Some 304 people received Herb Kohl Foundation awards, among them students, teachers and principals.

Awards of $6,000 were given to 100 teachers, 16 principals, and their schools, and $10,000 scholarships were given to 188 graduating high school students, based on academic excellence and "high motivation to achieve."

Teacher Fellowship recipients are chosen for "superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students, their ability to motivate others, and their leadership and service within and outside the classroom," according to an Herb Kohl Foundation news release.

Principal Leadership Award recipients were selected for "setting high standards for instruction, achievement and character, and creating a climate to best serve students, families, staff, and community," according to the news release.

All the award recipients were chosen by a statewide committee.

"I think it is significant that Wisconsin's students, teachers, principals, and schools are recognized for their devotion to education and learning," said Dr. Chris Cody, WCRIS board president in the news release.

"Across Wisconsin, our communities benefit from Herb Kohl's longstanding and generous philanthropy to our educators and students," said State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor.

Among those chosen were Greenwood Elementary Principal Nate Schurman and River Falls High School teacher Jared GrothOlson.

Nate Schurman

River Falls Superintendent Jamie Benson said Schurman has done a "great job" leading staff.

"He certainly supports them and provides them with opportunities to learn and to grow," said Benson, "while also challenging the classroom teachers to feel free to innovate and create and develop new ways of teaching our students.

"They key part of his leadership is how he does so with a caring and compassionate heart to do what's best for our kids every day," Benson said.

He said Schurman does this by supporting the teachers and their Professional Learning Community (PLC), which is a way local teachers are able to share ideas with each other to learn and grow professionally.

"Dr. Schurman has done a great job of creating an atmosphere for that kind of collaboration," Benson said. "He's definitely a strong leader and a great role model, not just for our teachers and support staff but for other administrators as well."

Schurman is one of the 2019 Principal Leaders awarded by the Herb Kohl Foundation.

Jared Groth Olson

Groth Olson is "very innovative" and "Very engaging," said Benson.

"He creates opportunities for students to touch and feel and see what they're learning about, through hands-on, project-based learning.

"He brings a very challenging curriculum to the students, but at the same time, he teaches to them in a way that they can relate to, and understand they see high-level concepts."

The district

Benson said the district is proud of Schurman and GrothOlson.

"Both Dr. Schurman and Jarded Groth Olson were very quick to give credit to their colleagues for ... learning from each other," said Benson. "We're very proud as a school district that these two recipients are in our classrooms."

Benson said the Herb Kohl awards are a high honor.

"We're very proud of their achievements, and we know that they're a reflection of the good teaching that goes on in our schools," Benson said, "And the kind of leadership that's brought very special opportunities for our students to learn every day."