Special Services

Staff PhotoChelsea Van Abel
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Special Education – Paraprofessional

Chelsea Van Abel is a Special Education Para at Kaleidoscope Academy. She has been with the district since 2016. Prior to this Chelsea spent 8 years with the YMCA of the Fox Cities in the school age department.

In her spare time, she enjoys watching crime documentaries, sitting by the campfire & having family cookouts. Chelsea and her husband Kyle have 3 sons together, Croix, Winston & Revel. They like to spend time together outside; fishing, playing at the park & going to the cabin.

The best part about her job is supporting a variety of students, and coming up with new strategies for success.

Chelsea is looking forward to many more years at Kaleidoscope.

Becky GibsonMrs. Gibson
Special Education
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Mrs. Gibson is a special education teacher at Kaleidoscope Academy.  She joined the Kaleidoscope community in 2018.  Ms. Gibson received her Undergraduate degree and Masters degree from UW - Stevens Point.  Mrs. Gibson enjoys helping students become successful members of their school and community.  She loves to celebrate student successes and achievements, focusing on students' strengths and perseverance when obstacles present themselves. Mrs. Gibson grew up in Appleton and is an Appleton West alumni.  She met her husband at West and they continue to live in the Appleton community with their two kids.  When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family up north at the cottage where they enjoy swimming, campfires, and board games.  She also enjoys cooking, attending her kids sporting events, exploring local parks, reading, and loom knitting. 

Kim Hoefs Kim Hoefs

Special Education
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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
Special Education Teacher
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Hello, my name is Kim Jazdzewski, or Ms. J if you prefer.  This is my 4th year at Kaleidoscope Academy, and I am continuously impressed by the KA community!  The staff, students & families here are AMAZING! A few of my favorite things are smiles, coffee, puppies, soccer, Harry Potter, family, campfires, and chocolate- in no particular order!  A few of my least favorite things are spiders, bats, onions, mosquitos, and raisins.  The good stuff always outnumbers the bad! If you ever need my help or support for your student please reach out.

Laura MickMrs. Mick Picture
Speech-Language Pathologist

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Mrs. Mick is a speech-language pathologist here at Kaleidoscope Academy. She also works with students at Einstein Middle School. Mrs. Mick grew up in Rockford, IL and lived there until attending the University of Iowa where she received her Bachelor’s degree. She later moved to Kansas City, MO where she earned her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2005, from Rockhurst University.  Mrs. Mick was employed with Turner School District in Kansas City, KS for the first 3 years after graduation. In 2008, she moved to Chicago, IL where she worked with the Chicago Public School District for 4 years. In 2012, Mrs. Mick moved to Appleton, WI. She worked with the Hortonville Area School District for the first 5 years of living in Wisconsin. She decided that it would be nice to work a little closer to home so she began employment with the Appleton Area School District in 2017. Mrs. Mick and her husband have 2 children. They also have a cat named Mochi. Mrs. Mick enjoys traveling, running, boating and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs.

Katie ParkerMrs. Parker Picture
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Mrs. Parker has been working at Kaleidoscope Academy Since 2011 and in the field of education since 2003.  Her roles have included special education, academic interventions, and alternative education support.  Mrs. Parker has enjoyed every one of these experiences and loves the staff and students at KA. 

Mrs. Parker’s passion in teaching is making connections with students and families.  Relationships are key to successful school experiences and she works hard to make each student feel connected.  

Mrs. Parker is originally from the twin cities area in Minnesota and has welcomed Appleton as her home and a place to raise her children. Mrs. Parker enjoys spending time with her two sons, her husband, and the dog at their cottage in the summer. During the school year Mrs. Parker enjoys watching movies, jigsaw puzzles, and staying active outdoors.

Mandy Remter
EBD Paraprofessional
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Bio coming soon

Gretchen RichardsMrs. Richards
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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.

Heather ViethMrs. Vieth

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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 VanDenEng

[email protected]Mrs. VanDenEng


Mrs. VanDenEng is a speech language pathologist at Kaleidoscope.  She has been teaching in the Appleton Area School District for over 20 years.  She has worked at West, Einstein, Franklin, Johnston and is part of the district Assistive Technology team.  She transitioned to Kaleidoscope beginning in the fall 2019.  She received her bachelor's degree from UW-Oshkosh and master’s degree from UW-StevensPoint.

Mrs. VanDenEng is originally from Greenville where she grew up on a produce farm/family orchard where she continues to help with the business.  Mrs. VanDenEng and her husband live in Freedom, have 3 adult children as well as numerous pets.  Mrs. VanDenEng enjoys spending time with family, gardening, exercising and traveling.

Mrs. VanDenEng believes that all people want to feel valued, important and know they matter.  Relationship building is key to building foundational concepts including feelings of safety; emotional, physical and social.  This is the groundwork needed to establish an environment of comfort and security which opens the doors for learning.

In addition to developing positive relationships with her students, she believes strong partnerships with colleagues and families are vitally important.  These partnerships promote communication, sharing of ideas and problem solving to form the best network of support for children.

Kari WhiteMs. White
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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.

Adelle WilliamsAdelle Williams
Speech and Language

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Adelle Williams, M.S. CCC-SLP is a Speech Language Pathologist at Kaleidoscope. She is from Minnesota but completed her undergraduate and graduate work in Illinois. She enjoys getting to know students and having them be active participants in reaching their goals. When not at work, Adelle enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, hiking, trying new recipes, organizing, and watching movies with her husband.

Kathryn Schickert
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Bio and picture coming soon.

Brett Thyssen 
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Bio and picture coming soon.

Maxwell JonesMr. Jones Picture
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Max Jones started his first year of teaching at Kaleidoscope Academy in 2021 in the EBD department. Mr. Jones was a professional musician starting in 2010 and continued his music career after getting his special education degree in 2015. Mr. Jones taught guitar for those ten years and did more live performances than he cares to remember. In 2020 the pandemic was unkind to musicians so Mr. Jones happily decided to transition quickly into teaching. It had already been Mr. Jones’ intention to go into teaching eventually, but the pandemic moved him along faster than he had originally planned.

Mr. Jones grew up in Appleton and went to Franklin Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School (which is now K.A.) and during high school he went to  Appleton North High School in the morning and Renaissance School of the Arts in the afternoon. Mr. Jones lives with his wife, son, and dog not far from K.A.

Mr. Jones enjoys playing guitar, listening to music, reading, and he loves superheroes and Star Wars. After becoming a father, Mr. Jones spends most of his time taking care of his family and the old hobbies have become relics of the past.

Mr. Jones is very happy to be at K.A. and never ceases to be impressed by the students and other staff members and the wonderful atmosphere they have created.

Dean Laux
Special Education - Paraprofessional
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Bio and picture coming soon.

Jennifer Oatman
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Ms.Oatman is an academic interventionist at Kaleidoscope Academy. She provides interventions in reading and math based on data-informed needs of the students she serves.  The 2021-22 school year is Ms. Oatman’s first year at KA.     

In middle school, students continue to build and expand on the foundation of their learning.  Ms. Oatman loves working with students as they discover who they are as learners and explore how they learn best. She guides them to view problems as opportunities for growth. Students choose a problem-solving strategy to overcome obstacles, monitor progress and adjust when needed. Together they celebrate and build on the small successes that move them toward achieving their goals.     

Ms. Oatman earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at UW-Oshkosh.  She has spent 20+ years teaching as an elementary educator. She has also worked six years as a Continuous Improvement Coach at the Intermediate level.   

Ms. Oatman has three adult sons. She and her family spend time together attending sporting events, camping, hiking, walking, running and being outdoors.  Additionally, Ms. Oatman loves to read and practice yoga.  She has completed four marathons.  The most memorable one was running in honor of her father at the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon held in Arlington, VA.

Jennifer Smith
Special Education - Paraprofessional

Bio and picture coming soon.

Dawn Novickis
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