November 2, 2017
By David Nordby The Brillion News
GREEN BAY – The 6th Annual Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnership Awards was a special night for Brillion. Brillion Elementary School received an education award for innovation and Dan Ariens, CEO of Ariens Company, received a manufacturing award for his vision.
The education award recognized the school’s 5,000-square foot STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) center, known as the “Exploration Station” that opened earlier this year. Brillion superintendent Dominick Madison accepted the award for the school district and quoted poet Mary Oliver.
“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it. It’s my privilege to be up here tonight accepting this award on behalf of Brillion Elementary School that is filled with a group of most excellent educators who personify that mantra,” he said.
Madison added that the innovation of the district and the STEM center begins with the teachers. “It’s a really cool building and we have some really great curriculum that we’re implementing, but at the heart and the core what makes us an innovative district is our people,” he said. “I have some great people that I’m going to bring [the award] back to.”
The STEM center was a $1.7 million project that was done in large part because of the private support from community members and businesses.
“In Brillion we are very lucky to have the community’s support to continue to educate and grow our students in the most innovative ways possible,” elementary principal Carrie Deiter added.
Ariens’ visionary award that he received recognized his partnership with the Brillion School District and the innovation of the STEM model in the area dating back 10 years.
“Students learn to think, solve problems, work in teams and develop their intellectual curiosity. His leadership has helped prepare students for success within the fields of STEM,” the program sponsored by the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance said. “Dan thinks ‘big picture’ and has promoted a culture of corporate responsibility focused on steering students toward skills that will help them pursue viable careers.”