Melissa Zimmerman receives Radder award

Melissa Zimmerman, a sophomore from Hilbert studying to become a teacher, was presented with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Whitney Radder Phuture Phoenix Phenomenal Role Model Award.

Whitney Radder Phuture Phoenix Phenomenal Role Model Award

Melissa Zimmerman, center, was congratulated at the presentation by Whitney Radder’s brother, Brian, and Whitney’s mother, Kaye Radder.

Radder, the youngest of three children, graduated from Kiel High School as valedictorian and wanted to dedicate her life to teaching children. She was a Phuture Phoenix tutor, pursuing a degree in education, when she was killed April 20, 2010 in an auto accident returning from a Phuture Phoenix visit to Franklin Middle School. Wanting her strong spirit to carry on and serve as inspiration to others, her peers established this honor, which is presented each semester by the Phuture Phoneix program in her memory.

Zimmerman said she wants to teach elementary or middle school children and minor in teaching English as a second language.

“I love kids and knowing that I get a chance to help them succeed in whatever they want to do is what I find most rewarding about teaching,” said Zimmerman, who was “beyond excited” that she was selected. Hearing that Radder’s classmates created the award in her memory “was very heartwarming and touching,” she said.

Zimmerman was selected for the award due to her demonstrated commitment to the Phuture Phoenix, evidence of strong personal growth and her ability to establish strong relationships with school-age students in a tutoring capacity.

The Phuture Phoenix program originated at UW-Green Bay in 2003 as a mentoring program to help students in at-risk schools stay on course for college.

(For more information on this press release, contact Mike Hoeft at the Institute for Learning Partnership,, or phone 920-465-5555.)

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