A Special Back-to-School Message from Dr. Coffman
Dear Prairie Families,
Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! Our first week has been great with Upper School up North at Camp Manito-wish, and a full Middle, Primary and Early School today. We have record enrollment in the Early School this year and almost 100 new students across our fifteen grades. Please join me in welcoming all of our new families to the Prairie community.
Prairie is an aspirational school that was founded and thrives today on shaping leaders who make a difference. In partnership with motivated parents, we collectively strive for the growth of every student as a scholar, artist, athlete, and leader. To attain this goal, we must continuously grow and improve as educators and parents, working together to know, value, support, and challenge each individual student to be his or her best self. I encourage all of you to be involved in the life of the school. Get to know your child’s teachers, classmates, and friends. Life is a rollercoaster ride, but together we can celebrate the peaks and get through the valleys of the shared experience (even the rough spots — we all have them) within a close-knit educational community.
This summer has been a busy one for our faculty with almost a dozen different growth and development projects taking place, as well as our annual summer reading assignment. This year, the faculty chose one of six books on various aspects of teaching and learning, including work by Doug Lemov and Sir Ken Robinson. Every faculty member came away from the readings and our workshops with new ideas or refinements to make their classrooms more effective learning environments. It was my first time reading Ron Berger’s Ethic of Excellence – Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students, and I am looking forward to applying the principles of modeling and iteration that the text emphasizes in my Government class.
Thanks to your generosity, 2018-19 was a record fundraising year for Prairie. Your support has allowed us to add a new Video Production teacher, make significant upgrades in the art studios, update software, fix multiple leaking walls and roofs, along with filling the gap between your tuition and the actual cost of educating each student. I hope that each of you will increase your philanthropic support of our students through the Parent Prairie Fund so that we continue to thrive.
I also hope that you will join me in welcoming our new faculty members. They are truly talented, experienced, conscientious, and inspiring educators. The group includes a veteran, two college athletes, and several artists who have contributed to projects on- and off-screen. You can read their short biographies below.
On a final note, I hope we all have a great year working together as a community committed to our collective growth and success. We all benefit when we help those around us flourish.
Mark Baker – French Teacher
- Substitute Teacher at The Prairie School
- English Teacher at École Germaine de Staël (Switzerland)
- Sales Assistant (Sydney, Australia)
- Assistant to the Head of School & English Teacher, International Language School for Children (Brussels, Belgium)
- A.S. in Exercise Science, Sydney College of Advanced Education
Did You Know…Mr. Baker used to compete in (and sometimes win) local surfing competitions?
Kelly Christensen – Mathematics Teacher
- Mathematics Teacher at Lincoln Middle School (Kenosha, WI)
- B.S. in Elementary Education, minor in Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
- M.Ed. in Supervisor and Leadership, National Louis University
Did You Know…Mrs. Christensen once won a karaoke contest?
Jersey Eickhorst – Assistant Director of Fitness Center/Sport Event Manager
- Athletic Events Facilities and Maintenance with the City of Racine Parks Department
- Management of the University Grounds at Benedictine University, (Lisle, IL)
- Outdoor Management of Golf Range at Mulligan’s Mini Golf and Driving Range
- Coaching experience with Great Lakes Basketball Camp
- Assistant High School Basketball Coach at Racine Horlick High School
- B.A. in Business Management, Benedictine University
Did You Know…Mr. Eickhorst played college football?
Jason Glassman – Humanities Teacher
- English Teacher at Waukegan High School-Brookside Campus (Waukegan, IL)
- English Teacher at Schulzentrum Bordestraße (Bremen, Germany)
- English Teacher at Renaissance High School (Franklin, TN)
- Director of Development & Screenwriting Instructor at the National Film Institute (Nashville, TN)
- English Teacher at Community High School (Nashville, TN)
- B.A. in English, University of Colorado, Boulder
- M.A. in English, Claremont Graduate University
Did You Know…Mr. Glassman is also a screenwriter?
Amber Hearn – Advancement Services Manager
- Billing Specialist & Sales Executive at ZMAC Transportation (Racine, WI)
- Organizational Development Program Manager at Educators Credit Union (Racine, WI)
- Organizational Development Specialist at Educators Credit Union (Racine, WI)
- Assistant Manager at Educators Credit Union (Racine, WI)
- Contact Center Agent Member Finance Representative at Educators Credit Union (Racine, WI)
- B.S. in Business Management, concentration in Human Resources, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Did You Know…Mrs. Hearn is a Packers season ticket holder, and has been her entire life?
Scott Huggins – Humanities Teacher
- Long-Term Substitute Teacher at The Prairie School
- History and Speech Teacher at The Independent School (Wichita, KS)
- Visiting Lecturer at Michigan State University
- B.A. in English Literature/Creative Writing and Russian Language, Kansas State University
- M.A. in English Literature/Creative Writing, Michigan State University
Did You Know…Mr. Huggins is a very nearly award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy?
Abby Jaramillo – Primary School Teacher
- Long-Term Substitute Teacher at The Prairie School
- Primary School Teacher at Red Apple Elementary (Racine, WI)
- Substitute Teacher in the Racine Unified School District (Racine, WI)
- B.A. Journalism and Mass Communication, University of New Mexico
Did You Know…Mrs. Jaramillo played professional basketball in Europe (Finland, Portugal, and Greece)?
Dominic Kegel – Video Production Teacher/Digital Specialist
- Media Production & Design Instructor in the Racine Unified School District (Racine, WI)
- Producer & Director for Skies Fall Media Group (Hollywood, CA)
- B.S. in Education, Greenville University
- M.A. in Art & Design, University of Hertfordshire Interactive Design Institute (London, U.K.)
Did You Know…Mr. Kegel has his pilot’s license?
- Assistant Head of School/Academics at Buffalo Seminary (Buffalo, NY)
- Dean of Faculty & Academic Dean at Buffalo Seminary (Buffalo, NY)
- Foreign Language Department Chair & Exchanges Coordinator at Buffalo Seminary (Buffalo, NY)
- French Teacher at Buffalo Seminary (Buffalo, NY)
- B.A. in English & French as a second language, Cambridge University
- M.A. in English Translation & Linguistics, Université Catholique de Lille (Lille, France)
- M.A. in French Language & Literature, SUNY at Buffalo
- Ph.D. Candidate in French and Francophone Literatures, SUNY at Buffalo
Did You Know…Mrs. Michaud is trained and certified to teach “visualism”? Ask her about it sometime…