MADISON — State Superintendent Tony Evers’ visit to Lincoln Elementary School last week was more than an ordinary school assembly. The event recognized Josie Guiney Igielski, a fourth-grade teacher and motivating force behind the school’s outdoor learning space, as the Wisconsin recipient of a 2014 Milken Educator Award. The award includes $25,000 cash and is one of up to 40 that will be given by the Milken Family Foundation nationwide this year.
“Josie’s passion for getting it right for her students and incorporating hands-on and outdoor learning into the school day are such valuable assets to students and the community,” Evers said. “She exemplifies what it means to go beyond the expected. Josie is among the top education leaders in our state and nation and a deserving recipient of the Milken Educator Award.”
Over the past eight years, Guiney Igielski has pursued excellence through differentiated and personalized learning for her students. She also reaches out to her colleagues, future educators, and the community. Her vision for sustainability turned a lot next to Lincoln Elementary School into an outdoor learning environment for students that attracts parents and neighbors as well. She is passionate about incorporating the outdoors into lessons and is working with other educators to develop a curriculum for outdoor learning.