Our Board Members
President: Denise Peterson
Denise is a native of California who left a career in the criminal justice system for a career in education. Denise worked in a Montessori program in Appleton before relocating with her husband and two daughters to the Madison area where she began teaching at Monona Grove High School. After a year teaching English and social studies, Denise approached other staff about the possibility of establishing a charter school, and the Monona Grove Alternative High School opened a few years later. Denise served as a member of the board for the Alternative School for 13 years and is now pleased to sit on the MG21 Governance Board. Denise has recently retired from teaching at Monona Grove High School.
Vice-President: Phil McDade
Phil McDade is a longtime resident of Monona, and served from 2003-2009 on the Monona Grove School Board. He and his wife, Sue, have three sons, all currently enrolled in or graduated from the Monona Grove school district. He has served on statewide task forces for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on assessments and Response-to-Intervention (RTI), and serves as a grant evaluator for charter school grant applications for DPI. He is a free-lance writer and editor.
Secretary: Tom Howe
A Wisconsin native, outdoor enthusiast, and lover of history, Tom Howe holds a BS degree in History and Social Studies from UW-Stevens Point and an MA in History from Virginia Tech, where his research resulted in the publication of Wasted Valor: The Petersburg Campaign, June 15-1864. He taught history and social studies for 25 years at the middle, high school and university levels, including 15 years at Monona Grove High School. Tom has served as Coordinator and Chair of the Dane County New Teacher Project, a consortium of sixteen local school districts that work together to accelerate the practice of new teachers, while also working across the nation as a Senior Program Consultant for the New Teacher Center. He has received a number of awards, including the Herb Kohl Fellowship and the 1995 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year. He is most delighted that in 1994 and 2012 the senior classes of Monona Grove High School selected him to receive their Teacher Appreciation Award. Now in semi-retirement, Tom continues to support new teacher induction programs and to research, write and publish in the field of history. A good portion of his time and his heart is on a 22-acre plot of land in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, where he battles invasive plants in an attempt to return the land to native species. A long-time resident of Madison’s Northside, Tom is the proud father of two adult sons, Alex and Nate, who each appreciate history and work as educators, continuing a family tradition of working with young people and their families.
Treasurer: Sue Carr
Sue is a 20 year resident of Monona, and has two adult children who went all the way through the MG School district. Prior to having her kids, she was a 4th grade teacher. She has always been very involved in the MG Schools and also served in the past on the MG Education Foundation Board. Sue currently serves as a 3 year old teacher and the director of Monona Grove Nursery School, a 60 year old parent cooperative preschool on Buckeye Road. Sue is also deeply involved in the Monona Public Library, currently serving as the President of the Board of Trustees and on the board of the Friends.
Thom is a resident of Monona with four children who have graduated from MGHS. He is a retired educator from the Madison Metro School District with over 35 years of experience as a special educator (5 years) and a school social worker (30 years) and has three degrees from the UW-Madison: BS in Behavioral Disabilities; MSW in Social Work: and a MS in Educational Psychology. His primary interest in education has been helping to collectively create systems that support and meet the needs of both students and staff. He is very excited about this opportunity to work with MG21!
Since graduating from UW-Whitewater with a degree in Social Work, Toni has spent her career helping people with intellectual and physical disabilities and mental illnesses find the supports and services they need to lead enriched and fulfilling lives. Currently, she provides case management to children with disabilities in Dane County. Toni grew up in the Madison area and was fortunate to have teachers who encouraged her from a young age. Inspired to help children in her own community and with a passion for alternative education, Toni joined the MG21 board in 2021. She resides in Cottage Grove with her family.
Businessman and active community member, Tom is a certified public accountant and was a partner/owner at the accounting firm of Clifton Larson Allen for 31 years. Currently he is (1) an owner in ProActive Solutions USA, LLC, a manufacturer of cleaning and sanitizing solutions for the food industry (2) Vice President of Administration of Deibel Laboratories, Inc. a food quality testing organization with labs in 8 states as well as one in Canada (3) a consultant with Purple Cow Organics LLC, a manufacturer of premium organic compost and related products, and (4) a member of the board of directors of MGE Energy. He is very active in civic affairs and currently is the Chairman of the Monona Community Development Authority, the Secretary of the Monona Police and Fire Commission, the Chairman of the Monona Fund, and serves on the Monona Public works committee and the Board of MG-21. Additionally, he served on the Monona City Council from 1997 to 2003. Tom was raised on Madison’s North side and is a graduate of Madison East High School and the University of Wisconsin. He has been a Monona resident since 1981 and is the founder and President of the Andrew & Michael Stolper Foundation, Inc. which honors his two deceased sons.
Non Voting Members:
MG21 Upper Campus Administrator: Melissa Hahn, firstname.lastname@example.org
MG21 Middle Campus Administrator: Shelby Steel, email@example.com
MG21 Executive Director: Rebecca Fox-Blair, firstname.lastname@example.org
MG21 is chartered by the Monona Grove School Board, and is run in accordance with state laws and regulations established for operating charter schools by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Board meets 2nd Wed. of every month @ MG21 | MG21 Governance Board Contact Information: email@example.com