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'It is a joy to help them': Rural Teacher of the Year changing students' lives on and off the court

Posted at 5:46 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 13:28:22-05

WATERFORD — Many hard-working teachers are up already, prepping this morning for class.

Just one was awarded Wisconsin’s ‘Rural Teacher of the Year.’

We spoke to her students, who shares why she is a teacher everyone wants to have.

Both on the court and off, Mrs. Brechtl has been a champion for struggling students at Waterford Union High School.

Natalia Belmontes says her math teacher deserves this award, “Yes, one hundred percent. I think she’s really hard working.”

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Belmontes adds, “She always welcomed me to come to her for a different point of view. She helps so many struggling students in math.”

One of them was Evan Danowski who says he did not like math but, “By the end of the year she made it that geometry was my favorite subject in math that I went through.”

“There are so many kids that don’t really care for math if you can believe it!” Dena Brechtl joked, adding “It is a joy to help them and through that journey.”

That’s not the only way Evan says Mrs. Brechtl changed his high school career, “If I’m going down the wrong path in something she'll tell me like you need to fix this.”

“I think that once they know I care then they care even more,” said Brechtl.

“The lowest test score I got was a 94 in geometry she helped me tremendously through it,” said Danowski.

“I just love what I do. I really enjoy teaching,” said Brechtl.

The captain of the girl’s basketball team says Mrs. Brechtl is a wonderful coach, “If you need help with your shot or a play she’s always there to help you understand it and go through it as many times as you need.”

Mrs. Brechtl credits it to the great team she works with, and a community she has always been part of, “When I look at Waterford Union High School I see the community. I bleed green and white. Whatever I can do, I’m there to do it.”


Which makes her the 2021 ‘Rural Teacher of the Year.’

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