Teacher surprised and rewarded for how she teaches students

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- One of the teachers at Milwaukee High School of the Arts in Milwaukee was recognized on Friday, January 17th specifically for how she teaches her students about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The day started out as any other for English teacher Katherine Katter. She had no idea she was about to get recognized for her work. Mrs. Katter had been told there would be some people in to monitor her class and observe for a while. But she had no idea that during first period Ronald McDonald would walk through the door.

“What in the world is he doing here,” Mrs. Katter remembered thinking when she saw him. “I thought it would be a couple of administrators coming in and not Ronald McDonald.”

Ronald McDonald was there along with the principal and several others to reward Katter for her commitment, dedication and support of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration program.

“It’s gratifying to do it, but it's gratifying because the young students are receptive and knowing they are heading out into the world to become the future,” said Katter.

“It was awesome!” said the school’s principal Barry Applewhite of the surprise. “She was totally surprised, she almost fell out of out her seat. It's great for her. She deserves it. She’s a hard-working teacher.”

Her students were surprised too, but not because she was getting recognized.

“She is just such an inspiration and she is such a captivating teacher,” said 12th grader Marc Nance. “She's not only our teacher, she lets us into her personal life, so we feel comfortable opening up to her.”

Nance is one of Katter's students who wrote into the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. writing contest this year.

“I wrote about his efforts of changing time and changing history with non violence, just with words and motivation and strive to make a difference in the world,” said Nance. Nance says he was able to do that not just by the way Mrs. Katter teaches, but how she goes beyond the books in her lessons with her students.

“She's not one of the teachers that just sit back; she is hands on with everything. She talks to us about everything, she talks to us about our problems,” said Nance.

Katter received a plaque, tickets to "The Phantom of the Opera" at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts and an iPad mini.

The award is sponsored by McDonald's Restaurants of Southeastern Wisconsin.