TDS honors Most Valuable Educator nominees

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS®) would like to congratulate the many deserving nominees for its inaugural Most Valuable Educator Award, which honors a person working in Wisconsin schools making a difference in the lives of students and their community.

TDS received more than 50 nominations from across the state. Kristi Kjelstad, a school counselor in Chippewa Falls, was presented with the award at a surprise school assembly Nov. 17, winning a Green Bay Packers prize package that includes game tickets and a classroom visit to Lambeau Field.

However, during TDS’ annual Week of Giving, company associates have been visiting schools to recognize those nominated and show appreciation for their tireless efforts to help students.  

“While we could only present the Most Valuable Educator to one person, it’s clear there are so many people doing amazing work in our schools. We are pleased to highlight them this week and thank educators for all they do for our students and communities,” TDS Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Drew Petersen said.

Nominations were open until Nov. 3 and could be submitted through TDS’ Most Valuable Educator nomination form. Nominees had to be from one of the 150+ Wisconsin communities TDS serves. The following educators were nominated for the Most Valuable Educator award, including some who received multiple nominations:

·       Kaydence Ruff, Alma Area School, Alma

·       Jay Mielke, Altoona High School

·       Felicia Verdegan, Little Star Elementary School, Altoona

·       Kayla Meier, Hollandale Elementary School, Blanchardville

·       Caroline Rindy, Pecatonica High School, Blanchardville

·       Donna Goodman, Chippewa Falls Senior High School

·       Kristi Kjelstad, Hillcrest Elementary School, Chippewa Falls

·       Mandi Firgens, Evansville High School

·       Mallory Isbell, JC McKenna Middle School, Evansville

·       Joanie Dobbs, JC McKenna Middle School, Evansville

·       Nicole Hollister, Theodore Robinson Intermediate School, Evansville

·       Rod Marty, Levi Leonard Elementary School, Evansville

·       Dana Allen, Evansville High School

·       Jenny Runkle, Levi Leonard Elementary School, Evansville

·       Kent Wyler, Evansville High School

·       Jessica Mohrbacher, Evansville High School

·       Mindy Larson, Levi Leonard Elementary School, Evansville

·       Dough Schwenn, Levi Leonard Elementary School, Evansville

·       Kim Marshall, Theodore Robin Intermediate School, Evansville

·       Chris Wilke, Crown of Life Christian Academy, Fort Atkinson

·       Kelly Schweda, Chappell Elementary School, Green Bay

·       Todd Lowney, Webster Elementary School, Green Bay

·       Jeremy Harnack, Craig High School, Janesville

·       Mike Howard, West Elementary School, Jefferson

·       Eric Rucks, Jefferson High School

·       Jeffrey Kawleski, Jefferson Middle School

·       Jessie Matuszeski, Jefferson Middle School

·       Amanda Herman, Johnson Creek School District

·       Tim Wagner, Johnson Creek Middle/High School

·       Kathy Kruel, St. Clement School, Lancaster

·       Oliyad Dibisa, University of Wisconsin-Madison

·       Bethany Ehlert, Immanuel Lutheran School, Manitowoc

·       Jaime Charnholm, West Middleton Elementary School, Middleton

·       Tom Steger, Mineral Point High School

·       Amy Garwell, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Monroe

·       Bryan Rundhaug, Northside Elementary School, Monroe

·       Lisa Docter, Meadow View Elementary School, Oconomowoc

·       Allison Steinmetz, Sauk Prairie High School

·       Marcia Colby, Sauk Prairie High School

·       Jill Sharp, Richland Center High School

·       Dustin Piper, Herman Elementary School, Sparta

·       Ricardo Boeing, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

·       Jennifer Collins, Stoughton High School

·       Katie Sannes, Kegonsa Elementary School, Stoughton

·       Justin Bierowski, Sugar Creek Elementary School, Verona

Madison-based TDS has served Wisconsin for more than 50 years. The company is constructing high-speed fiber internet networks in nearly every corner of the state, including Green Bay, Appleton, Eau Claire, Onalaska, Janesville, and many other communities.

Media Contact: Mark Schaaf | Associate Manager of Communications | TDS Telecom | 414-326-3588 |

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone services to a mix of small to mid-sized urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the U.S. With 1.2 million connections, TDS is a rapidly growing technology company. Powered by fiber-optics and new industry-leading technologies, TDS delivers up to 8 Gigabit internet speeds and offers internet-protocol based TV entertainment solutions along with traditional phone services. TDS also offers businesses VoIP advanced communications solutions, dedicated internet service, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit

TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs 3,400 people and is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS]. Founded in 1969, Telephone and Data Systems provides wireless, broadband, video and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately 6 million connections nationwide through its businesses: UScellular, TDS Telecom, and OneNeck IT Solutions. Visit

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