WEAC member Roger King is Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year

From the Department of Public Instruction

RogerKing_150pxIn a surprise ceremony at his school, Roger King, an agriscience teacher at Holmen High School, was named Wisconsin’s High School Teacher of the Year for the 2015-16 school year.

State Superintendent Tony Evers made the announcement during an all-school assembly. As part of the Teacher of the Year honor, King will receive $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.

“A Teacher of the Year demonstrates an unwavering commitment to students,” Evers said. “It’s my honor to recognize Roger for the work he does and for being such an exceptional representative of educators in Wisconsin’s public schools.”

Described as “a resourceful innovator,” King’s teaching philosophy centers around practical application of learning principles. In order to prepare students for the future, he teaches them to “investigate real world issues and problems, develop research and questioning skills, develop problem solving skills” and gather “knowledge through a hands-on approach to each lesson” that he teaches.

One area where students learn these skills is in a greenhouse facility where students grow food that is served in their cafeteria.

“In our greenhouse facility, we tackled the real world problem of growing food through alternative methods … so not only have they learned an alternative method of growing food, but they are harvesting and providing produce to their fellow students in the lunch room,” says King.

King also believes parent involvement is essential for student success. “I engage parents by having them on my Agriscience Advisory Committee so I can have a parent perspective on lessons the students are involved in and to make sure that future career interests are covered in the classroom. I also invite parents on field trips to give them a better understanding of the curriculum and the industries that support the curriculum I teach,” he says.

In a letter submitted by a colleague, King’s approach is described as “not a ‘drop your kids at the door’ philosophy. He knows we are a better society when parents, children, and community all come together for the greater good.”

He carries his passion for what he teaches in the classroom into several community service activities. Annually, he volunteers at the La Crosse dairy breakfast supervising 4-H and FFA students as they serve more than 2,000 attendees. He also volunteers as a master gardener in his school gardens, serves as the Holmen FFA adviser, has been a 4-H leader for 16 years, coaches football, and serves as the co-chair for the La Crosse County Interstate Fair Small Animal Barn Committee.

King holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and he earned a master’s degree in professional development from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Evers will recognize King as the Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year during his State of Education address September 17 in Madison.