Every week in 2015, OnMilwaukee.com and local design company Too Much Metal will join forces to introduce the latest member of the Milwaukee All Stars – a team of unfamiliar winners living in Brew City who consistently and diligently make it shine. Each week, a new member will join the team – based on your recommendations – and at the end of the year all will come together in a Rally of the Raddest Milwaukeeans. We’re not sure what that means quite yet, so for now, meet …
For 18 years, Dan Kartz has taught in the Milwaukee Public Schools and he currently instructs third grade at Cass Street School. Here are a few more deets about Dan and why he is undoubtedly a Milwaukee All Star.
OnMilwaukee.com / Too Much Metal: Did you write out notes to yourself for this interview with paper and pencil?
Dan Kartz: Yes, I did.
OMC / TMM: Awesome.
OMC / TMM: When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
Dan Kartz: During my freshman year at Milwaukee Tech, a teacher named Mr. Cohen said, "Kartz, you’d be a good teacher" and that was that. My entire family went to Tech. My dad went to Boys Tech, my mom went to Girls Tech and my three brothers and sister all went to Tech.
OMC / TMM: Did you grow up in Milwaukee?
DK: Yeah, I grew up on Booth and Townsend in Riverwest. I was a "Milwaukee riot baby."
OMC / TMM: What’s a "Milwaukee riot baby?"
DK: I was born during the ’67 riots in Milwaukee. My mother went into labor with me, and there was a riot in the neighborhood, and she was escorted into the ambulance with armed officers because the city imposed a curfew. My dad was not even able to go with her and he was not able to be at the hospital when I was born. It was the only time my dad wasn’t able to be at the hospital when one of us was born.
OMC / TMM: If you could high five one Milwaukeean, who would it be?
DK: Either of the new owners of the Bucks – Wesley Edens or Marc Lasry. It doesn’t matter, I always get them confused anyway. I’m a huge Bucks fan.
OMC / TMM: A shooting star falls over Milwaukee. What does the city wish for?
DK: Better race relations.
OMC / TMM: What’s your guilty pleasure?
DK: Three times, I have performed in a musical on the stage at St. Sebastian Church in Washington Heights. One of the parishioners writes the musicals and I admit I really love being on the stage.
OMC / TMM: We are never sharing our guilty pleasures with you, Dan. What's your all-time favorite Milwaukee concert?
DK: Wild Kingdom at Bastille Days in 1991.
OMC / TMM: Are you married? And we are not hitting on you, Dan, we're just wondering.
DK: Yes, I am. And I have two kids. A son, 6, and a daughter, 15. My son is African American and adopted, my daughter is not.
OMC / TMM: What is your favorite or your least favorite Milwaukee smell?
DK: The smells while walking on the trails at Hawthorn Glen are great.
OMC/TMM: What do you like about teaching?
DK: I like seeing a child struggle with a concept and then "get it." I really like to see kids succeed.
Do you know a Milwaukee All Star? OnMilwaukee.com and Too Much Metal are looking for true-hearted folks living in the city of Milwaukee who love what they do –and do it with zest and style. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with recommendations.