Meet the New Members of the Compass Team

Mathieu Evans 08’: Math Specialist and Long-Term Sub

EvansA Prairie alumnus and graduate of Cornell College, Mathieu joins the faculty as a full- time math specialist on the Compass Team. He received a Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics and History and later worked for ACT, Inc. as a field test scorer in the mathematics department. Also working as an independent tutor, he’s had the privilege to work with Prairie students and families over the last few years.

Why did you choose Prairie? Why education?

I graduated in 2008 from Prairie, and I can’t think of any other school that I would rather contribute my time and content knowledge to. Beyond that connection, I love the unique opportunity presented to me with the Math Learning Specialist position and The Compass Team as a whole. As soon as I learned about the program, I knew Prairie would be the ideal place for me to gain experience in math education.

It seems only natural that I would work in a school because I consider myself a lifelong learner as well as an educator. Working in a school will provide me with the opportunity to work in closer communication with my students’ teachers and advisors, and this will ultimately serve the best interests of the students and their parents.

What interests you outside the classroom? What are you passionate about?

My key interests outside of work and mathematics would have to be the study of music and popular culture. I enjoy reading and writing criticism, as well as composing music. I don’t get to perform live very often, but I’d like to do that a lot more.

What were your first impressions about Prairie?

My first experience at the Prairie School was at a very young age. I was on a field trip with the SC Johnson summer camp, and we came to Prairie to see a showcase of some kind. Along with my fellow day-campers, I watched Everett McKinney and others sing in an ensemble and from that moment on, the Prairie community was in my consciousness. As friends of mine throughout middle school transferred to Prairie, my interest only grew. The first time I roamed the halls I was shadowing in eighth grade and that experience solidified my desire to experience everything Prairie had to offer. In short, my first impressions created a clear picture of a school where anything I wanted to do was almost certainly possible.

 

Brianna Kunstman: Math Teacher and Tutor

BriannaBrianna is a new member of Prairie’s Compass Team. She recently earned a Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics from Carthage College.

Why Prairie? Why education?

The Prairie School has a unique way of making everyone feel like family. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and I know Prairie is exactly where I should be. Everyone has been friendly and willing to help. It’s great to be around individuals who are passionate about what they do and also look to be lifelong learners.

I chose education because of the impact teachers have had on my life. On numerous occasions, teachers have gone above and beyond to help me succeed in whatever I wanted to do. It is my goal to have that impact on my students.

What are you interests outside of the classroom?

Outside of the classroom, I am a diehard sports fan…Wisconsin teams, of course! I also do a lot of fishing, camping, and reading in my spare time.

 

Jill MacDougall: Learning Specialist

JillJill joins Prairie with over ten years of experience as a Cross-Categorical Special Education teacher. She’s earned a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary/Middle Education, Learning Disabilities, and Cognitive Disabilities from Carthage College. Her student teaching experience even took her overseas where she worked at the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Wiesbaden, Germany. She is currently working to obtain a Reading Teacher Licensure from Alverno College.

I did my student teaching with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools at Wiesbaden American Middle School in Wiesbaden, Germany. I have worked with diverse students with a variety of learning strengths and challenges. My training includes graduate work in reading instruction as well as specific training in culturally relevant education, trauma-informed practice, assistive technology, and helping students with ADHD to become more independent in the classroom.

What are your interests outside of the classroom?

I love spending family time with my husband and kids. I’m trying my hand at vegetable gardening, and I also love cooking, traveling, languages and singing.

What were your first impressions about Prairie?

I am impressed by Prairie’s commitment to the well-being of the whole child. I first toured Prairie as a parent when our family applied for admission last winter. I loved how the classrooms were calm and orderly while still keeping children active and engaged. The positive atmosphere was unmistakable.