By Katie Kaufman
Joe Schingen, Area Learning Center and Academic Excellence Online High School (AEO), is the recipient of the 2018 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award. Andy Goldfine made the announcement at a reception at Lincoln Park Middle School on Wednesday evening during which he presented Schingen with a trophy and a $5,000 check.
In the nomination materials, Schingen is described as open, welcoming and inviting in his classroom, inspiring students of all backgrounds and abilities to succeed and develop a love of learning.
According to Dr. Mike Cary, ISD 709 Director of Curriculum and Instruction, “Joe is a creative, highly skilled and innovative educator who keeps students at the center of everything. He takes time to get to know his students…he understands best practices in teaching and learning and understands the needs of his students.”
Joe is a pioneer in classroom innovation. He was the first full-time employee of Duluth Public School’s Academic Excellence Online High School and the first full-time online high school teacher to be nominated in Duluth for the prestigious Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award.
Joe has created digital curriculum for all of his courses and is recognized by the Minnesota Department of Education in his efforts. He’s led multiple digital conferences and was one of the original team members that built, audited and participated in the MN Partnerships for Collaborative Curriculum.
“One of the best features of Joe’s program is the use of technology to provide avenues of communication,” says one colleague. “Always the big thinker, Joe is bringing online students together from different programs across the state to discuss online education in Minnesota’s first online students learning conference.”
Says another colleague, “Joe is truly a great teacher. He inspires his students to think beyond lessons and encourages them to explore new ideas and to be great people through his teaching.”
Manley and Lillian Goldfine established a fund for the Gold Star Teacher Award in 2006 through the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, to honor inspirational Duluth Public School teachers for their dedication, skills and hard work. Last year elementary school teachers were nominated for the award; this year middle and high school teachers were nominated.