SPOONER– Spooner Middle School teacher Ryan McKinney has been honored as a recipient of the Herb Kohl Fellowship.
The Kohl Teacher Fellowship program recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin.
Their goal is to support teachers in the pursuit of their unrealized goals for their classrooms or professional development.
The 100 Herb Kohl Fellowship recipients and the 100 schools of those teachers will each receive a $6,000 grant and will be recognized at a spring banquet.
The $6,000 grant towards school programs; bringing the current total of awards, grants, and donation money raised by Mr. McKinney to over $100,000 over the last 4 years. The fellowship program admittance also places him as a nominee for Wisconsin Teacher of the Year.
“I was very honored to receive the Herb Kohl Fellowship,” said McKinney. “It is a testament to the teamwork and dedication of our staff at Spooner Schools and is a nod to the importance that physical education plays in a student’s well rounded education.
“Most importantly, it is a recognition of our wonderful students. I have learned a lot from their resilience, humor, and care and they deserve the best. They have inspired me to seek out methods to offer them the foremost programming that I can.
“To that end, I have been fortunate to receive several grants and donations for mountain bikes, cross country skis, heart rate monitors, and other equipment.
“We were also able to convert a spot of now, rarely used school land into a mountain bike park that our students can enjoy during the day; and our newly formed mountain bike racing team can utilize after school as well. I believe there’s more that physical education can do for the overall well being of our students.
“With our new equipment and updated schedule, we were able to set up a research study. It will involve math and ELA classes preceded by daily outdoor physical activity; and the effects that may have on academics, attention and behaviors in the classroom.
“I am hopeful that the results may show a method for other schools to leverage physical activity and prioritize scheduling for students to make academic, behavioral, and emotional growth.”