Special Services

Sam BaerSam Baer Picture

Bio to come.

Chelsea Davison

Special Education – Paraprofessional

Chelsea Davison is a Special Education Paraprofessional at Kaleidoscope Academy. She currently supports students in 7th and 8th grade. While this is Chelsea’s first year as a paraprofessional in the district, she recently celebrated five years working in a similar setting for the YMCA of Appleton as an Assistant Teacher at Lincoln Elementary.

She is an Appleton native and graduated from our very own Appleton West High School. She attended UW Fox Valley for general education. When she is not at school, Chelsea enjoys spending time with her family and friends relaxing. Her favorite summer activities include swimming, playing at the park with her nieces and nephews, and sitting by a campfire with friends.

In the winter, Chelsea enjoys sledding, channeling her inner Elsa and skiing. Her most favorite way to spend her time away from school is with her son, Winston. Chelsea is looking forward to many more years at Kaleidoscope.

Laura DikensonLaura Dickenson Picture

Becky GibsonBecky Gibson Picture
Special Education

Bio to come.

Kim Hoefs 

Special Education

Mrs. Hoefs is a new special education teacher at Kaleidoscope.  She has been teaching in the Appleton Area School District for 4 years, but this is her 20th year teaching special education.  She has her Bachelor and Master degrees in Special Education from UW-Oshkosh.  This is her first year teaching at the middle school level.

Mrs. Hoefs is from northern Wisconsin and moved to the Appleton area in 2002.  She recently got married and is getting used to her new last name!  Mrs. Hoefs is also a foster parent and enjoys helping children learn and work through problem-solving.  She loves making connections with kids.

She enjoys art activities such as painting, woodworking, and knitting, attending live music events, and boating.  Mrs. Hoefs also spends time with her family and friends often.

Kim JazdzewskiKim Jazdzewski Picture
Special Education Teacher

Bio to come.

Jacki Nider 
Special Education

Jackie Nider is a learning disabilities teacher who taught at North High School for 17 years.  Prior to that she has held positions in the Chicago area, an elementary school in rural Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Education and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She has degrees from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In every aspect of the school day she strives to build on student strengths and encourages students to stay positive when tackling challenges.  

She has three adult children who graduated from Appleton East HS and enjoys visiting her Nebraska family several times a year.  When not involved in family events, she enjoys travel, reading, gardening, stress organizing/cleaning and public education advocacy.  Through the Kanonji Appleton Sister City Program, she has traveled to Japan twice as a chaperone and encourages any adventurous student with an interest in Japanese culture to join the Kanonji Appleton Partnership (KAP).  Another commitment is promoting mental health and erasing the stigma of mental illness. She participated in the Family to Family Program through the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) of the Fox Valley and  wants to let everyone know, help is available and you are not alone.

Dawn Novickis


Mrs. ParkerKatie Parker

Katie Parker is an academic interventionist for  Kaleidoscope Academy. She first joined Kaleidoscope in 2012, as a special education teacher and taught prior to that in Neenah and Minnesota where Katie is originally from. Katie received her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and her master’s degree from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota. 

Katie and her husband have two young boys at home to keep them busy. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially outdoors. They spend summers at their cottage relaxing and exploring nature. In her free time, Katie likes to exercise, travel, and check out new restaurants.

Gretchen RichardsMrs. Richards

Mrs. Richards has been a special education teacher in the Appleton Area School District  for the past 18 years and at Roosevelt Middle School for the past 16 of those years. Mrs. Richards supports students who have specific learning needs at both Roosevelt Middle School and Kaleidoscope Academy.

She loves to help students overcome challenges and gets excited when her students get excited about what they are learning or achieve successes when they thought they could not. Another passion of Mrs. Richards is athletics. She coaches track and volleyball at Roosevelt and  has coached sports at all levels from collegiate, high school, and middle school and all the way down to kindergarten.

Mrs. Richards feels that students who are involved in athletics and are part of a sports teams learn a tremendous amount and learn how to push themselves, both physically and mentally, and also learn how to support their teammates to achieve a common goal.

Mrs. Richards grew up in Appleton and attended Roosevelt Middle School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where she met her husband, John. They live in Appleton and have two children who are very active in a variety of activities.

Their family enjoys many outdoor activities such biking, fishing, boating or hanging around their many campfires. They also enjoy playing cards, board games, reading and watching movies.


Katherine TraynorKatie Traynor Picture


Bio to come.

Heather ViethMrs. Vieth


Mrs. Vieth is excited to be joining Roosevelt Middle School/Kaleidoscope Academy as a special education teacher. She will be teaching and supporting students in 7th grade.

She enjoys watching students grow and helping them apply new strategies they have learned. This is her first year in the Appleton Area School District, but taught six years in Green Bay and three years at Waterwood School, in Winnebago Mental Health Institute. 

After taking a few years off to be at home with her children, she is excited to be back teaching. She attended UW- Oshkosh where she earned a degree in Human Services and then added on a special education teaching certificate. Mrs. Vieth is from Janesville, WI, but has resided in the Appleton area for the last 18 years.

When she is not at school she enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids. As a family they love spending time in the outdoors hiking, fishing, cross country skiing, and attending a variety of sporting events. She also enjoys playing board games and watching movies with her family. When she has free time she enjoys running, cooking, and spending time reading.

Jen VandenengJennifer Vandeneng Picture


Bio to come.

Thong VueThong Vue Picture


Bio to come.

Kari WhiteMs. White

Ms. White is a cross-categorical special education teacher at Roosevelt/Kaleidoscope Academy. She is an EBD teacher for both 7th and 8th grade. She began working in the Appleton Area School District in 2011.

Ms. White grew up on the other side of the state in the small town of Amery, Wisconsin but moved to Appleton in 1998. She received her undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Business Technology teaching degree that she applied in the corporate world for 13 years. She then added Cross-Categorical Special Education to her teaching licenses in 2013. Ms. White feels blessed to have the daily opportunity to make a difference in her students’ lives.

When Ms. White is not at school she enjoys spending time with her two children and family, attending her children’s sporting events, traveling, skiing, crafts, reading and volunteering.