AIW Founders & Coaches
Meet our founders and Coaches in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Dr. Dana L. Carmichael
Dr. Dana L. Carmichael has worked in public education domestically and abroad since 1987 in a variety of roles, including classroom teacher, K–12 Social Studies Curriculum Specialist, Director of NCLB, and most recently Director of Staff Development. She is currently President of Dynamic Learner Consulting, Inc., and works with districts and schools to promote Authentic Intellectual Work.
Dr. M. Bruce King
Dr. M. Bruce King, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin–Madison, served as principal investigator with the Research Institute for Secondary School Reform for Youth with Disabilities and as consultant to two studies in Australia which extended the research on Authentic Intellectual Work. His teaching, scholarship, and outreach concentrate on instructional reform, professional community, and school and district leadership.
Dr. Fred M. Newmann
Dr. Fred M. Newmann, Emeritus Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin–Madison, directed the National Center on Organization and Restructuring Schools which generated the research base for Authentic Intellectual Work. Prior to his research on general school reform, Newmann contributed to research and curriculum development in social studies and civic education. He retired from the University of Wisconsin in 2001, and from affiliation with the Center in 2015. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amber Moore, Local Coach
Amber Moore is an educator at the Atlantic Middle School in Atlantic, IA. She currently teaches 8th grade science, is an AIW Local Coach, and a member of the district leadership team. She earned her bachelor's degree in middle school education from York College in York, NE in 2002.
Amy Block, Local Coach
Amy is in her 8th year of teaching music at Panorama Elementary. She is currently in her 25th year of teaching private piano lessons as well. Amy holds a BA in music with an education endorsement from Briar Cliff University. She has worked with AIW for two years and was part of the AIW Fine Arts cohort with the Panorama Community School District.
Andrew Sundberg, Local Coach
Andrew is in his 12th year of teaching in Laporte School, currently teaching mathematics in grades 5-8. He earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Bemidji State University. Involved in AIW for the past 3 years, Andrew was a member of the original pilot team and now serves as a local coach.
Angie Emerick, Local Coach
Angie is the high school instructional coach and local coach at Carroll High School. Previously, Angie was the physical science teacher at Carroll High for 5 years. She has also taught all high school courses at three other districts. Angie received her Bachelor's degree from Buena Vista University in 1999.
Ann Kluver, Local Coach
Ann teaches 8th grade reading at Carroll Middle School. She graduated from Buena Vista University in 2005 with a BA in Elementary Education and Special Education. She received her MS in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading in 2009 from Buena Vista University. Ann became a part of the AIW team upon joining the CMS staff in 2010.
Ayn Thoreson, Local Coach
Ayn is in her sixth year of teaching high school Spanish and is currently teaching at Spencer High School, with degrees in Spanish and Business Admin from Iowa State University. After working in the corporate world, she got her MA in Education and began teaching. She is a local coach and also serves on the District Leadership Team and 6-12 Professional Development Team.
Becky Koenig, Local Coach
Becky teaches 8th grade language arts at Spencer Middle School. During her 30 year teaching career, she has taught 6th-12th grade English, speech and drama, and reading. As a local AIW coach, Becky serves on the professional development team planning, organizing, and coordinating PD for the district.
Brad Reiman, Local Coach
Brad Reiman graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in education and endorsements in Mathematics and Special Education. Brad currently teaches 6th grade math at Spencer Middle School in Spencer, Iowa. Prior to that, he taught 6th grade at Lincoln Elementary also in Spencer.
Carla Lee, Lead Coach
Carla is currently an Instructional Coach for Northwest Area Education Agency. She holds a Master’s degree in Reading from Northwest Missouri State University and an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Kansas State University. She helps secondary teachers implement the English Language Arts Iowa Core. Carla supports North High School in Sioux City and West Monona School District in Onawa as an AIW Lead Coach and is a liaison for Hinton Middle and High School.
Carol King, Local Coach
Carol is a middle school math teacher in the Creston Community School District. She is an original member of the district’s professional development AIW Lead Team and now serves as an AIW Coach for the district. Carol is a graduate of Buena Vista University and holds a M. Ed. from Graceland University.
Carrie Thonstad, Local Coach
Carrie Thonstad is the Elementary Principal for the West Sioux School District. She has been an elementary educator in various roles for 15 years. She has experience as a Title I Reading specialist, Reading Recovery teacher, Multiage Classroom teacher, Classroom teacher and Elementary Administrator. She has been involved with AIW since 2010 and is a local coach for the district.
Catelin Santon, Local Coach
Catelin Santon has been a kindergarten teacher at the Creston Early Childhood Center in Creston, Iowa for 4 years. She has also taught a variety of dance classes in Creston for 3 years. Earning her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood from Central College, she is a part of the Elementary School Lead Team and joined the AIW movement in 2014.
Cathy Jochims, Local Coach
Cathy has taught third and fourth grade for 25 years, but recently accepted the elementary principal position at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn. She has an MAT from Morningside College and Administrative Certification through the Iowa Principal Leadership Academy, and also has National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. Cathy has served on the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn anchor team and is an AIW local coach for the district.
Chris White, Local Coach
Chris teaches high school English and is an AIW Local Coach at South O’Brien Schools, where he has served for 5 years. In the past, he has taught Talented & Gifted, junior high English, and coached speech and soccer. Chris earned his BA in English & Secondary Ed at Northwestern College in 2009.
Christin DeJong, Lead Coach
Christin is an instructional coach with Northwest Area Education Agency. Prior to her position there, Christin was an elementary teacher for seven years. She has been trained in Reading Recovery at the University of South Dakota and holds a Masters of Education degree in Reading from the University of Sioux Falls. Christin is currently an AIW Liaison for two schools and an AIW Coach for two schools.
Cory Heiman, Local Coach
Cory currently serves as the Dean of Students at Carroll Middle School in Carroll, Iowa and is an AIW Local Coach. Prior to this, he served six years as the Elementary Principal at Panorama Community Schools, taught 5th grade for four years at Maple Valley, and five years teaching 7th grade at Missouri Valley Community Schools.
Crista Limoges, Local Coach
Crista is in her 11th year of teaching English and Psychology at Sioux City North. She has her BS in Education from Morningside College and her MS in Administration from Wayne State. Crista has served on North’s AIW Lead Team for 4 years and now serves as the AIW Local Coach as well.
Dan Breyfogle, Local Coach
Dan has been a Social Studies teacher and athletic coach at Panorama Community Schools for the past 12 years. He obtained his BA in History/ Political Science Education from Iowa State University in 2000 and a MA in Educational Leadership from Drake University in 2007. Dan is currently a Local AIW Coach in the Middle School and High School at Panorama in Panora, Iowa.
Dana Merfeld, Local Coach
Dana is currently teaching in a K-1 multiage classroom at Monticello Community Schools in Monticello, IA. She has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa. She received her MA in Education from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI. Prior to Monticello, Dana spent 7 years teaching kindergarten and second grade in Cascade, IA. She has been involved with AIW since 2011 for the elementary buildings in Monticello.
Debbie Haywood, Local Coach
Debbie Haywood is an Instructional Guide at Central Elementary School in Nevada, IA. In her 24 years she has taught 1st-4th grade Multi-Age and Years 2-5 in England for eight years. Debbie a math trainer for Cognitively Guided Instruction and received a BA in Elementary Education and a Reading Endorsement from UNI, the British Teaching Qualification, and a Master’s in Effective Teaching, Learning and Leadership from Drake.
Debra Smith, Local Coach
Debra currently teaches 6th grade language arts at Panorama MS/HS. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education with an endorsement in science and reading from ISU. She has worked with AIW for four years in the Panorama District. She is a CRISS trainer and is on the teacher leadership team.
Elizabeth Hansen, Local Coach
Liz teaches English, reading and speech in the Grinnell-Newburg School District. She has a BA in Speech Communication from Iowa State University and her MA in Education from Viterbo University. Liz is a member of the AIW anchor team,serves on the building leadership team, and has served 3 terms as the Coach-at-Large on the Iowa High School Speech Association's Executive Committee.
Elli M. Wiemers, Local Coach
Elli has been a high school math teacher since 1990 and an instructional coach since 2009 at Spencer Community School District in Iowa. In her role as instructional coach, she plans and delivers professional development to support AIW and other district priorities to teachers of grades 6–12. Elli holds PreK–12 administrator endorsement, earned a Masters in School Mathematics from ISU, and was a National Board Certified Teacher from 2000 to 2010 in Adolescent and Young Adult Mathematics.
Eric Carlson, Local Coach
Eric Carlson teaches art at Kelliher Public School in Northern Minnesota, specializing in painting, drawing, 2-D design and graphic design. He received his Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Bemidji State University in 2004. He did his student teaching in Havelock North, New Zealand and worked with special needs students at Schoolcraft charter school in Turtle River for two years. Eric is a local coach for Kelliher.
Fred Nolan , Lead Coach
Fred has worked in public education in Minnesota as a 6th grade teacher, elementary and middle school principal, community education director, and superintendent of schools since 1974. He currently serves as external partner for Ogilvie, Minnesota Public Schools in their school improvement grant providing coaching in Authentic Intellectual Work, curriculum mapping, curriculum development, and teacher evaluation system development. Fred also serves as the executive director of the Minnesota Rural Education Association. Fred holds a Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota in Educational Administration with emphasis on communication, ethical leadership, and school culture.
Greg Ebeling, Local Coach
Greg has been the Superintendent of Pella Community Schools since 2011. Prior to Pella he spent seven years as superintendent in Spencer, and five years at Maquoketa Valley School in Delhi, Iowa. Greg started his career in as a math teacher and coach in Oskaloosa. He earned his B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College, his M.A. from Drake, and his superintendent's endorsement from UNI.
Gretchen Kriegel, Local Coach
Gretchen is the Curriculum, Assessment, and Grant Writing Director at Monticello Community School District in Monticello, Iowa. Prior to working for Monticello schools, she was an Assistant Sector Coordinator for Keystone Area Education Agency in Dubuque. Gretchen has her MA in Educational Leadership and is in the process of completing her graduate course work to obtain her Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. Before becoming a school administrator, Gretchen spent 10 years as a Special Education teacher holding positions that ranged from second grade to high school.
Heather Blakely, Local Coach
Heather is the 7th grade Science teacher at Fairfield Middle School, in Fairfield, Iowa. She holds a BA in Science Education from the University of Northern Iowa and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. Heather also holds endorsements in Earth Science, Chemistry, and Biology. She serves as a local AIW coach for her district.
Heather Ludwig, Local Coach
Heather currently teaches high school English and dual credit courses at Nevada Community Schools. Prior to teaching at Nevada, Heather taught at Greene Community Schools, Greene, Iowa. Heather earned her BA from Luther College, MSE from Drake University in Effective Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, and doctorate in Educational Leadership from Drake University.
Helen Kennedy, Local Coach
Helen is completing her 36th year as an educator, first in special education and the last 16 years in administration. Helen earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND and earned her administrative certification at St. Mary's University in Winona, MN. She currently serves as the 7-12 Principal at Bagley Junior Senior High School in Bagley, MN. Helen has been involved in AIW for three years.
Hope Bossard, Local Coach
Hope has been in education for the past 34 years and is currently the Director of Curriculum and School Improvement at Gilbert Community Schools. Prior to Gilbert, she taught high school English, speech, and psychology before becoming the coordinator for the Effective Teaching Masters Program at Drake University. Hope earned a BA from Iowa State University, then MSE and Specialist degrees from Drake University. She has been a part of AIW since its pilot year.
Jan Hansen, Local Coach
Jan is a middle school special education teacher in her 8th year at Panorama Schools in Panora, Iowa. Jan is a Northwest Missouri State University graduate with a BS in Elementary Education and Special Education, in her 16th year of teaching. Jan is an AIW anchor team member and now serves as an AIW Local Coach and as a Professional Learning Coach in the secondary building.
Janelle Schorg, Lead Coach
Janelle Schorg is currently an Instructional Coach and Math Consultant for Northwest Area Education Agency. Prior to her current position, she taught middle school Math and Reading for 8 years. Janelle holds a Master Educator License, including a BA in Elementary Education, and endorsements in middle school, math, and coaching. She is also a Cognitively Guided Instruction Leader in the state of Iowa. Janelle serves three school teams as an AIW Liaison and works with two school districts as Lead AIW Coach.
Jarrod O'Donnell, Local Coach
Jarrod O’Donnell earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Buena Vista University and his Master in Music Education from Kent State University. He is an adjudicator and clinician for the IHSMA and individual contests around the state. As the high school Band Director at the Atlantic Community School District, Jarrod is actively involved with SWIBA Honor Band, AIW coaching, and TLC leadership.
Jean Kehoe, Local Coach
Jean is currently the K-4 Literacy Specialist at Monticello Community Schools in Monticello, IA. She has undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Psychology from the University of Iowa and Elementary Education from Coe College. She received her MA in Mathematics for the Middle Grades from the University of Northern Iowa. Prior to coming to Monticello, Jean spent 11 years teaching fifth grade and Title 1 math.
Jeff Struck, Lead Coach
Jeff is a Mathematics Consultant for Area Education Agency 267. He provides school improvement consulting along with technical assistance and leadership concerning Iowa Core Mathematics. Previously, he was a MS and HS mathematics teacher and a computer science programming teacher. Jeff holds a MS degree from the University of Iowa and a Master Educator’s License. He is an AIW Lead Coach and Liaison for districts in AEA 267.
Jeff Tadsen, Local Coach
Jeff Tadsen is a K-5 art instructor in the Indianola Community School District in Iowa. He has taught art education for the past twenty years. Jeff was named Outstanding Elementary Art Educator for the state of Iowa in 1998. In addition to teaching, Jeff has served in a leadership capacity within various committees and school improvement groups and currently is serving as a local AIW coach for the district.
Jennifer Huling, Local Coach
Jennifer graduated from The University of Iowa and is a Nationally Board Certified English Language Arts teacher at Northeast Community School District where she teaches American Writings, World Literature, and Media. She coaches speech and golf and serves on the building leadership team and as a mentor for other teachers. Jennifer was a member of the pilot team for AIW at Northeast in 2008 and is a local AIW coach for her district.
Jerry Raymond, Local Coach
Jerry is currently the middle school principal at Carroll Community Schools for the past ten years. Additional administration duties were at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Middle School (six years) and Greene Jr/Sr High School (three years). Jerry earned his master’s degree in Educational Administration from Drake University.
Jessica Hillers, Local Coach
Jessica has been a high school English teacher at Monticello High School in Monticello, Iowa, for the past five years. She holds a BA in English-Teaching and an MA in English (TESS) from the University of Northern Iowa. At Monticello, Jessica is part of the high school’s building leadership team and School Improvement Advisory Committee.
Jessica Larsen, Local Coach
Jessica teaches third grade at Washington Elementary for the Atlantic Community School District. This is her ninth year of teaching and is an AIW local coach for the district as well. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Buena Vista University and Master's degree from Graceland University.
Jill Parker, Local Coach
Jill Parker graduated from Simpson College with a degree in Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and Early Childhood. She is currently in her fourth year of teaching at Panorama Elementary in fourth grade. She serves as an AIW Local Coach and Mentor Teacher on the District Leadership Team.
Jim Edgeton, Local Coach
Jim Edgeton has directed the marching band, 10-12 concert band and jazz band at Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Iowa since 1992. He sponsors the local chapter of National Honor Society and serves as a local AIW coach. Jim holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Music Education degree from Southern Methodist University. His previous teaching experiences were in Goldfield, Iowa and Dallas, Texas.
Joan Fredrickson, Local Coach
Joan Fredrickson is the K-12 teacher librarian for the Panorama School District in Panora, Iowa. She received her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa, her B.A. in Elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa and her B.S. in Sociology from Iowa State University. She is an AIW anchor team member and a professional learning coach at the Elementary.
Joan Nikkel, Local Coach
Joan is a 7th grade literature teacher at the Pella Middle School. Prior to working in Pella, Joan taught 4th grade in Oskaloosa. She has also been a Reading Plus teacher as well as a 6th grade language arts teacher in Pella. Joan holds an elementary degree with an English minor and endorsements in reading and language arts. At Pella, Joan also serves as a local AIW coach.
Jody Herbold, Lead Coach
Jody is a science consultant and instructional coach with Northwest Area Education Agency. Previously, Jody was a middle school science and history teacher for 9 years. She has a BS in Animal Science from Iowa State University, a BA in Education from Buena Vista University, a Professional Educator Masters from Morningside College, and a K-12 Administrative license from the Iowa Principal Leadership Academy. Jody currently is an AIW Coach in two schools and an AIW Liaison in two schools.
Joe Mueting, Local Coach
Joe has been the high school principal at Spencer Community Schools for the past six years. Additional administration duties were at Spalding Catholic HS and Sheldon HS. He earned his master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Dakota. His first experience in AIW was as part of the Spencer High School pilot team in 2007.
John Fernstrum, Local Coach
John is currently a junior/senior high American History teacher at South O'Brien School. He has served as the Athletic Director and coached several sports as well. He has a BA in Political Science from Northwestern College and a Masters in Education from the University of Sioux Falls. John hopes to finish soon his Educational Doctorate from the University of St. Thomas.
Josh Manning, Local Coach
Josh has been the middle school principal at Pella Community Schools for the past four years. Additional administration duties were at Oskaloosa Elementary and Waukee Schools. Josh's master’s is in Educational Leadership from Iowa State University with his undergraduate degree from Central College. His first experience in AIW was as a pilot team member in 2011.
Julie Weidenthaler, Local Coach
Julie earned her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Nevada Reno and has been teaching for 29 years. She is currently in her 13th year at Panorama where she teaches middle school science. She was part of their pilot AIW team five years ago and now serves her district as a local coach and as a mentor on the teacher leadership team.
Karen Komulainen, Local Coach
Karen is a 7-12 Social Studies & Spanish teacher at Laporte Public School in northern Minnesota where she is in her twentieth year of teaching. She earned her Social Studies Education Bachelor's Degree from Adams State College in Colorado and her Spanish Education degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. She received her MS in Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment from Walden University in 2006.
Kate Sutton, Local Coach
Kathleen (Kate) Sutton teaches eighth grade language arts at Nevada Middle School, Nevada, Iowa, where she has been since 1998. Previously, Kate taught in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and Remsen, Iowa. She received her BA from Iowa State University and ME from Viterbo University. Kate has served on building and district teams including Iowa Core, School Improvement, and a member of the pilot AIW team.
Kathleen Snyder, Local Coach
Kathleen teaches ESL, TAG, and MS Second Chance Reading at Ar-We-Va School District. She earned her Bachelor's degree from ISU in Teaching PreKindergarten/Kindergarten Children and her Master's degree from Morningside College. She also has her ESL, TAG, K-12 Reading, and PreK-12 Administrator endorsements. She serves as the local coach for Ar-We-Va.
Kathy Steinmetz, Local Coach
Kathy teaches Special Education at Bagley High School and has worked in the district for 27 years. She earned her BS degree from Moorhead State University in Physical Education and Health Education. She has her coaching, SLD, MMI, and E/BD certifications. She earned her MS degree from Bemidji State University in Special Education with a focus on Reading.
Katy Evenson, Lead Coach
Katy Evenson currently serves as a school improvement consultant with Northwest Area Education Agency located in the northwest corner of Iowa. Prior to her current position, she was a business education teacher and curriculum coordinator for 13 years. Katy holds a Master of Arts degree in Teaching and is completing her PreK-12 Educational Administration endorsement. Katy is currently a Lead AIW Coach for five schools and serves as an AIW Liaison for two schools.
Kedra Hamilton, Local Coach
Kedra Hamilton currently teaches 1st and 2nd grade Multi-Age at Nevada Central Elementary School. This is her 13th year of teaching. She earned her BA in Elementary Education from Iowa State University and her MA from Drake University in Effective Teaching, Learning, and Leadership.
Kelly Borchers, Local Coach
Kelly has taught for a total of 20 years, beginning her career at East Monona and Charter Oak-Ute with the last 18 years teaching gifted & talented in the Carroll CDS. . Kelly holds a BA in history/sociology from the University of Northern Iowa with a G and T endorsement from Morningside College. She is a local AIW coach at Carroll Middle School.
Kevin Hosbond, Local Coach
Kevin has taught English and speech at Fairfield High School since 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication Education with an English endorsement from Iowa State University. He also holds a Master of Education degree in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University. He is an award-winning IHSSA speech coach, AIW enthusiast, and first-year Local Coach in Fairfield.
Kim Carlson, Local Coach
Kim currently serves as the 5–12 teacher-librarian in the Monticello Community School district. She has worked in the Monticello School District for the past 20 years. Kim has a Masters degree in Library Media Specialist from the University of Northern Iowa, and she is currently a Lead AIW Coach for both the high school and the middle school in Monticello.
Kim Goodwin, Local Coach
Kim has been an educator for 30 years, the past 5 as principal of Laporte K-12 School in Northern MN. She received her BS in Physical Education from UW-LaCrosse, her MS in Special Education from Bemidji State University and her Administration degree from St Cloud State University. She has taught Physical Education, Adapted Physical Education and Health Careers, and is now a local coach in Laporte.
Laura Atwood, Local Coach
Laura is currently the principal at the Fairfield Middle School in Fairfield, Iowa. Prior to her current position, she taught high school and middle school social studies in North Carolina. Laura holds a MA in Educational Leadership and a BA in Social Sciences, with a Spanish minor and Talented and Gifted endorsement.
Laura Hensley, Local Coach
Laura Hensley has a Bachelors of Science with Secondary Education endorsement from Illinois State University. She has taught Social Sciences and English at the secondary level and was an Alternative Education director. She received her Masters of Science in Education at Western Oregon University. Laura currently is the At-Risk Coordinator at West Sioux Middle and High Schools in Hawarden, IA.
Lesa Downing, Local Coach
Lesa taught high school and middle school Social Studies at the Creston Community School District in Iowa for sixteen years and began her career as 6-12 Instructional Coach in 2012. She works with the Lead Team to plan and support professional learning. Lesa graduated from Iowa State University with her Masters in Educational Leadership and she received her undergraduate degree in Education from Southern Illinois University.
Linda Zillig, Local Coach
Linda is in her second year as the Instructional Coach/GT Facilitator at George Washington Middle School in Dubuque, Iowa. Prior to that, she spent 13 years in special education at the high school level and 7 years teaching third grade. Linda also serves as an AIW local coach for her district.
Lindsey Good, Local Coach
Lindsey Good will begin her first year as a mentor teacher and instructional strategist at Gilbert Middle School in the 2014-2015 school year. She has taught middle school math and science in Des Moines and Gilbert over the last 6 years. Lindsey holds an MS in Teacher Effectiveness and Professional Development from Drake University.
Lisa Greenig, Local Coach
Lisa Greenig began her teaching career in 1995. In 2004 she accepted a full-time teaching position at Fairfield Community School District. Currently, she teaches Title math for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. Lisa holds a Master Educator license. She has been involved with AIW since 2012 and became a local coach in 2014.
Lisa Wiese, Local Coach
Lisa Wiese serves at the PK-6 Elementary Principal and PK-12 Curriculum Director for the South O’Brien School District. Previously, she taught in elementary special education and general education classrooms. Lisa received her BA and MAT from Morningside College and her PK-12 administrative degree through the Iowa Principal Leadership Academy. She has served on the district’s AIW Lead Team since 2011.
Liz Labath, Local Coach
Liz Labath was born and raised in St. Louis and continues the family business of being an educator. She received her BA from Central Missouri State and her teaching degree from Drake University. Liz has happily taught 2nd grade for the Panorama district for the past 25 years.
Lorilee Boxleiter Hamel, Local Coach
Lorilee Boxleiter Hamel is currently a 6-12 educational programmer for the Dubuque Community School District and is also the Higher Education Liaison. Lorilee taught middle school English/language Arts for 25 years. She received a BA in English from Loras College and her MS in education from the University of Wisconsin in Platteville. Lorilee is a local coach for the district and is charged with implementing and supporting AIW in all 18 of the Dubuque schools
Louise Bass, Local Coach
Louise earned a Bachelors of Art degree in vocal, band and elementary music with piano performance from the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. She has taught K-12 music at Laporte Public School in Laporte, MN for over 20 years. She is a member of the pilot team and an AIW local coach.
Lucinda Boyd, Local Coach
Lucinda has been educating students in Humboldt, Iowa, for 19 years. Her current roles include K–8 vocal music, curriculum leader for physical education/music/art, and Local AIW Coach for the Humboldt district, working closely with the elementary schools. Lucinda received her Bachelor of Music Education degree and Bachelor of Music degree from Iowa State University where she is now finishing her graduate studies in Educational Leadership. Lucinda will complete her K–12 administrator endorsement requirements this fall.
Maggie Davis, Local Coach
Maggie Davis has been a 3rd and 4th grade multi-age teacher at Nevada Central Elementary for 5 years. She graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a BS in Elementary Education and will begin her master's program in the fall of 2014. Maggie was part of the AIW pilot team at Central Elementary in 2013, and she serves Nevada as a local AIW coach.
Marci Dunlap, Local Coach
Marci Dunlap currently serves as the Fairfield CSD curriculum director and local coach. She has been in education since 1993, teaching secondary English until 2007 and earned National Board Certification in 2004. She earned her MA in English Education and PK-12 certification from the University of Iowa. Fairfield CSD has practiced AIW since 2009.
Marcia Knupp, Lead Coach
Marcia Knupp serves as a school improvement consultant for Iowa's Area Education Agency 267 and is a Lead AIW Coach. For seven years, she has coordinated the mentoring and induction program for AEA 267. Previously, Marcia taught literacy at Union Middle school in Dysart, Iowa where she earned National Board Certification and had the honor of being chosen as a Gold Star Teacher. Marcia holds a BA from the University of Northern Iowa and an MA from Viterbo College in LaCrosse, WI.
Marilyn Nickel, Lead Coach
Marilyn currently serves as a Literacy Consultant for Green Hills Area Education Agency. Prior to that, she spent 25 years as an elementary classroom teacher and an additional six years as an instructional coach/Title teacher. She received her Masters and her K-12 Reading Specialist degree from Viterbo University in LaCrosse. Marilyn is currently serving as a Lead Coach for the Creston Community School District.
Marilyn Olsen, Lead Coach
Marilyn “Millie” Olsen is currently an Instructional Coach and Assessment Consultant for Northwest Area Education Agency, previously serving as a Special Education Consultant. Millie has also been an elementary Special Education teacher. She holds a Master Educator License in Curriculum and Instruction and a BA in Elementary Education and an endorsement Special Education. Millie serves as Liaison for two schools and is an AIW coach in three other school districts.
Mark Solomon, Local Coach
Mark has been a Social Studies teacher for 14 years at the middle and high school levels and head boys soccer coach in Texas and Iowa, Mark is a member of the building leadership team at Pella Community High School, where he has taught and coached for the past 6 years. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in History and from Sam Houston State University with an MA in Administration and Supervision.
Mary E. Heck, Local Coach
Mary Heck is currently a consulting teacher at East High School in Sioux City, IA. Her classroom experience of 26 years was divided between secondary Language Arts and Biology. She is an AIW Local Coach who earned her bachelor's degree in English and Biology and her Master’s in Secondary Administration from Wayne State College, with a masters plus thirty having also attended Colorado State University.
Mary Schmidt, Lead Coach
Mary has been an Iowa educator for 33 years as a junior high and high school English and speech teacher, a facilitator of middle and high school gifted programs, and most recently a consultant at Heartland AEA in Johnston, IA. At Heartland she serves half time as the agency-wide gifted education consultant and half time as a professional learning and leadership consultant supporting AIW and other district needs. Mary is a graduate of Iowa State University (BA, Speech/English) and the University of Northern Iowa (MAE, Gifted Education) and earned National Board Certification in 2001 (early adolescence generalist). She is currently the AIW Coach for one school district and is the AIW liaison in two others, with coaching responsibilities to be added as more Heartland AEA schools engage in AIW.
Maryann Angeroth, Lead Coach
This is Maryann’s thirty-seventh year in education. She has a Master’s of Library Science and an Associate’s Degree in Micro-Computer Networking. She served 28 years as librarian at St. Albert Catholic Schools, where she helped bring the school into the digital age by implementing an automated library system while supporting the school’s computer network for over 1,000 students and staff. Green Hills Area Education Agency employs Maryann as an Instructional Technology and Continuous Improvement Consultant to support schools in southwest Iowa. Maryann is currently the Lead AIW Coach at four schools and serves as an AIW Liaison at two schools
Meg Frideres, Local Coach
Meg Frideres has taught social studies, including AP and honors, at Nevada High School for the past 13 years. She is a member of her district’s professional development team and served as a member of her building’s AIW pilot team. She has a BA in history with an educational endorsement from University of Iowa.
Melanie Rasmussen, Local Coach
Melanie is finishing her 4th year of teaching kindergarten at Washington Elementary in Atlantic. She holds a BA in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Education. She has worked as an AIW lead for the district for 2 years and has become a certified local coach, enjoying her time preparing for her journey into AIW leadership.
Melissa Hesner, Lead Coach
Melissa is a School Improvement and Science Consultant with AEA 267. Prior to her current position, she was a HS chemistry/physics and MS science teacher for 15 years. Melissa holds a MA in Science Education and a K-12 Administrative license. She is currently an AIW Coach for several schools in AEA 267.
Melissa Jones, Local Coach
Melissa is an Instructional Strategist at the Intermediate building for the Gilbert Community School District. She taught 4th grade before accepting the strategist position. Her bachelor's degree is in early childhood and elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa and her masters is in elementary education from Viterbo University.
Melissa Stell, Local Coach
Melissa Stell has been employed at Spencer Middle School, in Spencer Iowa for 15 years; she teaches 8th grade Math and Algebra I. She has her BA in Elementary Education with endorsements in Middle School, Math, and Coaching from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Melissa has been involved with AIW for 5 years and serves as local coach for her district.
Michele Dirkx, Local Coach
Michele has been a high school English teacher in the Spencer Community School District for twenty years. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern College in 1993 and her MA degree in Curriculum from Buena Vista University in 2000. In addition to her AIW involvement, she currently serves as a member of the District Leadership and 6-12 professional development teams.
Michelle Weber, Local Coach
Michelle Weber is an Instructional Coach/GT Facilitator at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Dubuque, Iowa and previously taught 7th grade science for eight years. She received a BA in elementary education from Loras College and her MS in science education from Montana State University. She also serves as an adjunct professor of education for the University of Dubuque.
Mona Yanacheak, Lead Coach
Mona is currently employed at Northwest Area Education Agency as an Instructional Coach and regional CTE Consultant and Counselor Support. She also serves on the Iowa Core Lead Team, State Leadership Team for Social Studies, and as a certified Fierce Conversations trainer. Mona has been an educator for more than 30 years with an MA in Leadership. She is serving as an AIW Liaison and Lead AIW Coach in several schools in northwest Iowa.
Nicole Galliart, Local Coach
Nicole has taught special education at Nevada and currently teaches 8th grade. A member of the Nevada AIW Anchor team and Local Coach at the MS, Nicole also worked at Roland-Story and Mt. Pleasant. She earned her Bachelor’s in Vocal Music Education from Iowa State University in 1995, her Special Education Certification through the Regents’ Endorsement Initiative, and her Master’s of Education from Viterbo University.
Patti Ryan, Local Coach
Patti works with Maple Valley-Anthon Oto and Schleswig Schools in School Improvement and Curriculum. She has taught mathematics/reading and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Alma maters include Buena Vista University – BA Elementary Education, Morningside College – MA Teaching, and the Iowa Principals Leadership Academy Cohort 1. Patti is also a school-based Olweus Certified Trainer and adjunct faculty member at BVU and Morningside.
Patty Meinecke, Local Coach
Patty has a degree from Iowa State University in elementary education, a reading endorsement, and authorizations to coach and teach PE. With an MA in Teaching from the University of St. Mary in Kansas, she is the Instructional Coach and local AIW Coach at Panorama Elementary School, with 26 years of experience in 2nd and 3rd grade, 6-8 social studies and math, and Title I reading.
Peggy Christensen, Lead Coach
Peggy is a Science Consultant with Heartland AEA 11. Prior to coming to Heartland, she was a Science Consultant with Keystone AEA 1 and taught high school and middle school science for 15 years. Peggy holds a Master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Iowa. She is currently a Lead AIW Coach and serves as an AIW Liaison for two schools in AEA 11.
Rachel Menken, Local Coach
Rachel is an eighth grade teacher at Carroll Middle School in Carroll, Iowa. She previously taught fourth grade and sixth grade at Waverly-Shell Rock, and she holds a bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and received her Master of Arts in Education in 2013. Rachel will serve as a Local Coach for Carroll's middle school building.
Rachelle Mau, Local Coach
Rachelle is currently an elementary teacher for Humboldt Community Schools. After teaching 5th grade for 12 years, she is moving to 3rd grade for the 2013-2014 school year. Rachelle holds a BA in elementary education and masters degrees as a Reading Specialist and in Educational Technology.
Rita Martens, Lead Coach
As lead consultant, Rita provides leadership to the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Iowa Core for the Iowa Department of Education. Prior to her current position, she has served as the secondary Literacy Consultant and a school accreditation specialist for the state of Iowa. Rita was a classroom English teacher for 24 years; during this time she provided leadership to a variety of district and school improvement initiatives. Rita holds a Master of Science degree and is currently a PhD candidate at Iowa State University. She is currently a Lead AIW Coach for Scavo Alternative Program in the Des Moines Public Schools.
Robyn Ploeger, Local Coach
Robyn is a secondary Mathematics teacher in her 2nd year at Panorama Schools in Panora, Iowa. Jan is a Buena Vista University graduate with a BS in Mathematics, in her 8th year of teaching. Robyn currently leads a team in scoring AIW and serves as a model teacher with the Teacher Leadership Program.
Robyn Ponder, Local Coach
Robyn is currently a third grade teacher at Carpenter Elementary in Monticello, Iowa and has also been a Literacy Specialist. Prior to working in Monticello, she worked for five years in Cedar Rapids as an elementary teacher and a special education teacher. Robyn has a Master's in Education from St. Ambrose University and is a National Board Certified teacher. She has been involved with AIW since 2011 as a Local Coach for the elementary buildings in Monticello.
Sara Markley, Local Coach
Sara is currently teaching 7th and 8th grade Health and working as the middle school Instructional Guide at Nevada Community Schools. Prior to teaching at Nevada, Sara taught at McCombs Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa. Sara earned her BA from Iowa State University and her MAE from Viterbo University.
Sarah Goldsmith, Local Coach
Sarah has taught 7th grade Science, 7th grade Health, and 8th grade Health at Monticello Middle School in Monticello, Iowa for the last three years. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in Biology and is currently working on her Masters in Science Education.
Shaelynn Farnsworth, Lead Coach
Shaelynn Farnsworth currently serves as a School Improvement Consultant with AEA 267 with a focus on Literacy, Technology and AIW. Shaelynn is one of four AEA 267 consultants supporting multiple districts in the area, and she also is a Lead AIW Coach. Prior to her current position, she was a high school English teacher for 13 years, with an MA in English.
Shannon M. Aker-Guyer, Local Coach
Shannon currently teaches Special Education at Monticello Community High School in Monticello, Iowa, serving students with moderate to severe learning needs. She has taught special education for 16 years, serving students with varying needs in kindergarden through 12th grade. Shannon holds a BA in Education from Western Illinois University, with an emphasis on Special Education. This is her second year working on AIW as a member of the Leadership Team at Monticello Community High School, and Shannon is currently completing the requirements to be a Local Coach.
Shelia Krueth, Local Coach
Sheila teaches secondary Special Education at Kelliher Public School in Kelliher, MN. Prior to teaching in Kelliher, she taught 4th grade for 8 years and kindergarten for 5 years at Lino Lakes Elementary. Sheila has her master's degree in curriculum and instruction, grades K-12 and has been an AIW coach for two years in Kelliher.
Staci Laird, Local Coach
Staci has taught high school language arts and social studies in Fort Dodge, Iowa for the past 14 years and serves as local coach. Prior to that, she taught middle school in Davenport. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Iowa and is currently working towards her MA in Educational Leadership through Iowa State University.
Sue Chartier, Lead Coach
Susan Chartier is an Instructional Coach and Gifted Education Consultant for Northwest Area Education Agency. She taught middle school Social Studies and Mathematics for 10 years in the Sioux City Community School District. Susan holds an MA in Special Education from the University of South Dakota. She is currently a Lead AIW Coach for two schools and serves as an AIW Liaison for another.
Susie Peterson, Lead Coach
Susie Peterson is a former English/History high school teacher, adjunct college instructor, and high school principal, working with several southwest Iowa schools for the past 30 years. Her MA is in English from NWMSU, and her administrative doctoral work was done at Iowa State. Susie is an independent consultant and currently partners with the Atlantic School District as an AIW Coach and also shares responsibilities with other district initiatives.
Tamela Johnson, Local Coach
Tamela is currently the K-12 Curriculum Director, Elementary Family School Administrator, and the Preschool Director for Humboldt Community School, with a masters’ degree from UNI. She strives to meet teachers' needs through professional growth opportunities and sees AIW as a strong avenue to implementing the Iowa Core. Tamela facilitates the District Leadership Teams and has a strong leadership role in the district-wide AIW implementation at Humboldt CSD.
Tammi Latham, Local Coach
Tammi Latham is currently a 3rd grade teacher for the Creston Community School District. She has been with the district for 10 years, also teaching 1st and 2nd grade. Prior to that, she was a Title 1 Reading teacher for 10 years. Tammi graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and a Reading Endorsement from Buena Vista University.
Tammie McKenzie, Local Coach
Tammie served as Associate Principal from 2005-2014 and is currently the Principal at Carroll High School. Prior to her current position, Tammie taught all grade levels of the Visual Arts for 20 years in four Iowa school districts. Tammie was a member of the 2012 Local Coach cohort and provides AIW leadership at Carroll High School. Tammie has a Bachelor of Special Studies and Coaching Certification from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA as well as an MA in Administration from Drake University.
Tiffany Millikan, Local Coach
Tiffany has a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and Coaching from the University of South Dakota and her Master’s in Human Resource Management. Tiffany has taught 5th grade for 6 years at West Sioux Elementary in Hawarden and previously had a thirteen-year career in the area of Human Resources within corporate settings.
Tina Wahlert, Lead Coach
Tina currently serves as a school improvement professional development consultant with Green Hills Area Education Agency. Prior to her current position, she taught K-12 special education, reading, English, and technology for 18 years. She holds Master’s degrees in Education and Educational Administration. Tina is currently serving as Lead AIW Coach for districts in Iowa and Minnesota.
Tracy Call, Local Coach
Tracy has been a special education instructor at Norwalk High School for 12 years. He received his bachelors in education from Grand View University and has endorsements in mathematics, social studies, and behavioral disorders. Tracy has been involved with AIW for the past five years.