skip to content

Institute for Learning Partnership

Educators honored for professional development success

Wisconsin honored some of its newest National Board Certified Teachers over the weekend, celebrating the educators who have completed one of the most stringent and thorough professional development programs for teachers in the country.

This past year more than 100 Wisconsin educators attained certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. National Board certification has a significant link to teacher effectiveness; a study found that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than students taught by other teachers.

Newly certified teachers gathered over the weekend in Middleton to celebrate their professional development achievements while those starting the process met with mentors.

In 1999, Wisconsin had two National Board Certified Teachers in classrooms. Today, there are more than 780, ranking 18th in the nation.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Nancy Schwartz, regional outreach director for NBPTS.

Schwartz and WEAC Vice President Betsy Kippers helped honor the newly certified NBCTs over the weekend.

“This accomplishment shows how dedicated Wisconsin’s educators are to improving instruction for our state’s students,” Kipper said.

WEAC IPD Consultant Ron Jetty; WEAC Vice President Betsy Kippers; Oconto Falls teachers JoAnn Miller and Candice Behnke; and Nancy Schwartz, regional outreach director for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, join a celebration of newly certified teachers.

UW-Green Bay lands $186,000 grant to serve K-12 music educators

UW-Green Bay has received a two-year, $186,000 grant to create the UW-Green Bay Music Education Institutes. Prof. Mark Kiehn, Education and Music, wrote the grant  and directs the program.

Funding will support 30 professional music teacher/participants attending the institutes for two years. The first institute session is scheduled for Aug. 1-12, 2011. The project is funded by the Wisconsin Improving Teacher Quality (WITQ) Program.

The need for creating the institutes was identified through collaborative meetings over the past two years with many professional music teachers and administrators in Northeast Wisconsin.  The teachers were asked what they need for professional development, and identified topics necessary to advance student learning, teaching pedagogy, and the research agenda/initiatives in music education.

Wisconsin preK-12 music educators holding a current teaching license in music areas (vocal, instrumental, general) seeking the opportunity to apply new ideas to improve music teaching will be invited to apply on a new website in March 2011 for acceptance to the institutes.

Green Bay principal Claudia Orr receives national and local awards

Claudia Orr, principal at Eisenhower Elementary School in Green Bay, has recently received well-earned honors nationally and locally.

In November, Orr was the Wisconsin recipient of a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation Educator Award. And in January she was honored by the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce as a young professional who is improving the community’s quality of life.

In announcing Orr’s award the Milken Foundation noted: “Her strong leadership has led to extraordinary gains … Her school made Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), with 90 percent of third- and fourth-graders and 97 percent of fifth-graders performing at adequate levels across all subject areas.”

A former bilingual education teacher in her fourth year as principal at Eisenhower Elementary School, Orr said she knew she would face a challenge leading a school in which most students are growing up in day to day poverty, but she was undaunted.

“I take pride in these achievements, but mostly I feel pride for our students and staff,” she said. “For many of our students there aren’t enough role models. So we need to inspire them. We need to demonstrate that we care and that we know they can succeed.”

Orr is the fourth Green Bay district educator to capture the prestigious award. Previous local winners included Green Bay East Principal Terry Fondow (1999), Doty elementary teacher Marcy Levine (2000), and Nicolet Elementary Principal Tammy Van Dyke (2002).

Unlike many awards, there is no formal application or nomination process for the Milken Educators. Rather, each state’s department of education appoints a blue ribbon committee that recommends candidates based up strict criteria. The Milken Family Foundation makes the final selection.

Orr is also a member of the inaugural class of the Future 15, by Current, the young professional network of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. The Future 15 are young professionals who excel in their respective field and are having a positive impact on the community’s growth, prosperity and quality of life.

“I believe in ‘no excuses’ leadership,” she says. “We don’t raise performance by lowering the bar we raise performance by building trust and finding a way to motivate their drive to succeed.”

PDC Cohort X includes members from seven school districts

GREEN BAY, Feb. 7 – The Institute for Learning Partnership at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay welcomed 12 educators taking the initial steps toward Accomplished Educator Professional Development Certification.

Orientation activities were held Friday, Feb. 4 at Mary Ann Cofrin Hall for the 12 members of Cohort X, who represent seven school districts in Northeastern Wisconsin. PDC Coordinator Kim Desotell and PDC Program Assistant Patti Leary led the orientation program.

On Saturday, Feb. 5, they returned for their first PDC seminar, which included an Introduction to Propositions and Standards from Sandy Bader, a PDC graduate who serves as a PDC facilitator, helping to guide and mentor candidates. Cohort X members also received a presentation by Reference and Instructional Services Library Renee Ettinger, and were teamed with COG facilitators.

Cohort X includes three educators from Kiel High School, the first participants from that school district.

The PDC is a unique, self-paced, and individualized professional development program. The focus of the experience is based on student learning as well as professional growth for educators. It provides a responsive and practical structure for continuing professional growth and improved student learning.

Candidates work in collegial opportunity groups to develop and master their own individual learning plans, action research projects, and portfolio submissions. The PDC program is guided by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The Department of Public Instruction recognizes the PDC for 5 year re-licensure of educators in Wisconsin.

The 12 educators in Cohort X and their schools are:

Jodi Bergner, Westwood Elementary, West De Pere School District

Penny Smits, De Pere Middle School, Unified School District of De Pere

Georgianne Bravick, De Pere Middle School, Unified School District of De Pere

Kathryn Grawien, De Pere Middle School, Unified School District of De Pere

Jennifer Beringer, Kiel High School, Kiel School District

Erin Menhennick, Kiel High School, Kiel School District

Gretchen Mineau, Kiel High School, Kiel School District

Dana Bongle, Lincoln High School, Manitowoc School District

Jamie Glandt, L.B. Clarke Middle School, Two Rivers School District

Brett Meulbroek, S.A.I.L. Program, Sheboygan Area School District

Katrina Miller-Riesterer, Edison Middle School, Green Bay Area School District

Mark Dupuy, Chance for Change, Boys & Girls Club East, Green Bay

The Institute for Learning Partnership was founded in 1997-98 to focus on educational excellence with special attention to the PK-16 learner. The Institute brings together the resources of the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and northeast Wisconsin’s school districts, businesses, and community leadership. It was the first PDC to be endorsed by the Professional Development Academy of the Wisconsin Education Association.

Eight northeastern Wisconsin school districts currently offer recognition and compensation for the PDC. These districts are De Pere, Sheboygan, Pulaski, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Two Rivers, West De Pere and Kiel. There are more than 230 PDC graduates in these eight districts.

For more information about Cohort X, the PDC program, or the Institute for Learning Partnership, call 920 465-5555; or