'I didn't expect this:' Milwaukee teacher named 'Wisconsin Teacher of the Year'

Chad Sperzel-Wuchterl

MILWAUKEE -- The "Wisconsin Teacher of the Year" award for 2019 was handed out in Milwaukee. A surprise ceremony was held at Ronald Reagan High School on Wednesday, May 8.

Students at Reagan High School filed into the auditorium for a Teacher Appreciation Week assembly. Art teacher Chad Sperzel-Wuchterl helped direct the way -- not knowing this was all set up to honor him.

"I'm shocked, of course. I didn't expect this," said Sperzel-Wuchterl.

He's known for working against what he calls the "starving artist" misconception.

"The thing that really touches me is that the arts are being recognized -- the fine arts. We struggle so hard. We work so hard. There's such a belief that if you go into the arts, it's just a hobby. It's just a pastime. My biggest struggle has been getting the word out that you can make a living on it," said Sperzel-Wuchterl.

He infuses college experiences into his art classes.

Chad Sperzel-Wuchterl

As part of the honor,  Sperzel-Wuchterl received $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.