Sarahi Monterrey, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Waukesha North High School, has been named a Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year. Sarahi is the daughter of Jorge Luis Mayorga, the Director of Congregational Development for the Wisconsin Conference.

Wisconsin’s Teachers of the Year — elementary school, middle or junior high school, high school, and special services — are selected from the applications of the public school Herb Kohl Fellowship recipients. Teachers become Kohl Fellowship recipients through a nomination and selection process that looks for educators with a superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, ability to motivate others as well as leadership and service within and outside the classroom.

State Superintendent Tony Evers made the announcement during an all-school assembly. As part of the Teacher of the Year honor, Monterrey will receive $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.

In her application, Sarahi shared that she has always known that she wanted to be a teacher. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction posted this press release that said, “As a child immigrant from El Salvador, she recognizes the pivotal role teachers play in students’ lives. “The power in making students feel welcome and safe cannot be underestimated,” she said. Monterrey’s work on inclusion includes the visible, “Dreamers Welcome” and “This School Welcomes You” posters. Not as visible, but just as important, are her extra efforts to ensure a curriculum that is representative of various backgrounds so students feel inspired; her work to improve family communication so parents understand they are part of their student’s success; and her outreach to ensure that English learner (EL) students have access to extracurricular activities and support to be ready for college.”

To learn more about Sarahi Monterrey and her work, read the full Wisconsin DPI press release, this Journal Sentinel article, or this Fox 6 NOW article.