Family Academic Support 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. She is committed to the FAST mission that "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” and is dedicated to supporting Learning Coaches as they encourage learning and create accountability for their children.


Michelle Polyakov, FAST Re-Engage Lead and FEA

Masha PolyakovMichelle Polyakov is the FAST Reengagement 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 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 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 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 is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned 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.


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.


Michelle Patterson, Grades 6-8 Family Academic Support Liaison (FASL)

Michelle PattersonMichelle Patterson served many roles in the virtual education field before joining WIVA, including special education secretary, student services, attendance, and student advising. When she started in virtual education in 2009, she knew that this is where she wanted to use her skills and passion to serve students and their families. Michelle is an advocate for student success and is excited to help out in whatever capacity she can. She looks forward to serving the students and their families at WIVA and is excited to be a part of this team.


Janell Stevens, High School Strong Start Onboarding Specialist

Janell StevensJanell Stevens brings more than 10 years of experience from both the brick and mortar and online schools. Janell is passionate about encouraging students to reach for their goals and achieve success. She has earned her BS degree in Management from the University of Phoenix as well as a diploma in Fashion Merchandising from the Art Institute. Janell lives in Grantsburg, WI with her husband. They have two children who are currently attending college. In her free time, she enjoys fitness, spending time on the water, kayaking and fishing with her family. Janell looks forward to serving the families of WIVA and DCA.


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!


Jackie Morrow, High School Family Academic Support Liaison (FASL)

Jackie MorrowJackie Morrow is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She has degrees in German and Anthropology. While at UWO Jackie interacted with other students in multiple roles, such as Community Advisor, group exercise instructor, and undergraduate researcher. Jackie has been with WIVA since 2014 and enjoys guiding students in developing a desire to get the most out of their education. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, teaching classes, and learning how to cook.


Katie Larson, High School 9th Grade Advisor

Katie LarsonKatie Larson has a BA in Journalism from Marquette University. Prior to working for WIVA, she was a Secondary English Educator with several certifications, including speech communication and journalism. Returning back to school in 2007, Katie pursued her teaching degree alongside her Master's Degree at Mount Mary University. She taught at the high school level for 7 years in the surrounding suburbs of Milwaukee. In 2015, Katie and her family moved to Eau Claire, WI to raise their daughter. At this point, Katie moved from teaching children to teaching adults at a prominent manufacturing company. She has a passion for learning, experiencing, and exploring and loves to mix old ideas with new technologies. Her motto is always learning. She is delighted to begin working with students, parents, and faculty members in this new position, and she can't wait to share her love of learning to help continue to empower the next generation of learners. 


Mary Price, High School 10th Grade 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. 


Bill Brazier, High School 11th Grade 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, he 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 teaching in the virtual world at WIVA. Bill has a passion for helping students succeed and finding alternative ways of helping them understand the content.  He is excited to start this new chapter of his teaching career.


Toni Flood, High School 12th Grade 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 Civ 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!