WMC Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award


DOUG BURGE, HOLMEN SCHOOL DISTRICT (retired)

The Wisconsin Mathematics Council’s Distinguished Mathematics Educator (DME) award was established in 1983 and is the most prestigious award that the Council bestows. The award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions and exceptional leadership and service to the Wisconsin mathematics education community.  The 2021 recipient of the DME award is Doug Burge, retired mathematics teacher at Holmen High School.

Doug started his teaching career at The Prairie School in Racine in 1991.  While there he taught every level of mathematics from 5th through 12th grades.  He also led their transition to a standards-based math program and coordinated staff development including a year-long CGI course for all teachers.  In 1998 he transitioned to a new position at Port Edwards Middle and High School and in 2000 Doug moved to Holmen High School where he spent the remainder of his teaching career.  While in Holmen, he taught every level of high school mathematics.  He also embraced the role of math coordinator, coordinating staff development at all grade levels and initiating math coaching roles at three elementary schools.  Doug also worked with his colleagues to create a more cohesive K-12 curriculum, and vertically align essential learning outcomes. 

Doug has also been a strong leader within the Wisconsin Mathematics Council.  He was on the Board of Directors from 2011 until 2017, and served as WMC President in 2013-2015.  He also served on the Annual Conference program planning committee from 2011 to 2015.  Doug has consistently shared his expertise with other teachers across the state.  He is a consistent presenter at WMC conferences, and has facilitated numerous regional and CESA workshops for mathematics teachers and administrators.  Doug was also instrumental in the development of the Wisconsin Statewide Mathematics Initiative, co-authoring modules for middle school teachers and facilitating week-long professional development sessions.  Additionally, Doug was a key member of the Wisconsin state standards writing team and state assessment teams. 

One nominating teacher stated, “Doug Burge is a distinguished educator in mathematics.  Throughout his inspirational career, he has served as a teacher, coach, mentor, and philosopher in the mathematics community.  His influence is felt daily in classrooms across our region; and, more widely, around the state through his work with the Wisconsin Mathematics Council.  I doubt there is a single student who learned with Doug who doesn’t remember his class.  I have met others in the Holmen community who, upon finding out I teach math at Holmen High School, tell me about the best math teacher they ever had: Doug Burge.  His dedication to teaching students in a way that meets individual needs is incredible, and the relationships he builds while doing so are lifelong.” 

Billie Sparks, Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, UW Eau Claire and former DME recipient, said, “Through my years of consulting with districts on their mathematics curriculum, the role of in-district teacher leadership was crucial. Doug was a shining example of this both while I was there and in the ensuing years of follow-through. I was so happy when he went on to share this leadership statewide through WMC. He truly is a Distinguished Mathematics Educator!”

Congratulations to the Wisconsin Mathematics Council’s 2021 Distinguished Mathematics Educator, Doug Burge.  The WMC would like to thank you for contributing your expertise to the Wisconsin mathematics education community.

On behalf of the DME Co-Chairs, Dave Ebert and Diana Kasbaum



Nominate an Individual!

The Wisconsin Mathematics Council’s Distinguished Mathematics Educator (DME) Award is the most prestigious award that the Council bestows. The award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions and exceptional leadership and service to the Wisconsin mathematics education community.

Qualities of DME awardees include evidence of:

  • Active participation in professional organizations at the local, state and/or national levels.
  • Lifetime contributions to mathematics education.
  • Continued growth as a mathematics educator and leader.
  • Inspirational influence on others in mathematics education.

In order to be considered for the DME award, nominees must meet the following criteria: 

  • Provide significant contributions and distinguished service to mathematics education in Wisconsin. 
  • Be recognized as a regional, state, and/or national mathematics leader.
  • Be involved in mathematics education for a minimum of 15 years, with at least ten years in Wisconsin.
Formal nominations must be submitted to the Wisconsin Mathematics Council no later than March 1 each year.

Nominations include completing the DME Nomination Form and submitting it along with a DME Nomination Letter outlining why the nominee should be recognized. All materials should be submitted to awards@wismath.org.

 The DME committee, appointed by the WMC president, will review candidates for the award and present the selection to the WMC Board of Directors no later than April 1 of each year. The DME awardee will be honored at the WMC Annual Meeting.

Questions about the DME award should be directed to the Wisconsin Mathematics Council email at: wmc@wismath.org


Past Distinguished Math Educators

 Recipient  Year

Sister Mary Petronia Van Straten

1983

Sister Jositha Van Straten

1983

J. Fred Weaver

1983

LeRoy Dalton

1984

Olive Danecki

1984

George Henderson

1984

Ray Schmelter, Jr.

 1984

M. Vere De Vault

 1985

DuWayne Kleinschmidt

1985

Ethel Niejahr

1985

Gail Burrill

1986

Patricia Huston

1986

Courtney Leonard

1986

Vincent O'Connor

1986
John Burrill 1987

Adele Hanson

1987

Henry Kepner

1987

Walter Leffin

1987

Marshall Wick

1987

John Lucas

1988

Elizabeth Fennema

1989

Robert Patton

1989

Tom Romberg

1989
Harry Wollf 1989
 Recipient  Year

Donald Chambers

1990

Jane Howell

1990

Tom Carpenter

1992

Robert Prielipp

1992

Judy Fadness

1993

John Moyer

1993

John G. Harvey

1993

Billie Earl Sparks

1994

John Janty

1994

Sue Gehn

1995

Jodean Grunow

1995

Phil Makurat

1995

Arne Engebretsen

1996

Norm Webb

1996

Ann Elling

1997

Elizabeth Freeman

1997

Milton Mitchell

1997

Milton "Butch" Bretzel    

1998

Pat Hopfensperger 

1998

Marty Schuh

1998

Jim Kasum

1999

Mary Schroeder

1999
 Pat Tyunaitis 1999
 Joan Grampps 2000
 Faye Hilgart 2020

 Recipient Year

James Marty

2001

Steve Reinhart

2001

Carolyn Meitler

2002

Eric Schluter

2002 

Jo Ingle

 2003

Henry Kranendonk

 2003

Connie Laughlin

 2004

Janis Freckmann

 2006

Diana Kasbaum

 2006

Linda McQuillen

 2006

DeAnn Huinker

 2008

Patricia Madsen

 2008

Frederick (Rick) Tufte

 2008

Jane Fazio

 2010

Sue Hanson-Otis

 2011

Margaret Jensen

 2012

Richard Askey

 2013

Beth Schefelker

 2014

Michelle Parks   

 2015

Kevin McLeod

 2016
 David Ebert 2017
 Mary Richards 2018
 Erick Hofacker 2019
 Jennifer Kosiak 2020

© 2017 Wisconsin Mathematics Council, Inc.
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