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2019 Wisconsin Teachers of the Year

Monday, June 4, 2018

Each year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recognizes exemplary teachers representing elementary, middle, and high school levels, and special services. In five separate surprise announcements in May, State Superintendent Tony Evers congratulated the 2019 Wisconsin Teachers of the Year. They are:

  • Elementary School Teacher of the Year, Liz Gulden, kindergarten teacher at Willson elementary School in Baraboo
  • Middle School Teacher of the Year, Maggie McHugh, sixth-grade teacher, and adviser at the La Crosse Design Institute
  • High School Teacher of the Year, Sarahí Monterrey, English Learner teacher at Waukesha North High School
  • High School Teacher of the Year, Benjamin Grignon, teacher of traditional Menominee crafts at Menominee Indian High School in Keshena
  • Special Services Teacher of the Year, Michael Wilson, school counselor at St. Croix Falls High School

A new video showcases each event, with footage from the surprise assemblies and brief interviews with State Superintendent Tony Evers.


Each teacher of the year shares some of the most salient aspects of their practice in the video. Most of these practices include leveraging academics in ways that connect students’ lives, cultures, and concerns inside and outside of the classroom.

Sarahi Monterrey says, “it’s not just the academics, it’s the well-rounded individuals that we want to help foster them to be.”

Ben Grignon describes the power behind connecting content with culture and language. “Being able to do art and sit with my students, and once they know how to do anything, then I can start talking to them. We talk about culture, we talk about all different kinds of things.”

Wisconsin Teachers of the Year are selected from current Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship Award winners through an additional scoring process.

This fall, the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee will convene to interview all five Teachers of the Year, and then select one of them to represent Wisconsin in the National Teacher of the Year program.