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New staff at New London schools

New staff at New London Intermediate/Middle School include, from left, FRONT: Rachel Kohler, Anne Prochnow, Mary Jo Booker, Avery Behm; BACK: Julia Martell, Brett Pickarts, Jordan Thompson and Elizabeth Iribarren. Contributed photo

Teachers hired at NLIMS

New London Intermediate/Middle School welcomed several new certified staff members at the start of the 2023-24 school year.

Some of those staff may also assist in other buildings within the New London School District.


Jordan Thompson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and he is American Board Certified.

Thompson’s hometown is Wild Rose. He previously served as an ESL educator in Japan for five years and 2 1/2 years with at-risk youth at Rawhide. Thompson served one year in the New London School District as a long-term sub in special education.

He will be working with both New London Middle and High School students in ESL Services.

Thompson said he has found himself in teaching roles since his childhood. He made the official career move to become a teacher because he believes in living for more than one’s self, and he loves to inspire learning in others.

“My goals for the school year are to implement technology resources in the ESL program, and connect bilingual students who are not in the program with students who are,” said Thompson. He also said he’s looking forward to being a resource for staff members and their students.


Anne Prochnow returned to her hometown of New London to serve special education students in grades 5-8. She will teach at New London Intermediate/Middle School.

Prochnow received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UW-Oshkosh and her degree in special education from Saint Mary’s University. She was a full-time substitute teacher for six years before teaching full-time in special education at Marion for six years.

Prochnow said she became a teacher because she had several educators in her life who took the time to make a personal connection that helped her become a partner in her education. This allowed her to succeed as an individual, she said.

She looks forward to getting to know her new students and their families. One of her goals is to provide a learning environment that helps students feel they play an important role in their own learning and success both in school and beyond.


Brett Pickarts is a Janesville native who received his teaching degree from UW-La Crosse. He has served seven years teaching at Waupun and Beaver Dam and has 11 years experience coaching basketball.

Pickarts will teach art education and Rural Virtual Academy students at New London Intermediate/Middle School.

He said he chose education as a career path because of the teachers in his life who were positive role models that helped make school a fun and safe place to learn.

“I hope that I can continue to be that positive role model for my students in New London,” said Pickarts.

He looks forward to being part of the community both in and out of the classroom.


Julia Martell earned her degrees from Northwood Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

She has served students in the Ashland School District for the last 10 years. Martell taught social studies and English Language Arts. Before teaching at Ashland, she taught at Hayward for six years.

Martell is teaching seventh-grade English Language Arts at New London Middle School.

She said she enjoys working with students and collaborating with other educators. Her goals for this year include focusing on relationship and community building. She also plans to use cooperative learning strategies to encourage involvement for all students.


Rachel Kohler earned her degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and she has four years experience serving special education students.

She will teach sixth-grade special education at New London Intermediate School.

Kohler said she chose education as a career because she wanted to help students grow and learn new skills that help them succeed both in and out of school.

She said she looks forward to helping her students get closer to reaching their own individual goals this school year.


Elizabeth Iribarren is a first-year teacher from Merrill. She earned her education degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Iribarren previously worked as a behavioral technician at the Wisconsin Early Autism Project.

She will teach eighth-grade English Language Arts at New London Middle School.

Iribarren noted, “I became a teacher because I had an amazing teacher who supported and motivated me in every aspect of life, and I want to make the same impact.”

She said she is looking forward to making great new connections with her students and inspiring life-long readers.


Avery Behm received her education degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The Hilbert, Wisconsin, native taught elementary and middle school students for two years in DePere, and served one year at Neenah middle and high schools.

Behm will teach eighth-grade health and physical education at New London Intermediate and Middle School.

She said she became a teacher to help educate and promote lifelong fitness and health. She is looking forward to establishing herself within the New London community and building strong professional relationships with staff and students.

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