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Milwaukee Parkside teacher honored as 2024 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year

Posted at 5:43 PM, May 02, 2023

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee Parkside School teacher has been named one of five 2024 Wisconsin Teachers of the Year.

Claudia Heller was honored on Tuesday in a surprise ceremony at Parkside that was attended by the entire school.

"I'm shocked, but also, I just feel so warm. I have a great job. I have a great community of students I work with. I learn a lot every single day. And I really think this [honor] needs to go to my students and co-teachers," said Heller.

Heller, a native of Colombia, has taught at MPS since 1997. She currently teaches English to students at Parkside who speak another language at home.

"One of my favorite parts of my job is working with the families," said Heller.

Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly announced the honor during the ceremony, which happened to fall on Teacher Appreciation Day.

"A former student said that you change students' lives and the lives of entire families," Underly said of Heller. "They [teachers] deserve our respect because they love kids. And they want to bring the best out of these kids and these kids are the future of the state."

Heller was also recently announced as a 2023 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellow.

"I love the work I do. I love working with all of your teachers and students. I am honored to be up here," said Heller.

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