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Herb Kohl Educational Foundation chooses MPS students and staff for 2024 awards

Herb Kohl Educational Foundation logoFive Milwaukee Public Schools students and 10 of the district’s teachers are among the winners of the 2024 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation awards. In all, the foundation announced 304 award recipients from across Wisconsin on Tuesday, March 19. 

Winners of the Student Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarships are awarded $10,000 for demonstrating academic excellence and initiative and displaying a broad range of activity and leadership in their community.  

Teacher Fellowship awards of $6,000 are presented to teachers who were nominated for their leadership and service in and outside the classroom. They also were chosen for their ability to inspire a love of learning and to motivate their students, the foundation said in its awards announcement.  

“Herb Kohl believed that education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” said JoAnne Anton, president and CEO of Herb Kohl Philanthropies. “That’s why he invested in and prioritized awards that recognize students, teachers, and principals who demonstrate incredible hard work, achievements, and service. We hope this year’s awards help this impressive group of recipients in their individual pursuits today so that they pay it forward in the future. We call that the Herb Kohl Way.”  

Herb Kohl, the former U.S. senator, philanthropist, and businessman who died December 27, 2023, established the Kohl Foundation award program. His foundation has given nearly $38 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools since 1990. 

Congratulations to all the Kohl Foundation award winners from MPS! 


2024 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Student Excellence Scholars 

Rachel Pollock, Milwaukee School of Languages 

Alexa Romero, Reagan College Preparatory High School 


2024 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Student Initiative Scholars 

Aylicia Byrd, Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning 

Areonna Mitchell, Groppi High School 

Nirjala Patel, Bay View High School  


2024 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellows 

Ana Celia Baez, South Division High School 

Brandt Champion, Reagan High School 

Darrell Hubbard, Vincent Accelerated Academy 

Jennifer Janes, Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts 

Maegan Rivera, Thoreau School 

Jonathan Rutter, Milwaukee Sign Language School 

Kimberly Shields, Ninety-Fifth Street School 

Nicholas Sprague, South Division High School 

Marjorie Struck, Riverside University High School 

Carlotta Tyler, Transition High School 

Each year, the award winners are chosen by a statewide committee made up of civic leaders and representatives of education-related associations and the program’s co-sponsors.  

The committee includes members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA), the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, and the Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association.  


Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
(414) 475-8675
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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:

  • Ninety-four percent of 2022-23 budget dollars go to support schools;
  • The MPS Class of 2023 earned $121 million in scholarships and grants; and
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