MPS Teacher surprised with MLK day award

A long-time Milwaukee Public School teacher was honored on Friday for her work to keep Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy alive here in our area. 
 
Kris Gerke Comes, who teaches English as a second language at Riley Elementary School, joined the district in 1984. 
 
Harry Russo, Principal at Riley Elementary, said Gerke Comes has long been committed to promoting literacy. She often works in the school's library, and has excelled at both finding and displaying books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
 
"She puts children first. She believes in children," he said. 
Outside of the classroom, Gerke Comes helped develop the City of Milwaukee's Dr. King Writing Contest. 
 
Students can contribute essays, speeches or even art work to the contest as part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. 
 
Gerke Comes serves as a preliminary judge for the writing contest. 
 
"I'm in shock. I'm so proud. This is a big award," she said.  
 
"It's very important to recognize a teacher every year who's involved in getting the students engaged in this contest, this event," said Paul Matthews, President & CEO of the Marcus Center, which co-sponsored the award. 
 
The award came with an iPad, two theater tickets, and a party at Riley Elementary in the teacher's honor. 
 
The 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at the Marcus Center is Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. It's free and open to the public. 

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