Two graduates honored by state teacher association

February 27, 2020 - The Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) announced the recipients of its 2020 Early Career Educators and Pre-Service Educators last week.

The 2020 UW-River Falls Early Educator Award was given to Anna Zalusky, 4th grade teacher at Rocky Branch Elementary School in River Falls. Nominators from the  River Falls School District described Zalusky as a leader with unending compassion for her students.

“Anna possesses a gift for seeing potential in students and the perseverance to guide them to find it within themselves. She has high expectations for her students and they respond because they know she cares,” nominators wrote.

The recipient of the 2020 UW-River Falls Pre-Service Educator Award is Maria Miller, mathematics education teacher in the School District of New Richmond. Miller was nominated by Erick Hofacker, UWRF mathematics professor and 2019 Distinguished Mathematics Educator for the State of Wisconsin. In his nomination, Hofacker described Miller as a great role model and inspiration for aspiring young math teachers.

“Maria invests countless hours assisting candidates to become the best mathematics teachers they can be,” he wrote. “She expertly models how to interact professionally with colleagues, students and parents. Our teacher candidates are extremely fortunate to have Maria available to them as a fantastic mentor." 

The College of Education and Professional Studies will celebrate the success of Zalusky and Miller during the college’s annual awards banquet on April 28.

About the WACTE awards:

The Early Career Educator Award is presented to an outstanding educator within the first three years of her/his professional career. The award recipient is selected based on any combination of the following: positive impact individual has on schools or communities; innovation in designing learning experiences, and advocacy for students. 

The Pre-Service Educator Award is presented to an outstanding educator who has demonstrated a sustained pattern of mentoring pre-service educators for at least five years. The award recipient is selected based on attributes such as: the ability to model professional responsibility; evidentiary assessment; effective classroom management; the ability to mentor pre-service teacher candidates in developing their capacity to be a leader; and the ability to nurture candidates as they face a wide range of issues.  

Each university/college in Wisconsin confers an award in each category. 

For more information about the WACTE awards, email, dean of the UWRF College of Education and Professional Studies, or call 715-425-3774.

Anna Zalusky with Michael Harris
Harris (left) Zalusky (right) 


Maria Miller with Michael Harris
Harris (left) Miller (right)

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