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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Karen 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). Karen has been a member of the faculty of Walbridge since 1998.

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.

Mary Lee Gleason, Teacher, B.A. (Social Work) UW-Madison, M.S.S.W. (Social Work) UW- Madison. Association Montessori International (AMI) teacher diplomas in primary (ages 3-6) and elementary (ages 6-12). Orton Gillingham trained and DPI license for early elementary. Mary Lee has worked with students from preschool through college level. After working as a school social worker, she was drawn to teaching and has worked as a teacher and administrator in Montessori schools since 1987. Mary Lee has taught children ages 21/2 to 12 in Montessori schools. She also trained and tutored at the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Madison. She has experience in using concrete, multi-sensory methods of teaching. Mary Lee first worked as a summer school and substitute teacher at Walbridge. Mary Lee was attracted to Walbridge after meeting the students and experiencing the commitment and joy that staff demonstrated in serving the children.

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