Congratulations to the teachers honored at this year’s Celebration of Teachers and Teaching, held Otc. 10 at Cardinal Stritch University. The annual event, which started in 2013, is sponsored by the Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee (EDGM). UWM’s School of Education Dean Alan Shoho is a member of the group along with education leaders from Marquette University, Mount Mary, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Alverno College, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Concordia University.
This year’s celebration honored teachers who do exemplary work in the area of special education. Heidi Hamilton, a teacher at Arrowhead High School in Hartland, received the Advanced Career award. Hamilton, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Mount Mary universities, earned her teaching certification at UWM. Kaitlyn Moquet of the of the Stellar Collegiate Charter School in Milwaukee was honored with the Early Career award for teachers who have been in the classroom less than three years.
Krishana Robinson and Kim Bruessel, both of whom earned their master’s degree in exceptional education at UWM, were nominated for the Advanced Career Award. Robinson teaches at Vel R. Phillips School in Wauwatosa and Bruessel teaches at Audubon Technology and Communications Center in Milwaukee.
Danae Davis, executive director of the Milwaukee Succeeds program and a former member of the UW System Board of Regents, was honored with the Champion of Education award.
Other nominees included:
Advanced career nominees:
Ann Arke, Waukesha STEM Middle School
Peggy Chase Drana, Ninety-Fifth Street School, Milwaukee
Sean Crider, Homestead High School, Mequon
Elizabeth Duklas, The Alliance High School, Milwaukee
Sarah Garver, Waukesha South High School
Cynthia James, North Park Elementary School, Racine
Katherine Katzer, Racine Alternative Learning
Heather Strosin, Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language
Early career nominees:
Kendall Ingram, Lincoln Middle School, Kenosha
Rucha Naik, Wilson Elementary, Mequon
Emily Sowinski, Prairie Elementary School, Waukesha
The theme of this year’s event was “Dare to Innovate.” A panel that included teacher Heather Davis of Horace Mann Elementary in West Allis, Tracey Sparrow of Next Door and Dr. Laurel Bear of the Children’s Hospital and Medical College of Wisconsin answered questions and discussed some of the innovations that are helping improve the teaching and learning for children with special needs. Some of the technology, like iPads, allow the children to work more closely with their peers in inclusive classrooms, for example. At the same time, Davis noted, teachers are challenged because so many of her students come to school hungry, and from traumatic home lives. All agreed that, especially for students with special needs, teachers and other caregivers building strong relationships is fundamental.
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