The Mielke Summer Institute is a liberal arts approach to the professional development of K-12 educators from the Appleton and Shawano public schools. 

It provides participants with the opportunity to explore new ideas and examine issues of societal importance from a multidisciplinary perspective in a collegial environment characterized by open-mindedness and mutual respect.


About the Program

The Summer Institute combines serious study and playful inquiry. It is expected that participants will find areas of common interest with other educators across disciplines and grade levels, and that the resulting links will encourage both communication and collaboration in the future. The knowledge and skills that fellows acquire during the Summer Institute will, in time and in various ways, affect their work as educators. However, the goal is to provide intellectual stimulation and renewal for the participants themselves on the assumption that, ultimately, the best teachers are those who are continuously learning, exploring and creating.

Cost & Credits

  • No tuition.
  • 6 graduate credits. You must be in residence the entire week to receive the 6 graduate units.
  • Free room and board. Room (double-occupancy with private baths) and board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided courtesy of Lawrence University. 

There will be ample free time so participants can explore Björklunden’s 441-acre estate and the rest of Door County. Participants will be expected to stay at the lodge for the duration of the institute.


2022 Summer Institute - Fact or Fiction: Images of Schools and Adolescents in Film

At Björklunden this summer, we’ll watch and talk about contemporary movies, exploring the various ways in which a range of modern Hollywood movies (and the occasional foreign film) have influenced, even shaped, Americans’ perceptions of public and private schools, the kids who attend them, and the teachers who work in them.

Some questions we'll be examining and considering:

  • How do these films portray “other people’s children” and their schools?
  • What do they have to say about class, race and gender in America? How do they contribute to persistent cultural and ethnic stereotypes? What cultural norms and values they promulgate and challenge?
  • What questions do they pose about the purpose of schooling and the kinds of schools necessary in order to achieve a good society?

Whether or not you are already a teenpic or high school movie film fan and whether or not you know anything at all about film studies, if watching, thinking about and discussing movies with other educators for a week sounds exciting, please join us at Björklunden this summer. 

The 2022 Mielke Summer Institute will be held at Bjorklunden in Door County from Sunday evening, June 19 through noon on Friday, June 24.  Participants will stay at Lawrence’s lodge in Baileys Harbor on Lake Michigan.

Any educator in the Appleton and Shawano Public Schools may apply. A maximum of 24 applicants can be accepted. Previous participants and applicants are urged to reapply.

Required Application Materials

Candidate Application Form
Briefly state your interest and motivation for attending the Mielke Summer Institute in the Liberal Arts. Indicate qualities you possess that will enhance the program.

Supervisor Recommendation Form
This form is extremely important in the selection process. The supervisor should give specific reasons why you will be an asset to and benefit from the Mielke program.

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination
All applicants must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including a booster shot. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Deadlines & Notification

Your supervisor’s recommendation and candidate application form must be received by March 7, 2022. No late applications can be accepted. Notification of acceptance will be during the week of March 14, 2022.

Contact these teacher coordinators for more information:

Appleton Public Schools
Brian Bartel, Johnston Elementary School
920-832-6265
bartelbrian@aasd.k12.wi.us

Michelle Johnson, Lincoln Elementary School
920-832-6270
gibsonmichelle@aasd.k12.wi.us

Shawano Public Schools
Joe Zuniga, Olga Brener Intermediate School
715-524-2131
zunigaj@shawanoschools.com

LaRai Martin, Shawano Community High School
715-526-2175 ext. 1127
martinl@shawanoschools.com

Questions about the Mielke Summer Institute?

Call Stewart Purkey 920-832-6715 or Katie Van Zeeland 920-832-6714.