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Teacher and staff appreciation in the WB School District

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Congratulations to Kris Groth, an Early Childhood Aide at Rolfs Education Center, for being selected for the Support Staff of the Year award!  Kris has been with the West Bend School District for 16 years. Kris truly wants what is best for children and demonstrates this in many ways every day. She is knows what each student needs each day in the classroom and provides excellent care and compassion every day. She forms genuine relationships with students and wants nothing but the best for them. She will bring extra clothing or food for a child in need, and will show them the love and attention that they may not be getting elsewhere. She also makes a personal connection with everyone she works with on a regular basis. Kris has a positive, outgoing personality, and she makes everyone around her feel valued. For this, many parents have expressed great thanks to Kris for her care and devotion to their child. 

Congratulations to Deb Roensch, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, for being selected for the Support Staff of the Year award! Deb has been with the West Bend School District for 18 years.  Deb is the first smile you see in the morning and often the very last “goodbye “at night. She is the “go-to” person, the glue that holds it all together, the ultimate organizer.  She is a true best friend, aunt, sister, mother and colleague.  She can’t sleep many nights because she won’t stop thinking about and empathizing with the needs of others. She truly understands that ultimately we are here for students.

She is mission-driven and has the skillful ability to encourage a culture of respect and promote the districts core values.  She demonstrates quiet leadership with a gravity that is respected by all.  She goes above and beyond in assisting employees and community members to receive the resources they need, answer questions or help them understand a district practice or policy. If she doesn’t have the answer, she collaborates with others to ensure the person’s needs are met.

She is always courteous, loyal, helpful and polite. She consistently takes care of a variety requests in a skillful, professional manner.  She accommodates the needs of every single customer. She goes above and beyond with interactions with parents, board members teachers, coaches, administrators, elected officials, business owners and students. She is the face of our system. She is very respectful to all and consistently portrays the District in a positive and professional light.  She always puts others before herself.

Congratulations to Doug Duehning, Senior Computer Technician with the West Bend School District, for being selected for the Support Staff of the Year award.  Doug has been with the West Bend School District for 13 years. Doug’s ability to quickly diagnose, fix, and update technology without interrupting students learning is exceptional. He always greets people with a smile and is willing to help in any way he can.  Doug fixes, teaches, researches, trouble-shoots, and follows up on everything for everyone.

He interacts on a professional and personable level, and makes sure that staff and students have the tools necessary to support the district goals, visions and mission.  Doug is always willing to go the extra mile to provide technology support and does so in a very professional and personal manner. He is able to work effectively and efficiently and provides exceptional follow up services to ensure that the task is completed in a more than satisfactory manner.

Doug is available at all times, on and off the clock to make sure staff, teachers and students have access to learning technology. His response time is always a priority and he investigates tools that have potential for a permanent solution. He makes himself accessible all of the time. He is a professional who strives to support the overall system and the instructional needs of students. 

Congratulations to Amy Inkmann, a third-grade teacher at Jackson Elementary School, for being selected for the Rolfs Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year award.  Amy Inkmann puts her heart and soul into her students.  She is a positive, authentic, energetic teacher who besides being a great communicator is also pat entertainer. Her great sense of humor, along with her stellar song and dance moves make a lasting impression on young learners. She encourages her students to step outside their bubble and embrace new things.  Amy is a teacher who fosters a “school family” relationship with her students. She is a positive, authentic, energetic teacher who can make any student feel comfortable.

She is a master at differentiation for students. She makes learning fun by incorporating fun games and different incentives. She makes time to help students who need the extra nudge and empowers them to be successful.  She makes a difference. Amy’s students consider her a teacher to trust, laugh with, and enjoy their time with, as she is always open to spend time with students. She is approachable, caring and offers her shoulder to lean on for students and helps them work through working through difficult situations.

Congratulations to Emily Melstrand, 4K/Special Education Coordinator at the Education Service Center, for being selected for the Rolfs Educational Teacher of the Year award.  Emily has been with the West Bend School District for 18 years.  Emily Melstrand has a genuine enthusiasm to provide our community with the best experiences for our youngest students.  She is kind, compassionate, hardworking, a great listener, and shows great empathy for families within the district. She tirelessly advocates for children with special needs by focusing not on what cannot be done, but the possibilities of what can be done.  She is focused, dedicated and connects with students and staff in a professional, quiet, yet warm and caring manner.

Words cannot express the amount of time and energy Emily puts into support for the Early Childhood staff; meetings, personal support, transition meetings with families and other agencies, many in the evening or after school, providing speech therapy for children, not to mention the huge tasks of researching and developing our soon to be 4K program. Many families have personally told us how kind and knowledgeable Emily was when meeting with them and their child. She is a wonderful first impression to our program and our district.

Emily is always open to new ideas, challenges and opportunities to bring the best programs to our community. Emily seems to always find a positive approach even when the take and topic is difficult. Makes sacrifices of her own time for the improved care and education of children. She advocates for the inclusion of all special education students in their least restricted environment in order to better prepare these students to compete in the every-changing world.

Congratulations to Jessica Flitter, an East High School social studies teacher, for being selected for the Rolfs Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year award. Jessica has been with the West Bend School District for four years.  Jessica has a genuine passion for teaching. She has a gift of seeing through the eyes of her students. Her earnest love for students pours out into each one of her lessons, as she makes the classroom come alive.

She is a master at building relationships of mutual respect with her students and uses those relationships to help her students succeed. It takes a special blend of patience, organization and heart-felt dedication to engage, support and challenge students with such rigor and success the way Jessica does.

Every day she engages students through a variety of creative techniques, including short video examples, demonstrations and group activities, all of which connect psychology to real life and make the content more memorable. Not many other teachers use lemonade powder to train mouths to salivate when she said the name, “Pavlov.”

The passion she has for the subject and her students is unmatched by most teachers. She doesn’t do anything half way.  In all of her work, she is filled with an excitement, focus and dedication that is unparalleled. Her compassion for students and their success is equally strong.

Her innovative teaching methods have allowed students to perform above the national average on the AP Psychology exam with a pass rate of 94.2 percent. She encourages and demands a dedicated work ethic, critical thinking skills and personal accountability from students as she strives diligently to prepare students for the AP exam. She has a personal commitment to the academic achievement of her students.

Congratulations to Jack Chamberlain, a social studies teacher at Badger Middle School, for being selected for the Rolfs Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year award. Jack has been with the West Bend School District for 10 years. There are very few people who have such a positive impact on young people as Jack. He connects with each student and communicates how much he cares about them as a person, not just as a teacher. His ability to support students to help them mature into young, responsible adults is a true gift.

His enthusiasm for learning is contagious and it shows. His willingness to be goofy in front of his students increases student engagement and learning.  He can take a student who does not enjoy social studies and make them thrive because he is willing to do whatever he can to do what is best for kids.

Jack builds meaningful relationships with all students. He has his students’ best interests in mind and is willing to do what is best for kids. He takes the time to get to know his students forms close, meaningful relationships with them to reinforce learning.

He is very aware of student’s different learning styles and allows students voice and choice through the learning process.  He treats students fairly and has a great deal of empathy. He willingly modifies and differentiates appropriately for students.


Photo courtesy the West Bend School District

  1. Posted by Rob Ford

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