Meet the CELA Staff

Katie DeStefano

2nd Grade Teacher

  • 2002 – Study Abroad Program through Deakin University in Australia
  • 2004 – BSE in Elementary Education from UW-Whitewater
  • 10 Years Combined Teaching and Business Management Experience

It all began a long time ago as a kindergartener. As my classmates and I played, I always wanted to be the teacher of the group. The journey thus far has been leading up to this. The opportunity at CELA is one I have been working towards for a long time.

I grew up on a small farm and have lived in the Lake Country area my whole life. I attended Arrowhead High School then UW-Whitewater, where I graduated with a BSE-Elementary Education. During college I took six months to study in Australia and immerse myself in a different culture. I met so many people from around the world and traveled the countryside. It was an amazing experience!

My teaching career began as a day-to-day sub then quickly contracted with Merton Elementary where I was a long-term sub for 2nd and two 5th grade classes. I spent a few years out of the classroom, where I was an operations manager for a landscape company. That experience gave me a variety of skills, but even more motivation to get back into the classroom. Next, I was a Long-term Media Center Teacher at Dodgeland School in Juneau. My focus on books and technology during that time, prepared me to incorporate many new ideas in future classrooms. Lastly, I had accepted a position and a personal challenge to teach first graders at Milwaukee Scholars Charter School. Again, I immersed myself in another culture. Along with the challenges it was the most rewarding experience. It is not always what you say that is important, but HOW. I believe that with the right amount of positive encouragement, motivation and personal support anyone can learn. It is more important to me, that I give each student the confidence to try and challenge themselves to be better than the day before and learn from their mistakes. I would like each of my students to find their own spark for learning, which they can use throughout their life.

I honestly believe this is that path I was meant to take, as the mission of this school couldn’t be a better fit with my own personal goals as an educator. I am excited for the opportunity to teach 2nd grade in such a Christian-rich, positive and supportive environment. I look forward to meeting all the members of the CELA community soon.

 

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