Gunderson honored with Russell J. Hosler Award
The Wisconsin Educators of Business and Information Technology (WEBIT), have announced that the 2019 recipient of the Russell J. Hosler Award is Cadott resident Shari Gunderson. Hosler was known for establishing the state’s association, as well as his many contributions to business education nationally.
Gunderson is a lifetime member of WEBIT and served as the WBEA secretary two years. She also served as president, vice president, secretary and negotiator of the Cadott Education Association. Within her community, she also served on the executive council and as treasurer at her church for many years.
Earning her bachelor’s of science in business education, Gunderson taught seven years, before returning to college to earn a master’s degree in business education. She is a certifi ed Microsoft Office Specialist in the areas of Word, Word Expert I, Excel, Excel Expert I, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook.
She has submitted materials through WiseLearn, as well the state Business Ed ListServe. For many years, she provided in-service training for staff and adults in the community in computer applications, and has been an adjunct instructor for Chippewa Valley Technical College, which assisted earning transcripted credit recognition for multiple courses, a total of 17 credits.
Gunderson was a transcripted credit mentor for instructors of two courses in her region. She has served on the Wisconsin Business, Marketing and Information Technology Advisory Committee for two years, and in 2013, received an Excellence in Teaching Financial Literacy award from Economics Wisconsin.
As a K-12 business educator for 36 years, she taught elementary keyboarding, accounting, business communications, business ownership, computer literacy, exploratory business, financial security, management, Microsoft Office Suite, notetaking, personal finance, shorthand and web design.
She also transitioned from teaching on typewriters to computer-based instruction, using multiple technologies such as PCs, iPads and a SmartBoard. Gunderson earned her master’s degree, but always continued enrolling in courses and workshops to create her own units, projects and assessments from scratch, making her instruction pertinent and interesting to students.
Most of Gunderson’s career was the business department chairperson, actively promoting her program and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). In her 16 years as an FBLA adviser, Gunderson was proud to share that her FBLA National Leadership Conference qualifiers increased from three previously, to 12.
She also served as the local CTE coordinator, wrote a grant to purchase an iPad cart and worked with her district to adopt personal finance as a graduation requirement, long before the state had standards for the area.
Gunderson is an active member of her community, working with local businesses as a gate supervisor for 20 years at the Chippewa Valley Music Festival’s two concert weekends, Country Fest and Rock Fest, and job shadowing over the summer at a local bank and web design company, to gain business insights.
She also interacts with local business owners, often contacted to assist with finding qualified employees.
Marketing business education is a challenge in a small school, with limited scheduling options. Maintaining an interactive bulletin board with a business theme, kept students adding to it, as well as them checking for updates throughout the year.
Gunderson actively promoted her department, by writing articles for her local paper and kept FBLA activities in the paper at least once a month. District letters were also a vehicle for promotion.
She always included an article about activities in her classroom. Emailing students, their study hall teacher and their parents, with reminders of upcoming work and occasional overview of classroom topics, encouraged them to have conversations about that topic.
This communication eventually morphed into a Twitter account. Gunderson still has graduates and their parents who follow her. Showing connections with other business courses and keeping those connections fresh in students’ minds, makes a difference, as Gunderson frequently used her course offerings brochure on orientation nights to connect questions to courses with the answers.
“It’s a gift to be able to teach knowledge,” said a former student of Gunderson, “but it is extraordinary to be able to spur others on to reach their full potential.”