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Seven University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) graduates were honored this spring with Herb Kohl Fellowship Awards.

To date, 217 COEHS alumni have received the award, which recognized teachers who have demonstrated superior ability to inspire love of learning in their students, have motivated others, and have provided meritorious service both inside and outside the classroom.

As the inclusive classroom teacher for the fourth grade at Omro Elementary School, Chrissy Makurat ’97, works diligently to understand the unique needs of children with different learning styles and abilities and develop effective strategies and interventions for each child’s situation. Her efforts earned her a 2010 Herb Kohl Fellowship Award.

“Pursuing my own education has helped me demonstrate a love of learning to my students and inspire them to love learning as well,” said Makurat, who received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction last year.

In her classroom, she stresses the importance of not only accepting and respecting each other’s differences, but also celebrating them.

“It’s imperative that members of the classroom understand people learn differently and possess individual strengths and weaknesses,” she said.

Makurat seeks to ensure each student believes in him- or herself. “From day one, students realize the strong conviction I hold that they will have an ‘I will and I can’ attitude.”

“Not only do I encourage them to do well academically, but to be better human beings, as well,” she said.

The other six UW Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services alumni who received a 2010 Kohl Fellowship Award are:

  • Lisa Andreini ’91, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski
  • Debra Figueroa ’89, Hamilton High School, Sussex
  • Tambra Fuiten ’90, North Middle School, Menomonee Falls
  • Virginia Lutze ’71 and ’83, Waupaca Learning Center
  • Ardyce Piehl ’78, Lodi High School
  • Kathryn Riederer ’02, Webster Stanley Elementary School, Oshkosh

Each teacher received a $1,000 fellowship, with an additional $1,000 grant being awarded to the teacher’s school for use in innovative educational projects.

Founded in 1990, the Kohl Educational Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program annually awards 188 scholarships and 100 fellowships throughout the state. To date, the foundation has provided $7.1 million to Wisconsin educators, students and schools.