I'm not one to put much faith in the endless lists in every imaginable category, but I know how hard Tina Owen and the rest of the team at Milwaukee Public Schools' Alliance School of Milwaukee, 850 W. Walnut St., so I can't help but be excited about this...
In a story for Teen Vogue called "The Coolest High Schools Across the Country," writer Heather Schwedel toasts such renowned schools as New York's LaGuardia High and The Brooklyn Free School.
But also on this very short list – just five schools – is Alliance!
"High school can be a tumultuous time for anyone (growing up will do that to you), but research shows that certain students feel the struggle more acutely: LGBTQ teens are more likely than their peers to suffer from depression and have thoughts of suicide. To tackle this issue head on, Alliance High School was founded in 2005 as a safe space for all teens – no matter what their sexual orientation may be. The school's policy of acceptance for all and zero tolerance for bullying has made it a haven for students (gay or otherwise) who have faced harassment in more traditional school environments. Part of the Milwaukee public school system, Alliance has expanded to serve middle schoolers as well as high schoolers, making it the first educational institution of its kind in the States."
In related news, Dr. Darrell Williams, principal of Milwaukee Public Schools’ Casimir Pulaski High School since 2011, has been named national "Principal of the Year" by the National Alliance of Black School Educators.
NABSE members from across the country nominate principals "who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills that have led to a greater sense of student, teaching staff and parental community support."
Meanwhile, six Milwaukee Public Schools educators and administrators have been honored for their commitment to physical education by Wisconsin Health and Physical Education.
Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton and retired longtime MPS principal Dan Donder received WHPE Association Citation awards for their work to improve physical education programming.
Michael Beringer, a teacher at MPS’ Fairview School, was named elementary "Teacher of the Year" by WHPE for exciting and motivating students and colleagues to "Move to Learn." Gail Milbrath, PE teacher at MPS’ Greenfield Bilingual School, was presented with a "Presidential Service Award" and Alan "Bud" Damato was recognized with a retirement certificate for his long record of service to MPS and WHPE.
MPS’ Curriculum Specialist for Health, Education and Safe and Supportive Schools Brett Fuller was named WPHE president-elect and will lead the organization as president beginning in fall 2014
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.