David Parr

Social Studies Teacher/Dean of students/Mentor

Dr. Parr is the Social Studies teacher for Janesville and students across the state and the around the world. This is his 22nd year teaching for the Janesville School District and 14th year teaching online. He is an avid historian and makes sure that he has at least one historical location to visit on any vacation he goes on, much to his families' chagrin! Dr. Parr is a father of three and a grandfather of one. He has one chocolate lab named Buddy. In his spare time, he rides his Harley Davidson Ultra and has traveled extensively on it throughout the United States. He listens to a variety of music and likes to read historical fiction.

Michael Katzke

Online Teacher

This is Mrs. Michael Katzke�s first year with the Janesville School District and with online learning. Mrs. Katzke has been teaching for over 15 years in the Madison area. While she has taught all age groups from preschool to high school, middle school remains her favorite. When she is not teaching or finishing her master�s degree in school counseling she enjoys spending time with her family playing board games. She is an avid reader and lover of music. She has a passion for musical theatre which she shares with her daughter, and her husband and son tolerate. She also enjoys camping and fishing with family and friends.

Jessica Jacobs

Chinese Teacher

Jessica Jacobs teaches Chinese in Janesville and online for students throughout the state. She was born and originally educated in China, where she was a professor of art for five years. She then moved to the U.S. and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a master's degree in Chinese literature. This is her 5th year of teaching for the Janesville School DIstrict. She is very happy to have become a member of the Arise Virtual Academy team this year. At Arise, Mrs. Jacobs is teaching Chinese I, II and III. She enjoys working with her students and seeing them improve.

Gale Rundle

Elementary School Teacher

Mrs. Gale Rundle is joining the team this year as our part-time Elementary Teacher at Arise Virtual Academy. She has students from kindergarten through fifth grade. For the last 20 years, she worked in the School District of Janesville as a 4th grade teacher at Wilson Elementary. She is married and has two grown boys. She also has a chocolate lab named Bailey. She enjoys walking Bailey, baking, reading nonfiction books and spending time with her family.

Andrew Bouffiou

Math Teacher

Mr. Andrew Bouffiou has been the Math teacher at ARISE for the past two years. He teaches all Math classes and several Elective classes. Mr. Bouffiou is also ARISE Virtual Academy's assessment coordinator. He has a German Shepherd named Kirky. He grew up in California, he enjoys surfing and playing soccer.

Sherri Torrison

Online Teacher

This is Mrs. Torrison's 19th year with the Janesville School District and 7th year with the ARISE Virtual Academy. She has 4 horses, 3 cats, and 8 grandchildren. You'll find her horse camping many weekends in the summer and fall. A favorite is her annual trip to South Dakota. When she is not with her horses you can find her spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Beth Metcalf

Online English Teacher

Teaching English courses for ARISE Virtual Academy is Mrs. Beth Metcalf. Mrs. Metcalf has been a teacher with the School District of Janesville for twelve years - the last 3 at ARISE Virtual Academy. Mrs. Metcalf loves to read and share books with anyone who will listen to her! And, she especially loves it when students share new books with her! Mrs. Metcalf has two children who keep her busy running from the swimming pool to the hockey rink. When the weather is nice you might find her out on her bike riding the trails of Wisconsin. Mrs. Metcalf is a HUGE University of Kentucky fan - she bleeds Kentucky Blue!

Stephanie Villarello

Science Teacher

Mrs. Villarello has degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Biotechnology from UW-Platteville and many years of lab experience at area colleges. She love sharing the excitement of science with her students. Outside of school she enjoys good food, reading, being out in nature and spending time with her husband and four children.

Ruth Rautio

SE Cross Cat

Hello, my name is Ruth Rautio and I am the new SE Cross Cat. Teacher at ARISE, TATE, homebound, YSC and RUHS. I will be supporting our students in academic, social and behavioral needs throughout the school year. I have taught for over nine years spanning from inner city Minneapolis in a self contained setting, Beloit WI in self contained middle and high school setting, managed district behavioral intervention plans for middle and high school for two years and ran a therapeutic day school for three years in Machesney Park Illinois. I currently hold a Masters of Education as well as an administrative / principal degree, SE Cross Cat and EBD/LD teaching licensure and I am excited to utilize my understanding of the special education world as well as the real life experiences that I have gained over the past nine years to support our teams. I am excited to serve and support our students as they strive for excellence within the school district of Janesville, their academics and their overall life.

Lisa Peterson


Dr. Lisa R. Peterson serves as the Principal; she works with the ARISE Virtual Academy staff on continual school improvement. Dr. Peterson earned her Bachelor's degree from UW-La Crosse a double major in English and Public Speaking. For fifteen years, Dr. Peterson taught English and Public Speaking at Parker High School where she also advised the Yearbook, Key Club, and Human Relations. For seven years, Dr. Peterson served as the Assistant Principal at Franklin Middle School. Dr. Peterson joined the staff in Janesville's charter schools in the fall of 2011. A Nationally Board Certified Teacher, Dr. Peterson has a Master's degree from UW-Madison in Curriculum and Instruction as well as a Master's degree from Cardinal Stritch University for Educational Leadership. In July 2014, Dr. Peterson completed her PhD; her dissertation focused on the efforts of educational leaders to close the achievement gap for traditionally marginalized students. Valuing social justice, Dr. Peterson believes that all students should have access to a high quality education in order to prepare them for post-secondary opportunities. A servant leader, Dr. Peterson is deeply honored to have the opportunity to support Janesville charter school students progress on their journeys toward successful futures.

Sharon Coogan

Spanish Teacher

Mrs. Sharon Coogan is the ARISE Spanish teacher for students in Janesville and throughout the state. She teaches all levels of Spanish, from beginning to advanced. Mrs. Coogan has taught Spanish for more than 30 years, in many different settings in Janesville and the Chicago area. She has taught for three years at ARISE Virtual Academy, an exciting opportunity. Mrs. Coogan is the mother of five and is a new grandmother too!

Heidi McGraw

Student Services

Heidi McGraw is a Student Services Specialist at ARISE Virtual Academy. Mrs. McGraw got her Bachelor degree in Psychology from Beloit College. She worked as an In-Home Family therapist for Rock County Community Corrections, a Social Worker for Walworth County Human Services and coached many different sports. She returned to school at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and received her Master degree in Counseling with School Emphasis. She has worked at various schools from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Mrs. McGraw is very happy to back in the Janesville School District, having spent 2 1/2 years at Parker High School previously. She is passionate that every student can become successful, life long learners...and is eager to help the students realize their full potential! When not working Mrs. McGraw enjoys spending time outside in the warm weather...swimming, paddle boarding, hiking and growing all sorts of plants! She had recently taken up snow shoeing for winter exercise. When not working or playing outside she enjoys spending as much time with her family and friends...which is never enough!

Deb DeWitt

Board Member

Deb is a lifelong resident of Janesville and has served as an ARISE Board member for 2-3 years now. She has also served as a Realtor Liaison for a Special Policy Committee in the past for several years. She is married to Jeff DeWitt, retired Janesville Firefighter, has 2 children, Ben and Bri, both graduated from Parker HS, are married and still reside in Janesville. Bri is a Janesville teacher and Ben has a 4 yr old son Brandt, making Deb a very happy Grandmother. Deb serves the ARISE Board with passion and cares a great deal about Janesville's unique Charter School and the opportunity it affords it's students.

Renee Barnett

Board Member

My name is Renee Barnett. My husband and I moved to Janesville in 1999 from Flint Michigan. I have 4 children and 6 grandchildren that I love spending time with. My youngest son is a Junior at ARISE. We have 1 dog and 1 cat. In my spare time I enjoy baking, reading, and collecting anything with squirrels.

Marilyn Henrich

School Counselor

Marilyn Henrich is our school social worker. She primarily works with students who have an IEP. She is a graduate of UW Madison for her master's degree and UW Eau Claire for her bachelor's degree. Marilyn enjoys reading, gardening, skiing, and spending time with her family in her free time.

Alan Hackbarth


Alan J. Hackbarth grew up in Northern Wisconsin and taught high school mathematics for ten years, followed by ten years as a middle school principal and school district technology coordinator. He is currently and Assistant Professor of Education at UW-Rock County and UW Colleges Online.

Patti Sommerfeldt

Board Member

My daughter has been an AVA student since 2015. Her anxiety was a huge issue for her in regular school. Thank goodness we were directed to AVA and we have been more than grateful ever since. My hobbies include photography, costuming, and a few other not so interesting ones. I have lived in Janesville most of my adult life, but I grew up in Edgerton, WI. My daughter Emily, and I are very close. As a single mother, her wellbeing is extremely important to me, as well as her education and how her anxiety affects her. If it were not for AVA, I don't even want to know what life would be without it and the most wonderful staff there. Thank you to ALL of you.