Aaron Gutzke, State Program Director
image1A Minneapolis native, Aaron graduated from Gallaudet University with a BA in English and Secondary Education.  During his career, he has worked in Adult Education both in Los Angeles and the Twin Cities.  Aaron has a Master’s degree from Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.  In his spare time he enjoys boating and skiing with his husband as well as doting on his sassy Corgi / Yellow Lab Mix, Shorty Stackhouse.

Contact Aaron:
VP:  (651) 964-2052
Email: [email protected]

Sarah Hoggard, Adult Education Coordinator
SarahHHeadshotSarah grew up in California and attended Fresno State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies (with an emphasis in Interpreting).  After working as an ASL interpreter for a few years, she decided to go back to school at the University of Minnesota for a Master’s in Linguistics where she focused on ASL linguistics. She started working for CSD’s Deaf Adult Education program in January of 2010, has worked with every type of class that Deaf ABE offers, and is now the Adult Education Coordinator. Currently, she is working towards a Master’s in Adult Education at the University of Minnesota. Sarah lives in Minneapolis with her husband and adorable dog, Helo.

Contact Sarah:
Voice: (612) 234-5371
VP: (651) 243-4709
Email: [email protected]

Stephanie Ritenour, Advocacy Coordinator
aaeaaqaaaaaaaaxzaaaajgiymzhlndeyltvkn2ytnguyys1imzuwltfjyjqxyze3ngnlnwSteph is proud of her St. Paul, Minnesota roots. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with an individualized degree in Addiction and Complementary Healing. Steph’s employment experience includes mental health services, writing and advocacy. She currently coordinates the the advocacy program and engages in community outreach efforts such as serving as Secretary of the Board for the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. On her down time, Steph enjoys wrangling her two incredibly energetic vizslas Brady and Tank, reading books alongside her three kids and working on her goal to make every recipe in The Food Lab cookbook.

Contact Stephanie:
VP:  (651) 829-9089
Email: [email protected]


Kelsey Daggett, Teacher
2014-09-08 12.56.58Kelsey was born in Washington State but has lived in Minnesota since her family moved here in 1998. She attended North Central University in Minneapolis where she initially studied ASL interpreting. By the time she graduated, she had switched to a major in Deaf Culture Studies. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Cultures Studies as well as a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). She interned with CSD’s Adult Education program throughout the spring and summer of 2012. After completing her internship, she became a part-time teacher with CSD. She also works as a tutor for Deaf and Deaf/Blind individuals. She is an avid cyclist as well as gardener, crafter, and seamstress and is currently a resident of St. Paul.

Contact Kelsey:
E-mail: [email protected]

Krista Grosland, VISTA

Professional PhotoKrista recently graduated in May of 2016 with a B.A. in ASL/English Interpreting and she is a Literacy VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) here at CSD of MN.  The position is funded by a grant to support literacy programming in various schools and nonprofits with an aim to end the cycle of poverty.  Krista’s project is to work with staff and stakeholders to create a Child and Family Literacy curriculum.  The class eventually held at CSD in fall 2017 will enable Deaf parents and their children to improve their literacy skills side by side.  In addition to that, parents will be able to learn parenting strategies and connect with others facing similar challenges.  The parents who participate in the program may also be able to obtain job training.  In her spare time, Krista enjoys reading, trying new foods, cooking, and watching movies.

Contact Krista:

Email: [email protected]

Julie Pleski, Teacher

104 (1)Julie grew up in a rural community near Superior/Duluth. (Superior, Wisconsin is right across the bridge from Duluth, Minnesota.) She graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Wildlife Management.  She worked as a research assistant for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for 10 years. At the end of her employment with the DNR, she decided to return to school to seek a teaching degree. She attended University of Minnesota-Duluth; with a concentration in teaching science for grades 5 to 12. Then she moved to Twin Cities and attended University of Minnesota in Special Education program, specializing in D/HH students. In May 2013, Julie graduated with a Master of Education.
She started teaching for Deaf ABE in fall of 2014. She is an avid learner who loves to take walks/hikes, read books, weave baskets, and traveling/exploring different parks/natural resources.
Contact Julie:
Email: [email protected]

Brenna Reichle, Teacher

Brenna ReichleHi! I am Brenna Reichle. I teach Deaf Adult Education in Central Minnesota. I also teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing high school students. I visit Deaf/Blind clients during the evenings and weekends. I enjoy socializing with my friends, reading, fitness, nature walks, and scrapbooking/crafting  in my spare time.

Contact Brenna:
Email: [email protected]

Rachael Urban, Teacher

Rachael Urban PhotoRachael was born and raised in the Twin Cities. She was trained as an interpreter at St. Paul College and later decided to go back to school to get her bachelors degree in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. After graduating she started volunteering with Deaf Adult Basic Education and enjoyed it so much she decided to pursue a career in Teaching. She got her Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate from Hamline University in 2015 and is currently working towards a Masters in ESL there. She is thrilled to be working with the organization that inspired her to become a teacher in the first place. In her free time Rachael likes to cook, read, and sew.

Contact Rachael:

Email: [email protected]


Marisa Bocanegra, Advocate

image1Marisa Bocanegra is a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocate with CSD and represents Southern Minnesota. She is certified with the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center in the Victim Assistance Program. Marisa has completed the Advanced OFP Advocacy training with Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. She completed trainings with Sexual Violence Justice Institute MNCASA with Mandated Reporting, The ADA Act, Consent for Medical and Mental Health Treatments, collaboration with LGBTQ and Allied Organizations and continue ongoing trainings/workshops with Cornerstone. Marisa provides direct services to D/HH survivors, and community outreach. She serves on the Southern Minnesota Department of Human Service’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Division Advisory Committee.  Altogether Marisa has 8 years of direct care experience working in a range of fields with the D/HH community including Deaf Role Model, Deaf Advocate, Deaf Ministries Coordinator, and worked in group homes.

Contact Marisa:

Email: [email protected]

Shawn Whiting, Advocate
IMG_0570I grew up in Rochester, Minnesota and attended Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf from 1977 until 1986. I then moved to Florida and graduated from Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in 1992. I got my Associate’s degree in Office Technology from NTID/RIT in 1998. I moved around the U.S. a lot, but moved back to Minnesota and worked part time for DeafBlind Services of Minnesota (DBSM) as an SSP. I started working as the office manager and Domestic Violence advocate at CSD Minnesota in 2016. I have three children (Jacob, Jolie, and Lance) and two grandchildren (Liam and Kayla).

Contact Shawn:
Email: [email protected]
VP:  651.237.3521

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