Maximillion Frommelt, STEAM Teacher
Dodgeville High School in Dodgeville, WI
I am from Platteville, WI and I initially went to the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee to start my educational journey, but then transferred to the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. I began my teaching journey 37 minutes away in Dodgeville, Wisconsin as the Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Educator, a new position the district opened which not only allowed me as an educator to expand my knowledge and horizons, but also gave me the freedom to assist and guide the school in a similar manner. This position has allowed me to continue refining my ethos and pedagogy as a teacher. For a district to have a new position that seemed a perfect match for my goals and aspirations was a sign in and of itself. Even though it was a risk, and knowing that I would certainly border the edge of irritating many of my Platteville Educators, sometimes it takes an act of blind faith to see how strong you are. Considering the family and community I have surrounded myself with, I think the jump was worth every moment.
Many people throughout the state of Wisconsin, and even the Tri-State area (Wisconsin-Illinois-Iowa), know of Dodgeville for a very few specific
reasons. The headquarters for Land’s End is stationed here and hosts their massive tent sale, it's the home of the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship; now in its 9th year, and Dodgefest is a great get-together for local music artists and for Iowa County to enjoy the sunny weather. The main street is littered with historical buildings and small-town shops owned by the locals. The COVID-19 pandemic hit this tiny town hard, but we are here as one city and one community. We are a rural community at its finest, and while you could easily miss us as you coast on by to the capital or to the next state, we’ll be here working hard and doing what we can. We all lost a lot of things in this pandemic, but we didn’t lose our pride.
Education is not only a universal experience, but one that serves all students, no matter their race, personal identification, or any other background. Everyone, at some point in their life, has a fundamental memory that involves a teacher. Rural education gives you the ability to make personal connections to teachers in a way that is more than just respect, but also a necessary critical review for when you need it most. The small class sizes allow you to truly know your students. Through that lens, you are actually able to challenge and accelerate your students not only because of your mastery of the concepts but the relationships you foster to push them further.
What excites me about joining YEA Council is that right here, and right now, education is at a fundamental pivoting point. People now more than ever are starting to realize not only the value of education but are starting to ask how it can be better. Voices from new educators hold power and can help to illuminate the culture of education and the complexities that arrive from starting a career as an educator. By having a group of new educators who can showcase how they are changing the face of education, we can not only shine a light on how education is changing, but how we, as the next generation, are leading that charge.
The Young Educators' Advisory Council is an initiative for early career rural teachers. These young educators will serve RSC as advisors to strengthen our mission in the recruitment, preparation, and retention of rural teachers. YEA council members will serve for two years engaging in online conversations.