Conrad Elvehjem Primary School
Audrey Presser comes to our second-grade team from student teaching kindergarten and fourth-grade special education in Sun Prairie (which is also her hometown) and West Salem, after completing licensure programs in both regular and special education from UW-La Crosse. Family is very important to Audrey, and she enjoys spending time with them (including her beagle Rosie), many of whom still live in the area. Additionally, Audrey enjoys the summer and fall seasons, traveling, the outdoors, hiking, and yoga. In her downtime, she is at home crafting, baking, watching Netflix and walking her dog. Audrey is a big football fan as well...Go Pack!
Lauren Frazier is another member joining our second-grade team, having recently graduated from UW-Madison with licensure to teach grades one through eight, along with English as a second language. During her student teaching, she taught first grade in Madison with two cooperating teachers, where she was able to provide instruction to a group of ESL students. Lauren is a graduate of McFarland High School and has a one-year-old son named Luca (plus a cat, Oscar!). In addition to beginning her teaching career, Lauren loves spending time being outside, cheering on the Badgers, going out to eat with family and friends, watching Netflix and drinking Hazelnut coffee at coffee shops.
Kylie Hemmer comes to CEPS after having taught second grade for the past four years in Tomah. Before that, she taught in several different elementary settings with a variety of grades from 4-year-olds through second grade. She is from a family of seven from Prairie du Chien, and in addition to several nieces and nephews, her family also has a wiener dog named Hannah. She has degrees in both elementary and early childhood from UW-La Crosse. Kylie is excited to move to the Dane County area and explore all the offerings of the Madison area. The teaching bug hit her in first grade as she had her mom for her teacher. Her interests include being outdoors, playing sports and cheering for Wisconsin teams, the festivities of the fall and winter seasons and all things Snoopy!
Megan Albrecht may already be a familiar name to some community members as she has taught 4K at Gingerbread House for the past eight years. This year, she joins the second grade team and will bring her passion for this age level and commitment to the McFarland community. Originally from Oregon, Wisconsin, she graduated from UW-Whitewater with elementary and pre-kindergarten licensure and a minor in math. She lives in Madison with her husband and two daughters who are McFarland students. Megan loves her pet dogs (she has five!), and enjoys the outdoors, including spending time at her cabin, hunting and training her dogs. In addition to teaching, Megan also loves coaching, playing and watching softball and watching the Packers, Badgers and Cubs.
Amanda Geisinger and her husband are originally form Wintersville, Ohio, but have lived in McFarland for the past nine years, where their family includes three children and a border collie. Fun fact: everyone in her family, including the dog, has a name that begins with the letter “A.” She has her bachelor's and master's in speech pathology from the University of Akron, where she student taught at the elementary level. More recently, she has gained clinical experience in the medical field of speech language pathology, but is excited to return to a school setting. When she is not at work, Amanda enjoys music, shows and musicals, community and sporting events, trying new restaurants and the occasional pedicure. In addition, her family stays active by volunteering their time with church and community organizations.
Angela Eilbes is returning to Wisconsin from Portland, Oregon, where she spent three years as an early childhood speech-language pathologist out in the community. Originally from Rochester, Minnesota, she went to UW-Eau Claire for social work, met her husband when she moved to Madison, got her post-baccalaureate from Portland State University in speech and hearing sciences, and a master's in speech language pathology from Pacific University. She and her husband have two young children and are happy to be back home in the Madison area where they are closer to family. In her spare time, Angela enjoys traveling, the ocean, drawing, painting and reading children’s stories.
Mary Huber-Drake is stepping out of the second-grade classroom at CEPS this year into a new role for our school: half-time K-2 technology instructor and half-time K-2 academic interventionist. Mary has been in the McFarland School District for over twenty years, teaching first grade and more recently second grade. With a reading specialist license from Cardinal Stritch, administration licensure from Concordia University and a degree in early childhood from UW-Platteville, in addition to her experience utilizing technology in the classroom setting, she will surely have a positive impact on the K-2 students at CEPS in this new role. Mary lives in Oregon with her husband and middle school daughter, and her son attends UW-Stout. She enjoys baking, cooking, camping, being outside and being active.
Waubesa Intermediate School
Casey Schut will be teaching fourth grade here at Waubesa in the fall. She grew up and still lives in Janesville and graduated from Milton High School in 2014. After high school, she attended college at UW-Oshkosh majoring in elementary education with a math minor. She graduated from UW-Oshkosh this past January after completing two student teaching placements at McNeel Intermediate School in the School District of Beloit. She then continued subbing and long-term subbing in a sixth-grade math placement at the same school until the end of this past school year. This summer she’s been enjoying spending time with friends and family while teaching summer school in the Fort Atkinson School District. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her mom, dad and sister, Maggie. She also enjoys working out, reading, watching movies and traveling. She’s so excited to work with you and the students at WIS and look forward to meeting everyone soon.
Caitlyn Hiveley taught second grade in McFarland for three years before moving to fourth grade this fall. She and her dog, Jordy, live in McFarland. She’s also a co-head coach for the boys high school swim team and assists with the girls team in McFarland. When she’s not teaching, she loves being near the water. She enjoys swimming, kayaking, boating and patios with a view. She is very close with her family and spends a lot of time with them. She also enjoys spending time with her dog and teaching him new skills. She enjoys travel! Her recent trips have been to Nashville, Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles. Lastly, she loves to follow the Badgers and the Packers!
Kayla Gauwitz and her husband, Josh, live in McFarland with their four children. Gabby (13) will be an eighth grader at IMMS, Grayson (10) will be in fifth at WIS, Gretta (9) will be in fourth at WIS and Griffin (5) will be starting kindergarten at CEPS this fall. Their family stays busy with sports, going up north to their cabin and playing with their dog, Hank. She’s really excited to be joining the McFarland School District and going back to her roots as a school psychologist. Previously, she’s been working with the Sun Prairie School District since 2007. While with them, she served as school psychologist, student services program manager, associate principal and new student services mentor.
Madison Griffon is a new third-grade teacher at Waubesa and is so excited to begin this school year! She was born and raised in Green Bay and went on to attend UW-Eau Claire. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and special education in December 2018. After graduation, she worked in a school district near Eau Claire as a full-time floating substitute. She has always had a passion for education and was looking for an area she could call home; McFarland seems to be the place where she feels she can do just that! She loves to read and craft in her spare time and is currently training for her first half marathon. She is really looking forward to getting to know the families and community of McFarland and ready to start this next adventure!
Kathleen Lau is very excited to be joining the outstanding staff at Waubesa Intermediate School as the new STEAM teacher! Teaching both in and out of the classroom has always been a passion of hers, as she gets to see the excitement and energy with which kids learn, grow and challenge themselves every day. With a background in emergency room nursing, she has been fortunate to have the opportunity to care for and educate children and their families. Knowing that teaching in a classroom is where she is truly meant to be, she was able to forge a new path by joining a master’s program for elementary education. She began her career in education by teaching second grade at Horizon Elementary in Sun Prairie. She has also had the opportunity to be a frequent guest teacher in McFarland. She and her family have had many great experiences as part of the McFarland community and that inspires her to continue to make a positive difference every day. She loves being able to spend time with her three kids and husband, as well as travel and enjoy the beauty and wonder of the outdoors! She looks forward to the new adventures and learning in this wonderful position.
Indian Mound Middle School
We are pleased to introduce Catalina Trinidad as a teacher of students with special needs. Catalina is a talented multilingual educator (Spanish and American Sign Language) who spent most of her life in Texas. She was inspired to teach by an elementary teacher who always gave her undivided attention and made each student feel important. She served as a teacher of students who are deaf and hard of hearing for 15 years in a very large district before relocating to Wisconsin. She worked for one year as a high school bilingual cross-categorical teacher of students with special needs in Illinois. She realized the benefits of a small school district and is excited to work in McFarland as she feels she will be able to form deeper relationships with students and families. She shared that she was also drawn to McFarland because of our reputation stating, “Family, friends and teachers shared how great the McFarland School District really is. In comparing and interviewing for other districts in the vicinity, I am grateful to be hired to teach at McFarland!” When Catalina is not teaching, she loves to be outdoors including camping, hiking and swimming. She is a proud mother of three and loves spending time with her family. When asked about her vision for her first year here she shared, “I visualize a year full of new and exciting experiences in meeting students, parents, colleagues and administrators. I also find it refreshing to start in a new school because it means a new opportunity to do my best in implementing all that McFarland has to offer to students for their individual and overall success in all areas of their lives. I see myself growing personally and professionally keeping me in great shape to be the best teacher ready to impact students’ lives!”
The middle school staff is excited to introduce Brad Luedtke as a teacher of students with special needs. Brad comes to us with extensive experience, and ability to reach students, and is a McFarland community member. He began his teaching career in a residential setting before teaching middle school students with special needs in Waukesha for four years and Lake Mills for one year. Brad is looking forward to becoming more involved with the district and community. He has a daughter and a son attending school here and his wife works at Waubesa Intermediate School. He is grateful for the opportunity to join the rest of his family in the McFarland School District. For fun Brad enjoys “putzing” in the garage, working on small projects and coaching/watching his son in sports. When asked about McFarland, Brad explained, “Since living in McFarland, I have discovered how this community is positively different than others. People are kind, receptive, and genuinely good people.” Brad’s vision for his first year it to “learn as much as I can from coworkers, students, and families to grow as much as possible with the students. I look forward to establishing a solid foundation this year to allow me to continue to grow in teaching with McFarland.”
We are honored to welcome Gabe Rowley as the middle school Spanish teacher. Gabe will be familiar to many of you as he served as a long-term guest teacher (a.k.a. substitute) in this same position during the second half of the 2018-19 school year. During this time Gabe showed himself to be a bright, perceptive, kind and dedicated teacher who puts students first. Gabe was drawn to become a teacher through the example set by his mother who teaches at Waubesa Intermediate School as she loves to teach. As a child, Gabe lived in the Dominican Republic for over four years and developed a love for the language. He grew up just down the road in Stoughton and loves the area. Some of Gabe’s interests include playing ultimate frisbee and basketball and playing strategy board games. Gabe is excited to serve as the Game Club adviser at IMMS this year. When asked why he chose McFarland, he shared, “I wanted to work in McFarland because of its tight-knit and positive community. I feel very lucky to be able to teach here as a brand-new teacher and develop my skills with such a knowledgeable, dedicated staff.” Gabe is looking forward to his first full year in this position where he plans to continue to build relationships with students, families and colleagues, as well as grow in his teaching expertise while seeing growth in his students.
The middle school staff is excited to welcome Joan Schmidt to serve in the newly created position of a math interventionist. We are fortunate to have Joan lead us in this new position as she is a talented and dedicated educator who has extensive experience. Most recently, she served as a middle school math interventionist in Sun Prairie for two years. Prior to that, she taught middle school in Waunakee for 15 years, Madison for four years and Milwaukee for four years. She was drawn to teaching as she has a strong desire to help and loves sharing in the excitement of learning and growing. She has a particular love for middle school students and building strong positive connections with them. Joan is the youngest of nine children and was raised in Burlington. She is a proud mother of two adult children, as well as two dogs and a snake. She enjoys reading, math, history, learning new things, live music, decorating, traveling and exercising. She is excited to be joining the McFarland School District as she has heard such great things about us. When asked about her vision for her first year she explained, “I know I will make strong, positive connections with the staff, students and parents of the McFarland community. I want to learn all I can about the community of McFarland in order to become a great Spartan and I am excited to help students grow to become the best they can be!”
We are pleased to introduce Jordyn Laymon as a seventh-grade math/science teacher. Jordyn is a driven, kind and thoughtful educator. She became interested in teaching as a result of her experience as a gymnastics coach for a club team while in high school. She loved it so much that it never felt like work. She went on to earn her degree from UW-Whitewater and is excited to begin her career in McFarland. She shared that she was interested in McFarland as her grandparents live on Lake Kegonsa and her family would visit McFarland when she was a child. She stated, “I have always felt welcomed at home when in McFarland.” She grew up in Baraboo where her family owned and operated Dell Boo Campground. Jordyn loves athletics including gymnastics, hockey and volleyball. When asked about her vision for her first year in McFarland, she shared, “I want my first year to be filled with growth for both my students and I. In math class, I want all my students to gain confidence in their math skills and be comfortable sharing their thoughts and questions. In science class, I want all my students to stay curious about the world around them and let their curiosity lead to more discoveries in and out of the classroom! For all of my classes, I want students to feel that they are part of a community where we all work together and everyone feels that they can contribute.”
The middle school is honored to have Jennifer Zamastil join the sixth-grade team as a teacher of English/language arts and social studies. Jennifer is a McFarland graduate and resident. She is a talented and experienced educator who most recently taught for eighth grade at Whitehorse Middle School in Madison for eleven years. Jennifer was drawn to education as she is inspired by kids and their creativity, resiliency and humor. She loves to learn and pass that love on to students. She shared, “Being an educator is an extremely rewarding profession that is constantly evolving, and responding to the needs of our community and world.” Jennifer loves spending time with her family including her husband, three children and pets. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, biking, reading, theater, camping and playing tennis. McFarland is special to her as she stated, “Since it is my hometown, and it's where I've decided to live and raise my children, it makes sense that I would want to invest my time and dedication here. I am honored to join the District and its collection of esteemed educators, and I hope to contribute to the continued excellence of McFarland Schools.” When asked about her vision for her first year she shared, “I will get to know my building, colleagues and students through collaboration, experimentation and trial and error.” She is looking forward to attending all sorts of music and sporting events and anticipates getting recognized more at the grocery store. Jennifer said, “I am just excited for this amazing opportunity, and couldn't be happier to be a Spartan again!”
McFarland High School
Erin Lampada will be joining McFarland High School as the speech-language pathologist. She is a third generation Badger, graduating from UW-Madison in 2012 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in communication disorders. She also graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 2014 with a master’s of science degree in speech-language pathology. She has worked at multiple schools in her hometown schools of Kenosha Unified School District for the last five years. She recently moved to Madison with her husband and their rescue dog, Schnitzel. Erin enjoys traveling, biking, snowboarding, ice skating and completing DIY furniture and home projects.
Amanda Kellow is a new special education teacher at McFarland High School. She earned her bachelor's degree from UW-Madison in 2017. She moved home to Deerfield, Illinois, after graduation and started working at Tremper High School in Kenosha as a special education teacher. After living at home and working at Tremper for two years, she is excited to be back in Madison. Amanda is really looking forward to spending time by the lakes and enjoying everything Madison has to offer. She likes to be outdoors and hike, boat, rollerblade and run. Amanda also enjoys painting and other crafty hobbies as well. She is really looking forward to starting here and getting to know everyone.
Traci Tucker is excited to be joining the English department at McFarland High School this fall. She received her bachelor’s degree from Wagner College in New York City, her master’s degree from Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland and her teaching certification through National Louis University in Chicago. Traci was a filmmaker and avid traveler for many years before changing careers. She has been a teacher for four years now: first in Chicago, Ill. and then in Janesville. She grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, but currently resides in Madison where she and her family enjoy live music, summer festivals, food carts, farmer’s markets and the occasional day trip to Devil’s Lake. Traci loves watching professional sports and playing sand volleyball. She is looking forward to cheering on the Spartans this year!
Sarah Hart Olson is excited to join the high school business and marketing department with 16 years teaching experience, having spent her first two years in Highland and the last 14 at Sun Prairie High School. Sarah grew up in the Madison area, graduating from Middleton High school. She earned her undergraduate degree from UW-Stout and her masters from UW-La Crosse. Her husband and two daughters love to go on road trips and travel cross-country on a bus with extended family. When she's not busy with school, DECA or shuttling her daughters to activities, Sarah loves to do DIY home projects and has recently discovered a love for watercolor painting.
Penny Thompson will be our new career and technical education coordinator (school to career coordinator) joining us from Mount Horeb High School and has 21 years of high school teaching experience. Penny's career started in marketing education and she has a long history with advising DECA. More recently her role at Mount Horeb had her teaching 60 percent while coordinating the school to career initiatives. Penny grew up in Verona and went to Verona High School back in the day when Verona was a small little high school. She got her marketing education degree from UW-Stout and then later in her career added a business ed certification, also from UW-Stout. Penny resides in Cross Plains and will be an empty nester this year. She has two daughters, Ali and Emma. Ali is in her third year at UW-Madison as a fashion and textile design major, and Emma will be attending UW-Milwaukee as a freshman potentially majoring in human resources.
Brian Ward is excited to join McFarland High School as a new social studies teacher. He received his undergraduate degree from Towson University located just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, in 2008. This will be Brian's first full-time teaching job after going back to school to earn his teaching license at Edgewood College and is currently finishing up his master's degree. Last year Brian student taught at Madison East High School and spent time at Sennett Middle School. Prior to receiving his teaching license, he worked in the non-profit sector in Washington, D.C., and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Following a cross-country bike trip, he shifted his focused onto managing bike shops, most recently the Trek Bicycle Store on the east side of Madison. Brian was born in Madison but grew up just outside of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., in Millersville, Maryland. Brian came back to his roots in Wisconsin and is married to Kate. They have an infant son, Leonard, and an amazing dog, Captain. When his is not teaching you will find him either biking, hiking, canoeing, reading a good book about history, politics and current events or being actively involved in his community.
Amber Earleywine is excited to rejoin the McFarland high school science department teaching biology and introduction to health science. Two years ago, she was a long-term substitute for Ms. Jeffery. Since then, Amber has been teaching at Stoughton High School. Amber began her teaching career in Illinois 11 years ago and relocated to Madison four years ago. She graduated from Michigan State University with a human biology degree where she also swam on a scholarship. Amber continued on at Rockford University earning her master’s degree in secondary education. Amber and her husband, Josh, recently had twin girls! Outside of teaching, Amber loves CrossFit, family time and exploring things going on in and around Madison.
This year the tech ed department at the high school is not only being renovated but also adding a fourth teacher. Joining the growing tech ed department is Johnathan Predaina who goes by JP. He will be focusing on teaching engineering classes in the tech department. Graduating from UW-Platteville in 2013 with a tech ed degree he moved home to Kenosha to teach middle and high school engineering for four years before moving to Madison to be with his wife. In Madison at West High School, he taught engineering classes for the last two years in addition to helping the mountain bike team and coaching the Madison West Men’s Ultimate team to consecutive state titles and a fifth-place finish at the High School National Invite. Besides mountain biking for the Wisconsin Bike Patrol (doing first aid in the woods) and coaching high school Ultimate, he enjoys the outdoors camping, sailing and snowboarding with his sister and dad every Sunday as a member of the Ski Patrol at Alpine Valley Resort.
Lindsey Satina will be the family and consumer sciences educator at McFarland High School. She graduated with a degree in FCS education and health education from UW-Stevens Point in 2011 and since then has had a few different teaching experiences including teaching in Spain. Her most recent experience was teaching at Kromrey Middle School in Middleton for three years. This will be her first high school position and she is excited to see what it brings! She is originally from Pardeeville, which is a small town, where she grew up playing in the woods and swimming on the lake with her one brother and my cousins. She was fortunate to live close to her relatives. Now that she has grown, her interests have changed from playing in the woods to camping at different state and national parks and swimming in the lake to laying in an inner tube on the water or kayaking if she can. She have many other interests too such as, the bike trails in Madison, playing sports, going to the different community events, live music, playing euchre and she likes to be crafty! One thing she has done a lot of is travel and she enjoys new places and people. She also, of course, loves to cook and bake anything delicious.
Jamie Diaz, joining the McFarland High School staff as a special education teacher. I graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in sociology/criminal justice and a master’s degree in education. I spent the past seven years working for Verona Area School District. I grew up both in Madison and in Scottsdale, Ariz. I returned to Wisconsin to attend college. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love to read, listen to music and being outdoors.
Katelynn Bell is joining the high school team as a math teacher. She grew up in Madison and received her bachelor’s degree at UW-Madison. For the last 10 years, she has been teaching at Middleton High School, but has also taught in France and Madison. Besides doing math for fun, Katelynn also enjoys art, creating, cooking and reading.