Rural Teacher of the Year

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) Board of Directors established this award to recognize a teacher who has made significant contributions to his/her rural school district.

To be nominated you must be a teacher in a WiRSA member school district.

Award winners will be selected by the WiRSA Board of Directors Executive Committee.

The WiRSA Rural Teacher of the Year will be an automatic finalist in the National Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year competition coordinated by the National Rural Education Association.


2017 Rural Teacher of the Year Award Winner

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA)

2017 Rural Teacher of the Year Award Winner

Kay McClain | School District of Florence County

Kay McClain was honored by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping address challenges faced by rural school districts, at the annual Rural Schools Conference on October 30, 2017.

Mrs. Kay McLain is an exemplary teacher that brings a multitude of opportunities to the students of the School District of Florence County. Mrs. McLain has served as the district’s business education teacher since 1993. During her tenure she has provided instruction at both the elementary and high school levels, and as nearly all rural educators, she has taken on many other roles, wearing different hats in her service to the students and community of Florence County.

Mrs. McLain places a strong emphasis on real-world experiences and opportunities. Each year Mrs. McLain arranges for student internships both within the school, and beyond the school into the local community.  Many of her students have been provided an opportunity to explore different occupations and to showcase their skills to local employers.

As many students desire to move on to post-secondary education, Mrs. McLain has been a leader in building articulation agreements and dual credit opportunities for all Florence County High School students. Mrs. McLain has worked to see that nearly all her high school classes offered provide post-secondary credit through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

This state award qualifies Mrs. Kay McClain as a semi-finalist for the National Rural Education Association Teacher of the Year Program.

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance was formed to help rural school districts address the unique issues that affect rural schools as they seek to achieve the highest quality education for every student.  Members include a cross-section of administrators, educators, school board members, post-secondary representatives, rural community members, business leaders, and other concerned individuals who want a strong voice for rural education.