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UW-Eau Claire Graduate Honored As Outstanding Beginning Teacher

RELEASED: Nov. 13, 2008

Mike Slowinski
Mike Slowinski

EAU CLAIRE — Mike Slowinski, a May 2007 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire graduate and first-year teacher at West De Pere High School in De Pere, received this fall the 2007-08 Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award for an Outstanding Beginning Teacher at the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English State Convention.

Award nominees were full-time teachers in their first permanent position during the 2007-08 school year. Criteria included the use of innovative teaching techniques, curriculum development in literature, participation in faculty activities related to English, professional development, and the development and maintenance of good staff and community relations.

The Appleton East High School graduate was nominated by Dr. Carmen Manning, associate professor of English. Manning noted Slowinski's many achievements as a first-year teacher, including organizing a collaborative online literature project between his students and her pre-service teachers. The project helped pre-service teachers think about ways to interact with students, Manning said.

"In this project, Mike has been an extraordinary model and mentor for the pre-service teachers," Manning said.

Slowinski also coached basketball; co-advised the Gay-Straight Alliance; advised the school literary magazine; brought in speakers to talk about the Holocaust, bullying and racism; team-taught ninth grade English; served on the Digital Districts Online Committee; and prepared a presentation using free technology for the WCTE convention and designed a Web site for teachers on how to use the free technology.

Slowinski said he was "completely shocked and honored" by the award. He credits his success to mentors from West De Pere High School and UW-Eau Claire.

"Receiving this award emphasizes the fact that I've been blessed with great mentors, colleagues and students to work with, and I feel very lucky to be in the spot I'm in at this point," Slowinski said.

-30-

SN/NW

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