Honoring 10 VERY Special Urban Teachers — With a VERY Special Event!

TeacherAppreciationWeekLogoBy Bill Henk – The evening of October 17th marked the first Celebrate Teachers and Teaching event hosted by the Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee (EDGM).  In short, it qualified as a night to remember.

Perhaps more than anything else, the event served as a reminder that teaching and the appreciation of it is rooted in our very humanity.  Put differently, in the end the teaching profession is all about people — teachers, students, families, school leaders, board members, staff, and the community.  And so that’s the focus this post will take.

As a quick backdrop, the EDGM members *** had grown weary of the wrongful characterizations of teachers in recent years and decided to do something about it.  Unlike the way they were portrayed, the teachers we knew were very knowledgeable, skilled, caring, hard-working, and passionate.  As a result, we decided to sponsor an event that publicly affirmed the profession and demonstrated our gratitude to its classroom heroes.

To make a long story short, the event included an awards ceremony that honored 10 exemplary urban educators as well as a unique showcasing of the mastery of 11 local food vendors.  The award ceremony, skillfully emceed by Mark Sabljak, the publisher of the Milwaukee Business Journal and a staunch education advocate, also featured brief remarks by Dean Barbara Daley of UWM (the institutional host), Dr. Debra Dosemagen of Mount Mary University and an EDGM Co-Chair, and myself.   Dori Zori of Radio Milwaukee provided the music, and Patricia Kline took all of the photos presented here.

And the Winners Are

Let’s start with recognizing the award recipients.  These outstanding teachers are first pictured as a group and then listed individually below along with their school affiliations and the institutions where they earned their teaching certifications.

CT&T Award Winners 2013

EDGM Early-Career Award

Lauren Boyd, Milwaukee College Preparatory School – 38th St. Campus. Mount Mary University

EDGM Advanced-Career Award

Katerina Jones, Samuel Clemens School. University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Stacey Lange, Walker Elementary School, West Allis. Alverno College
Marko Radmanovic, Escuela Vieau. University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee
Sonya Wasielewski, Carmen High School of Science & Technology. Alverno College
Michelle Young, Rufus King International Middle School. Alverno College

Honorable Mentions, Early-Career Award

Jane Savage, Seeds of Health-Windlake Elementary School. Alverno College
Dawn Liriano, St. Adalbert School. Alverno College
Naquisha Mann, Universal Academy for the College Bound-Millennium Campus. Alverno College

Honorable Mention, Advanced-Career Award

Craig Machut, Rufus King International High School. University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

For the record, each award winner was proudly nominated by her or his principal who assisted in the creation of the portfolios that were submitted for reviewi

Some VERY Well Deserved Thanks

Clearly the heavy lifting for the event fell to the Celebrate Teachers & Teaching Steering Committee. 

CT&T Steering CommitteeIts dedicated members included Helaine Hickson, Alex Vagelatos, and Kyle Stevens(UWM), Saj Thachenkary and Judith Reisetter (Alverno), Cynthia Marino (Cardinal Stritch), Lorraine Tyler (MATC), Dr. Patricia Ellis (Sharp Literacy) and Dr. Victoria Fitzgerald and Lori Fredrich (Marquette).   All of these professionals worked exceedingly hard and well to make the event so successful, and I’m personally indebted to Victoria for orchestrating the awards process and to Lori (and her husband, Paul of MKEfoodies) who conceptualied the format, organized the event logistics, and coordinated the procurement of the venue,  DJ, and restaurant partners.

The EDGM also wishes to thank our distinguished group of judges:   Alan Borsuk (MU School of Law and the Journal Sentinel), Danae Davis (Pearls for Teen Girls), Ellen Gilligan (Greater Milwaukee Foundation), Dr. James Rickabaugh (CESA #1),  Julia Taylor (Greater Milwaukee Committee), and JoAnn Miller, the 2012-2013 Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year from Oconto Falls High School.

Our appreciation for the food vendors is absolutely profound.  Each generously donated their time, energy and works of culinary artistry to the eventTo a station, the food and beverages rose to the level of gourmet quality.  The vendors were Afro Fusion Cuisine, c.1880, Calatrava Café, Chef Gregory Leon, Indulgence Chocolatiers, La Merenda, Odd Duck, Pastiche, Purple Door Ice Cream, and the Rumpus Room.  

A very special thanks to Great Lakes Distillery for donating their facility for our celebration.

And lastly, thanks to the many supporters of education in the community who joined our celebration of teaching.  Your efforts to attend the event made our turnout terrific.

Now let me take you out by offering you the opportunity to watch a slideshow of photos from the event.  Like I said at the outset, people, people, and more people…


***The Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee (EDGM) membership:

  • Alverno College, Dr. Nancy Athanasiou
  • Cardinal Stritch University, Dr. Freda Russell
  • Carroll University, Dr. Kimberly White
  • Concordia University, Dr. Michael Uden
  • Marquette University, Dr. Bill Henk, Co-Chair
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College, Dr. Wilma Bonaparte
  • Mount Mary University, Dr. Debra Dosemagen, Co–Chair
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dr. Barbara Daley (Interim)
  • Wisconsin Lutheran College, Dr. David Brightsman

and influential Emeritus Deans:  Dr. Mary Diez, Alverno; Dr. Carol Colbeck, UWM

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