Meet the Teachers

The teachers sharing their story on this blog have so much energy, enthusiasm, experience, and wisdom to share from their classroom, professional, and personal experience. Each has volunteered their time to embark on the Journey to Modification in their classroom. Learn more about each of teachers below:

3rd Grade Dual Language
Banting Elementary

Marlene Figueroa

I am a true believer that we need to find different ways to reach students and engage them in their learning. Technology opens so many possibilities to communicate and collaborate with their peers.

This is my 5th year teaching and at times I feel like I have a long way to go in order to improve my practice. I'm not going to lie and say it is easy and saves time instantaneously. I can assure that it will improve class engagement and over time will reduce some of your work.

I am planning to post my own learning as I integrate technology in my own classroom.

Jennifer Guckenberger

5th Grade
Hadfield Elementary
I am a 5th grade teacher at Hadfield.  I am in my 3rd year of teaching.  Technology opens up the world around us, and I want my students to be able to experience things that they otherwise would not be able to.  At the basic level, technology helps students stay organized because they are not always losing their papers, and saves me time because I’m not running to the printer to make more copies of lost homework.

I have seen how technology can help students become engaged in a topic through learning in different ways.  Technology helps me give immediate feedback to students and see areas that I need re-teach.  My goal is to keep finding and creating engaging lessons that challenge my students and get them excited about learning.  Technology is all around students.  I want to teach them the correct ways to use it, in a safe environment, while helping them to learn self-management skills to become successful.

Katie Miller

K-5 Music
Hadfield Elementary

In my first 12 years of teaching, the access to technology in my music room has been slowly increasing. Many times it was far behind the access other teachers in the district and school had because the thought was, "How will they use that in music?" I was thrilled to start in Waukesha during the 15/16 school year to finally have all 1:1 devices available to students so I could start exploring and meet the challenge of figuring out how technology could enhance and better an elementary music program.

I am Katie and I am in my second year teaching at Hadfield Elementary School. Thankfully, my students are interested in exploring, too.  In fact, many times they enhance my ideas into something I couldn't have even imagined. Of course, like with all days in an elementary school, there are always some road blocks to work through but the motivation and interest I have seen out of my students makes it all worth it!

My journey started small with managing storage and routines for iPads when students are traveling with them from their homeroom and building expectations for usage since that exploring quality in kids often leads them into other apps and websites. Apple Classroom has become one of my favorite tools! As my comfort and confidence grew by making a TON of mistakes and frantic phone calls/emails to the technology help desk, I am now trying to explore ways in which I can truly use technology to individualize and personalize my music literacy instruction for all learners at Hadfield.

Josh Rageth

First Grade Dual Language
Bethesda Elementary
I am a 1st grade Dual Language teacher at Bethesda in my 4th year.  I started teaching in Waukesha at Bethesda the year that Waukesha One started, so I quite literally have no idea how I would teach in a classroom that was not a 1:1 technology classroom.  

With technology I've always had the view that it could be a great tool for my teaching.  It was just figuring out how to make it work for me so that I could make it work for my students.  As anyone who has used technology in their classroom knows, though, most of the time it was the students helping me make the technology work.

Hopefully my experiences and my stories give you some ideas about integrating technology in your classroom.  If a 1st grader can do it, so can you!
Half of the time I plan a lesson using something on the iPad, and I have to change gears, but as is in all new things, it's just learning the new routines. It's never easy, most of the time it's stressful, but it helps teach me and the kids so many things that we could not have learned without the technology.

Deb Zuercher

Banting Elementary
I am one of the Dual Language Kindergarten teachers at Banting. This is my 18th year of teaching. When Banting was chosen for the Waukesha One role out several years ago, I was just beginning to learn about the endless possibilities for utilizing iPads in the classroom. Feeling overwhelmed was an understatement. I struggled with how I was going to manage 20 five-year olds with their own devices while I was just beginning to learn myself. 

What I have come to realize in my journey is that I don’t have to be a technological expert, and my students and I are learning together. Matter of fact, they have taught me a thing or two! I began with just giving them apps like Paso a paso to explore and learn, as I began to familiarize myself with apps to individualize instruction like Edpuzzle. 

Utilizing technology can be messy, but with the help and guidance from our wonderful Tech Support Team, my methods of instruction have had a dramatic change and are positively impacting my students’ progress.

Deanna Day

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STEM - Randall
My name is Deanna Day and I have been in this District for six years now. I have been teaching at Waukesha STEM Academy - Randall Campus for five years now. It has been a journey in itself with all the changes that we go through at STEM. When I started at Randall, my view of technology was very different because I thought sure a STEM school has everything. Well, I was not exactly correct.

So throughout my time here, I have viewed technology as a way to get students to present their learning and involved in their learning. Technology is a way for us to communicate together and reflect through portfolios or google docs of assignments. I was an anchor classroom for Math last year so I integrated blackboard into my class very regularly.

I am excited to be an anchor classroom for technology this year and open the world of possibilities for my students with technology.

Ryan Young

6th Grade
Horning Middle
I am a sixth-grade teacher at Horning Middle School. In the past, I have taught first-grade math and also fifth-grade literacy. Even though I have taught different grade levels and content areas, one thing has remained the same: technology can engage kids and give them endless possibilities in sharing and demonstrating their thinking. 

Integrating technology into the classroom interests and excites me because of the endless possibilities it offers to the students. Students now have the ability to do things in education that was once considered impossible. Using technology can and has opened doors for so many students and the opportunities for students to learn, share, and explore are endless with the use of technology. 

My goal with integrating technology into the classroom is to continue to learn and grow in the variety of ways I can use technology to have my students demonstrate and share their thinking. 

Cassie Bauknecht

South High School
I'm Cassie Bauknecht. I teach science at South High School. This is my 2nd year with the district and 2.5th year as a teacher. I have taught Special Ed Chemistry, Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Medical Interventions. 

Several years ago in mid-August, I got hired with Waukesha School District. I upended myself from my Madison residency and moved to Waukesha in the blink of an eye to officially start my full-time career. I had 2 brand new classes along with a 3rd that I was familiar with. I was new to iPads, new to Apple, and never had taught at a 1-to-1 school before. I had no idea what I was doing.

Since my actual inception into the tech world, I've become an advocate revolving around the philosophy that technology is an integral part of our current world and we need to learn how to use it for good, not evil. 

Kaylee Gendrich

1st Grade
Banting Elementary

I am a First Grade teacher at Banting Elementary and I have been teaching for seven years. When I first began teaching at Banting our technology resources were that of a classroom set of 5 computers for the students to use. Nowadays, my students have been blessed by a personalized device and these devices have transformed the teaching and learning that is happening in our classrooms. It has increased the level of engagement in the classroom as well. 

Most of my technology experience in the classroom I've had to self-teach myself. Some lessons have benefited greatly through the use of a device and it's resources while others lessons have flopped. But like all teaching, you need to change and modify your practice and try, try again! 

I am thankful for the technology in our school district. It provides students and teachers with a different learning experience. It gives us an opportunity to learn new things that we normally wouldn't have access to. As teaching is ever evolving and getting better so are the resources we have with our technology tools and the learning experiences we can set up for our students. 

Carrie Driscoll

Carrie Driscoll
4th Grade  Bethesda Elementary 

I am Carrie Driscoll- I am in the midst of my 7th year of teaching 4th grade at Bethesda. Along the way through those 7 years the landscape of education has greatly shifted, including the use of technology tools in and around instruction. When I toured Bethesda as a part of my interview, there was one portable Smartboard in the 4th grade pod that the teacher and students were using while skillfully trying to dance around the giant cords anchoring the board to an outlet.  If you walked through Bethesda today, you would see kiddos sailing, unanchored, around the open concept pods with their iPads in a 1:1 environment.

I have been fortunate to be a part of Bethesda and along for this journey from the lonely, anchored Smartboard to untethered iPads in the hands of ALL. I LOVE using technology tools in instruction and for kiddos to create meaning to their own learning. I am usually the first one that will jump at the chance to start using a new tech tool and enjoy working with colleagues to improve our practices together.

As with any road there have been peaks and valleys, twists and turns and frustration and celebration. The road of “instructional technology” is no different.  It can feel like the speed limitless autobahn where there is movement on all sides at an insane pace .  Sometimes you’re just holding on for dear life, sometimes you’re cruising in your own lane and then sometimes you need to pull over to make sure you’re taking the right path. I hope to contribute to the learning  by sharing celebrations and setbacks along my “Journey to Modification!

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