An elementary school teacher in Monroe won a national award Friday for her hands-on and individualized teaching methods.

Sarah Compton, a fifth-grade teacher at Northside Elementary School in Monroe, was one of 33 teachers selected for the $25,000 Milken Educator Award this year.

One classroom project the Milken Family Foundation cited was Compton’s student stock market. Compton taught her class about economic concepts and critical thinking skillsw by having students invest imaginary money and manage individual portfolios.

Using the individual portfolios in a class-wide stock market, Compton created lesson plans that were tailored to each student to provide skill-level appropriate lessons, which the foundation said boosts growth, confidence and test scores for the children.

“Sarah Compton knows that each student has a unique path and interests,” said Greg Gallagher, senior program director of the foundation. “Helping them get excited about learning is her special gift, and we are proud to welcome her as a Milken Educator.”

Compton is the only Wisconsin teacher to win the award this year.

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Shelley K. Mesch is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She earned a degree in journalism from DePaul University.