BURLINGTON — Heather Mielke, mathematics teacher at Burlington High School, received the Governor’s Financial Literacy Award for 2018. The award recognizes individuals and organizations for excellence in increasing financial literacy among Wisconsin citizens. Mielke attended an awards ceremony hosted by Gov. Tony Evers and the Council of Financial Literacy on March 21 at the State Capitol.
Eric Burling, principal at Burlington High School, joined Mielke at the ceremony.
“Heather is a highly organized and innovative mathematics instructor,” Burling said. “She has taken her skills and partnered with Educators Credit Union to provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to navigate the simulation of financial responsibility through a new and improved Reality Fair.”
In addition to teaching in the math department, Mielke organizes the BHS Reality Fair that takes place once a year for the junior class. The event helps students understand how to manage their money. Through a simulation using an online app, students earn an annual income and have to budget for necessities such as taxes and utilities and make decisions about purchases such as cars and entertainment.
“By helping students understand the importance of choosing the right career, budgeting based on their income, taxes, finances and the implications of life choices they will make, we are striving to help them see the impact that financial responsibility can have on providing them a well-balanced, happy and healthy life,” Mielke said.
Mielke received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and her master’s degree in education from UW-La Crosse. She has been a teacher at BHS since 2002. She is involved in a wide variety of professional and civic organizations including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Mielke’s previous jobs include beign an educational researcher at UW-Parkside and a development assistant/membership coordinator at Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing arts. She has continued her education at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Colorado State University in Pueblo, Colorado.
The Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy grants the award. The award allows other teachers to learn from award recipients’ best practices.