Jefferson Award winner, November 2016: Bonnie Moschkau

MADISON (WKOW) — Bonnie Moschkau has felt a call to service since she was young, led by her faith and family.

Much of her work focuses on helping kids.

"I have always loved the classroom. I love the teachers I had growing up. I loved learning."

For 30 years Bonnie taught in the Madison Metropolitan School District.

"A teacher has to be, not only a master of content, but a master of classroom management and understanding relationships and knowing how to build those relationships," says Bonnie.

She retired in 2005, but continued her service to the community through volunteering at her church and leading the merger when it became Good Shepherd Parish.

"Not only having the responsibility of coming up with solutions and ideas and methods of implementing what the change would produce," she says, "but also reassuring people that life would be okay for them."

Then came another call for help from St. James Catholic School, which is served by the church.

"Last year, our school principal, Sister Kathleen Loughrin, was diagnosed in the summer with cancer and needed to be away for treatments," says Monsignor Tom Baxter.

So, Bonnie came out of retirement to volunteer as principal for the year.

"Not only is she a beautiful, giving woman, but she’s also very viable in education and understanding things, says Monsignor Baxter. "I’m so proud of her willingness to do that service at a time when our parish really needed that."

"This school has meant a lot to our family," says Bonnie. "My husband went here, my children went here, my grandchildren are here."

Her husband, Mike, says, "She left at 6:25 a.m. every day and she was never home before 7 p.m."

It’s a dedication to helping others, Bonnie’s teachers instilled in her, years ago.

"Their message was a very strong message of service, of taking responsibility and that’s something I feel deeply."

Even though Bonnie is no longer the principal, she continues to volunteer at St. James.

She now sits on the board and helps with fundraising efforts.

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