Our Teachers & Staff
We’re proud of our talented, dedicated staff and teachers. Meet them!
Mora Anderson — Executive Director
As a 25-year Educator, I have grown to recognize individual talents and strengths among the diverse population of students and families that I serve. I use this skill to encourage others toward success and the belief that “I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to achieve”. John Hattie’s research in Visible Learning for Teachers (2008) identifies the greatest impact on one’s ability to learn as the self-confidence to approach learning experiences and be successful. This is why CWA’s Core Values of Self-Control (Respect), Responsibility, Honor (Honesty), and Determination are so important. These values help establish a standard for the creation of a safe and nurturing learning environment. It is in such an environment that one may open up and take risks to share their own experiences while simultaneously learning from others’. My passion for teaching and learning has guided me through all levels of education in both urban and suburban settings. I studied at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. I believe students’ needs come first and teachers and parents should organize around those needs. Parents are crucial to the learning process and I look forward to providing lots of opportunities for student and parent involvement.
Stephanie Lichtig — Director, Student and Family Services
Ms. Lichtig has been an urban educator in the greater Milwaukee community for the better part of her career and likes to focus her efforts where she will make the greatest impact. She has worn numerous hats in the field of education: student, educator, instructional coach, department head and school leader. Her goal is to work with students and families to help each learner reach their maximum potential. She wholeheartedly believes in a quality education’s power to change lives and grow communities. Outside of work, Ms. Lichtig enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, experimenting in the kitchen, and spending time with her family including two dogs.
Charmin McGlaston — Lead of Counseling Services
While this is my first year at CWA, this is not my first year working with students and families in an educational setting. My previous experience in education comes from eight years of work and collaboration within the Milwaukee Public Schools System. I look forward to offering support to the students, staff and families of CWA. Students can request to meet with me and parents are encouraged to reach out to me too. If you would like for me to meet with your child, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My role is to partner with parents and CWA staff to help students achieve personal, social and academic goals.
Kasey Herd — Dean of CultureTeachers
I am passionate about working with the youth of Milwaukee and also connecting them with awesome people in the community to partnership with. I am currently pursuing my education administrative license through the master’s program at Cardinal Stritch University. Providing quality education experiences as well as building relationships is at the core of who I am.
Kelly Ash — K4
This is my second year here at CWA. I have 20 years of experience teaching young children in Head Start and 4K in Waukesha. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin –Stout. I will provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment where each child can develop socially, emotionally, and academically.
Teresa DeFrancisco — Kindergarten
This is my second year teaching at CWA. Last year I taught 5-year-old kindergarten and this year I will be teaching 4-year-old kindergarten. I have taught 3-5 year olds for the past 18 years in Head Start and K4 programs in Waukesha. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. It is my passion to help each child discover their unique strengths and talents. I want to build a classroom community that promotes respect and fosters a love for learning.
Carol Korpela — 1st Grade
This is my eighth year teaching at CWA. My education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Master’s Degree in Education from Carroll College and about 35 additional graduate-level credits in education. In addition, I have taken instructional mentoring courses at Cardinal Stritch University. This year, I am one of CWA’s representatives to the LACCS (Leaders Advancing Character and Culture in Schools) training sessions. I taught for MPS for 34 years, guest taught for three districts, and taught reading for the Kettle Moraine District during summer school before joining the CWA staff. My goal is to give my students a strong foundation for their future endeavors so they can accomplish whatever they aspire to in life. By working together with great parents, I feel that I am able to do that.
Karen Maass — 2nd Grade
This is my twelfth year teaching at CWA. While at CWA, I have taught K4, K5, a K5/1st split class, 1st/2nd grade split class and 1st grade. This year I am excited to be teaching the second grade class. I graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. When I am not in the classroom teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling and shopping. I believe every student is unique and will honor that while ensuring their success in school. I would like all of my students to work to their full potential and understand what that is. My students will be positive role models in both the community and school. Parents are an essential piece of education and I welcome your input.
Victoria Pieper — 3rd Grade
Kristin Schmidt — 4th Grade
Carmen Jackson — 5th Grade
This is my third year at CWA. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Marquette University. I have taught elementary school for twenty-nine years in a varity of educational settings throughout the Milwaukee area. I believe that my purpose in the classroom is to create and maintain a learning environment where all students can work successfully to achieve their highest level. I enjoy working with varied personalities and levels. I value challenging students to push pass what they perceive are their limits. I have experienced a great deal of success when students, parents, and myself work together to accomplish our goals.
Danielle Dawald — 6th Grade
This is my first year at CWA and my eleventh year teaching. I will be teaching 6th grade at CWA. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, but have been teaching the last ten years in Arizona. When I am not at school, I love to travel and try new restaurants. My goal is to motivate and encourage the students to become lifelong learners. I want each student to feel safe and comfortable in the classroom, so that they will want to put out their best effort. I am excited to work with my students and their parents, so that the students can become the best version of themselves.
Andrea Ervin — 7th, 8th Grade Math & Science
This is my ninth year at CWA and my twelfth year teaching. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in mathematics from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I have taught middle school math in Nevada and North Carolina. I want to ensure that all my students have the skills needed to be successful in life, wherever the path may take them. I know every child has a unique learning style and I try daily to reach all students with my different teaching styles.
Katherine Beukema — 7th, 8th Grade ELA & Social Studies
Sarah Noerenberg — Instructional Coach
This is my first year with CWA, working in the position of Instructional Coach. I grew up in Milwaukee, graduated from the University of WI-Milwaukee with a B.A. in Elementary Education and obtained my Masters degrees from Cardinal Stritch University. I have dedicated myself to the field of education for 20 + years, in a variety of roles. Throughout my career, I have kept a commitment to excellence for all learners as a driver of all that I do . Whether it is teaching in a classroom, supporting and/or teaching teachers, or working with families, ensuring a positive, learning experience that will inspire and best prepare students for a successful future is what I dedicate myself to, and work tirelessly toward. I am very grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the CWA learning community. sNoerenberg@cwacademy.org
Nathan George — Physical Education
I have a Bachelors degree in Physical Education from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. This is my second year teaching Physical Education at CWA. I have been a Physical Education teacher in Milwaukee for the past 16 years. I also coach or have coached high school football, baseball and hockey as well as college baseball in the Milwaukee area. With my experience as a teacher and a coach it is my goal as an educator to provide a positive and safe learning environment so that all students can grow mentally, physically and socially. It is my hope that when my students move on in life they can take a passion for life long activity with them.
Frank Dragotta — Instructional Assistant
This is my seventh year at CWA and I’m ecstatic to be providing assistance to administration, teachers and staff school wide. If you don’t see him at morning drop-off or in the cafeteria, playground and main office feel free to communicate through email. Let’s have a great year!
Donna Cave — Instructional Assistant
Faye Hantsche — Instructional Assistant
Shakela Pierce-Powell — Instructional Assistant
Daniel Strelnick — Instructional Assistant
Liza Sandy — Special Education Specialst
This is my sixth year at CWA. I have been an interventionist, a classroom teacher and now a resource teacher. I have a Master’s Degree in Inclusive Education from Cardinal Stritch University, and 20 years of experience working with technology as a computer programmer. My goal is to empower students to find their own voices in their education and in their lives beyond it.
Brecken Ashenbrenner — Special Education Teacher
Susan Ward — Speech & Language Pathologist
This is my tenth year as the Speech/Language Pathologist at CWA. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. I work with students in grades K4 through 8th in the classroom and in small group sessions. I enjoy being part of a collaborative team and working on strengthening students’ communication skills. I believe every child has something important to say and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to help many unlock their voices.