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By Marie Perry
Communications Director for the School District of Belleville 

Belleville Teacher Ed Neumann is Recognized Nationally as "PLTW Outstanding Teacher"


September 30, 2021

Photo courtesy of Marie Perry

Ed Neumann, recently named a PLTW (Project Lead the Way) Outstanding Teacher of the Year, is shown here helping students with their VEX robotics activity.

This week, PLTW (Project Lead the Way) teacher Mr. Ed Neumann is delighted to see his students jump in and use the new laser engravers from the Fab Lab Grant he applied for and received last spring for the School District of Belleville to enhance S.T.E.A.M.-related programs. Ed was pleased with his students' work. "We had some awesome designs! A few students took their hand-drawn drawings, scanned them on the laser and then engraved and cut their artwork!" Ed's excitement for teaching, trying new things, and inspiring his students to be ready with up-to-date "work ready" skills are just what recently earned him the PLTW Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

Ed Neumann is one of only 79 teachers across the U.S. to earn the 2021-22 PLTW Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, which recognizes educators who demonstrate a strong record of delivering an inspiring and empowering student experience, expanding access to PLTW programs, and transforming teaching. In the eyes of administrators and students alike who know and work with Mr. Neumann as their colleague or teacher, this award comes as no surprise. It merely is an affirmation of how special a teacher Ed Neumann is to the School District of Belleville.

District Administrator Nate Perry has watched Ed Neumann transform the School District of Belleville's curriculum in the time he has taught in Belleville and marvels at the changes he's made. Perry says, "Ed arrived in Belleville seven years ago. Before his arrival at BHS, we offered one basic trades course for all of our students. Mr. Neumann pushed the district to explore innovative courses and to upgrade its facilities to match 21st century expectations for our students to graduate college - and be career-ready. He played an essential role in designing the S.T.E.A.M. Lab during the referendum process. Now, students can see a purpose in their courses and how they apply to a career that they want to explore in their futures. Ed still pushes to the cutting edge-planning a new Manufacturing class to meet emerging market demands."

Belleville High School and Middle School Principal Heather Schmitz echoes Perry's sentiments and also notes Ed's important role as a leader and how his influence has affected K-12 PLTW learning opportunities for Belleville students. Mrs. Schmitz says, "Mr. Neumann's accomplishments are portrayed through his transformational leadership style that values learning beyond traditional classroom walls. He has played an essential role as our PLTW coordinator in earning Distinguished Launch Elementary School last year, Distinguished Gateway Middle School for the past two years, Distinguished High School for the past two years, and the Distinguished District Award this past school year. The School District of Belleville was one of four districts in the entire State of Wisconsin to earn this award this past school year. Mr. Neumann is a forward thinker who understands what is best for student learning and continues to push himself as a teacher leader to discover and achieve rigorous learning opportunities for ALL students and staff."

Though teachers often know their own worth as they interact with their students on a daily basis and receive feedback for how lesson plans are moving along in their classrooms, it is still meaningful to be recognized for a job well done! Being acknowledged by one's District Administrator and School Principal, as well as nationally by the field in which you teach, offers a chance to "fill one's cup" and re-engage with one's purpose as an educator.

"Teachers and educational leaders perform one of the most critical functions in our society, and we are proud to work with these outstanding educators who are leaders in their classrooms and across the PLTW network," said Dr. Vince Bertram, PLTW President and CEO.

Dr. Bertram's words are true - having educators in place to inspire the next generation of learners, teachers, and industry experts provides a key foundation for success. In Belleville, students are learning to be innovative and provide current industry standard skills in Ed Neumann's classroom because he cares about their futures. Though today PLTW honors Mr. Neumann with this pivotal award, the irony is, Belleville's students are honored to have him as their teacher!


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