Carl Hert, a 1999 graduate, made the 40 Most Influential Teachers Under 40 list compiled by Veritas Prep, a California-based education consulting company.
He has taught at Wausau West High School since 2001 and is the adviser for the school chapter of DECA, a marketing organization.
"I love helping students find where their interests are, what they are good at and helping them succeed," Hert said. "Teaching is all about helping students reach their full potential."
Hert stresses hands-on activities in his classes, similar to the applied learning approach that is standard at UW-Stout, Wisconsin's Polytechnic University.
Carol Mooney, a professor in the UW-Stout School of Education, said Hert was a dedicated student.
"Carl was a delight to work with while he was here at UW-Stout. He was involved in and out of the classroom and active in Stout's DECA Chapter," Mooney said. "Carl really developed while student teaching, caught the bug and engaged in every opportunity to learn. In addition, Carl was smart and had an excellent sense of humor."
Hert, a native of Sheboygan, started his college career at Lakeshore Technical College and finished his bachelor's degree at UW-Stout. He then earned a master's degree in education from Viterbo University in La Crosse.
"Stout is an amazing school with top-notch advisers and professors. I felt the curriculum fully prepared me for the classroom and beyond. I was very fortunate and had excellent mentors throughout the program," Hert said.
The 40 teachers on the list were chosen from hundreds who were nominated. Each nominee was required to write an essay and fill out a questionnaire about his or her teaching philosophy.
"Carl became a teacher because he believes the purpose of education is to foster a lifetime love of learning and make the most of each individual's potential," Veritas Prep said. "We were amazed by the passion that teachers such as Carl exhibit."
Hert is the only teacher from Wisconsin and Minnesota on the list.
For more information about UW-Stout's marketing and business education program, go to the program website.