have a PBIS Facilitator who works to be proactive rather than reactive. Tosha is also Co-Chair of the 5th grade leadership group and started the 5th grade Baird Buzz school newspaper. At Baird Elementary, Tosha notes the overwhelming support from parents, staff, and administration. There is a feeling of family and community that has been instilled for the benefit of students, which has allowed for success during virtual learning. Tosha knows that support from families improves communication. Any issues or challenges that arise are efficiently settled because of the support coming from all directions. Teaching has been a major part of Tosha’s life. She knew early on that helping others to flourish not only made them happy, but made her happy. Tosha is also part of the Black Action Committee within the District and was nominated for Baird Teacher of the Year. Tosha and her husband have three children whom they love very much. When possible, her family enjoys going down South and spending time with other family members. Tosha loves taking trips to the beach. She says ocean beaches do not compare to lake beaches. 

Casey DeGrandCasey DeGrand has worked within the District for 20 years. She began her career as Special Education teacher at Tank Elementary and then moved to Program Support Teacher - Evaluation Specialist. Casey is part of a Program Support Team in the District. In her role, she conducts classroom observations, administers individual assessments with students and works with a school psychologist to help create the best learning environment for students. After consulting with her team, Casey writes Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to fit the needs of students. She appreciates the way in which everyone works together to benefit the kids. Both students and teachers have adapted well to the new digital world. Casey notes many of the useful skills that students and teachers have learned over the past year. She has seen both sides of virtual learning. The flexibility and accessibility works well for some, and not as much for others. Helping others comes easy to Casey. In high school, she tutored students and watched them grow as learners. Today, Casey interacts with students to assist them in any way she can. She works to build relationships with students to help build up their self-esteem. Some favorite memories are when past students come back to share stories and elaborate on their successes. Casey loves to spend time with family and friends. Her children are involved in various sports and she enjoys watching their games. She and her family enjoy activities such as downhill skiing, playing card games, and golfing whenever possible. 

Ingrid Parker-HillFamily Engagement Coordinator Ingrid Parker-Hill has been with the District for five years and serving our community for over 20 years. She is one of four family engagement coordinators who work to support families navigating the educational system and to increase the knowledge of culturally responsive practices and humility among all collaborators. One of Ingrid’s greatest accomplishments was creating the GBAPS i3 initiative to support cultural identity in students. The three i’s are “inspire,” “influence” and “ignite.” She truly shines in her role and understands the importance of strengthening optimistic cultural identity. Ingrid was recently named one of the 51 Most Influential Black Leaders in Wisconsin by Madison365. Ingrid has worked on multiple projects to ensure that students are seeing themselves positively in our academic world and for other stakeholders to see the students’ value, while giving them the best access to diverse learning. One such example that was able to be successfully implemented during virtual learning was Read Your Heart Out Day, a celebration of empowering students and families at Howe Elementary. Some of Ingrid’s favorite moments happen when she sees the “lightbulb” go off in people’s minds. This may occur when an educator says they want to learn more, to do more for their students so that they can understand their culture better. She sees this also happen when students connect with speakers at various cultural opportunities. She believes everyone has the capability to better themselves and to understand each other. Family means everything to Ingrid. She loves to be around her family and enjoys the moments they share together. 

Scott KirstFor Scott Kirst, being an educator means more than teaching a subject. To him, education is about teaching people. Scott is a math educator at N.E.W. School of Innovation. He is proud to be a part of such a personalized, focused, and student driven model of growth. At N.E.W., students are allowed to pursue curriculum at high levels and set the pace in an individualistic learning environment. Virtual learning can provide opportunities and challenges. Scott understands this and sees some variability in different students. What may seem to be a limitation to some students, helps others to not only survive, but thrive. Additionally, other students may learn best when talking and communicating with others through body language, facial expressions, and other subtle cues that are difficult to discern without being in person. After graduating college, Scott taught mathematics and physics at the middle and high school level. During this time he realized that education was the correct path for him. After that, a startup company called TeachScape requested his skills at major school districts throughout the nation. Scott worked with TeachScape to create a better academic setting. About 13 years ago he began working at St. Norbert College as an education professor for math methods and science methods. He then saw an awesome opportunity at N.E.W. School of Innovation and came to the Green Bay Area Public School District. Outside of school, Scott enjoys riding motorcycles. He is also fond of astronomy and is trying to learn the guitar. A fun fact about Scott is that he knows several magic tricks

Sarah PamperinFor Sarah Pamperin, bilingual education means everything. She has taught bilingual education for the past three years at Edison Middle School and another three years at Eisenhower Elementary. Being able to provide an education for all students is at the center of every education system. Sarah loves her job and her students. She cherishes the memories made with her students because it feels like home. In the virtual classroom setting, Sarah focuses a lot on the social, emotional, and mental health support for her students. She bestows the opportunity for growth and success to her students so they can thrive in their studies. It has been beneficial for her to have many of the same students as last year. After entering the Education program at UW-Madison, Sarah studied abroad in Mexico. She also taught middle school science at a bilingual school in Mexico for two years. While teaching with the District, she wished to engage and better understand her role as an educator for Latinx students. Sarah found herself back in grad school to earn her PhD in Social and Cultural Studies from Iowa State University. She has learned to fully support her students through the cultural aspects of bilingual education. Sarah comes from a big family. Pre COVID-19, she and her family traveled to visit her siblings who live throughout the United States and Canada. Sarah loves to spend time catching up with family and friends. She also enjoys spending time outdoors and the occasional Netflix binge. 

Amy HoganAmy Hogan is the Director of Athletics and Activities at Southwest High School and Lombardi Middle School. She has taught for over 30 years and has been very involved with athletics. Amy coached middle school basketball, volleyball, and track and then progressed to the high school level. When the opportunity arose, she moved from teaching middle school social studies to assistant athletic director. Amy then became Director of Athletics and Activities three years ago. She lives to showcase the best of Southwest and Lombardi. A lot of planning has gone into athletics this year. Amy works with the other athletics departments in the District along with many others to ensure the best possible outcome for students. She plans out pods (ten or fewer students) for various workouts/practices that follow safety guidelines. Right now, athletics departments are gearing up for the alternate fall sports season. At the middle school level, students are participating in athletics virtually. Family is something Amy holds near and dear to her heart. She grew up in Green Bay and comes from a big family. Amy loves to spend time with her two adult children and their families which includes her four beautiful grandchildren. In her spare time, Amy enjoys reading. Amy also enjoys finding hidden treasures at antique/vintage shops. Amy always knew education was the right choice for her. Her colleagues say she is a source of light and inspiration for students, parents, staff, and coaches during these challenging times. Amy loves it when students from her past reach out and share memories with her. 

Kristen ThroneKristen Throne, a first grade teacher at Sullivan Elementary, sees the glow of learning every day. She has taught various grade levels at Sullivan and other schools, but first grade is her home at the moment. The flexibility of her role as a teacher allows Kristen to explore different opportunities at each grade level. She loves Sullivan and all staff/administration there. Being a teacher is something that Kristen knew she wanted to do for a long time. Her journey started by teaching swim lessons as a lifeguard and helping instruct dance lessons. No matter what she is teaching, she adores working with children. Teaching in the virtual classroom looks a little different, but Kristen excels at it. Without the constant transitions of finding class materials or taking bathroom breaks, students are able to fully embrace the curriculum that Kristen provides. The transition is made more efficient and takes less time in the virtual setting. Her students have materials at their fingertips and can easily move into the next lesson. For many kids, they are expanding their academic levels and their confidence is growing. This also gives her class more time to continue to develop their growth mindset through social emotional learning. Kristen teaches classical ballet with the Green Bay School of Dance and sets ballets for NEWDO, a non-profit organization. Ballet has been a part of her life for many years. She enjoys taking martial arts with her family and is currently a green striped belt working her way to a black belt. She also enjoys being in nature and taking hikes with her family. Kristen loves to read! In her free time, you can be sure that there is a book next to her. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she is not able to travel, but hopes to in the future. A major part of why Kristen loves her job so much is because of the connections she makes with students and their families. When students from the past reach out to her, Kristen is overjoyed. She is delighted to know how they are doing and where life has taken them. 

Scott Van EssSpecial Education Paraprofessional Scott Van Ess has worked at Eisenhower Elementary for more than four years. Prior to working at Eisenhower, Scott worked in human services in the private sector for over 20 years. He saw the opportunity to become a paraprofessional and knew he had to go for it. Working with kids at a young age, Scott can truly make a difference in their lives. He loves everything about Eisenhower. As a paraprofessional, he supports not only students but teachers as well. Scott is able to engage with students in the virtual classroom. A lot of his time is spent popping into virtual classrooms just like he would for in-person learning. Scott notes that some children who may not have flourished as much in person, now succeed better in virtual environments. He meets with students in small groups or one-on-one virtually to see how they are doing and help with anything they need. One idea he considers every day is the power of “yet.” A strategic way of reframing students’ thoughts to increase motivation. Knowing he can enrich student learning and have a positive impact on their lives and being successful is something Scott takes to heart. He talks about the growth mindset in students and how social and emotional learning benefits them. Sometimes changing little words have a big impact on goal achievement. One concept he and his students came up with is extremely valuable: be nice, be kind, make good choices all of the time, and respect. Scott has a degree in psychology and human development from UWGB. He tries to utilize empathy and positivity in his work with kids and in life in general. Scott credits this to his parents for instilling those qualities in him. In his free time, Scott loves to read. His favorite books are To Kill a Mockingbird and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Kendall SloatKendall Sloat has worked for the District for 20 years in various capacities, and is no stranger to helping others. Kendall started as a paraprofessional for the special education department, specifically in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, then moved to the behavior focus program, and is now a school counselor for Fort Howard Elementary. She loves the joy her students bring her whenever they see her in the hallway or in her office. Kendall has greatly improved her technology skills during virtual learning. She notes how important it is to still build relationships with students and their families while learning online. Students are able to sign up for sessions via Google Forms with either counselors, the school social worker, or the dean of students. Fort Howard also offers a lunch box meeting where students can interact with their classmates and play games virtually during lunchtime. As she worked with children with special needs and others, Kendall began to think about being a counselor. She has always loved helping students and saw an opportunity in counseling. Kendall truly loves what she does. For over 25 years, Kendall has participated in one design sailboat racing. One design is a form of racing where all boats are almost identical or similar in design. Kendall has sailed most of her life and enjoys being outdoors. She also loves to garden, ski, and bird watch.

Olivia BoesenOlivia Boesen, a senior at Preble High School, knows a lot about helping others for a great cause. She is the president of the Preble Sting Cancer chapter, a member of the board of directors for House of Hope, and a member of Link Crew and Diversity Leadership at Preble. Olivia also participates in Key Club and Psychology Club. She loves to be involved in any way she can. This school year has had its challenges, but Olivia faces them head on. As far as Sting Cancer goes, adjustments have been made to ensure everyone’s safety. Olivia and other members have still been able to help families who are affected by cancer. Due to the pandemic the group has not been able to meet in person, but a few community drives have been organized to collect essential items for those affected by cancer. Olivia has an artistic side, and loves to draw and paint. Recently, she has taken a liking to ice skating. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys relaxing at home and hanging out with friends. After high school, Olivia plans to attend a four-year university. She hopes to study psychology and anthropology to one day become a school psychologist.

Jennifer SchubringJennifer Schubring strives for excellence within the District’s assistive technology program. She has been a speech language pathologist for 15 years. A major component of Jennifer’s role in assistive technology is creating an appropriate plan for students based on their specific needs. She and her colleagues use a four part model with families and special education faculty, the SETT framework (student, environment, tools, task), to promote collaborative decision making in all phases of assistive technology. Virtual learning has altered some of the pieces of the SETT process. The environment of the student has changed and some of the tools. Although there are differences in the learning setting, Jennifer says the connection with caregivers and families has allowed for more training on tools to expand student progress. She hopes to take the lessons learned from this time and continue to foster the connection with families and caregivers when in-person learning becomes available. Speech language pathology has been a part of Jennifer’s life for a long time. She knew she wanted a career in speech pathology since the sixth grade. Her specialty is in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), which helps to provide a way of communication for those who have complex communication needs. Jennifer likes working with technology. Outside of work, Jennifer and her family love to be outdoors. They go swimming, skiing, and enjoy the sunshine. Jennifer is also an avid baker. She loves to decorate cakes, cookies and cupcakes with her daughters.

Josh PatchakJosh Patchak has held many roles within the Green Bay Area Public School District Department of Technology for the past 10 years. For the past year and a half, he has held the position of Executive Director of Technology and Information. As Executive Director, Josh leads the District in areas of technology (device and WiFi) purchasing and support, student enrollment and data information systems (such as Infinite Campus), and network and server infrastructure for all District facilities. Virtual learning would not be possible without the efforts of the Department of Technology. Since last March, the Department has worked tirelessly to ensure that students have access to a device and the Internet. Josh recounts that as of today, 90 percent of students have a GBAPS device at home. This would not have been possible without the help of many people working hard to distribute the technology. Not only has Josh been supporting virtual learning for students, but has also overseen the technology needed to move staff to a work from home model. Josh has worked in various positions related to Information Technology. His first role in the District was coding and database work. One of his proudest moments was working on the recent project of connecting all Green Bay schools via high speed network fiber. This was done in partnership with Brown County to guarantee adequate connectivity throughout the District. Josh comes from a musical background. In his free time, he plays electric guitar with a local rock band. All members of his immediate family also play some type of instrument. In addition, Josh performs with a traditional big band composed of a 16-piece horn section.

Carson CummingsCarson Cummings has worked in various positions within the District. For three years she has been the Library Clerical for Aldo Leopold & McAuliffe Elementary. This year, Carson is also the building technology person at McAuliffe. She assists students and families with Chromebook exchanges and hotspot connections. Her background in Early Childhood Education allows her to make connections with students. A favorite memory of Carson’s was when she and McAuliffe Librarian Marta Maciolek hosted a masked reader competition for students during National Read Across America week. Working in a school library has looked  different in the virtual learning setting, but that does not stop Carson from supporting students and their families. One aspect that she is very proud of is how quickly the District has been getting technology to students and families, which has allowed her work to be a part of a larger effort. Since they cannot check out books in person, students use different platforms like Epic and Sora to access books via Classlink Launchpad. A new reading incentive program called Beanstack has also been implemented to increase student engagement. Reading is something that Carson is very passionate about. She gets to help children learn to love reading and expand their literacy skills every day. Whether it be finding a new author or new genre, Carson always makes the library a welcoming place for students to flourish. In her free time, Carson loves to be outside. She likes to stay active by doing various activities, including yoga and Pure Barre. Family is very important to Carson, and she cherishes the time spent together. Carson also has many years of experience in classical ballet dancing.

Jillian FeldhausenJillian Feldhausen has been teaching at Leonardo da Vinci School for Gifted Learners since the opening of the school. She and her colleagues work as a team every day to ensure students at da Vinci continue to expand their knowledge. One of the many reasons why Jillian loves her job is the focus on student achievement. The door for advanced education is always open. Jillian notes some great advantages of virtual learning. With the help of technology, she is able to meet with students to discuss homework or even how students are coping during these unprecedented times. There is more time for one-on-one interaction with students, which is a wonderful asset. Jillian continues to work hard for her students so they can receive the best education possible. She also runs the National Junior Honor Society for the school. Education has always been the right path for Jillian. She knew from a young age that she wanted to work with children. She has a passion for helping others. As a teacher, Jillian sees firsthand the moment students make that connection when figuring out a problem. These lightbulb moments are what drive Jillian every day. Jillian loves to stay active and be outdoors. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, mountain biking, camping, and even downhill skiing. She has a passion for long-distance running. Jillian has run multiple half and full marathons.

Carol KlakCarol Klak loves being an Occupational Therapist. She has worked within the District for over 27 years. During her time spent with students, she sees how rewarding it is to assist children with motor and sensory development and specific needs. Carol notes the importance of collaboration amongst team members involved as a key component to enhancing progress and learning potential in all students. She says that the schools she works at have wonderful teachers and administrators who put students first. Although virtual learning comes with challenges, Carol works hard every day to ensure that her students are succeeding in the best way possible. She meets with students virtually to provide needed instruction, support and materials to optimize active student engagement. During this time, students may practice their fine motor skills, breathing activities, along with engaging in movement activities. Carol also likes to incorporate families into these sessions so they are able to follow through with recommendations given at home. What drew Carol into the occupational therapy field was being able to help people reach their utmost potential and independence. Carol mentioned occupational therapy does not only look at the physical aspect, but the person as a whole, including their social emotional state. She remembers many of her students and cherishes the achievements they make. Carol loves to spend time outdoors. In her free time, she enjoys going for walks with her German shepherd, kayaking, and cross-country skiing. Some evenings, Carol works with the equine-assisted therapy program Exceptional Equestrians located in De Pere.

Danielle SchererMusic Educator Danielle Scherer has been with the District for three years teaching Band, Orchestra and IB Music. She teaches her students not only music, but also life lessons. In her time at West High School, Danielle has worked with various performers to help students get involved. A favorite memory of hers was when the UW-Eau Claire marching band came to West High School as part of the marching band showcase for all GBAPS high schools. Being a band director during virtual learning definitely has its challenges. But Danielle has exceeded expectations and goes above and beyond for her students. She practices with her students in a virtual setting and even dressed as the school mascot to teach them marching band techniques. Danielle has challenged her students to think outside the box in terms of demonstrating their abilities in marching band. Students have created podcasts and how-to videos for her while also practicing their instruments for recorded playing test submissions. Music is something that Danielle is very passionate about. She loves being able to share its beauty with her students and others. Teaching has always been second nature to Danielle. Danielle and her husband have a two year old daughter whom they love dearly. Another member of their family is Eva, an Aussiedoodle who is a trained therapy dog. In non-COVID times, Eva would visit the classroom and provide emotional support to students with Danielle.

Kristen JohnsonKristen Johnson is in her second school year as District Department Chair Nurse. Throughout her seven years with the District, she has cared for hundreds of children, mostly at the elementary and middle school levels. Kristen was the fifth nurse hired into the District. Now, there are 13 “fabulous” school nurses, says Kristen. Kristen says she is proud to be a part of the Green Bay Area Public School District. She shares that the District has done a great job of supplying the necessary medical equipment to keep students and staff safe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her schedule now primarily consists of meetings with other nurses, local health departments, and other administrators in the District to plan, prepare and keep students and staff safe. She has helped to put together several educational videos for staff on best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, along with helping staff and students understand quarantine protocols. Kristen has always known she wanted to work in the medical field. After graduating from Bellin College, she worked in Women’s Health in the hospital and clinic settings before going into nurse management. Being a nurse for the District has brought her so much joy. She loves to form connections with students and watch them grow. Kristen loves to spend time with her grandchildren in her free time. When they come to visit they enjoy jet skiing, fishing and searching for creek creatures.

Carrie ShepherdMartin Elementary School Principal Carrie Shepherd has been in her role for 13 years. She has worked for the District for almost 19 years in several different capacities as a first grade teacher, Reading Recovery Specialist, and Dean of Students at Danz Elementary. Even in a virtual learning environment, Carrie has observed her staff’s exceptional work in engaging students to be focused on learning. Carrie and her staff have created a “family” atmosphere at Martin Elementary. Although COVID-19 has created new challenges, Carrie and her staff are committed to having a great school year. Carrie has always loved learning and reading, which is why education is her chosen career. She especially enjoys first grade, where students really begin to read and write. In her free time, Carrie loves hiking with her dogs. Carrie and her family also spend time at their family cottage where they enjoy boating and being out in nature.

Tori McNealNew to the role of District Volunteer and Community Partners Coordinator, Tori McNeal has already begun engaging with our community. She has played an important role in securing volunteers to help with various projects in the District. Most recently, helping to coordinate a meal delivery program to help feed students during virtual learning. Even in a virtual setting, Tori is still able to connect with community partners and volunteers. Her role is necessary to engage with our District volunteers and partners who provide services that benefit both students and families of the District. Tori has been involved with volunteer work throughout her life. She is looking forward to becoming more involved with the community and hopes to see Green Bay continue to strive for greatness. In her free time Tori loves to travel (pre-Covid). One of her favorite trips was to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. An interesting fact about Tori is that she worked as a DJ for several events while completing her undergraduate degree at St. Norbert College. In her down time, she also loves cuddling with her dog.

Kelly DrakeSpecial Education teacher Kelly Drake has been teaching at Washington Middle School for 26 years. She works with students in grades 6-8 with Intellectual Disabilities. While the District began the school year with the majority of students learning virtually, Kelly was able to start the school year instructing students, determined by their Individual Education Plans, face-to-face four days a week. Kelly also works with her students virtually. In addition, Kelly also sends home packets with lesson plans and creates instructional videos for her students who do not attend in-person. Kelly was inspired to become a special education teacher through her friendship with a neighbor who had Down’s Syndrome. Kelly’s greatest joy is watching the growth and improvement in each of her students throughout their time with her. She gives her kids the opportunity to develop and mature, which she says is the best part of her job. Kelly loves to spend her free time with family and loved ones. She enjoys spending weekends during the summer at her family cottage in Door County. Her family is an important part of her life. When she gets the chance, she also enjoys sneaking in a game of golf. 

Shane McDonoughWork Experience Coordinator Shane McDonough has been with the District for six years. In his position, he provides community-based vocational instruction for special education students ages 16-21. He helps students find employment and meaningful work experiences to allow them to gain greater independence, self-advocacy and communication skills, and become successful and contributing members of the community. During off-site instruction, Shane has continued to meet virtually with students and community partners to continue building employability and communication skills with his students. Shane is excited that a remote work opportunity for his students may also be on the horizon with a valued community partner. Shane’s journey into special education began after the birth of his first child. He made the decision to leave his career as a professional actor and performer to pursue his master’s in special education. He finds his career advocating for those with special needs rewarding and impactful. Witnessing the successes of his students, improving the life outcomes of children and being an agent of positive change brings him great joy. In his free time, Shane enjoys spending time with his wife and three children cooking, traveling (pre-COVID-19), and making music.

Samantha DettmanSamantha Dettman is the literacy coach at Baird Elementary School and was previously a third grade teacher at Langlade Elementary for two years as well as a District literacy coach for four years. Her favorite achievement is being an advocate for building strong relationships with those around her and being a dependable and trustworthy friend, co-worker and teacher. Samantha’s favorite part of her job is creating strong relationships with students and watching them build those relationships with each other. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, crafts and spending time with her two children. She is inspired by her mom to always handle life selflessly with grace. 

Molly GatskeMolly Gatske has been a first grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School for six years, and a third grade teacher for two years prior. Her favorite achievement has been working hard to make connections with her students and their families. She explained her favorite part of the job is building relationships with her co-workers and learning from other teachers. Molly said she had exceptional teachers growing up and enjoys continuing to be a part of education. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Penny, and doing crafts. Molly’s role models are her parents, her teachers growing up, and her co-workers. 

Karen Iken Karen Iken is the band director at East High School. She is starting her twelfth year as band director and previously taught in the District for 21 years. What she likes most about her job is getting to know the students and watching how enthusiastic and genuine they are every day. Karen said her greatest achievement is raising two incredible daughters. Outside of work, she enjoys reading historical novels and going for walks. Karen is inspired by her parents who taught her to be positive and kind to others around her, a value she instills in her students.

Meghan BulkowskiMeghan Bulkowski is starting her fourth year as a physical science teacher at East High School. Previously she taught at Washington Middle School for 14 years. She has coached dance at Preble, and track and cross country at Washington throughout her career. Meghan explained her favorite part of her job is watching her students from middle school grow and find their niche in high school. Meghan is grateful for the amazing science department at East that always finds fun and exciting ways to engage students. Outside of work, Meghan enjoys hiking, biking and road tripping to Colorado with her husband and two girls. Southwest science teacher Scott Liddicoat inspired Meghan to become the caring teacher she is today.


Justin ShortJustin Short will be starting his fourth year as a social studies teacher at Lombardi Middle School. He is also the head coach for boys track and field and cross country teams at Southwest High School. Justin’s students energize him with their excitement to learn each day, making them his favorite part of the job. Outside of work, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and newborn son as well as fishing, hunting, playing sports and reading. He said his role model is his father, who never stopped working hard, and his 6th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Margelofsky, who always connected his students’ lives with social studies. Justin explained that he really loves working for the Green Bay Area Public School District, which is filled with many unique students and supportive staff. 


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