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WI Teachers of the Year

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Meet the 2021-22 Teachers of the Year

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Wisconsin’s five Teachers of the Year for the 2021-22 school year are

Tarah Fedenia, recognized for leadership in the School District of New Berlin, currently continuing leadership in Milwaukee Public Schools: Fedenia is a speech language pathologist for the district with a decade of experience in education. In addition to her work as a bilingual (Spanish) SLP, Fedenia was previously a staff member at the Friendship House in Milwaukee, a transitional women and children’s shelter, and was an instructor for children living at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission’s Joy House. Her educational philosophy, as noted in her application, is to “provide support to those who need it the most.”

Kabby Hong, Verona Area High School, Verona Area School District: Hong is an English teacher at the high school with 20 years of experience in education. A National Board Certified Teacher, Hong has given several presentations for The New York Times on argumentative writing and boasts awards from Stanford University and the University of Chicago for his effectiveness as a teacher. In his application, Hong defined the term “achievement” as striving to help his students “find their voice and become a better version of themselves.”

Anna Miller, Harmony Elementary School, School District of Milton: Miller is a speech language pathologist for Pre-K to third grade for the school and has 25 years of experience in education. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller created and donated more than 250 facemasks for those in her community. Among her many contributions, Miller created an innovative play-based preschool speech program for 3-year-olds. In her application, Miller said she measures her work as a SLP by the statement, “All children do well when they can.”

Eric Mumm, Lancaster High School, Lancaster Community School District: Mumm is a technology and engineering teacher at the high school and has nine years of experience in education. Mumm was previously identified by the DPI as a 2020 Wisconsin Educator of Promise and was invited to the Wisconsin Educator Leadership Rendezvous. He also serves as the National Honor Society advisory for the high school. Mumm said in his application that his goal as a teacher is to “help students develop and retain a diverse and essential toolkit for anything beyond high school, from everyday life skills to college to the workforce.”

Patricia Zemke, John Muir Middle School and Horace Mann Middle School, Wausau School District: Zemke is a sixth-grade health teacher with 26 years of experience in education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and serves on the district’s Mental Health and Wellness Parent Advisory team. In her application, Zemke said she aims to create an environment “where students feel safe to share their dreams, a classroom where students develop empathy to learn from and inspire one another, develop grit to keep striving, and where they develop skills that empower them to become their best self.”

Congratulations to Kabby Hong, WI representative in the 2022 National Teacher of the Year Program

photo of Kabby Hong

“Kabby is an exemplary teacher who finds ways to make a difference in the lives of his students,” State Superintendent Jill Underly said. “As a Korean-American immigrant, Kabby worked diligently to learn and understand English as a child. I have no doubt that his own learning experiences as an English learner provided him that unique window into the subject he now excels in teaching. He is incredibly deserving of this high honor, and I know he will do a fantastic job representing Wisconsin on a national stage.” See Kabby's bio above.

As Wisconsin’s National Teacher of the Year representative, Hong will receive $6,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation and will participate alongside representatives from other states in various professional learning opportunities provided by the Council of Chief State School Officers. For more information on the program, visit CCSSO’s website.