Agenda Item
Meeting Date: 1/25/2018 - 6:30 PM
Category: Awards and Commendations
Type: Info
Subject: 1. Excellence in Education Award - Jennifer and Joe Bartolotta
Strategic Plan Compatibility Statement:
Goal 2
Student, Family and Community Engagement
Policy: Admin Policy 1.05 - Recognition for Accomplishment
File Attachment:
Background: Each month, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors recognizes an outstanding school, student, staff member, parent, or community member for a display of excellence, achievement, and innovation that may serve as an example to our school district and the entire Milwaukee community.

This month, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors is pleased to present the “Excellence in Education Award” to:

Jennifer and Joe Bartolotta

Jennifer and Joe Bartolotta have been outstanding partners, instrumental in the planning, implementation, and success of the culinary arts programs at Bay View, James Madison, Vincent and Washington high schools. From idea inception two years ago, through to today, Jennifer and Joe’s commitment to the success of this program has been continual and unwavering.

The Bartolottas have given a significant investment of time into the culinary arts program--from the start of the program to fundraising to implementation, they have made it work for hundreds of MPS kids.

Prior to the program’s launch, Joe and Jennifer spearheaded a major gala fundraising effort that raised $185,000.00 for the program. Jennifer and Joe provided all of the food, beverage and table service for this gala free to MPS, enabling us to get a good start on program implementation.

Both Jennifer and Joe continue their commitment even after the excitement of the start-up of the culinary arts program. This continued commitment provides ongoing momentum and investment of time, talent and treasure from community organizations and chef mentors.

Jennifer’s presence and influence on the program cannot be overstated. She has recruited top local chefs to work as mentors in our classrooms on a weekly basis, and volunteers much of her own time to mentor and lend her expertise to each of the four schools. The mentoring provided by Jennifer and local chefs has been a unique difference-maker for our students and this program. She has made connections for us to numerous partners, using her vast network to plug our teachers into catering and other volunteer events, providing our students with awesome, real-world opportunities. She has worked tirelessly to use that vast network to support the program and to attract positive media coverage. She regularly collaborates with our teachers and administrators to ensure the program’s high quality through continuous improvement efforts.

Most recently, Joe and Jennifer’s restaurant expertise was critically important to the planning process and construction of our new culinary lab space at Washington HS of IT. WHS students are now able to work with the same kind of commercial-grade equipment found in restaurants, preparing them for future culinary career opportunities.

Finally, Jennifer and Joe do not only focus on our schools, but they bring our students into their restaurants. They HIRE our youth, providing them with income and experience beyond the classroom.

Personally, they keep MPS front and center, applauding and sharing the "good news" stories coming out of MPS and providing endless moral support to its leaders and staff. They are the definition of "MPS Champions."

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors recognize and honor Jennifer and Joe Bartolotta, for their dedication, outstanding leadership, and commitment to excellence on behalf of the students of the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Fiscal Impact Statement:
Implementation and Assessment Plan
Recommended By:
Signed By:
Dr. Darienne Driver - Superintendent