Hi! I'm Ms. Bargender, though I'm mostly known as Ms. B. (because, let's face it, that's easier to spell). If you ever need me, you can usually find me in one of my natural habitats: (1) in my RVA English classroom; (2) in my in-person English classroom at Stratford High School; or (3) at my home near Edgar, WI, where I live with my family. If you can't find me in any of those places, be sure to double-check my couch--I'm probably reading, trying to write something worth reading, or wishing I was reading while finishing up some of my own "homework." When I can steal away some free time, I spend it (sometimes uselessly) scrolling through Netflix for an awesome or awesomely lame movie to watch with my sisters, battling the temptations of online shopping, hiking my parents' woods in all kinds of weather, and cooking up semi-complicated recipes with little hope and even less actual skill but a surprising amount of luck. I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Or to find a time machine. Either one would be fine with me. And, yes, you may have guessed that I love to laugh and make jokes. Life's just too short to be too serious! All joking aside, though, I always try to do my absolute best for my students, and I am definitely looking forward to getting to know all of you, my virtual students, and your families. Here's to a great year!
I am so fortunate to be part of the RVA community! I have been teaching special education at the middle school level for 9 years in traditional schools. I taught in Wisconsin and Georgia, and covered nearly every category and class possible. I absolutely LOVE working with each of my students and their families as well as collaborating with my colleagues and learning new strategies to provide the best possible education for each student. When I'm not teaching I can be found curled up under a blanket with a good book, running, hiking, camping, gardening, and cooking. All of these things I do with my two "favorites" - my husband and my dog!
My name is Ryan Bloom and currently teach science at Stratford Middle School and High School. I also teach a blended science course for the RVA with both Stratford and RVA students. I began my teaching career in Weyerhaeuser, WI and transferred to Stratford in 2000. I been teaching with RVA since 2014 and have loved the experience. I also coach varsity football and baseball in Stratford and have for many years. I love being active doing things outdoors: camping, sports, hunting, fishing, and many many others. My passion is golf. I've been playing since I was 8 years old and try to play as much as I can when I'm not teaching, coaching or being a dad. I'm really looking forward to another school year with RVA.
I am blessed to be part of the RVA family! Prior to becoming an RVA teacher in August of 2017 I worked with PreK-fourth grade students for eight years in traditional elementary classrooms. Personalized learning and educational technology are two true passions of mine, making the RVA feel just like home. When I'm not working I enjoy spending time with my husband, Frank, and our two children, Kanen and Kensley. I also love taking our yellow lab, Jake, for runs, camping, reading, gardening, and coming up with fun DIY projects around our house!
I feel very fortunate to be teaching Special Education for the Rural Virtual Academy. I previously taught 8th grade Special Education at the Medford Middle School. For the RVA, I have taught students from elementary to high school, with learning, emotional, or intellectual disabilities, as well as autism, ADHD, and other health impairments. Being a part of the RVA, I am able to work with students and their families, building close relationships and helping achieve goals. Teaching is a true passion of mine and I continuously strive to find ways to help make learning fun and something all my students can do! In my spare time, I love to be outside! I enjoy gardening, exploring parks, fishing, swimming, playing tennis, and cross country skiing in the winter months. I like to play board games, read, and catch up on latest movies or TV shows. I love spending time with my family the most. My son, Gavin, a toddler, keeps me busy!
I joined RVA in the fall of 2017 and love working here! It's a great school. Prior to joining RVA, I taught for 14 years at another virtual school, and before that, I taught for several years in traditional classroom settings. I have three adult children and a stepdaughter who is just about to leave the nest! My husband, stepdaughter, two cats, and I live near Bloomer. I enjoy reading, sewing, and DIY projects of all kinds.
My name is Josh Duwe and I am honored to be part of the RVA instructional team. I have taught math for 13 years and love the challenge it offers while developing problem solving skills, logic and reasoning, perseverance, and brain growth. I believe when we change how we see things, the things we see change. Increased math awareness allows for broadening perspective in all facets of life. In my personal time I enjoy any outdoor activities that get my heart rate up. Single track mountain bike riding is one of my favorites. If I am not getting my heart rate up or building something I enjoy reading material to encourage my own personal development as well as to learn new activities such as cheese making. I love to play instruments, sing, and make music with others. It brings me great joy to learn and grow with those around me. I look forward to the future and the chance to meet so many people seeking this great opportunity in education. It is my privilege to be part of this community and I couldn't be more excited to get started.
I feel very auspicious to be teaching Special Education for the Rural Virtual Academy. I previously taught high school Special Education at the Medford Senior High School for three years. Prior to Medford I havd taught students from elementary to high school, with learning, emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disabilities, as well as autism, ADHD, and other health impairments. Being a part of the RVA, I am looking forward to working with students and their families, building close relationships and helping achieve goals. Education is a true passion of mine and I continuously strive to find ways to help make learning interesting and something all my students can do! In my spare time, I am an outdoors enthusiast! I enjoy kayaking, exploring state parks, hiking, swimming, coaching softball, and snowshoeing in the winter months. I like to play all sorts of card games, read, and catch the latest movie. I love spending time with my family the most. My husband and I have three children, Dakota, Makita, Naquene, two dogs, Rocki and Snoopi, and one kitten, Charlie. Dakota is a 5th graders and Makita and Naquene are identical twins and are 3rd graders. My family keeps me quite busy!
I am so excited to begin my journey with RVA! I have been a special education teacher for 11 years for grades 6-12 and in that time have obtained my masters degree in educational psychology as well as several certificates including online learning! I believe in a student centered approach to learning and am passionate about creating a customized approach for each student. As an educator my focus is on online learning as well as project based learning and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. I share my love of students and teaching with my five children and husband. Together we spend our time outdoors hiking, swimming, and exploring new adventures!
I have been teaching in the RVA since Spring 2011. I have taught pre K- high school in the brick and mortar school as well as adaptive physical education, and health, I've also coached at one point or another volleyball, basketball, softball and cross country. I enjoy the outdoors and being active. I live in the Medford area with my husband. I enjoy getting to know students and families in the RVA and learning all the wonderful things students are involved in. There are amazing students in the RVA and I look forward to learning from them.
I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Rural Virtual Academy! I previously taught in a brick and mortar setting for seven years teaching cross-categorical special education in an elementary and middle school setting. Teaching is my passion and what I love to do! I enjoy working alongside families and strive to make learning fun and exciting! Currently, I have the best of both worlds and get to share my love of teaching with the students and families I work with in the RVA and also in teaching my own children from home! This is my fifth year of teaching special education for the Rural Virtual Academy where I specialize in grades PreK through 5th. In addition, this will be our sixth year of homeschooling through the RVA. My husband, Corey, and I have two boys, Seth, age 11, and Rolyn, age 9, and a girl, Myra, age 6. Aside from teaching, I enjoy hunting, kayaking, competing in races, playing piano and guitar, reading, scrap-booking, and spending time with my family and friends!
I have been a teacher for the RVA for 3 years and counting! I am proud to be part of a school which serves families in such a unique way. Before joining the RVA family, I taught in the brick and mortar classroom for 4 years at various levels (1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th). I love working with children, my students and families in the RVA, and running various clubs for our school! In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, adventuring outdoors, and meeting new people! I have one son, Jake, and a dog, Rhuby. Should we get the chance to meet, be sure to ask about the spelling of Rhuby's name :)
Academic Background My name is Casey Kopp. I grew up in Woodbury Minnesota and throughout life I have often taken the path less traveled. After high school I went to the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg Canada and completed a B.A. in history and philosophy. I always assumed I would end up teaching in some capacity however, after getting my B.A. I decided that I did not want to teach at a college level. As such, I spent a year working after returning from Canada and deciding what career path I should take. Throughout my life I have had many jobs and I have worked with people from all walks of life. Thus far every experience I have had has lead me towards teaching. My favorite part of any job I have had is when I get to train in my replacement. Even if I did not enjoy a job, I still liked teaching people the skills required to perform the job. As such, I returned to school in the hopes of getting my teaching license and I recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. I majored in broad field social studies and I acquired my teaching license in the social studies field. Personal Background I have always loved to read and learn new things. I primarily read Sci-Fi and Fantasy for fun as well historical and philosophical texts to sate academic curiosities. I have many hobbies in addition to reading. I enjoy woodworking, gardening, cooking, and playing video games as well as various card and board games. Besides pursuing my hobbies I enjoy spending my free time with friends as well as my Wife. One thing my friends and I like to do every year is attend the Renaissance festival in Shakopee Minnesota. I also enjoy attending local Oktoberfest events with friends and family.
It is a great privilege to be a part of the RVA staff! This is my third year teaching for the RVA. Prior to this, I taught Kindergarten for the Wausau School District. I truly enjoy making learning a fun experience for my students and building relationships with my families. Serving the RVA families has been a blessing to my family. Aside from teaching I enjoy photography, reading, baking, being outdoors, and spending time with my husband and three children~Bryton 11, Korah 9, and Bennett 6.
Hello! I'm Mrs. Mukerji. I have been a parent in the RVA for three years and I am excited to say this is my first year working as an eighth grade english teacher. I graduated in 2008 before working for several years as a 9-11 grade English/Language Arts teacher in Kansas. My family then moved to Michigan and then finally settled in Kronenwetter, Wisconsin. I have three children (6, 4, and 8 months) and in my spare time I enjoy reading, listening to music, traveling, oil painting, and spending time with my family. I am looking forward to meeting many great students and families this year!
Hello! My name is Nicole O'Connor and I am so thrilled to be an elementary teacher with the RVA. This is my first year with the RVA and I am so impressed by the community feel of this virtual school. I just love the other staff members and the families that I get to work with every day. For the last five years, I taught first grade in Poynette, which is a small town just north of Madison. My husband and I love living in the Madison area and we are so excited to grow our family through the process of adoption in 2018! My husband is also a teacher and in our free time, we love playing games, cooking new recipes, reading, and going to baseball games in the summer!
Mrs. Oertel teaches high school English at the RVA and absolutely loves it! Mrs. Oertel graduated from UW Stevens Point in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in English Education. She taught in the Wausau and Wittenberg-Birnamwood school districts before she became interested in on-line teaching. She and her husband live in Wausau with their dog and two cats. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, camping, baking, visiting friends, watching movies, and attending concerts. Check out Mrs. Oertel's professional website, the link to which can be found in her Twitter Bio: @MrsOertel
I feel very privileged to be a part of the RVA staff! I have been teaching in the Medford School District for 24 years, 21 of those in fifth grade and 3 years in 7th grade language arts and math. This will be my 7th year with the RVA. I love learning and teaching, especially math! In my free time I enjoy gardening, cooking, walking, and spending time with my husband and our three children.
I am truly honored to be part of the RVA family! I have been an RVA teacher since the winter of 2015. Prior to teaching with the RVA, I was a kindergarten teacher for three years for the D.C. Everest School District in Rothschild, WI. I enjoy life with my husband Troy and our sweet little boy Evan. Educating young learners is a true passion of mine, and I love the unique educational setting the RVA provides. In my free time, I love to read, relax, spend time with friends and family, and sing!
I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Rural Virtual Academy! I am a new teacher at the RVA this year, however I have six years of teaching experience. I have taught 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grade. Teaching and coaching are my passion and what I love to do! My husband, Jake, and I have two children, Jayla - age 2, and Easton - age 1. When I am not busy teaching and coaching, I enjoy photography, attending sporting events, volunteering, blogging, and spending time with my family & friends!
Hello, my name is Quinn Robinson and I am thrilled to be a part of the RVA team! I grew up in Sussex, WI on a small hobby farm. Since a very early age, I have had a hunger for knowledge and a love for the outdoors. Whereas most people outgrow a child-like curiosity for the world around them, I still continuously ask questions starting with the word "why". I simply love the journey of learning and the feeling of empowerment while acquiring knowledge. I am a quintessential example of a life-long learner. I attended the University of MN - Twin Cities and majored in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies and minored in forestry. This was a great program for me because my major allowed me to take classes in various disciplines from soil science, fisheries and wildlife, ecology, and hydrology to name a few. During my undergraduate education, I gained valuable work experience as a forestry lab technician in the Forest Ecology Lab and a forestry technician for St. Louis County in northern Minnesota. I graduated with distinction and eventually decided to return to school to become a teacher. I attended the University of WI - River Falls to attain a Master of Science in Education. During that time, I was fortunate enough to work as a teacher's aide at a local high school and was granted an internship for student teaching. Both of these opportunities provided an invaluable teaching experience. I have worked as a high school science teacher for the past thirteen years as both a traditional science teacher and an adviser at a project-based charter school. I have been fortunate enough to chaperone two trips to Central America: Costa Rica and Guatamala/Belize. There I observed rainforests and coral reefs while experiencing cultures much different than my own. These trips were truly life changing! I work hard to perfect my craft and try to continuously improve my teaching by taking advantage of professional development opportunities and frequently enrolling in science related coursework. I feel I am very personable and a good communicator; both essential traits for effective teachers. My educational philosophy is based on common sense. I always try to generate student interest in science by demonstrating its relevance. This is done through student-based research projects, laboratory investigations, or discussions that demonstrate connections between content and the students' lives. In addition, I incorporate the latest technology whenever possible; but not for the sake of simply using a new technology. Using these guiding principles, I have found that student achievement increases as well as their desire to learn. Once this is achieved, the student takes ownership of their learning and real education begins. Personal hobbies include hunting and fishing. Trout fishing in the Driftless area is my favorite type of fishing, but I also enjoy fishing the many lakes of northern WI throughout the year. I have a two year old German Shorthair Pointer that I train for upland game birds. Nothing compares to walking the woods in Fall in pursuit of ruffed grouse! I am looking forward to learning with you and assisting in your educational journey!
I am originally from the South and claim both Tennessee and Georgia as states where I grew up. I currently live in a rural farming community in Greenwood, Wisconsin. I enjoy exercising, dancing, trying new restaurants, and traveling. I value time spent with my husband and son on the dairy farm and exploring the area. In June 2016, we welcomed a sweet baby boy, Rhett. I am blessed to be able to spend so much time with both of them.
After I graduated high school, I served in the United States Navy for 6 years. I was a Chinese Mandarin linguist, instructor, and supervisor in the area of intelligence and foreign avionics. My military travels took me to the beaches of California, Hawaii, and Florida. My Naval experience was wonderful, and I am proud to have served my country.
One of my first jobs after military life was as a district secretary for a public school system in Florida. In this position, I worked with several content specialists as we developed various projects for the district as it pertained to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. My passion for education and teaching really started to grow at that time. When I moved back to Tennessee after Florida, I began substitute teaching to gain more experience working with students. Once I realized I felt “at home” in the classroom, I decided to pursue a license to teach high school biology. So, here I am! I've taught all levels of education from pre-school children to adults in the military. For the past two years, I have taught online biology, anatomy/physiology, and forensic science with RVA. I genuinely enjoy using digital content with my students. I am excited to serve RVA and consortium partners as the blended learning coordinator.
After graduating with a degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, I began my teaching career in 2002, working in the Kiel Area School District. I had the opportunity to work with elementary and middle school students for 15 years. During that time, I received a Masters of Education degree from Lakeland College. I started working with the RVA in July of 2017 and feel so blessed to be a part of the RVA family. I enjoy the opportunity to work closely with families and students of all ages. My husband, Tim, and I have two kids, Addie and Carter. We enjoy camping and ATVing, gardening, going to movies, attending the kids' activities, and managing horse shows.
Greg Smith teaches high school Math (Geometry, PreAlgebra, Algebra 2 and Consumer Math at the RVA and middle school Math at the Medford Middle School. Mr. Smith graduated from Stanford University in 1976 and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Earth Science. He taught high school math and coached football and softball for 30 years at Tracy High School in California. He moved to Wisconsin in August of 2015. He loves the weather and change of season in Westboro, WI where he lives with his wife and their dogs. He has four daughters, who are all married and tjhey now have nine grandchildren, five grandsons and four granddaughters. Mr. Smith coaches varsity and JV high school football at Rib Lake Prentice.
Hi, my name is Ryan Steinhoff and I am a life long resident of Tomah, WI and a 2007 graduate of Tomah Sr. High School. I am the owner of Driving Stars, LLC in Tomah, WI and have a strong passion for working with kids of all ages and feel that I have the ability to relate to teenage students. I have always had the burning desire to inspire teenage students began, I have had the determination to become an educator, which led me to pursue a career in education. I love working closely with people and students of all ages, so while in college at UW-La Crosse studying to become a Physical Education and School Health education teacher, I began teaching drivers education for Brian Moravec and Brian's School of Driving in 2009. As the passion grew to work closely and teach teens the responsibilities of driving a vehicle, I had the desire to start and operate me own school. While beginning me driving school in 2011, I was also finishing my degrees in education at UW-LaCrosse and following graduation I taught special education at the Tomah Middle School for three years, while still owning and operating my driving school. It is my hope that all students take on and accept the responsibilities of life and driving, to become the healthiest, most knowledgeable, active and safest possible driver individual they can be.
I am beyond ecstatic to be part of the RVA school with fantastic teachers, administrators, and staff serving hardworking, independent students and families. My path to teaching was a bit unconventional starting out with two BS degrees from UWEC in Biology & Kinesiology. From there I worked as an EKG tech, cardiac rehab tech, and health educator for a large clinic and hospital. I then earned my MA in Instruction (grades K-8) and taught many subjects and grade levels at Eleva-Strum and Eau Claire public schools for 6 years along with coaching varsity sports. From there I earned my MS in Biology and instructed science and wellness classes at CVTC for 12 years. Wanting to try something different, I helped my friend (who is a Family Practice MD) launch a thriving direct-pay clinic in Eau Claire and Menomonie for the past 4 years as her office manager, phlebotomist, and EMT. And now, I’m here at RVA beginning in the spring of 2018. When I’m not taking classes to further my passion for life-long learning, I spend time with my husband (Andy), two biological daughters (Halle 16 & Wynne 12), one foreign exchange daughter from Beijing (Huiying 16), 2 dogs, 8 cats, and 52K chickens on our farm.
I am grateful to be a part of the RVA family! I have been an RVA teacher since August 2016. Prior to teaching with the RVA, I was an elementary teacher at various grade levels in first-fourth grades. I love to spend time with my husband, Paul, and our twins. We enjoy traveling together and attending various Wisconsin sporting events. I truly enjoy educating young learners and being a part of their educational journey at the RVA. I look forward to meeting you!
I've been teaching since the age of dinosaurs or 13 years which ever is more recent. I'm in my 6th year of teaching in Medford. I've taught online for numerous years and really enjoy it. I also coach the High School Cross Country Team and I'm the adviser for our History Bee team. I'm a member of the Medford Area Fire Department and have been in the fire service for 5 years. I'm married with two great kids. My hobbies include: gardening, movies, and raising my chickens.
Hello! It is such a privilege to be part of the Rural Virtual Academy. Prior to the RVA, I worked in Correctional Education, as well as an AmeriCorps member for three terms. These experiences have given me an incredible opportunity to grow both personally and professionally as a teacher. Together with my husband, we have one son, who is only a few months old, named Charlie. I also have seven amazing step-children, and a high-spirited Golden Lab named, Madigan. In our spare time as a family, we love to camp, travel, golf, and will often spend rainy or snowy days inside with movies and games. Aside from Special Education, I also have a degree in Psychology and American Sign Language Interpreting. A random fact about myself; I have a passion for weather, particularly tornadoes.