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Wauwatosa School Board honors 11 staff employees for exemplary service

Dec. 11, 2013

The Wauwatosa School Board recognized 11 district staff members with distinguished service awards this week.

The awards signify exemplary service and dedication to students of the district, and are nominated by colleagues, parents and community members.

Winners named this week were:

· Barb Bruesewitz, family and consumer education teacher at East High School, for her thorough teaching in chef foods classes, and for preparing teams of students to participate in culinary competitions at the local, state and national levels.

· Don Devine, school counselor at Whitman Middle School, for his calm demeanor and sense of humor as he counsels students in personal, social, career and academic areas of their lives.

· Stephen Elrod, district print shop operator at the Fisher Administration Building, for handling huge volumes of material to be copied and sorted for teachers and students.

· Pat Gilbert, district teacher leader at West High School, a 35-year veteran of the district as a teacher, mentor and district teacher leader, for effective mentoring and teaching of teachers, and helping students achieve their career ambitions while managing their disabilities and varied learning styles.

· Laurel Grulke, special education assistant at Longfellow Middle School, for her work with the Friendship First Club, which pairs students with disabilities with those without them into "friendship pairs," which participate together in school and community activities and learn to help each other.

· Betty Marks, administrative assistant at West High School, for her rapport with students, most of whom she seems to know by name, and for her steady presence at West.

· Peggy Paar, music teacher at Roosevelt Elementary, for her teaching of music, and especially her focus on social dance, both in the classroom and through the Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap programs, which build a sense of teamwork and cooperation.

· Jean Shanower, second and third grade teacher at WSTEM, for her commitment to her students and the high expectations she sets for them, employing the latest in educational thinking and new methods of education.

· Kathy Sicula, third grade teacher at Underwood Elementary, for inspiring a love of reading in her students, and her dedication to growth as an educator through through professional development courses.

· Jason Thurow, math teacher at Whitman Middle School, for his energetic teaching, his talent for collaboration, and his leadership style, which is leading by example.

· Curt Uden, buildings and grounds utility repairman for the district, for the ways he helps students, some examples of which include adjusting equipment and designing bathroom access for special needs students.

All of the honorees received plaques.

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