Mike’s Personal Background

Vote Mike Ptacek for Stillwater Area Schools
Vote Mike Ptacek for Stillwater Area Schools

Mike and his family came to Stillwater more than 31 years ago. Both he and his late wife, Judy, were life-long educators. She taught high school and middle school language arts. Their children, Christi and Benjamin, are “Pony Graduates.” Christi graduated from UW-Madison and served two years in AmeriCorps. She earned two master’s degrees. The first specialized in professional writing at Chatham University, and the second was a Master of Business Administration from Pittsburg University. She presently works at Dick’s Sporting Goods Corporate Headquarters. Benjamin graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder in architecture and earned his master’s degree at the University of Minnesota. Ben is a program manager and an architect in Minneapolis.

From the fall of 2005 until 2010, Mike was a consultant with the Kern Family Foundation, whose founders were advocates for improving and preserving our country’s engineering and technology capabilities. Mike supported this goal by promoting “Project Lead the Way” (PLTW), a middle and high school pre-engineering program, at local, regional, and state education and business meetings and through audits of PLTW schools (in MN, IA, WI, and IL).

Mike has over fifty years of experience in education: twelve years as a school board member, five years as a Director of Curriculum, principal, associate principal, and eighteen years as a classroom teacher in Wisconsin and Minnesota. He earned a BS in Political Science and History, an MS in History and Education, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Administration.

Mike has taught, presented, and authored in the areas of organizational change, team leadership, program planning and evaluation, policy issues in urban education, transitioning from school to work, and career-focused academies. He taught the course Principles and Practices of Secondary Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as well as the graduate courses in the areas mentioned above at the Universities of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Green Bay.

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