Celebrating 20 years of radical success for our scholars

Thought Leadership: Anniversaries

CfUT Summer School Program Scholars, CfUT Executive Director, Krysta DeBoer and Founder, Ray Dusseau, and CfUT alumna Chloe Walker with scholar.
CfUT Summer School Program Scholars, CfUT Executive Director, Krysta DeBoer and Founder, Ray Dusseau, and CfUT alumna Chloe Walker with scholar.

The Center for Urban Teaching (CfUT) was founded in 2001 by two professors at Wisconsin Lutheran College and became an independent organization in May 2013. 

In 2023, CfUT is celebrating its 20-year anniversary since its founding and 10 years as an independent non-profit. The organization exists to identify, prepare, and support high-performing urban teachers, leaders, and schools. 

CfUT’s vision is to be the number one producer and provider of high-performing urban teachers & leaders that are better prepared, better retained, and better positioned to have an increased impact on student achievement. Today, CfUT is led by executive director Krysta DeBoer, herself a proud alumna of CfUT. She continues to work closely with one of the program’s founders, Dr. Ray Dusseau, who remains an active member of the CfUT team.

Over the past 20 years, CfUT has successfully expanded the number of alumni serving annually and achieved the highest teacher retention rate in the nation helping schools close the achievement gap and minimize summer learning loss. 

Its pipeline has expanded by over 8,000% and placed more than 500 alumni in the Milwaukee area, including over 20 sitting principals, that serve over 25,000 scholars today. Additionally, CfUT has achieved the highest teacher retention rate in the nation with 81% of CfUT alumni serving four or more years. Nationally, 50% of all teachers leave the field within the first 5 years and 30% leave after the first year. 

CfUT is also proud to announce that nine of the top ten highest-scoring Milwaukee schools on the 2022 Wisconsin State Report Card are CfUT partner schools, and six serve as host sites for the CfUT Summer School Program, including Nativity Jesuit, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran, Risen Savior Evangelical Lutheran, Mount Lebanon Lutheran, St. Marcus Lutheran, St. Augustine Preparatory, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Roman’s Catholic.

CfUT has seen this radical success despite industry trends because of its core philosophy to focus on the person first, calling over career, and experiential training. 

A nod to what’s next for CfUT

The organization is in the process of expanding to other Wisconsin metropolitan regions including Racine and Madison while faithfully working to reach a goal of 11% representation in the teacher and leader Milwaukee workforce. 

CfUT believes this will serve as a tipping point, providing proof of what is possible and creating a stronghold in our city where the beliefs and results of CfUT’s alumni teachers, leaders, and partners will catch like wildfire throughout our region. 

Over the past 20 years, CfUT has demonstrated that the teacher shortage crisis is a solvable problem. 

Ultimately, CfUT believes our teachers, our leaders, and our schools hold our children’s future in their hands. We can all play a part in the effort to solve the teacher shortage crisis, close the achievement gap for our scholars, and improve our future workforce. 

Contact CfUT at info@cfut.org to learn more about how you can make a difference and help expand CfUT’s mission and impact.

Center For Urban Teaching
2600 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Executive Director Krysta DeBoer provides leadership and support to the overall mission, vision, and strategy of the Center for Urban Teaching (CfUT) and oversees development of CfUT’s recruitment, training, and support efforts. Under her leadership, CfUT has expanded its pipeline from eight participants in 2010 to now serving over 1500 prospective teacher candidates across the nation.