Staff Directory

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Staff Honorific First Name Name Title Department Address Bio Phone Fax Email Photo
Tarrasch Rachal Tarrasch, Rachal Principal A: Administration Dr. Tarrasch is thrilled to join Holland as principal! She has a diverse educational background and has worked with many students, families, & teachers throughout the world. Some of her educational experience includes teaching special education in The Bronx, NY, teaching English abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, & teaching 2nd grade at an independent school. Dr. Tarrasch is passionate about creating a safe environment, a joy for learning, & helping students and teachers reach their potential.
Peak Michelle Peak, Michelle Secretary B: Office Staff
Wisdom Sharlene Wisdom, Sharlene Nurse B: Office Staff
Breshears Theresa Breshears, Theresa Counselor B: Office Staff Theresa Breshears is excited to join the Holland Family as the new school counselor! This is her 6th year with SPS. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has a passion for working with children and families. She is a native to Missouri and graduated from MSU. She enjoys reading, being outdoors, spending time with her pets and her family.
Walker Katherine Walker, Katherine Teacher C: Teachers - 0: Kindergarten Hi! I am Mrs. Walker. I started teaching at Holland in 2014 as a 1st grade teacher and for the past few years I've been a Kindergarten teacher. I like to kayak, walk, ride bikes, and enjoy the outdoors. I'm married to my husband, Michael. I have a daughter, Trinity, who just started college this year at OTC and plans to major in business administration. They are both my favorite people! I love to build classroom communities and am very excited to have lasting relationships with my students.
Willard Lori Willard, Lori Teacher C: Teachers - 0: Kindergarten My name is Lori Willard. I have taught at Holland for many years and love being a Holland Hawk!�My favorite subject to teach is reading.�In my spare time, I love reading, going to the movies, and cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals. I have a niece that I love spending time with and a cat named Edgar that keeps me company at home.�I am excited to work with you and your child this year!
Sparks Alexis Sparks, Alexis Teacher C: Teachers - 1: First Grade
Anderson Jennifer Anderson, Jennifer Teacher C: Teachers - 2: Second Grade Hi! My name is Jennifer Anderson and I'm a 2nd grade teacher at Holland. I was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado but moved to Missouri when I was 18 to attend Evangel University. I graduated with degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and chose to stay in Missouri to teach. I received my Master's Degree in reading also from Evangel. This is my 15th year of teaching and my 3rd year at Holland. When I'm not busy at school, I have my husband the three kiddos at home to keep me busy!
Petry Kate Petry, Kate Teacher C: Teachers - 1st/2nd: First/Second Grade Split Hello! My name is Kate Petry and I have been teaching in Springfield since 2007. I started as a Reading Intervention Specialist, transitioned into 2nd grade and have also taught 1st grade. I grew up in St. Louis, but really love living in Springfield. I have two kiddos. Eli and Evie. They both attend Springfield Public Schools. We also have a cat named Miles who keeps us very entertained. Holland is a great school and I have loved working with this community.
Pike Brenda Pike, Brenda Teacher C: Teachers - 3: Third Grade My name is Brenda Pike and I have taught at Holland since 2015. I grew up in Knoxville, IA and went to college at Evangel University and Drury University. When I am not teaching, I like to spend time with my family. I am married and have two children and six grandchildren. I also love to read, ride bikes, and spend time outdoors.
Kovacs Ewa Kovacs, Ewa Teacher C: Teachers - 3: Third Grade This is my eighteenth year of teaching and eleventh at Holland Elementary. I am married and I have three daughters. Maia, a black Labrador is our beloved pet. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and experimenting with new recipes. In my free time, I like to bike, explore hiking trails, and float the beautiful Ozark rivers with my family.
Risenhoover Christina Risenhoover, Christina Teacher C: Teachers - 4: Fourth Grade My name is Christina Risenhoover. I have been teaching in Springfield Public Schools since 2010 and have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. Teaching is a passion as well as a career for me and I look forward to teaching every student that enters my classroom each year. I am equally as passionate about my family. My husband and I spend our free time with our son, enjoying the outdoors, watching movies, and visiting family.
Tranmer Mackenzie Tranmer, Mackenzie Teacher C: Teachers - 4: Fourth Grade My name is Mackenzie Tranmer. This will be my first year teaching here at Holland Elementary. I received my bachelors in education from Missouri State University. Teaching is my passion and is something I’ve known I wanted to pursue since I was a little girl. I am just as passionate about my family. My husband, our dog Vincent, and I spend our free time outdoors. Usually hiking, camping, or on a adventure of some sort. I love to read, bake, and take pictures.
Swango Keeli Swango, Keeli Teacher C: Teachers - 5: Fifth Grade Hi! My name is Keeli Swango and I am so excited to be a Holland Hawk! I began teaching in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching a 2nd grade virtual class. While that was great, I am so excited to work hands-on with my students and build even stronger relationships. I am married to my husband, Seth, and we have 2 dogs together. We love rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, camping, and all other things outdoors! We love traveling all around the states to continue our outdoor adventures.
Snyder Stalena Snyder, Stalena Teacher C: Teachers - 5: Fifth Grade My name is Stalena Snyder and I have been teaching since 2001 in multiple places both stateside and abroad.�I have been part of Springfield Public Schools since 2004 and love being part of the Holland community. When I am not at school, I am typically spending time with my friends and family as well as pursuing my passions which include pottery, reading, photography, and music.
Upton Stephanie Upton, Stephanie Teacher D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing My name is Stephanie Upton, and I was born and raised in Springfield, MO. I've been a Teacher for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing since 1995. I've been part of Springfield Public Schools since 2018, and I love being part of the Holland community. When I'm not at school, I'm typically spending time with my friends and family as well as pursuing my passions which include: reading, traveling, playing games, snuggling with my four dogs, and spending quality time with my husband and precious grandson.
Baker Alli Baker, Alli Teacher D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing I'm Alli Baker and I'm a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I'm going into my second year of teaching here at Holland. I'm passionate about my position and love providing curriculum and communication access for our students. I'm originally from Somerset, Massachusetts and moved to Springfield 4 years ago for graduate school. I enjoy spending time with friends, outdoors, and working out. I love watching Bruins hockey and getting opportunities to go back to the east coast to visit my family.
Thrasher Melinda Thrasher, Melinda Teacher D: Special Services - Cross Categorical
Bruce Kerri Bruce, Kerri Learning Coach D: Special Services My job as the Learning Coach at Holland is to provide instructional support for teachers to ensure they have the tools and confidence to meet the needs of their students. This means I work in all the classrooms at Holland and I have the opportunity to observe student work from all grade levels in all subject areas. I live on a farm in North Springfield where I enjoy raising chickens, working in my garden, birdwatching and spending time with my family.
Perez Krista Perez, Krista Reading Interventionist D: Special Services
Teacher Virtual Teacher, Virtual ELL Specialist D: Special Services
Risner Kara Risner, Kara Teacher: Art E: Specialty Teachers My name is Kara Risner and I am the art teacher at Holland Elementary. My art and music teachers had a profound effect on me as a child and influenced my decision to teach. The highlights of my school days were painting in art class and singing in music! I want your child to LOVE art. I truly believe art is for everyone, regardless of skill or content knowledge. My goal is to provide your child with a creative and academically challenging art experience each lesson.
Langford Denver Langford, Denver Teacher: Music E: Specialty Teachers
Higgins Taylor Higgins, Taylor Teacher: P.E. Coach E: Specialty Teachers
Knight Angela Knight, Angela Teacher: Librarian E: Specialty Teachers Hello, I’m Angela Knight, Librarian. I have been teaching and learning with SPS since 2013. I attended Drury University for my teaching degree and William Woods University for my Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. My husband Cameron and I have been married for 28 years and we have two children. I love spending time with my family, reading, and gardening. Holland is a fantastic school with amazing students and families.
Brown Jamie Brown, Jamie Teacher: Orchestra E: Specialty Teachers This is my third year teaching orchestra, and I am so excited to be in this role alongside the Holland team. I am passionate about music and play the flute, saxophone, violin, ukulele, and guitar often at home. I love spending time with my family at the lake, on walks, or exploring the outdoors.
Wells Jessica Wells, Jessica SPED/DHH Paraprofessional F: Support Staff
Hartman Janelle Hartman, Janelle Visually Impaired Paraprofessional F: Support Staff
Leach Scott Leach, Scott Head Custodian F: Support Staff
Stover Kay Stover, Kay Behavioral Interventionist F: Support Staff Hi. I'm Kay Stover and Holland is my favorite school in Springfield! I am the behavior tech, so if a student needs a break from the classroom, they come and see me. They have a short reset break and return to the classroom ready to learn. Our goal is to help each student be successful.
Pshonyak Nadia Pshonyak, Nadia Library Clerical F: Support Staff Hi, my name is Nadia and I am excited to be the Library Clerical at Holland and Harrison this school year. I currently live in Springfield but am originally from Ukraine. In my free time, I like to read, cook, bake, listen to music, and spend time outdoors. I also run my own bakery out of my home and work at Askinosie Chocolate on the weekends, so my life is pretty busy. I served in the Peace Corps and love to travel. I am looking forward to a great school year!
Hamilton Ashley Hamilton, Ashley ISA Paraprofessional F: Support Staff Hi! My name is Ashley Hamilton and I am the Instructional support aide para. This will be my second year working with the kiddos at Holland. I enjoy being able to help support student learning while providing assistance to teachers and staff. I am originally from Hanford, California and moved to Springfield 6 years ago to get my teaching degree. I spend my time outdoors doing stuff that I enjoy such as: hiking, hammocking, camping, swimming, and playing with my rabbit.
Dreckman Lisa Dreckman, Lisa Interpreter D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Interpreters My name is Lisa Dreckman & I have worked as an ASL Interpreter at Holland since 2015. I am married to Scott (Deaf) & we have one daughter, Elicia (CODA), who attends Willard Middle School. We have 5 dachshunds too. I am originally from Wisconsin and I love the Green Bay Packers! I moved to Missouri in 1993 to attend Evangel, CBC, and AGTS. I love working with our DHH students & the Holland team!
Owen Carla Owen, Carla Interpreter D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Interpreters I have been an educational interpreter at Holland Elementary since Feb of 2015. I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. In my spare time I love to dibble with different crafts.
Ross Kara Ross, Kara Interpreter D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Interpreters
Cranston Chelsee Cranston, Chelsee Interpreter D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Interpreters Hi my name is Chelsee Cranston and I am a sign language interpreter for Holland. I am very passionate about providing communication for Holland's Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students and their parents! The joy in my life outside of work is being a wife, mom, step-mom, and dog mom. My family and I enjoy the outdoors by going to parks, swimming, kayaking, and going for walks. They say: Find a job you love, and you never have to work a day in your life! The students and staff at Holland are truly a joy.
Mortenson Kyla Mortenson, Kyla Interpreter D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Interpreters I'm Kyla Mortenson and I've been an ASL Interpreter for SPS since 2015. My parents are interpreters, so I was fortunate enough to grow up learning sign language. I attended William Woods University in Fulton, MO and have my Bachelors in ASL Studies & Interpreting. I met my husband while in college & convinced him to move back to the Springfield area because it has always been home! We have 3 daughters together. During my free time I love being with my immediate and extended family, and singing!
Howser Lisa Howser, Lisa Speech Language Pathologist D: Special Services - Speech & Language
Busch Sadie Busch, Sadie Teacher D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing I have worked for Springfield Public Schools since 2016. I taught American Sign Language at Parkview High School until 2019 when I became the Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for Jarrett Middle School and Parkview High School. I have enjoyed working with our Deaf and Hard of Hearing students across the district. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Brandon, and our new son, Colin, and teaching dance classes.
Evans Sarah Evans, Sarah Teacher D: Special Services - Visually Impaired
Hoos Rianne Hoos, Rianne D: Special Services Numeracy Specialist
, Teacher: Technologist E: Specialty Teachers
Calvert Andrea Calvert, Andrea SPED Paraprofessional F: Support Staff
Brannin Ashlee Brannin, Ashlee Interpreter D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Interpreters
Ross Austin Ross, Austin Interpreter D: Special Services - Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Interpreters
Owens Erin Owens, Erin Building Support Paraprofessional F: Support Staff Along with a healthy career in accounting and finance, Erin also has her teaching certificate and Master's in Education. Six years ago, she started her own business Move Your Brain, where she works in her home with children with various disabilities and traumas. When not at school, you'll find Erin with her family - husband Keith, daughter Bitsy (6th grade), son Grey (4th grade), and Hattie their cat.

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