Meet Our Educators
My name is Anadri Ortiz. I was born in Venezuela. I graduated with a Bachelor of Elementary Education at the University in Caracas. I was a primary school teacher (1-6) for 3 years and then I was teaching English and Spanish at the middle school for 7 years in my country.
Currently, I live in Waukesha with my husband, Leybant and my two daughters (Andrea and AnaCorina). I enjoy cooking, watching movies, eating out and spending time with the family. I like to work at La Casa Charter School because you feel a team work environment, there is an opportunity to grow professionally, and families and staff feel at home like a big family. I love my work, I love teaching, I love to work at La Casa.
My name is Kelly Abounader. This is my second year with La Casa, but my first year with the Charter School. I live in Hartland with my twin daughters, Audrey and Sophie, who also are in their second year here at La Casa. We live in Hartland and have been in this area for about four years. Prior to beginning teaching with the Charter School, I had 28 years of experience working in early childhood settings doing everything from teaching to administration. In January of 2018, I received my BA from SNHU in Child and Adolescent Psychology and I have just completed my MS at Purdue University.
I was very excited when I was given the opportunity to teach here at the Charter School. My daughter has struggled a great deal in school because of her special needs and she has blossomed here thanks to the dedicated staff and the support they have given (and continue to give) her. My other daughter is on the other end of the spectrum, and the teachers have always managed to keep her learning and challenged, never bored. The team here is one of the best I have ever worked with. The level of knowledge and professionalism is only matched by dedication and devotion to the children and the community. I cannot imagine a better place for my daughters and I to be and will forever be grateful for the opportunities and experiences La Casa has given us.
My name is Jessica Collazo and I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I moved to Milwaukee, WI in 1990 at the age of 10. I continued my education in the Milwaukee Public School system. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and obtained my Bachelor's Degree from the School of Education in 2005. I started my career in the education field in 2005. I have taught preschool, k5, 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade. I have a passion for teaching and I love what I do.
1st Grade Teacher
Hello, I'm Kimberly Ipsa, and this is my second year at La Casa de Esperanza Charter School as a K5 teacher! I've received my Associates in Liberal Arts degree at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN. At the time of my graduation, it was only a two year college, so I finished my education at Lakeland College(now University) based out of Plymouth, WI. I've been blessed to be able to teach scholars for 13 years in first and second grade. I look forward to helping all of my kindergartners grow and reach their full potential, academically and socially. I am from Mukwonago, WI, and married with four children ages, 8, 11, 13 and 15. I enjoy spending time with family and friends camping and at the lake. I also tutor Chinese students in English online during weekend.
I love that La Casa is there to help every student reach their full potential. Sometimes that means going beyond supporting just the student. La Casa has many programs and activities that help parents. These programs include weatherization, housing, tax help, school uniform help, transportation to and from school, and connecting parents to other programs that best help them. This support benefits whole families and ultimately gives students the support they need to be their best in the classroom.
4th Grade Teacher
Hello, I grew up in Mexico where I earned my Bachelor of Control and Computer Engineering degree from UANL.MX. My husband and I moved to Milwaukee. I have three boys, two girls and four granddaughters. I obtained my teaching license at MTEC. In Milwaukee, I taught first-grade Bilingual for four years and two years as an algebra teacher at Aurora. We moved to Waukesha and I worked with the School District of Waukesha, for 15 years. I retired from the district and now it is my second year at La Casa de Esperanza working as a fourth-grade teacher.
I’ve had an excellent experience working at La Casa de Esperanza, it is a great place to learn. It’s students, dedicated staff, and the community of parents make this a place for everyone to learn and grow. I believe that La Casa de Esperanza is a young school with an excellent future for students. Working with children on a daily basis, it is both my passion and a privilege because I’m doing a job that I love. In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family. My family is my support system and they mean the world to me.
Jenna Jimenez Garcia
My name is Jenna Jimenez Garcia, and it has been a thrill to be part of the La Casa family this year. I earned my Bachelor's degrees in Linguistics and Spanish at UW - Madison, and I spent the previous six years teaching a wide variety of subjects in a private school setting. What I most love about being a teacher is seeing my students' faces light up when they discover something new. Seeing the joy children get from these moments is an inspiration to me, both as an educator and a person. Our children are the future, and it is an honor to be a witness and an advocate of their journey. I enjoy filling my classroom with learning, laughter and love for my students!
Physical Education Teacher
Hi, I'm Melissa Argenzio, and I'm new to the La Casa de Esperanza Charter School family as the physical education teacher. Over the past 4 years, I have directed and coordinated youth programs. I have both my bachelor's degree and teaching license. I enjoy providing the students with lessons that are engaging and fun. In my spare time, I enjoy golfing and playing flag football. My favorite thing about La Casa Charter School are the the students and their readiness to learn!
Special Education Teacher/Special Diagnostic Teacher
Hi, I’m Karen Christensen, and this is my first year at La Casa de Esperanza Charter School. I began my teaching career in 1986 in San Antonio, Texas as a bilingual elementary school teacher. I returned to Wisconsin three years later to pursue my master’s degree in reading. In 1990, I began working for Milwaukee Public Schools as a bilingual elementary teacher. Over the course of my career with the district, I moved into the roles of a bilingual special education teacher and bilingual diagnostic teacher. I’m excited to begin my second career at La Casa de Esperanza Charter School. I enjoy working with the dedicated, professional staff here who strive every day to make sure that all students achieve their full potential. I look forward to my future here at the charter school and building positive relationships with the families of the La Casa community.
Administrative Assistant II
I began working at La Casa de Esperanza Charter School in the summer of 2018 as the Administrative Assistant II with 23 years of experience working for schools. I worked in the Milwaukee Public Schools for 14 years as a Consultant, Bilingual School Secretary, Transportation Secretary, Records Secretary and Administrative Assistant I, I also worked 9 years at La Causa Charter School as a Payroll Specialist, Purchasing, Payroll & Transportation Specialist, Administrative Assistant I and Administrative Assistant II. I was born in San Juan Puerto Rico and have been living in Milwaukee for the last 25 years. I am a mother of 2 boys, 27-year-old Teacher and a 23-year-old Electronic Engineer. Serving as an Administrative Assistant for my team has played a major role in my personal development, and I'm very committed, responsible, dedicated and organized. Working with students and families is my passion. On my free time I'm enjoy crafting, watching movies and going out for coffee with family and friends.