Brenda Vogds

Dr. Brenda Vogds is the Director of the Institute for Personalized Learning. Brenda has 18 years of experience in various educational roles in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. She was a key leader in the beginning phases of competency-based education in the Kettle Moraine School District (WI), and worked directly with learners and educators in the Eastern Carver County School District (MN) where the district is working to make personalized learning a reality for all students. Dr. Vogds received a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing Education from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology, and a Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University. Brenda has presented at several regional and national conferences, including iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium, Minnesota School Boards Association Conference, the Blended and Personalized Learning Conference, and the Minnesota Personalized Learning Summit, among others.

Theresa Ewald

Interim Associate Director
Dr. Theresa Ewald is the interim Associate Director at the Institute. She formerly served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School District, and as an educational consultant with 30 years of experience in transforming learning for all students. Theresa coaches and mentors educational leaders, organizations and state leaders as they seek to make a transformation to a personalized and competency-based system of learning. Her experiences in designing for competency-based pathways, multi-age environments, project-based learning, international assessments, distributed-leadership models and educator micro-credentialing provide expertise for organizational transformation.

Jim Rickabaugh

Senior Advisor
Dr. Jim Rickabaugh currently serves as the Senior Advisor to the Institute. Jim formerly served as our director for six years and before that as a superintendent in several districts. Dr. Rickabaugh is the author of Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning: A Roadmap for School Leaders, focused on helping principals and other educational leaders to engage their staffs in designing and implementing personalized learning ecosystems. Jim is also a co-author of Five Levers To Improve Learning. An engaging speaker, Jim has presented on personalized learning at several national conferences including Visible Learning, ASCD, AESA, and iNACOL, among others.

Kate Sommerville

Professional Development Specialist
As a Professional Development Specialist, Kate works with district staff on designing and implementing personalized learning practices. Kate uses her creativity and enthusiasm to support teachers as they rethink their instructional practices and learning environments to best meet the needs of learners. She spent 17 years teaching 4th and 5th grade in the Elmbrook School District, with the last four years team-teaching in a personalized learning environment. Kate has presented at local, state, and national conferences, and has a true passion for keeping the student at the center of learning.

Dria Setter

Professional Development Specialist
As a Professional Development Specialist for the Institute, Dria brings 18 years of elementary education experience including work with technology integration, differentiation for gifted and talented students, personalized learning, and as a Learning Coach. She has a passion for working with educators to help them create authentic and engaging experiences for their learners. Dria has presented at the local, state, and national levels on a variety of technology, personalized learning, and coaching topics.

Teresa Barch

Teresa primarily manages special projects, grants, budgets and provides vertical support for the entire team. Teresa previously worked in the workforce development field, so she understands the importance of adequately preparing today's learners for tomorrow's careers. With a background in writing and digital storytelling, Teresa is passionate about telling the story of the exciting transformation that is taking place in the region's public schools.

Monica Sepic

Program Specialist
Monica coordinates membership logistics and develops service proposals for clients. Monica is also the lead planner for our Annual Convening and coordinates Personalized Learning in Action, our site visit program designed to provide access to learner-centered classrooms and programs in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Melissa Arnold

Program Assistant
Melissa is responsible for coordinating and providing logistical and clerical support for all Institute events and workshops. Melissa also provides support for the Institute team, and customer support for our member districts.