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.


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.

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.

Jason McCarthy – M.S.Ed.- American International College


Jason received his M.S.Ed. from American International College in Educational Leadership. He received his B.S from Westfield State University in Movement Science with a concentration in teaching. Jason currently teaches physical education for the Weston Public School system at the K-3 and 9-12 levels. He has over 25 years of teaching experience in private and public schools and 5 years of experience teaching online graduate courses. He has presented at the district, private sector, and state levels. He also has many years of experience coaching middle school through varsity level teams primarily in the sports of soccer, baseball, softball, and tennis.

Kelly Miller


Kelly Miller is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Autism
Consultant. Her practical and hands-on experience spans two decades, including mental health and school settings. Kelly works to expand teacher’s instructional repertoires to encompass not only academic, but social, emotional, and behavioral systems of support. With a focus of maximizing positive behavior momentum in the classroom, educators will reclaim valuable learning time. Kelly coaches and provides live modeling and support within the classroom. Workshops are rooted in inclusive practices, enabling teachers to develop their own “take away toolkit” full of evidence-based strategies that can be immediately applied in their classroom.


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.

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 40 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.


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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