New Faculty 2020-21

A Special Back-to-School Message from Dr. Coffman

Dear Prairie Families,

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! We are ready for what will certainly be an interesting year. The faculty worked hard all summer in preparation for students’ return to campus, and we share your children’s eagerness to be back with their friends and teachers. As long as we take care of ourselves, each other, and follow the plan we will move forward together. There are sure to be bumps along the way, but we will see each challenge as an opportunity for growth and adjust as needed.

We have more than 70 new students across our fifteen grades. Please join me in welcoming all of our new families to the Prairie community! Prairie is a true community, a close-knit group committed to building each other up and helping one another through whatever comes our way. Please make sure to introduce yourself to our new Hawks.

We are also thrilled to welcome a few new additions to our faculty this fall. You can read their short biographies below. Eleven familiar faces will take on new roles and responsibilities around the building, as well. I am proud to call these strong, talented, and collaborative educators my colleagues, and I know your children will benefit from their mentorship, instruction, and wise counsel. We are a community built on relationships and each new person and the new year give us a fresh chance to build friendships and strengthen connections. 

As always, our greatest strength as a community is grounded in the knowledge that we are #BetterTogether. In partnership with our fellow students, parents, faculty, and friends, we will use this year to grow and improve in every way possible. Prairie is a special place and I hope you all feel as fortunate as I do to be a part of it. Let’s have a great year.


Dr. Nat Coffman
Head of School and President

Welcome our New Faculty!

Andrea Pearson – ES Educational Assistant (Shining Stars) (Primary School)

      • Teacher at Paris Consolidated School (Kenosha, WI)
      • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Parkside
      • Master of Arts in Teaching, Cardinal Stritch University

Did You Know…Mrs. Pearson is a farmer’s daughter!

David Reske – Grade 4 Lead Teacher (Primary School)

      • Joins Prairie after completing his student-teaching here, as well as serving for many years in our Stay & Play/Summer Camp programs
      • TPS alumnus (Class of 2016)
      • Teacher, After School Literacy Program, Hartman Literacy & Learning Center (Milwaukee, WI)
      • B.S. in Elementary Education and B.S. in Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers, Marquette University

Did You Know…Mr. Reske can wiggle his ears — ask him to show you!

Tressa Bates – Learning Specialist/ELL, Middle School Science Teacher (Middle School)

      • Substitute Teacher at The Prairie School
      • Elementary and Middle School Teacher with Siena Catholic Schools, Racine Unified School District, and Kenosha Unified School District
      • Current TPS parent!
      • B.S., Michigan Technology University, Magna Cum Laude
      • Masters in Education, Alverno College

Did You Know…When she (eventually) retires, Mrs. Bates would like to live in Eagle Harbor, a place located on the north side of the Keweenaw Peninsula!

Tameka Tate – Grades 7/8 English Teacher (Middle School)

      • Teacher, Kenosha Unified School District
      • B.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
      • Masters in Education, minor in English, Mount Mary University (Milwaukee, WI)

Did You Know…Ms. Tate was born on an island — the island of Guam!

Amy Peterson – School Counselor (All School)

      • Ms. Peterson is a familiar face to many at TPS, having worked in our Stay & Play program since 2010 and co-directed Hawks Haven since 2018
      • B.B.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
      • Master of Science in Community Psychology, Alverno College (Milwaukee, WI) — Concentration: Child & Adolescent Counseling, Couples Counseling, Partners and Family Counseling

Did You Know…Ms. Peterson confesses that she is “dog-obsessed” — she has a boxer named Lilly!

Changing Roles/Responsibilities

  • Barb Barth will be taking on a dual role this year as an Administrative Assistant in both the Upper School and College Counseling.
  • Kelsey Cassidy moves to 1st Grade.
  • Jenny Cobb will move to the 5/6 Grade Team as a Reading Teacher (including a new S.T.E.M. Reading course).
  • Stephanie Hoffman moves to lead teacher for Early School (Shining Stars).
  • Tim Ipsen moves to full-time in the Performing Arts Department.
  • Camille Jensen-Guion will be back at TPS, assisting part-time in the Nurse’s office.
  • Joe Manley moves to Kindergarten.
  • Melissa Mills moves to Kindergarten as an Educational Assistant & Crossover Assistant.
  • Fletcher Paulsen takes on the Department Chair role for the Performing Arts Department.
  • Julianne Smith moves to full-time School Nurse.
  • Alison Wojahn moves to full time Technology Manager.

We Say Goodbye & Good Luck To…

A few of our colleagues have left Prairie to pursue other endeavors. We thank them for their years of service to this community!

  • Kevin Will has retired after more than 30 years of teaching at TPS. He will continue as a Golf coach and Camp Manito-wish coordinator.
  • Jan Hagopian has retired after many years of service to TPS.
  • Sheena Moore has retired and will spend more time traveling with her family.
  • Alesha Stam and her family have moved out of the state.
  • Ally Smalley is pursuing other adventures, but will continue at TPS as an independent lesson instructor for vocal music.
  • Lisa Eaton will pursue graduate work in Cultural Studies.
  • Abbey Mente will no longer teach full-time, but will instead be a preferred substitute teacher for TPS.
  • Courtney Brady and Brittany Reuwer will also be leaving Prairie.