Eight Milwaukee Public Schools students have won 2016 Herb Kohl Foundation scholarships, marking the highest total number of student winners in the district since 2007.
The nine MPS teachers honored this year tie a record set in 2000. And in the first year the Kohl Foundation honored school principals, an MPS principal is among the winners. Each honoree receives a $3,000 award.
“Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students, teachers, and principals and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future,” said retired U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, who created the Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program in 1990. The foundation has since awarded $10.2 million to Wisconsin educators, students and schools. The program was established to recognize scholarship, leadership and excellence in Wisconsin’s schools.
MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver congratulated the MPS students and their families as well as the winning educators.
“They are examples of excellence for their classmates and colleagues,” she said. “We continue to offer more opportunities for our students to excel at high levels as we add more Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes for young people across MPS.”
MPS has set records in each of the last three years for overall scholarship totals as the district has made a push in recent years to increase college and career readiness. Scholarship totals for the Class of 2016 will be available later this year.
District winners include three MPS students who were named “Excellence” scholars for “excellence in the academic arena,” “high motivation to achieve,” displaying “a broad range of activity and leadership outside the academic setting” and showing “strong promise for succeeding in college and beyond,” according to the Kohl Foundation. They are:
- Zing Cer, South Division High School
- Elijah Evers, Riverside University High School
- Diego Vega Rivera, Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Another five MPS students were named “Initiative” scholars who have “demonstrated exceptional initiative in the classroom and have shown strong promise for succeeding in college beyond, but have not yet received other academic-based scholarships.” They are:
- Ma Lay, South Division High School
- Kendal Mastin-Miles, Community High School
- Neva Novak, Rufus King International High School
- Marlon Smith, New School for Community Service
- Cindy Xiong, Hmong American Peace Academy
Nine MPS teachers were named “Fellowship” recipients for “their superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, their ability to motivate others and their leadership and service within and outside of the classroom.” They are:
- Lorreen Becklund, Morse Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented
- Susan Boushon, Academy of Accelerated Learning
- Krista Claypool, Milwaukee High School of the Arts
- Carol Hanney, James Fennimore Cooper School
- Kristina Huppertz, Morse Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented
- Michelle Mueller, Wedgewood Park International School
- Adam Murphy, Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
- Kelly O’Keefe-Boettcher, Rufus King International High School
- Sigurd Piwek, Milwaukee German Immersion School
An MPS school leader is one of the first-ever winners of the Kohl Foundation’s new Leadership Award. Winners “are school principals who are being recognized for setting high standards for instruction, achievement, and character and for creating a climate to best serve students, families, staff and community.” MPS’ winner is:
- Michael Roemer, MPS’ Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School