Top 15 honor Most Influential Educators

Krishna Gopal, Editor-in-Chief

In the fifth annual Most Influential Educator banquet held at the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel on June 5, the top fifteen BC seniors each honored a teacher who significantly shaped their education. During the night, each senior gave a short speech explaining how their nominated teacher influenced them, and they presented the educator with a handmade token of their appreciation.

Reflecting on the program, Elmbrook parent and director of the event Mrs. Jane Peavler said, “The program is completely driven by the students and they do a remarkable job thanking their teachers in thoughtful, emotional, entertaining, and creative ways. It is so great to see the reactions of the teachers when they realize the impact they had on a student.”

The seniors came up with a variety of creative ways to thank their teachers. Zheng Yan (‘16) presented computer science teacher Mr. Ryan Osterberg with a poster filled with every program he had ever written in his three computer science classes. The poster spelled out the words “Hello World” which he displayed in the first program he had ever written. As one of her gifts, Shreya Ravindran (‘16) gave English teacher Mrs. Susan Veeder several blue and black inks since Ravindran’s pen ran out of ink several times in Mrs. Veeder’s class.

The awards ceremony held at BC began when Elmbrook parent Mrs. Jane Peavler introduced the idea to the district. She was inspired by a similar program that her parents had started in her hometown in Indiana.

“The program came out of a true desire to express gratitude to those who positively influence our lives,” Peavler said. Her father, an engineer for a successful company, would often reflect upon those who influenced his life and allowed him to become successful. Peavler’s parents both thought that this program would give students a great opportunity to honor those who’ve influenced their success and made a difference in their education.

Following in her parent’s lead, Peavler brought the program to the Elmbrook School District with the Class of 2012. She first introduced the idea to Laura Schmidt, the Executive Director for the Elmbrook Education Foundation, and Kristin Urban. With Schmidt and Urban’s encouragement, along with the financial support of the Elmbrook Education Foundation and its donors, the program became a success.

Peavler reflected, “We are fortunate to have so many great teachers here in Elmbrook who are making a difference every day. The unique thing about MIE is the award is selected by the students completely independent of anyone else. It is the student’s opportunity, in a very direct way, to recognize and thank a teacher that contributed to his/her success. I love attending this event and feel very fortunate to be a part of it. I have vowed to do this long after my hair is blue.”


Top 15 and Nominated Teachers

Rachel Baker – Mr. Matt Aslakson

Sarah Brown – Mrs. Trish St. George (WHMS)

Andrew Cao – Dr. James Riegert

Michaela Evanich – Mr. David Smith

Michael Fung – Mr. Daniel Tess

Krishna Gopal – Mrs. Kathleen Evans

Aileen Herman – Mr. Eric Pendowski

Caitlin Kelley – Mrs. Kathy Dubiel

Tiffany Kim – Mr. Patrick Perez

Chenxuan Li – Mrs. Peggy Ordinans

Taylor Moon – Mrs. Mary Mann

Natalie Olander – Mr. Jeff Gryzwa

Shreya Ravindran – Mrs. Susan Veeder

Samuel Schreiner – Mrs. Lloyd (Hillside)

Zheng Yan – Mr. Ryan Osterberg