A pair of Appleton high school teachers will be recognized Sunday, May 7 as recipients of Lawrence University’s 2017 Outstanding Teaching in Wisconsin Award.
Marlyce Reed, a history teacher at Appleton North, and Pat Schwanke, who teaches history and psychology at Appleton East, will be honored as outstanding educators.
Both will receive a certificate, a citation and a monetary award from Lawrence President Mark Burstein in ceremonies at the president’s house. Their respective schools also 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 66 state teachers.
Reed joined the Appleton Area School District in 1991 and has been a member of the faculty at North High School since 2006. Her teaching experience includes AP American Studies, AP U.S. history, U.S. history, history media, civics, e-school civics as well as extensive work in the Gifted & Talented field. Since 2014, she has served as a College Board reader for Advanced Placement U.S. history exams.
North honored Reed in 2011 with its Teacher of the Year award and she is a three-time recipient of the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth Excellent Educator Award.
“Ms. Reed is a teacher who takes her role as an educator with utmost seriousness and treats her students as scholars in their own right.”
— Lawrence senior Gabriel Peterson
She created the first International Community Problems Solving Team featuring students from North High School and Shchuchye, Russia. They worked collaboratively to address safety issues related to a Cold War chemical weapons depot near the village of Shchuchye. Reed worked with numerous Russian government officials, the U.S. State and Defense Departments, the Green Cross, Parsons Company and local Shchuchye residents to establish safety programs and protocols to promote acceptance of the weapons deconstruction plant built by the U.S. government.
Lawrence senior Gabriel Peterson, who nominated Reed for the award, described her as “a dedicated, wise and hard-working teacher.”
“Ms. Reed is a teacher who takes her role as an educator with utmost seriousness and treats her students as scholars in their own right, helping them grow academically and personally through her often-rigorous curriculum,” Peterson wrote in his nomination. “Her holistic approach to teaching also gives her students valuable skills in writing and critical thinking, preparing many for further education and giving all an expanded mindset.”
Originally from Independence, Iowa and a graduate of Wisconsin’s Wonewoc-Center High School, Reed earned a bachelor of music degree from UW-Stevens Point and a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University. She also received certification in history and broad field social studies from Lawrence.
Schwanke has taught at East High School since 1985 and served as the head coach of the Patriots football team for the past 26 years.
He is a member of the American Psychological Association and since 2011, has been active in the Fox Valley chapter of Voices of Men, an organization that works to end sexual assault and domestic violence. From 2012-16, Schwanke coordinated the Appleton East Tackles Cancer initiative. He was presented the Helen and Ade Dillon Award in 2015, which honors an AASD staff member “who encourages a balanced life for students through excellence in education and involvement in student activities outside of the classroom.”
“Pat cares about each of his students individually and knows how to make sure every student will succeed and reach their highest potential,” Lawrence senior Aubrey Scott wrote in her nomination of Schwanke. “He always made every topic exciting and engaging. It was in Pat’s class that I first found a love for psychology and realized that I want to teach it someday and pass on that love to others, just as he does for his students.
“I hope that I can someday leave an impact on my students like Pat did with his,” Scott added. “I think any of my classmates would agree with me that he deserves this award more than anyone.”
A native of Menasha, Schwanke graduated from Lawrence in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology/secondary education with teacher certifications in broad field social studies, economics, history, political science and psychology.
“It was in Pat’s class that I first found a love for psychology and realized that I want to teach it someday…I hope that I can someday leave an impact on my students like Pat did with his.”
— Lawrence senior Aubrey Scott
A former standout tight end on the Lawrence football team who helped the Vikings win three consecutive conference championships, Schwanke was inducted into the Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
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.