Return to Headlines

Congratulations ECMECC Educators of Excellence 2020!


Chris Thompson - Norse ALC/Distance Learning, North Branch Area Public Schools
Chris Thompson came to us in the eleventh hour last fall to work with our Distance Learning and ALC program. Although he had only two days to transition to working at North Branch he came in with enthusiasm and energy. He quickly learned our distance learning program to work with our students and was also thrown into learning the G Suite platform. He has worked hard to learn our systems so that he can effectively work with our students and help them succeed. Within our ALC program and distance learning, other teachers look to Chris for his guidance and leadership. He has added to our programs through his organizational skills and calm demeanor. Chris is happy to help others and always seems to have a cheerful presence that makes teachers and students feel comfortable. After learning many programs, Chris is then willing to take his new knowledge and help the students and other teachers with the technology that they need to be successful. He has used these programs to help students access school in an alternative way. He works with students at various levels of engagement and provides them with the tools to complete their credits towards graduation. Chris has become a welcome member of our staff from day one and has added a depth of wisdom to our ALC and Distance Learning programs.


Lynne Wilzbacher - Sunrise River Elementary
Lynne Wizbacher is an Instructional Coach at Early Childhood and Sunrise River Elementary in the North Branch Area Public Schools. As an educator in the classroom, Lynne has always implemented learning through technology and put it into the hands of her students whenever possible to help them communicate, grow, and extend their learning. Now, as a leader in the building and in the district, she has stepped up and emphasized the importance of technology with the elementary staff and their students. She has brought in experts from other buildings to support the elementary staff in technology programs that she was not as familiar with but are best practices for the elementary setting. She is collaborating with the other district tech integrationists to provide new opportunities for ongoing learning. As we moved into Distance Learning these past months, Lynne saw a need for training amongst the teachers and became a SeeSaw Ambassador and has provided her building and district with training and on-going support. Through a daily newsletter and weekly contact with the teachers, Lynne has been able to listen to their needs, and supported and provided training for the elementary teachers. Through all of Lynne’s efforts and leadership, the teachers and students of Early Childhood and North Branch Sunrise Elementary have grown in their personal use and in their comfort level of using technology and using it with their classrooms.


Melissa Kleschult - North Branch Area Middle School
Melissa Kleschult is a 5th-grade teacher for North Branch Area Public Schools. Throughout the years, Melissa has continued to stay at the forefront of classroom technology integration. Melissa’s contribution to student growth is shown through her ability to promote and enhance student learning by developing their ability to effectively collaborate and communicate through utilizing technology. Melissa has always been driven toward excellence in her knowledge and abilities. Most recently, Melissa has become a Google Certified Teacher. She seeks to improve her skills and is willing to share what she’s learned with colleagues.

During Professional Development days, Melissa continues to display leadership among the staff. She inspires colleagues by willingly leading and facilitating sessions on current and relevant technology strategies. Melissa does not “show” you how, she encourages you to experience technology yourself, then celebrates the knowledge you acquire. Melissa’s willingness to help, her positive character, patience, and knowledgeable skills have supported our staff throughout the years, and most recently, as we have transitioned into Distance Learning. Melissa is well-deserving of this honor.


Sherri Keller - North Branch Area High School
Sherri Keller is the Technology Integrationist and Media Specialist at North Branch Area High School. Sherri’s leadership and knowledge have been invaluable to her staff both throughout the school year and especially as they moved to distance learning. Sherri has a passion for helping teachers and students reach their greatest potential through best practice instruction and rigor. She shares this passion with all she interacts with and helps them to reach their greatest potential. Sherri is a strong leader who is a part of building and district teams as well as providing a wide range of technology training sessions with her staff. She is a team player who often goes above and beyond to ensure students and staff have the skills and resources they need to be successful. Sherri makes all feel welcome and included with her warm demeanor and quirky humor. Sherri has impacted student learning by helping teachers use technology in the classroom not just as a tool, but as a venue for students to demonstrate collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking. Through her leadership, the high school has seen an increase in the use of technology in these areas.