A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse alumnus is the 2016-17 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year.
State Superintendent Tony Evers recognized Chris Gleason, a band director and instrumental music teacher at Patrick Marsh Middle School in the Sun Prairie Area School District, during his State of Education address earlier this month. As part of the Teacher of the Year honor, Gleason will receive $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.
A project Gleason started in 2009, ComMission Possible, has student musicians collaborating with nationally renowned composers to write a commissioned piece of music for middle school band students. He also believes in the power of connecting music to civic pride, getting his students out into the community through smaller ensembles that perform at local events and larger performances at Sun Prairie’s senior care homes, the American Family Insurance Holiday Breakfast and in the Memorial Day parade.
“Wisconsin needs talented individuals to teach in our classrooms and inspire our young people to seek out careers that will fulfill their dreams,” Evers said. “A Teacher of the Year recipient demonstrates an unwavering commitment to students, and it is an honor to recognize educators who do so much for Wisconsin’s public schools.”