Area teachers recognized for professional excellence

Teachers in the Ripon Area School District and the Lac du Flambeau School District have been honored as outstanding educators by Ripon College and the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Rebecca Shackleton, a 2013 graduate of Ripon College, who is a first-grade teacher in the Lac de Flambeau Elementary School, and Paul Wiegel, an English teacher at Lumen Charter and Ripon High School, were recognized at an awards tea sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (WACTE) and the Meemic Foundation on April 2 in Madison.

Shackelton 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.

Larry Ouimette, superintendent of Lac du Flambeau School District, said about Shackleton: “Rebecca Shackleton is an outstanding teacher. We were very impressed with her when we interviewed her two years ago. She was well-versed in the most effective research-based instructional practices and had a maturity about her which is rare in a first-year teacher candidate. She has proven to be a well-rounded, talented, teacher and a rising star in the field of education.

“As a first year teacher, she immediately accepted the challenge of co-teaching in first grade in a personalized learning setting. Now in their second year together, Rebecca and her co-teacher have experienced great success in their short time together, and their classroom is a model for other teachers in our building as well as for teachers from the other districts. Over the past two years, they have taken the initiative to set up numerous meetings after school to collaborate with other teachers on best practices.
“Rebecca is a gifted individual who continually makes things better than they were before she was involved. She possesses excellent interpersonal skills which have allowed her to influence in a positive way, the educational program throughout the district. Everyone that comes in contact with Rebecca knows that she can be counted on to follow through on tasks in a professional manner.”

Wiegel received the Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award, presented for a sustained pattern of mentoring pre-service educators for at least five years. The award is given based on abilities like modeling professional responsibility and effective classroom management. Wiegel has served as a mentor for numerous clinical students and student teachers from Ripon College.

The Educational Studies Department at Ripon College nominated Wiegel based on comments from Ripon’s student-teachers: “Paul is an excellent educator with an easy-going personality, which is the perfect combination for a cooperating teacher. He has a balanced perspective on most educational issues and is respected by both his colleagues and his students.”
Wiegel strikes the perfect balance between setting high expectations and offering support to the pre-service teachers with whom he works. He is National Board Certified Teacher, and his experience with that process is helpful to student-teachers as they complete the edTPA. Student teachers have commented that they feel fortunate to have worked with such a fine cooperating teacher.

This is the fourth year WACTE has sponsored the Early Career and Pre-Service Educator Mentor Awards. Ripon College is a member of WACTE, a professional organization composed of the Wisconsin institutions that prepare individuals for teacher licensure.


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