Primary PreK-2nd Grade

The BEAM Primary Academy and its two Houses consist of a half day K-4 classroom, four K-5 classrooms, four 1st Grade classrooms and four 2nd grade classrooms.


The staff at the Primary Academy believes that early childhood education encompasses more than just academics.  In addition to achieving academic success, children are taught important social skills that will help them throughout the rest of their lives.


Lower Primary Academy Staff "Small Change"


We chose our name because we work with the youngest and smallest members of the BEAM family.  We teach foundations of reading and math.  We accommodate differences in the way children learn by dividing the children into small groups called Learning Labs, where children receive individual help needed.  We introduce the children to the Scientific method, teach world awareness, teach computer skills, and introduce the Business and Economics curriculum.  We learn and practice the BEAM values.


K-4 Staff


Joan Gross - I graduated from Northern Michigan University and have licenses in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten thru 6th grade.  I have taught pre-kindergarten children for over 20 years.  I enjoy being a part of the delight a young child experiences when they master a new skill.  I help parents take an active role in their children's education by demonstrating how parents can help their children at home.  I also appreciate working in the BEAM environment where administrators, teachers, and staff work together to ensure that all of our students are focused on the Business of Learning!


K-5 Staff


Audrey Wissmann - I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education.  I am licensed to teach pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.  I have been teaching for over 20 years with this being my fifth year teaching at BEAM.  Outside of school, I love spending time with my three daughters and their families, which include 2 grandsons and a granddaughter.  My interests are many but the main one is downhill skiing in the winter where I also volunteer teach adaptive skiing to children and adults with disabilities.  In the warmer weather, I ride my Harley. I love to read and be outside.  My favorite quote on education is "Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire," by William Butler Yeats.


Michelle Sims - I have been teaching for five years.  This is currently my fourth year here at BEAM.  I taught second grade for one year and have been in K5 ever since.  I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside receiving a teacher certification in early childhood.  I am certified to teach from pre-kindergarten to third grade.  My favorite thing to do outside of school is to spend time with my family and friends.  My favorite quote about teaching is, "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."


Amberlee Konkel - I am in my third year of teaching.  This is my second year teaching kindergarten at BEAM.  I received my teaching license from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My license is in Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence (grades 1-8).  I earned two minors while at UW-Milwaukee; in Language Arts and Science.  I earned a second degree in 2010 for Early Childhood (ages birth to age 11).  My favorite quote is, "teach the head, guide the hand, touch the heart."  Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  I also love to shop!


Kathryn Saltz - This is my first year at BEAM.  I am a K5 teacher and love teaching your little ones how to read and write.  I received my degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2009 and have a DPI license for Early Childhood (birth - age 8).  I am so thrilled to be a part of the BEAM family.  I truly believe in the BEAM values and feel they are important for your children to learn.  My family is all out of state, when we're not in school, I try to travel to go see them as often as possible.  I like the quote, "Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification," by Martin Luther King, Jr.


Upper Primary Academy Staff "Elementary Entrepreneurs"


Our house chose the name Elementary Entrepreneurs because we understand the value young imaginative and creative minds can have in the business and financial world.  Young children can dream big and take risks, which are qualities necessary to be an entrepreneur.  We are excited to get our students thinking about business and economics at a young age.


1st Grade Staff


Kori Pelikan - I have been teaching for 10 years, eight of which have been at BEAM.  I have the Elementary Education 1-8th license and the PreK-12 Health license.  My favorite quote is, "They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel," by Carol Buchner.  I like working at BEAM because I love the children.  Outside of school, I enjoy the beach, yoga, traveling, being outside, sports, and family and friends.


Emily Miller - I have been teaching for 5 years.  I have been at BEAM for 3 of those years.  I have an elementary teaching license for grades 1-8.  I love working at BEAM because of the supportive staff, involved parents, and great students.  Outside of school, I enjoy playing volleyball.


Renee Pfeiffer - I have been a substitute teacher for 6 years and this is my first full year teaching at BEAM.  I graduated from Alverno College where I earned a degree in Elementary Education with minor in social studies.  I have teaching experience up to 8th grade.  My favorite educational quote is, "Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn," by Benjamin Franklin.  Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking, reading, watching sports, and traveling.  I also love history.


Emily Watson - I have recently graduated from UW-Milwaukee and have licenses in Middle Childhood - Early Adolescence, natural science, and ESL.  This is my first year teaching and my first year at BEAM.  I enjoy teaching at BEAM because the students are all here for one reason - to learn.  A favorite quote of mine from BB King is "the beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you."  When I am not teaching at BEAM, I enjoy traveling to experience new cultures and languages, spending time with loved ones, and any activities that can get me outdoors.



2nd Grade Staff


Jeanne Bridges - I received my elementary education degree from Olivet Nazarene University with a minor in Language Arts.  I have completed 5 years of teaching within both public and charter schools.  I am currently working on my 4th year of teaching 2nd grade at BEAM.  I love teaching because every day is a new experience and because I can impact lives.  I live with my husband, who is a Marquette graduate student, and my dog in Milwaukee.  I love art, cooking, and reading.


Cassandra Haines  - This is my first year at BEAM and my first year teaching.  I graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Education and am licensed to teach 1-8th grades.  What I love most about teaching is how there are never two days that are the same.  Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading and spending time with my family.


Cassandra Stevens - I teach 2nd and 3rd grade at BEAM.  I have a degree in Elementary Education (PreK-6) and Spanish.  Prior to BEAM, I taught K3-K4 for a Charter school in Milwaukee.  This is my first year at BEAM and I could not be happier.  My favorite quote is, "Be the change you want to see in the world," by Mahatma Ghandi and I attribute the philosophy of this quote to every part of my life and work each day to instill it into my students.  Outside of teaching, I enjoy coaching volleyball and spending time with my family and friends.


Zarlesia Patterson - I have been teaching since 2006.  This is my first year at BEAM.  I am licensed to teach elementary education; birth to age 11.  My favorite part of teaching is improving reading levels.

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