Shorewood Excellence in Teaching Award – Collaborative


To recognize the highest professional achievements in collaborative teaching.


Certified teachers currently employed full time by the Shorewood School District, who are nominated by one or more students, parents, teachers, or other members of the Shorewood community. A teacher is eligible to win every 7 years whether it is as an individual or part of a group.

The Award

$10,000 for a group of two teachers
$15,000 for a group of three or more teachers

Nomination Form

To nominate a teacher, please fill out the nomination form.

Criteria for Selection

  • The collaboration is for delivery of curriculum, teaching methods or classroom aids which assist in:
    • Fostering academic and personal growth of all students
    • Upholding rigorous learning and behavior standards for all students
    • Promoting the development of leadership and ownership of learning by all students
    • Creating a positive learning environment
    • Engaging students through creative and innovative approaches to learning

  • The collaborative curriculum, teaching methods or classroom aids have been implemented.

  • The collaborative curriculum, teaching methods or classroom aids are not position dependent and may be implemented by any similar group of teachers.

Selection Committee

Nancy Athanasiou
Nancy Athanasiou, Dean of the School of Education and Associate Professor, has been teaching at Alverno College since 2001. Prior to that, she served as an Instructional Technology Resource teacher/Instructional Specialist in the Germantown School District, and was a middle school teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Nancy has consulted with school districts and university faculty, locally and internationally in the areas of culture and climate, assessment design, feedback, self assessment, and defining and assessing institutional, program, and course outcomes, She serves as the curriculum coordinator for the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls and is co-director of the Leadership Advancing Character and Culture in Schools (LACCS) program. Nancy is co-chair of the Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee, serves on the board of the Greater Milwaukee Catholic Education Consortium, and consults with the Milwaukee Police Department’s STOP program.

Jack Linehan
Jack Linehan retired from the Shorewood School District in 2003 after 18 years in school leadership roles, 7 as high school principal, the last 11 as superintendent. He has since extended his career in education by contributing to a variety of school leadership and policy areas throughout the region. He is currently on the faculty at Cardinal Stritch University as Director of the Superintendent Licensure Program and is Chair of the Doctoral Admission Committee. He has been a consultant to public and private schools throughout the region specializing in school leadership, policy, and operational effectiveness.

Jeff Schmeckpeper
Jeff and his wife, Barbara Browning, have lived in Shorewood since 1975. All four of their children attended and graduated from the Shorewood Public Schools. Jeff received his B.A. from Cornell University and his J.D. from Marquette University Law School and has practiced law with Kasdorf, Lewis and Swielik, S.C. since 1975. His practice has included representing school districts throughout the state on a wide range of issues over the past twenty years.

In addition to practicing law, Jeff was a member of the Shorewood School Board from 1991-2001(serving as president for four years), was a member of the Shorewood Library Board from 2003-2012 (serving as president for six years), served on the Board of the Shorewood Foundation and has been chairman of the Shorewood Board of Appeals since 2003.

JoAnn Sternke
JoAnn Sternke is our newest member of the Shorewood Excellence in Teaching Award Committee. JoAnn began her teaching career in the School District of Shorewood where she taught English, Speech and Drama at Shorewood High School from 1981 to 1992. Following this, JoAnn left Shorewood to become an administrator in the Cedarburg School District. JoAnn is currently the Superintendent of the Pewaukee School District where she has served in this role since 2001. JoAnn was recognized as Pewaukee’s Person of the Year in 2014 and Wisconsin’s Superintendent of the Year for 2013. She was also honored with the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Influence in 2010. For six years, the Pewaukee School District has been recognized as a Top Workplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one of very few educational institutions recognized with this honor. Additionally, under her tenure the Pewaukee School District has also seen recognition in Newsweek, Business Week, and the Washington Post. JoAnn has spoken about performance excellence and quality throughout our country and around the world. After earning her doctoral degree in Leadership, Learning and Service through Cardinal Stritch University, JoAnn now serves as a professor in the Masters in Educational Leadership Program and superintendent licensure program. JoAnn is very excited to support quality education in Shorewood, a school district in which she was proud to teach and learn.

Kathy Smith
Kathy Smith is a long-time resident of Shorewood. She attended Shorewood Schools K-12 as did both of her children. She has served on various committees in Shorewood including Strategic Planning for Shorewood School, Shorewood Planning committee on Parks, and the Shorewood District Gifted and Talented committee. She served as President, Vice President, and committee member of the Lake Bluff PTA.

Teaching Award Timeline

JANUARY 31, 2018 — Begin teacher nominations

MARCH 4, 2018 — Nomination period ends

MARCH 7, 2018 — Nominated teachers invited to apply

APRIL 10, 2018 — Teacher applications due

FIRST WEEK OF JUNE — Winner(s) announced