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2004 WEM Honorees

a_judd

Angela Judd

bonnie_s_schmaltz

Bonnie Spohn Schmaltz

james_schwarzbauer

James Schwarzbauer

m_lessman

Mark Lessman

o_b_james

Ossie Brooks James

r_stroud

Rebecca Stroud




Congratulations 2004 WEM Honorees!


Teacher Achievement Awards

This award recognizes teachers who support, inspire, and assist students to achieve. The students they serve may be experiencing barriers to learning and/or needing help to make a turnaround in their academic careers. The selected educators may practice in a variety of alternative settings such as area learning centers, a resource center, a special program or classroom, in addition to a traditional school setting.

  • Mark Lessman of Faribault Public Schools is an automotive technology teacher at Faribault High School, was cited for his work focusing on helping individual students identify and use their strengths to reach higher levels of learning; having high expectations and working directly with parents and students, including personal mentoring, to help them achieve their goals; his concerted and specific efforts to recruit diverse student populations to the school's automotive program and then structuring teams to enhance students learning from each other; his working with the school's automotive skills competition; involving students in curriculum and program design and evaluation; and working with other departments within the school to make sure students develop their other academic skills.

  • Angela Judd of Chaska is an English language arts instructor in the Hutchinson Public Schools. She was recognized for her work to develop a reading strategies class to help students pass the state's Basic Skills Test; for helping integrate successful reading strategies in other classes and schools (including partnerships between senior high school and elementary students); for helping create an individualized, self-directed curriculum for students; and her professional support for individual student's academic needs.

Academic Coach of the Year

This award recognizes the work of educators who coach teams of students to participate and compete in academic challenges endorsed by MAEF’s Academic League. The selected educators have been nominated for their exemplary work, encouragement and impact on student learning as a result of positive participation in the academic challenge.


  • James Schwarzbauer of Proctor currently serves as the coach for three Academic Challenge teams (Knowledge Bowl, Economic Challenge, and Academic Decathlon), in addition to teaching senior economics, and world and European history at Hermantown High School. He was cited by members of a blue ribbon judging panel for his years of work to start, fund and maintain several academic enrichment programs; for making academic challenges both fun and successful for students; his personal sacrifices and commitment to helping individual students succeed both in the classroom and extracurricular academics; for challenging students to attain high levels of excellence and then coaching them to achieve those lofty goals; and for being a lifelong learner who deepens his knowledge base and shares it with students and colleagues.

  • Bonnie Spohn Schmaltz of Richmond currently serves as the head speech coach at Eden Valley-Watkins High School, in addition to teaching English and serving as a media specialist. Her professional accomplishments revitalizing the school's speech program and inspiring a dramatic increase in student participation, demonstrating continued growth and development in setting goals beyond participation and competitive success, tailoring her coaching and teaching strategies to students' needs, and serving as a mentor in helping students overcome individual obstacles in school or life.

Ethics in Education Awards
These awards recognize educators who exemplify ethical behaviors for the field and profession of teaching and who promote ethical practices and development of students and colleagues through their daily behaviors and/or the design and use of a student curriculum.

  • Rebecca Stroud of Roseville teaches language and theater arts, speech and debate at Mahtomedi High School. She was honored for her work embedding the teaching of ethics in her curriculum through guest speakers from other cultures, student analysis of writings by global authors, her successful efforts to create a summer social theater program that writes and performs on local and international issues related to social awareness, and her advocacy and modeling of multiculturalism and the celebration of diversity.

  • Ossie Brooks James of Minneapolis serves as principal at Lyndale Elementary School. She was honored for her work modeling a philosophy of high expectations, appreciation for others, and a strong academic work ethic; creating a school environment that is safe, respectful and warm; working with staff to involve students' parents in reframing suspension-related issues into a focus on academic achievement, resulting in a significant drop in student suspensions; creating a schoolwide program rewarding students when they do not exhibit unacceptable behavior; and for the school's students taking ownership of rules regarding ethical and respectful treatment of others.

2004 Finalists

Teacher Achievement Academic
  • Lois Demers - Hopkins
  • Renata Goepfrich - Minneapolis
Coach of the Year
  • Timothy Jump - Benilde-St. Margaret's School
  • Julia Zieman - Runestone Area Education District
Ethics In Education
  • Michael Bolsoni - Rosemount- Apple Valley - Eagan
  • Byron Guidance Department - Byron School District

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