Menomonee Falls, Wis., October 12, 2014 — Dr. Catherine Ferderbar, middle school science teacher at St. Mary Parish School (www.stmaryparishschool.org), Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, has been selected to receive the 2014 Celebrate Teachers and Teaching Award from the Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee (EDGM). The 2014 award focus is on teachers doing exemplary work in service learning. Ferderbar was chosen for her hands-on approach to teaching and will be presented with her award at the second annual Celebrate Teachers and Teaching event on October 16th at Alverno College.
The selection process for the award considered teachers that received their professional certifications at one of the EDGM institutions and had a written nomination. Ferderbar, who is a Marquette University alumna and recently earned her doctorate through Cardinal Stritch University was nominated by St. Mary Parish School Principal, Linda Joyner. The nomination detailed Ferderbar’s ability to accommodate to each of her student’s learning style and bring educational concepts to life. “It is common place, for students to dissect, build, grow, write, sing, solve fictitious crimes, create visual representations, graphic organizers, and even dress up like elements to demonstrate their knowledge,” said Joyner. “She empowers her students with the knowledge, skills and inspiration they need to take action and make a positive difference in the community.”
Making a Difference in the Community
Ferderbar’s love of science and hands-on teaching style engages and inspires students in a way that helps them gain a greater sensitivity for the environment. Many of her students noted environmentally friendly changes they have implemented at home due to concepts taught by Ferderbar in class such as cleaning debris from storm sewers, forgoing soapy water when washing cars, and sweeping fertilizer off their driveways. One sixth grade student was inspired by Ferderbar to rescue several tadpoles from a polluted sewer culvert and release the developed frogs into a clean river.
She has organized a school-wide recycling program, a student managed composting program, an after school science and garden club and developed a program in collaboration with Riveredge Nature Center which will be offered to other schools as a service learning experience. The program entitled Protecting Wisconsin Ecosystems teaches students about invasive plants and the role they play in destabilizing native ecosystems. Students learned to identify, locate and properly remove the plants in prairie and forest areas. As part of the project, students shared their knowledge with family members and neighbors in an effort to decrease the impact of invasive species in their own communities.
St. Mary Parish School, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, is a fully accredited Catholic school for grades K3 through eighth grade. We offer full and/or half-day program options for K4 and K5. Fostering a positive sense of self within our students, St. Mary’s dedicated and highly qualified staff is committed to providing an environment that promotes self-esteem, leadership and respect for others. We engage students in the learning process and encourage them to develop to their fullest potential spiritually, morally, intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. Visit www.StMaryParishSchool.org to explore each of our academic areas, rich variety of athletics and extracurricular activities, and services that support our students and their parents. Or, contact the school office at (262)251-1050 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.