A pair of state high school teachers will be honored Sunday, May 6 as recipients of Lawrence University’s 2018 Outstanding Teaching in Wisconsin Award.
Shannon Glenn, a 1994 Lawrence graduate who teaches science at Kimberly High School, and Dana Kopatich, a biology teacher at Menomonee Falls High School, will be recognized by President Mark Burstein in ceremonies at the president’s home. Glenn and Kopatich will receive a certificate, a citation and a monetary award while their respective schools will receive $250 for library acquisitions.
Recipients are nominated by Lawrence seniors and selected on their abilities to communicate effectively, create a sense of excitement in the classroom, motivate their students to pursue academic excellence while showing a genuine concern for them in and outside the classroom. Since launching the award program in 1985, Lawrence has recognized 68 state teachers.
Originally from Miami, Fla., Glenn joined the faculty at Kimberly High School in 2005. He teaches AP chemistry, chemistry and life science and serves as the staff advisor to the KHS Alliance, the school’s diversity and inclusion organization. He began his teaching career in 1999 at Hortonville High School then spent three years abroad teaching at the Saudi Arabian International School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and at the Koahsiung American School in Taiwan.
Lawrence senior biochemistry majorKen Grode of Kaukauna, who nominated Glenn for the award, said he is “often the first teacher to arrive, usually on his bike as long as the sidewalks were clear of snow, and would stay as late as his students needed.
“He is the reason I have an interest in chemistry,” Grode wrote in his nomination. “His encouragement to truly understand the chemistry he taught gave me confidence at Lawrence. I was reminded that if I could pass his class, I could pass any class at Lawrence. Thanks to the seeds he helped to plant, I will be graduating in three years with a degree in biochemistry, having completed all of the pre-medical requirements.”
A member of the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers, Glenn earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Lawrence, where he also earned his teaching certification. He holds a master’s degree in education from Viterbo University.
Kopatich has taught at Menomonee Falls High School since 2000. She serves as the advisor of the school’s chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and is chair of the Science Curriculum committee for grades 9-12. She also has been involved with the school’s Amnesty Club’s “The Water Project,” a non-profit organization that builds wells in Africa to provide access to clean water.
“Ms. Kopatich was and still is a supportive and dedicated teacher who is always accessible when a student is in need,” senior biochemistry major Shelby Hader wrote in her nomination. “No matter the question or topic, she was always willing to talk.
“I have taken [her] advice from senior year of high school all the way to my senior year at Lawrence,” Hader added. “Ms. Kopatich has influenced me as not only a woman, a scientist and a striving medical professional, but as a curious human, always wondering and always searching for answers.”
Kopatich is a member of the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers, the National Association of Biology Teachers and the National Science Teacher Association. She has been the recipient of the Outstanding Science Teacher Award from the University of Minnesota, TMJ4’s Top Teacher Award, the Outstanding Faculty Award at Menomonee Falls and the school district’s Superintendent Child Advocacy Award.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from UW-Milwaukee and her teaching certification from UW-Whitewater in 2000. She earned a master’s degree in chemical and life science from the University of Maryland.
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.