Ashland Teacher Bawaajigekwe Andrea DeBungie named 2020 Special Services Teacher of the Year
Ashland Teacher Bawaajigekwe Andrea DeBungie
named 2020 Special Services Teacher of the Year
In a surprise ceremony on Monday, Bawaajigekwe Andrea DeBungie, a special
education teacher at Ashland Middle and Lake Superior Elementary schools in the School District of Ashland was named Wisconsin's 2020 Special Services Teacher of the Year.
State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor made the announcement during an all-school assembly. As part of the Teacher of the Year honor, Ms. DeBungie will receive $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.
Each year, Ms. DeBungie helps students write grants and complete applications to attend the Wisconsin Indian Education Association conference. Last year, she collaborated with professors from Northwestern University to bring several middle school girls to Chicago to participate in STEM-related experiences.
In her current studies of Indigenous education, through a doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, Ms. DeBungie is exploring her questions about how the education system can support the success of American Indian children.
“Our Indigenous students are some of the brightest and most brilliant, and they must be looked at through this positive lens on a systemic level, otherwise, they will continually be oppressed and stunted within the educational system,” Ms. DeBungie said.
At the same time, she sees positive elements and developments in the education system. She appreciates the Educator Effectiveness system of continuous improvement, for example — citing its positive impact on collegial collaboration, self-directed growth, and rapport among teachers and administrators.