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MPS staffer wins prestigious national educator award

Brenda MikellThe door to Brenda Mikell’s counseling office is always open to students at Rufus King International High School. She is happy to help any student get the information and support they need to succeed in high school and apply to college. Mikell, who has worked at Rufus King for 19 years, was recently selected for the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award. Fewer than 400 educators around the country were recognized with this honor.

This distinguished award has existed for more than 30 years. Each year, first-year freshmen at the University of Chicago are invited to nominate an educator who influenced them, challenged them, or helped them along their path toward intellectual growth. Hundreds of students submit letters each year, inspired by educators who have changed the course of their lives, taught them to re-imagine what they hear and read, delve deeper into problem solving, and to think beyond the borders of the classroom in the pursuit of education.

Mikell was nominated by former King student Adelle Durrell. Adelle was awarded a full-ride scholarship to the University of Chicago through the QuestBridge college match program. A quote from her nomination letter reads “I would like to let you know how much I appreciate all you have done for me. As I said before, you are my superwoman. I plan to go help change the world now, thanks for being a big supporter."

In addition to serving as the director of counseling at King International High School, Mikell is engaged in many activities that enhance the learning and lives of King students. She teaches an ACT prep class to help students do their best on the exam, is part of the team that organizes the annual college fair King holds each year with Riverside University High School, and she helps lead suicide prevention efforts at King and in the district.

Mikell graduated from St. Norbert College and earned her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has also earned her National Board Certification in School Counseling.

Congratulations, Brenda Mikell! We are MPS Proud of you!

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About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2018 earned $86+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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