Governance Board Members

Birchwood Charter Schools Governance Board

The Birchwood Charter Schools Governance Board helps guide and direct the Birchwood Charter Schools (Birchwood Public Montessori, Birchwood Blue Hills Charter School, Bobcat Virtual Academy) and supports their missions and educational opportunities for students. 

Governance Board Mission:

Our mission is to lead a new choice in quality education by providing direction in recruitment, financial support, and instructional vision.

Officers and Members :
Kevin Sunderland --- President
Mike Acrey --- Vice-President
Diane Schobert --- Treasurer
Candy Severson --- Secretary
Lisa Trude --- BPM Representative
Jenny Landes--- BBHCS Representative
Loretta Greener --- Parent Member
Pat Zemaitis --- Community Member
Chris Waldron --- Parent Member
Chelsea Tompkins ---Parent Member

KEVIN SUNDERLAND – PRESIDENT: Kevin Sunderland is the owner of Sunderland Construction in Birchwood, one of the leading contractors in the area since 1979. He is a Charter member of Heart of the North Builders Association and former founding President. He joined the board in January of 2016 as a parent member and was recently elected President. Kevin and his wife Julie moved to Birchwood in 2008.  Their son Shay is a student at BPM and their son Wyatt at BBHCS.

MIKE ACREY – VICE-PRESIDENT: Mike Acrey worked at General Motors in Arlington Texas. He began vacationing in the Birchwood area in the late 1990's. He retired after 30 years at GM in 2004 and moved permanently to Wisconsin to retire in 2006. In 2009 when The Birchwood Cafe and adjoining Laudromat came up for sale Mike and his wife Betsey came out of retirement. He joined the board in 2011 as a community member and began his service as Vice-President in 2013. Mike is also active with the Lions Club. When not at the Cafe, he finds enjoyment on the golf course. Mike has three sons and 10 grandchildren. 

DIANE SCHOBERT – TREASURER: Diane Schobert and her husband built a vacation home in Birchwood in 2007 and in 2011 retired and moved to Birchwood full time. She joined the Board in 2015 and was elected Treasurer in June of that year.

While Diane served for 8 years at Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority as Business Development Officer she created and administered the Distance Learning Education Program for Homebuyer Education; sought and obtained WHEDA’s first Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago down payment funds for rural and urban areas of the state; and most recently led the Foreclosure Prevention measures and Federal National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling grant funds management within WHEDA.

Prior to WHEDA, Diane served at First Federal Savings for 8 years and as a residential lending manager helped form the original task force to create the expanded underwriting guidelines for WHEDA loans to improve borrowing opportunities for persons with a disability.  She has received the WHEDA Excellence in Service Award, the Wisconsin Supported Housing Partnership Award, ARC-Dane County Corporate Service Award and WHEDA Leadership Award.

Currently she is in her third term as Chair for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council and serves as Board Secretary at Impact-7, a state-wide Community Development Financial Institution that provides low-cost lending for affordable housing and economic development.

Diane graduated Summa Cum Laude from UW Platteville with a BS in Communications (Public Relations).  Diane was the Senior Valedictorian for UW-P December 1991. 

CANDY SEVERSON – SECRETARY: Candy Severson and her husband, Jon, retired to the Birchwood area in 2002. She graduated from the College of Education at the University of Minnesota with a major in math and a minor in business. For the majority of her career she was a registered representative at Merrill Lynch where, in addition to handling client accounts, her responsibilities included training office staff. She joined the Governance Board as a community member in 2010 and is beginning her seventh year as secretary. She has been a senior volunteer at Birchwood School for ten years, spending the last four years in the E1 classroom helping with practical life. When asked why she volunteers and serves on the board, her answer is that it is all about the kids, helping provide the best educational options. She enjoys genealogy and walks with her dogs.

LISA TRUDE – BPM MEMBER: Lisa Trude is from the Duluth, Minnesota area and has lived in Wisconsin for the past 18 years with her husband Dan, their four children Elizabeth, Timothy, Luke, and Benjamin, and dog Amy. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a Montessori teaching diploma from the North American Montessori Center. She has been teaching for ten years. She taught in the Hayward School District for three years primarily teaching preschool. She has been teaching in Birchwood for the past seven years with her first three years being multi-age (Preschool – 6th grades) project based at the Birchwood Discovery School, and the last four years teaching Children’s House at Birchwood!

: Loretta Greener lives in Rice Lake and has been a school bus driver for Rice Lake for 14th years. She and her husband own Greener's Budget Lumber in Birchwood and enjoy being a part of Birchwood's community. Their son is open enrolled in the Birchwood Public Montessori for the second year; he is currently in the E-1 room as a 3rd year student. Last year was her first year being on the Governance Board and she plans to remain on next year as well. She is providing leadership within the Governance board by leading fundraising planning to get some fun and new ideas to raise money for our schools.

For more information and a link to current minutes, please click here. 
 Birchwood Blue Hills Charter School Logo  Bobcat Virtual Academy Logo   
 Birchwood Public Montessori Logo   

Birchwood Blue Hills
Charter School 

Bobcat Virtual

Birchwood Public