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Meet Our Teachers

Dan Birr

Dan Birr
Director of Education

Since 1979, Dan has been serving in the education field teaching and as an administrator. Since 2004 Dan has been at Rawhide where he serves as the Principal of Starr Academy and the Director of Education.

Dan is committed to providing leadership and direction to the Education Team as the teachers provide at-risk young men with opportunities to make positive changes in their attitudes and academic skills through action and word.

Dan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Midwestern Bible College and later a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Along with his wife. Roberta, Dan currently serves as a foster parent and has also served as a houseparent in the past. Dan and Roberta reside in Neenah, Wisconsin, and have four children and seven grandchildren. Dan’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with his family.

Connie Kimball
Science Instructor

Connie Kimball has been a teacher at Starr Academy since July of 2003. She teaches science as well as coordinates a competency based diploma program. Connie’s responsibilities include working with students who have questions regarding the HSED program as well as helping students who have begun HSED testing to complete the process.

Connie would describe her position as challenging and rewarding. She not only enjoys seeing her students understand science, but watching them become better learners. She takes great pleasure in seeing her students perform far above what they thought they were capable of achieving.

Connie earned her Bachelor of Arts from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, majoring in Biology. She enjoys swimming, walking, motorcycling, and spending time with her husband and four children.

Stanley Osei
Teacher’s Aide

Stanley Osei joined the education team in November 2015 and serves as a Teacher’s Aide at Starr Academy.

Coming from Ghana, West Africa where he earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology and served in Missions with City of Refuge Ministries, Stanley enjoys the opportunity both to learn from this culture and to give from his.

Matt R.

Mat Rieckhoff
English/Physical Education

Mat is a 2015 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where he majored in Elementary Education with an emphasis in English-Language Arts. Prior to working at Starr Academy, Mat worked for Rawhide in the Gillespie Home for one year, before moving to Kanas City, Missouri to teach Physical Education for the 2016-2017 school year.

At Rawhide, Mat teaches Physical Education 9-12, English, Weight Training and Health. He is passionate about teaching the students about the importance of life-long personal health and fitness and enjoys leading by example.

Mat is also passionate about coaching, serving as an assistant for the UW-Oshkosh Wresting Team. His other hobbies include mountain biking, duck hunting and camping. Mat is most excited about helping Rawhide student discover their God-given potential and watching as them as they begin to make positive life choices.

Jackie Schillinger

Jackie is currently the secretary/receptionist at Starr Academy. She has been at the school for almost two years and has worked at Rawhide since 2011 in several different positions. She is also active in the Rawhide Family Weekends. She loves to serve others and make a difference in the Rawhide boys’ lives.

Jackie is married to Jeff, who also works at Starr Academy and has two grown sons, Jacob and Josiah. In her spare time away from school, Jackie likes to read, remodel her house, kayak, go up north to their cottage and spend time with family and friends.

Jeff S

Jeff Schillinger
English / Physical Education

Jeff is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Physical Education, and recently obtained a Wisconsin Cross-Categorical Special Education Certificate. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Christian School Administration from Grace College and Seminary and has served in Christian schools for over twenty years as a teacher, administrator, student government liaison, tutor, and coach.

At Rawhide, Jeff teaches Physical Education and English classes and helps out with coaching. Since he is a big kid at heart, he loves competition and good team play. His teaching goals are to help the boys get and stay involved in recreational sports and activities for life, as a help to developing the healthy mind and body that God has graciously given us to take care of as His “Temple.”

Jeff is married to his best friend, Jackie, and has two grown sons, Jacob and Josiah. He loves to fish, hunt, camp, and be in the great Wisconsin outdoors.

Ben Schultz

Ben Schultz
Behavioral Skills Instructor

Ben received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a human services emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2001. Ben joined Rawhide in January of 2015. Before starting at Starr Academy in 2017, he worked at the Cornerstone Group Home and a Work Experience Trainer for the About Face Program. Ben believes his way of connecting with youth from a relational point of view benefits him now as a Behavioral Skills Instructor. Ben’s diverse job and life experiences have provided him with the tools needed to teach the youth cognitive self-regulating skills while instilling core values such as integrity, character and self-respect.

In his free time, Ben enjoys camping and the outdoors with his wife, Jessica and three children-Riley, Aiden and Jack, as well as their two Golden-Doodles, Tubbs and Sullivan. Ben is also an avid bow hunter, downhill skier and weightlifter.

Ted Selker
Academic Instructor (About Face)

Ted received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2010. As the About Face Academic Instructor, Ted helps students who are at Rawhide on short term programs to make progress toward their high school diploma by teaching primarily Mathematics and English in a condensed format.  His students explore topics like personal finance, employment skills, life and independent living skills, and personal character development.

Ted has been working with at risk youth in ecclesiastical, residential, and educational settings since 2010 and has been working at Rawhide since 2013. What Ted enjoys most about Rawhide is helping students discover career options that excite them and then preparing them for a future in that career. “One of the most rewarding things,” Ted said, “is helping a student realize that his future can be better than what his present is.”

In his time away from the classroom Ted enjoys backpacking and playing guitar.

Terri S.

Terri Simpson
English / Art Instructor

Terri Simpson has been the Art/English Academic Instructor since June of 2007. Terri received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois.

Terri is passionate about reading and writing and teaching students to communicate better by improving their skills. When a student discovers that he can find out anything by reading a book, it is a breakthrough. Similarly, when one of her students finds that he may not communicate well verbally, but is a good writer, he learns a new skill that can help him in a practical way.

Terri enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, cooking, running, biking, being active, and the outdoors.

Matthew Stewart
Behavioral Skills Instructor

Matthew has worked with at-risk youth ministries for over 17 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rogers Bible College in Arkansas and is working on a master’s from Huntington University, Indiana.

His bachelor’s degree is in Counseling with a Biblical emphasis. As Starr Academy’s Behavioral Skills instructor, Matthew helps guys reintegrate into the classroom when difficulties occur. He states that “Rawhide gives me the chance to assist guys going through a rough time in their lives – the same assistance that God showed me.”

When Matthew is not teaching at the ranch, he enjoys working out, playing basketball and football with the guys, and working on his house with his kids.

Joe S.

Joseph Szabo
Social Studies Instructor

Joseph Szabo graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Social Studies Education for grades 9-12.

He was drawn to Rawhide Boys Ranch because he wanted to help out youth who need a second chance in getting their lives back on track. When Rawhide had an opening for a social studies teacher, Joseph knew it was a good fit for him. In his spare time, Joseph claims he enjoys doing anything that is fun and safe.

Jerry Trzebiatowski
Woodshop Instructor

Jerry has been teaching woodshop at Starr Academy since August of 2013. In 1993, he received his BA and teaching certification in German and Political Science from UW Stevens Point. He realized a passion for at-risk youth while teaching in Fountain City, Wi and changed his career path from teaching German to teaching at-risk youth grades 7-12. He enjoys helping them to realize success in the regular education setting. Jerry earned credits toward a master’s degree in Special Education, from Winona State University while teaching in Fountain City.

Jerry has always had a passion for woodworking also, and while taking a break from teaching, worked professionally in the industry for several years.

Rawhide allowed Jerry to put his two passions along with his passion for Christ, all together. Life is perfect for Jerry when he gets to teach boys through the use of their hands, in the shop, not only how to design and build things of wood but to also learn skills that can help in all areas of their lives.

Steve Vander Zanden
Teacher’s Assistant

Steve has been with Rawhide since 2006 and currently works as a Teacher’s Assistant. He previously served in the Pennau Prep Center.

Outside of the ranch, Steve enjoys mentoring young men in motorcycle riding and spending time with his two grandsons.

Scott W.

Scott Wilson
Math Instructor

Scott, an Academic Instructor at Starr Academy since 1988. He received his MSE in Special Education from UW-Oshkosh in 1996.

His primary responsibility is math instruction; and secondarily is responsible as the head basketball coach, Starr Academy Racing Team manager, and Gillespie House education liaison.

Scott’s passion and ability to work with at-risk young men helps him meet his goal of seeing his students become future productive and positive leaders in our communities. This instructor believes that his at-risk students have the capability to develop their skills to meet their goals of future employment and leisure activities.

Scott’s personal interests or hobbies include frequenting coffee shops, self-proclaimed foodie, home remodeling year round, motorcycling in the summer, snow skiing in the winter, and attending competitive motorsports events.

Steve Heminger

Steve’s Graduate studies were at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. where he earned a teaching degree in Computer Sciences. He went on to become certified as a Special Education teacher Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities.

At Rawhide, he is one of the Resource Room academic instructors. Steve is responsible for teaching in either a small group or one-on-one the core subjects of English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Life Skills.

Chris D.

Chris Doran
Math Instructor

Christopher earned his undergrad degree from Marian College in Fond du Lac. Christopher taught in the School District of New London for the last fifteen years, most recently at the off-site alternative high school.

Christopher was drawn to Rawhide Boys Ranch so he could continue helping youth reach their full potential. It has always been his mission and passion to assist youth and their families be successful and active members of their communities. As the Title 1 Math teacher at Starr Academy, Christopher’s primary job is working with guys who have struggled with math in the past.

In his free time, Christopher enjoys bicycling around the area and participating in a variety of benefit rides. Downhill skiing and snowshoeing with friends and family are his favorite past times during the long wither months. Throughout the year he and his family enjoy traveling throughout Wisconsin and taking in the natural beauty God has provided.