Biographies Index



















Luke Adam

Luke has taught math, language arts and computer classes to junior high students at Nashwauk High School since 2002. He believes in an active classroom, implementing technology, and having a lot of fun! This avid educator has been nominated for the Disney Teacher of the Year in 2006, Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 2007, and achieved notoriety in local newspapers for his creative, innovative and cooperative styles of education.  He completed his undergraduate degree at Bemidji State University and his Masters at Southwest State University.  Luke also serves as the head girls track and field coach and junior high football coach. He is also involved in a Positive Behavior Intervention Committee, Big Brothers-Big Sisters Program,  School Site Council, Technology Committee, and other schools leadership teams. His hobbies include fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing, kayaking, running and cooking.  

Jacalyn Amant


     Jacalyn Amant has enjoyed training and teaching adults and secondary students for twenty years. She credits her own inability to "sit and get" for making her the teacher she is. Currently a reading coach at Baradoo School District, she enjoys working with the middle and high school students, as well as teachers, to promote learning through active reading and writing strategies. With a strong focus on formative assessment and feedback, literacy-based learning activities, and professional collaboration, Jacalyn has seen amazing results that she enjoys sharing with others. A life-long learner, Jacalyn has a BA in English, Master's in Education, Reading Certification, and numerous other graduate credits. She has published journal, newspaper, and magazine articles as well as poetry. Most recently, she has ghostwritten three nonfiction books, six short stories, and fifty character sketches. Jacalyn is more excited than ever about the challenges and opportunities facing educators! When she isn't teaching, reading or writing, you might find her cross-country skiing (flatsland only) in the Northwoods or traveling with her family to onr of her favorite destinations--Destin,  Florida.

Amy Amsden 

    Amy Amsden is a fun, energetic, happy and creative kindergarten teacher by day and a wild Bunco player by night!  In addition to her daring pursuits, she self-admittedly has  turned the corner to scrap booking as well.  Presently in the Rochester School District, she has also taught second grade in her eleven years of teaching.  Amy received her undergraduate degree from the prairies and cornfields of North Dakota at Mayville State University and her Master’s from Winona State.  Amy finds excitement and joy when her young learners begin to read!  She has been working with continuing education for several years and, as one of its most popular instructors, has enjoyed meeting new educators as they research and work cooperatively to find strategies for their classrooms and schools.  If you get the chance, ask Amy about the history of “blondebabe,” her unique and intriguing moniker!

Sandee (Sam) Goldsmith Becker

    Sandee (Sam) Goldsmith Becker has teaching in her blood!  Her mother works in Early Childhood education, her sister teaches kindergarten and first grade, and Sam teaches social studies at Worthington Senior High School.  She received her BA in Psychology, her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Secondary Education from UMD, and her MS in Counseling and Human Resource Development from South Dakota State University, Brookings.  Her varied teaching experiences over the past sixteen years include instructor of General and Abnormal Psychology at Northwest Iowa Community College, Pre K and kindergarten educator at a Brooklyn Park Montessori School, and conversational English teacher for ages 13-50 in Strakonice, Czech Republic.   Sam is the proud mom of beautiful children  Matthew Charles and Morgan Ann.

Judy Foust (AKA "the Queen") 

    Judy Foust (AKA "the Queen of the classroom") is a retired middle school reading specialist. After spending  38  years with seventh graders, she  feels she has finally risen to the level of her maturity! Judy has a BA in Comprehensive English, an MEPD  in Middle Level Education, and a Reading Specialist certification. She has been nationally published in professional periodicals, written a chapter on protest  songs as poetry for a composition textbook, created a local weekly newspaper column of her musings about the future of education, makes frequent public speaking appearances on the use of humor to foster personal resilience, and is currently spending part of her retirement writing a book on a subject dear to her heart--creating a calm, focused learning environment through feng shui.  Judy has worked with schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin to declutter and manipulate classroom environments for the benefit of the educational needs of all students. In addition, she is the recipient of multiple educational awards: Senator Herb Kohl Foundation Teaching Fellow, Teacher of the Year in two Wisconsin school districts, and Wal-Mart's State Teacher of the Year.   What makes her unique? Many would say her warped sense of humor, her quick wit , her high energy. But "the Queen" acknowledges that her varied life experiences have made her the woman she is today...frequent guest appearances in parades (After all, a queen must interact with her adoring subjects!)...a near brush with  Oprah Winfrey on a teacher makeover show (Judy was deemed waaaaay too cute for a makeover breaking both wrists during the never-ending winter of 2013-2014!)...and the list goes on and on. Judy Foust has teaching in her blood. She approaches each new class with creativity, energy and joy. And she can't wait to share those qualities with you. 

Roberta Gale

    Roberta Gale is a recently retired Library Media Specialist with over thirty years in the educational arena. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and an MS in Audiovisual from University of Wisconsin-Stout. She has worked at the University level, and in public and school libraries. A lover of her family, books, dogs and the ability of computers to open new horizons to so many people, she looks forward to meeting new faces in her classes that she offers in Green Bay. She has taught adult level classes for the Green Bay Area Public Schools for CESA 7 in collaboration with PBS Teacherline and UWGB.

Kristin Grove

    Kristin Grove Kristin Grove has been an educator for 26 years in the public school system. She is passionate about learning and is dedicated to continuous improvement. She is trained in Responsive Classroom and has incorporated it into her classroom management system. Kristin has mentored numerous new teachers and sits on the early Childhood Advisory Board for the Southeast Technical College. She also stays connected to her community by volunteering for the local United Way.
   As an adult learner herself, Kristin understands the desire for practical information and meaningful conversations. She makes research, practical application, and sense of humor a priority in her classroom for young students as well as adults. Come join Kristin to be inspired for the coming school year!

Kelli Hanninen 

    Kelli Hanninen is a fifth grade classroom teacher in the Detroit Lakes School District.  She earned a Bachelor's degree from Moorhead State University and a Master's from St. Mary's University.  During her 15 years in teaching, she has rarely taught the same grade, in the same school for two consecutive years, so she can draw upon many different experiences.   Being an itinerant Continuing Education instructor, she has taught a variety of courses for UST since 1998.  Although you can never be exactly sure where she is or what she is teaching at any given time, she manages to draw many grateful members to her teaching fan club!

Jan Karlmann

     Jan Karlmann  finds that teaching children and adults to read and write has been one of her life’s greatest rewards.  In her spare time, she does private tutoring to elementary, high school, and college students.  While in her words, “ I am no match for Longfellow,”  she does enjoy writing poetry and prose.  Erma Bombeck is her hero, since she, too,  believes that the grass is always greener over the septic tank!

Diana Kokoschke

    Diana Kokoschke has taught special education K-12 for the past 36 years. She is currently teaching at Blooming Prairie and serves on the Special Education Advisory Board for her education district. She received her BS Ed at Ohio University and MS Ed at University of Missouri. Special interests include developing and leading international tours with her retired teacher husband, cross-stitching, and teaching graduate level classes for a diversion from her normal teaching target.

Teresa Lien

     Teresa Lien has been in the  teaching field for over twenty-three years.  The majority of her experience  lies in special education.  Teresa teaches at the elementary level and in  higher education.  Teresa has a Master's Degree from the University of  WI-LaCrosse, but everything she ever needed to know, she learned in  kindergarten.  Teresa has written over seven university courses and is  actively involved in the new teacher licensure program in Wisconsin, called  PI-34.  In 1997, she was named "Teacher of the Year" for the Baraboo School  District.  Teresa's toughest job has been parenting her three  children.  Of course, much of the credit goes to her devoted and loving husband!  Her favorite interests and hobbies are spending all her  money on Creative Memories, facilitating adoption support groups and eating  Doritos.

Trina Lockhart

    Trina Lockhart is a Literacy Coach for the Milwaukee Public School district, a position that entails the coaching and modeling of "Best Practices in Teaching" for teachers in her school. She earned a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University Of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Trina has a gift working with special needs students.  Having once struggled herself with negative behaviors as a child,  it became her passion to move children past the anger of their environments and see themselves as individuals with unlimited opportunities.  Someone who loves the field of education, Trina entered Milwaukee Public Schools in 1993 and never left.  She is a member of the Eta Phi Beta sorority and currently holds an associate faculty position at the University of Phoenix, Brookfield, WI. She enjoys  singing and dancing and considers herself to be pretty good at both!  Trina was honored as Teacher of the Year by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Alliance of Black School Educators.

Brian Mastin

  Brian Mastin is a seventh grade science teacher in Onalaska Wisconsin. Brian received his Bachelor Degrees at Wartburg College and his Masters Degree from U.W. LaCrosse. He has taught in Africa and Onalaska and is known to students for his humor and multiple voices and to teachers for his lack of humor and multiple disorders. In his free time he enjoys his family, fishing, marathon running, music, and waiting at stoplights.

Becky Philipsek

    Becky Philipsek still starts each day with a smile and the belief that teachers can make a difference, even after  20 years of  teaching .  She has  a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech Communication and Mass Communication from St. Cloud State University and a Masters of  Science Degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin, Superior. She spent 17 years teaching at-risk and special education students and now is teaching reading and English to 7th grade students for the Hayward Community School District.  Becky  maintains her health and sanity by fishing, hunting, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, hiking (preferably in the mountains of Glacier National Park) and gardening.

Jean Sakry     Jean Sakry has been teaching for nine years in Melrose. For the past six years she has taught social studies in the middle school and depending on the year, she also teaches one section of reading in the elementary. Jean earned her Bachelor's degree from The College of St. Benedict and a Master's From Southwest State University. Jean and her husband live on a dairy farm north of Melrose and have three kids. When she's not chasing her kids, helping with chores, or teaching, she is an avid reader, Grey's Anatomy groupie, and attempts to scrapbook her kids pictures (and she's only behind by about four years!)

Jane Schave

    Jane Schave is a retired reading teacher,  reading interventionist and Educational Coach.  With over 36 years of experience, she taught in Wisconsin at the elementary and college levels as well as in Scotland and Ireland.   She has her B.S. in Early Childhood Ed from UW-Stout, Elementary Ed Certification from UW-Stevens Point, M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from UW-Madison, and certification as Director of Instruction from Winona State University.  Jane loves traveling – anywhere, and reading – anything!  She appreciates great movies from the 30’s and 40’s and any kind of music.

Connie Seeliger

    Connie Seeliger, a middle school special education teacher at the Westfield School District. With over 25 years of experience working with age 3 to 25 special needs students, she taught in Illinois, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. Connie is known for bringing laughter in the hallway and saying "Ho-Ho-Ho!" 365 days a year. She is definitely an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Kathy Tuttle


    “We can make a difference”….this creates the energy behind special education teacher, Kathy Tuttle , and what she and her years of experience bring to her teaching. She has brought change to many programs in her home district of Baraboo, WI over the last 20 years. She has received the “Make a Difference Award” from the Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, “Thank a Teacher Award” from WMTV and last spring the “Excellence in Education Award” in her home district. When the school days are done you can find her heading north and hopefully to the middle of one of our beautiful Wisconsin lakes in her kayak.

Deana Vickerman

   Deana Vickerman has been a speech-language pathologist at McNeel Middle School (6, 7, and 8th grades, formerly 7, 8 and 9th grades) in Beloit, Wisconsin for the past 14 years and now works predominantly with the severe EBD population. She is a very involved aunt to a niece (age 7) and two nephews (ages 9 and 5) and the proud owner of four parrots and a spoiled rotten boxer dog! Deana enjoys volunteering for Green Acres Boxer Rescue and Fine Feathered Friends Bird Rescue.