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UW-Eau Claire teacher education program announces WACTE award winners

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire teacher education program announces the recipients of its 2016 WACTE awards.

The awards are presented annually by member institutions of the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) to a successful early-career teacher and an exemplary mentor teacher who works with student teachers.

The Early Career Educator Award is presented to an outstanding educator within the first three years of his or her professional career. The award recognizes the recipient educator's positive impact on schools and communities, innovation in designing learning experiences, and advocacy for students.

Lindsey Alger

Lindsey Alger, a mathematics teacher at Northstar Middle School in Eau Claire, is UW-Eau Claire's 2016 Early Career Educator Award recipient. Alger is a 2013 UW-Eau Claire mathematics education graduate.

"Lindsey is an exemplary educator," said Kit Schiefelbein, Northstar Middle School assistant principal and a 1989 UW-Eau Claire physical education graduate. "Her classes are engaging, student centered and appropriately challenging. She understands and employs many high-impact teaching strategies. Lindsey is a team player and understands the power of a high-functioning professional learning community."

In addition to teaching, Alger also coaches middle school volleyball and serves as a MathCounts coach, and her willingness to contribute beyond the regular school day is greatly appreciated, Schiefelbein said.

The Pre-Service Educator Award is presented to an outstanding educator who has mentored pre-service educators for at least five years. The award recipient is selected based on a variety of attributes: the ability to model professional responsibility, evidentiary assessment, effective classroom management, the ability to mentor pre-service teacher candidates and develop their capacities for leadership, and the ability to nurture candidates as they face a wide range of issues.

Mike Joosten

Mike Joosten, instrumental music teacher at Cameron High School, is UW-Eau Claire's 2016 Pre-Service Educator Award recipient.

Student teachers mentored by Joosten get a great experience, said John Meznarich, Cameron High School principal and a 1996 chemistry teaching graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

"Mike not only directs our band, he is very active in having students participate in solo and ensemble classes, pep bands and hosts several concerts throughout the year," Meznarich said. "He also directs the jazz band at both the middle and high school levels. Our music program is outstanding and has tremendous participation for a small school. In a time when music programs are in decline, Mike puts in countless outside hours making sure our students and student teachers get a quality experience and fosters a genuine love of music."

UW-Eau Claire's College of Education and Human Sciences will honor Alger and Joosten April 13 at the college's annual Honoring Our Professionals of Excellence Awards ceremony. Both educators also were honored at a March 13 awards presentation in Madison during the WACTE spring conference. 

Photo captions:

First photo within story: Lindsey Alger

Second photo within story: Mike Joosten