Photo credit: Racine Unified School District


Seven new faces have joined the ranks of Mentor RUSD, a program that matches adult professionals in the community with students at 12 different Racine Unified elementary and middle schools.

The new mentors are Dr. Eric Gallien, Chief of Schools, Kelleah Lewis, PBIS, Theresa Stolpa, school climate and support specialist, Geri Bodi, middle school counselor, Fred Wendt, PBIS, Chuck Logic, retired RUSD teacher and Darrell Woodard, assistant principal at Starbuck Middle School, according to an announcement on the district’s website.

Mentor RUSD pairs volunteer adults with students in grades 4 – 8 who have been identified by teachers, social workers and parents. Mentoring focuses on improving academics, setting goals and fostering the relationship between the student and a positive role model.

Meetings between the mentor and their student are usually once a week for just an hour at school during the school year.

Having additional male mentors helps program Director David Power fulfill a need he says he hears from school teachers, counselors and administrators.

“The feedback we get is that students need positive male role models,” he told Racine County Eye during a phone interview earlier this school year.

Power said then he had 63 mentors with 58 matches with a goal of 100 mentors by the end of the school year. The only real requirement needed, he said, is a desire to help children.

Racine police Investigator Melissa Diener has been a mentor for three years and was matched with Darianna when Darianna was in fourth grade at Jerstad. Instead of matching Darianna with a middle school mentor, both Diener and Darianna requested that they continue their partnership, Power said.

Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can contact Power at (262) 939-1671 or via email at


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