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Mark Taylor, Milwaukee Excellence Charter School
NCWIT-WI Affiliate Aspirations Educator Winner for 2021

Dr. Taylor is a life-long computer hobbyist and teacher who has found his life-calling in teaching High School Computer Science. Dr. Taylor is committed to expanding access to high-quality CS education to traditionally underserved students, creating opportunities to learn programming, robotics, CAD, and application engineering. With an unflinching belief that Computer Science is the gateway to success in any career, and that all students can be successful in the field, Dr. Taylor and all of the staff at Milwaukee Excellence assist all of our students in taking AP CSP during their Sophomore year. Once given access, we know our students will be the leaders of the next generation. His greatest accomplishments are those students that enter his class with minimal knowledge of and interest in computers, and graduate with brains full of dreams about how to incorporate Computer Science into future careers, families and communities.

Samantha Kable, New London High School
NCWIT-WI Affiliate Aspirations Educator Honorable Mention for 2021

Samantha is a 22 year veteran of the School District of New London; she has been predominantly teaching mathematics until she was interested in adding her computer science to her teaching degree. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music and Mathematics Education as well as a master’s degree in Education. In 2019, she received her WI 1405 Computer Science License from MTEC. Samantha has taught Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Exploring Computer Science, Introduction to Computer Programming, and AP Computer Science Principles. Samantha has been the advisor for New London Math League for over 15 years and is looking forward to transitioning to exclusively teaching computer science. She is extremely passionate about the importance of technology as a 21st century skill for today’s youth.

Jim Ferwerda, Mukwonago High School
NCWIT-WI Affiliate Aspirations Educator Honorable Mention for 2021

Jim has been teaching Computer Science and Math at Mukwonago High School for more than 35 years. His professional passion is to enhance student learning by integrating high-impact educational practices into his classroom, especially in CS and IT. He was instrumental is envisioning and creating Mukwonago High School’s innovative IT Academy, designed to give students personalized learning opportunities in preparation for IT professions, enhanced by internship and job experiences in the community. During his many years of teaching, he has long advocated for the inclusion of females into IT related fields, and has found the IT Academy an effective tool for increasing female participation in the CS/IT world. When he’s not helping students learn and grow, he might be found in Ghana helping terminally ill or disabled children live better lives through West African Mercy Ministries.

Current Awardees

This year there are three awardees, a winner and two honorable mentions, who were chosen from applications submitted by Wisconsin educators who have endorsed at least one Aspirations candidate. The application consists primarily of three essays related to their teaching style and involvement in strongly encouraging young women to learn and be actively involved in IT.

Previous Award Winners

• Alyssa Basthemer, Kettle Moraine High School of Health Sciences, 2020 Winner
• Mary Walz, Sauk Prairie High School, 2020 Honorable Mention
• Olivia Dachel, Merrill HS, 2019 Winner
• Brenda Larson, Menomonee Falls HS, 2019 Honorable Mention
• Laura Masbruch, Whitewater HS, 2019 Honorable Mention
• Aaron Chamberlain, New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School, 2018 Winner
• Jim Ferwerda, Mukwonago HS, 2018 Honorable Mention
• Aaron Pavao, Waunakee HS, 2017 Winner
• Rose Hoffman, Waukesha Catholic Memorial HS, 2017 Honorable Mention
• Linnea Logan, Whitefish Bay, HS, 2016 Winner
• Dean Johnson, Fort Atkinson HS, 2015 Winner
• Rose Hoffman, Waukesha Catholic Memorial HS, 2014 Winner
• Tom Wozniak, Rufus King IB HS, 2013 Winner
• Bob Getka, Janesville Parker HS, 2012 Winner

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