Teachers and Staff

Laura Gretzinger - NDLC 4th Grade Teacher
Lauren Gauerke - NDLC 3rd Grade Teacher
Autumn Steif
Autumn Steif - NDLC 3rd Grade Teacher

Autumn has taught 2nd and 5th grade before getting her Master's Degree in Reading Education from UW-Oshkosh. She was a Reading Specialist in the Kaukauna Area School District where she worked with teachers and students to lift the level of reading and writing instruction and learning. Autumn has been trained at Columbia University (NY) in Reading, Writing, and School Reform. She has been instrumental in developing both reading and writing curriculum and facilitating teacher training for the Kaukauna Area School District. Autumn has had the honor of collaborating with her colleague, Kathy VanOfferen, to not only train teachers within the District, but also around the state through workshops, academies, and conferences. She believes that literacy is at the core of everything we do and that children benefit most when their teachers constantly seek to outgrow themselves professionally. Autumn is looking forward to returning to the classroom so that she can learn from the best teachers: children. She lives in Kaukauna with her husband, Rich, and their daughter, Annessa.

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Lisa O'Brien
Lisa O'Brien - NDLC 2nd Grade Teacher

Lisa has worked with the families of Kaukauna for the past 15 years at both the 2nd and 4th grade levels. She is strongly committed to integrating literacy across the curriculum and in providing opportunities to differentiate instruction for students based on their abilities, backgrounds, learning styles and interests. She believes that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is her desire as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. Lisa believes that a positive attitude is contagious and she strives to build upon the unique qualities of each of the students in her classroom.

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Stephanie Streck
Stephanie Streck - NDLC 2nd Grade Teacher

Stephanie taught 4th grade for the past two years, last year at Quinney. Before that she taught 2nd grade and is so excited to get back to 8 and 9 year olds! Stephanie is excited to be a part of a charter school that focuses on the individual child. Seeing each child grow at their pace is very rewarding for her. She plans to foster students independence and curiosity through hands on learning in every subject area. Stephanie plans to work hard with her students to develop the skills needed to become lifelong learners. Stephanie is originally from Kimberly, but moved to Kaukauna last year with her husband, Kraig, their daughter Lyla and a yellow lab named Trigger. Stephanie is expecting another child this October.

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Barbara Graunke
Barbara Graunke - NDLC 1st Grade Teacher

Barbara brings 16 years of teaching experience to NDLC. She taught first grade, Kindergarten and Pre- K. She believes that students can learn from each other. She consistently encourages her students to "think outside the box" and provides them a safe environment to explain their thinking. She feels strongly that growing and learning as a teacher enables her to nurture students and challenge them to always do their best. Barbara looks forward to the staff development opportunities at NDLC and the prospect of collaboration with her colleagues in all curricular areas.

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Kathy Van Offeren
Kathy Van Offeren - NDLC 1st Grade Teacher

Kathy was a reading specialist at Electa Quinney Elementary where she collaborated with and suppored teachers in literacy instruction in their classrooms. She received her Master's Degree in Reading Education from UW Oshkosh and recently received National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading and Language Arts. Kathy has attended several reading and writing institutes at Columbia University (NY). Before becoming a Reading Specialist, Kathy taught 1st and 2nd grade. Together with her colleague Autumn Steif, she has provided numerous professional development trainings to teachers within, as well as outside of the Kaukauna Area School District. She believes that students reach their greatest learning potential when they are a part of a supportive community where their ideas are valued and their voices are heard.

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Molly Mares
Molly Mares - NDLC Kindergarten Grade Teacher

Molly comes to NLDC from LEARN Charter School Network in Chicago. It was there that Molly fell in love with the concept of a charter school being a school choice for families. Molly was training at Columbia University's Teacher's Institute in Reading Workshop and values meeting each student's individual needs to help them grow and exceed expectations at their own level. She enjoyes being involved of a community of learners as she continues to learn from her students each day. Molly is excited to work closely with students, families, and colleagues to create the best learning experience for each child. Molly's first love has always been kindergarten and she is exited to be part of the NDLC team!

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Elly Paulson
Elly Paulson - NDLC Kindergarten Grade Teacher

Elly is thrilled to be moving up to a new grade level and joining the NDLC team. Elly comes to NDLC after 7 years of teaching 4-year old kindergarten in Kaukauna. During this time she obtained her Master's Degree in Reading Education from UW-Oshkosh, which has greatly impacted her experience in working with our youngest readers Elly has been trained in both reading and writing workshop through Columbia University's Teacher's College in New York. She believes young learners are incredibly intriguing and motivating and looks foward to instilling a love of learning in each on of her students. Working collaborative environment while learning from colleagues and creating a community of teachers, learners and families are just two of the things Elly is most looking forward to this year at NDLC.

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Mary Jo Kilgas
Mary Jo Kilgas - Specific Learning Disabilities Teacher

Mary Jo has been a special education teacher in Kaukauna for the past 19 years. Her fellow teachers have said that she is; "Flexible and cares about kids so much!", "Loving, caring, and smart about ways she instructs and supports students!", and is a teacher with "amazing vision." She has created a safe and calm learning environment in her classroom which promotes students to achieve their academic potential. Mary Jo loves what she does and is always looking for new ways of teaching that will meet her students' needs. She wants all of her students to be able to pick up a book to read and enjoy the experience.