Meet Support Staff at Toki
Our staff wrote some mini biographies about themselves as a way for you to get to know them better.
Greetings, Toki Community!
I am beyond excited to introduce myself as Sheba Mays, Principal of Akira Toki Middle School.
I am an undergraduate of English Education from Tennessee State University and a graduate of Concordia University-Wisconsin. I have thirteen years of experience as a secondary English teacher and ten years experience as an Administrator in Wisconsin at all grade levels (elementary through high school).
Our mission at Toki Middle School: “Toki is a thriving school in which every student and adult is recognized for their strengths, challenged to do better and supported to succeed. Organized around collaborative work and mutual accountability, we are also clearly focused on preparing all students to be college, career and community-ready.”
As a servant leader with an intentional and sharp focus on my commitments to all, my commitments - specific to students, families and the community - are as follows:
My Commitments to Scholars
Scholars of Akira Toki Middle School will:
- Enjoy coming to school and express a strong sense of school pride
- Experience an inclusive, equitable, anti-racist, cultural and linguistically relevant environment
- Learn to initiate opportunities to take on challenging academic tasks and new learning
- Learn to internalize social-emotional strategies that contribute to their overall health & well-being
- Increase their participation in clubs and activities
- Know that their success is driven by the people who are rallied around them in support
- Grow and excel academically and demonstrate increased readiness toward being college, career and community ready
- Be safe, responsible and respectful with their peers and staff
My Commitments to Parents, Caregivers and the Community
Parents, Caregivers and the Community of Akira Toki Middle School will be:
- Kept informed about Toki Middle School
- Encouraged to speak their truth and engage in our school events and activities
- Welcome to calendar in-person discussions with me, speak by phone or message me via email; whichever options are most convenient for them.
- Know that the success of all is my priority. ALL of us are leaders and ALL of us are lifelong learners.
The work ahead of us will not be easy; however, it promises to be rewarding. Stay the course, keep focused and trust the process. I am excited to collaborate, grow, learn and build relationships with everyone!
The school year will arrive soon, and we will be ready for all of the successes that it will bring. Until then, be well and be safe.
Emily Jensen - Assistant Principal
This is my 10th year at Toki and am proud to be a part of this community. I have been a 6th grade teacher, AVID/ACP Coordinator, Instructional Coach, the PBS Coach/MTSS Coordinator, and am starting this year as the Assistant Principal. My goal is to create an inclusive and safe environment at Toki where students truly feel like they belong. I support both staff and students with academic and social emotional learning supports to ensure that all students have a successful experience at Toki. In my free time, I spend time with my four year old daughter, Addison and love to run, bike, and do things outdoors.
Dana Serwe - PBS Coach/Instructional Coach
Toki has been my home away from home for 14 years. :) I am an educator because a quality education can be life changing. I want students to feel safe to be themselves and inspired to do things they did not think they could do--to be both held and free.Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, reading memoirs, drinking tea, and being outside with my husband and two children (Charlie, 6 and Evelyn, 2).
Mark Siegel - Instructional Coach
For the past 13 years, I have had the pleasure and honor of being part of the Toki community! I have been able to meet and learn from so many wonderful staff, students, and families. As I look forward to so many more great interactions, it is always my goal for students and families to feel like they can be themselves and belong here at Toki, as we work towards a more equitable future. Outside of school, I like being in the outdoors, running, and biking with my wife and our 3 kids - Cole (6 - 1st grader at Orchard Ridge), Theo (4), and Jude (1).
Ben Serwe - AVID & ACP Coordinator
I am the AVID and ACP (Academic & Career Planning) Coordinator at Toki Middle School. My wife Dana also teaches 6th grade ELA at Toki, and we live in the Toki community with our three year old son, Charles (who also goes by Charlie or Chuckles) and our seven year old dog, Ruby. We are also expecting a baby girl in June or 2020! Some of my hobbies include spending time outdoors hiking, biking or canoeing. I also enjoy watching Wisconsin sports teams and working on new projects around our house. Dana and I both love to garden, and we help to maintain and expand the Toki Community Garden.
Toya Burns - School Counselor
Hi! I'm Ms. Burns and this is my second year at Toki. My goal is to create a space where students feel safe expressing themselves and encourage them to be great in whatever they want to do. I am originally from Kentucky, but have grown to love Madison. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, exercising, spending time with friends and family, and watching reruns of New Girl. I"m looking forward to continuing to build relationships with our students, families, and staff!
Cory Foster - Student and Family Engagement Coordinator
Hi, my name is Cory Foster I am a product of the City of Madison, having matriculated through the public school systems in both Chicago and Madison. I understand the struggles that students face daily because I have once faced them myself. I am the first in my family to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University. My career also includes working at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and Madison Metropolitan School District.
Sarah Kose - School Social Worker
Hi everyone! My name is Mrs. Kose. I grew up in Racine, WI and attended college at UW-Madison (Go Badgers!). In my free time I love to spend time with my family and friends and be outdoors. I love to hike, bike and kayak! I am very passionate about making sure that students feel welcome, included and safe at school. I look forward to getting to know you all and supporting you this year!
Ryan Kruser - School Pyschologist
Hi! My name is Mr. Kruser and I want to share some fun facts about me. I'm a huge sports fan! I love to follow the Badgers, Packers, and Bucks and you will likely find my office full of sports memorabilia. In my free time, I like to be outside hiking, biking, running, fishing, among many other fun activities. I also recently taught myself how to play guitar by watching YouTube videos, which is one of my new found passions. I look forward to getting to know you all this year!
Keona Farris-Stovall - Program Support Teacher
Hi! My name is Keona Farris-Stovall & I will be proudly be serving as Toki's Program Support Teacher (PST). Before I became a PST, I worked as a Cross-Categorical Teacher at the elementary and the middle school level. I earned my Bachelor's Degree from UW-Madison, and my Master's Degree in Special Education from Edgewood College. I have three children, one who has already graduated from MMSD and two who still currently attend. I'm very passionate about building strong relationships between families, communities, and schools which I plan to continue to build on this coming year. In my spare time I love to hang out with my family/friends, read books and travel.
Karen Dominguez - School Counselor
Hello! My name is Ms. Dominguez (pronouns: she/her(s)), and I'll be one of the school counselors here at Toki Middle School. I am very excited to meet and work with everyone in the Toki family. My goal is to provide the best support for all students, staff, and families and make Toki a second home for everyone. A bit of myself. I love spending time with family and friends, going on hikes, online shopping, eating food, watching anime, and reading books! If you ever want to talk, feel free to reach out to me.
Todd Hillmer - Library Media Technology Specialist
This is my 8th year at Toki and I love coming to school every day. I enjoy making the Toki Video News every school day and working with students to get that done. When I'm not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching sports, reading, and spending time outdoors.
Barb Mulcahy - School Nurse
As your school nurse, my goal is to provide a holistic health perspective related to the physical, mental and social emotional health of students. With the partnership of families, staff and community, I strive to promote the health and safety for all students. I work to promote an environment of inclusiveness and address health disparities that exist as the result of racism.
June Patterson - Nurse Assistant
My name is June Patterson. I am the nursing assistant at Toki. I have 2 daughters. I have a 23 year old daughter named Italia and a 13 year old daughter named Preslie. I have a husband named Preston. I have worked for the school district for 24 years. I am happy to be at Toki to work alongside staff and families :)
Joan Farrell - Occupational Therapist
As an Occupational Therapist, my goal is to help students become independent in their roles as students, peers, artists, athletes, and family members. I love to watch students make progress when they are engaged in activities that are meaningful to them!! I love to work at Toki because it is a diverse group of students and staff that bring enthusiasm and joy to their occupations. Go Dragons!!
Jennifer Kilgas - Physical Therapist
I am so excited to be at Toki this year! This is my first year as a Physical Therapist, and I'm happy to share all I've learned with you! When I'm not helping students access their school environment and potential, I'm exploring the outdoors with my husband, Adam.
Diane Lea - Speech and Language Therapist
I strive to help every student find their voice, feel heard and truly a part of a community that values their background, thoughts, ideas and opinions. I love to spend time outdoors hiking, biking, canoeing and traveling. I love reading books of all kinds and spending time with family and friends. I am also passionate about animal rescue and have had the privilege of being able to foster numerous dogs and puppies over the years.
Anna Troia - Administrative Clerk
Almudena Lopez-Valbuena - Bilingual Resource Specialist
I am from Spain and came to live in Madison 8 years ago. I was working as a kindergarten teacher for 4 years and as a BRS is Toki for another 4 years. My favorite part of working in Toki is the opportunity to connect with many families and being part of their arrival to Toki, the community, the country.
I have 2 children, a 7th grader boy and a 5th grader girl. We love to live here and enjoy all the outdoor activities that this beautiful city offers. It doesn’t matter if it is cold or hot, we love to play outside.
Radha Sijapati - Bilingual Resource Specialist
I feel privileged to work with some of the most vulnerable students who are new to the USA. In addition to the regular school work, they are also learning English, new culture, and ways of American life. I am grateful that I can be a part of their learning and growth and help them feel supported, valued, heard, and a part of the school community.
Neicy Cannon - School Security Assistant
Fred Martinez - MSCR Director/ Schools of Hope Coordinator
Hi! This is my first year at Toki, I will be working as the Schools of Hope & MSCR Coordinator. I grew up in Beloit, WI and attended college at UW-Madison where I received two bachelors degrees in Political Science and Legal Studies. My goal is to help provide our students with the tools necessary for them to be successful in their lives. I think it is equally important for us to create an environment that fosters creativity and that empowers students. In my free time I enjoy exploring Madison and watching sports with friends.