The selection committee for the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Scholarship, Fellowship, and Leadership Program has announced the recipients of the 2024 Herb Kohl Foundation awards for students, teachers, and principals.

The Mineral Point Unified School District is proud to report that Mrs. Erika Brunson (Middle/High School Counselor) and Mrs. Kristin Staver (High School English Teacher) have been named winners of the Teacher Fellowship.

Since 2017, an impressive eight of our amazing staff members have been recognized with Herb Kohl honors, which is incredible for any district, let alone a small school. Brunson and Staver are the only two Teacher Fellows honored in all of CESA 3’s 31 districts this year.

Fellowship recipients are educators who have been chosen for their superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, their ability to motivate others, and their leadership and service within and outside the classroom.

Teacher Fellowship awards of $6,000 will be presented to 100 teachers who were nominated for their leadership and service in and outside the classroom, their ability to inspire a love of learning and to motivate their students.

“Herb Kohl believed that education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” JoAnne Anton, President & CEO of Herb Kohl Philanthropies said. “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.”

Past Mineral Point recipients of the Herb Kohl awards at the state level include:

  • Student Excellence: Marsha Bingham 1991; Christopher Marr 2004; Cody Pierce 2020; Callie Pierce 2022.
  • Student Initiative: Sarah Janke 2002; Cory Sokol 2005; Sierra Gunderson 2011; Ireln King 2018.
  • Teacher Fellowship: Bonnie Laverty 1997; Matt Nevers 2017; Kris McCoy 2018; Micki Uppena 2020; Cindi Nothem 2022; Ashley Calderon-McHugh 2023; Erika Brunson 2024; Kristin Staver 2024.
  • Principal Leadership: Matt Renwick 2021.

Award recipients are selected by a statewide committee composed of civic leaders and representatives of education-related associations and the program’s co-sponsors: 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. 

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