Congratulations to the 2022 Herb Kohl Foundation award recipients, including six honorees from the Madison Metropolitan School District. Cherokee Heights Middle School Principal Anu Ebbe, Hawthorne Elementary teacher Brenda Kallies, and four seniors were named.
This year, the state-wide honor is presenting awards of $6,000 to 100 teachers, 17 principals and their schools, and $10,000 scholarships to 174 graduating high school students. The awards celebrate students who demonstrate excellence in academics and achievements; educators who inspire a love of learning in their students; principals who set high standards for instruction, achievement, and character.
According to a release from the Herb Kohl Foundation, “recipients are selected by a statewide committee composed of civic leaders, and representatives of education-related associations and the program’s co-sponsors: The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA), the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, and the Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association.”
About the Kohl Foundation Awards:
The Kohl Foundation award program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist, and businessman. Since 1990, the foundation has awarded more than $28.3 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools. “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” 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.”
Principal Leadership Award
Recipients are school principals who are being recognized for setting high standards for instruction, achievement and character, and creating a climate to best serve students, families, staff and community.
Anu Ebbe, Cherokee Heights Middle School (CHMS)
“I am humbled and excited by this honor. I see the Herb Kohl Leadership Award as a recognition of the diversity and strength of the school communities that I have served, along with the families, students, and staff who have shaped my leadership. When COVID-19 struck, it created a need and an opportunity for real change. I was deeply touched to have been trusted with helping CHMS navigate a way through the uncertainties and struggles of the pandemic.
Staff at Cherokee Heights are truly exceptional. We work together in an intentional way to close opportunity gaps and elevate excellence. It means so much to me for Cherokee Heights to be recognized in this way. It is the result of all of our hard work and dedication to our scholars and families.
I am also grateful to be the first Indian Principal in Wisconsin to receive this award. Right now, I am the only Indian Principal in Wisconsin, and I hope recognitions such as this will further help to pave the way for Indian leadership in our schools.”
Teacher Fellow Award
Recipients are educators who have been chosen 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 the classroom.
Brenda Kallies, Hawthorne Community School
“I'm extremely grateful for the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellow Award, and the opportunity it gives me and my school to enhance family involvement in education. It's great news for Hawthorne Community School and the families and kids we support!
With Hawthorne Community School, I want to create a menu of workshops for parents and families on various school-related topics. Topics may include How to Use Infinite Campus features; Preparing Your Child for 4K and 5K; Supporting Your Child in Math; Communicating with School Board Members and Administration; Accessing Community Education Programs; and other topics identified in a needs assessment developed by Hawthorne Community School. The hope is to offer 45-60 minute workshops at the East Madison Community Center, which is a focal point of the Hawthorne community."
Recipients have demonstrated excellence in the academic arena and high motivation to achieve, have displayed a broad range of activity and leadership outside the academic setting, and have shown strong promise for succeeding in college and beyond.
Sorin Caldararu, West High School
Samuel Cann, Madison East High School
“Winning this award has opened doors to numerous possibilities that felt almost impossible before. I’m extremely excited about what my future holds now that I’ve received this opportunity!
My post secondary plans are currently undecided; I am considering options between UW-Madison, the University of North Carolina, and a few HBCUs. I plan to announce my commitment by May 1. I plan to major in psychology with a minor in African studies and a focus on premed."
Makanaka Chikowero, Madison West High School
“There is a saying that goes, ‘If you do good for others, you are doing it for yourself, too.’ This scholarship has validated that for me. As many people know, I have my own non-profit organization called MTC Educate A Girl, Inc., which sends orphaned girls and survivors of child marriages to school, among other interventions. This has been my passion and work for many years. I was awarded the Kohl Educational Foundation Student Excellence Scholarship in part because of the work that I do, and I am so grateful for this opportunity from the bottom of my heart.
I plan to attend Saint Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I will study Public Health, and Women and International Development as part of a dual-degree program. I will also continue my athletic career swimming for the St.Kate’s Wildcats! I will also continue working with my non-profit organization."
Danika Wanish, Madison West High School
“I am grateful and honored to receive this scholarship. Although I have not yet decided where I will attend college next year, I look forward to studying environmental or biological engineering.”