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        page 4                                                                                                 Electronic Edition:

        Brian Collins Selected as Wisconsin’s 2024 National Teacher of the Year Representative

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                                  members. A video and photos from the ceremony   Outside the classroom, Collins helped found   National Teacher of the Year is selected from the
                                  can be found on the DPI’s Facebook page.  Unity’s  Ojibwe  Language  revitalization  Club,   group and travels nationally and internationally
                                      “I am so very honored to represent our state   has  coached  football  and  powerlifting,  and  has   as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching
                                  on  the  national  level  as  Wisconsin’s  National   chaired  the  Professional  Staff  Development   profession. For more information on the program,
                                  Teacher of the Year representative,” Collins said.   Committee.  He  continues  his  passion  for  birds   visit the CCSSO’s website.
                                  “Good  teaching  and  learning  ultimately  comes   and  photography  every  summer  as  a  contract
                                  from trust, teamwork, and a sense of safety as we   biologist working all over Wisconsin for the Wis-
                                  build  strong  relationships  in  the  classroom  and   consin Department of Natural resources, which
                                  across the school community. I love seeing edu-  he shares in his classroom.
                                  cation at work in the quality of a person’s life and   As Wisconsin’s National Teacher of the Year
                                  in the strength of the community. I am eager and   representative, Collins will participate alongside
                                  excited to serve as our state’s representative, both   other state representatives in various professional
                                  as a teacher and as a lifelong learner.”  learning opportunities provided by the CCSSO. A

        another Round of applause to These four Exceptional Educators

            In  addition  to  Unity  School  District’s
        Brian  Collins,  four  other  educators  were
        selected  as  2024  Wisconsin  Teachers  of  the
        Year. Congratulations to these teachers!

                                                                                                                        Katelyn Winkel-Simmerman
                                                                                                                           Mathematics teacher at
                                                                                                                      Cedar Grove-Belgium Middle School
                                                                                                                      Cedar Grove-Belgium School District

               Saghar Homayounpour                                                                                     Winkel-Simmerman  has  taught  math  at
               Computer science teacher,                                                                           Cedar Grove-Belgium Middle School for over
              New Berlin West High School                                                                          six years. By building relationships with stu-
              School District of New Berlin                                                                        dents, she successfully finds innovative ways
                                                                                                                   to reach and teach all students and help them
            Homayounpour  has  grown West’s  com-                                                                  learn and grow as individuals.
        puter  science  program  to  serve  more  than   Claudia Heller de Messer       Rachel Kumferman               As  the  advisor  for  the  school’s  Student
        200 students annually, exposing students and   English as a second language teacher at   School social worker at    Council  and  a  variety  of  committees,  she
        developing  their  skills  in  this  continually   Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts  McKinley Elementary School  works  with  students  to  plan  events  and
        evolving field. She also founded the school’s   Milwaukee Public Schools      Wauwatosa School District    provide meaningful opportunities beyond the
        successful CyberPatriot Club and is a mentor                                                               classroom, which have a positive effect on the
        teacher who supports novice computer science   An  ESL  specialist,  Heller  de  Messer   Kumferman  has  worked  for  the  Wau-  school and community.
        teachers  with  one-on-one  support  as  they   works  with  110  English  learners  at  Parkside   watosa  School  District  for  22  years  and  has   She said her nomination let her reflect on
        begin their teaching experience.    who, altogether, speak 19 languages (includ-  served  as  the  District’s  McKinney-Vento   her career as a classroom teacher and special-
            “Saghar is an instructor who, when stu-  ing English) and live in 10 ZIP codes across   Homeless Liaison since 2011. Kumferman has   ist, and “determine the learning that I need to
        dents have had the opportunity to work with   Milwaukee.  The  languages  spoken  include   deep expertise in social work and counseling,   do going forward. receiving this recognition
        her, they respect, understand, and grow with   Burmese, French, Karen, the Somali dialect of   but also contributes her talents to the school   makes me feel appreciated for the work I have
        her passion for her subject and for learning in   Maay Maay, Pashto, rohingya, Spanish, and   crisis team and equity team, and she serves as   done and inspired to continue it.”
        general,” New Berlin West principal Michael   Swahili. Many of her students and their fami-  a  PBIS  (positive  behavior  interventions  and
        Fesenmaier  said.  “Saghar  thrives  on  chal-  lies are recent immigrants or refugees, some   supports) Tier Two coach, and much more.
        lenge,  willingly  seeking  what  is  necessary   of whom have been raised in refugee camps.  “My driving force has always been pre-
        to grow and succeed, consistently taking the   “I love working with newcomers who are   vention,  and  to  help  break  down  barriers  so
        path that is best for her students and learning.   so determined to learn English. It’s just such   kids can learn,” said Kumferman at her sur-
        She knows this comes through hard work and   a rewarding job, too,” Heller de Messer said.   prise ceremony. “I’m sure I’ll break down a
        willingly  engages  with  the  task  of  continual   “Everybody learns it. It’s just a matter of time.   little bit later and have a lot of tears, but they
        growth for all.”                    I  get  to  reap  some  beautiful  benefits  [from   are tears of gratitude. I mean, just seeing all
                                            watching their growth].”            the kids, seeing all the staff.”
                                                                                   Seeing and feeling that love, Kumferman
                                                                                said, serves as a reminder of why she goes to
                                                                                work every day: “Kids are my passion, always
                                                                                have been, and being in an elementary school.”
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