Meet the United Arts Staff
The Owl Team
Lee Briggs - Technology & Project Lead the Way
My name is Lee Briggs, I was born in Plymouth, Wisconsin; the heart of Sheboygan County. As a kid I had a paper route, I rode my bike 14 miles to the nearest shopping mall and learned how to use tools from building my own basement bedroom. Later on, I attended college at UW-Oshkosh where I graduated with a degree in elementary education. I taught upper elementary in small towns before coming to Madison to teach 7th grade at Toki Middle School. In 2016 I shifted into teaching technology education. Every day I get to assist children in applying knowledge and skills to building a future that reflects them with their own hands.
I enjoy learning new skills, whether it is woodworking, gardening, welding, sewing, robotics, computer science, rocketry, astronomy or painting. I enjoy applying those skills building things for my friends, family and community. I have never been a huge sports fan (I liked badminton, yearbook and debate team) , however I currently skate for Wisconsin United Roller Derby.
Gavin Garrett - Band and General Music
I've been working to provide students with meaningful music education experiences for almost half a decade. My love for music started at a young age and afforded me the opportunity to march with the UW- Marching band during college. I'm excited to share my passion for music with our students! You can often find me teaching band, songwriting, or general music in the band-room. When I'm not at Toki, I'm often spending time with my fiance, our dogs, or out fishing on the lake. Please, reach out and say hi!
Eliav Goldman - Choir and Musical Theater
The Toki Choir classroom is a place where all students can feel like they belong. I love getting to know my students and laughing and learning with them. The world is a big place and there is so much to learn--what better way to learn than through music! I was born in Madison and have lived here all my life. I love music, cooking and baking, travelling, hiking, playing soccer, and reading a good book. I also love flowers!
Ber Vasquez - Art
I am Ber Vasquez. I was born in Peru, a beautiful country in South America. I have degrees in law, literature, Sculpture, and Art education. Before coming to Toki, I taught PreK to high school in Minnesota (my favorites were middle schoolers!). I love teaching and making art!
Allison Statz - Health & Physical Education
Hello! My name is Allison Statz. I am excited to join the Toki team because Toki is where I went to middle school all the way back in 2006. I teach Health and PE at Toki. I love getting to spend each day talking about different health topics, and teaching students that there are many different ways to be healthy. In my free time I like to explore Madison, try local restaurants, and spend time with my family and friends.
Adam Smith - Physical Education
My beliefs as an educator continue to evolve, much like my learning as well. Though I'm a "PE" teacher, in my class I believe in developing the entire person. So we'll talk about life outside the gym, my life experiences and how what we do in the gym translates to other environments. In my PE class it's always about the golden circle, the why, what, how, and understanding how having and developing a growth mindset and emotional intelligence can help you in PE, other classes, and in life.
Flora Van Wormer - Orchestra
Hi! My name is Ms. van Wormer, and I teach Orchestra here at Toki. I am from Ohio and Iowa, and moved to Wisconsin in 2006. I explored other subjects like biology before settling on music as a career. I have two children, ages 5 and 8. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family and friends, do outdoor things like skiing, kayakaing, and gardening, and play music with my band.
Jeremy Henning - Music Teacher
Hi my name is Jeremy Henning (he/him) and I am excited to join the music team at Toki! I grew up in the area and love calling Madison home. I studied Music Ed at Luther College and did my masters in music performance at Bowling Green State University. For the last 7 years I taught music at Frank Allis Elementary, and was previously taught band director in rural Wisconsin. Outside of work, I like to spend quality time with my wife and our pets, play trombone in a couple bands around Madison, and explore the outdoors every chance I get.