March/April 2010 | Teacher Retention

Teacher Mentor

Rachel Sauvola

Rachel Sauvola
New Richmond High School
New Richmond, Wisc.
2009 Teacher Mentor
Region III


Rachel Sauvola, an ag teacher at New Richmond High School in New Richmond, Wisc.,  has a passion for mentoring new teachers.

“Rachel served on our state’s steering team to create a formal mentor/mentee program for Wisconsin. She was one of our first officially trained mentors and has made it her personal mission to see that new teachers in our state achieve success,” said Bridgett Neu, WAAE executive director.

Sauvola currently serves as a mentor to third-year teacher Lisa Kossel, an agricultural educator in nearby Glenwood City. The relationship between Sauvola and Kossel started when Kossel was a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Later, when Kossel took a job teaching in the same county, Sauvola took time to introduce her to important individuals in their community.  When school is in session the two communicate regularly through phone calls and emails. They also meet for dinner once a month with their families.

Sauvola co-chairs the new teacher committee for the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE). She facilitates committee meetings, keeps in contact with new teachers throughout the year, and coordinates a special pre-conference program at the annual WAAE Professional Development Conference. Sauvola has been able to continue her contact with many of these new teachers as a co-teacher of a graduate class at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) for beginning teachers. She has also taught a sophomore-level undergraduate class at UWRF and mentored 25 pre-service teachers.

“Last fall Rachel taught the Program Delivery in Agricultural, Extension and Leadership Education course for our department,” said Dr. Tim Buttles, associate professor in Agricultural Education at UWRF. “She added a course assignment where each of the 25 students planned and taught a lesson for one of her high school classes. This activity illustrates Rachel’s commitment to supporting the development of future educators.”

Sauvola was selected as one of the six top teacher mentors in the United States in 2009 by NAAE. If you have questions about her mentoring program, you can contact her by email at or (715) 243-1226.

Each of the six 2009 Teacher Mentor winners received a plaque, travel stipend, and registration to the annual NAAE conference in Nashville, TN.  CEV Multimedia sponsors the Teacher Mentor Award.  For more information about the NAAE Teacher Mentor award and all NAAE awards programs, visit

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