Mineral Point’s new staff members are off and running and excited to begin a new school year and their time in Mineral Point.
We welcome our new staff members:
Callie Gundlach, high school special education teacher: Callie is from Mt. Horeb where she graduated from Mt. Horeb High School. She attended UW-Milwaukee and earned her Bachelors Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and then went on to achieve her Masters in Education with a focus on adult and special education. Before coming to Mineral Point, she was employed at Mt. Horeb High School. She currently resides in Mt. Horeb and has a fiance, Ed Moen, and a dog Ray. In her free time, she enjoys biking, walking, boating, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and making Do It Yourself cards. She was attracted to Mineral Point due to its quaintness and being a progressive, open community. Her initial first impressions include, “Wow! Seems like a very welcoming district. Starting from my interview up to today and probably beyond, everyone has been so supportive. Thanks!” Her goals for this year are to serve the students as best as she can so they can succeed in school and beyond.
Amanda Heisner, alternative program teacher and coordinator: Amanda is from Mineral Point and graduated from Monticello High School. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for her Bachelors in Agriculture, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for her Masters in Special Education/Cross Categorical Special Education, and then went to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for her Director of Special Education and Pupil Services training. Before coming to Mineral Point, she was employed for eight years with the Dodgeville School District. She currently resides in Mineral Point with her husband, Adam, and sons Austin and Andrew. In her free time, she enjoys photography and traveling. She was attracted to Mineral Point because of the collaboration throughout the district, implementation of Professional Learning Communities, and use of common formative assessments. “Everyone has been so welcoming and positive,” she stated. She is excited to help develop and expand the alternative learning options for students in southwestern Wisconsin.
Heidi Lawton, 7-8 grade reading teacher: Heidi is from Ridgeway and graduated from Dodgeville High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for her undergraduate and Masters, studying Pre K-6 education, early childhood, special education inclusion, reading, and cross categorical special education. She also attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and worked on curriculum and instruction, as well as Madison College for group fitness. She has been employed previously at Holy Cross, Personal Training, Sharon Community Schools, Richland Schools, and Dodgeville Schools. She currently resides in Ridgeway with her husband, Patrick, and children Grant (15), Gehrig (13), Grady (9), and Gabby (6). In her free time, she enjoys running, triathlons, baseball, and fitness. She was attracted to Mineral Point due to the unique opportunity to teach in a half-time capacity. “I am very impressed with everything so far,” she said about Mineral Point Schools. “The team has gone above and beyond with having the District Administrator lead our new teacher orientation, as well as the opportunity to meet the school board and tour of the town.” She added, “I’m excited to get back into the world of teaching and reach as many students as I can.”
Ashley McHugh, 6-12 choir and grade 6 general music: Ashley is originally from Roscoe, IL and graduated from Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, IL. She attended Eastern Illinois University for her Bachelors in Music Education, as well as her Masters in Vocal Performance. She then went on to New York University for her Masters of Music in Classical Voice with an Advanced Certification in Vocal Pedagogy. Before coming to Mineral Point, she was employed by NYU Steinhardt. Currently residing in Verona, she enjoys reading, dancing, board games, zumba, and photography. She was attracted to Mineral Point by the strong music program and is finding everyone to be friendly, caring, community-oriented, BLUE, and wanting to provide for students a well-rounded education. She is looking forward to building the choral program, helping students find personal success and passion for music, and maintaining a community relationship.
Jodi Renwick, elementary instructional assistant: Jodi is from Wisconsin Rapids and graduated from Lincoln High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and earned a degree in Elementary Education. Before coming to Mineral Point, she was employed by Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools.
Matt Renwick, elementary principal: Matt graduated from Pioneer Westfield High School and attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for his Bachelors in Elementary/Middle Level Education. He earned his Masters from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in Educational Administration, and obtained his licensure as a Director of Instruction. Before coming to Mineral Point, he was the principal of Howe Elementary in Wisconsin Rapids. He resides in Mineral Point with his wife, Jodi, and their children Finn and Violet. He enjoys gardening, writing about education, watching baseball, and also recently earned his black belt in tae kwon do. He was drawn to Mineral Point in part because of the high praise the district has received from other educators, high quality instruction is a priority, Mineral Point leaders support education, the smaller town feel can allow for closer community connections and unique partnerships, and small class sizes and a focus on innovation are valued. “Our family is excited to be part of Mineral Point. The progressive approach the district has embraced regarding learning as a lifelong endeavor was a major reason why I applied for this position. I look forward to partnering with the students, staff, families, and community to provide the best educational opportunities available,” he stated.
Michelle Rielly, 7-8 grade language arts teacher: Michelle is a native of Lancaster and graduated from Lancaster High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for her Bachelors in English with an Education Emphasis, as well as her Masters in Education with a certification in Educational Administration. Before coming to Mineral Point, she was employed with Belmont Schools. She resides in Belmont with her husband, Nathan and children William (2) and Leo (5 months). She enjoys reading, going to concerts, and spending time with her family. “Mineral Point Schools are impressive, both academically and athletically. I can’t wait for my boys to attend school here in the future!,” she stated. “Everyone has been extremely helpful and friendly and I look forward to helping guide the middle school students to become even better writers.”
Julie Witmer, speech and language pathologist: Julie is a native of Cassville and graduated from Cassville High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for her Bachelors and Masters in Communication Disorders. Before coming to Mineral Point, she was employed at Barneveld Schools. She resides in Blue Mounds with her husband, Joe. She has five children and four grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, reading, and playing flute and piano. She was attracted to Mineral Point Schools because, since her husband works in Mineral Point at Farmers Savings Bank, she is interested in living and working in the community. “Mineral Point Schools are very focused on student growth and success,” she stated. “I look forward to getting to know the students and staff.”
New staff members completed orientation Tuesday, August 23. Besides learning necessary policies and procedures, the group was also treated to a guided tour around Mineral Point by former school board member and retired teacher, Dick Austin and lunch with current school board members Jeff Basting, Larry Dolphin, Lisa Hay, Julie Stephenson, and Larry Steffes.
In addition to new staff members, there have been a few internal staffing shifts as well.
Pam Anderson headed to first grade from kindergarten due to class size numbers.
Kimberly Diefenbach has moved from a first grade teaching position to an instructional coach and interventionist for the district to provide additional supports to students and staff.
Lyndsey Reed moved to the position of elementary administrative assistant after serving as an elementary instructional assistant this past year.
Also, Bill Ottoway has increased his time as the school liaison officer.