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.


Rural Teacher of the Year Award Winner

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA)

2019 Rural Teacher of the Year Award


Sarah Quade Monticello School District

 As a graduate from Randolph and teaching in Monticello, Sarah’s roots run deep in rural school environments. In 2009, Sarah resurrected a Spanish curriculum and since then Monticello’s Spanish involvement and numbers have grown exponentially.  Sarah has something few teachers ever attain; but it is difficult to describe, as the nominator did with a story. “In the summer prior to my daughter’s freshman year our family was working on a calendar and scheduling orthodontist appointment dates and times for the upcoming school year. My daughter’s first demand to us was “don’t make me miss Ms. Quade’s class”. This spoke volumes to me and still rings out in my thoughts every time I think what makes teachers special. Even though my daughter had never had Spanish, she knew there were expectations in place for her and she didn’t want to miss a single opportunity to be with Ms. Quade. In my eyes there is nothing more special or powerful”.

Sarah emits leadership with her students, the staff, and it flows into the community as she coaches and leads her Spanish Club. She has lofty expectations for students but manages to keep students on track because constant formative assessments and by providing retake opportunities for students to succeed. As a coach, she is rarely questioned and motivates her athletes to continuously improve. As an advisor, Sarah’s art club is one of the most active in Monticello and draws tremendous participation and support. To say her curriculum has rigor is an understatement. Monticello is proud of the dual enrollment classes that are provided. College credits in calculus and precalculus, astronomy, statistics, college English, physics, and psychology are just some of the classes provided. Sarah prepares all of her students to have similar success on placement tests. It’s very common to have Spanish students excel in placement tests resulting in 3rd and 4th semester placements. To quantify that, Sarah averages about 12 seniors each year in Spanish III or IV. That equates to 164 to 218 college credits or possibly $59,000 each year that Monticello families aren’t paying for at Universities. That makes a significant impact each year on a rural community. Sarah’s daily lessons vary, but regardless of the type of instruction, it starts when students enter the room and then remains continuous each hour. Sarah makes sure she reaches every type of learner. She has and will impact the lives of Monticello kids and community members just by being her. Sarah is quite simply a great teaching resource.

Sarah was nominated by Monticello School District Administrator Al Brokopp.

This state award qualifies also qualifies Sarah Quade as a semi-finalist for the National Rural Education Association Teacher of the Year Program.