The following Department of Organizational Development and Supports team members support the Milwaukee Public Schools University program.
Amy Chastek, Manager
Amy Chastek, MPSU manager, started working with MPS in 2015. Prior to MPS, she spent ten years as the system director of Career Development, Alumni Relations, and Community Development at Herzing University. Additionally, she taught as an adjunct faculty member for the university. She spent five years concurrently serving as the executive director for the Herzing Educational Foundation raising money for scholarships and to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Milwaukee. Her career in higher education started at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, where she was the Northwest Regional Learning Services coordinator overseeing three learning centers from 1998 to 2005. Ms. Chastek is proud to be the driving force behind MPSU, which she created in 2016 to bring teacher and administrator licensing programs to MPS employees that are affordable, life-friendly, and focused on equity-based instruction, all working in tandem to increase the diversity of our workforce.
Terisa Folaron, Academic Program Chair, Supervisor
Terisa Folaron is the academic chair and certifying officer for Milwaukee Public Schools University.
Ms. Folaron brings over twenty years of successful classroom experience (K4–adult) and more than twelve years of administrative leadership in schools and school systems directly serving underserved communities. She has extensive experience in culturally responsive curriculum development and district and school improvement. In previous positions, she has served as principal, instructional dean, district steering committee coordinator, school improvement specialist, and local charter school board director.
Ms. Folaron has earned two master's degrees — in professional development of adults (in K–12 settings) and administrative leadership — from Alverno College. As a continuing instructor at the same institution, she instructs graduate students pursuing advanced education degrees about how to navigate the intricacies of equitable organization and social change through action research.
She continues her membership on the board of directors for a local credit union and continues her social-justice advocacy in various organizations in the metro Milwaukee area.
Candice Overton Owens, MPSU Development Specialist
Candice Overton Owens brings over eighteen years of human resource experience to the role of talent development specialist. Prior to her career in human resources, she served as an employment counselor.
As one of the MPSU development specialists, Ms. Overton Owens works directly in supporting the district’s Five Priorities for Success by developing staff. The primary focus is student support and success in MPSU academic programs.
MPSU development specialists assist future students as pre-enrollment counselors, perform duties related to student services, and function as academic advisors to students enrolled currently.
Patricia Perry-Wright, MPSU Development Specialist
Patricia Perry-Wright has over twenty-five years of successful experience in human resources and has held management, supervisory, and career counseling positions in the private sector and in a county government; she also has more than eight years of experience with Milwaukee Public Schools as a talent management specialist. She has been a talent development specialist with MPSU for one year.
As one of the MPSU development specialists, Ms. Perry-Wright works directly in supporting the district’s Five Priorities for Success by developing staff. The primary focus is student support and success in MPSU academic programs.
Ronald Smith III, Planning Assistant, MPSU Support Lead
Ronald Smith III is the planning assistant and MPSU support lead. He assists the MPSU team in the implementation of MPSU activities, including responsibilities for the planning, developing, scheduling, and logistics of MPSU programming leading to licensure or certification.
Mr. Smith additionally actively works with prospective students as the admissions/registrar support lead for all of our MPSU in-house and university partnership licensure programs.
Milwaukee Public Schools University is a division under the Department of Organizational Development and Supports in the Office of Academics at Milwaukee Public Schools.