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MPS students and educators win awards from Herb Kohl Educational Foundation

MPS students and educators win awards from Herb Kohl Educational FoundationNine students, 11 teachers, and one principal from Milwaukee Public Schools are winners of the 2023 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation scholarships and awards. In all, the foundation is bestowing awards to 306 recipients from around the state.

“These student, teacher, and principal award recipients have demonstrated incredible hard work, achievements, and service,” former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl said in announcing the winners. “I congratulate them all and hope this award not only helps them in their individual pursuits but also reminds them to pay it forward in the future.”

Excellence Scholarship recipients demonstrate academic excellence, high motivation, and a broad range of activity and leadership. Initiative Scholarship recipients demonstrate initiative in school and strong promise for success in college and beyond. Excellence Scholars and Initiative Scholars receive $10,000 to pursue higher education, with 190 awards going to graduating high school students across the state.

2023 MPS Excellence Scholarship Recipients

Diego Alfaro, Rufus King International High School
Eve Anderson, Rufus King International High School
Eva Groeschl, Rufus King International High School
Katherine Jensen, Golda Meir School
Stephanie Santoyo-Bustos, Milwaukee School of Languages

2023 MPS Initiative Scholarship Recipients

Leopold Biel, Rufus King International High School
Cadarious Farmer, Bay View High School
Kolaris Griffin, South Division High School
Keyyanna Guy, Marshall High School

Teacher fellowship awards of $6,000 are being given to 100 teachers across the state nominated for their leadership, service in and out of the classroom, and the ability to motivate students and to inspire a love of learning.

2023 MPS Teacher Honorees

Virginia Fox, Elm Creative Arts School
Angela Harris, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
Claudia Heller de Messer, Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts
Nicole Labat, Lad Lake Synergy School
Darren Lipman, Carmen High School of Science and Technology – South Campus
Francisca Meraz, South Division High School
Diane Raner, Hamilton High School
Martha Reyes, Highland Community School
Erin Sivek, Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language
Savannah Thompson, Marshall High School
Catherine Voss, North Division High School

Principal leadership awards of $6,000 are going to 16 principals for setting high standards for instruction, achievement, and character, and for creating a climate to best serve students, families, staff, and community, according to the foundation.

2023 MPS Principal Honoree

Shantee Williams, Hawthorne School

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $34 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools.

A statewide committee of civic leaders and representatives of education-related associations and program co-sponsors selected the winners.

The groups are the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs), Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, and Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association.

Congratulations to our outstanding educators and students!


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

  • 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
  • MPS is home to five of the state's top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report.

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