Area teachers honored
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Two dozen of the area’s top teachers were recognized on May 5, for their contributions to education.
The Marshfield Chamber Foundation held its 18th annual Crystal Apple Awards banquet at Hotel Marshfield, where 24 educators were honored as Teachers of Distinction, and four were given top honors as the 2021 Crystal Apple Award winners. They included Auburndale fifth grade teacher Mark Brost.
“Teachers everywhere, this year especially more so, have worked long hours and late nights and weekends trying to do the best they can for their students and to help them learn in their classrooms. Winning this award is truly a prestigious thing. So many amazing people here; that isn’t just a credit to me, but to all of you, because of the work we put in,” he said.
“I always say, ‘It is important to win; it’s very important to win, because if you can win here, you can win somewhere else. You want to win; you want to be successful. It’s not win at all costs, it’s about sportsmanship and those types of things, but you have to want to be successful. You want to be the best, because it is going to help them in anything they do later in life.’”
Brost earned his degree from UW-Platteville, and has taught at Auburndale Elementary for 32 years.
Also among this year’s winners is the first teacher from St. Joseph’s in Stratford to receive the award–Kristie Bangart.
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 fifth, sixth, and seventh grades. She has taught at St. Joseph’s her entire 19-year career, and is a graduate of Viterbo University.
Another area school, which is new to the Crystal Apple program, celebrated its inaugural winner, Randi Stanley of Neillsville High School.
Stanley 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 Master’s Degree in Education from UW-La Crosse in 2006.
After claiming two of the four Crystal Apple awards a year ago, the Pittsville School District celebrated another winner this year. She is first-grade teacher Jodi Moore of Pittsville Elementary.
“We know that anyone can teach a child,” she said, “a parent, a sibling, grandparents, caregivers; but, an expert in developmental ranges and curriculum and instructional resources can really make a difference. And, we call those experts teachers.
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 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, the late 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 347 different teachers. Qualifying nominees were placed on a ballot and teachers voted on their top candidate at each of the participating schools.