The Third Annual Engaged in Excellence Awards Red Carpet Gala took place Monday, May 7 at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center. In addition to honoring retirees and staff achieving years of service milestones, over 80 individuals (including four teams) were celebrated as finalists in 14 award different award categories. All award presenters were winners in their own right throughout the 2017-18 school year, from Gymnastics and Soccer State Champions, Elementary Musical Stars, a WCASS award winner, to a Presidential Scholar and more! The gala was generously sponsored by the Elmbrook Education Foundation.
"It is truly spectacular to see staff, students, and community members recognized and celebrated so magnificently for their outstanding work," said Leslie Dehn, Executive Director of the Elmbrook Education Foundation. "Each year this show is a hilarious, warm, and touching homage to what makes Elmbrook excellent - the people."
Hosted by Elmbrook's Chief Strategy Officer, Chris Thompson, the show echoed the Academy Awards and parodied Late Night television skits including Bus Stop Karaoke and Elmbrook Mean Tweets!
The program also included a moving tribute by renowned violinist and Brookfield East Valedictorian, Julian Rhee for staff members Jim Jacobsen, Amanda Filkins, and Jim Qualler who passed away unexpectedly this school year.
Award recipients were selected from over 600 nominations submitted by students, families, and staff. Elmbrook Schools is grateful to all finalists, student presenters, the Elmbrook Education Foundation, and the 575 attendees for their commitment to excellence in our community.
Congratulations to this year's award recipients, listed below:
- Alumni Excellence: Angela Graf (Brookfield Central Class of 1990) and Evelyn Werking (Brookfield East Class of 2011)
- Excellence in Coaching or Advising: Ronn Blaha (Advisor, Key Club; Brookfield Central)
- Excellence in a Community Partnership: United Heartland
- Excellence in Leadership: Kristin Olson (Principal, Tonawanda Elementary)
- Excellence in Service & Support: Eric Hagen (Communications Assistant, Central Office)
- Excellence in Student Services: Karen Kaltenbrun (Physical Therapist, Fairview South)
- Excellence in Substitute Teaching: Mitch Weber (Brookfield East)
- Excellence in Teamwork: Brookfield Central Food Service Team (Kathy Brezgel, Jongdee Bounyong, Roberta Chaney, Mary Golab, Shelby Leighton, Connie Miskowski, Tonia Parkinson, Peggy Reinders, Diane Seymour & Angela Vetta)
- Excellence in Teaching - Elementary: Kayla Moffatt (Special Education, Burleigh Elementary)
- Excellence in Teaching - Middle School: Jennifer VanAcker (Mathematics, Pilgrim Park)
- Excellence in Teaching - High School: Kari Doepke (Choir, Brookfield East)
- Excellence in Teaching - New Educator: Alecia Krutz (Third Grade, Dixon Elementary)
- Excellence in Teaching Support: Meredith Wafle (Kindergarten Assistant, Swanson Elementary)
- Excellence in Volunteering: Spencer Mayhew (Tonawanda Elementary)