Sky Teacher, Ages 11 to 14, Room 202
B.S., Elementary Education, UW-Madison
B.A., Economics, Political Science, and Philosophy, UW-Madison
Allen has taught at Wingra School since 1988. His interest in authentic interdisciplinary study has led to a National Science Foundation grant in 1991; a Keizai Koho Fellowship trip to Japan in 1992; a “Math in Context” institute in the Netherlands in 1995; and a five-week 2002 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship studying the historiography of the Industrial Revolution in Nottingham, England.
Allen presented his classroom action research work about democratic classrooms at the 2004 annual American Educator Research Conference and served as a discussant at the 2005 conference and has been a reviewer of proposals for AERA’s Teacher as Research Special Interest Group. He presented his findings about the sound culture of the classroom at the 2006 National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, the 2007 AERA Conference, and at the 2008 University of Pennsylvania Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum.
Allen participated in a 2 year collaborative teacher research project focusing on social justice education and took part in the presentation of their work at the 2007 AERA annual convention. Connie North’s book about this collaboration Teaching for Social Justice was published in 2008. Allen has participated in the
Greater Madison Area Writing Project and MMSD’s Classroom Action Research groups and served as a facilitator for the latter. Allen has been a participant in the UW’s American Educators Forum since 2010 focusing on studying fundamental concepts of our democracy and ways to make those topics come alive in schools. He particularly values Wingra being a Partner School of the UW’s School of Education and hosting UW pre-service teachers serving as a cooperating teacher.
Sky Teacher, Ages 11 to 14
B.S., Special Education (Cognitive Disabilities), UW-Madison
B.S., Elementary Education, UW-Madison
Claire has been teaching in the Lake for twenty years. Before coming to Wingra in 1999, Claire taught special education at the middle and secondary levels, worked in Madison food coops, and spent time with her three children, who are now young adults. Claire lives in rural Mount Horeb with her husband.
Personal experiences with progressive education inspired Claire to teach at a school like Wingra. She attended an alternative school-within-a-school in Newton, MA for eighth and ninth grades. Never before had she encountered teachers who would accommodate her learning needs and preferences, including a science teacher who made space in his lab for her to have an individualized, somewhat self-directed science class. (One week he dumped a bag of cat bones on the table, with instructions to research a cat’s body, assemble and draw the skeleton, and report on it.) She was allowed to spend an entire week puzzling out the parts of a cat’s body, and the ways all its systems worked together, as she assembled its skeleton. She not only learned about biology but also that a teacher could trust a student to learn what she needed to learn to solve a problem. This early experience made Claire resolve to be a teacher and make a similar difference in her students’ lives.
After high school, Claire took a four-year “gap year” to work in a local food coop. She then enrolled in the UW School of Education to complete a degree in Special Education. Later, she returned to add another B.S. in Elementary Education, student teaching in a Wingra School classroom!
Claire has also vicariously experienced progressive education through her children, who have attended Malcolm Shabazz City School in Madison, an experimental multi-age elementary classroom in Mount Horeb, and The Putney School in Putney, Vermont. In each of these programs, Claire has observed inspired teachers enriching the education and lives of students at all age levels.
When not at school, Claire enjoys camping and hiking, reading, writing, cooking, and traveling. These pursuits have led her to study American Sign Language, Yiddish, Italian, Hebrew, and Chinese, and to travel to Italy and across Hong Kong and Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces in China.
When not traveling and writing, Claire soaks up professional development opportunities; in 2014, she was honored to participate in the Greater Madison Writing Project, the local cohort of the National Writing Project, which inspires teachers of writing. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, she enjoyed “paying it forward” by teaching at the Young Writers Camp, and hopes to do so again in the coming year. In 2017, she was given a grant to study Holocaust and social justice education by The Olga Lengyl Institute, based in New York City. In the coming year, she hopes to finish writing a book for young adults about the Holocaust, and to continue teaching at Young Writers Camp in Madison. Most recently, she has enjoyed presenting Lake math strategies with her team at the Progressive Education Network 2017 conference in Boston.
Sky Teacher, Ages 11 to 14
Bachelor of English, History, Union College in Schenectady
MEd, Middle School Education, Lesley University
Though originally from Boston, Miranda grew up in and around New York, where much of her family still lives today. As a high school student, she realized she needed to teach in order to follow in the footsteps of the amazing educators that shaped her formative years. Seizing every opportunity to teach that was available, she worked as a tutor and assistant children’s librarian through high school and was a nature instructor in her early college years. She received bachelor degrees in English and History from Union College and completed an undergraduate thesis focused on workers’ movements in Poland during the 1970s and 1980s. For fun, she assisted in teaching Astronomy courses and volunteered for the Society of Physics Students’ local outreach programs.
While pursuing her master’s in education at Lesley University, Miranda student taught sixth and seventh grade classes at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was there that she was able to embrace using project-based units of thematic study to shape student learning, and she still gets teary-eyed when she remembers her students’ Hamilton-inspired colonial plays and the Africa-shaped cake her students baked for her last day with them.
Miranda moved to Madison in the summer of 2017 and first joined Wingra as a substitute teacher at the start of the new calendar year. For Miranda, Wingra is synonymous with the community that shaped her first experiences in Madison, from accidentally teaching French in the Lake to conducting zany science projects. Her aspirations as an educator are to find exciting and engaging ways to learn about the world around us and to emphasize love, community building, social justice, and embracing the unusual in all that we do.
Sky Teacher, Ages 11 to 14, Room 200
B.S., Criminal Justice, University of Dayton
B.S., Elementary Education (grades 1 to 9), UW-Madison
Kathy is a firm believer in a progressive approach to education and has loved being a part of the Wingra community since 2000.
A native of Cincinnati, Kathy was educated at the University of Dayton and the University of Wisconsin. She spent eight years traveling the world with her husband, Dave, prior to joining the Wingra faculty. In addition to exploring the U.S. and Canada, the couple spent six months living in a tent in Australia and resided in Taiwan for two and half years, where they taught English.
Kathy considers herself a citizen scientist and a life-long learner. Teaching at Wingra allows her to ask questions and actively pursue an increased understanding of herself and the world each and every day. Kathy and Dave have three children, Willie, Leo, and Laurel.