Susan Richardson, a third-grade teacher at Milwaukee German Immersion School, was recently named the 2021 Wisconsin representative for the National Teacher of the Year program.
Just last month, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor made a surprise virtual announcement to the five Wisconsin Teachers of the Year. After interviews and a selection process, Richardson was chosen to represent Wisconsin in the National Teacher of the Year program.
The road to becoming Wisconsin Teacher of the year begins with the Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship Program. If nominated for a fellowship, a teacher can complete the application. Applications of teachers selected for Kohl Fellowships are then put through a process to determine the Wisconsin Teachers of the Year. The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Inc. is currently accepting nominations for Herb Kohl teacher fellowships and principal leadership awards. Visit the Herb Kohl Foundation website for more information on making a nomination.
2021 Wisconsin Teachers of the Year
Susan Richardson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in German in 1996 from Carthage College, in Kenosha as well as her middle/secondary teaching license for German and social studies. At Seattle University, Seattle, Washington, Richardson completed her certificate in teaching English as a foreign/second language in 1997. She taught for seven years in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
She also worked in interpreting and translating and began substitute teaching in Milwaukee Public Schools. Later, Richardson earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in German language, linguistics, and literature. After teaching at the Volkshochschule Landkreis Neumarkt, in Bavaria, Germany, in 2011-2012, she returned to Wisconsin and earned her elementary teaching license from Mount Mary University. Richardson is a member of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, Wisconsin Education Association Council, and the American Association of Teachers of German.
In 2018, Richardson was awarded the Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators “Teacher of the Year.” She is currently pursuing her National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading, Language Arts - Early and Middle Childhood, which has cemented her belief that critical reflection is an important process for all educators. Richardson founded Kunst Klub, a volunteer-run after school program, which offers no-cost, hands-on art instruction to students at MGIS. In 2019, she attended a week-long session at Shakerag Workshops, Sewanee, Tennessee, to learn additional strategies and approaches to inspire students through art. She believes art is an equalizer, through which all students can experience success.
Koren Jackson, Milwaukee Transition High School, Milwaukee Public Schools
Koren Jackson is a special education teacher at Transition High School in Milwaukee. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education and health at Carroll College in 1996. Jackson went on to get her post-baccalaureate certification in special education (learning disabilities and emotional behavioral disabilities) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2002 and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in special education from Concordia University in 2012. In 2018, Jackson earned an alternative education certification from Concordia University. She has been working for Milwaukee Public Schools since 1999.
Jackson works closely with the GED Option 2 and Competency-Based Learning (CBL) programs, alternative pathways to graduation in an alternative setting at Transition High School. She directly supports adjudicated youth, teen parents, and students who have dropped out and/or have been expelled from a traditional high school. She utilizes positive relationship-building to assist students who have often discounted themselves to realize the greatness they already have within.
She supervises student volunteers each semester working with the Milwaukee Public Schools Special Olympics Program and encourages her students to work with various community groups and organizations so they are continuously gaining skills necessary to be productive citizens. She is a member of Transition High School’s learning team and serves as the assessment coordinator.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling domestically, attending sporting events, and spending time with family and friends.
Trish Kilpin, PK-12 School Social Worker, Greendale School District
In her 30th year as a Greendale School District School social worker, Trish Kilpin is an educational leader who works to create a culture of hope, health, help-seeking, and connectedness for the students. With a passion to create institutional, systemic change, she strives to “move upstream”, empowering youth and adults with the skills, information, and tools needed to engage their strengths and build resilience when faced with adversity.
Kilpin earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Masters of Science in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was named the Wisconsin School Social Worker of the Year in 1997. She believes that the social, emotional and cognitive facets of learning are deeply linked, and supportive learning environments are rooted in warm, supportive relationships.
She is a committed advocate of comprehensive school safety and serves as a leader on district crisis and safety teams. This work ensures that students feel psychologically, as well as physically safe in schools. She teaches PREPaRE courses around Wisconsin. Her focus on the prevention of and preparedness for a crisis event is balanced with best practices in response and recovery when needed.
Kilpin is active in the development and implementation of, as well as ongoing training for, a Threat Management process in her district. She provides ongoing consultation for threat management teams in Greendale Schools and across Wisconsin. Kilpin also trains and leads in Restorative Processes, Trauma-Informed Care, Psychological First Aid, and she is a Sources of Strength coordinator and trainer.
Brooke Lederman-Kintzle, Brodhead Middle School, Brodhead School District
Brooke Lederman-Kintzle is a cross-categorical special education teacher at Brodhead Middle School in Brodhead, Wisconsin. She also coaches volleyball and basketball at Brodhead High School. Lederman-Kintzle earned her bachelor’s degree in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with dual-certification in regular education and cross-categorical special education. She has her master’s degree in special education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
While attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Lederman-Kintzle also received certifications in applied behavior analysis, autism specialist, and transition specialist. For her work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, she received a Graduate Student of the Year award in 2016. Currently, she is completing her educational leadership degree at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Lederman-Kintzle strives to create inclusive and trauma-sensitive environments at Brodhead Middle School. She has volunteered with groups dedicated to assistive, adaptive, and inclusive practices for children. Within her teaching, she emphasizes the importance of building relationships with students in order to create mutual trust and respect in her classroom. The strong relationships with her students help motivate them to reach their full potential.
Aside from building strong relationships with students, Lederman-Kintzle connects learning to real-life by integrating social, community, and life skills into the curriculum. She has planned and created many community-based learning opportunities for her students to apply skills in real-life scenarios. Lederman-Kintzle uses individualized education, differentiated curriculum, assistive technology, and adaptive tools, and research-based interventions to reach the unique needs of her students.
Derrick Meyer, Amery High School, School District of Amery
Derrick Meyer is an agriscience and driver’s education instructor at Amery High School in Amery, Wisconsin. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls in 1996. He received his master’s in education from Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 2000, and his driver’s education certification in 2016.
Meyer served in the Army Reserve for eight years as a medic and is currently in his 24th year of teaching, including schools in Random Lake, Stevens Point, and sixteen years in Amery.
Meyer is also a successful Future Farmers of America (FFA) Advisor. His teams have earned over 50 State championships and a handful of national championships in speaking contests and career development events. Meyer’s program has produced 10 State FFA officers, including one state FFA president. He is a member of the Polk County Agricultural Education Association, Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators, and the National Association of Agricultural Educators.
He has been a frequent Wisconsin conference presenter for Parliamentary Procedure, The Art of Bonsai, and Innovative and Emerging Technologies in Agriculture. Meyer was on the Department of Public Instruction Curriculum Development Committee, Wisconsin Representative for the National Agriculture Council, State of Wisconsin Board of Directors for FFA (10 times), and is the founder of the first-ever Northwest Wisconsin Virtual Livestock Show.
Meyer’s honors include the State and National Agriscience Teacher of the Year finalist (2000), Portage County Golden Apple Award Winner (2001), and Town of Amery Teacher of the Year finalist (2019).