Rafters Announce the 7th Annual Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, in partnership with Skyward Inc., are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award. Mrs. Julie Stoffel, a Music Educator at Lincoln High School and Wisconsin Rapids Area Middle School, was acknowledged in her classroom on Tuesday, February 4th at Lincoln High.

Mrs. Stoffel has been teaching for 25 years in Central Wisconsin throughout Marshfield, Nekoosa, Plainfield, and Wisconsin Rapids. Recently, she taught at Assumption Catholic Schools from 2011-2016 and she has been teaching within Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools since 2016. She and her husband, Jeff have two beautiful girls, Elaina and Scedra.

“Julie is a phenomenal educator who has grown the choral program over her years at LHS,” said Lincoln High School principal Ron Rasmuessen. “Her dedication to her students, support of our music and theater programs, and willingness to expose our students to collegiate experiences is exemplary. We are proud to have Julie recognized by Skyward and the Rafters.”

The Rafters and Skyward will hold the 7th Annual Educator Appreciation Night at Witter Field this summer on Tuesday, June 23rd. The first fans through the gate will receive a Rosco Swoonatra bobblehead. As part of the evening, the Rafters and Skyward will present Mrs. Stoffel with a bobblehead created in her likeness to commemorate the Teacher of the Year honor. The team will also display a Mrs. Stoffel bobblehead in Skyward’s Educator Wall of Fame at the ballpark and she will be recognized prior to the game by throwing out a first pitch. In addition, Mrs. Stoffel and the essay winners who nominated her will receive tickets to attend the game, courtesy of Skyward.

To facilitate the selection of the teacher, the Rafters held an essay contest for students K-12 across Central Wisconsin during the months of November and December. All students were encouraged to nominate a teacher who they felt has made a positive impact on their life and write an essay on the reason as to why this teacher deserved to be recognized as the Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year.

This year the Rafters received nearly 300 submissions from students throughout Central Wisconsin. Over 110 teachers from Adams-Friendship, Marshfield, Nekoosa, Plover, Port Edwards, Stevens Point, Waupaca, and Wisconsin Rapids were nominated. To help narrow down all the submissions an internal rating system was used that included the following:

Number of nominations submitted on behalf of the teacher, years of service by the teacher, essay substance regarding the teacher, principal recommendation, and characteristics described about the teacher.

The Rafters Home Opener is slated for 6:05pm on Wednesday, May 27th against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. For more information on the different ticket packages visit, call the Rafthouse at 715-424-5400, or visit Historic Witter Field. The Rafthouse is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday at Witter Field, 521 Lincoln Street in Wisconsin Rapids.


The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.