Michelle Page

Award Year
Phd, University of Wisconsin Madison
MS, University of Wisconsin Madison
BA, Concordia College

As an undergraduate student, Page was drawn to English. With the encouragement of her language professor, she also completed a French major. While she found her first education classes “sort of interesting,” an out-of-the-classroom experience resulted in an epiphany. “It really came together at the Concordia Language Villages where I first served as an instructor and later as village dean. Bonding with kids of various ages and experiencing the joy of those relationships helped me realize ‘this is what I am going to do.’”

Page began her teaching career in the Omaha, Nebraska area, teaching French in an urban K–12 school and English in a nontraditional evening high school. “I enjoyed Omaha because it was racially and culturally diverse, which I find good, and interesting, and fun,” remembers Page. “But, under the surface, I was noticing that there were not a lot of students of color studying French.”

Questions began forming about inequities and perspectives. “Once I began learning about these issues, I became quite outraged,” shares Page. “I had not been challenged to look at the world differently. I was clueless in my own teaching and in my own school.”

Page channeled those emotions into pursuing an advanced degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “I was forced to confront the inequities and to understand the world in a different way. It was really uncomfortable for me, but I came alive with that experience.”

As a teacher of teachers, Page embraces “transformative” education, not only providing information on principles and methods, but also inspiring and equipping students to be informed citizens and critical thinkers. Her nominators for the award state, “Michelle has the ability to frame a career as an educator as an act of social advocacy and responsibility in a changing world.”

Page notes that the students who come to the secondary education program are well rounded and open minded, and her greatest joy is to be a part of this diverse community of learners “all in it together.”

“It is a wonderful privilege to be a part of that process,” states Page, “that gratifying ‘ah ha’ moment when the students become engaged and passionate, and I as their teacher become energized by their passion.”

After receiving a bachelor of arts in English and French with secondary education licensure at Concordia College, Moorhead, Page earned a master of science and doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a literacy and multicultural education emphasis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At Morris, she has served as facilitator, planner, and presenter at the Multicultural Student Leadership Retreat, a consultant for the Respectful U freshman orientation session, and as a member of several University committees.

(From the 2010 news story)

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Michelle Page