Nearly 300 high school students from 30 school districts across the state explored future career opportunities in education at the 2023 Educators Rising Wisconsin Annual Summit and Competition Wednesday, March 1, hosted by the UW-Stevens Point School of Education. [View Photos]
This year’s summit themed, “The Power of You,” was intended for students in grades 9-12 and included speakers and competitive events. It provided high schoolers who may be interested in becoming teachers with inspiration from some of the state’s best.
“Every child deserves highly skilled teachers,” said Lynda Fernholz, UW-Stevens Point professor and assistant dean for the School of Education. “Educators Rising provides opportunities to explore education career opportunities, develop skills necessary for effective teaching and make informed decisions about pathways for achieving their goals. The organization also cultivates highly skilled educators by guiding young people beginning in high school and extending through college and into the profession.”
This is the third year in row UWSP has been the host institution for the event, demonstrating how the Harju Center for Equity in Education at UW-Stevens Point aims to empower learners though collaborative, inclusive and sustainable opportunities.
Keynote speaker Kabby Hong was the 2022 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, member of the Wisconsin Education Association Council and English teacher in the Verona Area School District. He presented on “The Power of Visibility,” focusing on the importance of Asian American Pacific Islander visibility in school curriculum and how that is connected to the physical, psychological and emotional safety of these students in our schools and communities. Hong has earned awards from Stanford University and the University of Chicago.
Wisconsin State Superintendent Jill Underly also shared her background and reason for loving the field of education with Educators Rising Summit attendees.
Students attended breakout sessions led by award-winning teachers, K-12 teachers and social workers, statewide university faculty and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) staff.
A number of competitive events and contests were held about lesson planning, leadership, public speaking, research and ethics. The top two scoring contestants in each competitive event qualified for the national competition.
UW-Stevens Point education students and faculty volunteered and took part in a panel at the event, and Chancellor Thomas Gibson addressed the conference attendees. UW-Stevens Point alumna Anna Schneider, a teacher in Stevens Point, was the closing speaker.
Educators Rising Wisconsin, coordinated by the Wisconsin Education Association Council and sponsored by the national Phi Delta Kappa organization, is a network of educators and students who promote teaching careers.
“We are excited about the growing interest and investment in Educators Rising across the state,” said Leah Luke, Educators Rising Wisconsin state coordinator. “Teacher leaders are enthusiastically stepping up to the plate to support high school students who are considering a career in education. Educators Rising can and will play a key role in addressing the teacher shortage in the long term.”
Since 1894, the School of Education has been the hub of teacher preparation programs at UW-Stevens Point. It prepares future teachers majoring in early childhood education, elementary education, physical education or special education. The School of Education also supports students seeking certification in K-12 and secondary education.