Walbridge teachers have specialized training, experience, and/or certifications in special education.

Sally Allen, Teacher, B.A. (Child Development), University of Minnesota; M.A. (Special Education with emphasis in Learning Disabilities), University of California-Riverside; Masters Program for Teacher Licensure, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Sally has been a faculty member at Walbridge since 1987, teaching reading/literature, writing, and math to students at all grade levels. She is trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach for instructing children with dyslexia, and is known for individualizing instruction to meet the needs of students who learn differently.
Email: sallen@walbridgeschool.org
Kären Bakken, Teacher, B.A., University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach for instructing children with dyslexia, and is known for her effective blended approach to education (classroom instruction, one-on-one instruction, and online programs that allow students to academically progress at their own pace). Kären has been a member of the faculty of Walbridge since 1998.
Email: kbakken@walbridgeschool.org
Colleen Lourigan, Director of Education, B.S. (Geology & Geophysics), University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. (Education), Edgewood College. Colleen is trained in Orton-Gillingham, Project Read, Making Math Real, and Processing Approaches to Learning and Self-Regulation. Colleen has been a member of the faculty of Walbridge since 2004 and she is a teacher and curriculum coordinator for our high school program. She is known for teaching to the learning strengths of students through individualized instruction.
Email: clourigan@walbridgeschool.org
Julie Mazer, Teacher, B.A. (Music Therapy), University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Julie is trained in the Orff-Schulwerk approach to education that combines music, movement, drama, and speech in a way that is similar to child’s play. She teaches music for Walbridge and she has experience working with children/adults with developmental disabilities, and with the elderly.
Email: jmazer@walbridgeschool.org
Robert “Rob” Schuettpelz, Director of Finance and Administration, B.A. in Accounting, Valparaiso University, is a certified public accountant (CPA). Robert has extensive experience working with non-profit education organizations, and he has 23 years of public accounting experience. Rob is actively involved with the Friends of Chernobyl Centers, U.S. (FOCCUS) that work to strengthen recovery efforts of individuals and communities in Ukraine that have been severely affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Email: rschuettpelz@walbridgeschool.org
Shane Quella, Art Teacher, Teaching Assistant, studied at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, is trained in behavior management of students with a variety of special needs, and is certified in Non-violent Crisis Intervention practices. Shane has also received certificates for completion of Child Development Education. He has worked in the educational setting supporting children in academics and social development for 14 years. In addition to working with school age children, Shane has also aided in the transition of students to community services and adulthood through his involvement in Create-Ability Inc. In terms of the arts, Shane is an active member of the Isthmus art and music scene, bringing his love and enthusiasm for creativity to the classroom.
Email: squella@walbridgeschool.org
Julia Torrez, Teacher, B.A. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Special Education). Julia has over ten years of experience teaching children with special learning needs. She teaches health and social skills, history, and also assists with the high school program. She is committed to meeting student needs through individualized instruction.
Email: jtorrez@walbridgeschool.org
Melissa Gower, Teacher, B.A. (History), Pomona College; Teaching Certificate in Social Studies, UW-Madison. Melissa taught High School History prior to coming to Walbridge as well as co-teaching a clustered Special Education History class. She is teaching History of the United States in the High School, and Ancient History to the Middle School students. She also co-teaches Health with Mr. Brand. She shows an intuitive sense of what each student can do, and works to make sure they are reaching their own potential. Walbridge’s collaborative atmosphere among the staff and parents is what drew her to our school.
Email: mgower@walbridgeschool.org
Josh Williams, Teacher, B.S. Education from Edgewood College. Josh has 8+ years of experience working with students with learning challenges. He coached for Madison Timberwolves Special Needs Hockey Team and worked closely with the Cutting Edge special education program at Edgewood College. He served as a live-in mentor for students enrolled in the cutting edge program. Josh teaches math, science, and health classes for the middle school age students and is an assistant cross country and track coach at Madison West High School.
Email: jwilliams@walbridgeschool.org
Jovita Hogan, Assistant to the Director, Associate Degree from MATC. Jovita worked for Madison Area Technical College for 12 years as Administration/Support Staff assisting Advisers, Counselors, and Disability Counselors assisting students with enrollment, etc. Jovita has an Associate Degree in Meeting and Event Management. She is an artist, designer, braid stylist and the owner/manager of Jovita's Treasures. Jovita has worked with children for the past 24 years as a daycare provider, Sunday School teacher, President of the COGIC Sunshine Band Director for New Fellowship Church and the Assistant to the Director of Children's Ministry for the Fountain of Life Covenant Warship Center Church for five years. She also currently partners with the Nehemiah Corp. in the Summer ACE Program as the arts and crafts teacher.
Email: jhogan@walbridgeschool.org



Non-Discrimination Policy

Walbridge School does not discriminate in admission, hiring, or administration on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender identification, or sexual orientation.