New Faculty Welcome 2017

Dear Families,

I hope your summer is finishing with a flourish of fun and family time.

Our faculty is wrapping up a summer of growth and is eager for the school year to begin.  I’m also excited to share that, due to record enrollment, we are opening a third section of Early School. Additionally, we have a few new colleagues that we are excited to introduce to you. Below you will find short biographies for each of these talented, eager and experienced professionals, and I hope you will take a few moments to introduce yourselves to them as we begin Prairie’s 53rd year.

I also want to highlight one of our new faculty members who will be working with students, teachers, and families in all three divisions: Dr. Mike Boticki is joining TPS as our School Psychologist. He recently served as the Executive Director of NAMI in Racine and has years of experience working with a wide range of students and families. Dr. Mike is looking forward to helping our whole community grow and thrive.

Although the calendar just turned to August, there is already a back-to-school buzz building here on campus. Next week our fall sports teams will begin practice, to be followed by the return of faculty on August 14th, and ultimately the first day of school on the 23rd.

There are a number of back-to-school events coming up and I hope you will take a few minutes to add them to your calendars. Together we are raising our children to be their generation’s leaders; by taking time to socialize together and meet new community members, we build closer relationships and a more supportive and effective school.

I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks. Enjoy the rest of your summer.



Dr. Nat Coffman
Head of School & President


New Faculty at The Prairie School


Joy Aragones – MS Science Teacher

  • Grade 4 Teacher at Roycemore School, Evanston, IL
  • Lower and Middle School Teacher at Cedar Crest Academy, Clarkston, MI
  • Technology Integration Specialist/Middle School Teacher at The Catherine Cook School, Chicago, IL
  • Grade 3 Teacher at Teacher Colegio Americano de Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Masters of Education with a focus on Educational Technology, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
  • B.S. in Early & Middle Childhood Education, Penn State University, State College, PA
  • Member of the International Society for Technology in Education

Michael Boticki, PH.D. – School Psychologist

  • Executive Director at National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Racine County
  • Consultant at United Way of Racine County
  • Psychotherapist at HOPES Center, Burlington, WI
  • Child Development Center Director of Next Generation Now
  • Child & Family Psychotherapist at Childynamics in Milwaukee, WI
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Marquette University
  • M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona, MN
  • B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, Viterbo College, LaCrosse, WI

Abby Brzezinski – Early School Teacher

  • 4 year old Kindergarten Teacher at Johnson Elementary and Racine Early Education Center
  • 3 & 4 year old Teacher at Red Apple Elementary, Racine
  • B.S. in Early Childhood Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Certification in Wisconsin Early Childhood Education; Cultures and Communities

Blake Burgess – US Mathematics Teacher

  • Grades 8-9 & 12 Mathematics Teacher at Hewitt School, New York City, NY
  • Grades K-7 STEM Teacher at Pocantico Hills School, Tarrytown, NY
  • Grades 5-6 & 9 Mathematics Teacher at Rippowam Cisqua School, Bedford, NY
  • Master of Science in Mathematics Education, Pace University, New York City, NY
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Theatre, New Concord, OH

Kelsey Cassidy –  Early School Teacher

  • Grade 1 Teacher at Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee
  • Early Childhood Teacher at  POND Family Center, Bloomington, MN
  • B.S. in Foundations of Education/Early Childhood, University of Minnesota
  • Graduate Student in Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota

Emily Henkel, Early School Educational Assistant

  • Student Teacher, long term substitute, and Stay & Play worker at The Prairie School
  • Tutor at SOAR of Racine, a non-profit organization committed to eliminating the academic achievement gap among children with families with limited financial resources
  • B.S. in Elementary Education, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Tim Ipsen, PT 5/6 Strings Teacher, PT

  • Private Music Instructor
  • Assistant to Jazz Studies Director, Columbia College – Chicago, IL
  • Music Theory Teaching Assistant, Columbia College – Chicago, IL
  • B.A in Music Performance, Columbia College – Chicago, IL

Zachary Nacev, Upper School Humanities Teacher

  • Teacher at Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco, CA
  • B.A. in History, with a minor Latin American Studies, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
  • M.A. in Social Science, University of Chicago
  • Fluent in Spanish

Sarah Titus, Upper School Social Studies Teacher

  • History Museum Founder and Director, Cedarburg History Museum, Cedarburg, WI
  • Instructor of Art History, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
  • Instructor of Art History, Utah State University, Logan, UT
  • Visiting Instructor of Art History, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
  • Ph.D. in Art History, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • M.A. in Archaeological Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • B.A. in Art History, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
  • Fluent in Spanish, Italian and French

Luke Yehlen, MS & US Mathematics Teacher

  • Long Term Mathematics Substitute at The Prairie School
  • Mathematics Teacher at Mariana Bracetti Academy, Philadelphia, PA
  • Teach for America/Secondary Math Corps Member, Philadelphia, PA
  • Certification in Secondary Math Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • B.S. in Kinesiology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, St. Paul, MN

Holly Wolf-Mattick, Glass Studio Manager, PT

  • Long Term Glass Studio Artist and Teacher at The Prairie School
  • Artist and Teacher at Hot Shop Glass Studio, Racine
  • M.F.A. in Sculpture/Glass, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • B.F.A. in Ceramics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO