IGS Faculty

Learn More About Our Most Qualified Faculty…

facultyAbsolutely, the Best.

“For it is in the quality of the teacher that all else depends.”

-James B. Conant, Past President, Harvard University and former teacher of Dr. Pino.

IGS Graduate Faculty Team Commitment

1. We will respect every student as an individual without prejudice and help each one reach their highest academic potential.
2. We will acknowledge and respect each student’s human dignity.
3. We will keep an open mind in our academic discourse together and actively seek to encourage a challenging dialog on divergent points of view.
4. We will encourage a positive, supportive, congenial, respectful, and success loaded classroom climate.
5. We will organize out “classroom management system” to be as flexible to the needs and goals of the students as possible.
6. We will reach continually for even higher levels of individual scholarship.
7. We will always be mindful of the need to make our courses as practical as possible.
8. We will do our best to model the behavior we expect you to implement in your professional setting.
9. We will strive to make our courses as relevant and useful as possible.

Jeffrey D. Bertrandt M.A.

Jeff is a Social Studies teacher and wrestling coach at Muskego High School. Jeff did his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh, receiving a double major in Broad Field Social Studies and Secondary Education, as well as a minor in history. Jeff received his master’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University in history. Jeff also has an associate’s degree in marketing from Waukesha County Technical College and is a proud new father of his son Cael.

Juany Dahlen – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Juany has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Past president of Wisconsin State Counselors Association, Juany was Wisconsin Counselor of the Year and won the Distinguished Educators Award, UW-Madison. Since 1986, Juany has been a counselor at Verona and New Glaris High Schools in Wisconsin.


Janeen Dietsche M.A. – Silver Lake College

As the Department Chair, Business Education, Janeen has taught a wide variety of computer skills to high school students and to fellow teachers for 13 years through IGS. Here is an excellent technology team to guide teachers into the new world of cyberspace using their knowledge, patience and individual approach.


John Ditter M.A. – Life University

John has Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and is certified by NSCA as a strength and conditioning specialist. John is Vice President of the Fitness Connection Inc., a 4.500 sq. foot athletic Training Facility. John has been training and working with at athletes of all levels for the past 20 years. He brings practical and applicable experiences from years of high school coaching. His approach is to train the “complete athlete” or team though well-designed functional sport-specific training programs.


Clifford Doll M.S. – Brooklyn College, New York

In addition to receiving his M.A of Education from Brooklyn College, Cliff also attended Concordia University (Nebraska), where he received his B.S. of Education. He has also studied at St. Xavier College in Chicago. Cliff has taught high school for 41 years in New York and Illinois in addition to teaching online faculty in California. During those years of teaching, he held positions as Athletic Director, Dean of Students, taught biology, environmental science, and physical science.  He was a head basketball coach for 32 of the 41 years, winning many championships. He has been inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Cliff has developedwww.selectyourphoto.com, an action sports photography business. One of his many interests include travel throughout the United States enjoying his photography. He and his wife, Eleanor, have been to over 40 of the 58 National Parks. Their goal is to see them all.


Dr. John Eggers Ed.D. – University of Northern Colorado

  • K-6 charter school director, high school principal, college professor, Peace Corps Volunteer, teacher in the inner city, Indian reservations, Uruguay, and Iran; author, antique dealer, birdwatcher, IGS Instruction since 1974, ebay power seller, teller of riddles, fisherman, photographer, Distinguished Toastmaster, columnist and educational consultant helping schools graduate 100% of their learners.
  • Studied under Dr. Pino while completing his doctorate at UNC and has taught graduate courses with IGS since 1975.John enjoys living a WOW kind of life on the edge of the woods in Bemidji, Minnesota. He still is trying to put WOW into his fishing.

Davonne Eldgredge

Davonne Eldredge, M.Ed. – North Dakota State University

Davonne has been an educator for 30 years. She taught elementary students for nine years before completing her masters in Educational Administration. She has been an elementary principal in North Dakota and Wisconsin for the past 11 years. During this time she returned to Marion University to complete credits to receive her director of instruction licensure. During her time in education, Davonne has attended trainings from Carol Ann Thomlinson, Charlotte Danielson, Ken O’Connor, Rick Wormeli, Thomas Guskey, James Popham, Jay McTighe, and Heidi Hayes Jacobs. She has been trained in assessment according to the Stiggins model. Davonne is currently the principal of Trinity Elementary in West Fargo.

John Eldredge

John Eldredge, B.S. – Minot State University

John has a BS in Elementary Education and is a veteran teacher of 28 years. John has worked primarily with middle school students teaching math, science, and social studies. John has been trained in curriculum development through the University of Notre Dame helping him lead curriculum teams throughout the state of Wisconsin. John serves a leadership role where he teaches at Sullivan Middle School in Fargo, ND working and developing goals for Professional Learning Communities. He has also served on School Improvement Committees in preparation for Advanced Ed certification. Besides working full time as an educator, John is also a small business owner and recognizes the need to prepare students for today’s workforce.

Deb Engen

Deborah Engen M.A. – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Deborah Engen is currently serving as a national educational workshop
consultant and a graduate level adjunct professor. She provides educators
in all grades and assignments with key insights , knowledge and skills that
are vital to better serving teachers, school counselors , school administrators
and students. Mrs. Engen earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at
the University of Wisconsin- Madison. A life long learner she has also acquired
a degree in nursing and has a school counseling license K-12. She currently teaches
graduate courses all around the country.
Deborah has taught in the classroom for 31 years and has been teaching graduate
courses for the past 27 years. She has two adult children who reside in Colorado
and Texas. Deborah and her husband reside in the Houston, Texas area.
Mrs. Engen has been recognized by receiving several awards: Congressman Scott Klug
Award for Friend of Education, IGS winner for most face to face enrollment, Cooperating
teacher award from UW Madison, Nominated for the Kohl Award and she was selected as the National Consultant of the Year by Macrovision Associates an international consulting firm.Some of the courses Deborah Engen teaches are: Kids in Crisis, Teaching with Love and Logic, Classroom Discipline with Love and Logic, Student Achievement, Brain Based Education, Developing Moral Intelligence, Bully Intervention and Prevention and more.
She has published two children’s books and loves to stay current on educational trends.
Deborah is highly regarded for her thorough approach to effective planning as well as her
dynamic, humorous, inspiring courses.


Blaine Felsman M.A. – Silver Lake College

  • Studied for his Master’s degree under Dr. Pino.

  • Physical education teacher and head wrestling coach at Berlin, Wisconsin High School since 1981.

  • Well known and respected high school referee in the Fox Valley area.

  • Noteworthy: Member of NFL Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears as well as the Canadian Football League.


 Ben Fieck M.S. – Concordia University-Mequon


  • M.S. Administration K-12, Concordia University-Mequon, B.S. Elementary and Middle Education 1-9, Edgewood College-Madison.

  • Positive behavior support coach and middle school science & math teacher for 10 years in the Madison Metropolitan School District.

  • Currently the Dean of Students – grades 10th -12th at Madison East High School.

  • Noteworthy: Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All Star, collegiate basketball player, and 2013 Lakeland Union High School Wall of Fame Inductee.


Jeanine Gelhaus M.S. – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

  • Middle school teacher of Earth and Environmental Science at Medford, Wisconsin School District since 1995.

  •  Has held many teacher leadership and teaching positions for the school district and throughout Wisconsin and the nation, including the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin DPI, WEA National Geographic Society, US Department of Education as well as the WSST, WEST, FIE, NSTA, WAEE.International Leadership Experience in Ireland, Brazil, Costa Rica, Spain, France &. Russia.


  • 2001, 6-12 Wisconsin Educator of the Year.

  • National JASON Trainer Track Teacher 1999-2004.

  • Educator’s Award from Notre Dame University 1996.

  • Educator’s Award from Oxford University 1999.

  • National JASON Trainer Track Teacher 1999-2004.


Katherine Gillies M.Ed., M.A.

B.A. in English and Secondary English Education, Saint Louis University; M.Ed. in Literacy, Language and Culture w/ Type 10 IL Reading Specialist Certification (K-12), University of Illinois, Chicago; M.A.in Instructional Leadership w/ Type 75 IL Administration License, Concordia University. Katherine currently serves Niles North High School, D219 in Skokie, IL, as the building Reading Specialist and as an English teacher. In her role as Reading Specialist, Katherine works closely with teachers and administration on literacy curriculum development, Response to Intervention (RtI) initiatives, developing responsible progress monitoring and diagnostic testing methods, as well as Common Core alignment. Additionally, she works closely with students as both a classroom teacher and in the Tier III literacy intervention lab for struggling readers. Katherine has also served D219 as a literacy coach, working collaboratively towards crafting research- based literacy focused lesson plans, and is a certified Project C.R.I.S.S. (Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies) trainer. Katherine has presented at a number of local and national conferences on these topics, including the annual conferences of the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) and IWCA (International Writing Center Association).

Ted Mainella MLS – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ted has a rich background in all areas of school technology and has practiced it daily as director of the Media Center for the Mukwonago, WI public schools. With specific expertise in the audio, video and computer areas, Ted knows how to blend these skills in helping teachers pass on these skills to their students in their classrooms. Ted has taught university level classes for IGS for many years, and is one of its most popular instructors.


Kim Nielsen M.S. – University of Wisconsin, Madison

Kim Nielsen has had extensive training and over 15 years experience in reading and writing instruction at the elementary level. She has taught graduate courses spanning a number of topics and has presented to undergraduate students at UW-Madison. Kim earned her Elementary Education BS and Master’s Degree in Literacy from UW-Madison, with an additional certification as a Reading Teacher. Kim is married with three children, two sons and a daughter.  At the moment she teaches Understanding Common Core Standards, Children’s Literature Studies, Teacher Literature Studies, Using Classroom Learning Centers to Differentiate, Writing Across the Curriculum, and Author Studies; although she is constantly updating and adding courses. Her classes are informative, practical, and she is known to be flexible with busy teachers’ schedules.


Carl “Energizer” Olson M.A.

Carl Olson is an experienced, enthusiastic presenter with over 36 years of working as a teacher, counselor, coach and adviser. Twenty-six of those years were at the middle school level. He is a lifelong advocate of the experiential learning theory. He has drawn on this background to develop Energizer Olson Presentations. He is the author of two successful books: Energizers Calisthenics for the Mind and Impact Activities to Enhance Teaching & Learning. Through his work with Energizer Olson, he has had the privilege of conducting programs for over 1,000,000 participants.

christine pace photo

Christine Pace, M.S.ED

Christine Pace has been an educator for over twenty-five  years. She is a certified Smartboard trainer, certified online instructor, and has been teaching technology courses for many years. She is known as the Queen of Technology at Wisconsin Rapids, where she is an 8th grade science classroom teacher. In her classroom, she is known to make science fun for all her students, but especially tries to keep the girls highly motivated in the STEM areas.  Teaching awards and recognitions include: Teacher of the Year WSST, Milken National Educator of the Year, WCATY Excellent Educator of the Year, Kohl Fellowship Award, and WEST Distinguished Science Teacher. She is the  author of Teaching the Internet: A Guide for Teachers and Parents (Xanadu Press). Ms. Pace earned her BS and MS degrees at UW-Stevens Point. Christine is married to Conrad for 39 years, and has three daughters and four grandchildren.

“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” – John Dewey


Karen Pentek, M.S. – University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Mrs. Karen Pentek received her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education with a Broadfield English Major and her Master’s Degree in School Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She is a Wisconsin DPI licensed and nationally certified school psychologist with over 35 years of experience working in public education as a school psychologist and teacher.  Mrs. Pentek began her career in public education as a secondary English teacher (grades 7th through 12th) and believes her early teaching experience set the foundation for her success as a school psychologist.  She has designed and taught many classes (e.g., parenting skills, brain development in preschoolers, stress management, ADHD in the classroom, bereavement, anger management, journaling, and conferencing) in public school and community settings.  Her strengths include special needs areas such as autism, attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities, at-risk students and advocacy. Her personal interests include family, friends, cooking Greek cuisine, and writing.


Melissa Redeker, M.A. – University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Melissa Redeker is currently a fifth grade teacher in the Fall River School District.  She has been teaching in Fall River for the past ten years at various grade levels; kindergarten, third, fourth, and fifth.  Melissa graduated Cum Laude from Ripon College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.  Her primary focus was History and Educational Studies with a minor in Broad Field Social Studies.  In 2008 she received her Master of Education from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.  Melissa is a life-long learner, she continues to take courses in topics that will motivate and engage her learners.  She is constantly keeping up with new and exciting educational strategies and techniques, and hopes to incorporate them in her graduate courses.  As a mother of two young children, she understands the demands of working and being a parent.  Melissa wants to help her class participants to be the best that they can be, and to succeed.


Heidi A. Schmidt, Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Schmidt received her Master’s Degree from UW Madison in Educational Administration with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction.  She also received her Ph.D. from UW Madison in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.  She has been a teacher/coach, assistant middle school principal, middle school principal, and district administrator.  Her focus is on student learning and providing quality educational programs that impact all students in a fiscally responsible manner In addition, Dr. Schmidt has facilitated courses in the doctoral program for Aurora University/George Williams College including Assessment for Administrators, Economics of Education, Curriculum Implementation and Leadership, and The Superintendency.  Her goal is “to make learning practical and applicable.”  Dr. Schmidt is currently District Administrator for Hortonville Area School District in Wisconsin.


Dan Slowey M.A. – Mariam College

Dan Slowey is currently the Positive Youth Development Coordinator and Health Educator for the Kimberly Area School District. He has facilitated many trainings, workshops, and seminars involving educators, parents, community members and youth. His seminars are interactive, enthusiastic, and inspirational. Dan is a UW-La Crosse graduate with a comprehensive (K-12) health education Masters of Science Degree. He is currently pursuing an additional Master’s Degree from Marian College specializing in educational leadership. Dan’s passion includes the benefits of laughter. He is a Certified Laughter Leader. Dan provides the tools to measurably improve the quality of people’s lives.

Rhea Sprecher M.S. ED – Concordia (NE) University

Rhea Sprecher attended Concordia College (Nebraska), the University of Reading (England), and Long Island University (New York). At Long Island University, Ms. Sprecher studied under Victor D’Amico, an authority on children’s art. Ms. Sprecher is the author of the Art Kit and is an experienced elementary teacher, director of children’s theatre and has conducted many art workshops. As a classroom and art teacher for over 40 years, Ms.Sprecher has developed a program for schools that can introduce creative art concepts that will not strain a limited budget. Ms. Sprecher, nationally acclaimed as America’s Art Teacher of Teachers, has conducted workshops for Lutheran, Catholic, Christian and Public schools throughout the United States including Hawaii and Alaska. Ms.Sprecher also conducts art history tours of France, Holland and Italy.

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You are not a painter’, then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced.” – Van Gogh


Mary Beth Wood M.A. – University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

Mrs. Mary Beth Wood received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. In addition, she has earned fifty credits from numerous colleges throughout Wisconsin which have given her incredible insight into what educators value in graduate classes. “Educators want practical, applicable skills that they can use,” she is quoted as saying. Mrs. Wood, a retired teacher herself, spent over 32 years in Special Education, focusing on the EBD population. She was the recipient of the Wisconsin School Psychologist Award in 2000 for excellence in teaching. She has been proudly educating teachers, counselors and administrators for IGS for many years, having previously taught at other colleges throughout the state. Her classes, which she designed herself, are known to be practical and informative with a touch of humor!

Support Team

IGS SUPPORT PERSONNEL Cristina Barreto Pino, B.S.                                                                                                 …

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