2016 Class of Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership Announced in Wisconsin

FOR RELEASE: Friday, June 3, 2016

Patrick Riccards | Chief Communication and Strategy Officer | (703) 298‐8283

Wisconsin Continues Push to Ensure Strong Pipeline of School Leaders for State’s High-Need Schools

Woodrow Wilson Foundation, MSOE, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch Recognize 2016–17 Class of MBA Fellows in Education Leadership for Their Commitment to Wisconsin Education Success

MILWAUKEE, WI (June 3, 2016) – Wisconsin’s 2016–17 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership were announced today in Milwaukee, as the state continues its commitment to dramatically improve the preparation and placement of educational leaders. Wisconsin Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch joined with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) to honor this new class of future school leaders committed to improving the state’s public schools.

The Woodrow Wilson (WW) Wisconsin MBA Fellowship program was launched in 2014 in partnership with MSOE to develop a new model in education leader preparation, equipping graduates to head changing 21st century schools across the state. The WW Wisconsin MBA blends clinical practice in schools with innovative business school coursework to ensure graduates have the knowledge, skills, and character not only to guide schools and districts in a new kind of education environment, but also to close achievement gaps between America’s lowest- and highest-performing schools and between the country’s top-performing schools and those around the world.

“All of Wisconsin benefits from the ongoing partnership between MSOE, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and our local schools as a new generation of education leaders is equipped for even greater levels of service and impact,” Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Kleefisch said. “The Fellows in this program are breaking down silos between the worlds of business and education to serve their schools with innovation and excellence.”

Wisconsin is one of three states to offer the WW MBA Fellowship program, along with Indiana and New Mexico. With MSOE, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation provides school leaders with a blend of graduate coursework and a tailored MBA curriculum. This is the third year that a Wisconsin cohort has been selected for the prestigious program.

“Here in Wisconsin, we are witness to how innovative thinking and an outcomes-based approach to educator preparation can improve the pipeline of talented individuals to lead our schools,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and author of an influential national study that called for dramatically changing how the United States prepares school leaders. “After teachers themselves, school leaders have the greatest impact on the success of our students. Wisconsin, along with Indiana and New Mexico, has committed to providing aspiring leaders with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to head the public schools of the future. The successes here in Wisconsin, led by MSOE, are now part of a growing national effort to ensure every student has a school leader equipped to succeed.”

This year’s class of WW MBA Fellows come from:

  • Baraboo High School, Baraboo, Wisconsin
  • Brookfield East High School, Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Carmen High School of Science and Technology, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Franklin Public Schools, Franklin, Wisconsin
  • Schools That Can Milwaukee, Milwaukee
  • Anthony School, Milwaukee

The Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership recruits and prepares experienced educators who will take a full year of executive-style MBA courses. The program is offered through MSOE’s Rader School of Business and is equivalent in rigor to traditional MBA programs. It is designed to prepare leaders who will create school cultures to drive innovation, expand the use of analytics and evidence-based practices, raise student performance to international levels, foster citizens of good character, and improve the quality of school systems and teaching over time. Each Fellow is selected from a highly competitive pool of nominees.

Unlike programs that recruit career changers from other fields to work in schools, the WW MBA Fellowship requires that candidates be current educators who are nominated by Wisconsin school districts, as well as choice and charter schools. Fellows are selected based on key characteristics of effective leaders and will be experienced with the culture of schools to be able to help transform them from within. Each receives a $50,000 stipend that includes tuition assistance for the master’s program, along with executive coaching. In exchange, Fellows will serve in leadership roles in identified districts/schools for at least three years.

MSOE partners with 10 to 12 area school districts to develop partnerships that will sustain clinical placements (in-school learning arrangements) and mentoring opportunities for the WW MBA Fellows.

“We are pleased to welcome the third group of Woodrow Wilson Fellows to MSOE. They are talented educators who are dedicated to improving student performance,” said Dr. Matthew Panhans, MSOE interim president. “Our MBA in Education Leadership will further prepare them for exceptional leadership.”

The WW MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership draws on the Foundation’s experience with its state-based Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, which works to transform teacher education and recruit excellent candidates to teach math and science in high-need schools. The Teaching Fellowship is now operating in five states in partnership with 28 universities.

Visit http://woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-ed-mba/wisconsin/ to learn more about the Foundation’s work in leadership preparation in Wisconsin. To learn more about the program at MSOE visit www.msoe.edu/mbaeducationleadership. A full list of the 2016 Wisconsin MBA Fellows follows at the end of this release.


About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

About Milwaukee School of Engineering
Milwaukee School of Engineering (www.msoe.edu) is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,900 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 96% placement rate; and the highest ROI and average starting salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.

The 2016-17 Class of Wisconsin MBA Fellows includes:

Patrick Bader
Seventh Grade Team Facilitator, Science Teacher, Carmen Middle School of Science and Technology – Northwest Campus.

Jennifer Bowers          
Mathematics Curriculum Specialist, Parkview School District

Katie Brown  
Biology, foundations of chemistry, and physics teacher, Whitefish Bay High School

Eric Ebert        
Political science, economics, and history, Sussex Hamilton High School

Joseph Gallagher
Student Support Coordinator and founding school leader, Milwaukee Excellence Charter School

Mark Grunske
Technology Focused Instructional Coach, Delavan-Darien School District

Samantha Haas
Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, Carmen High School of Science and Technology’s South Campus

Kiesha Johnnies
Founding Principal, HOPE Christian School: Caritas

Alejandra Krolick
Spanish Teacher, Franklin High School

William Kujawa
Mathematics teacher and department chair, Brookfield East High School

Rebecca (Becky) Owens
School Leadership Coach, Schools That Can Milwaukee

Teresa Reilly
Principal, St. Anthony School, upper elementary campus

Kristin Rockwell
Academic Seminar Teacher, Baraboo High School

Ryan Samz
Principal at HOPE Christian School – Semper

Christopher Sover
Biology and AP Biology, Carmen High School of Science and Technology

Ben Westphal
Science teacher, department chair, instructional coach, Brookfield East High School


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