Crystal Apple winners announced
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry announced its four Crystal Apple Award winners for 2021, surprising the teachers in their classrooms on March 2 & 4.
Among this year’s winners is the first teacher from St. Joseph’s in Stratford to receive the award, Kristie Bangart.
“This is just a wonderful honor for our school, and for myself, and for all of the teachers out there. We’ve had a couple of Teachers of Distinction, but never a Crystal Apple winner. So, I am very honored to take that place,” she said.
Kristie teaches first and second grade, serves as the school’s “lead teacher,” runs the school’s “Accelerated Reader” program, and this year is also serving as the Language Arts teacher for the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades.
She has taught at St. Joseph’s her entire 19-year career. She is a graduate of Viterbo University.
A school new to the Crystal Apple program will be honoring its inaugural winner this year – Randi Stanley of Neillsville High School. Randi has 25 years of teaching experience, the last 23 teaching high school science in Neillsville. She is a graduate of Winona State University, and earned her masters in education from UW-La Crosse in 2006.
After claiming two of the four Crystal Apple awards a year ago, the Pittsville School District has another winner this year. She is first grade teacher Jodi Moore of Pittsville Elementary.
“It truly was one of those sensations where you are truly happy. It makes your hands start to shake and your eyes start to water, and I thought ‘Oh my goodness, of all these talented teachers they’ve chosen me to recognize the hard work that primary teachers do every day; not only for their children in the classroom, but for these virtual learners we’re struggling to teach this year and really working hard on,’” she said.
Moore is in her 17th year of teaching, and her sixth in Pittsville. The Pittsville native has also taught in the McFarland, Wisconsin Rapids, and Nekoosa school districts. She is a graduate of UW-La Crosse.
The fourth Crystal Apple winner is fifth-grade teacher Mark Brost, of Auburndale Elementary.
Brost is now in his 32nd year at Auburndale Elementary. He is a Nekoosa native, and a graduate of UW-Platteville. He teaches primarily social studies, but also teaches some English, language arts, reading, and spelling.
The Crystal Apple winners are among two dozen area “Teachers of Distinction” honored each year by the Marshfield Chamber’s Education Foundation. They will all be honored at a banquet May 5 at Hotel Marshfield.
The other Teachers of Distinction for 2021 include: Taylor Varsho and Kathleen Mahoney of Marshfield High School, Danielle Wilke and Michele DeCandia from Marshfield Middle School, Ruth Fleischmann of Columbus Catholic High School, Jessica Colloton of OLP, Lindsay Meyer of Immanuel Lutheran, Brooke Altman of Nasonville Elementary, Amber Kropidlowski and Brittney King of Grant Elementary, Kristine Schwalbach of Lincoln, DeAnn Steinwagner from Washington, Jena Walsh of Madison, Ann Pankratz and Jennifer Wilke of Spencer, Ryan Westaby of Granton, Amber Guldan of Auburndale, Julie Plautz and Brad Helsten of Greenwood, Daisy Werner of Neillsville, and Alyssa Anderson of Pittsville.
The Marshfield Chamber received a record 1,313 nominations for 345 different teachers.