Who Is… Mr. Maedke?

Mr. Maedke plays bass in his band, The Dirty Groove.

becky maedke

Mr. Maedke plays bass in his band, The Dirty Groove.

Do you take a business class? Have you noticed a new face in the school? This “new” face is a Stoughton veteran. Meet Chris Maedke, SHS’s new business education teacher. Maedke is currently splitting his time between River Bluff Middle School and here at SHS. The courses he is covering this semester at the high school include personal finance, sports and entertainment marketing, and principles of business. At the middle school, he covers a business computer course.
“I get to school about 6:40 a.m. I’m here at the high school until the end of fifth hour. Then I usually have a bit of travel time and then I return to River Bluff, and I teach one class everyday down there. I usually end up working until 4:30 p.m. everyday or so,” Maedke states.
Maedke, who is originally from Edgerton, started his teaching career in the Edgerton School District in 1997. He began teaching at SHS in 2003 as a business teacher in room 202.
“Room [202] was actually my classroom from 2003 to 2012,” Maedke says. Maedke began doubling as a business teacher at the High School and River Bluff Middle school from 2010 to 2012 before fully transitioning to full-time work at the middle school in 2012.
Growing up enjoying and excelling at economics and math, Maedke attended the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and majored in Business Education. Maedke initially wanted to become an accountant, but with both parents as teachers, he realized he valued the socialization and personal connection that teaching brought and sought to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
“I get to work with freshmen through seniors, so I’m able to have a pretty wide variety of students […] I try to incorporate lots of potential for kids to work in partners if they would like,” Maedke says.
Business classes cover various topics at SHS, all of which Maedke believes to be essential to real-world learning.
“I think my courses are real world, and I’m working with skills and things that people are going to use. When we talk about personal finance, everyone has to deal with money.” Maedke says, “Everyone needs to know how to handle banking and credit. All of us are gonna need to have a house, an apartment, and getting loans and insurance.”
“The topics we cover are something that everyone has to deal with,” Maedke exclaims.
“In a business sense, everybody’s either going to work for or own a business, so knowing how the business world works and being able to understand some of the things businesses do to manipulate people and get them to make purchases [is important]. If you have a better understanding you can make better decisions,” Maedke continues.
Since returning to regular schooling this Fall, Maedke noticed a dullness in student motivation. To combat this, he uses some of the same strategies he uses at the middle school to teach his high school students.

Mr. Maedke and his wife Becky snap a photo together. (colton schuler)

“I try to incorporate humor. I try to make sure that humans have the opportunity to work on things and ask questions. I try to break my classes into chunks of time. At middle school, since virtual learning, students don’t always have the same stamina that they used to. So if you break the course down, say ‘we’re going to do this for 15 minutes, this for 15 minutes, this for 15 minutes’ […] it gives them a little bit of a sensory break,” Maedke says.
Maedke’s position is one that still raises lots of questions to many students and staff.
“There’s a chance that I will be returning to River Bluff. I don’t really know how this is going to play out. My hope is that I will finish this semester here.” Maedke says, “I’m trying to keep the kids engaged, trying to provide them with current and relevant opportunities for learning things and building what they already know, and new things that they will find useful as they get older,” Maedke says.
When asked about a permanent position here at the high school, Maedke spoke about how he values working around the whole district.
“The future is very cloudy right now, and I really enjoyed it. And given the chance to stay here long term, potentially, I would do it […] depending on what will happen with Ms. Ross and what the district decides. I’m a team player. I’m here to serve, and I try to work with the kids that I’m given as I move around,” Maedke says.
As a bass player, technology nerd, and business lover, triple threat Maedke had this to say to the students of SHS:
“It’s been great being able to be up here and see so many kids and see how much they grow and become amazing young adults. As a teacher, it’s really gratifying and wonderful to see the impact that education and time has given and the change has been so positive.”