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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services will recognize the outstanding contributions of two educators at the upcoming Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) awards ceremony April 8.

Each teacher licensing institution in the state, in association with the WACTE, has the opportunity to select two recipients for educator awards each spring. This year, the College of Education and Human Services is recognizing two exceptional teachers who motivate students to reach their maximum potential.

The Early Career Educator Award is presented to an outstanding educator within the first three years of his/her professional career. The recipient is selected based a combination of the following: positive impact individual has on schools or communities, innovation in designing learning experiences and advocacy for students.

Suzie Simon ’16, will receive the Early Career Educator Award for 2018. Simon is an elementary special education teacher in the Bruce school district.

An excerpt from Simon’s nomination letter provides a brief test

ament to her accomplishments at this early stage of her career: “Suzie works with low-income families and works extremely hard to advocate for her students and do all that she can to increase their chances of success.

“As a special education teacher, Simon works to develop positive relationships with her students. Within her first year of teaching Simon wrote and was awarded a grant on the behalf of six upper elementary students who demonstrated challenges with behavior, self-esteem, communication and were also diagnosed with learning disabilities. The grant will allow them to attend a three-day camp to participate in outdoor education, team building, confidence and so much more.”

UW Oshkosh associate professor Stephanie Bernander stated in her letter of nomination, “Simon has worked with the school to implement CREW, a career readiness education at work program. Popcorn Friday is run by the students and two other special education educators. Students take orders, pop popcorn and deliver the popcorn throughout the school day. Simon’s students expanded their work experience to include helping at the concession stand operations during sporting events. Simon has become an integral part of the school community in a short amount of time. She is most deserving of this award.”

The Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award is presented to an outstanding educator who has demonstrated a sustained pattern of mentoring preservice educators for at least five years. Attributes such as the ability to model professional responsibility, demonstrate evidentiary assessment and effective classroom management and the ability to nurture teacher candidates while developing their capacity to be leaders are considered.

As a second-grade teacher at Zielanis elementary school, Sharon Driessen, a 1994 UW Oshkosh elementary education and a 2000 MSE in curriculum and instruction alumna, is the recipient of the Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award. Driessen is recognized for her long-standing mentoring of preservice teachers from universities throughout the state. Her unwavering support of field experience programs has played an integral part in launching many budding professionals into educators who will be successful in their own classroom.

UW Oshkosh supervisor Suzanne Doemel stated in her letter of nomination: “Driessen is highly respected by her superiors and peers because she embraces the challenge of meeting each student’s social, academic, behavioral and physical needs on a daily basis. Over the years, I have supervised student teachers in her classroom and I can tell you our students are fortunate to be mentored by Driessen. Her extensive content knowledge and instructional practices enhance not only the students within her classroom but also the student teachers whom she shares her classroom.”

WACTE is a professional organization comprised of Wisconsin institutions that prepare students for initial teacher licensure. WACTE is committed to the education of career teachers whose work in classrooms in Wisconsin, the nation and the world will result in robust student learning. To that end, the organization facilitates deep consideration of issues related to teacher effectiveness and student learning and collaborates with organizations and agencies to promote research-based standards and policies for professional educator development.

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