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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh professor of teaching and learning Tammy Ladwig was surprised in a big way when she was named Educator of the Year by the Fox Cities Chamber.

Ladwig was one of 10 K-16 educators from the Fox Cities region who were honored for winning a Shining Star award—she was winner of the Fox Cities Chamber’s Excellence in Higher Education award—and was under consideration to win the top prize at the awards program held March 30 at the Grand Meridian in Appleton. No one knew Ladwig had won until it was announced at the ceremony.

Tammy Ladwig

The Shining Star winners were selected by a panel of education professionals and chosen for outstanding commitment to supporting students and efforts outside of the classroom to enhance educational experiences and outcomes of students.

“It is a privilege to be trusted with such a job and profession. Really, preparing teachers is a privilege and a trust,” Ladwig said upon winning the Shining Star.

The selection committee couldn’t help but notice the eight independent nominations and two dozen letters of support for Ladwig—more than any other Shining Star recipient.

“The comments written by those nominating Dr. Ladwig and submitting letters of support expressed remarkable admiration for her knowledge and skills as a teacher educator and mentor,” said Michael Beeth, professor emeritus, who attended the ceremony with a number of others celebrating Ladwig and representing UWO. “Dr. Ladwig’s commitments to teaching, the growth and development of her students, and the teaching profession were common themes from all who supported her nomination.”

As Educator of the Year winner, Ladwig has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to improving the quality of education in the Fox Cities region and has “an inspiring presence that motivates and influences students, colleagues and the community,” according to the Chamber.

Ladwig, who noted several of the nominations were done anonymously, was thankful for the support and said it was quite humbling.

She credited the Chamber with putting on a special, lovely event. She dedicated the award to her students and received a handmade kaleidoscope art piece incorporating the moon and stars for winning Educator of the Year.

“I never dreamed I would be chosen as the Fox Cities Educator of the Year, specifically regarding the exceptional group of the other nine educators who were awarded the Shining Star, their accomplishments, and what they have done in schools for students and how that has impacted our communities,” Ladwig said. “I am grateful for those who spent the evening with me at the celebration and have supported me in the profession.”

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