All Press Releases for November 24, 2021

Retired Teacher Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award

    APPLETON, WI, November 24, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fond du Lac native and current Appleton resident Michael Bergen has been named again to Marquis Who's Who in Education. This time, his fifth, the award is for lifetime achievement.

Michael owes his career to Father Reynold Rynda, Capuchin, who saw creativity in him, encouraged him to produce and direct his first Shakespeare Festival and his version of "The Sound of Music" for Rev. Cyprian Abler's anniversary and to his history of philosophy professor Hermes Kreilkamp, Ph.D, who recognized and encouraged his teaching ability.

Michael began teaching religion as a Capuchin Franciscan friar in Black Oak and Gary Indiana, and Cass and Wausau WI in the mid-sixties (while majoring in philosophy at St. Joseph's Rensselaer, IN and theology at St Anthony's Marathon WI) before coming to St. Mary Springs, where he began teaching Speech and Religion while running a group retreat for teens called REACH.

After two years, he was transferred to Appleton Xavier High School, where he also taught speech and religion and eventually American and World literature as well as media, his first love. He also directed six plays before leaving for Roosevelt Middle School. After one year teaching eighth and ninth grade and directing "The Hobbit" and "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," he moved to Appleton East where he coached forensics for 14 years and took over the American Literature half of History Media. History Media emphasizes the role played by the media in shaping American history and literature. Students learn journalism style and then use it to shape their responses electronically and in print.

He soon won awards from the television networks as well as the National Council of Teachers of English for his humanities approach to media. Influenced by his humanities master's studies at Colorado College, he was influential in changing the district's approach to the strands of English to reading, writing, speech and media, for which his course and his school received a Center of Excellence award from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Early influences in his learning were traveling to 41 of the 50 states by train before he was 14. His father worked for the Chicago and North Western Railroad. His best friend, a retired Rail Express worker, took him on those trips, which were free for rail employees. It was then that he fell in love with travel and the movies, especially in New York and Hollywood. Major influences on his teaching were his St. Lawrence Seminary high school American Literature teacher Pierre Van Groll, MA and his UW Oshkosh Graduate American literature professor Dr. Jane Gottschalkx, Ph.D. Ma.

Other influences were Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis, the Brain, Assessment, the Central Wisconsin Writing Project, Bernice McCarthy's 4MAT organizational assessment model and lesson plan, Cooperative Learning, Writing Across the Curriculum, Art Across the Curriculum, Team Teaching, Connecting the Curriculum, and Differentiated Instruction. Michael has offered staff development in these topics. Since retirement, he continues to mentor teachers who request it.

Since retirement, Michael worked as a prayer leader in place of the priest. His seminary background assisted him in this work. After traveling (he returned to London four times, Ireland, Germany, France and Italy twice, Spain once), keeping his professional organization involvements, he made home instead assisting his family who all died in the last seven years. He is now alone losing his sight in his left eye suffering from macular degeneration and osteo arthritis.

Ever the lifelong learner, he continues to work on his books: Finding God in the theater and movies, History Media and his memoir.

Michael mentored 26 student teachers in his 33 years of teaching for the four area universities. Those relationships strengthened his belief in the process.

Michael's motto has always been Alexander Pope's, "Be not the first by whom the new is tried nor the last to put the old aside." During his 33 years of teaching, he spent each summer either teaching or gaining new knowledge or methods for the classroom.

About Marquis Who's Who®
Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America®, Marquis Who's Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America®, Who's Who in the World®, Who's Who in American Law®, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare®, Who's Who in Science and Engineering®, and Who's Who in Asia®. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who® website at

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