Our Academic Coaches

Maddie Urban: The Center for Life Long Learning Coordinator

Middle School and High School English, Reading, Writing and Paper Editing (College Essays, Research Papers, and Other Assignments), ACT/SAT Prep – English and Reading, Accommodations (Test/Quiz Reading), Middle School Science

Mrs. Urban is an English teacher who loves working with students to help them grow as readers, writers, and thinkers! She taught English classes at Wheaton Academy for five years, before leaving to stay home with her first child in the Spring of 2023. During her time at Wheaton Academy, she taught freshman, sophomore, and junior English courses, as well as Senior English Electives and AP Seminar, a research-writing class. Mrs. Urban has a B.A. from Wheaton College, where she double-majored in English and Secondary Education. She is a certified teacher, endorsed to teach High School English, Middle School English, and Middle School Science.

Holly Taritas

 Executive Functioning Coach.  Holly is a former high school teacher and administrator at Wheaton North High School.  She currently teaches student teachers at Grand Canyon University online.  She has a BS in Child Development and an MS in Education.  Executive Functioning is her passion as she reminds her students that we are always learning, growing and improving.

Liz Reid

Elementary Academic Coach / Executive Functioning Coach: Reading Skills, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Skills, Study Skills, Writing Process and Techniques, Spelling, and Grammar. Liz is a graduate of St. Mary’s University. She has an MN and BA in Elementary Education and a Masters in Reading from Concordia College. Liz has taught 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 8th grades for the last 25 years. More recently, her teaching experience has been with a local homeschool co-op and is currently teaching preschool in Wheaton. Liz creates a fun, positive learning experience to help meet personal goals and has enjoyed tutoring for the last 25 years.

Kristen Rusthoven

English/Language Arts, Reading/Writing, ACT/SAT, Study Skills and History. Kristen is a graduate of WCGS, Wheaton Academy, Trinity Christian College (B.A) and Olivet University (M.A.E. Reading Specialist). She is a certified teacher endorsed to teach History, English/Language Arts, and is also a certified Reading Specialist. She has experience working with all ability levels and has been teaching for 10 years. She has experience teaching study skills classes and literacy intervention classes. She is also an English and Reading ACT/SAT prep coach. Kristen is currently teaching English at Wheaton Academy.

Val Gregersen
Valerie Gregersen

Middle School through High School Math (Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, College Algebra, Precalculus, Precalculus Advanced, ACT/SAT Math & Science Preparation) Val graduated from Northwestern College, IA with a BA in Secondary Education and Mathematics.  She has taught high school and middle school math for over 25 years. Her first 11 years were in Houston, TX and the last 15 years have been at Wheaton Academy.  Valerie truly believes that all students can learn math and reach their full God-given potential. 

Dick Clancy

Middle School and High School Math (Algebra and Geometry) and High School Science (Physics; Chemistry; Biology; and A. P. Environmental Science).  Dick graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics. He received his Masters Degree (Ed.M) in Continuing and Secondary Education at the University of Illinois.  Dick has taught high school and junior high school students for twenty-five years and enjoys helping students reach their learning goals for the Lord.  

Lars Cassel

Middle School through High School Math (Algebra 1 and 2,
Geometry, College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Calculus)
Lars is a Wheaton Academy graduate and a senior Math/ Secondary Education major at Wheaton  College. He loves learning about math and seeing how the material he learns in the classroom is played out in the real world.

Luke Bothun

College Essay Writing, Paper Editing, ACT/SAT Prep, and Science (Anatomy and Biology). Luke is a junior at Wheaton College and is studying for a Business Economics major and a Biology minor. He is from Rochester, Minnesota and runs Cross Country and Track for Wheaton College. Luke is looking forward to meeting students to discuss paper writing, testing strategies, the human body, and cellular respiration!

Cheryl Koslosky

ACT/SAT Prep Coach After graduating from Taylor University in 1993, Cheryl taught elementary and middle school in King George, Virginia near Washington DC.  When she had her first child, she quit teaching and started tutoring students in all subject areas. She has been tutoring for over two decades. She has spent many years studying and getting to know the ins and outs of the two standardized college admissions tests: the ACT and SAT. 

Stacey Krohn

Stacey is a graduate of Linfield University (B.A Spanish) and Cairn University (M.S. Education).  She has experience working with international students and all ability levels in Spanish and/or English. She was a classroom teacher for 13 years, 8 of those years in International Schools in Peru and Ethiopia. She is currently teaching Spanish at Wheaton Academy.

Sean McCallum

Art – BA Studio Art, Wheaton College, MFA Illustration, Academy of Art University. Sean has been at WA since 2011. He made the transition to traditional education from a vast array of experiences in the creative world.  Most recently, he has worked as an independent consultant and has held a variety of design roles.  In addition to his past formal roles in student ministries at Harvest Bible Chapel and Wheaton Bible Church, he and his family remain active in the local church.  He brings a love for painting and drawing, and desires that art tells a story.  Sean has interest in the outdoors including camping, mountain biking, and adventure outings.

Alyssa Strzalka
Alyssa Strzalka

College Essay Writing, English/Language Arts, Paragraph/Essay Writing. Elementary through High School.  Alyssa is a Wheaton Academy graduate (2015). She graduated from Baylor University in 2019 with a B.S. in Education and minor in Creative Writing and completed her first year of teaching at Harvest Christian Academy before joining the Wheaton Academy English Department in 2020.

Ryan Chaney

Math  Ryan received his BA degree from Cedarville University and his MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati, then earned his Professional Educator License from National Louis University.  He taught high school and middle school mathematics for 3 years at a private school in MD and taught 4 years in the Mathematics department at Wheaton Academy.  He enjoys helping students develop an appreciation for mathematics and helping them see how mathematics provides the framework for us to model and understand the world around us. 

Tim McDunn

ACT/SAT Prep Tim serves as Guest Lecturer in Music Theory and Composition at Wheaton College. He has mentored students of all ages in test prep, music theory, Latin, ESL, math, and other subjects.  At the secondary level, he has taught Latin and music at Ridgeview Classical Schools in Colorado, Latin at Liceo Classico Berchet in Milan, and ESL in Monza, Italy.  He has also tutored immigrant children as a volunteer at the after-school program for Santissimo Redentore church in Milan. With a passion for learning and servant-minded attitude, Tim is excited to share with students the academic strategies he’s learned from his broad experiences.

Bob Ward

English/Language Arts, Reading/Writing, ACT/SAT, Study Skills. Prior to joining our team, Bob taught English in the public school system for over 30 years. He is a certified teacher endorsed to teach English/Language Arts. He has experience working with all ability levels. Bob is currently managing Wheaton Academy’s Study Labs and works with International Students in English proficiency. He can also assist with English and Reading ACT/SAT test preparation.

Caleb Rathbun

Science (Chemistry, Biology, Anatomy) Paper Editing, College Essay Writing. Caleb is a senior at Wheaton College and is a pre-med student majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Political Science. He is a WA alumnus, enjoys playing  IM volleyball and cello in the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, and recently spent 6 months volunteering at a clinic in rural Guatemala. Caleb loves to engage various topics in science and their current applications within medicine, from chemical bonds to human body systems.

Kari Ziman

High School Biology and Physics, English/Literature/Writing, College Essays, Middle School and High School Math: Algebra 1 and Geometry, Writing and Study Skills.  Kari graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Political Science, minor in English, and was also Pre-Med. She received her Masters degree from University of Chicago in the Humanities with a Thesis/Literature focus. Kari also has a K-12 multiple subject teaching credential with supplementation in English and Science. She has been teaching in different capacities for the past 25 years. Currently, she teaches High School Biology with lab, Physics with lab, and Modern Literature with Advanced Composition Thesis at Greenhouse Christian Co-school.  Before that, Kari was a Classical education teacher for 9 years.  Kari is engaging and enthusiastic.  She loves to equip students with the necessary skills to demonstrate integrity and grow in confidence of their God given abilities.