AASD Educators Named to Kohl Teacher Fellowship Program
Posted on 04/07/2016
The Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship program recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin, USA. Their goal is to support teachers in the pursuit of unrealized goals for classrooms or professional development.

The Fellowship award of $3,000 is awarded to 100 Wisconsin teachers and each Kohl Fellowship recipient's school will receive a matching $3,000 grant. Recipients' professional accomplishments are celebrated at a recognition luncheon in the spring.

Two longtime AASD educators received this year's Fellowship awards:

Krista DeRidder, Specific Learning Disability (SLD) teacher at Janet Berry Elementary School

This is Krista’s sixth year as a full-time learning disabilities teacher at Janet Berry Elementary. For the past four years she has led Club Read, an after school reading program for students in 3rd through 6th grade. In addition, she has been an advisor for the 5th and 6th grade Scripps National Spelling Bee for the past three years. This year she started a Math Club for students in 5th and 6th graders.

Krista received her Associates Degree from Bay de Noc Community College.  In 1996, she graduated from Northern Michigan University with a double major in Elementary Education and Special Education.  Krista continued her education by earning her master’s degree in special education at UW Oshkosh. She volunteered in her children’s classrooms, led and co-led both of her daughters’ Girl Scout troops, taught Sunday school, and led a Kid’s Choir at her church.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, online scrapbooking, going for walks, and uncovering family genealogy.  

Krista is blessed for the support of her loving family, amazing colleagues, and encouraging administrators. Without their support, she would not be the teacher she is today. She looks forward to every new opportunity, excited to teach her students how to live up to their potential.

From Rick Waters, Principal at Janet Berry:

“Krista has taken the initiative at Janet Berry to coordinate two important activities for our students. She successfully promoted, organized, and supported our participation in the annual Scripps Spelling Bee for all of our 5th and 6th grade students. This program has been well received by our students, their parents, and the teachers. Krista’s dedication to this program and the value of developing strong spelling skills with our students has made a positive impact. For the second year in a row, we will be sending one of our spellers to the State competition in Madison. 

Probably the most important contribution that Krista has made to our school is her coordination of our Club Read after school program. This program is open to all students and utilizes a computer based fluency program to help students develop critical reading skills in a fun and interactive way. Krista recruits both staff and parent volunteers to help with this program. Volunteers guide the students through the process and listen to each of the students read as they pass through each of the different levels. 

Krista has promoted this program in such a way that it is perceived as a fun after school activity through celebrations and student involvement in a school club. The progress of the students is tracked throughout the program. The success of the students is well documented and has carried over into their success in the classroom. This program is a very valuable resource in our building and has had tremendous long term benefits for our students.”

Steve Sugrue, Science teacher at Appleton North High School

Steve graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in 1985. He received his BS from UW-Oshkosh in 1992 and he then received his MS from UW-Oshkosh in 2000. From 1992-1998 he taught earth science, at Ripon Middle School in Ripon, WI and then from 1998 – 2010 taught 7th grade science at Einstein Middle School in Appleton. In 2010 he moved to Appleton North where he currently teaches physical science and biophysical science.

From James K. Huggins, Principal at Appleton North High School:
“Steve is the type of instructor students remember fondly, not only because he makes learning science fun, but he challenges them and takes the extra time to really get to know each and every student, forming a lifelong connection along the way.  We are very fortunate to have such a “top notch” science teacher on staff, one of the best I’ve ever worked with. I have the utmost respect for him and I feel that he is very deserving of this honor.

Since coming to AASD and Einstein Middle School in 1997, Steve has made a profound and positive impact in science education within our district in the lives of countless students.  It led to his recognition as the Appleton Area School District’s 2005-06 Middle School Educator of the Year, as well his nomination for the prestigious 2005-06 Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching.  

What sets Steve apart from others is his wonderfully engaging manner with students that demonstrates how much he really cares about their individual learning. He is very knowledgeable of his content area and has taken advanced coursework in order to enhance his instruction and ability to teach broader subject areas at the high school level.”

Congratulations to these excellent educators!
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