In its quest to "relentlessly strengthen urban education," the Center for Urban Education Ministries has announced its 2021 Neubauer Prize for Urban Teaching honorees.

This year’s list includes a dozen Milwaukee educators, representing individuals who go above and beyond in the classroom to make a difference in their students’ lives.

The Center for Urban Education Ministries (CUEM) is a national 501c3 Christian organization located at Concordia University Wisconsin that aims to improve the plight of city schools throughout the U.S. (both public and private) and make a difference in the lives of urban students who, for various reasons, statistically have been shown to perform lower than their counterparts.

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Milwaukee remains one of the most segregated cities in the U.S. The schools within its zip code, therefore, present a unique challenge and opportunity for educators, and the restrictions of the pandemic only served to magnify those challenges, says Concordia’s Dean of Students and Executive Director of CUEM Dr. Steve Gerner.

“This past year presented enormous challenges for educators as schools transitioned back to in-person learning,” Gerner says. “Communication, student engagement, and access to technology and other resources were just a few of the barriers to success. Our awardees responded to these challenges with great energy and results.”

The Neubauer Prize for Urban Teaching is named after Dave and Laura Neubauer, two individuals who greatly respected the love and commitment of teaching. It is annually awarded to urban educators who demonstrate excellence in the field.

2021 Neubauer Award winners

Siri Uden – Milwaukee College Prep

Melissa Story – LUMIN Renaissance – Villa

Karissa Hansen – Hope Christian Schools Caritas

Linda Proeber – St. Martini Lutheran School

Alexia Jones – Hope Fidelis Christian School

Andrea Baird – Christ-St. Peter Lutheran School

Kendra Wilson – Hope Fidelis Christian School

Tabitha Smith – LUMIN Renaissance Lutheran-Villa

Tiffany Gottowski – New Testament Christian Academy

Melanie Buenning – St. Joseph’s Academy Milwaukee

Ya Ting Yang – Shining Star Christian School

Elisabeth Robinson – Shining Star Christian School

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