Coed Independent Boarding and Day School | Grades 7-12 | Delafield, WI
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Paul Edwin Lima, Major General, U.S. Army (Retired)
General Lima graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and holds master’s degrees from Boston University and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He has managed two highly successful careers as a Major General in the Army Reserve, and as a C-level corporate executive with extensive experience in South America and fluency in Spanish. General Lima’s involvement with St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy dates to 2010, mentoring its cadets through the application process for West Point admissions. He has recently worked as an independent consultant for the President and Board Chair of the Academies.
Direct Line: 262-646-7113
Assistant to The President
Anna Gagnon joined St. John’s Northwestern Academies in October 2018. She was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where she obtained a degree in secretary of general office and administration. She was a U.S. Navy wife for 20 years. During this time, she acted as an Ombudsmen coordinator as a liaison between families of active duty men and women and the base commanding officer. She volunteered to aid in the mentor and development program of military families’ dependent children at NAS Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. She also volunteered for the American Red Cross raising funds for areas in need. In 2002, she moved to the United States and was employed for several years in the communications department at Froedert South in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Vista Health System in Waukegan, Illinois. She has developed extensive customer service skills in the military, travel and healthcare sectors.
Direct Line: 262-646-7113
Chief Financial Officer
Jeffery Grant is serving as chief financial officer. His primary role will include providing leadership in support of financial activities, practices, integrity, and performance.
He also serves as an adjunct faculty member within the accounting program at Lakeland University. His professional background includes a blend of both for profit and non-profit organizations for many industries as well as in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Previously, he served in the chief financial officer and vice president roles at Kenosha Community Health Center, Milwaukee Center for Independence, and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
He is a CPA and holds both a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and a Master of Science in taxation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He also earned his insurance and securities licenses.
Since July 2021, Lori Kaari has been serving St. John’s Northwestern Academies as accounting manager in the finance office. She obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management. She earned a Bachelor of Arts of History and Bachelor of Arts of French from Ripon College. Her professional background includes business management and strategic planning in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Prior to her director and managerial roles in private schools and churches, she spent the better part of the 2000s working in business management in the construction industry. She spends her free time with her family and serving on the parish council at her local parish.
Direct Line: 262-646-7114
Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable Clerk
Lauren Genthe joined the finance office staff in October 2018. Prior to joining SJNA, she worked in accounts receivable/administration in the retail, manufacturing, and healthcare fields. Lauren has an Associate’s Degree in Supply Chain Management from Waukesha County Technical College, a Bachelor’s degree in Music and History from Ripon College, and is currently working towards an accounting certificate from Waukesha County Technical College. An active musician in the greater Milwaukee area, she teaches piano lessons at the White House of Music in Wauwatosa, is the church pianist at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stone Bank, and plays freelance gigs on both piano and oboe.
CMSgt Steven Schweiss, USAF (Ret.), joined the staff of SJNA in June 2012 as a resident faculty officer, responsible for the morale, discipline and welfare of cadets in his company. In June 2015, he became the special projects coordinator for the Academy. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in May 2012 after 31 years of active military service. He served the first four years of his enlistment in the USAF Security Forces (Military Police) and retired in May 2012 after 27 years as a Career Enlisted Aviator flying on the KC-135 In-Flight Refueling Tanker. He is a qualified Combat Flight Instructor/Evaluator for the In-Flight Refueling Technician career field. He graduated with honors from the USAF Leadership School and Non-Commissioned Officer Academy. His final three years of service were as the In-Flight Refueling Program Manager and Chief Boom Operator for the 128th Air Refueling Wing. In this role he was responsible for the management and training of all the unit’s enlisted aviators along with advising the Wing Commander on all matters concerning aerial refueling and cargo/troop airlift procedures. He deployed to various locations in support of all major military and humanitarian operations over the last 30 years to include both Gulf Wars, Kosovo, post 9/11 Operations, Hurricane Katrina Relief Operations, and the 2011 air campaign in Libya. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Medal.
Direct Line: 262-646-7137
John Hanley, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired)
Brigadier General John Hanley, U.S. Army, Retired, assumed the position of Provost for St. John’s Northwestern Academies in 2021. He received his Bachelor’s Degree and commission as a Distinguished Military Graduate from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He holds Master’s Degrees from Troy State University and the United States Army War College and a Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University. Brigadier General Hanley has served in the Regular Army and the Army Reserve in various command and staff assignments of increased responsibility in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has also worked in the private sector and is an adjunct faculty member at Viterbo University.
Direct Line: 262-646-7143
Upper School Dean/Instructor
Stephanie Ihler became interested in both teaching and second language acquisition after studying and living in Japan for four years. She subsequently went on to earn her teaching credentials and is currently licensed to teach secondary ESL, Japanese and English in the states of Arizona, Indiana and Wisconsin. She joined the SJNA faculty in the summer of 2010.
Direct Line: 262-646-7188
Middle School Dean/Instructor
Jon Pickelmann earned his bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin, and his master’s degree from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. He became a member of the SJNA staff in 2019 starting with Summer OPS. He has nearly 20 years of experience in teaching and school administration, and is a volunteer firefighter.
Academic Office Manager/Student Life Activities Coordinator
SFC Theresa Klosinski joined Wisconsin Army National Guard in December 1998 as a Transportation Specialist. Upon returning from a stateside deployment to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, she transferred units to Nevada National Guard and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After the deployment, she joined a signal unit and deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months as Operations NCOIC. She was selected for a special assignment on a Cultural Support Team and deployed to Afghanistan for a second time in 2012. Then she switched to the Army Reserve and joined the 432nd Civil Affairs unit in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a year before transferring to the 334th IDT in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently serving as a Drill Sergeant.
Direct Line: 262-646-7126
SSgt Austin McDaniel joined SJNA in September 2020. He has been enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a cryptologic language analyst since June of 2010 and has been an Air Force reservist since 2017. He earned an Associate’s degree in Intelligence Studies from the Community College of the Air Force in 2017 and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in History and minoring in Russian from Northern Illinois University in 2019. While attending Northern Illinois University, SSgt McDaniel worked as a veteran’s benefits counselor in the Military and Post Traditional Student Readiness office for the VA counseling and advising veterans, their dependents and survivors. After graduation, SSgt McDaniel worked for a year as a police officer with the City of Madison Police Department in Madison, Wisconsin.
Direct Line: 262-646-7213
Director of Athletics
Mike Fink earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater along with a masters in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. Joining SJNA in July 2018, he brings 35 years of experience in the education field. His experiences include special education teacher, lead educator at Kettle Moraine’s off-campus alternative school, dean of students, and 18 years as activities director. He has spent his last 28 years at Kettle Moraine High School. He has coached numerous sports including baseball, basketball, girls fastpitch for 22 years, and football for 25 years.
Direct Line: 262-646-7149
Director of Military Operations
LTC Jim Kebisek, U.S. Army (Ret.), earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science from Florida Tech. Upon retirement from the military in 1993 as an Army Corps of Engineer Officer, he joined the Academy and assumed the position of JROTC Senior Army Instructor. In addition to teaching and managing the leadership training program of the academy, LTC Kebisek was the camp director of Camp St. John’s Northwestern from its establishment in 1995 until 2010.
Chinese Instructor/Director of Asian Affairs
Ping Yao Braatz earned her Master of Science degree in mathematics at Southern Illinois University, a master’s degree of computer science at Dalian University of Technology in China, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in computer science and applications at Northeastern University in China. She has resided in the United States since 1997. She teaches Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and also has experience teaching math and computer science at the college level.
Maj Philip Cunningham, USAF, is an ordained Episcopal Priest and has served the congregation of St. John Chrysostom in Delafield since 2014, and joined the SJNA family in August of 2021. He also serves as a Chaplain in the 128th Air Refueling Wing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and German from Santa Clara University and a Master’s of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University. Prior to receiving a call to the ministry Chaplain Cunningham worked in Corporate Finance for ten years in Texas and California.
Direct Line: 262-646-7202
School Counselor/English Instructor
Amy Karsten earned her Bachelor’s Degree in professional communication at Alverno College in Milwaukee, a Master’s Degree in education at Carroll University in Waukesha, and is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in school counseling at Concordia University in Mequon. She is an adjunct instructor in the communication and technology division at Alverno College. At St. John’s Northwestern, she has taught English and Technology classes. Before becoming a teacher, she worked for ten years in marketing and graphic design and was a co-owner of a small marketing agency in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
Director of the Totzke Learning Center
Mrs. Mauer has been with the Academy since October 2016. Prior to coming to St. John’s Northwestern, Mrs. Mauer taught in the Wisconsin public schools for 29 years, teaching in a variety of grade levels. She is also a parent of a SJNMA 2011 graduate. Her favorite part of being at St John’s Northwestern is building relationships with the students in order to help them succeed and thrive in their environment.
Trades and Tech Instructor/ Activities Coordinator
Tom has been with St. John’s Northwestern Academies since 2008. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Production and Operations Management specializing in Manufacturing along with a second BS degree in Agricultural Business. He owned his own automotive service and repair business for over 20 years, and was in manufacturing for 8. He has been teaching SCUBA diving for 41 years and Lifeguarding for 10. Other hobbies include his farm and mules.
Study Skills and Math Instructor/TLC Support
Marla Collins graduated in 2010 from Lee University in Tennessee with a degree in special education mild/moderate disabilities K-12 and minor in Bible. She played basketball all four years of college and earned a full-tuition basketball scholarship. She began her teaching career in Nashville, Tennessee, at Cheatham County High School, and taught there from 2010-2014. She moved to Wisconsin and continued her teaching career in the School District of New Berlin at Eisenhower Middle/High School from 2014-2017. She joined SJNA in June 2017.
College and Career Counselor
Catherine (Cat) Lewis is the College and Career Counselor at St. John’s Northwestern Academies and teaches College and Career Planning. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Creative Writing Minor from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she also earned a Master of Arts Degree in English. Before coming to SJNA in August of 2021, Cat worked in the corporate sector in marketing, communications, public relations, and copywriting. She also held various positions at UW Oshkosh and served as a writing consultant, tutor, and head rugby coach.
Direct Line: 262-646-7283
Scott joined St. John’s Northwestern Academies in the fall of 1991. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a Master of Science in entomology from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In 1997 he was selected by his peers to receive the Roy F. Farrand Excellence in Teaching Award. Scott also coaches track and conducts hunter safety classes. Prior to teaching he spent six seasons as a forest technician with the U.S. Forest Service in Montana. In addition, he has worked for the National Park Service as a cave guide at Jewel Cave National Monument. When not teaching Scott enjoys wandering the wild lands of America.
Jon Bennett graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a degree in history and broad field of social sciences. He has taught in both private and public schools. In addition to teaching, he coaches baseball.
Dan Brill joined SJNA in the fall of 2017 as drumming instructor of The Pipes and Drums of SJNA, working with the bagpipe instructor. As a full-time professional musician and drumming teacher, he performs with several national and international touring rock bands. He also serves as Drum Sergeant for the Chicago Highlanders Pipe Band on parade and in competition throughout the Midwest. With over 15 years of experience and having studied at Columbia College Chicago, he enjoys passing on theoretical tools, musical knowledge and practical technique to his many dedicated drumming students.
Kyla T. Erickson
Kyla Erickson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics at Wheaton College, Illinois and is certified to teach in the state of Wisconsin. She has taught high school mathematics in both private and public settings since 2011 and joined the staff at SJNA in the fall of 2020. In addition, she has owned and run a small business, Vagabonde Bags, since 2003 and has enjoyed playing piano in many settings throughout the years.
Robert Geiger graduated from UW-Madison with a BS in Agriculture specializing in both Horticulture and Plant Sciences. He spent six years working in the field of landscaping as a designer and plant procurement specialist for two major landscape firms in SE WI. He then started and owned and operated a design-build landscape firm for 12 years also serving SE WI. While owning his business he began attending Cardinal Stritch University in 2000 to obtain his teaching certification. He received his M.Ed. from Cardinal Stritch in 2001. He holds four WI teaching licenses in the field of science. He previously taught at Grafton High School in WI for 18 years in the science department. Mr. Geiger is the NHS Advisor and teaches courses in Honors Biology, AP Environmental Science, Regular Environmental Science, Astronomy/Meteorology, Geology and Earth Systems, and 7th Grade Earth and Life Science. He joined SJNA in August 2020.
Andrew Johnson graduated from Ripon College with a BA in Chemistry and Educational Studies in 2020. He joined the SJNA family in August of 2021 and currently teaches regular chemistry and chemistry honors. Previously, he taught at Fond du Lac High School in the Fall of 2020, and long-term subbed at Nicolet High School in Glendale, WI during the Spring of 2021. At Nicolet High School, he coached the distance team in track and taught chemistry, freshman biology, and astronomy. Additionally, he competed as a collegiate student-athlete in cross country and track during his time at Ripon College. Andrew is the assistant cross country coach at St. John’s and hopes to use his past experiences to enrich the next generation of student-athlete runners.
Conrad Jorgensen joined SJNA in 2007 as director of the SJNA Band after completing tenure in Central Wisconsin’s Weyauwega-Fremont School District where he spent 16 years developing a successful band program. He studied trumpet extensively while he was a student at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree, and has been a professional trumpet player throughout Wisconsin since 1987. In 2015, he became the golf head coach.
Ann-Christin Kloth joined SJNA in August 2010 as German Instructor. She was born and raised in Germany and moved to the United States in 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Engineering from the University of Applied Science in Stuttgart, Germany. After working with diverse companies in customer service and sales as an executive, she decided to change her career to become a full-time riding instructor, founding her own business in 2005. Teaching has been always her passion and she has 35 years of teaching experience in various settings. She teaches German online at UWM Milwaukee and serves at SJNA as Foreign Language department chair.
Anita Lemperger joined SJNA in 2011 for the first time to teach ESL classes to international cadets during the Academic OPS program. She graduated from the University of Veszprem, Hungary, with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. In 2019, she received her master’s diploma in curriculum and instruction from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She also holds a reading teaching license from the State of Wisconsin. She was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award by the Mequon-Thiensville School District where she worked as a district ESL specialist between 2009 and 2019. She worked with students from various language and cultural backgrounds.
Lindsey Lopez earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in University Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. One year of her studies was spent abroad at Edgehill University in Ormskirk, England. Before moving into education, she had a diverse career ranging from being a volunteer with the American Red Cross in Wiesbaden, Germany to becoming a Volunteer Specialist with Meals on Wheels in Texas. She entered into teaching in 2017. During her years teaching at a public school in Texas, she received certifications in Gifted and Talented instruction, English as a Second Language, and Special Education. She joined the Academies in the Fall of 2020.
Charles Miller has been teaching at SJNA since 1993. He has a master’s degree in education, Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering and applied mathematics, and an associate’s degree in financial planning. He holds two state teaching licenses. He served 10 years in the United States Air Force, three of which were as an instructor. His military decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal. He teaches Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Personal Finance, and is the chess coach at the Academy.
Personal Finance Instructor
DJ Mlachnik earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management as well as his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. While completing both degrees Mlachnik played and earned a full-tuition Division 1 basketball scholarship all four years of college. He is also a 2011 graduate of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. He re-joined his Alma Mater here at the academy as a basketball coach in the fall of 2016 and became head basketball coach during the 2020-21′ season. Mlachnik currently teaches Personal Finance as well as Coaching and Officiating starting in the fall of 2021.
Alicia joined St. John’s Northwestern Academies in August of 2021 as a Math Teacher. She obtained a Masters in Mathematics from Emporia State University and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Creighton University. She has taught various levels of Mathematics for the past 9 years. She has experience in curriculum development and teaching Concurrent Enrollment with college-level math classes.
Social Studies Instructor
Dave Muse received a Master of Arts in history from Marquette University in 2007, finished a Graduate Teacher Program in 2013 and received his Master of Science in education in 2015. He taught English in northern China from 2007-2008, and has taught face-to-face and online history courses at several universities over the last ten years. Prior to teaching, he worked as an assistant manager for a catering company for several years.
Eloisa Palacios was born and raised in Sonora, Mexico. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Hispanic Literature and a Master Degree in Education. She has been certified as a B2 in German by the ÖSD. She was an English and German teacher at Universidad de Sonora and at Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo in Sonora, Mexico. She moved to the United States in 2018 and joined SJNA in August 2020.
Mr. Pederson served in the US Army and US Army National Guard for a total of eight years and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. After leaving the service, he earned a B.S. and M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Mr. Pederson has worked for SJNA since 2005 in a variety of roles and currently serves as the English Department Chair and AP Program Coordinator. In 2006 he was awarded the WCTELA’s Outstanding First-Year Teacher Award for the state of Wisconsin. In addition, Mr. Pederson has taught as an Associate Lecturer for an Adolescent Literature class for pre-service teachers at UW-Milwaukee.
Bagpipe Instructor, Librarian and Archives Manager
Ben Peterson has an academic background in the humanities and the library science fields. His undergraduate studies, specifically in regards to their emphasis on research, encouraged him to pursue his graduate work in library sciences. Throughout his graduate studies, and for some time following, he worked as an archivist for the Black Metropolis Research Consortium. His focus there was on the processing, accessibility and organization of historical collections from the Black Diaspora of the Chicago area. Prior to joining SJNA in the fall of 2019, he spent five years working in healthcare talent acquisition in Chicago. He began his work in this area as a corporate researcher and eventually moved into a role as a recruiter. He began his study of bagpipes at the age of nine. Since that time, he has advanced his skills as both a solo competitor and performer as well as having a great focus on competitive band performance. He has been competitive since the age of 11, and has been actively involved with solo instruction and band leadership since he was 15. Outside of his instructional role at SJNA, he also provides solo instruction both in person and virtually as well as teaches group and band workshops, and is currently the Pipe Major of the Greater Midwest Pipe Band based out of Battle Creek, Michigan.
Social Studies Instructor
Gregory Prospero graduated from Marquette University with a major in history and a minor in education. He spent six months studying abroad at Loyola University Rome Campus in Italy. He received a master’s in education curriculum and instruction from National Louis University. He has teaching experiences in both religious studies and history for over 26 years in both private and public high schools. He joined SJNA in August 2018.
Ed Scharf joined the faculty of SJNA in fall 2013. He teaches two engineering courses, physics, and AP Physics 1. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1973. After having spent five years in the Infantry Branch of the United States Army and 33 years on his family dairy farm, he obtained his teaching certification through Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He spent two years teaching chemistry at a private Catholic high school in Fond du Lac and one year at Mayville Public High School teaching algebra before joining SJNA.
After earning her degree in Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin Platteville, Heidi continued with graduate courses in Art Education at Carroll University. She has an emphasis in graphic design and marketing. She studied the traditional form of mosaic art in Italy at the Ravenna Mosaic School of Art. Heidi has extensive knowledge and experience teaching fine arts to adults with disabilities. She continues her involvement with art education through on-line courses and participates regularly in art retreats while creating mixed media projects at home.
Jon Schmidt is the head of the physical education, strength and conditioning department. He received his Bachelor of Science in education in health, human performance and recreation from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a minor in coaching/management in 2010. At UWW, he was an NCAA All-American in wrestling as well as an Academic All-American. He is a certified strength and conditioning coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a Level 2 advanced sports performance coach through USA Weightlifting, and has been coaching college, high school and youth wrestling since 2008.
Social Studies Instructor
Timothy Shramek earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education with a major in Broadfield Social Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1998. He joined SJNA in 1999, and teaches American Government, world history and geography.
Perry Siebers earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carroll College in Waukesha in 1981, and a Master of Science degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1992. He joined the English faculty at SJNA in 1981 and today, is the English Department chair. He also coaches prep soccer, basketball and varsity tennis.
Michael Stadler began teaching at SJNA in summer 2013. He earned Bachelor’s degrees in English and Secondary Education at Coastal Carolina University, and is certified in online education. He teaches American Studies Honors English and English 10, and has coached varsity baseball since 2015.
SFC Michael Trione, U.S. Army (Ret.), is an instructor with the JROTC program. He is a 21-year veteran of active duty service including Desert Storm. During his Army career as an Infantry soldier, he served as a team leader through platoon sergeant. He also completed numerous military schools, including Air Assault, Airborne, Rappel Master, Sniper, Recruiting and Drill Sergeant. He joined the Academy in August 2007, shortly before his retirement from the military. He has a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership from Colorado State University.
I am entering my 26 year of teaching in which 25 of those years have been teaching mathematics at St. John’s Northwestern. I received my Bachelor’s Degree Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of South Dakota and received my Masters’ Degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. This year, I am teaching Geometry, Honors Geometry and Honors Trigonometry / Pre – Calculus.
Dean of Admissions/Marketing Director
Joe Sevenz graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His teaching certification includes English, social studies and physical education. He has taught at various grade levels and in a variety of school settings including parochial, public and boarding. He initially taught at the Academy from 1980 to 1985, and left to spend the next 20 years in business. Upon retirement, he returned to SJNA in 2007 as a barracks manager and became an enrollment counselor in July 2010.
Direct Line: 262-646-7216
Administrative Assistant of Enrollment
Diane Meixelsperger started as an administrative assistant for the enrollment office in October 2018. She worked previously as an executive secretary and office manager in the construction industry for 29 years. She is excited to be working at SJNA to be able to put her skills to work in a different industry and to start a fulfilling career working with students and families.
Direct Line: 262-646-7247
Patti Zager has over eight years experience in office administration and most recently served as office manager and executive assistant at Waste Management Healthcare Solutions in Germantown, Wisconsin. She also worked in advertising and public relations at Frankenberry, Laughlin & Constable. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science with minors in mass communication and American history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In the mid-1970s, she was a cheerleader at SJMA. She teaches hand knitting classes at Cream City Yarn in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Direct Line: 262-646-7116
International Enrollment Counselor
Juan C. Garcia joined St. John’s Northwestern Academies in 2018 for the first time as an Enrollment Counselor. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee in Criminal Justice in 2020. He joined the U.S Army in 2010 where he held many positions including Drill Sergeant, Military Police, and Weapons Maintenance. He later returned to St. John’s Northwestern Academies as an International Enrollment Counselor in May 2021, after his recruiting duty assignment for the U.S Army. He currently serves with the U.S. Army Reserve.
Direct Line: 262-646-7111
Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist
Kayla earned her BBA degree in marketing from Bryant & Stratton College and has over 7 years of marketing experience. She joined the St. John’s Northwestern Academies family in August of 2020 and is passionate about portraying to others the remarkable opportunities SJNA has to offer.
Direct Line: 262-646-7293
Dean of Advancement
Stephen Matz joined St. John’s Northwestern Academies in 2014. For over a decade, he has worked to advance philanthropic initiatives through his work in fundraising, alumni engagement, events, marketing, and strategic planning in the area of education and health services. Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, he spent the better part of the early 2000s serving in marketing roles within the pharmaceutical and real estate industries.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Marian University and earned a certification in fundraising management from the Lily School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Direct Line: 262-646-7184
Director of Major Gifts
Duane Rutherford joined SJNA in 2005 as director of Enrollment Services with extensive experience in the military school field. He began his career at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia. While at Massanutten from 1994 to 2002, he served as a resident faculty officer, senior resident faculty officer, middle school drill and ceremony instructor, dorm parent, and deputy commandant. In 1998, he was promoted to director of admissions, and in September 2002, was director of admissions at St. John’s Military School in Salina, Kansas.
Direct Line: 262-646-7122
Director of Donor Relations and Special Events
Cindy Trione has more than 20 years of experience in development. She manages the Academy’s fundraising activities (The Excalibur, Cadet Phonathon, etc.), all stewardship functions, and the daily operations of the Advancement Office. Prior to joining the Academy in July 2007, she worked in the Office of Advancement at Knox College, a four-year liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, and in the Development Office at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of Illinois.
Direct Line: 262-646-7289
Dean of Student Life
Command Sergeant Major Eric David joined SJNMA in the summer of 2012. He has worked with various Cadet Companies of SJNMA during the school year as well as working with Summer OPS and the Adventure Camp in several capacities. In 2018 he was asked to serve as the Commandant of Cadets and more recently in the fall of 2020 he moved into his role as the Dean of Student Life. He has been with the Wisconsin Army National Guard since 1998. After two combat deployments, he spent a few years training future officers in the Army’s OCS program at the Regional Training Institute at Ft. McCoy, he then moved to a position as an Infantry First Sergeant for a little over three years. In 2018 he was selected as the Command Sergeant Major for a Battalion that he took to Afghanistan for his third combat deployment.
Direct Line: 262-646-7129
Resident Life Administrative Assistant
Jane joined the SJNA family in the fall of 2020 as a Night Safety Officer in Smythe Hall. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee in December of 2019 with her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She loves working with the kids and seeing all that they can achieve.
Direct Line: 262-646-7280
Military Academy Director
SSG Zachary Spreitzer joined SJNA in June 2015 as a resident faculty officer for Academic OPS. He is a graduate from Watertown High School and attended University of Phoenix in pursuit for a bachelors in business management. He has been a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard since February 2001. In 2003, he was mobilized to Fort McCoy for a year and a half with the 107th Maintenance Company as part of a state mobilization in support of Operation Noble Eagle. In 2009, he deployed with his unit the 108th Forward Support Company and the 32nd Brigade to Camp Taji, Iraq, where he performed Detainee Operations for nine months. Prior to his deployment and upon his return, he worked as a district sales representative for McKee Foods. He is currently serving with the 108th Forward Support Company as a motor transport operator.
Direct Line: 262-646-7250
SGT Adam Frame joined SJNA in September 2013. He is a graduate of Mukwonago High School and attended Waukesha County Technical College for a degree in police science. He has been enlisted in the U.S. Army since June 2005. The first four years, he was an engineer in a reserve company and served in Honduras, Panama and numerous domestic locations. In 2009, he became an Army recruiter in Waukesha County. In January 2010, he was deployed to Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom for 16 months. At the end of his deployment, he was sent to Landstuhl, Germany, for injuries received in combat and then stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to recover. After returning home to Wisconsin, he worked for the Milwaukee Bucks as a camp coach and worked with high school children at an NBA level along with Sidney Moncrief’s son. He currently is in a drill sergeant unit in Milwaukee.
Direct Line: 262-646-7244
Senior Resident Hall Advisor, Smythe Hall
Debbie Toth began her career at SJNA in September 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in cross-categorical special education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She is a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. She also carries an associate degree in early childhood education from Waukesha County Technical College where she became a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society. She has over 20 years of experience assisting and educating individuals with a wide range of intellectual, learning and behavioral disabilities. Most recently, she received a certificate through Crisis Intervention Partners modeled after the training component of Crisis Intervention Team programs, which are designed to assist individuals in recognizing and understanding mental illness and other associated disorders through The National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Direct Line: 262-646-7242
Head of Innovation & Design: Education Architectural Strategist
Chris Bielizna earned his Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a focus on Comparative Politics from Wesleyan University and his BA from Bard College in Creative Writing / Languages and Literature. His eclectic twenty-year career in independent education as a: teacher, dean, coach, advisor, division head, consultant, leader and mentor has been rewarding and formative. Chris is invigorated by the prospect of using his skill set to walk alongside young adults on their journey of self-discovery. As an administrator, he is grateful that he is able to, not only, put processes in place to better his student’s living and learning environment, but also, solicit their feedback, work with them in those systems, and get to know what is best for them collectively and, especially, individually. Chris has a deep appreciation for the kind of learning that takes place outside (and inside) the classroom and strives to create and implement programming for students to develop themselves. He is pleased and excited to be joining the St. John’s Northwestern Academies team.
Direct Line: 262-646-7102
Retired from the U.S. Army after 21 years of service, First Sergeant Michael Black served as an Airborne/Ranger Infantryman for the majority of his career. He is Ranger, airborne, jumpmaster, pathfinder, and air assault qualified. He deployed to Afghanistan numerous times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His awards include three Bronze Stars and three Meritorious Service Medals along with numerous others. He earned his bachelor’s degree in homeland security with honors from American Military University.
Direct Line: 262-646-7248
Mr. Boerst graduated from Mayville High School in 1987 and joined the SJNA team in August 2021. He is a US Navy Veteran who served aboard the USS Underwood (FFG-36) as a Damage Controlman (Surface Warfare Qualified). He continues to serve in a non-active duty status as a Commanding Officer in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps with a rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. He has an Associate Degree in Paramedicine and close to 30 years of experience as a firefighter/EMT and tactical medic. He currently serves the Theresa Fire Department as truck captain and Mayville EMS as an Advanced EMT.
Direct Line: 262-646-7275
Jess Drews joined our team in Fall 2020. She holds a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Social Work, a minor in Psychology, and a Certificate in Healthy aging. Through her schooling, she held internships at a bereavement center and a nursing home. She holds certifications to teach and train lifeguards, and she has spent many years working in pools. She has professional experience as a Research Assistant with UWMs Center for Aging and Translational Research and with a trauma study held at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. She also has experience as an Aquatics Coordinator and paralegal in a top 200 American Lawyer law firm. A love for people, specifically youth, brought her to St. John’s Northwestern Academies. She particularly enjoys mentoring young people and helping them write their own life stories.
Direct Line: 262-646-7242
Brandon LaVictor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education from Northern Michigan University in 2005, and a Master of Education degree in teaching and learning from Carroll University in 2010. He served eight years in the United States Military, as a Special Intelligence Communication Operator in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Japan and Washington, D.C., and as a Bridge Crewmember in the Michigan Army National Guard. He has been awarded numerous military awards including the Navy Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the State of Michigan Broadsword Medal for Good Conduct. He joined SJNA at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.
Direct Line: 262-646-7237
Mr. AJ Otto began his time at SJNA in August of 2020. He works primarily during the evening hours within the Military Academy in the Scott Johnston building with Bravo Company. He earned an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice Studies at Waukesha County Technical College. He also earned an Emergency Medical Technician Certification through Lake Country Fire and Rescue Training Center in Delafield, WI. He returned to Lake Country Fire and Rescue Training Center as an Instructor where he teaches CPR classes to the public as well as a Foundations of Public Safety Course and Emergency Medical Responder course for local high schools. He also continues to work with a local fire department to keep his skills fresh and up-to-date. He considers himself a lifelong learner and enjoys studying various topics including biology, sports photography, history, psychology, Spanish, and much more. His passion is working with each of the cadets and students and learning their life stories!
Direct Line: 262-646-7258
My name is Jesse Rosales and I am the Resident Advisor for the Prefect Academy on campus. My role at St. John’s Northwestern is to provide a safe environment for students while contributing to their academic and social growth and development through mentorship and counseling. I came to SJNA in October of 2020. I am a Marine veteran that was stationed in various duty stations across the middle east, Japan, California, Georgia, and North Carolina. I was an Airborne trainer and Marksmanship instructor for the Marine Corps and received the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal for my work on the unit’s marksmanship program. After my service obligation, I attended Florida State University and majored in Latin American Studies. After my studies in Florida, I came back to my hometown of Milwaukee WI, where I worked for a non-profit organization, Milwaukee Violent Free Zone that was contracted to work within the most dangerous high schools in Milwaukee. I was a youth advisor that worked with the top 10% of the most at-risk students in the schools and worked diligently and tirelessly with teachers, administrators, parents, and the students to foster a productive and sound academic environment and addressed adverse behavior. My other duties included being a mentor and crisis stabilizer for children with severe post-traumatic stress disorder or involved in the criminal justice system in Milwaukee County. I also ran a successful chess program in the schools that I was assigned to and competed every year on the regional and state level. I plan to develop a chess team for SJNA because I noticed that we have great talent for the game. My hobbies include teaching marksmanship, chess, reading science and archaeology, and my greatest passion is to work with the youth! I have 15 years of experience working with youth that addressed behavioral issues, mental health, academic support, and career readiness. I have developed successful youth mentoring programs that focused on self-development, ethics, personal growth, and career development.
Direct Line: 262-646-7237
Tim Schneider graduated from Oak Creek High School in 2007. He then joined the U.S. Army in 2009 serving as an infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division. During his time with the 101st, he was deployed to Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province from 2010-2011. During his time with the US Army, Tim was awarded the Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantry Badges, two Army Commendation Medals, and other service medals for his deployment to Afghanistan. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 2012. Upon leaving the Army, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, graduating Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics. Tim has continued his education, and he is currently working on a Masters in Science in Criminal Justice through the University of Wisconsin-Platteville online distance learning.