The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced today that five educators from across the state have been named 2024 Wisconsin Teachers of the Year. The group received the honor for their dedication to the education profession and for the impact they have on their students as learners and individuals. The group was notified of their selection at separate, surprise ceremonies at their respective schools throughout the last two weeks.

“It has been an honor to travel across Wisconsin and celebrate these teachers,” State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly said. “They exemplify what makes the teaching profession so rewarding and so impactful by engaging students in creative ways, creating inclusive classroom and school communities, and serving as leaders in their schools and beyond. The enthusiasm we saw from the students really shows the great work these teachers are doing, and I know that great work is happening in schools all over our state. Let me say a huge thank you to all our Wisconsin teachers! You make a difference every day, and we are grateful.”

The 2024 Wisconsin Teachers of the Year are:

  • Saghar Homayounpour, computer science teacher at New Berlin West High School (School District of New Berlin)
  • Claudia Heller de Messer, an English as a second language teacher at Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts (Milwaukee Public Schools)
  • Rachel Kumferman, school social worker at McKinley Elementary School (Wauwatosa School District)
  • Katelyn Winkel-Simmerman, mathematics teacher at Cedar Grove-Belgium Middle School (Cedar Grove-Belgium School District)
  • Brian Collins, biology teacher at Unity High School (Unity School District)

The Teachers of the Year will interview with a committee that will select one of the five to represent Wisconsin in the National Teacher of the Year program. That individual will receive an additional $6,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation. More information on the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Program can be found on the DPI’s website.

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