At the Center Our Staff Makes All The Difference

Mandi Buehl

Academy Program Director

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Mrs. Buehl has been teaching mostly science related classes since 2001–with a little math and technology thrown in for good measure. She graduated from UW Madison with degrees in Secondary Education for Chemistry and Broadfield Science, as well as a Masters in Educational Psychology. She started working with the Online Academy in 2014, where she enjoys teaching and writing an even greater variety of classes. In her free time she spends time with her family reading, playing games, and being outside.

Contact the director: 608-291-7019 |

Lydia Bertram

Ms. Bertram has been with the Center since 2016. Her background and experience include teaching social studies and computers, as well as five years as a Library Media Specialist. She holds degrees in Secondary Education for social studies and history, as well as a K-12 certification in Library Science. She is a passionate lifelong learner who spends her free time exploring new technology, reading about the past, and researching anything that strikes her interest. She hopes to inspire the same enthusiasm for learning in all of her students.

Sharon Daly

Ms. Daly is a life-long educator who has taught students at all grade levels in her role as an Advanced Learning Coordinator, from which she recently retired.  She  holds a masters degree in history and is also certified in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education and is fluent in sign language. In previous years, she has taught online courses through the Center for Advanced Academics. Getting to know students from a variety of school districts is always energizing and informative! In addition to teaching, she is  also a published poet, a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and a fellow of the Greater Madison Writing Project. Ms. Daly has been a presenter at many conferences on the topics  of  joy in learning and the power of poetry, and has recently been conducting research on the role of artificial intelligence in education. Her passions beyond teaching and learning include walking the beautiful trails in Wisconsin, frequenting bookstores, reading and British tea! 

Susan Freiss

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Susan Freiss loves teaching! As a social justice educator, she seeks to draw out children’s perspective and voice while building their reading, writing, and higher-order thinking skills. She has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, is a reading specialist and a National Board-certified teacher.

Cassie Grassnickle

Cassie Grassnickle graduated from UW-Whitewater with a bachelors of education in science with an emphasis on digital media in learning. She taught middle school science and high school agriculture for 6 years before joining the Academy team. She is super excited to be getting back into education and in her free time she likes exploring the Baraboo bluffs with her dog and building lego creations. 

Bill Heintz

Mr. Heintz loves teaching all learners through exploration and discussion. He has taught at  all levels of education instructing many different students within different programs.  He has enjoyed teaching advanced learners at the middle school level and reading in the high school setting.  He can’t wait to see all the great work with the Online Academy. He enjoys time with his family including 2 wonderful schnauzers.

Kim Jaeger

Kimberly Jaeger has had a heart for fostering a love for learning since childhood!  She has taught at both elementary and middle school levels as well as guiding and leading adults!   She graduated with her degree in Elementary Middle Education with an emphasis in Language Arts. She is excited to begin working with the Online Academy.  In her free time she loves spending time with her four children, connecting and enjoying time with family and friends, cooking, and traveling.

Jennifer Kilburg

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Jennifer Kilburg taught classes with the Online Academy during the 2017-2018 school year and is thrilled to be back for the upcoming school year. Her experiences include teaching math, language arts, and social studies at the middle school level, teaching English to adult learners, and working with gifted elementary and middle school learners in enrichment programs. Jennifer has a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and is passionate about the power of literacy. When she is not teaching, Jennifer enjoys hiking with her dog, playing all types of games with her family, spending time on the lake, and cheering on the Milwaukee Brewers with her husband and twin sons.

Alison Staples

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Alison Staples began teaching at the Online Academy in 2014. Her favorite part of teaching is meeting and working with students at the face-to-face meetings, whether that be in person or via Zoom. She received an MAT and a Graduate Studies Certificate in Gifted Education from the University of Southern California where she was dual certified in both Wisconsin and California. She received undergrad degrees in International Relations and Spanish, including attending universities in Chile and Mexico. She also teaches piano, guitar, ukulele and organ lessons at her music studio. She strives to work in an environment that positively impacts young people while empowering them to bring about change in themselves and the world they aspire to create. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her three teenage kids, eating chocolate, reading and training for marathons.