Top Notch Teacher February 2019: Central’s Charlie Stoflet

Even though he’s been teaching for nearly 30 years, Charlie Stoflet brings something new to the classroom every day. He tries to keep students engaged through unique activities that go beyond the basic curriculum.

Now in his 20th year, Stoflet has taught all levels of biology at La Crosse’s Central High School. It’s in the Advanced Placement Biology classroom where students can find a lifelong passion.

“I think it’s definitely a class for people who are looking to pursue sciences and kind of the next step in their education,” said Charlotte Linebarger, a student at Central High School.

Stoflet admits he knows other students are just looking for college credit.

“Not everybody is going to be a doctor here,” Stoflet said.

But he still wants to make them engaged in the material.

“We’re going to have fun and learn at the same time. Learn about something we really like and that he really enjoys teaching us about,” said Leah O’Neill, a senior at Central High School.

For Stoflet, it’s all about empathy.

“I kind of try to put myself in their place as a student and what would I want from a teacher,” Stoflet said.

That usually involves lots of hands-on activities.

“So whether its acting things out or using Venn diagrams or collaboration, I think all of those are valuable teaching tools,” Stoflet said.

“We never feel like the class goes on for forever, which often with AP classes you can feel dragged down a bit because it’s more work. It’s college-level work,” O’Neill said.

He understands that his class might not be the only AP course students are taking on top of their other school work and extra circulars. So Stoflet makes sure to spread out the work.

“They need a break. They need a little time to be kids,” Stoflet said.

It’s his dedication to going the extra mile and personal connections that earned him multiple nominations for the Top Notch Teacher award.

“That’s kind of what keeps you going in this profession– having students recognize the hard work that you’ve put in and realizing you are there for them. That’s what this is about,” Stoflet said.

While this is his 20th year at the school, Stoflet has been a teacher for 28 years. He previously taught in De Soto, where he inspired students in his physical science, biology, middle school science and other courses.

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