Eau Claire (WQOW) - Every one of us remembers a particular teacher who mattered.
For me, that was Miss Zonarae in Fourth Grade, and Sister Reichart in Fifth. Then there was my creative writing teacher, Mrs. Belland, and Mr. Barootian who taught me that there's a world of meaning buried just beneath the printed word.
Kimberly Hill-Phelps has been with the Eau Claire school system for 30 years plus. She taught First Grade at Lowes Creek Elementary for six years before becoming an administrator. Since then she's been the principal at Arlington Heights, Park, Boyd, and Flynn. With the closing of Boyd School, Hill-Phelps was part of the team that consulted on the design of Flynn, and then formed a "human chain" to the new "user-friendly" facility. Every year it's her job to help shape the futures of hundred of young people. And some people insist it's the most important job there is.
Currently, in the state of Wisconsin there's a political and philosophical battle being waged in the schools. The fight is over budgets, teacher quality, classroom size, merit pay, collective bargaining, and much more. And our children are smack dab in the middle.
In our conversation, Hill-Phelps shares her thoughts on the process of teaching, the qualities that are inherent to good teachers, the connection between salary and value, her reflections on the schools she's closed and christened, and her thoughts on the future of education in Eau Claire and Wisconsin.
The story of schools come and go, but one thing remains constant; it's the teachers, not the buildings, that make us who we are.
Kimberly Hill-Phelps, In Person. Only on WQOW News 18. If you can watch TV critically, judiciously, and analytically, thank a teacher.
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