Area teachers recognized for professional excellence

Teachers in the Markesan and Princeton school districts have been honored as outstanding educators by Ripon College and the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE).

Alumnus Marco Rhein ’12, a science teacher in the Markesan Middle/High School; and Dawn Bettler, a kindergarten teacher at Princeton Elementary School, were recognized at an awards tea sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the Meemic Foundation in Madison.

Rhein received the Early Career Educator Award, presented to educators within the first three years of their careers. It is based on their positive effect on schools or communities, their innovation in designing learning experiences and their advocacy for students.

John Koopman, principal at Markesan Middle/High School said, “Our science department curriculum was in need of revamping. Marco provided the leadership to develop a plan to correct the problems. He puts students first. During our daily RtI hour, he met with his students to explain their ACT Aspire scores, what they meant and their importance. As a lunch supervisor, Marco makes a point to go to each table, every day, and have conversations with the students. Every table — every day! He is very deserving of this award.”

Bettler received the Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award, presented to educators who have demonstrated a sustained pattern of mentoring pre-service educators for at least five years. They are selected based on abilities like modeling professional responsibility and effective classroom management.

Bettler has served as a mentor for numerous clinical students and student teachers from Ripon College and as an adjunct professor in the early childhood education program at the College. She was selected to speak at the awards tea as a representative of all of teachers receiving the Mentorship Award.

Jean Rigden, clinical placement coordinator for the Educational Studies Department at Ripon College, nominated Bettler for the Mentorship Award. She said, “Our students appreciate Dawn’s knowledge base, her classroom management skills, and her caring personality. She gives excellent feedback and provides them with a safe, nurturing environment to hone their teaching skills. One student described her placement with Dawn as ‘phenomenal.’ ”

This is the third year that WACTE has sponsored the Early Career and Pre-Service Educator Mentor Awards. More than 180 people attended the awards tea on Sunday, March 13,where 50 teachers from across the state were honored for their professional excellence. The Meemic Foundation sponsored the awards ceremony and keynote speakers.

Ripon College is a member of WACTE, a professional organization comprising the Wisconsin institutions that prepare individuals for teacher licensure. WACTE educator preparation programs offer diversity in size, focus and delivery, but all are designed to prepare quality teachers for Wisconsin’s schools. WACTE is an affiliate of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

For more information, email [email protected] or call 920-748-8386.

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