Julia has an MA in education and spent 20 years as a special education teacher licensed in the areas of Learning Disabilities, Behavior and Emotional Disabilities, and Alternative Education. She served 3 years as an adjunct university instructor and student teacher supervisor prior to joining WALC. Julia designs and manages our learner-centered programs and classes. As she has spent her entire career working to break the cycles of poverty and education inequality, finding her way to literacy education has enabled her to continue that work. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting and quiet reflection.
Dr. Oxana Martynova-Perzentka
Dr. Martynova-Perzentka joined the Literacy Council in 2013. She directs the Road to Work program and acts as a job coach and conducts one-to-one & group sessions to help refugees and immigrants develop effective resumes, apply for jobs, develop interviewing skills, get their credentials evaluated, and connect with local employers.
Previously, Oxana worked as an Associate Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Cross-Cultural Communication at Lipetsk State Pedagogical University in Lipetsk, Russia. She holds her PhD degree in Philology from Moscow Pedagogical State University. Oxana dedicated 15 years of her teaching career working with undergraduate and graduate students teaching them English as a Second Language.
In her free time, Oxana practices Reiki, studies Numerology & Aromatherapy, and enjoys the outdoors and traveling the World.
Mai Kao Xiong
Mai Kao was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. She was raised and grew up in Oshkosh, WI. As early as elementary, she began translating for her parents, grandparents, and elders; translating Hmong to English and English to Hmong. This sparked her interest in translation and inspired her to learn other languages.
With her undying curiosity about the world, she majored in International Studies and earned her Bachelor’s degree from UW Oshkosh in 2016.
She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Wanda joined the Literacy Council in 2022 and comes to us with five years of Marketing experience for companies such as Ann Sacks (a subsidiary of Kohler Co.) and Lithia Motors. She has always had a passion for International Studies, which was furthered through a study abroad program to Beijing, China while she earned her Bachelor Degree from UW-Madison. Literacy is a personal passion, and she has also worked as an Assistant Kindergarten Teacher where she primarily assisted students one-on-one with learning to read.
In her free time, she enjoys book club, yoga, cooking and spending time with her children and family.
Cara joined the team in 2023 after tutoring as a volunteer in the organization. She so thoroughly enjoyed the tutoring and the staff that she couldn’t stand not to be part of the group. Previously, she was a middle school math teacher and a small family-business owner. She has a BA in Mathematics from Grinnell College and an MS in Educational Leadership from UW-Oshkosh. If given the opportunity, she will gladly regale you with stories of these experiences. She also wonders whether people actually read these bios, so if you’ve gotten this far, give her a call and she’ll meet you for a cup of tea.
In her free time, she enjoys leaving the confines of Wisconsin, keeping green things alive, translating printed words into mental images, building flexibility, and continually reminding her family to eat healthy foods.
Cathie L Books
Cathie was born in Minneapolis, and sometimes her “Minnesota” accent is interspersed with “Wisconsin” speak. She enlisted in the Army Signal Corps at age 17, which was the genesis of her adulthood. Flash forward to now, she is blessed to possess a purposeful vocation. The Army inspired her to embrace: “verbing” one’s life, giving selflessly, and being a piece of an ever changing bigger picture known as Planet Earth.”
“Signing off now – Cathie’s got a bus to catch!”
Trent Allaback recently graduated from UW Oshkosh with a BA in English in the pursuit of a lifelong fascination with reading, writing, and language. While in college, Trent worked as an editor for several publications and authored scholarly articles related to literature and language as a means to give voice and invoke change in society. Trent is passionate about the importance of quality education and working to give people access to learning that will enable them to lead independent, meaningful lives as actives members of their community.
In his free time, Trent enjoys reading, writing, playing music, and spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Emily joined the team in 2023 as the Marketing and Development assistant. Born in Oshkosh, WI, she
In her free time, Emily enjoys listening to music, being with her friends, and hanging out with her three cats Zuko, Azula and Callie
Winnebago Area Literacy Council also employs certified teachers to teach ELL classes.