Six state finalists for Presidential Teaching Awards were named Wednesday, September 18, 2019 including three middle level educators and WAMLE board member Maggie McHugh!
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction named six educators as finalists for the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), considered the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for mathematics and science teachers.
The 2019 awards recognize those who teach grades seven through 12. Wisconsin finalists are:
September 14, 2019 ~ Concordia University
The WAMLE board would like to thank Deb Pattee, Rick Amundson, and Crystal Ruzika for their contributions. Regardless if they were with us over many or just a few years, we appreciate their involvement and commitment to the middle level. Thank you very much and our very best wishes for all of your future endeavors! We would also like to welcome Terri Miller back to the board. After many years of dedicated service Rick Amundson passed the books and the role of treasurer to her at our annual meeting in July.
Governor Tony Evers, proclaims March 2019 as Middle Level Education Month!
WAMLE is pleased to share that Sandra Kowalczyk, AMLE Middle Level Educator of the Year, has been selected by the State Superintendent’s International Education Council to be recognized as Wisconsin’s 2018-2019 Global Educator of the Year. The DPI will soon be issuing a press release. Pam Delfosse, DPI International Education & World Language Consultant, presented a plaque and honorarium at Patrick Marsh Middle School, Sun Prairie Area School District on January 16. Sandra has also been nominated for a Life Changer of Year Award. The 15 winners have not yet been selected. Five of those will be Grand Prize Finalists who will be flown to Hawaii in May for the ceremony at which the Grand Prize winner will be announced. We'll remain optimistic that Sandra will be a finalist. How lucky we are to have great people like Sandra involved in WAMLE and middle level education. Please join us in congratulating Sandra!
WAMLE is excited to welcome three new members to our board!
Maggie McHugh is a Teacher/Advisor at La Crosse Design Institute, a project-based charter middle school for the School District of La Crosse. During that time, she has guided 6th, 7th, and 8th graders as a STEM and Humanities educator as well as personal project advisor. Additionally, she has taught a course for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in middle level pedagogy. Maggie finds working with pre-service educators to instill a passion for teaching middle level learners rewarding. Maggie is excited to bring a fresh perspective based on passion and energy for teaching middle level learners to WAMLE.
Lisa Koenecke is a Professor at Lakeland University. She was honored to serve as a middle school counselor for Seven years at River Bluff Middle School in Stoughton. She loved her time as a middle school counselor and stayed at that level even when asked to move back to the high school. She has expertise in social emotional learning skills, career goals, academic planning and serving marginalized populations especially those identifying as LGBTQ+.
Eugene Pitchford is an Assistant Professor at Concordia University-Wisconsin. He is passionate about helping educators become equipped to meet the challenging demands of being successful. His personal teaching experiences revolved around teaching middle school in an urban public school environment. As a school administrator of K-8 schools, he based his success on how well middle students achieved throughout the school year. As a professor, he has organically connected with students that want to become middle school teachers. He is an expert in middle school education, public education, and urban education and is driven to help all educators understand the power of having mentors.
As summer approaches and the school year ends, we shift our attention toward planning for the upcoming school year and thinking about ways to make our schools and districts even better. What new programs or materials do we need? What technology or devices do we need to purchase or update? Can we adjust the school schedule (bell schedule) allowing for more instructional time or flexibility? What academic areas are we succeeding with and which areas do we need to improve? How do we decide what to purchase, what areas we need to improve or what to celebrate? We look at and analyze data – all sorts of data.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.