The annual Compass Awards were handed out Monday night during the Muskego-Norway School Board meeting, recognizing teachers and administrators for their contributions throughout the year.
Supt. Dr. Joe Schroeder and Assistant Supt. Kelly Thompson handed out the awards to the following recipients:
Dr. Dennis Bussen, Principal - Schroeder said Bussen, who has served as MHS principal for 11 years, "arguably, has the most challenging job in the entire school district and who accomplishes that very difficult job very well indeed."
He described Bussen as a man of integrity, dedication, sincerity, kindness, strength and humility, and cited his impact on MHS in leading them to "unprecedented student academic, co-curricular and personal success."
Charlene Dupler, 4th Grade Teacher - Dupler joined the field of education after a career in landscape architecture, interestingly enough, when she came on board at Lakeview in 2006.
Schroeder cited her participation in the Educational Communications Board, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and the Wisconsin State Reading Association as a testament to her commitment. Dupler also successfully obtained grant monies which allowed her to put materials in parents’ hands to further boost student reading.
Schroeder called Dupler "an exceptionally committed educator, collaborator, innovator and caring, student-centered teacher, whose can-do attitude and take-charge initiative has a very positive impact on those around her."
Jenn Genneman, Special Education Teacher - A special education teacher for 6 years at and , Genneman has been at Bay Lane for only a year, but Thompson said the "true tribute to Jenn’s ability to impact, is that although she has only worked at Bay Lane for a year, she was nominated by three Bay Lane colleagues for her outstanding contributions to students and staff."
Thompson said her fellow teachers "were able to see what other colleagues saw in her at the elementary level, that she is incredibly talented at her craft, and she has a strong mission focus..."
Therese Rilling, 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher - Rilling has served the district for 24 years, and was recognized in part for her method of teaching the subject that so many remember as learned through rote memorization.
"For Therese’s students, learning requires critical thinking and authentic understanding. The focus is on big historical concepts," Thompson explained. "Upon entering her room, students are taught that they are historians and are encouraged to engage in the lessons through that lens."
Lucy Spoerk, 1st Grade Teacher - As a teacher, Spoerk is involved in many efforts, including Differentiation Committee, Tess Corners Eye on the Goal Team, PTO/Teacher Liaison, GT Committee Building Rep, and Odyssey of the Mind Building Coordinator. As a parent, Spoerk is equally busy: GT Committee parent rep, PTO participant and officer, an Odyssey of the Mind coach, MHS Swim Team Booster Club Chair, MHS Music Friends Website Director, director of the Sunshine Committee, etc.
Schroeder joked that her participation in marathon running suited her to the exceptional physical endurance the depth of her involvement required.
Notably, Spoerk also started a school in Kabey Fo, Niger, Africa 11 years ago, an initiative she is still supporting through teacher mentoring and donations.