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Michael Kwas

Dean of Academic Success, History, Debate and National Honor Society

“I see the joy among our young people, the joy they find in learning and in coming to Jesus. Christ is in everything we do, so how can there not be joy in that?”

Dean of Academic Success and history and science teacher Michael Kwas has been with St. Ambrose for over nine years. In spring 2023, he won statewide recognition through the annual Kohl Foundation Teacher Fellowship program, whose goal is to support and recognize teaching excellence and innovation!

Like all the St. Ambrose teachers, Michael is more than simply a teacher of subjects, but is instead involved in the entire life of the St. Ambrose apostolate. Knowing all the students on a first-name basis, praying together in the classroom and frequently throughout the week at daily Mass, as well as attending retreats, social events, and extracurricular activities together creates uniquely strong bonds between Michael and his students in the shared work of coming to know the Lord and His creation.

Michael appreciates the beauty of studying the past and learning from our ancestors, who are both vastly different and still very similar to us. Michael enjoys the craft of teaching students history. His experience of teaching science also led him to become a budding naturalist. In his free time, you might find him outside bird watching or foraging for mushrooms. Michael shares his love for the outdoors with students by leading St. Ambrose’s annual Summer Workshops, which often include offsite, outdoor adventures. He also was a jazz DJ for a decade and maintains a passion for all music, which he works into the history curriculum whenever he can.

Michael Kwas has an M.A. in history from UW-Madison. He is currently writing a book on corruption and conspiracy in Wisconsin in the 1850’s. Mr. Kwas has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught four upper-level courses, including classes on the Civil War era and the history of Native Americans. Michael is also the proud dad of two St. Ambrose Academy graduates.