Welcome from our Head of School

Greetings

We are glad you are here and invite you to walk with us on this journey of nurturing each child’s learning and creating a more just world.

Since 1972, Wingra has provided a progressive education, grounded in the principles of social justice, inclusion, and belonging. We strive to be responsive and in service to the needs of our students, families, society, and our earth. A tall order and one we take seriously. We are deeply guided by our mission and know that learning is a collective endeavor that is enhanced by caring relationships and a belief that our unique identities are a source of strength.

As you explore our site, I hope you’ll sense children joyfully learning, meaningfully challenged, and thoughtfully engaged in service, inquiry, and stewardship. We are proud of the work we do and acknowledge that is is our shared responsibility, as Wingra School, to nourish each child’s innate creativity, compassion, and will to do good — to foster a more equitable society and healthy planet.

Of course, there is no better way to understand Wingra than to experience it for yourself! We are excited to offer in-person tours again and know that, when you visit our campus, you’ll feel directly the energy and enthusiasm of our students and teachers as they explore what it means to be in community, both in and outside the classroom. I hope to see you soon!

With tremendous gratitude and welcome to Wingra School,

Head of School

We pledge to work to end systemic racism not only in our local Madison community, but in our school community as well. (Full statement below.)

Contact Information

718 Gilmore Street
Madison, WI 53711

Phone: (608) 238-2525
Email: info@wingraschool.org

Our History

Wingra is an independent progressive school for children ages five to fourteen located on a hillside across from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, centrally-located in Madison. We’re on the Madison Metro bus line, which is our connection to the Overture Center, the downtown library, the State Capitol, the University of Wisconsin campus, and much more.
There’s a charm to our building, a history. Wingra School lives in the former Dudgeon School building, on Monroe Street.  At its founding in 1972, Wingra School set out to re-imagine education for children in our changing world.
The grass-covered lower yard and upper outdoor performance stage and indigenous playscape are Madison City parks that provide children with green space, trees, ball diamonds, swing sets, climbing structures, and wide-open spaces. The hill in the lower yard is great for sledding in winter!

In 1970 and 1971, five women, all with considerable knowledge in the fields of education and child development, set out to create a learning environment for children that followed many of the same philosophies as the “open classroom” or British primary model. It was a time when many educators questioned the effectiveness and benefits to children of the traditional, highly adult-centered practices in American education.

The open, informal, or British primary model was heavily influenced by the work of educator John Dewey and developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and was characterized by the following:
• Multi-age or “family” groupings of children
• “Learning centers” to move through during an openly structured school day
• Recognition that children are active constructors of their own knowledge
• Teaching as facilitating, guiding, and setting the stage for children’s discovery
• Learning as a highly individualized process, strongly bound to social connections and community responsibilities

Wingra’s founders’ original intent was not to create a new school but to demonstrate to the Madison school district a more child-centered, mixed-age approach in the hopes that they would implement it within the public schools. They tirelessly lobbied the school board, convincing them along the way to send several teachers to England to explore the open classroom.

Ultimately, the district proposed a three-year experiment starting with five-year-olds and adding an age group each year. This arrangement did not satisfy Wingra’s founders, in part because the true benefit of the family groupings would not be enjoyed until the third year. After thanking the district for its support and consideration, the founders opened Wingra School in 1972 in the Dudgeon building with 45 students in two classrooms. The school’s first teachers were Sam Jackson, JoAnn Schoell, and Jackie Hass.

Wingra expanded as interest in the school grew and younger students matured. In the mid-seventies, a class for 9 to 11 year olds was added. In 1983, Wingra started a program for the middle school years, ages 11 to 14.

Serving students from kindergarten through eighth grade presented new challenges and opportunities. The informal model, traditionally used with younger students and in early childhood settings, was reinterpreted to meet the needs of early adolescents. The classrooms for older students have become a high-quality alternative to large middle school settings.

Over the decades, Wingra has established connections with organizations that serve independent schools, including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Progressive Education Network (PEN), and the National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools. Wingra is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).

October 20, 2021

Wingra Community,

I hope you are enjoying the sun and warmth of this beautiful Fall day.  As we know, days like these will become scarce as the season progresses.  We must gather and preserve each ray of “sunshine memories” to comfort us until Spring.  Autumn weather is an active daily reminder of Nature’s continuous transitions.  Change is necessary for growth.  Changes are opportunities for growth.  It is with transitions in mind that I write to you today.

I have the unenviable task of announcing that our Head of School, Debbie Millon, will not be extending her contract with the Wingra Community beyond the end of the current school year.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I bring this news to you with the deepest of gratitude and appreciation to Debbie for the work she has done over the past 6 years.  Debbie embodies the Wingra Spirit on a daily basis and has done so since her initial tour of our school.  I wasn’t here when Debbie first arrived at Wingra.  However, over the course of the past 3 years I have had the great pleasure of observing her work and contributions on behalf of Wingra.  In times of adversity and transition, Debbie has modeled exemplary leadership, an open mind and a welcoming heart.  I marvel at her ability to remember all the names of students and their families, as well as the dedication to greet them with a smile (masks notwithstanding) each day at drop-off. Debbie has been instrumental in Wingra’s continuing transformation and evolution into an anti-racist, anti-oppression organization.  She has helped the board, faculty, staff and families understand these goals in theory and in practice.  Further, Debbie and the Covid Task Force have managed the pandemic in outstanding fashion. They have painstakingly endeavored to ensure the safety of our students, families and staff.  Debbie Millon has been exactly what Wingra needs during these 6 years.  She will also be instrumental in helping the Board of Trustees select the Head of School we need in 2022 and beyond.

In her personal announcement, Debbie speaks much more eloquently than I could hope to regarding her tenure at Wingra. In my estimation, she has served our community with distinction. At our most recent weekly meeting, true-to-form, Debbie said she sees the next several months as an opportunity to learn the lessons of transitioning gracefully and viewing Change as growth rather than loss.  Please join our board and family as we thank her for continuing to teach, learn and elevate the conversation even as she sets alight toward new horizons.

Thank you,

Arlen Moss, President of the Wingra Board of Trustees

He/Him/Advocate

October 20, 2021

Dear Wingra Community,

It was six years ago this week that I flew to Madison from Vermont to interview at nationally-known Wingra School – a school I had learned about years earlier at a Progressive Education Conference in Washington, D.C. and had followed since. Its values of inclusion, relationships, and social justice were evident to me from afar and came to life as I walked the hallways and visited with community members that week. I thought, what an incredible opportunity to join a school whose mission aligned so closely with my vision for education.

I’m now in my sixth year as Head of School and I couldn’t have been more correct. My days and weeks have been filled with joy, engaging relationships, challenges that helped me grow, laughter, learning, and love. I’m grateful for the time I’ve had to lead Wingra School and for the trust this community has put in me. I’m writing now to share that, after much soul searching and reflection, I have decided it is time to begin a new chapter in my life. I will be moving on from Wingra and Madison at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. I’ll spend some time outside of the education world for discernment and reflection. It’s a bittersweet decision, of course, and one that comes with a mix of many emotions. Throughout all of these, though, I feel the decision is the right next step for me and my family.

We have so much to be proud of at Wingra. Together, we have explored new learning, deep dives, broad reflections, and taken intentional actions toward becoming a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable institution. While COVID no doubt shifted some of our work, it hasn’t diminished the impactful vision for our school. We have overcome challenges and fulfilled opportunities together. Wingra will enter its 51st year with a Meet Me Outside program that engages students in earth stewardship and learning, and invites the community to consider our role in environmental justice. We continue to examine our financial model and ways to lower barriers to make Wingra accessible to families of all financial means. We have reviewed our curriculum and assessment tools to ensure they are responsive, progressive, and meeting the needs of today’s learners. We’ve practiced wellness and responsiveness and rewrote a mission statement that serves as a touchstone and north star in our actions. Wingra is resilient and in a strong place — thanks to all of our contributions.

Transitions are a natural part of life, as are endings and beginnings. They become opportunities for us to examine what matters, who we want to be, where we are going, and how we want to get there. This transition provides this for me but, just as importantly, it provides it for our precious school. How might the Wingra community move through a transition and practice endings and beginnings skillfully and consciously, while centering our values? It’s an exciting and inspiring threshold to be in.

I’m confident the school is in competent hands with staff and board leadership deeply committed to the school’s mission to challenge the mind, nurture the heart, and celebrate human dignity, now and into the future. We will be thorough and thoughtful about the process to identify Wingra’s next Head of School, and I stand in service – ready, willing, and able to play a synergistic role that will advance important priorities for our school while allowing new leadership to take shape. I will help ensure this is a smooth transition and that we build together on the good progress we have established.

I am so grateful to have called Wingra and Madison my home and I look forward to watching you soar toward your vision in the years to come.

With love and appreciation,

Debbie Millon
Head of School

“We build the road and the road builds us”
As I think about the transformative journey I’ve had at Wingra, I’m reminded of a quote from the Sarvodaya
movement in Sri Lanka. Replacing the word road with “school” speaks to my feeling: As we build our school, it
in turn builds us. I often say that Wingra’s mission is alive and well when we witness people of all ages
growing and transforming. I ask, how has Wingra helped to “build” you?

Job Openings at Wingra

October 2021 Posting

Wingra School is searching for a Business Manager to oversee the financial operations of the school holding a clear understanding of the school’s strategic direction and business needs. The Business Manager provides management and oversight of business office functions including: budgeting, financial reporting, human resources, annual audit, payroll, accounts payable, tuition collection, risk management, and tuition assistance.  Ideal candidates are guided by principles of equity, inclusion, democratic processes, and anti-racist practices. Ideal candidates are also excellent communicators who can work independently and as part of a team, are resourceful, responsive, organized, and are able to navigate the educational terrain with humor, flexibility, and grace.

Wingra School, in service of social justice, strives for equity and fosters responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. We recognize the existence of institutional racism that has excluded Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from positions of power, and contributed to their discrimination, persecution, incarceration, and execution. We recognize that we live in an unjust society. We know that racial injustice has existed since before our country was formed. We recognize that we have played a role in the systems of inequality and we are working to make changes to upend that. We are seeking people to be part of our transformation and uphold a core tenet of Wingra School’s progressive mission since its inception: to educate and to work for a more perfect union.

Requirements

  • Strong background in accounting with business management experience
  • Ability to think and act strategically combined with a positive customer service orientation
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills to articulate and explain complex issues to families and staff, as well as to Trustees who are responsible for making informed and effective strategic decisions.
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team and to communicate effectively with all stakeholders
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and handle multiple tasks subject to frequent interruption.
  • Strong technology skills including a proficiency with MS Office and QuickBooks
  • Commitment to the equitable education of children and to anti-racist practices

Salary Information*

Position begins as soon as possible

100% annual salary range = $72,960 – $75,960, which includes funds to pay for group benefits & Paid Time Off

*Salary and benefits will be prorated to align with school year employment

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, and three letters of reference to Debbie Millon, Head of School, at dmillon@wingraschool.org

Wingra School is an independent school for ages five to fourteen centrally-located in Madison, Wisconsin. We value and respect all types of diversity and strongly encourage applicants from traditionally marginalized groups to apply. We prohibit discrimination and provide equal employment opportunity without regard to, and not limited to, ethnicity, religion, race, national origin, abilities, gender identity, age or genetic information. We recognize the inherent strengths that come from different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. As an organization, we have a commitment to examining our unconscious biases and want to work toward a just, equitable, and peaceful world.

Mission Statement

In service of learning, we practice responsive and progressive education, and strive for equity. In service of the whole person, we embrace unique gifts, experiences, and relationships. In service of social justice, we foster responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. In service of democracy, we nurture individual and collective growth. In service of the world, we cultivate curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

April 2022 Posting

Wingra School is searching for a Technology Teacher who is guided by principles of progressive education, equity, democratic processes, and anti-racist practices. They can offer an engaging, interactive technology curriculum based on an understanding of child development and emerging technology education. Candidates must be creative, resourceful, responsive, organized, and able to navigate the educational terrain with humor, flexibility, and grace.

Our Technology Teacher works with multi-age groups of students, ages 5-14, and envisions ways to create and implement a technology integration plan. They are dedicated to advancing student learning and use knowledge of technology, subject matter, and child development to design an environment that promotes healthy interaction with technology, responsible citizenship, creativity, and innovation. They support the entire staff in accessing, utilizing, learning about, and evaluating technology in a school setting. This position includes some technology and network maintenance and management.

Wingra School, in service of social justice, strives for equity and fosters responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. We recognize the existence of institutional racism that has excluded Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from positions of power, and contributed to their discrimination, persecution, incarceration, and execution. We recognize that we live in an unjust society. We know that racial injustice has existed since before our country was formed. We recognize that we have played a role in the systems of inequality and we are working to make changes to upend that. We are seeking educators to be part of our transformation and uphold a core tenet of Wingra School’s progressive mission since its inception: to educate and to work for a more perfect union.

Requirements

  • Passion for teaching and commitment to the equitable education of children 
  • Commitment to anti-racist education and teaching practices
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team and to communicate effectively with parents
  • Understanding of progressive philosophy and teaching methods
  • Experience in teaching an integrated curriculum and collaborating with classroom teachers
  • Experience in addressing equity and diversity issues
  • Bachelor’s degree, in education and child development
  • Classroom experience at the elementary childhood or middle school level (preferred)
  • Teaching License (preferred)

Salary Information

Position runs from August 22, 2022 to June 17, 2023 

100% annual salary = minimum of $49,450, increased based on experience. This includes Salary & Section 125 Benefit amount and would be prorated for 80% FTE. 

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, and three letters of reference to:

Daniel Torres-Rangel, Director of Education, at daniel@wingraschool.org 

Wingra School is an independent school for ages five to fourteen centrally-located in Madison, Wisconsin. We value and respect all types of diversity and strongly encourage applicants from traditionally marginalized groups to apply. We prohibit discrimination and provide equal employment opportunity without regard to, and not limited to, ethnicity, religion, race, national origin, abilities, gender identity, age or genetic information. We recognize the inherent strengths that come from different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. As an organization, we have a commitment to examining our unconscious biases and want to work toward a just, equitable, and peaceful world.

Mission Statement

In service of learning, we practice responsive and progressive education, and strive for equity. In service of the whole person, we embrace unique gifts, experiences, and relationships. In service of social justice, we foster responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. In service of democracy, we nurture individual and collective growth. In service of the world, we cultivate curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

April 2022 Posting

Wingra School is searching for a school librarian who is guided by principles of progressive education, equity, democratic processes, and anti-racist practices. They have a strong passion for child development and for curating a library collection that supports students’ interests, social-emotional health, social justice, and outdoor education. Candidates must be creative, resourceful, responsive, organized, and able to navigate the educational terrain with humor, flexibility, and grace. 

Wingra School, in service of social justice, strives for equity and fosters responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. We recognize the existence of institutional racism that has excluded Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from positions of power, and contributed to their discrimination, persecution, incarceration, and execution. We recognize that we live in an unjust society. We know that racial injustice has existed since before our country was formed. We recognize that we have played a role in the systems of inequality and we are working to make changes to upend that. We are seeking educators to be part of our transformation and uphold a core tenet of Wingra School’s progressive mission since its inception: to educate and to work for a more perfect union.

Requirements

  • Passion for teaching and commitment to the equitable education of children 
  • Commitment to anti-racist education and teaching practices
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team and to communicate effectively with parents
  • Understanding of progressive philosophy and teaching methods
  • Experience in teaching an integrated curriculum and collaborating with classroom teachers
  • Knowledge of best practices of school library collection development and programming
  • Ability to maintain an inviting shared space for all members of the school community
  • Experience in addressing equity and diversity issues, especially in building a diverse library collection
  • Bachelor’s degree, in education and child development; MLS preferred but not required
  • Classroom experience at the elementary childhood or middle school level (preferred)
  • Teaching License (preferred)

Salary Information

Position runs from August 22, 2022 to June 17, 2023 

100% annual salary = minimum of $49,450, increased based on experience. This includes Salary & Section 125 Benefit amount and would be prorated for 50% FTE. 

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, and three letters of reference to:

Daniel Torres-Rangel, Director of Education, at daniel@wingraschool.org 

Wingra School is an independent school for ages five to fourteen centrally-located in Madison, Wisconsin. We value and respect all types of diversity and strongly encourage applicants from traditionally marginalized groups to apply. We prohibit discrimination and provide equal employment opportunity without regard to, and not limited to, ethnicity, religion, race, national origin, abilities, gender identity, age or genetic information. We recognize the inherent strengths that come from different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. As an organization, we have a commitment to examining our unconscious biases and want to work toward a just, equitable, and peaceful world.

Mission Statement

In service of learning, we practice responsive and progressive education, and strive for equity. In service of the whole person, we embrace unique gifts, experiences, and relationships. In service of social justice, we foster responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. In service of democracy, we nurture individual and collective growth. In service of the world, we cultivate curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

April 2022 Posting

Wingra School is searching for an after-school teachers (Extended Day) who are guided by principles of progressive education, equity, democratic processes, and anti-racist practices. They bring out the best in others through compassion, hard work, a deep understanding of children, and a passion for the learning process. They are committed to working on a highly collaborative team, teaching children ages 5-14 in a multi-age program. They are energized by Wingra’s approach and our mission, committed to their own growth and development as an educator, and specifically drawn to teaching children in a progressive learning environment. Candidates must be creative, resourceful, responsive, organized, and able to navigate the educational terrain with humor, flexibility, and grace. Most weeks the hours are Mon (1:30-6:00pm) and Tue-Fri (2:45-6:00pm) when school is in session. Occasionally there are longer days, depending on the school calendar.

Wingra School, in service of social justice, strives for equity and fosters responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. We recognize the existence of institutional racism that has excluded Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from positions of power, and contributed to their discrimination, persecution, incarceration, and execution. We recognize that we live in an unjust society. We know that racial injustice has existed since before our country was formed. We recognize that we have played a role in the systems of inequality and we are working to make changes to upend that. We are seeking educators to be part of our transformation and uphold a core tenet of Wingra School’s progressive mission since its inception: to educate and to work for a more perfect union.

Requirements

  • Passion for teaching and commitment to the equitable education of children 
  • Commitment to anti-racist education and teaching practices
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team and to communicate effectively with parents
  • Understanding of progressive philosophy and teaching methods
  • Experience in addressing equity and diversity issues
  • Bachelor’s degree, in education and child development (preferred)
  • Classroom experience at the elementary childhood or middle school level (preferred)

Salary Information

Position runs from August 22, 2022 to June 17, 2023 

100% annual salary = minimum of $49,450, increased based on experience. This includes Salary & Section 125 Benefit amount and would be prorated for 50% FTE. 

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, and three letters of reference to:

Daniel Torres-Rangel, Director of Education, at daniel@wingraschool.org 

Wingra School is an independent school for ages five to fourteen centrally-located in Madison, Wisconsin. We value and respect all types of diversity and strongly encourage applicants from traditionally marginalized groups to apply. We prohibit discrimination and provide equal employment opportunity without regard to, and not limited to, ethnicity, religion, race, national origin, abilities, gender identity, age or genetic information. We recognize the inherent strengths that come from different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. As an organization, we have a commitment to examining our unconscious biases and want to work toward a just, equitable, and peaceful world.

Mission Statement

In service of learning, we practice responsive and progressive education, and strive for equity. In service of the whole person, we embrace unique gifts, experiences, and relationships. In service of social justice, we foster responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. In service of democracy, we nurture individual and collective growth. In service of the world, we cultivate curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

April 2022 Posting

Wingra School is searching for progressive educators to join our team. Ideal candidates are guided by principles of progressive education, equity, democratic processes, and anti-racist teaching practices. They have a strong passion for child development and have experience with integrated curriculum and authentic assessment. They are knowledgeable in current events and have experience with or a willingness to teach complex public issues. Candidates must be an excellent teacher who is creative, resourceful, responsive, organized, and able to navigate the educational terrain with humor, flexibility, and grace. 

Our teaching staff is comprised of passionate educators who recognize the innate potential that lies within every child. We encourage students to approach learning with an open, inquisitive, and critical mind and to go beyond the “facts” toward understanding the “why” and “how”. At Wingra, children are deeply known by a supportive circle of adults as well as multi-age peers. Our community is one where students are accepted as their true selves, comfortable to explore, and confident to challenge themselves to try new things; a community where curriculum is flexibly designed to meet the students’ unique needs, interests, and abilities; a community where students feel ownership of their educational journey and where their innate motivation to learn is sparked to life and fanned into a strong flame.

Wingra School, in service of social justice, strives for equity and fosters responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. We recognize the existence of institutional racism that has excluded Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from positions of power, and contributed to their discrimination, persecution, incarceration, and execution. We recognize that we live in an unjust society. We know that racial injustice has existed since before our country was formed. We recognize that we have played a role in the systems of inequality and we are working to make changes to upend that. We are seeking educators to be part of our transformation and uphold a core tenet of Wingra School’s progressive mission since its inception: to educate and to work for a more perfect union.

Requirements

  • Passion for teaching and commitment to the equitable education of children 
  • Commitment to anti-racist education and teaching practices
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team and to communicate effectively with parents
  • Understanding of progressive philosophy and teaching methods
  • Experience in teaching an integrated curriculum
  • Experience in addressing equity and diversity issues
  • Bachelor’s degree, in education and child development
  • Classroom experience at the elementary childhood or middle school level (preferred)
  • Teaching License (preferred)

Salary Information

Position runs from August 22, 2022 to June 17, 2023 

100% annual salary = minimum of $49,450, increased based on experience. This includes Salary & Section 125 Benefit amount and would be prorated for 50% FTE. 

 

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, and three letters of reference to:

Daniel Torres-Rangel, Director of Education, at daniel@wingraschool.org 

Wingra School is an independent school for ages five to fourteen centrally-located in Madison, Wisconsin. We value and respect all types of diversity and strongly encourage applicants from traditionally marginalized groups to apply. We prohibit discrimination and provide equal employment opportunity without regard to, and not limited to, ethnicity, religion, race, national origin, abilities, gender identity, age or genetic information. We recognize the inherent strengths that come from different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. As an organization, we have a commitment to examining our unconscious biases and want to work toward a just, equitable, and peaceful world.

Mission Statement

In service of learning, we practice responsive and progressive education, and strive for equity. In service of the whole person, we embrace unique gifts, experiences, and relationships. In service of social justice, we foster responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. In service of democracy, we nurture individual and collective growth. In service of the world, we cultivate curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

Current posting

Wingra School is looking for Substitute Teachers to work with children ages 5 to 14 years. Teachers will strive to bring out the best in students while working with engaging, interactive curriculum based on a deep understanding of child development and a passion for the learning process. Work with multi-age groups of primary students (ages 5-7), intermediate students (ages 7-9 and 9-11) and adolescent students (ages 11-14) in all subject areas. Must be an excellent teacher who is resourceful, enthusiastic, organized and able to navigate the educational terrain with flexibility and grace.

Requirements:

  • Passion for teaching and commitment to the education of children
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team
  • Friendly demeanor, sense of humor, and flexibility
  • Dependable and responsible
  • Prior experience in an educational setting

To apply:

Please send a cover letter, resume, and three letters of reference to: Daniel Torres-Rangel, Director of Education, at daniel@wingraschool.org.

Wingra School is an independent school for ages five to fourteen centrally-located in Madison, Wisconsin. We value and respect all types of diversity and strongly encourage applicants from traditionally marginalized groups to apply. We prohibit discrimination and provide equal employment opportunity without regard to, and not limited to, ethnicity, religion, race, national origin, abilities, gender identity, age or genetic information. We recognize the inherent strengths that come from different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. As an organization, we have a commitment to examining our unconscious biases and want to work toward a just, equitable, and peaceful world.

Mission Statement

In service of learning, we practice responsive and progressive education, and strive for equity. In service of the whole person, we embrace unique gifts, experiences, and relationships. In service of social justice, we foster responsibility, advocacy, and compassion. In service of democracy, we nurture individual and collective growth. In service of the world, we cultivate curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

Wingra School is committed to attracting staff of varied backgrounds and to developing inclusive classroom communities that draw strength from a positive recognition of diversity. We value diversity in our community with regard to gender, race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, and ability.

Administrative & Building Staff

Debbie Millon
Head of School

About Me

Daniel Torres-Rangel

Director of Education

About Me

Johanna Schmidt

Director of Enrollment & Marketing

About Me

Mary Campbell
Sustainability Steward

About Me

Elizabeth Garcia
Administrative Secretary

About Me

Dave Hinterberg
Building Director

About Me

Chhoeub Chaam
Custodian

About Me

Eddie Smith
Custodian

About Me

Teaching Staff

Debbie Blitz
Nest Teacher

About Me

Benna Stengl
Nest Teacher

About Me

Clara Temlitz
Pond Teacher

About Me

Teanna Dosch
Pond Teacher

About Me

Megan Palmer Sandrock
Lake Teacher

About Me

Andrea Sherry
Lake Teacher

About Me

Claire Weiss
Sky Teacher

About Me

Allen Cross
Sky Teacher

About Me

Kathy Oker
Sky Teacher

About Me

 Miranda Waldman
Sky Teacher

About Me

Stacy Corona
Spanish Teacher

About Me

 Aviv Kammay
Music Teacher

About Me

 Sarah Melton
Wellness Teacher

About Me

 Danya Lanphear
Art Teacher

About Me

 Rebecca Lemar
Librarian

About Me

 Kathy McAleese
Student Support Advocate

About Me

Board of Trustees

Wingra School is a nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Trustees composed of parents, staff members, and community volunteers. The board provides support for all aspects of the school through fundraising, policy development, maintenance of the organizational structure, and participation in financial and long-range planning.

The board is self-perpetuating; new members are chosen by current board members to bring in needed strengths and talents. Staff members are nominated by the staff. It is important that potential board members are committed to Wingra’s mission and ownership and are able to “think big” in terms of systems, not details. Interested parties can find the self-nomination form here.

Board Statement-

Black lives matter. We denounce police brutality and call for a transformational redesign of local law enforcement, including removal of law enforcement from schools and replacement with counselors. We support the rights of all to advocate for themselves and others and confirm our commitment to stand behind our black youth as they advocate for creation of a world that is more just. We commit to using our time, treasure, and talent in support of local organizations, such as Urban Triage, Freedom Inc, and Madison for Black Lives, that are dedicated to lifting and amplifying young black voices. We pledge to work to end systemic racism not only in our local community, but in our school community, as well.

 

We, the white Trustees, commit to take the following actions:

  1. To continue to educate ourselves and each other on the insidious nature of our own racism. We must understand how our internalized racism affects our interactions with black people. We must learn our own history: how systemic racism was developed and continues to be upheld by white people, in order to be effective in the dismantling the process.

  2. To call each other out when we resort–whether consciously or unconsciously–to a position where we center our white thoughts and white actions without regard for the impact on black voices.

  3. To commit to creating a leadership pipeline for black Trustees to attain positions of power within the board. It isn’t enough to bring black voices onto the Board and we recognize that getting out of the way is essential to creating fundamental change.

  4. To de-center our own whiteness and our own white experience which is unique to us as those in the dominant white culture. We will sit with our own discomfort as we make mistakes and not seek closure or reassurance from our black colleagues. We recognize that it is not up to them to make us feel better.

  5. To work every day to lead the transformation of Wingra School to an anti-racist organization. Our history as a majority white institution means that there is much to be done and we pledge to use our white privilege to support the creation of a community based in equality and justice.

  • Vaunce Ashby (Vice President)

  • Monica Cliff

  • Noelle Griffiths

  • April Kigeya

  • Melina Knabe (Secretary)

  • Julie Loehri

  • Debbie Millon (ex officio)

  • Arlen Moss (President)

  • Kevin Panke-Buisse (Treasurer)

  • Kailea Saplan

  • Daniel Sims

  • Clara Temlitz

Parent Service & Participation

Within the Wingra community, partnerships and relationships are fostered through shared experiences among our students and their families. We want to know the important people in children’s lives and invite active participation in our school community for parents, extended family, and caregivers. We encourage active engagement in children’s education to help ground them and help them flourish. Through school-wide and classroom volunteer opportunities, our parent organization, and special events, there is a way for everyone to be involved.

At Wingra School, we have always depended on parent volunteers to help with school events and activities. Working on the premise that many hands make light work, we ask all parents to sign up for specific roles, activities, and events of interest. Early each summer, parents are asked to share their preferred service opportunities for the coming year through a Parent Service Form. In the fall, we let parents know how they can help the school, based on their expressed preferences.

The WFA brings together parents and caregivers to create opportunities to connect and learn from each other, build relationships, and support Wingra’s events and programs to strengthen our community.

Community Conversations • Family Game Night • Family Poetry Night • Clothing & Book Resales Sales • Teacher Appreciation • And More!

There are many ways to participate in the WFA with varying levels of commitment.

Parents have many opportunities to volunteer in their child’s classroom. That could include being a guest speaker or sharing an area of expertise, driving for a class field trip, providing classroom snacks as assigned, supporting teachers and students in the classroom, or tasks at home.

Community Connections

Preservice Teachers

Wingra School was founded as a private institution for the public good. One way we continue to realize this commitment is by hosting student and practicum teachers from local universities and colleges into our classrooms. We are fortunate to work with many educators, early in their careers, each semester.

Wingra Service Learning (WSL)

Wingra pursues service projects to connect with and support organizations within Madison. Service-Learning, as defined by Community Works Institute, is an educational strategy that combines academic and social goals to meet community needs. Collaboration occurs through compelling sense of purpose, engagement, and reciprocity among all partners.

Visiting Tours

A visitor to our school has much to learn about our intentional educational community. We host tours for current and future educators, university professors, and others interested in seeing firsthand how we cultivate an atmosphere of activity, learning, and freedom. One can feel it the moment the door is opened! We also strive to be a model for healthy ecological practices and invite neighbors and businesses to tour our building and witness how we give care to the environment.

New Morning Nursery School

New Morning Nursery School has much in common with Wingra School in its nurturing, child-centered approach. The school was formed as a non-profit cooperative by parents in 1972 and is located on a second floor wing at Wingra.