Three dozen WEAC members honored as Kohl Foundation Teacher Fellows

Three dozen WEAC members have been selected as 2019 Teacher Fellows by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.

Each honoree and their school receives an award of $6,000. Kohl Teacher Fellowship recipients are educators who have been chosen for their superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, their ability to motivate others, and their leadership and service within and outside the classroom. In total, 304 students, teachers, and principals are being honored this year by the Herb Kohl Foundation. 

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. To date, the Foundation has awarded $17.8 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools. “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students, teachers, and principals and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future,” Kohl said.

The WEAC members honored as Kohl Foundation Teacher Fellows this year are listed below. (If you are a WEAC member or know of one who received a Kohl Teacher Fellow honor this year but is not listed below please let us know by emailing us at and we will make sure we get that educator’s name added to the list of honorees.)


Jean Biebel, Wauwatosa 
Wauwatosa East High School, Wauwatosa 

Alexander Branderhorst, Milwaukee 
Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Milwaukee 

Raymond Duncan, Milwaukee 
Marshall High School, Milwaukee 

Erin McCarthy, Milwaukee 
Greendale Middle School, Greendale 

Kaitlynn Radloff, Milwaukee 
Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Milwaukee 

Aimie Rognsvoog, Milwaukee 
IDEAL, Milwaukee 

Chad Sperzel-Wuchterl, Milwaukee 
Reagan High School, Milwaukee 

Elizabeth Sutherland, Shorewood 
Whitefish Bay High School, Whitefish Bay 

Jill Werner, Wauwatosa 
Waukesha North High School, Waukesha 

Nancy Wisniewski, Milwaukee
Mitchell Elementary School, Milwaukee 


Angela Flynn, Janesville 
Turner High School, Beloit 

Matthew Flynn, Beloit 
Memorial High School, Beloit 

Julie Martin, Madison 
New Glarus High School, New Glarus 

Rachel Schramm, Madison 
Shabazz-City High School, Madison 


Paul Anderson, Arcadia 
Arcadia High School, Arcadia 

Tricia Gibbons, Holmen 
Logan High School, La Crosse 

Kate Hooper, La Crosse 
North Woods International School, La Crosse 

Regina Quandt, Winona 
Arcadia Elementary School, Arcadia 


Elizabeth Hansen, Portage 
Portage High School, Portage 

Daniel Rhode, Baraboo 
Baraboo High School, Baraboo 

Ashley Tessmer, Wisconsin Rapids 
Lincoln High School, Wisconsin Rapids 


Jessica Longdin, North Fond du Lac 
Evans Elementary School, Fond du Lac 

Jane Savatski, Menasha 
Berry Elementary School, Appleton 


Scott Christy, Green Bay 
East High School, Green Bay 

Jonathan Delray, Sheboygan 
Kiel High School, Kiel 


Dawn Bohm, Kronenwetter 
D.C. Everest Junior High School, Weston 

Matthew Cepress, Weston 
D.C. Everest High School, Weston 

Lori Linsmeyer, Rhinelander 
Crescent Elementary School, Rhinelander 


Niki Anderson, Eau Claire
Memorial High School, Eau Claire

Rebecca Omtvedt, Holcombe
Lake Holcombe Schools District Office, Holcombe

Nicholas Sirek, Eau Claire 
DeLong Middle School, Eau Claire

John Scott Thiel, Altoona 
Altoona Middle School, Altoona


Debra Bell, Menomonie 
Boyceville Community Schools District Office, Boyceville 

Jennifer Clemins, St. Croix Falls 
Saint Croix Falls Elementary School, Saint Croix Falls 

Suzanne Imhoff, Frederic 
Saint Croix Falls High School, Saint Croix Falls 


Lorie Erickson, Bayfield 
Bayfield Elementary School, Bayfield

Click here for the complete list of 2019 Kohl Education Foundation student, teacher and principal honorees.

Monroe’s Sarah Compton granted Milken Educator Award in surprise ceremony

Monroe teacher Sarah Compton – a member of WEAC Region 6 – was awarded a Milken Educator Award Friday in a surprise ceremony during a school assembly at Northside Elementary School.

Compton was recognized for challenging her fifth-graders “to think critically and dive deep into their learning.” In particular, the award honored her for her work on a series of project-based lessons on financial literacy in which students explore concepts of spending, saving, sales tax, discounts and interest.

“WEAC congratulates Sarah Compton on her achievement,” said Ron Martin, WEAC President. “There are amazing things happening in Wisconsin Public Schools, and that’s a direct result of the inspiring educators who work in them. WEAC is proud to support educators like Sarah so they can go above and beyond for their students.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford Taylor congratulated Compton, saying, “Teachers who can build strong, personal relationships with their students are always successful at knowing how to unlock a child’s fullest potential. Sarah Compton’s efforts to tailor learning through choices and relationships are a model for others to follow. Congratulations to Sarah for this recognition.” 

Below is the Milken Family Foundation’s video and news release from Friday’s ceremony. Click here for more photos and information about Sarah Compton.

From the Milken Family Foundation

The student stock market is up and so is student achievement in Sarah Compton’s fifth-grade class at Northside Elementary in Monroe, Wisconsin. An engaging project that pays real-world educational dividends, Compton’s student stock market teaches critical thinking and economic concepts as students invest an imaginary nest egg and manage their individual portfolios. It’s one of several project-based building blocks for Compton, whose lessons are invariably down-to-earth and feature hands-on learning no matter how abstract or elevated the material gets. A data-driven educator, Compton creates individually tailored learning plans within her big set pieces, so each student tackles appropriate challenges that boost growth, confidence and test scores.

Yet it was Compton who got a big lift this morning at a surprise school assembly where she was presented with a Milken Educator Award by Milken Family Foundation Senior Program Director Greg Gallagher and Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford Taylor. An enthusiastic Compton was named a 2018-19 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. She is the only Milken Educator Award winner from Wisconsin, and is among the 33 honorees for 2018-19.

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching,” has been opening minds and shaping futures for over 30 years. Research shows teacher quality is the driving in-school factor behind student growth and achievement. The initiative not only aims to reward great teachers, but to celebrate, elevate and activate those innovators in the classroom who are guiding America’s next generation of leaders. Milken Educators believe, “The future belongs to the educated.”

Compton stresses independence and self-reliance in her students, attributes that will prepare them to take advantage of whatever challenges come their way. Always striving to see the big picture, Compton not only uses data to differentiate her students’ lessons, she also coaches colleagues through data analysis and individualized instruction planning. She sits on building and district committees and frequently leads professional development on responsive classroom practices, math and literacy.

“Sarah Compton knows that each student has a unique path and interests,” said Gallagher. “Helping them get excited about learning is her special gift, and we are proud to welcome her as a Milken Educator.”

“Sarah is one of the most talented young educators I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” said shared Monroe District Administrator Rick Waski. “Her ability to use student data to drive personalized, engaging instruction for every child is second to none.”

About Milken Educator Sarah Compton
Sarah Compton challenges her fifth-graders at Northside Elementary School in Monroe, Wisconsin, to think critically and dive deep into their learning. In a series of project-based lessons on financial literacy, students explore concepts of spending, saving, sales tax, discounts and interest. Next, they learn about the stock market, including how to choose companies for investment based on data trends and current events. They track an imaginary $10,000 investment as a group, then move to a friendly competition as individual students try to grow their pretend portfolios. Along the way, students practice computing with large numbers and decimals, calculating percentages, graphing and estimation. Engagement is sky-high, both because of the project’s real-world connection and because it offers students options along the way. In another popular unit, students create public service announcements on issues facing today’s teens: obesity, texting while driving, high school dropout rates and cyber-bullying. A vibrant classroom presence, Compton is dedicated to maximum growth for students at all levels and provides engaging and relevant instruction. Her students deliver among the highest growth scores in the district.

Compton seeks innovative instructional solutions and is always willing to try something new to spur student achievement, access and equity. A leader for her grade level and within the building, Compton studies data to build individual learning plans for each student and helps other Northside teachers use data to differentiate their instruction. She designs curriculum and creates formative assessments for the district. Compton sits on Northside’s leadership committee and has served on district committees for math and literacy. She mentors colleagues in both content-area mastery and assessments, developing a district model to help teachers engage in peer-to-peer support and cross-coaching. Compton frequently leads professional development for the district on responsive classroom practices, math and literacy. She works tirelessly to improve her craft; when Compton speaks during a meeting, the whole room listens.

Committed to Monroe’s school community, Compton gets to know every child and family and communicates regularly with parents so they can work together to support students. She is known as a genuine advocate for her students and stresses independence and self-reliance. Compton has made great strides with students with behavioral issues, taking time to relate to them on a personal level and build mutual respect so they know she is on their team. When these students return to Northside after they graduate, she is the first person they want to see.

Compton earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 2007 from University of Wisconsin Whitewater and a master’s of education in 2011 from University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

More information about Compton, plus links to photos and a video from today’s assembly, can be found on the Milken Educator Awards website at

Milken Educators are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. In addition to the $25,000 prize and public recognition, the honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals and specialists dedicated to strengthening education.

In addition to participation in the Milken Educator Network, 2018-19 recipients will attend a Milken Educator Forum in New Orleans March 21-24, 2019. Educators will have the opportunity to network with their new colleagues and hear from state and federal officials about maximizing their leadership roles to advance educator effectiveness.

More than $138 million in funding, including $68 million in individual $25,000 awards, has been devoted to the overall Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional learning opportunities throughout recipients’ careers. Many have gone on to earn advanced degrees and be placed in prominent posts and on state and national education committees.

The Awards alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators. Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Award is completely unique: Educators cannot apply for this recognition and do not even know they are under consideration. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then are reviewed by blue ribbon panels appointed by state departments of education. Those most exceptional are recommended for the Award, with final approval by the Milken Family Foundation.

Past recipients have used their Awards to fund their children’s education or their own continuing education. Others have financed dream field trips, established scholarships and even funded the adoption of children.

To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Milken Educator Awards tour is on social media at, and

For more information, visit or call MFF at (310) 570-4772.

About the Milken Educator Awards
The very first Milken Educator Awards were presented by the Milken Family Foundation 31 years ago in 1987. The Awards provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish.

Wisconsin Teacher of the Year joins other top educators at ‘Teach-In for Freedom’ in El Paso

Sarahí Monterrey at the El Paso Teach-In

Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year – and WEAC Region 7 member – Sarahí Monterrey joined dozens of other state teachers of the year and hundreds of NEA members last weekend for the “Teach-In for Freedom,” an all-day event organized by Teachers Against Child Detention (TACD) to protest the inhumane detention of children at the Mexican border and the criminalization of immigrant families.

“The Teach-In in El Paso was a powerful experience because teachers were united to be a voice for the over 10,000 children who are in detention centers across our country,” Monterrey told “This was not a protest but rather an opportunity to educate the public about immigration policies and the effects of these policies on children. 

“It was powerful to come together with educators from across the country who shared lessons on various aspects of immigration,” she said. “There were also community organizations present who are doing tremendous work to advocate for immigrant rights, and they provided excellent resources to the public.”  

Monterrey, interviewed by PBS News Hour, said the impact of the administration’s immigration policies reaches deep into her classroom in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She said she sees effects of trauma in her classroom, with students saying they are sad, can’t concentrate or have stomach aches.

It’s very difficult for students to learn,” Monterrey said. “And it’s very hard because, sometimes, even as an educator, it’s hard to find the right words of what to say, because, sometimes, I do feel helpless.”

With support from WEAC, Monterrey traveled to El Paso to participate in the teach-in, which was led by National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning. The goal was to shed light on the impact of child detention policies on the border, which TACD calls a “moral disaster.” The teach-in focused on the harm immigrant kids experience when separated from their families, and aimed to educate the country on why these families have fled from their home countries and how Americans can welcome them legally and contribute to their ongoing care and integration. 

NEA Today also covered the event, noting that educators and others have been outraged by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant and refugee children as young as 18 months old from their parents.

“Detained in more than 100 government detention centers across 17 states, these children have been denied access to public education, and likely will suffer irreparable, lifelong psychological damage, educators said. The practice also violates their fundamental right to seek asylum,” NEA Today reported.

In honoring Monterrey first as the State High School Teacher of the Year and then as Wisconsin’s representative for National Teacher of the Year, the Department of Public Instruction noted that, as a child immigrant from El Salvador, Monterrey recognizes the pivotal role teachers play in students’ lives.

“The power in making students feel welcome and safe cannot be underestimated,” she said. DPI noted:

Monterrey’s work on inclusion includes the visible, “Dreamers Welcome” and “This School Welcomes You” posters. Not as visible, but just as important, are her extra efforts to ensure a curriculum that is representative of various backgrounds so students feel inspired; her work to improve family communication so parents understand they are part of their student’s success; and her outreach to ensure that English learner (EL) students have access to extracurricular activities and support to be ready for college.

Watch the PBS News Hour report on the El Paso Teach-In:

Amid immigration debate, top teachers gather to protest child detention

Some of the nation’s top teachers recently gathered in El Paso, Texas, to speak out against the government’s practice of detaining children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Dismissing the notion that they shouldn’t get involved in political advocacy, teachers said they see some U.S. policy and procedures as “abusive.”

Read the NEA Today report:

At the Border, Teachers Protest Detention, Separation of Children – NEA Today

On a makeshift stage in El Paso, Texas, former Texas Teacher of the Year Leslie Anaya delivered a message to the roughly 15,000 immigrant children who are held captive in federal detention centers, where they are denied an education and separated from their mothers, fathers, and anybody else who loves them.

Read more about Sarahí Monterrey:

Sarahi Monterrey named a 2019 High School Teacher of the Year

MADISON – In a surprise ceremony at her school today, Sarahi Monterrey, an English Learner teacher at Waukesha North High School, was named a Wisconsin 2019 High School Teacher of the Year. State Superintendent Tony Evers made the announcement during an all-school assembly.

Watertown School District recognizes “Discipline with Dignity’ work by WEAC members Pam and Tim Suski

Pam and Tim Suski

The Watertown School District is recognizing WEAC members Pam and Tim Suski for their work with the “Discipline with Dignity” program that has demonstrated success through compassion and high expectations.

“Often our students who regularly struggle to make good choices at WHS have challenges at home,” the Suskis say. “We want to provide positive support and high expectations for both academics and behavior. Through this program we show that we believe in them and expect excellent behavior — because they are capable of it.”

Read the entire school district newsletter article:

‘Discipline with Dignity’ Focuses on Compassion and High Expectations

The “Discipline with Dignity” program launched in September 2017 with support from a Watertown Way grant is finding success using positive support and high expectations for students who make poor choices.
“Discipline with Dignity” aims to go beyond “punishments that are punitive” to a plan that is focused on the “whole child” so:
·    Negative behavior declines with more meaningful consequences
·    Recidivism rates drop
·    Students complete academic work during “restorative” time
·    Students become more connected to WHS and Watertown itself
·    Academic achievement and positive behavior improve, setting students up for more positive futures. 
Understanding students’ stories
Program leaders Pam and Tim Suski say they understand there are deeper reasons why students make poor choices. Often our students who regularly struggle to make good choices at WHS have challenges at home. We want to provide POSITIVE support and HIGH expectations for both academics and behavior. Through this program we show that we BELIEVE in them and expect excellent behavior — because they are capable of it. We have brought consistency to the restorative time program, earning students’ trust, so they are more willing to work with us and talk with us about their struggles. 
During the first hour of restorative time we work on academics and in the second hour we work on social skills/empowerment activities to help them become better members of WHS and the City of Watertown. We also “recruit” our toughest cases who consistently skip detentions (because they want out-of-school suspension) and have them serve time in an in-school suspension with a retired staff member who strives to build positive connections. As they work through this new system, we hope they see that we respect them, and they will then have more respect for the building, teachers, peers,and most importantly — themselves.
We were graciously awarded a $4,800 Spark! Health Grant from the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation; we are using those funds to purchase items for building, cooking and recreational projects and compensate teachers for their help with this project.
‘Restoration Hours’ include Skyward review, activities
The kids have responded well and seem to like the calm, consistent manner of “restorative hours” on Thursdays. Each week we look up their grades on Skyward to help direct them towards what things they need to do to pass their classes. We have also started with recreational and cooking activities in the first half of the year, and we will now be moving to some small building projects as well as outside projects in the Peace Garden in the spring. The hardest part has been trying to get our students who struggle the most to “buy in” to the system, and sit down to work on school work and/or talk with us, but we keep trying! Overall, due to a variety of changes at the high school, not just from our program, the number of discipline referrals is down.
The highlights are watching the kids find success with work and see that they CAN accomplish assignments and that people truly care about their success. It is also wonderful to see kids accept rules, consequences, and high expectations for behavior, as they realize that teachers and administrators care for them and want them to make great choices for future success. It is also great to see these kids interact positively with each other as they learn to play euchre, play an intense game of Uno, bake cookies, decorate for Homecoming or Prom, or work together to accomplish some building project. They feel more connected with the school overall.
Slowly, over time we know that our high expectations for them, their academic performance, and their behavior show that we care — and we won’t give up on them. If we can turn just one kid around who is walking a rough path, then we feel we have succeeded.

Sun Prairie’s Sandra Kowalczyk is Wisconsin’s Global Educator of the Year

From the Department of Public Instruction

Sandra Kowalczyk

WEAC Region 6 member Sandra Kowalczyk, a Sun Prairie middle school reading specialist, will receive the 2018-19 Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year award in a brief ceremony January 16 during the Patrick Marsh Middle School all staff meeting in Sun Prairie. 

State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor will present the award, commending Kowalczyk for her work to bring an international perspective to her classrooms and community.

“Developing global competence takes time. Sandra captures and sustains middle school students’ attention through global literature and face-to-face opportunities to learn from people of other cultural backgrounds,” said Stanford Taylor. “She is generous with her time, sharing successful practices with fellow educators here and across the world.” 

Fellow teachers, parents, colleagues, friends, or students can nominate a teacher for the Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year Award, which recognizes those who provide high-quality learning opportunities for students and make exemplary contributions to the profession as it relates to global education. In addition to her classroom use of literature to awaken social justice and cultural experiences, Kowalczyk brings international guests to the classroom and school community and facilitates the Go Global Club, an after-school opportunity for students. A parent who supported her nomination noted that Ms. K prepares students to have the cultural curiosity, understanding, and skills needed to be a young global citizen. 

Kowalczyk graduated from Wild Rose High School and traveled to the former Soviet Union at age 17. Since catching the travel-learning bug, she has visited five continents, gaining experiences and insights to share with her students. Her professional commitment to global education brings artists and authors into her classes and community. She builds relationships with schools abroad and shares her work through state, regional, national, and international education events.

To qualify as the Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year, a teacher must cultivate students’ global awareness, promote growth of global competencies, model and engage colleagues in best practices for global learning, and employ innovative approaches to building global knowledge and skills. The Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year is selected from among nominees by the State Superintendent’s International Education Council. The recognition includes a $1,000 honorarium from Madison area Rotary Clubs. 

Kowalczyk is a former Wisconsin Middle Level Teacher of the Year and serves on the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Council. She received the Association for Middle Level Education 2018 Educator of the Year Award at the association’s conference last October. She earned National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification in 2009 in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood. 

62 WEAC members earn National Board Certification in 2018

Sixty-two WEAC members recently joined the ranks of Nationally Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in Wisconsin, and 26 renewed their certification. Known as one of the top honors in the profession, NBCTs are assessed by their peers on 5 core propositions of accomplished teaching. WEAC is the state leader in providing candidate support; WEAC supports include intensive summer Jump Start training, monthly in-person cohorts, an online prep course, virtual mentors, and a winter writing retreat.

“The support that I received from WEAC was so instrumental that I do not believe I would have passed without it. It’s hard to believe that it was all free to WEAC members,” said Sarah Schnuelle a recently certified NBCT and educator in Jefferson.

If you’re interested in information on becoming Nationally Board Certified please click here or e-mail

2018 New NBCTs


2018 NBCT Renewals


We apologize if we missed you. If so, please send an e-mail to

Lindsey Guenther of Tomah is latest WEAC Badger Red for Public Ed winner!

Lindsey Guenther

Congratulations to Tomah teacher Lindsey Guenther, the latest winner of our WEAC Badger Red for Public Ed promotion! The honor goes to WEAC members in appreciation for their dedication to students. Recipients are treated to a UW Badger athletic event.

Lindsey will get VIP treatment at the November 30 UW Badger hockey game against Penn State at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Lindsey is entering her seventh year of teaching at LaGrange Elementary school in Tomah. She is a fourth grade teacher and works with a variety of students each and every day.

“I became a teacher mainly because I wanted to pay tribute to the efforts of all of my amazing teachers in the past,” Lindsey says. “Growing up, I had several teachers who made things hands-on and exciting. I have a similar approach to how I do things. I make sure I show my compassion for the topic and the relevance to history or everyday life and try to tier learning for my students.”

Lindsey shared the picture below of herself and her students from this past October when they were able to take a self guided tour of the State Capitol and meet their state representative, Nancy VanderMeer.

Lindsey was nominated by parent Nicole Renaud and colleague Kathleen Schoot.

Nicole said: “We had the pleasure of having Lindsey as our 4th grade teacher. My daughter is autistic and that year was a huge transition year for us, and Lindsey consistently went above and beyond to make sure that my daughter was prepared the best possible way for everything. She made social stories, extra directions and prepped alternative things for her when she didn’t have to. She did it all with a smile on her face, even when my daughter would be struggling and having a difficult time. We are thankful for her and the impact she had on us. She made a very difficult transition year bearable, and we can’t thank her enough.”

Kathleen said: “Lindsey is a fantastic teacher! She is SO enthusiastic about learning! She guides students to learning, each in their own individual way. She is loving and sets boundaries that each student is aware of to ensure each child has the right to learn in his/her own way. She adjusts learning material for all sorts of special needs students and just for those who need that little extra reassurance of their potential. She is very positive and happy. Every time you walk past her classroom someone is laughing with excitement!”

Visit to nominate yourself or another deserving educator for a chance to win a drawing for Wisconsin athletic events throughout the school year.

South Milwaukee educators Hallie Schmeling and Joanna Rizzotto are Channel 12 Top Teachers

Two great active WEAC Region 7 members in South Milwaukee – Hallie Schmeling and Joanna Rizzotto – were honored with Channel 12 News’ Top Teacher award. Both teach at the REAL Academy, South Milwaukee’s educator-designed, in-house alternative education high school. The Channel 12 News story is full of insights and inspiration applicable to every educational setting.

At the REAL Academy, Joanna says, “the focus is on the whole child and relationships.” She says her approach to teaching is “to be open, to respond and not react, to guide.”

“The unique thing,” Hallie says, “is that we really come from the space that instead of me being the teacher that is putting information into kids, we’re more about they have it in them, they have their passions, they have strengths, they have things that just need to be drawn out of them.”

Thanks to WEAC Region 7 for sharing this story in its newsletter:

Watch the Channel 12 video:

September’s Top Teachers: Hallie Schmeling, Joanna Rizzotto; Real Academy

The Real Academy is South Milwaukee High School’s in-house alternative education high school. Not every student learns the same way. Our top teachers, Hallie Schmeling and Joanna Rizzotto, connect with their students on a personal level.

Madison’s Michael Jones is latest winner of the WEAC-UW Badger Red for Public Ed honor

Congratulations to Madison teacher Michael Jones, the latest winner of WEAC’s 2018 WEAC-UW Badger Red for Public Ed honor! The honor goes to WEAC members in appreciation for their dedication to students. Recipients are treated to a UW Badger athletic event. Michael will be honored at the UW Volleyball game October 21 at the UW Fieldhouse.

Michael, a WEAC and Madison Teachers Inc. member, is a Special Education teacher, entering his 10th year in the profession.

“I’ve been a proud union member for each of those years and am currently with the 8th graders at Black Hawk Middle School  in Madison,” Michael says. “I love what I do, I love the students and families I get to work with, and definitely I love my colleagues, all of whom I consider friends. I’m very lucky to be where I am and with the people I get to work with.”

Madison teacher Kerry Motoviloff nominated Michael, saying “He is a leader for ALL students lifting them at their toughest moments with grace and care.”

Visit to nominate yourself or another deserving educator for a chance to win a drawing for Wisconsin athletic events throughout the school year.

Brad Laufenberg of New London is latest winner of WEAC’s Badger Red for Public Ed promotion

Brad Laufenberg with his 4th grade teaching partners at Parkview Elementary School, Erin Besaw (left) and Julie Cherf.

Congratulations to New London teacher Brad Laufenberg, the latest winner of WEAC’s Badger Red for Public Ed promotion! Brad wins tickets to the October 6 UW Football game against Nebraska at Camp Randall Stadium. The honor goes to WEAC members in appreciation for their dedication to students.

Brad, a 4th grade teacher at Parkview Elementary School in New London, has been a member of the local association’s Building Leadership Team, a Student Council advisor, a Fitness Center supervisor, and a tutor. In addition, he is a member of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team, a “news anchor” for the monthly PBIS videos, a member of the Building Safety Committee, and a cooperating teacher for a high school student interested in pursuing a degree in the education field.

Brad’s wife Toni is a high school special education teacher in the School District of New London, and they have a 4-year-old son Asher and a 2-year-old son Callen.

“I am very fortunate to have an amazing family, wonderful colleagues, and great friends,” Brad said. “My mother taught me how to be a teacher, and my father taught me how to be a painter. Both jobs require prep work, patience, and skill. More importantly, both jobs allow me an opportunity to be a part of a transformation process that helps people and places realize their potential.”

Visit to nominate yourself or another deserving educator for a chance to win a drawing for Wisconsin athletic events throughout the school year.