2015 Award Theme: Literacy

Distinguished Educators of the Year

Reuben and Mildred Harpole

Reuben and Mildred have dedicated themselves to
advancing teaching and learning for over 50 years. They have been catalysts in improving teaching in high poverty schools, serving as mentors for underserved students, transforming neighborhoods to support African American children and families, and launching mentoring and scholarship programs. Dr. Alan Shoho, Dean, UW-Milwaukee School of Education states, “The results of their work are like ripples that keep going out in a pool of water…we will never know how many lives are better because of their dedication… They’ve made a career of putting wings on other people’s dreams.”


Advanced Career Award

Kimberly Stein, Messmer High School, Milwaukee

Kimberly teaches 12th grade English and is a Reading Specialist at Messmer High School. She earned a degree from Marquette University and a Reading Specialist certificate from Cardinal Stritch University. According to her Principal, Todd Willems, she is an “expert in her content area, a collaborator, and the creator of a school-wide reading program.” One of her students noted that Kimberly “is one of the most caring and motivational teachers that I have ever come across in my entire educational career.”


Early Career Award

Dana Poepsel, St. Rita of Cascia School, Racine

Dana teaches middle-school Language Arts and Literature classes at St. Rita School and received her degree from Alverno College. Her Principal, Diana Lesnjak, says that Dana uses state-of-the-art instructional strategies to reach a wide range of learners and has “raised the standards-based competency and fluency levels of every single one of her students.”


Honorable Mentions

Margaret Platten, St. Eugene School, Fox Point

Margaret currently serves as Director of Learning Support at St. Eugene School and received her degree from Marquette University. Margaret’s Principal, Rebecca Jones, notes that “she is patient, has high expectations, and is encouraging.” One parent notes that her daughter, once a reluctant reader, “now brings a book with her everywhere and walks down the grocery store aisles reading her book!”


Lauren Schimmels, Pius XI Catholic High School, Milwaukee

Lauren Schimmels is an English teacher at Pius XI Catholic High School and received her degree from Marquette University. She is described by her nominator, President of Pius XI High School, Melinda Skrade, as a “hard-working teacher with inventive and creative approaches to student learning.” Lauren has also led efforts to begin a Literacy Center that will open for students in fall 2015.

Celebrate Teachers & Teaching Banner

Quick Links


Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee

Dr. Freda Russell, Co-Chair, EDGM
Dean, College of Education & Leadership
Cardinal Stritch University

Celebrate Teaching Event Info

Awards Ceremony
October 10, 2018
Cardinal Stritch University
Doors Open at 5 p.m.

Dr. Marna Boyle, Cardinal Stritch University
Early Career Educator Award, Special Education

Dr. Marian Graeven Peter, Cardinal Stritch University
Advanced Career Educator Award, Special Education

Calley Hostad, Marquette University
Champion of Education Award

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