Meet The Board of Directors
I have been involved in education for over 25 years. I have taught at the secondary level and post-secondary level. I am currently a Health Science Instructor at Western Technical College. I have also spent the last several years volunteering around the community, providing meals for our homeless population and delivering meals thru Mobile Meals. Working with both high school-aged and college students has allowed me to see the gap that exists between high school and college. These gaps include financial, emotional, academic, and others. GearUp is a great opportunity to be a part of the solution to help the young adults in our community achieve their educational and professional goals.
I’m a life-long educator who has held several positions with the School District of La Crosse throughout my career. I taught high school math and servant leadership classes for 21 years, coached multiple high school sports for 25 years and was the Dean of Students for one year all at Central High School. Currently, I’m the Activities Director at Logan High School. Through my educational experiences, I’ve been fortunate to work with a diverse student population and help them achieve success during their high school years. However, I have found that there are a group of students that are not able to pursue their dreams out of high school because of a lack of financial assistance for necessary college supplies. That is where GearUp comes in, to help make those dreams become a reality.
I have called La Crosse home since I graduated with a physical therapy degree from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse in 1993. My clinical subspecialties include general adult orthopedics, women's health and pediatric neurology and orthopedic care. I am credentialed as a group fitness leader in multiple disciplines as well as being a personal trainer. In both the clinic and wellness settings I've had the opportunity to mentor college students as either a clinical instructor or a course presenter. I've witnessed firsthand the many hats that college students, particularly first generation and non-traditional students, juggle to wear in order to balance school work with a part time income source. I was involved in parent- teacher associations and committees at both the public and the parochial high schools. I am proud that GearUp serves the entire La Crosse community. Graduates from Central, Logan, Aquinas, La Crossroads Central / Logan, and homeschool graduates that reside in La Crosse may all apply. Currently, I assist in traditional and social media advertising and coordinate public relations for Weisbrod & Associates and provide design consultation for other small businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations.
I have had a connection to public education for most of my life. My parents both taught in the public school district where I went to school, and I received a B.A. and J.D. from UW-Madison. After graduating from law school, I worked for the Madison Metropolitan School District. I later became involved with the La Crosse School District in my role as a parent, serving on PTOs when my children were in elementary and middle school and on the District Wide Parent Committee for the last 12 years. I have also volunteered in the school store at La Crosse Central High School for the last 8 years. During this time, I’ve interacted with kids who do not have the same resources and support as other kids and have witnessed their resulting struggles. We formed GearUp, Inc. so our students don’t have to worry about how they will pay for all of the miscellaneous college/training program expenses that aren’t covered by traditional financial aid and scholarships. We want our students to walk onto campus with the same “gear” and sense of belonging as their peers.
I have been a life-long member of the La Crosse community. I am currently the owner of Weisbrod & Associates, a Wisconsin and Minnesota based Certified Public Accounting firm. I chose to return to this region after receiving my undergraduate and Master's degrees elsewhere due to the full complement of unique geographical recreational offerings combined with excellent schools and abundant youth activities. I am fortunate to stay involved with area high school and university students in their educational endeavors both though mentoring individuals at the beginning of their career paths to advising interns at the completion of their studies. This keeps me in touch with how much tenacity it takes for today's youth to forge a successful post high school graduate pathway. Even when an individual has access to full resources for campus living and conquering their academic courses, it is still difficult to keep up with current trends and technology. GearUp is a tool, an asset, for local students to help fill these financial gaps. I have 37 years of accounting experience and 26 years of small business ownership experience. I enjoy putting these skill sets to good use while volunteering as the treasurer or sitting on the board of directors for various school, church and community non-profit organizations.
I have been a teacher and coach for 28 years, 27 at Central High School in La Crosse, WI. I have held many positions throughout my career, however, my focus over the last 10 years has been on college readiness and specifically college readiness for underrepresented populations at our school. I was on the forefront of opening our Advanced Placement classes to all students. I have also been continually involved with the AVID college readiness program including serving as District Director. I firmly believe that education is the key solution to many issues in our country and am passionate about ensuring that opportunity for all of our students
I am a Business and Technology Teacher at Central High School in La Crosse, WI. I have been a teacher in the area for 18 years. During the last 10, I have been teaching Personal Finance to high school students. We cover career plans, post-secondary options and budgeting. I have seen an increase in financial need as costs increase for students as they enter life after high school. I am excited to be a part of an organization that can help provide financial and emotional support to young adults as they seek funding sources to go after their dreams.