6th Grade

Team Inspiration

Julia Theiss


Ms. Theiss teaches 6th grade humanities on Team Inspiration.  Ms. Theiss grew up in Appleton and graduated from East High School in 2003.  After attending UW-Stevens Point, she moved back to the area to be close to family.  She enjoys kayaking and swimming in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter.  Whatever the season though, she especially loves reading and traveling!
She started teaching in 2008 at Freedom Middle School.  As a former student of the Appleton Area School District, she is excited to be teaching at Kaleidoscope Academy.  She is passionate about enriching students’ lives with good books, creative learning opportunities, and positive learning experiences.

Lisa Sackman

LisaSMrs. Sackman teaches 6th grade math and science. She loves teaching middle level students and recognizes that at their age, there is so much more learning to do than just academics. Mrs. Sackman has lived many places, she was born in Ohio, grew up and attended college in Michigan, and lived in Boston, Georgia, Argentina, and Wisconsin as an adult, all of which contributed to her love of learning and working with people from all different walks of life.  She is married and has two amazing college-age daughters, one who is a Minnesota Gopher and the other a Wisconsin Badger. Although she is officially an empty nester, Mrs. Sackman still has a very loved Cockapoo, Ruby, at home. Her passions are traveling, cooking, and learning.  She loves teaching at Kaleidoscope Academy and being able to interact with the fabulous students who choose us as their school.

Team Expedition

Lisa Thiede

Lisa TheideMrs. Thiede is the 6th grade Kaleidoscope teacher who teaches Humanities on Team Expedition.  She has been teaching in the Appleton School District since 2000 and has been teaching and serving on the Kaleidoscope Charter Board since it started in 2006.  Mrs. Thiede is originally from Wisconsin and after receiving her BS degree in education and child development, she moved and taught on the east coast for 12 years.  After getting her Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh she was excited to return to Appleton to live near her family. Mrs. Thiede has two awesome sons and in her spare time likes to travel with her family, read, and train for upcoming races (running).  She loves the challenges that come with integrating inquiry based activities with 21st century skills and working with students to develop their higher order thinking skills.

DougDoug Sunke – Math and Science

Mr. Sunke is a 6th grade teacher at Kaleidoscope Academy.  He teaches Math and Science on Team Expedition.  He has been teaching at the middle school and upper elementary levels since 1997 and has been with the Appleton Area School District since 2001.  While in Appleton, Mr. Sunke taught for 10 years at Lincoln Elementary, and 4 years at Franklin Elementary before joining the staff at Kaleidoscope in 2015.  Mr. Sunke is originally from the Chicago area and moved to Wisconsin to receive his teaching degree from Lakeland College.  He then went on to complete his Master’s in Education from Viterbo University.  He currently resides in Appleton and coaches football at Appleton West.  Mr. Sunke and his wife have twin boys that attend Kaleidoscope and daughter at Appleton West.  He really enjoys working with students that are excited about project based learning and providing a safe, fun, and challenging environment for all his students.


Team Inquire

Paula Hacker

Mrs. Hacker teaches 6th grade Humanities (ELA and Geography) on team Inquire.  In 1994 she began her teaching career teaching 4th grade in Arizona.  In 1996 she moved to  Appleton to get married. She then taught 5th grade in the Hortonville School District.  In 2000, Mrs. Hacker began teaching 6th grade at Lincoln Elementary in Appleton.  Seven years later she moved over to Franklin and then in 2016, jumped to middle school to teach at KA.  She is super excited to be teaching in the middle school atmosphere with the energetic and unpredictable middle schoolers!  KA has amazing teachers and she loves working with such a dedicated and knowledgeable staff!  Her favorite aspect of teaching is the interactions she has with the students and each year looks forward to getting to know all of her students well!

Mrs. Hacker is originally from Neenah and she and her husband have three children:  Dallas, Caitlin and Carson.  We love to be outside, especially on the boat and watching our youngest son’s sporting events!

ellenbeckerTara Ellenbecker

Mrs. Ellenbecker is a 6th grade Math & Science teacher on Team Inquire.  She has taught in the Appleton Area School District since 2005 at the elementary level until switching to middle school at KA this year.  She is so excited to be here!  Her favorite part of teaching is building relationships with students and learning as much from them as they learn from her.

Before joining the teaching profession, Mrs. Ellenbecker earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from UW-Eau Claire and worked in sales and marketing for a local paper mill.  In that position, she lived in Atlanta, Georgia and Stamford, Connecticut and traveled all over the U.S. before moving back to Wisconsin to pursue teaching.  She earned her Teacher Licensure from UW-Oshkosh and has never looked back!

Mrs. Ellenbecker has two elementary-aged daughters who keep her very busy, but also enjoys playing the piano, reading, spending time with family and friends, and traveling when she gets the chance.