The Board

Cate Valenzuela, President
Hello! I became a part of the PTO 2 years ago when I chaired the Fun Fair. I love working with the PTO to continue to build strong school-community connections and encourage the many wonderful aspects of the Chavez community. My husband, Carlos, and I have one daughter, Penny (DLI 2nd Grade) and two dogs, Daria (10) and Coco (puppy). I’m in Application Services (previously tech comm) at Epic and in my free time I’m the president of my neighborhood association and one of the leaders of the Madison chapter of Box of Balloons. I’m looking forward to getting to know you!

Jennifer Wood, Treasurer
I joined the PTO last year to get more involved at school. I love spreadsheets, data and keeping things organized in the background to support our school. My husband, Philip and I have a 2nd grader (DLI) and a 4th grader at Chávez.  I work part time as a pharmacist at the Madison VA, and in my free time you’ll see me walking or biking with my family in the neighborhood or find us out hiking the Ice Age Trail. 

Jamie Krohn, Teacher Representative
18th year at Chavez. I have a current 5th grader and a middle schooler.  I love  serving as the teacher representative and a parent representative to help bridge communication between staff and families.  Chavez is an amazing place and I look forward to continuing to help make our community welcoming and inclusive for all of our families.

Mandi Stevens, Wishlist Coordinator
Hi!  I’m Mandi and I coordinate the Chavez staff wish list, where we match staff requests and family donations to purchase items to support our staff while they serve our kids.  I’m a stay at home mom to my two kids – Hayley (2nd Grade DLI) and Simon (4K).  When there’s not a global pandemic, I enjoy volunteering in the community at the local library and coordinating a playgroup for foster and adoptive families.  My family also enjoys traveling, especially our favorite destination:  Disney!

Devora Ballo, Volunteer Coordinator

Jessica Kramer, Community Outreach
Hello Chavez families! This is my first year on the Chavez PTO Board, in the new position of Community Outreach. My role is to help foster family-to-family connections, support and collaboration within the Chavez community and to garner available community support and resources to help maximize the Chavez experience for students and their families, while keeping in mind the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion. I have one child who attends Chavez – Chase, who is a goofy, fun-loving 4th grader. I enjoy cooking and trying new foods; being active, including exploring Madison by bicycle and weightlifting; and watching the Packers, Badgers and Brewers. When I’m not biking around town with Chase or trial-and-erroring a new recipe at home, I practice law at my small firm in Madison, representing primarily small businesses.

Christy Davey & Jenny LaRue, Restaurant Nights Coordinators

Kelly Lawler, Principal
Kelly is the Principal at Chávez Elementary. She was the Assistant Principal for 3 years before becoming Principal in 2017. She is excited to keep the momentum going to make Chávez one of the best schools in Madison. She is dedicated to fostering an environment that allows all stakeholders to build strong relationships so that all Chávez scholars thrive!

Karen Mullen, Assistant Principal
My name is Karen Mullen and it is an honor to serve as your Assistant Principal.  This is my second year at Chavez and I am looking forward to supporting our scholars, families and teachers as we begin the school year virtually. Joining the Chavez community has allowed me to continue my work to ensure that the voices of our scholars are heard, that they are valued for who they are and feel a sense of belonging and connection from everyone at school!  I started my career as a special educator and have held school and district support positions. My family includes my husband, five daughters and our dog.  I look ahead with great hope and excitement as we come together in new ways to support one another.