MPS educator named Midwest PE Teacher of the Year

Wisconsin’s top elementary physical education teacher for 2014 — Gail Milbrath of Milwaukee Public Schools’ Greenfield Bilingual School — just learned she’s in line for an even higher honor.

Gail Milbrath is also the Midwest PE Teacher of the Year for 2015!

The word from the national Society of Health and Physical Educators or SHAPE America came less than a week after Milbrath was recognized for her state honor at the Wisconsin Health and Physical Education (WHPE) annual convention.

Two other MPS educators were honored at the WHPE event. Brett Fuller, MPS curriculum specialist for health, physical education and safe and supportive schools, was named president of WHPE. And Erika Minzlaff, who teachers PE at MPS’ Dr. Benjamin Carson Academy of Science, was one of just two “Promising Professionals” honored by the group.

The SHAPE America Midwest District recognition for Milbrath means she is in the running to be named national educator of the year.

“We are honored to have one of the best physical education teachers in the country at Greenfield Bilingual School,” MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver said.

Milbrath, a third-generation MPS graduate, says she was drawn to teaching to give back to her community and to bring as many resources as possible to her students. She focuses on continuous professional development and volunteering on professional committees both in the physical education community and at the school, district and state level.

“The staff I have worked with at Greenfield Bilingual have been very inspirational to me in my quest to continually pursue new ideas and programs for our students and families. I care deeply about my students and school community and hope to continue educating them about fitness and healthy nutrition,” she said.

Fuller, the MPS PE curriculum specialist, noted that Milbrath’s win marked the second straight year an MPS educator won WHPE Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

“Ms. Milbrath and the other teachers recognized are an example of the great physical education teachers we have working with our students,” he said. “I am honored to be working with them!”

MPS has added more than 140 art, music and PE specialist teacher positions over the past three years.

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