MADISON — A middle school reading specialist, Sandra Kowalczyk, will received the 2018-19 Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year award in a brief ceremony Jan. 16 during the Patrick Marsh Middle School all staff meeting in Sun Prairie.
State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor will present the award, commending Kowalczyk for her work to bring an international perspective to her classrooms and community. “Developing global competence takes time. Sandra captures and sustains middle school students’ attention through global literature and face-to-face opportunities to learn from people of other cultural backgrounds,” said Stanford Taylor. “She is generous with her time, sharing successful practices with fellow educators here and across the world.”
Fellow teachers, parents, colleagues, friends, or students can nominate a teacher for the Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year Award, which recognizes those who provide high-quality learning opportunities for students and make exemplary contributions to the profession as it relates to global education. In addition to her classroom use of literature to awaken social justice and cultural experiences, Kowalczyk brings international guests to the classroom and school community and facilitates the Go Global Club, an afterschool opportunity for students. A parent who supported her nomination noted that Ms. K prepares students to have the cultural curiosity, understanding, and skills needed to be a young global citizen.
Kowalczyk graduated from Wild Rose High School and traveled to the former Soviet Union at age 17. Since catching the travel-learning bug, she has visited five continents, gaining experiences and insights to share with her students. Her professional commitment to global education brings artists and authors into her classes and community. She builds relationships with schools abroad and shares her work through state, regional, national, and international education events.
To qualify as the Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year, a teacher must cultivate students’ global awareness, promote growth of global competencies, model and engage colleagues in best practices for global learning, and employ innovative approaches to building global knowledge and skills. The Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year is selected from among nominees by the State Superintendent’s International Education Council. The recognition includes a $1,000 honorarium from Madison area Rotary Clubs.
Kowalczyk is a former Wisconsin Middle Level Teacher of the Year and serves on the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Council. She received the Association for Middle Level Education 2018 Educator of the Year Award at the association’s conference last October. She earned National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification in 2009 in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood.
WHO: State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor and Sandra Kowalczyk
WHAT: 2018-19 Global Educator of the Year Award
WHEN: 3 p.m., Wednesday, January 16, 2019
WHERE: Patrick Marsh Middle School, 501 South Bird Street, Sun Prairie
NOTE: More information about international education efforts in Wisconsin can be found on the department’s International Education webpage.