Weather Forecast


Local school to benefit from Stoesz's Kohl award

Ellsworth High School Instructor Mark Stoesz expects the local school district to receive a $1,000 check this summer from his Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Fellowship award.

Stoesz was among 100 teachers statewide honored this spring by the foundation for demonstrating superior ability to inspire love of learning in their students, motivating others and providing meritorious service both inside and outside the classroom. The dual award means he will get $1,000, as will the district.

"We'll decide how the district's money will be spent after we get it," he said Wednesday.

The EHS psychology and history teacher, who also serves as school athletic director, said he was recognized for his philosophy, activities and community involvement. He was congratulated by Kohl, U.S. senator from Wisconsin, during a banquet in Eau Claire in April, attended by approximately 300 people including honorees from throughout this region.

"A brief biography on each person was read after they were called up front," he said.

Stoesz continues to be active in the Red Cross, having spoken at a dozen or so of its conferences, most recently at a youth conference in Connecticut and another in California, he said. He's also board chairperson at Zion Covenant Church in Ellsworth.

Local administration nominated Stoesz for the honor last fall, he said. Schools were sent a packet of information, to which he responded by answering questions and writing essays. Former local Kohl award winners Dave Kastberg and Julie Graber of EHS were helpful in preparing the response, as was Ellsworth Middle School Principal Steve Broton, who's been a member of a Kohl award selection committee.

Up to 10 educators can be nominated by a school district, the honoree said. His nomination was sent on to this area's Cooperative Educational Services Agency (CESA) to be considered.

"We got a letter in December saying I'd made the first cut," he said.

Nominees advancing from the CESA level are further considered by a committee comprised of state Department of Public Instruction and Wisconsin Newspaper Association members, he said. Ten nominees from each CESA were ultimately chosen for the award. The local district was notified in February he was one of them.

Stoesz has taught at EHS for 16 years, having been a teacher in Minnesota for three years previously, he said. He introduced sociology and world affairs courses here, and presently teaches advanced placement U.S. history as well as world history. Additionally, he coached six years each of football and girls golf, plus girls basketball and six years of softball. He's been full-time athletic director for the last two years.

"I appreciate the way the school's operated here," he said.

Stoesz and his wife Lesley have two daughters, Courtney, age 13, and Hayley, 10.