School forest manager wins Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award


Robby Powell

Science teacher Lori Danz (fourth from left) poses with her family after receiving the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award at the Superior School District School Forest May 11.

By Robby Powell, Copy Editor

As science teacher Lori Danz showed up to her daily routine at the school forest on a sunny and warm Wednesday morning, she was greeted by many of her students to congratulate her on becoming teacher of the year for the state of Wisconsin. Danz has had an impact on every age of student in the district since she began teaching in 1996. In fact, the audience at the school forest today ranged in age from two years old to her mother, who is in her 80’s. 

At least three media outlets showed up, including WDIO, KBJR, and the Superior Telegram. Danz showed up to applause from students, staff and family. Danz had no expectation of the honor when she drove up, and was caught off guard by the numerous cars and people filling the forest. 

School Superintendent Amy Starzecki spoke the ceremony with a speech about her hard work and dedication to not only the school forest but the school district as well.

“I wish we could give more of these awards out to the many amazing teachers like Ms. Danz,” Starzecki said.

State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly spoke next about how she was chosen for her energy and determination to improve the forest as well as the lives of her students.

Across the entire state, only five teachers receive the award of Teacher of the Year. Danz spoke about how honored she was as well as giving credit and thanks to all of her co-workers, students and family. 

Sophomore Aidan Robbins, who attended Northern Lights Elementary School visited the school forest almost every year. His fondest memories include snowshoeing and drinking apple cider in January when he was in fourth grade. He said his favorite thing about Danz is her enthusiasm to teach kids about nature and biology. 

I’m really happy for her. She’s a great person and I am genuinely excited to celebrate,” Robbins said.