GREEN BAY, Wis. — Two educators from GRACE (Green Bay Area Catholic Education System) have been selected as 2022 Award Winners by the Herb Kohl Education Foundation committee for the Student Scholarship, Teacher Fellowship, and Principal Leadership program based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mrs. Crystal Blahnik, Principal of St. Bernard Catholic School in Green Bay was awarded the Principal Leadership Award, which recognizes principals who set high standards for instruction, achievement, and character, and create a climate to best serve their students, families, staff, and community. Mrs. Tara Wildenberg, second grade teacher at Holy Cross Catholic School in Green Bay, was chosen as a Teacher Fellowship Award recipient, selected for her superior ability to inspire a love of learning in her students, her ability to motivate others, and her leadership and service within and outside the classroom.
These prestigious honors recognize extraordinary leadership demonstrated in the educational setting as well as outstanding academic scholars. In 2022, 100 Wisconsin teachers and 17 Wisconsin principals were recognized, and each winner is given $6,000 individually and $6,000 to their school.
Applauding Mrs. Blahnik and Mrs. Wildenberg, GRACE President Kim Desotell stated “this honor is a rigorous application process and an award that is recognized widely across our entire state of Wisconsin. In our GRACE system, we are most proud to have two winners this year, Mrs. Blahnik and Mrs. Wildenberg! This truly demonstrates the caliber and quality of our GRACE teachers and leaders!”
The Herb Kohl Foundation was established in 1990 by Herb Kohl, Wisconsin philanthropist and businessman. The Foundation has awarded more than $28.3 million to Wisconsin educators, schools, and students. “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” Kohl said. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of these educators and look forward to the continued contributions to our GRACE Schools in the future.”
Holy Cross teachers Mrs. Sullivan (first grade) and Mrs. Anderson (kindergarten) are among only 101 teachers statewide to receive 2021 Teacher Fellowship Awards for, as the foundation states, “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 the classroom.”
Honorees are selected by a statewide committee comprised of civic leaders and representatives of education-related associations and the program’s co-sponsors: The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies, the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, and the Wisconsin Homeschool Parents Association.
The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” Mr. Kohl said. “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.”