Oshkosh Area School District recognizes Celebrate Education award and grant recipients

posted Mar 22, 2019, 8:33 AM by Katie Nieman   [ updated Mar 22, 2019, 8:38 AM ]
The Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) is pleased to celebrate the grant and award recipients recognized during the 2019 Celebrate Education event, hosted by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Recognition and grant funding included the Elementary Teacher Excellence Awards, Celebrate Education Grants, OASD Education Foundation Grants, Edward and Belle Rudoy Endowment Fund Awards, Edward and Belle Rudoy Technology Grant, and the Spirit of Education Award. 

Celebrate Education is an annual event honoring local teachers, principals, coaches and volunteers for their continuous hard work and dedication to the students of Oshkosh. During the event, grants are awarded to exceptional public and private school educators for special programs they conduct in the classroom, on the field, and after school. This year’s Celebrate Education event awarded over $53,000 in grants to local educators. The event was sponsored by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, Oshkosh Area School District, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, the Edward and Bell Rudoy Endowment Fund, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, and UWO College of Education and Human Services.

UW-Oshkosh Elementary Teacher Excellence Award

The following OASD elementary teachers were recognized as UW-Oshkosh Elementary Teacher Excellence Award recipients. The award has been designed to be used for professional development or purchasing supplies to enhance classroom activities. 

Jefferson Elementary School - Alyssa Rumlow
Rumlow is a first-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary. She is an enthusiastic, reflective learner who diligently implements best practices; and she shares her love of learning not only with her first-grade students but also with educators within the district and community.

Lakeside Elementary School - April Davis
Davis is a second-grade teacher at Lakeside Elementary. She is gifted at knowing each child’s individual and unique needs and supporting them socially, emotionally, and academically; and her commitment to the field of education is inspiring.


Celebrate Education Grants
(*OASD Education Foundation Grant Winners)

The following OASD individuals and schools were recognized and awarded Celebrate Education funds to complete a variety of impactful and innovative programs for OASD students. 

Carl Traeger Elementary School - Julie Runde
Runde’s project, Summer Book Fairy, will allow the school to send students books from the book fairy during the summer months to encourage reading while away from school.

Carl Traeger Elementary School - Jennifer Schmidt
Schmidt’s project, Ukuleles in the Elementary Music Classroom, will foster music literacy and allow students to explore different elements of music.

Carl Traeger Elementary School - Emily Sopata
Sopata’s project, Multicultural Books in the Classroom, will allow the school to purchase literature that represents the culturally diverse classrooms and home environments in the country and across the globe.

*Emmeline Cook Elementary School - Kari Koerner and Faye VanDamme
Koerner and VanDamme’s project, Books on Wheels, will provide students with the opportunity to choose free books to take home to read and add to their home libraries during the summer. Students will also have the opportunity to listen to stories, play games, and converse with school staff and community volunteers during the Books on Wheels program dates. 

*Jefferson Elementary School - Wanda Kern
Kern’s project, From Playdough to Plato: Creating STEM Bins, will help to introduce students to the engineering design process through simple STEM activities. The STEM bins will provide students with hands-on experiences to explore and engineer through play.

*Merrill Middle School - Lisa Graf
Graf’s project, Getting Fish Out of Trees, will allow the school to purchase supplies for Genius Hour. Genius Hour is a once-a-week student-directed, inquiry-based learning research project that takes place throughout the school year. In the past, students have learned new languages, explored new cultures, and designed self-sufficient cities. 

Oaklawn Elementary School - Matt Callahan
Callahan’s project, Integrating Robotics and Coding into the Elementary Classroom to Ensure Students are Future Ready, will provide students with the opportunity to think critically and creatively to solve problems through coding.

Oakwood Elementary School - Whitney Stenbroten
Stenbroten’s program, Teaching Social and Emotional Learning and Growing Students’ Inner Voice, will help teach children to self-regulate their emotions and develop their inner voice using the Conscious Discipline program.

Oshkosh North High School - Anne Scott
Scott’s project, A Soft Landing, will create a place for students who are at risk to accomplish making connections, cool off, learn new skills, and more during the school day.

*Oshkosh West High School - Jennifer Olivares and Angie Rodriguez
Olivares and Rodriguez’s project, Spanish 4 Children’s Books, will allow Level 4 Spanish students to write and illustrate a children’s book in their Challenges and Change Unit. This grant will allow the students to use a website to actually publish their final illustrated stories. These stories will then be shared with English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students in the District, libraries in other school districts, and perhaps surrounding public libraries.

*Oshkosh West High School - Gillian Pakula
Pakula’s project, CARE Days, will provide funds to help support the annual OASD CARE Days. CARE days stands for Celebrating Ability Rallying Everyone. This is an annual inclusive Oshkosh Area School District K-12 track meet and carnival for students receiving Adapted Physical Education and provides an opportunity for students to engage with their regular education peers.

Oshkosh West High School - Stephanie Polak
Polak’s program, Games Based Learning, will allow the school to purchase board games for students with intellectual disabilities. The program will also pair these students with students without disabilities in a fun and engaging way.

*Read Elementary School - Meghan Neveau
Neveau’s project, Summer Math Camp, will create an opportunity for students to develop math skills during the summer, helping them to be better prepared for the following school year. 

*Roosevelt Elementary School - Pamela Gerrits
Gerrits was awarded two grants. Her first project, Diverse Literature to Enrich Reading, will help to develop students’ reading skills using motivational take-home story kits. Her second project, Share Your Thoughts: Using Technology to Improve Communication of Higher Order Thinking, will support the development of oral language skills used to demonstrate students’ reading comprehension.

Roosevelt Elementary School - Abbie Sliwicki
Sliwicki’s project, High-Quality Books for Kindergarteners, will allow the school to increase the number of books available to students in the classroom library.

Second Chance - Mike Kania
Kania’s project, Knowledge Matters Simulations Curriculum, will allow the school to purchase a game-like simulation program to help teach business, marketing, personal finance, and must-have life skills.  

*Shapiro STEM Academy and Oakwood Elementary School - Valerie Verhunce
Verhunce was awarded two grants. Her first project, Dashing to Empower Hearts and Minds, will allow the Shapiro STEM Academy to purchase 12 DASH robots. Students will be able to learn about robotics and coding - helping them to be successful in the technology-rich world of tomorrow. Her second project, Creating Engineers, Designers, Inventors and Scientists in 3D, will allow Oakwood Elementary School to purchase 15 3D pens for students to learn about engineering, creating, blueprints, collaboration, and 3D printing. 

Smith Elementary School - Jan Wagner
Wagner’s project, Improving Learning Through Classic Games, will allow the school to incorporate card games and board games into recess time in order to improve students’ social-emotional skills of taking turns, showing patience, and being a good sport.

South Park Middle School - Tom Anfinson
Anfinson’s project, Battle of the Books, will allow the school to build up the supply of books available to students during the annual school-wide battle of the books competition.

South Park Middle School - Kathleen Stephany
Stephany’s project, STEM Circuit Playgrounds, will allow the school to purchase a Circuit Playground Express device, which will provide students with an introduction to programming and electronics. 

Webster Stanley Middle School - Angie Kese
Kese’s project, Middle School Students Need New Classroom Books to Devour, will allow the school to purchase new books for students to read and discuss. 

*Webster Stanley Middle School - Julie Reichenberger 
Reichenberger’s program, Hobunch Club, will allow the school to continue a lunchtime hobby group during the school’s lunch/recess hour once a week. Led by a teacher, the group provides sixth-graders with the opportunity to learn and explore new hobbies each week that do not involve video games.

*Webster Stanley Middle School - Kelly Schweiner
Schweiner’s project, Healthy Hearts in Physical Education, will allow the school to fit each physical education (PE) student with an IHT Spirit Heart Rate Monitor that they can wear daily in PE class. This initiative will help educate students on the impact that physical activity has on their body and give them the means to track their healthy heart zones to lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Edward and Belle Rudoy Endowment Fund Award Recipients

The following OASD individuals and schools were recognized as Edward and Belle Rudoy Endowment Fund Award Recipients. 

Perry Tipler Middle School - Jeff Erdmann
Erdmann has been teaching for 11 years and is the sixth and seventh-grade literacy teacher at Perry Tipler Middle School. He has been able to develop a love for reading with the students in his classroom. He is a very popular teacher among students and parents as he is able to motivate the most reluctant learner by building confidence in his students. 

South Park Middle School - Tara Lipinski
Lipinski has been teaching for 15 years and is the sixth-grade literacy and social studies teacher at South Park Middle School. She truly understands how middle school students develop intellectually, socially and emotionally, and plans her instruction with the unique middle school child in mind. She usually has many students, current and past, that want to hang out in her room at lunch because she relates to students so well. 

South Park Middle School - Debbie Heinen
Heinen has been teaching for 15 years and is a sixth-grade math teacher at South Park Middle School. Teaching math, knowing how to teach and assessing students are things that she excels at. She differentiates for her students by providing visuals, manipulatives, multiplication tables, skeleton notes, tables and charts, by using technology and by allowing verbal answers for those students that struggle with writing. 

Carl Traeger Middle School  - Melanie Wroblewski 
Wroblewski has been teaching for 11 years and is the sixth through eighth-grade family and consumer science teacher. She is passionate, innovative and is committed to student success. She is currently piloting proposed curriculum changes in the family and consumer science program and also heads up the Kids in the Kitchen program through the Oshkosh Recreation Department.

Carl Traeger Middle School  - Erin Tedesco
Tedesco has been teaching sixth through eighth-grade chorus for six years at Carl Traeger Middle School. She is extraordinarily dedicated to creating opportunities for all students in order for them to grow and showcase their talents. In addition to putting on the seventh and eighth-grade musical, she also puts on a mini-musical for sixth-graders so they have an opportunity to show their talents as well.

Advanced Learning Program (ALPs) - Jamie Horn
Horn teaches sixth through eighth-grade and has eight years of experience. A visit to her classroom reveals students working collaboratively in groups as they push each other’s critical thinking ability. She also gives up large amounts of her personal time to make sure her students are involved and active members of the community.

Webster Stanley Middle School - Sarah Warren
Warren is the seventh-grade literacy teacher at Webster Stanley Middle School and has been teaching for 14 years. She is a dedicated teacher who believes in offering an inclusive setting in her classroom. She also works closely with the special education teachers to provide necessary accommodations or modification to help all students be successful. 

Webster Stanley Middle School - Margie Metcalf 
Metcalf has been teaching for 26 years, with the past six years at Webster Stanley Middle School. She is the school’s speech and language therapist and strives to build students confidence and makes learning fun. She also serves as a mentor for at-risk students, using her own time during the day to eat lunch with them to build a positive relationship and give them another adult in their life they can trust. 

Webster Stanley Middle School - Bill Scheuermann
Scheuermann has been teaching for 15 years and is an eighth-grade science teacher at Webster Stanley Middle School. He is a dynamic teacher and interacts with students in a positive way and routinely encourages his students to participate in class by throwing around a conversation ball. He also creates hands-on classroom environments for students to explore land formations, earth science, and space.

Edward and Belle Rudoy Technology Grant Award

South Park Middle School was awarded the Edward and Belle Rudoy Technology Grant Award. The grant will be used to purchase 30 virtual reality/augmented reality devices for social studies, sciences and other disciplines to use. A 360-degree camera will also be purchased for teachers to create their own virtual experiences. Students will be able to explore places they would never be able to visit without ever leaving the classroom.

Spirit of Education Award

The OASD also announced and recognized the 2019 Spirit of Education Award. This year’s award was presented to Devon Hudak, Director of Communication for ARC Contracting. Under the direction of Hudak, the company embarked on a fundraising campaign to ensure that no area students go through the school day hungry. The fundraiser took place during the ARC Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in August 2018, with support from the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau and other local businesses. The fundraising campaign resulted in a $13,000 donation to the Oshkosh Area School District food service program. Since November 1, 2018, the funds have been used to cover the cost of over 26,000 reduced-priced meals for individual students. In addition to ARC's donation, the company continues to help other organizations and individuals understand the need that exists in the Oshkosh community. From educating their own colleagues to creating partnerships with local businesses and organizations, Devon and the entire ARC family remains committed to finding ways to develop and encourage sustainable financial support for this cause.

About the OASD Education Foundation: The OASD Education Foundation strives to engage the community in supporting Oshkosh public schools and is committed to providing resources for innovation, fine arts, athletics, scholarships, and other resources to enhance students' lives. For more information or to make a donation, contact Julie Dumke, OASD Education Foundation Director, at julie.dumke@oshkosh.k12.wi.us or 920.424.7000 ext. 6176. To learn more visit www.oasdeducationfoundation.org