Each year, thousands of Wisconsin teachers across 426 different school districts apply for the Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship.
Of those thousands, only 100 are chosen to be recipients of the grant.
This year, two of those 100 are from our very own district: Al Behrman Elementary School English Language Learners (ELL) specialist Jori Ruff and Baraboo High School science teacher Karen Olson.
“For a district of our size, I am just thrilled that we have two Kohl Teacher Fellowship winners! Karen and Jori represent the amazing work that all of our teachers do to give the students of Baraboo School District every opportunity for success,” said District Administrator Lori Mueller.
The Fellowship involves an intense application process, including receiving nominations by parents, teachers, students, community members, or school district administrators, submitting letters of recommendation from both educators within the district and non-educators, and an official application in which the teacher articulates the following:
- Personal educational philosophy
- Demonstrated ability to inspire students’ love of learning
- Commitment to community
- Unrealized goals for their classroom or professional development
- Positive qualities they see in education, and changes they would like to see made to strengthen and improve teaching
“These two teachers go beyond expectations with their level of commitment, passion, and professionalism,” Administrator Mueller said. “Karen impacts our high school students by teaching them a love and curiosity for science while serving as an instructional mentor for her peers. Jori lives her life to break down barriers for elementary students learning the English language and promotes a culturally responsive environment for all to grow.”
As Kohl Fellowship recipients, Ruff and Olson both received a $3,000 award, as well as $3,000 to use at each of their schools toward the unrealized goals for their classrooms.
Mueller summed up how #BarabooProud we are of our fellowship winners: “These two teachers well-deserve this high-level recognition and celebration from the Baraboo school family!"