Meet Our Teachers


Karen Beck


Karen has been the director of UHP for 12 years. This year, she will co-teach Tuesday and Thursday mornings, teach lunch bunch and co-direct with Laura Schroeder.

She lived in Eagle Heights for almost 4 years from 1998-2002.  She was a resident manager for the 100’s & 200’s from 2000—2002. Her 2 children, Ellie age 20 and Alex age 16, attended UHP. Karen was a Board Member, a Parent Helper, and a Substitute Teacher before the Board hired her as the Director.

In 2002, Karen moved to the Westmorland Neighborhood.  Karen loves to garden.  She has two rain gardens with native prairie plants, a flower garden for all birds and insects but especially the monarch and swallowtail butterflies, and a vegetable garden for snacking on fresh veges and making salsa.

Karen started playing ice hockey as an adult (25 years ago) and is still playing!  She loves to sea kayak in the Apostle Islands near Bayfield, WI, and is a backyard beekeeper for 10 years.  Karen loves to tent camp, cook tasty food, and attend all her children's activities.  Karen has been a Westmorland Neighborhood Block Captain for 15 years.  Also, she is a master ice maker for the hockey rink at Westmorland Park for the past 9 years. In 2014, the Westmorland Ice Volunteer Group received the Madison Parks Volunteer group of the year award!


Elise Brantley

Elise is thrilled to be returning to the UHP teaching team this year! She will be co-teaching the morning class Monday-Friday. This is Elise's third year teaching at UHP. Before joining the teaching team, Elise was a Parent Helper and Board Member at UHP for two years. Her two sons have both attended UHP. 

Elise has lived in New Jersey, Utah, Maryland, British Columbia, and now Wisconsin. She earned a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Utah. She has always had a special interest in preschool age children. Elise has provided in-home child care and been a respite volunteer at the Center for Families.
Elise loves traveling, reading, baking, sunny days, and funny jokes- She hopes to share all of these with UHP this year!







Vickie Crooks


This is Vickie's fourth year teaching at UHP. She is co-teaching all mornings and all afternoons. 

Vickie has been teaching 4K since the program began in Madison 7 years ago.  Prior to that she taught 3-5 year old preschool and a variety of school age enrichment classes at the YMCA in Madison. Other experience she has working with children include teaching tennis to a Park and Rec Club, teaching a school age after school club in San Francisco, and helping start a new parent run after school club while living in Scotland.  Vickie grew up in Iowa where she received her BA in English at Simpson College. She met her husband while working in a salmon cannery in Alaska.  She lived with her husband in California for nine years where she received her K-12 Teaching Certificate with an Early Childhood Emphasis and CLAD (Cultural Linguistic Academic Development) from San Francisco State University.  Vickie and her family moved to Madison 13 years ago after living in the United Kingdom for 5 years.  She has three children, Stryder age 17, Zoe age 15, and Baylee age 14, all who were born in England.  When Vickie is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and their wide range of pets and also enjoys camping, hiking, and yoga. 


Laura Schroeder

Laura has been with UHP for 9 years.

Laura has three children – Emerson 12 yrs, Felix 10 yrs, and Lilas 8 yrs.  All of her children have attended UHP.  Laura was a Parent Helper and a Board Member before she was hired by the Board as a co-director and co-teacher.

Laura has lived in many different places.  She was born in Korea, then moved to Okinawa, Japan, then moved to Bitburg, Germany.

Laura attended University in Austin, Tx.  This is where she found her love for Early Childhood education. She has a huge passion for inclusion environments for all children. 

Laura has a love for being outside. Her family has chickens and a very small garden. They enjoy a good camp fire in their backyard. Laura spends lots of time with her family exploring Madison and the surrounding areas. She likes to camp in her pop up camper and volunteer at her children’s elementary school.  She enjoys reading, eating interesting foods, traveling, and local theater.





Lisa Aubey

Lisa is thrilled to be the all time substitute teacher with the UHP team and help with the wonderful work that they do with preschoolers.

After several years as a Clinical Social Worker, working with troubled youth and their families, Lisa decided to make a career change. While assisting friends with child-care, Lisa discovered her love for working with preschool aged children. She has taught children ages 2 through 5 years in the Madison area prior to starting UHP, and is now very excited to work in a Parent Cooperative preschool program.

Lisa lives in McFarland with her husband and two boys – Connor, 18 years and Carson, 15 years. She enjoys spending time and traveling with her family, reading, attending craft fairs and walking her dog. She is also an avid WI sports fan. When time allows, she likes to work with stained glass. She prefers the outdoors and is looking forward to many days of playing on the UHP playground.



Sara Quigle

Sara is working at UHP this year in a new capacity, as Tuesday and Thursday Lunch Bunch Assistant. She has been involved at the school in a variety of ways over the years with her two boys now both alumni. Through her work as a Parent Helper and a Board Member, she has become a strong advocate for UHP's mission as a cooperative. It is her pleasure to join such a wonderful team of teachers and be a part of UHP's tradition of bringing community and family together. 

Sara was born and raised just outside Madison in Verona, WI. She loves live music, art projects, and spending time with family in the area. Sara attended MATC for her interests in Horticulture and since has enjoyed her ability to stay at home with her children. 


UHP Staff Picture from our Open House, August 2017. Laura, Karen, and Elise in the front row. Vickie and Sara in the back row.



Lisa, Karen, Laura and Vickie at Summer Institute 2015.



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