Third Grade


Angela Thomas

This is my second year at 21st Century Preparatory School. I have grown up in Wisconsin and graduated from UW-Parkside for my undergraduate degree. I obtained my teaching certificate from Cardinal Stritch in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before becoming a full time teacher, I was a substitute teacher for three years where I gained a lot of valuable experience. Before coming to 21st CPS, I taught fourth grade at a private school in Milwaukee. I love to share my love of learning with my students.  I am so excited to be a part of this community of committed educators that go above and beyond to prepare their students for the rest of their educational career and beyond.


I believe that every child deserves a quality education. I believe that my job as an educator is to turn students into lifelong learners. Every child can learn, and no two children learn in the exact same way. My classroom is a community where my students feel safe to take educational risks. Every student will know that I believe in them and will do my part to help them achieve great things. I believe that a child’s education is a team effort that requires cooperation from the teacher, students, parents/guardians, and administration. I’m happy to be part of that team. My dedication and passion for education will be evident in the classroom.


Matt Lester


My name is Matthew Lester and this will be my fifth year teaching third grade at 21st Century Preparatory School. I was born and raised in northern Illinois and graduated from Western Governors University. My favorite part of teaching is helping my students learn and grow.  I love being a part of the wonderful staff we have at this school. Everyone works together to help each of our students maximize their potential.  


Every student has the ability to learn. As educators, we are given the great responsibility of helping our students learn and grow on a daily basis.  Learning is an active and dynamic process that continues throughout a student’s life. As a teacher, it is my goal to assist my students in becoming stronger learners and people.  I have a passion for education and helping all of my kids achieve their goals.


Kristin Verenski


My name is Kristin Verenski and I am excited to begin my third year at 21st Century Preparatory School.  I graduated from Beloit College in 2010, with a degree in Elementary Education and Sociology.  Prior to being at 21st Century Preparatory School, I taught first grade in Racine for two years.  


First and foremost, I truly believe that all students have the ability to learn and grow.  Students are not numbers, but unique individuals with varying experiences, cultures, strengths and backgrounds– however, the goal should always be the same.  Students should leave my classroom knowing that they are capable of succeeding and having learned skills to get there.


I believe in cross-curricular teaching because it teaches the entire student – social, emotional and academic.  When students are taught themes, ideas, concepts and skills that are overarching in terms of subject, they are more motivated to learn and more likely to see the relevancy of what they are learning.  Students are then able to connect topics to their own unique lives and experiences.