School of Education News

Schoepke named new director of Forward Madison partnership

November 29, 2017

Jen Schoepke was recently hired as the new director of Forward Madison, a partnership between UW-Madison’s School of Education and the Madison Metropolitan School District that’s designed to impact student achievement by growing, inducting and supporting new educators within the Madison Schools.

Schoepke will start her position Dec. 11 and will report directly to School of Education Dean Diana Hess and Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham.

Jen Schoepke
“Forward Madison has made great strides in its first three years, and I am honored and excited to continue to advance its equity minded goals through this innovated university-district partnership,” says Schoepke.

Forward Madison officially launched in March 2014 and is driven by a strong belief that a high quality workforce focused on equity can significantly impact student achievement and narrow opportunity gaps.

“I am thrilled that Jen has joined the Forward Madison team,” says Hess, who holds the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair in Education. “As director, she will provide superb leadership as we develop the next phase of this important partnership.”

In its first three years, Forward Madison has provided learning opportunities and extra support for new teachers and principals in Madison schools, provided ongoing professional development for coaches who work directly with teachers and launched the innovative Tomorrow’s Educators for Equity in Madison (TEEM) Scholars program –- aimed at developing current Madison high school students into teachers who better reflect the diversity of Madison’s students.

“Forward Madison is aimed at narrowing gaps by investing in, developing and supporting educators,” says Cheatham. “I am thrilled to have Jen bring her expertise and commitment to racial equity to move this partnership forward.”

Schoepke has worked since 2015 as the director for strategic diversity, planning, research and communication with the Center for Academic Excellence within UW-Madison’s College of Letters and Science. From 2011 to 2015, she was the equity and diversity planner for the UW System Administration’s Office of Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Student Success. 

Schoepke is an alumna of UW-Madison, having earned her Ph.D. in 2008 in industrial and systems engineering, and a master’s in 2002 in manufacturing systems engineering. She received a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics secondary education from UW-Eau Claire in 2000.

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