School Choice Wisconsin Staff

Jim BenderPresident
Jim Bender has been President of School Choice Wisconsin since 2011. He is the main contact on education reform policy for elected officials and the media. He regularly testifies in front of the state legislature on education policy, in particular the Parental Choice Programs. He was a member of the design team for the Wisconsin statewide school report card and is a member of the Equity Council under ESSA.

Prior to that, Bender worked for Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald in the State Assembly as for six years as both chief of staff and main contact for the Capitol Press Corps. Bender focused policy work on education and the three-tier beverage system in Wisconsin.

After competing as a two-sport athlete in the Big Ten, Bender ran a small media firm that worked on corporate communications and education programs. Bender spent a year in southern Africa, producing a video documentary on volunteer teachers after Namibia switched their medium of education from Afrikaans to English.

Terry BrownVice-President
Terry is the former president of Saint Anthony School of Milwaukee, the largest voucher program and the largest Catholic grade school in the nation. Under his leadership the school underwent a major expansion, increasing enrollment from 400 to 1450 students. With the help of the Walton Family Foundation in 2009, Saint Anthony expanded the grade school to include a high school program focused on the classics. His focus at SCW is on school support and program expansion.
Carol ShiresDirector of Operations
Carol served 10 years at Eastbrook Academy, primarily in the role of Business Manager. Her experience with the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and school administration at a top-performing school in the Program made her uniquely qualified to join the SCW team. Carol has her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska.
Lisa LaDueDevelopment & Communications
Lisa joined SCW in 2012. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lisa is responsible for creating and implementing a development plan to ensure SCW has the resources to carry out program objectives.
Tammy OlivasDirector of Hispanics for School Choice
Tammy, works to educate schools, parents and community members throughout the state on how to engage the Hispanic Community and provide school choice options.
Jodi JensenResearch Attorney
Jodi provides support for School Choice Wisconsin’s public policy initiatives. She practiced administrative law for eight years, designing regulatory compliance plans and representing clients in administrative and regulatory matters before state and federal agencies. Jodi also has extensive experience in state government, having served as chief of staff to the Wisconsin State Assembly majority leader and speaker, as staff to the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, as an executive staff member at the Wisconsin Department of Administration and as legal counsel to the governor of Wisconsin.
Jodi has authored articles and provided training on Wisconsin’s administrative rulemaking process and its lobbying and ethics laws to clients and lobbyists.