Fond du Lac High School science teacher and WEAC Region 5 member Joseph Fenrick has been selected to receive an Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Fenrick, an active member of the Fond du Lac Education Association who serves as a Building Representative at Fond du Lac High School, will be honored at UWO’s Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, October 6, at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.
The following article was published in UW-Oshkosh Today:
A gift for making science relevant
Joseph Fenrick, also a former UWO student-athletic, graduated in 2006 with a bachelor of science in education and earned a master of science degree in education in 2009. He lives in Fond du Lac where he is a science teacher at Fond du Lac High School and an associate lecturer in the geology and geography department at the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac.
After graduation from UWO, Fenrick jumped straight into teaching with the Fond du Lac school district. For the first five years, he taught physical science connection classes, which consist of students with disabilities and students who were deemed to be at-risk. He has since developed and implemented both geology and meteorology curriculum and revised and implemented an environmental science curriculum.
Nominator Julie Ziegler, a co-worker at Fond du Lac High School, said Fenrick’s ability to engage students and make science relevant has made him a beloved teacher.
“Joseph is an excellent science teacher who uses a variety of hands-on learning and critical-thinking experiments to challenge students, while at the same time making science interesting,” Ziegler said.
Well-liked and respected by his students and colleagues, Fenrick was named Fond du Lac High School Teacher of the Year in 2012-2013 and was runner up for the award in 2008-2009. He also was nominated for the Student Choice in Teaching Excellence Award at UW-Fond du Lac.
Chloe Haskin’s, a former student of Fenrick’s at both Fond du Lac high and UW-Fond du Lac, points to his ability to teach multiple subjects to all ages and abilities as a key to his success.
“Joseph has the ability to engage students, and these students come to class wanting to learn. Hands-on activities are often included, and he is flexible with his methods and has always been patient with students who may not understand a subject immediately,” Haskins said.
A four-year track and field letter winner and two-time WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award honoree while at UWO, Fenrick also spent four years as the assistant track and field coach at Fond du Lac High from 2008 to 2012.
During his fourth year of teaching, Fenrick became active in the local teachers’ union and, in 2010, became their public relations director, a role he still holds. In 2015, he campaigned for the District 15 County Board seat. He ran against the longest serving member of the board–who held the seat for 20 years-and won. He was elected to the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors with 78 percent of the vote.
Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel sees a great future in public service for Fenrick.
“I have been impressed with Joe’s skills and his desire to learn everything about county government, and I respect him for every decision he has made on the board, including some controversial issues. I see a great future in public service for Joseph, because of his desire to serve and the passion he has demonstrated,” Buechel said.
Fenrick will be among those honored at UWO’s Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, October 6, at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center. The cost is $30 per person and includes dinner. For more information or to RSVP for the event, please call (920) 424-3449 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.