Grade 6-8 Teachers

Alicia Buhr, Middle School English Teacher (Grade 8)

Alicia Buhr is a graduate of UW-Whitewater and has her bachelor's degree in secondary education English, with a minor in library media. Prior to teaching at WIVA, she taught high school English (English 10, English 11, contemporary literature, and pre-college composition) and 7th grade English (extended learning summer school) for the Madison Metropolitan School District. WIVA has been her first virtual teaching experience as the 8th grade LAC (Literary Analysis & Composition) teacher.

"Fritzi" Heckel, Middle School Science Teacher (Grades 6-8)

"Fritzi" Heckel joined WIVA in 2015 and is in her 26th year of teaching. Mrs. Heckel has taught at every grade level from 5th through 8th grade, including a multi-age 4th-8th grade classroom. Most recently, and for the last 13 years, she has been a 6-8 Science teacher and absolutely loves it. Her minor is in biology but she has a real passion for earth science (as for physical science, well, she's learning to love that, too!). She married a wonderful guy and had one daughter who is in art school at MIAD. Fritzi loves to travel, cook, and spend time with family and their 5 labradors. She has a passion for helping kids help others and leads a youth group each summer to paint houses through the Teen Serve organization. We painted 77 homes last year with 400+ youth from 5 different states.

Kristina Hennecke, Middle School Math Teacher (Grade 6-8)

Kristina Hennecke graduated from UW—Stevens Point with a secondary math education bachelor's degree. Prior to WIVA, she taught at the Milwaukee Community Cyber Schools where the school implemented a blended learning model with a mixture of direct instruction and online learning. Kristina has taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra 2. Kristina enjoys helping students master their math concepts and grow in their learning and love of learning. She's looking forward to teaching students at WIVA!

Rachel Knuese, Middle School English Teacher (Grades 6–8)

Rachel Knuese received her bachelor's degree in education and English from Mount Mary College. She taught seventh grade language arts for four years at Oconomowoc Middle School. She worked part time as a parish administrator which helped her hone many interpersonal, problem-solving, and technology skills. In 2010, Rachel transitioned into online tutoring in English and essay writing for students in fourth grade through college, and that experience piqued her interest in virtual education. She completed "E-learning for Educators," an online graduate course, further broadening her understanding and interest in this relatively new field. Rachel started at WIVA in 2012 and has embraced the unique challenges and benefits of working with middle schoolers in an online environment.

Jena Sherry, Middle School Math Teacher (Grades 6–8)

Jena Sherry earned her bachelor's degree in elementary/middle level education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, with a minor in mathematics in 1995, and her master's degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1999. While mostly having taught middle school, her responsibilities have morphed from fourth-grade science all the way to high school math. Jena also works as an education consultant, teaching technology courses and workshops for educators. After almost 20 years of experience in a traditional classroom setting, she loves working at WIVA while helping students master their skills, prepare for high school.

Lisa Martinez, Middle School History Teacher (Grade 6)

Lisa Martinez brings over 20 years of elementary teaching experience in brick-and-mortar schools, as well as past experience with Colorado Virtual Academy. Lisa has a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado-Denver, and a Master of Education degree in reading from Grand Canyon University. Her undergraduate work was completed at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Lisa is excited to partner with WIVA families on this challenging and fun educational path.