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People with Masks

About US

"Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much." 
Helen Keller


Waunakee is healthy and resilient.


The Waunakee Community Cares Coalition creates conditions and opportunities that prevent and reduce substance abuse.


We value engagement, education, collaboration and resiliency in our community and amongst its members. 


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Since 2014, Waunakee Community Cares Coalition (WCCC) has been mobilizing partners from all sectors of the community to create a strong coalition dedicated to impactful change. WCCC utilizes local, state, and federal grant dollars to create conditions & opportunities to prevent and reduce youth substance use & support mental wellness and resiliency.



WCCC currently collaborates with over 20 organizations to build a healthy community. The opportunities to collaborate with diverse group members in WCCC is endless.


WCCC provides a robust library of opportunities and resources available for youth and adults to learn more about healthy choices, prevention, mental wellness, and resiliency.


WCCC engages our community and our youth in authentic ways. Join us today and help us create a healthier environment for all members of the community.


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The WCCC is led by a committed team of community volunteers and champions for youth prevention and positive mental health.  Each sector of the community is represented on our leadership team and plays an integral part of not only the vision for our organization, but also, the impactful work done.

The WCCC is also fortunate to have a recently added full time coordinator and student intern.  They facilitate the necessary work of the leadership team and coalition.


Brian Kersten

Executive Board Chair - Brian has be an educator for over 3 decades.  He recently served as the Waunakee Community High School Principal for 26 years until his retirement in 2019.  He was named State of Wisconsin High School Principal of the Year in 2001.   Brian currently serves as a New Teacher Mentor in the district and a New Building Administrator Coach for the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators. Brian and his wife Julie reside in Waunakee.  They have two adult children, Marjorie and Nathan and a young French Pointer named Dash.

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Michelle McGrath, Ed. D

Project Coordinator - I'm a long time champion for the Waunakee Community. Today I serve as the WCCC Project Coordinator.  I have worked in education for the past 27 years, including as an assistant principal at Waunakee High School and a non-profit executive for a youth leadership organization for 15 years.  I am a resident of Waunakee and have 4 children, including one that attends Waunakee High School. 


Maddy Zaleski

Communication Specialist - Hello! I am a former student of the Waunakee school district and am now attending classes at Edgewood. I joined the WCCC during my sophomore year of high school as the youth representative. As a junior in college, I continue to be part of an amazing coalition that is bettering my community. 

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Jeff Lafferty

Executive Vice Board Chair – Jeffery S. Lafferty is an environmental epidemiologist for Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) and provides data and policy analysis support for WCCC.  Jeffery has worked in the fields of cancer research and pharmaceutical development prior to joining PHMDC where he focuses on environmental health and policy for Dane County.  Jeffery was involved for nearly a decade in the development of the Dane County Youth Assessment that is administered by middle and high schools throughout Dane County including Waunakee High School.   


Jessica Moehn

Secretary/Treasurer - I currently work for the Waunakee Community School District as the ATODA Prevention Coordinator, Homeless Liaison, and 4K Social Worker. I am originally from Monroe, Wisconsin but got my Bachelors in Social Work & Gender and Women's Studies and then Masters in Social Work from UW-Madison. I like reading, taking care of my houseplants, and going on walks with my dogs. 

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Roger Bartels

Board Member - I grew up in Southwest WI, have a wife and 2 teenage daughters. I graduated from UW Platteville in 1988. I have been a member of the Waunakee Police Dept. for over 22 years. I spent most of my 22 years as a patrol Sergeant and was promoted to Lieutenant in May of 2020. I have been a member of WCCC since May of 2020.

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Ryan Sheahan

Board Member - Ryan Sheahan is a Program Coordinator for Public Health Madison and Dane County, and staffs the Dane County Alliance Against Commercial Tobacco. His focus is using evidence-based strategies to promote policy change, building strong alliances, and program management. Ryan lives with his wife and three kids in Waunakee, WI.


Sydney Tasker

Youth Chair -My name is Sydney Tasker and I am an upcoming Senior at Waunakee High School. I first got involved with WCCC when I was nominated for a leadership workshop with one of the school’s guest speakers. Since being involved I have traveled with the Coalition to the CADCA youth forum in Florida, and presented to multiple communities in Waunakee about our plans and work. Now I was accepted as a co-youth chair member and I’m super excited to start working towards the coalition’s goals.


Jeremiah Alfred

Youth Chair- Hey, my name is Jeremiah Alfred and I am a student at Waunakee Community High School. I have lived in Waunakee for about seven years. I started doing prevention work with the ATI club at school and slowly moved towards the WCCC. Because of the WCCC I have been able to attend a CADCA Mid-Year and become part of the CADCA youth training team. I am excited to become a more active member of the WCCC!


Mari Gasiorowicz, M.A.

Project Evaluator – Mari is an Evaluator at Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC), which provides in-kind support to the WCCC. Mari has worked in public health in local, state, and global settings over her 30 plus-year career, including two years in Tanzania with her family when her children were in elementary school (now they are young adults). Mari is particularly interested in evaluating systems-level change work, like WCCC’s efforts. 


Kerry Cartier

Board Member– My wife Jennifer and I have lived in Waunakee since 1984. Our two adult children graduated from Waunakee Community High School. Jennifer was a Special Education Teacher in Waunakee for over thirty years. My background includes twenty eight years in the insurance claims industry. Currently, I am semi retired. I am a member of the Waunakee Lions Club and was previously an Optimist and Rotary Club member. In addition, I have been a WIAA high school sports official for thirty years. My goal is to contribute to the WCCC based on my experience and background. I enjoy helping youth and families in Waunakee.

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