Leah Lechleiter Luke, Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year 2010


Leah Lechleiter Luke, Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year 2010


I am deeply grateful for being recognized as the WI STOY 2010, and I intend to use my STOY experience to advocate for the teaching profession at the local, state, and federal levels.  As a public speaker, I encourage local districts to find ways to keep teacher-leaders engaged, empower the teaching corps, and find ways to bring teacher voice to the table in policy development.

I was recently appointed by Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction (DPI) Tony Evers to form and facilitate the first Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Council. The 19 member advisory panel provides input to the DPI on emerging issues in education such as the new Educator Effectiveness evaluation system, implementation of the common core, and teacher preparation.  Although the council is only commissioned to meet three times, I am working to expand and establish a permanent STOY group that will continue to advocate for policies and practices that ensure high quality education for every child.

In 2011, I served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education. Through this program I developed a deeper understanding of federal policy and shared that understanding with educators across my state and region. My work with the Office of Communication and Outreach put me in the position of being a conduit for collecting and sharing practitioner voice with policymakers in Washington D.C.

I believe that every teacher has the potential to become a teacher leader; and through teacher leadership, educators can bring the voice of the classroom to policy making.

Leah, the 2010 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, is a high school Spanish teacher in Mauston, Wisconsin. Throughout her twenty-one year teaching career Leah has taken advantage of her dual certification in English and Spanish and has taught children in grades 7-12 in both subjects. She also has taught adults enrolled at the local technical college and children in grades Kindergarten-5 in a summer school enrichment program.

In addition to teaching full-time, Leah works for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in a teacher-leader hybrid role. She was appointed by the state superintendent to form and facilitate the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Council.

In 2011, Leah served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education where she focused on rural education issues. As president-elect of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, she continues to shine a spotlight on the need to work collaboratively to meet the needs of rural students.

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