Westfield Educators Nominated For Prestigious “2019 Herb Kohl Fellowship” Awards
Educators are nominated for Kohl Fellowships based on excellence and talent in the classroom and their commitment to providing educational experiences to students. Recipients of the award receive a $6,000 personal award as well as an additional $6,000 to be used in their school; the award money is given out from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.
Daniel Mahn, Jeff Napp, Stacey Oliphant, Kristi Romberg, and Lori Temanson join previous Westfield nominees: Jeremy Akey, David Briggs, Sheri Cujak, Nikki Kopach, Mary Mades, Quinn Shirley, Jeff Steckbauer, and Sara Watson. Three Westfield educators have won the award: David Moody (Winner of the 2016 Herb Kohl Outstanding Wisconsin Principal Award), Fred Posthuma (Winner of the 1993 Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship), and Julianne West (Winner of the 2014 Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship). Lily Wagner, Valedictorian of the Class of 2019, is the most recent recipient of the Kohl Student Excellence Award.
Daniel Mahn is in his tenth year of teaching overall, and his fifth year at Westfield High School. Mahn earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration with a concentration in Principal and Curriculum Director Licenses from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Mahn is known as a teacher who simply refuses to give up on his students and refuses to let students give up on themselves.
He relentlessly pursues ways to help his students find success and develop a deep understanding of Math and its relevance to real world applications. Mahn is a problem-solver who constantly finds new ways to help his students learn and appreciate Math. Throughout his years in Westfield, countless students have been able to achieve success in Math who had not previously been able to comprehend the material.
It is due to Mahn’s persistence and never-give-up attitude that so many of his students develop a confidence they had never before experienced. In addition to his teaching duties, Mahn is the Advisor of the Math team and serves on a number of committees in the school. As the resident “Problem Solver,” Mahn is constantly sought out by his colleagues for assistance with technology, curriculum, scheduling, and any number of issues for which they need assistance.
Jeff Napp is in his 41st year of teaching overall, and his 36th in Westfield. Napp earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in Art. He earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Professional Development in Art & Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He also served his country in the United States Army. Napp is known in Westfield as a teacher of tremendous energy and enthusiasm, and as a person who goes out of his way to ensure students of all interest and ability levels have the opportunity to experience Art education.
It is not uncommon for Napp to run two or three classes simultaneously so students are able to fit specialized Art classes into their schedules. His love of Art and his extraordinary talent for working with students has inspired countless students to pursue education and careers in the field of Art. He runs a highly active Art Club, District Art Shows, and—for over 30 years— has worked with students as they compete in the Visual Arts Classic at UW-Madison.
In 1997, Napp created Bowls for Hunger a community service event for which he is perhaps best known. Every year, Napp makes, glazes, and fires approximately 1,000 handmade ceramic bowls for the Bowls for Hunger event. In the months leading up to the event, school and community groups are invited to the Art room after school to paint the bowls that will be used during Bowls for Hunger.
On the night of Bowls for Hunger, the community is invited to a soup and salad dinner where they are able to pick out a bowl for their soup and are able to take the bowl home with them. Over 600 community members attend the dinner on an annual basis, and this event has raised well over $100,000 for food pantries in the area.
In 2019, Napp was inducted into the Westfield Pioneers Wall of Fame for his career-long record of excellence in teaching and service to the community.
Stacey Oliphant is in her 10th year as the School Social Worker for the School District of Westfield, and has been a social worker for the past 20 years. Prior to her tenure in Westfield, Oliphant did abuse prevention training, parent and child care education, child development services, and provided training at the state and national levels. Oliphant graduated from Viterbo University, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with Human Services Concentration. She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Social Work with Children, Youth, and Families Concentration.
As the district’s Social Worker, Oliphant spends her days working with students and families to help them improve their social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes. She serves as the liaison between families and the school. Students that experience struggles with relationships or with peers often seek out Oliphant to help them develop strategies to improve their situations.
She provides a safe, friendly, and positive environment in her office, and students feel comfortable knowing they can go to her when they need someone to talk with. In addition to her role as Social Worker, Oliphant is also the Migrant Education Program Director. Her ability to speak fluent Spanish, coupled with her outstanding organizational skills, enables her to work with migrant families so that all migrant students reach challenging academic and employment goals.
Oliphant is also actively involved with the school district’s Pioneer Pantry. Students whose families are struggling financially are able to receive food, clothing, toiletries, laundry soap, and other essential supplies.
Kristi Romberg is in her 16th year of teaching and 13th year at Westfield High School. Romberg graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s Degree in Family & Consumer Education. She earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a second Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Concordia University.
As the Alternative Education Teacher, Romberg works with regular education students in need of assistance or alternative educational programming. Working closely with her students, Romberg helps them stay organized, develop positive study habits, stay caught up on coursework, prepare for tests and quizzes, and helps them arrange educational or career options for life after high school.
Romberg is in constant communication with all teachers in the school regarding her students’ progress, upcoming assignments and tests, and what her students need to work on to be successful in their classes. Many students in her program make dramatic improvements in their learning and go on to earn a spot on the honor roll.
Her dedication to each student drives them to seek out and achieve the success that may have eluded them throughout their school careers. Countless students have earned their high school diploma after becoming credit deficient; it is because of her dedication and care for students that they were able to overcome obstacles and achieve a goal that once seemed out of reach.
In addition to her efforts in the classroom, Romberg also helps students reach their goals as a Cross Country coach. Athletes in the Cross Country program love her positive and fun approach to coaching and the positive atmosphere she helps build. Athletes of all skill levels are welcomed into Cross Country and are helped every step of the way in order to achieve individual and team goals.
Lori Temanson is in her 33rd year of teaching overall, and her 32nd year of teaching Vocal Music at Westfield High School. Temanson earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a K-12 General and Vocal Music Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She also received her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Steven Point.
Temanson runs a highly active and engaging Choir program. Incredibly, about 40 percent of Westfield High School students participate in Choir, which is a testament to her incredible program.
As a teacher, Temanson provides her students with the highest quality educational practices and her students perform at the highest levels. Due to their excellent training, many of her students go on to college and careers in the music field.
Temanson provides students with incredible educational opportunities including Large Group Festivals, Honors Choir, Solo & Ensemble, the Dorian Music Festival, Chanhassen, and the New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia trip. Temanson constantly helps her students raise money for their trips by selling concessions at games & events as well as running the Brat Wagon throughout the summer.
In addition to her busy teaching schedule, Temanson directs the school musical, plans and coordinates the graduation ceremony and Senior Picnic, serves on a variety of committees, and mentors new teachers. Her passion for education and her love of working with students makes her highly respected by her students, colleagues, and members of the community.