Mr. John Puttre has been the Director of the STARBASE Wisconsin Academy since its inception in 2011. He is a retired Air Force Colonel, and former Director of Staff for the Wisconsin Air National Guard. His passion for aviation, teaching students about the science and engineering behind aviation, and the opportunities that aviation and space industries offer drives his daily commitment to elementary students and STEM. Mr. Puttre has over 36 years of experience in aviation and is a Commercial Instrument rated pilot. He serves as an EAA Chapter Young Eagles program coordinator, providing aviation classes with free flights in general aviation aircraft to 8–17 year old children.
Ms. Deja Olloway is a Milwaukee native and is currently STARBASE’s office manager. She has been working as an Administrative Assistant for 5 years plus throughout the Milwaukee area. Deja attended the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. Throughout her time at UWM, she supported the Medical College of Wisconsin’s: Reach Out and Read Program where she visited low-income pediatric clinics to help children with early literacy, homework tutoring, while donating reading glasses and books. Additionally, Deja spent time serving as a leader in a pre-college program called UWM Mini Courses. During this time, she aided instructors, while helping students with hands on projects, and providing student mentorship. Deja is now pursing her master’s degree in clinical mental health psychology and adolescent studies, on her off time, at Marquette University. Deja Olloway is dedicated to adolescent development, psychology, and education.
Mrs. Jackie Boyd has worked in both the education and aviation arenas. As a Special Education Teacher, she taught English, History, and has a unique way of teaching students how to advocate for themselves. In 2020, she was awarded the “MMABSC Teacher of the Year” at West Allis Central High School for her work with students and advocacy in establishing the Black Student Union. In her aviation career, students learned the amazing science behind flight and airport operations. Jackie joined the STARBASE Wisconsin Academy in 2020 with the following, “I know that being part of the team here at STARBASE will be a challenging and fulfilling experience for me and I’m very excited to get to work.” Her enthusiasm for aviation and teaching allows her the energy to never give up on her students.
Mr. Adam Gonzalez grew up ten blocks away from the STARBASE Wisconsin Academy. He received his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from Cardinal Stritch University. Education has always been important to Mr. Gonzalez as he has taught in Milwaukee schools for 15 years. He was awarded the MMABSE Teacher of the Year award in 2017. He enjoys all things sports related, having coached basketball, track, football, and forensics during his teaching career. Additionally, he enjoys camping and traveling with his wife and daughters. Mr. Gonzalez is excited to be working at STARBASE Wisconsin and bringing the excitement of STEM to elementary students.
Ms. Tiffany Newton joined STARBASE in 2014 as a part-time instructor and was hired as a full-time instructor in 2016. Prior to STARBASE, Ms. Newton was employed by the Milwaukee Academy of Science (MAS) as the Junior Academy (Middle School) Dean of Students. Her duties included student issue resolution, transportation requirements, staff professional development and organizing the school Honors Banquet. She also provided leadership on the Parent Action Committee resulting in a 92% attendance average, increased standardized test scores, and worked with several students and staff creating an anti-bully coalition. Ms. Newton is passionate about kids and teaching ensuring they get the best possible hands-on science program during their elementary education years.
Mr. Kenneth “KJ” Jones is originally from North Philadelphia and has served as a youth servant for the past 25 plus years. In Philadelphia, he served as the Director of programs and operations for the City Wide Youth Leadership program supporting middle and high school students. In addition, he has been a part of the Greater Milwaukee community serving our youth since 2014. KJ joined the STARBASE Wisconsin Academy in 2020 after serving six years as the Site Director for the Bradley Tech High School Boys and Girls Club. KJ’s catchphrase is, “I’m just a Kid from North Philly and excited about this new journey as a STEM Instructor.” His energy captures the hearts and minds of his students.