Student Support Services Team

FAST (Family Academic Support Team)

The Family Academic Support Team supports student success at Wisconsin Virtual Academy. Our team offers support to the student, including working with the family as a unit, by removing barriers to the child’s academic success. We work in partnership with your teachers to support their efforts and your engagement in learning. Please take a moment to get to know your team.  

Our mission: The Family Academic Support Team (FAST) is committed to partnering with Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA) and Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin (DCA) families and staff to help each student achieve success through advocacy, engagement, and empowerment to become independent, lifelong learners.

Justine Johnson, FAST Engage Lead and FEC

Justine JohnsonJustine Johnson is the FAST Engage lead/FEC. She came to WIVA at the beginning of the 2007 school year, bringing with her previous experience and expertise in leadership, not-for-profit business administration, customer support, sales and marketing, and executive administrative support. Her first endeavor was to assist in opening the high school, which launched in the 2007–2008 school year. In the years she has served at WIVA, she's been in the capacities of admin support, community development manager, state testing logistics, student/learning coach support, high school advisor and, now, ENGAGE lead and family engagement coordinator. In her role, she is excited to bring her knowledge of curriculum and systems and her focus on creating a community for Learning Coaches and their students at WIVA and DCA. She is committed to the students at our schools, and is dedicated to supporting Learning Coaches as they encourage learning and build fun and educational accountability for their children's schooling.


Michelle Polyakov, FAST Re-Engage Lead and FEA

Masha PolyakovMichelle Polyakov is the FAST Re-Engage Lead/FEA at WIVA and DCA. She received her bachelor’s degrees from Drake University with a degree in Secondary Education and English. She moved, after graduation, to Delavan, WI from the North suburbs of Chicago to be closer to her family. She’s worked in alternative education and charter schools since her sophomore year of college and loves the flexibility and connectivity to families in alternative education. She is thrilled to be a part of the WIVA/DCA FASTeam, and to be able to support students in their educational success! In her free time, she loves diving into a good book, experimenting in the kitchen, and messing around with her puppy!


Jodell Gagnow, Family Compliancy Liaison (FCL), FAST

Jodell GagnowJodell Gagnow, Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker (CAPSW) graduated from George Williams College with her Masters of Social Work (MSW), graduated from Marian University with a BSW and Fox Valley Technical College for dental assisting. She has served on the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Wisconsin Board of Directors and has previously worked eight years as a dental technician. Jodell enjoys spending time with family and loves spending time outside. She has a passion for helping students learn about their strengths and building new life skills.


Kerry Marren, Family Resource Coordinator (FRC), FAST

Kerry MarrenKerry Marren has been working with at-risk middle school and high school students in Illinois, Washington State and Wisconsin for over 8 years. Kerry received her degree in Communication Journalism from DePere University in Chicago. She left the corporate world to pursue her passion for helping students achieve success both socially and academically through positive educational experiences. Kerry is excited to join the Wisconsin Virtual Academy team as the Family Resource Coordinator where she will continue to pursue her goal to help every student have the resources they need to succeed.


Advisors & Family Academic Support Liaisons (FASL)

Laura Dollar, K–8 Strong Start Onboarding Specialist

Laura DollarLaura Dollar earned a bachelor's degrees in family resources and consumer science and education with a pre-K through 12th grade teaching certification. She has more than 20 years of experience in home-based education and five years teaching experience in a public brick-and-mortar high school. Laura is passionate about education and is enthusiastic about assisting families who choose WIVA to educate their students.


Traci Brande, Grades K-5 Advisor

Traci BrandeTraci Brande joined WIVA during the 2019-20SY. Traci started her post-high school education with a 2-year Accounting degree. She worked in the business field until their oldest child was born and then chose to be a stay-at-home mom. Traci and her husband are the proud parents of 6 teenage children; one adopted at birth, two biological, and three adopted as “older” kids through the foster care system. Traci home-schooled their children for several years and loved it! She was able to help her children to discover their learning styles and strengths and watch them grow. Traci also has experience helping her own children with learning disabilities of various types as well as working through trauma.

Traci and her family have been very involved in horse rescue over the last decade. They have intervened in over 60 horses lives to help them find safe places to land. The horses have played an integral part in healing for her children. Traci and her daughters love to ride and do so every chance we get. Other hobbies include reading, photography, scrapbooking and hiking with her husband and family.


Danelle Kraszewski, Grades K–5 Family Academic Support Liaison (FASL)

Danelle KrasziewskiDanelle Kraszewski enjoys working with students and families at WIVA. She shares that she is inspired by WIVA families, staff, teachers and students who courageously follow their vision and seek out new ways to participate in educational excellent. She graduated with a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and continued her studies as a graduate student at the University of South Florida.


Jennifer Macdonald, Middle School (Grades 6-8) Advisor

Jennifer MacdonaldJennifer Macdonald earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She did take three semesters of calculus as well. She taught elementary school for two and a half years on the Tohono O’Odham reservation outside of Tucson before having the first of four sons and staying home to raise them. During that time, she provided in home daycare and taught step aerobics classes at the local YMCA. She moved to Wisconsin in 1997 and has moved once again since then but luckily stayed in WI. When her youngest entered kindergarten, she began substitute teaching and subbed in all classrooms throughout her home district. This gave her rich and varied experiences working with students in all grade and ability levels. She joined WIVA in 2016 as the math intervention teacher and transitioned to middle school advisor in the 2019-20SY. Jennifer has really enjoyed the online environment and getting to know the students with whom she works. She runs 42 miles per week outside all year long and loves the time she has spent over the years watching her sons play soccer, football, hockey and baseball.


Rebekah Kellogg - Grades 6-8 Family Academic Support Liaison (FASL)

Michelle PattersonRebekah Kellogg is a former WIVA student herself. She is now married and she and her husband have been hosting exchange students for several years! They have hosted exchange students from Norway, France, Germany and Thailand. They have two dogs and a cat. In her free time, she enjoys escape rooms, board games and spending time with family. Rebekah is excited to join the Family Academic Support Team at Wisconsin Virtual Academy and looks forward to supporting the students here.


Rachael Trittelwitz, High School Strong Start Onboarding Specialist

Photo and bio coming soon!


Kristin Brazier, High School Family Academic Support Liaison (FASL)

Kristin BrazierKristin Brazier earned her BA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Marian University. She has taught for 18 years in both private and public school settings and is excited to begin this new opportunity with WIVA and the virtual school environment. Kristin enjoys working with students of all ages, building positive relationships with them, and helping them to be successful with their schooling. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family—husband and two children. In the warm weather their family loves to be outdoors—camping, playing sports, gardening and playing with their foxhound, Tipsy!


Bill Brazier, High School Advisor

Bill BrazierBill Brazier is a graduate of Marian University where he received both his teaching certification and BS in Business Administration. He is also working toward completion of his Masters in General Education at Marian University. At WIVA, Bill has also taught math to students in grades 6-8. Before WIVA, Bill taught 3rd—4th grade split class and summer school math classes for grades 2–7. He has taken many on-line courses and is looking forward to supporting students in their virtual schooling. Bill has a passion for helping students succeed and is excited to continue this new chapter of his career.


Toni Flood, High School Advisor

Toni FloodToni Flood comes from a teaching family with a sister and brother who are or were teachers. She was a home-schooling parent and "learning coach" having educated her three sons for all of their schooling and three nephews through high school (she taught World History so many times she was able to CLEP out of Western Civilization when she returned to college). Toni and her family were a part of the very first Wisconsin virtual charter school, Connections Academy, and were a part of the very first year of WIVA. When she was finished with the responsibilities of their education, Toni returned to being a student herself and finished her undergrad degree at the college her grandmother had graduated from 75 years earlier - and, yes, her grandmother was there for her graduation ceremony!


Colleen Podbielski, High School Advisor

Mary Price

Colleen received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Marquette University. Her work in education began when their two children went to a parochial school and she started as an aide in preschool and then moved on to being the school librarian/building substitute. When it was time for a change in their education, they found Wisconsin Virtual Academy. Both Colleen’s son and daughter started at WIVA in elementary school, graduated from WIVA and are attending college at Concordia University.

In her spare time, you can find Colleen watching their two children compete in taekwondo events, hiking, gardening, or reading.

Colleen has seen firsthand the difference a virtual education can make for children, and is excited to join the WIVA and DCA team!


Mary Price, High School Advisor

Mary PriceBefore coming to WIVA and DCA, Mary Price worked in a pharmaceutical manufacturing company as a Purchasing and Inventory Control Manager. She has extensive background working with youth as an AWANA Commander, and also teaching lessons to youth at her church. She enjoys forming relationships and has a passion to serve others. Mary is a strong advocate for education and is excited to begin her new journey with students of WIVA and Destinations Career Academy. She is looking forward to serving others as a part of this team.