Meet our team
Special Programs Staff
Wisconsin Virtual Academy's (WIVA's) special programs teachers are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of each student we serve and helping them overcome challenges to fulfill their potential.
Elementary School Special Programs Teachers
Lauren Brunner | K-5 Special Programs Teacher
Lauren Brunner joined WIVA in 2020 as a Special Education teacher for the elementary school. Ms. Brunner grew up in Gurnee, Illinois and now lives in Oregon, Wisconsin. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and went on to get her Master's in Special Education at National Louis University. While pursuing her master's, she worked as a paraprofessional in a self-contained special education classroom. In her free time, Ms. Brunner loves to spend time with her mini goldendoodle dog, named Lambeau. She also likes to read, travel, cook, and spend time with family and friends.
Kim Klann | K-5 Special Programs Teacher
Kim Klann is excited to join WIVA as a special education teacher! Mrs. Klann grew up in Madison and is a proud alum of Verona High School and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She began her career as a learning disabilities teacher in Janesville, Wisconsin, at Lincoln Elementary for five years. After moving to Madison with her husband, Mrs. Klann began working for the Madison School District and spent six years as a cross-categorical teacher at Lake View Elementary. She has worked with students across grades K–5 in a general education setting both assisting and co-teaching with a classroom teacher as well as small pull-out groups. Mrs. Klann currently lives on the far west side with her husband and two children. They enjoy time exploring parks, the zoo, beaches, going bowling, going for walks, and finding all the Bucky statues around town! Mrs. Klann feels she has been very fortunate to spend the past two years home with her kids but is very much looking forward to getting back into teaching!
AJ Dahl | K-5 Special Programs Teacher
The 2019–2020 school year was A.J. Dahl's first year as an online teacher and his seventh year overall as a special education teacher. He was born and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, which is where he received his undergraduate degree in special education at University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 2012. After a few years of teaching, Mr. Dahl went back to his studies and completed a master's degree in special education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2017. He said that one cool thing he did during his time there was to publish a paper in an educational journal. Some of his side passions include playing with numerous pets, watching his favorite team (the Milwaukee Bucks), and listening to hip-hop music. He is thrilled to be embarking on this educational journey with WIVA.
Karen Henry | K-5 Special Programs Teacher
My name is Karen Henry, and I am happy to be a part of the WIVA community as an elementary teacher of students with special education needs. I have been an educator for over 40 years through a variety of positions ranging from teaching every grade K – 12 and at the undergraduate and graduate level. Additionally, I have worked as an Instructional Coach, Pupil Service Director, and Curriculum Director. In my free time, my husband and I spend a great deal of time with our three grown children and eight grandchildren. I love finding the joy in all the little things in life. We live in the country, and we have a large garden. I drive the tractor when necessary, but prefer not to. What I am passionate about is maximizing learning for students of all abilities and needs, and I look forward to collaborating with you and serving the Wisconsin Virtual Academy community. You can contact me at email@example.com.
Alison Gilmore | K-5 Special Programs Teacher
Hi! My name is Alison Gilmore. This will be my 4th year teaching special education. I moved here from Denver, Colorado two years ago to marry my husband, Isaac. I love being outside, and growing flowers has become very important and life giving to me over the past two years. I have a dream to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain one day (even if it’s just a portion). I am looking forward to working with everyone at WIVA!
Middle School Special Programs Teachers
Kathryn Delano | Middle School Special Programs Teacher
Kathryn DeLano is excited to teach at WIVA. She previously taught for five years at a traditional school. Before that, she worked as a program aide at an alternative school as well as serving as an online tutor. In her free time, Ms. Delano loves to read and visit national parks. An odd fact about her is that she is allergic to mint—so she gets to use all the children's flavors when she visits the dentist!
Brooke Iorio | Special Programs Teacher
Brooke Iorio graduated with a dual license in early childhood education and early childhood special education from Concordia University Wisconsin in January 2018 and worked as a special education teacher for just over a year in the Racine Unified School District. Her favorite things to do include being in nature, cooking, spending time with family, and crafting. The virtual learning environment made a positive impact throughout her education and she is excited to be a part of WIVA to meet student's individual needs and set them up for success in all areas of their development!
Saundra Lynn | Middle School Special Programs Teacher
Saundra Lynn-Swanson is a graduate of University of Illinois – Urbana with a BS in secondary education. She also has a BS and an MS in special education from University of Wisconsin – Madison. With more than 20 years of experience in education, she has taught students in every grade level with a wide spectrum of learning needs. In Madison, she taught middle and high school students at East High School, Dane County Juvenile Shelter Program, and Spring Harbor Middle School. Saundra facilitated the K–6 gifted and talented programs at Belleville including math teams and Destination Imagination teams. She has used online programming with her students and has also taken online classes. She looks forward to helping all students be successful in their online education endeavors.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Henderson | Middle School Special Programs Teacher
Hi! My name is Betsy Henderson and I am entering my third year at WIVA, and I am excited for the new year! I live in Union Grove, WI (just outside of Racine) and spend a lot of time with my parents, older sister, two younger brothers, and niece. I love dogs, which my brother has one (Piper), and I have a pet cat. When I am not teaching, I spend time with my family and friends. Some things I like to do are sewing, diamond painting, being outside in the warm summer weather, and watching football to cheer on the Packers. I received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I am certified to teach both Regular Education and Special Education students in 1st-8th grade. You will find me in your math class, and you may have me as your teacher in your math small group. I will pop in your classes like Global Studies and Life Science at times as well. Can’t wait to start working with you!
Aubry Herbon | Middle School Special Programs Teacher
Hi. I am Aubry Herbon. I have been a full-time educator since 2021. I live in DePere but an originally from Illinois. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ripon College with Cum Laude Honors in Educational Studies in Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence, a minor in English, a concentration in Applied Innovation, and Special Education certification from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. In my freetime some of my hobbies include cooking, vinyl record collecting, exercising outdoors, going to concerts, and painting.
Sarah Michels | Middle School Special Programs Teacher
Hello, my name is Sarah Michels. Here at WIVA, I am one of the special education teachers. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in January 2019 with a bachelor's degree in special education. Before coming to WIVA I worked in a brick-and-mortar school for three semesters. Interesting facts about myself are that I am a huge Packer and Disney fan. I look forward to getting to know you and your students during the school year.
Ashley Vogelsberg | Middle School Special Programs Teacher
My name is Ashley Vogelsberg and I started working in the field of education in 2018. I originally was hired as a Paraprofessional but have held various roles since then including substitute teacher, behavior intervention support, and special education teacher. I currently live in Fond Du Lac, WI with my 4 children, 2 cats, and dog. I graduated with my Bachelor's of Science from UW Superior in 2018 where I focused on Childhood Education. I continued my education and earned a Master of Arts in Education in 2020 from Marian University where I focused on Special Education.
High School Special Programs Teachers
Kim Jazdzewski | High School Special Programs Teacher
I am Kim Jazdzewski (yaz-jes-kee) she/her and I am one of your biggest supporters here at school! My hope is that when we work together you will feel safe, secure and open to learning- together we've got this! Teaching is clearly a passion of mine, but when I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and I have 4 children who keep us very busy. We like to play cards & other board games, camp, listen to music, and watch soccer whenever we can! My favorite way to start the day is with a quiet moment and a cup of coffee, and an occasional chocolate treat! I look forward to getting to know you- see you soon!
Meredith Altmann | High School Special Programs Teacher
Meredith Altmann, is the newest member of our team! After teaching kindergarten in Japan and then three years of high school special education in Janesville, she decided to make the move to an online environment, which would allow her to be closer to her family in Dane County. Ms. Altmann loves science, space, Japanese culture, and theater and tries to find meaningful ways of incorporating all four into her lessons with students.
Madeline Kiehn | High School Special Programs Teacher
Madeline Kiehn grew up in Duluth, Minnesota where she also pursued her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and Spanish at the University of Minnesota - Duluth. Madeline worked in numerous fields and positions before finding her way to public education. She completed her post-baccalaureate for Cross-Categorical Special Education licensure at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Madeline still resides in the Coulee Region. She just completed her Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In her spare time, Madeline enjoys cooking, camping, yoga, reading, coaching/playing volleyball, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Meghan Jenson | High School Special Programs Teacher
Hello! I'm Meghan Jenson and this will be my 9th year teaching Special Education in Wisconsin at the 9-12th grade level. I do have a secondary English teaching degree and license as well, but my true passion has always been working with students who need extra support via special education services. I earned my Master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2014 where I also teach a course or two here and there on the adjunct staff for students pursuing a special education degree. My husband Erich and I live in Duluth, MN (only minutes away from Superior, WI)! We have 2 young children ages 6 and 4. We love to enjoy the surrounding lakes for camping, hiking, and roasting marshmallows together with family and friends. I'm excited to collaborate with my fellow WIVA colleagues to best serve all our students!
Nakhanh Baltzer | High School Special Programs Teacher
Hello, I'm Nakhanh pronounced ‘Na’-’Kon’ . I am originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, where I was adopted at 2 ½ years old. I later graduated from Sun Prairie High school. After High School, I enrolled at Madison College in and earned an Associate of Arts Degree. I then transferred to UW - Whitewater where I studied Special Education with an emphasis in Cross-Categorical LD/SLD/EBD & AUTISM, earning a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. I was able to use my disability services all throughout my post-secondary education. I learned how to navigate and discover my own way and learn in a way that suits me. I believe my unique background, and personal and educational experiences allow me to connect with the family and students that I serve. I recently got married to my husband, Casey. We are proud parents to Winston, our 11 Ib 7-year-old toy poodle. In my free time, I enjoy making crafts (Home / Floral Decor, & Refurnishing Furniture) as well as spending quality time with family and friends and enjoying outdoor activities (snowboarding, 4-wheeling, hiking, craft& farmer markets).
Rose Mark | High School Special Programs Teacher
My name is Rose Mark and I am excited to be the Special Education teacher at the HS. I grew up in Ellsworth (Cheese Curd Capital), but currently reside in River Falls. I have a B.S. degree in Cross-Categorical Special Education and M.S. in Educational Administration. My educational experience is working in the brick-and-mortar setting within the Ellsworth Community School District and in the virtual environment prior to coming to WIVA. My interests are spending time with my four nephews,, traveling, aviation, and photography.
Abby Lena | High School Special Programs Teacher
Mrs. Lena is a high school special education case manager at the Insight School of Wisconsin. Born, raised, and currently living in central Wisconsin, she earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from UW-Stevens Point, and her teaching degree from UW-Oshkosh. She has spent the majority of her teaching career in the online learning environment, and has enjoyed seeing students be successful in this flexible and personalized way of learning. Creating settings where students feel valued, supported, and appreciated is one of her greatest goals. She believes all students are capable and deserving of success.
Kristen Stilling | High School Special Programs Teacher
I am a special education teacher and teacher mentor at WIVA High School who has taught at this school for nearly a decade. I am a graduate of UW-Madison and Edgewood College. I live in south central WI with my husband and three kids. In my free time I enjoy kayaking, music, camping and dogs! I am passionate about supporting others to reach their goals, find success and feel a sense of belonging.
Rhenna Widerski | High School Special Programs Teacher
Hi! I’m Rhenna Widerski, Special Education Teacher at Insight School. A little bit about me… I earned my Bachelor degree in Psychology, History, and Secondary Education from Carroll College. Originally, I had planned on becoming a social studies teacher but while working at a local middle school, as a special education assistant, it was clear that I needed to change my focus. I went back to school at Edgewood College and earned my Master’s Degree in Special Education. I have also taken additional classes in educational leadership. I have been teaching for over 15 years at the high school level and enjoy working with young adults on their journey to finding themselves.
Jodie Wolff | High School Special Programs Teacher
Jodie Wolff lives in Watertown, Wisconsin with her husband and two children. She obtained her bachelor's degree in communications from University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. After several years in the business industry, Mrs. Wolff went back to school to obtain her special education teaching license. She is currently in the process of earning her Master of Education through St. Mary's University of Minnesota. When she's not attending her children's sporting events, she can be found with a book in her hand! After teaching in the brick-and-mortar environment for several years, Mrs. Wolff is excited to join the amazing group of educators at WIVA.
Andrew Holzem | High School Special Programs Teacher
Education has been a passion for me throughout my life, and I am pleased to continue my journey as a special programs teacher at the Wisconsin Virtual Academy. Aside from education, my interests include history, music, nature, and spending time with my family. Along with our two lovable dogs, my wife (Jamie), daughter (Madison) and I enjoy traveling and beach bumming along the Southeast coast.
Vickie Koska | High School Special Programs Teacher
Vickie Koska is new to the WIVA team and very excited to meet the students, parents, and staff. She spent most of the past 25 years working part-time in the field of education. Last year she worked full-time as a self-contained special education teacher at Syble Hopp School in DePere, Wi. She has worked in Special Education both as a para-professional and a substitute teacher. Her experience has been with many types of disabilities and varying student ages. She has also taught online schooling for VIP Kid, helping students in China develop proper English speaking and writing skills. Vickie is certified to teach Special Education K-12 and Regular Education 1-6. She is a Special Olympics coach and has coached varsity volleyball and softball in the past. She lives in the Appleton area with her husband, they have three grown children. When she is not working, she enjoys all sports, with her newest interest being pickleball. She enjoys hiking with her family and Goldendoodle also. She is very excited to be working with high school aged students again.
Sarah Kracklauer | High School Special Programs Teacher
Sarah Kracklauer received a BA in History at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Following graduation, she moved to Milwaukee, WI, and worked at Bryant Stratton College as a Career Coordinator securing internships and employment opportunities for students. With the birth of a beautiful but medically fragile daughter, Sarah opened a Licensed Family Daycare in West Allis, WI. Years later, she earned her Cross Categorical K-12 Special Education License as a master's student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. For 8 years, Sarah worked in special education within the elementary environment. She has experience working in Cross-Categorical roles such as co-teaching in general education classrooms and delivering pull-out specialized instruction. Sarah has also functioned as a Learning Disability teacher, an Emotional Behavioral Teacher, and an Autism/Cognitive Disability head teacher within a self-contained Cognitive Disability/Autism Classroom. Now Sarah is starting her third year at WIVA High School. She loves working in a high school setting and is eager to support her students again this year.
Ashley Stella | High School Special Programs Teacher
I grew up in Ironwood, Michigan which is on the westernmost tip of the U.P. bordering Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to the Twin Cities and earned my undergraduate degree in psychology. I started subbing as a paraprofessional in various districts until I accepted a position at Waunakee Heritage and Intermediate schools. While working as a para, I attended graduate school and obtained my teaching license from Edgewood College. I started my first teaching position at JYMS in Baraboo. My husband and I were ready to start a family, so we decided to move back to Northern Wisconsin to be near our parents and extended families. I took a position in Mellen at the elementary level and a year later we welcomed Arlo into our family. I was given the opportunity to teach at my former school in Ironwood, which I did for the past 5 years at the K-12 levels. We found out I was pregnant with our second child soon after the pandemic started, and we welcomed Arik into our family in December of 2020. Our family enjoys spending time with both Nanas and Papas, gardening and being outside. We spend many days at the local lakes and plan to build a cabin on our lake property next summer. Arlo was recently accepted to WIVA and we are both very excited to start the school year!
Kendra Tharp | High School Special Programs Teacher
My name is Kendra Tharp and I am really excited about working at WIVA as a high school special education teacher. This will be my 10th year teaching, and I’m looking forward to supporting students in the virtual setting. I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Pewaukee, Wisconsin 3 years ago. That does mean I’m a Cardinals fan (sorry Brewers fans!) :) In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my dog Morrison, enjoying the lake, eating at new restaurants, and traveling. I also just got engaged this summer, so I think I’ll have my hands full with wedding planning soon!
Amy Wandler | High School Special Programs Teacher
I am Amy Wandler. I received a Master's Degree in Special Education in 2010. I have worked with individuals with special needs for over 20 years. I started with WIVA in August of 2020. What a great year of growth that was for all of us. Since working at WIVA, I taught at the middle school and high school levels. Along with being a teacher, I have two boys and a dog. We enjoy baseball, being outside, and spending time together. I LOVE sushi, coffee, and Amazon.
Phil Von Oepen | High School Special Programs Teacher
Hello my name is Phil Von Oepen and I am the High School Special Ed. teacher for Destinations Career Academy. Professionally, I have taught Special Ed. for a total of 8 years and this is my second year at DCA. I have two children, ages 25 and 23, 2 dogs, and a cat (kinda an animal lover). My hobbies include any sport of any kind and being an avid Wisconsin sports fan. Go Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Bucks. I love to teach and am looking forward to this year!
Special Programs (ID) Staff
Elizabeth Boese | Special Programs (ID) Teacher
I have had the privilege of working alongside individuals with differing abilities as they explore how to develop the skills they have to increase their independence, connections, and self-actualization for over a decade. In the school setting, I have worked in both co-taught and self-contained classrooms and have enjoyed the unique growth opportunities each have provided. I have enjoyed working at WIVA because of the relationships I have been able to build with students and families all across the state. In my spare time I enjoy biking, hiking, and gardening in the summer and skiing in the winter. My favorite place to be is under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book.
Cassie Wolfgram | Speech and Language Therapist
Mrs. Wolfgram lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and children. She obtained her undergraduate degree from UW Milwaukee and her master's degree from George Washington University in May of 2000. Since then, she has been a speech-language pathologist working with children in a variety of settings, including schools, treatment centers, clinical settings, and many years as a virtual school speech therapist. She has a specialization in and passion for augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) and strives to empower students and their families. Mrs. Wolfgram enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, going to comedy shows and being involved in her children’s school/community activities. She is grateful to work with our amazing students and families and to be a part of the WIVA team!
Jeanette Heitmann | Speech and Language Therapist
I have been a practicing speech pathologist for over 30 years and have been very fortunate to work in several different settings throughout my career. I am excited to now be working for WIVA. My career started in outpatient pediatric services and later moved into school based services. I have lived in Lake Mills for 34 years and continue to enjoy my proximity to both Madison and Milwaukee, our beautiful lake here in town, and being close to many bike paths. Our family remains close despite the physical distance between us- with my son and his wife living outside Milwaukee and my daughter living in Munich, Germany. I have many hobbies and interests including bicycling, travel, gardening, hiking, and home renovation.
Aaron Reese | Speech and Language Therapist
Aaron has been a speech-language pathologist for almost 20 years. In his career as an SLP, he has worked in early intervention, public schools, long-term care, home health, and in healthcare administration. After 13 years of working in the healthcare setting, Aaron returned to the school setting. He enjoys taking short road trips, coffee, and checking out new restaurants. Aaron is originally from California and first moved to Wisconsin in 2007 to work on his doctorate.
Miriam Mueller-Owens | K-5 Coordinator
bio coming soon
Vonda Johnson | Middle School ELL Teacher
Vonda Johnson lives near Phillips, in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She joined our team in the 2019–2020 school year. She is a special education teacher and has also taught ELL and alternative education. Ms. Johnson has lived and taught in Mexico and enjoys traveling there every year! She has also taught in Minneapolis and Western Wisconsin. She likes to kayak, 4-wheel, ride her moped, read, do crafts, and travel! She is very excited to be a virtual teacher at WIVA.
Jeanne Boettcher | High School ELL Teacher
Ms. Boettcher is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and Education, and a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She completed her certification in History at UW-Oshkosh and her certifications in ESL and Bilingual Education from Edgewood College. She has taught K–12 Spanish for 26 years and spent 27 years teaching Spanish college transfer courses at Madison College. Nine of the 26 years she also taught English Language Learners. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, gardening and boating.
Benny Delgado | Special Programs Mentor / Translator
Hi, I am Benny Delgado and I am fairly new to WIVA. I am a special programs mentor for K-12. I speak four different languages and am currently learning a fifth. In my free time I love to travel, trying different restaurants and establishments, across the state of Wisconsin. I’m a huge soccer geek who also coaches and works in pro soccer. I look forward to meeting the needs of our ELL families in our online environment.
Jenn lives near Madison, Wisconsin with her son. Most recently she has worked in K-4 education both as a substitute teacher and special education paraprofessional. She has experience working in a virtual school environment and over 15 years of experience in education through a variety of rolls ranging from 3k to university. While working at the University of Missouri – St. Louis she worked with local and visiting artists to help keep kids off the streets and engaged in their community in a more positive way. After graduating with her BFA, specializing in graphic design and photography, she spent 13 years working as a recipe developer, blogger, editor, and photographer. In her spare time, she teaches martial arts where her group has a focus on leadership skills. The concept of quiet leadership is one that she really has a passion for and is a skillset she enjoys focusing on with students who are more reluctant to engage with their peers. She also has a passion for teaching math and reading but enjoys supporting in many other rolls as well. She is currently pursuing her degree in Special Education so she can teach full time.
My name is Nicole Wilke. I live in Milton, WI with my family of 5. My husband, Nathan and I have 3 kiddos, Annabelle (16), Cael (14) and Seth (10) and a Goldendoodle, Meadow. We spend a lot of time watching our kiddos do what they love, Seth and Cael at the hockey rinks, baseball fields, golf courses and Annabelle at the volleyball gym and track fields. In my spare time I love to ski, exercise, bake, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
In 2002, I received my Associates Degree from Blackhawk Technical College. I started working in the education field in 2002, I have held a variety of positions including University services associate, paraprofessional, substitute special education aide and preschool teacher.