Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2011 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Bio/Overview: Lechleiter-Luke is currently employed as a high school Spanish and English teacher in Mauston, Wisconsin. Teaching for twenty years in small, rural school districts has offered Lechleiter-Luke many opportunities to roll up her shirt sleeves and affect change that has an immediate impact on whole populations of students. Throughout her career Lechleiter-Luke has taken advantage of her dual certification in English and Spanish and has taught children in grades 7-12 in both subjects. Over the years she has also taught credit and non-credit courses to adults enrolled at the local technical college. In the summer she teaches an exploratory Spanish course to children in grades kindergarten-5.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Kaizen, the word taped to the front of Lechleiter-Luke’s computer, means continuous improvement through ongoing change. Kaizen captures the essence of Lechleiter-Luke’s personal and educational philosophies. She holds all of her students to high standards and expects to see growth in each individual before they leave her classroom. Witnessing their growth motivates Lechleiter-Luke to improve her own practices.
Achievements: In September 2009, she was named Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year and a month later was chosen as Wisconsin’s 2010 representative to the National Teacher of the Year Program. Previously Lechleiter-Luke received an Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Fellowship for innovative work with small learning communities, project-based, and service learning projects such as the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. As Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, Lechleiter-Luke traveled from coast to coast both learning about and speaking on behalf of public education.
Leadership Experience: Lechleiter-Luke has served as an advisor of a number of extra-curricular activities including, forensics, Academic Decathlon, National Honor Society, Student Council, Spanish Club, Link Crew (a peer mentoring program) and Key Club. Lechleiter-Luke has a passion for service-learning, and one absolute highlight of her career was in 2006 when she was named Wisconsin-Upper Michigan Key Club Advisor of the Year. In addition to being a home club advisor, Lechleiter-Luke also served as regional advisor for Southwestern Wisconsin. Aside from extra-curricular involvement, her latest endeavor is co-founding and sitting on the governance council of the first public charter school in her school district. iLEAD Charter School focuses on developing leadership and entrepreneurial skills through project-based, Common Core State Standards driven curriculum. As a Teacher Ambassador Fellow, Lechleiter-Luke convened listening sessions for the Department of Education across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, facilitated presentations at a national Labor Management Conference, assisted with the first-ever Race to the Top Convening in Washington D.C., and wrote blog posts for the DoED. She also presented Blue Ribbon Schools Awards and accompanied senior DoED staff members as they toured K-12 school facilities and listened to presentations about wrap around services, such as United Way. Her favorite TAF assignment was participating in Secretary Duncan’s rural tour of Wisconsin and Iowa in the spring.
Affiliations: Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers, Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, and National Network of State Teachers of the YearEducation: Lechleiter-Luke earned a Bachelor’s Degree from University Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1992, and she was recently bestowed the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. She earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 2002. She has begun working towards a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Leadership, Policy and Change.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Rural Education
- Community collaboration
- Language instruction
- Charter schools
- Labor Relations