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2019 WEM Honorees

Diercks

Adrienne Diercks

Gordon

Brandice Gordon

Little

Caroline Little

Lundeen

Matt Lundeen

Olson

Melanie Olson

Quealy

Tim Quealy

Sonnek

Melissa Sonnek



 
Congratulations 2019 WEM Honorees!
Athletic Coach Award: This award recognizes an exemplary coach of student teams that participate and compete in athletic sports endorsed by the Minnesota State High School League.
 
Statewide honoree:
  • Matt Lundeen is a middle school teacher at Redwood Valley Middle School in Redwood Falls. He also coaches football at Redwood Valley High School. Matt has been teaching and coaching for 20 years. View Press Release
Regional honoree:
  • Kris DeMaris is an elementary physical education teacher at Madelia Elementary School. She also coaches cross country, golf and basketball. Kris has been coaching and teaching for 25 years.
 
Academic Challenge Coach Award: This award recognizes coaches of student teams who participate and compete in academic challenge or enrichment programs endorsed by the Minnesota Academic League Council. 
 
Statewide honoree:
  • Brandice Gordon is a middle school teacher at Kenwood Trail Middle School in Lakeville. She also coaches Science Olympiad. Brandice has been teaching and coaching for 22 years. View Press Release
Regional honoree:
  • Craig Larson is an elementary teacher at Falcon Ridge Elementary in New Prague. He also coaches Math Masters. Craig has been teaching and coaching for 6 years.
Ethics in Education Award: This award recognizes educators who exemplify ethical behavior for the teaching profession and promote ethical practices and development for their students through classroom activities or curriculum.
 
Statewide honorees:
  • Melissa Sonnek serves as principal at Edgerton Elementary School in Maplewood. Melissa has 19 years of education experience. View Press Release.
  • Tim Quealy is a high school language arts teacher at Avalon School in St. Paul. Tim has been teaching for 9 years. View Press Release.
 
Regional honorees:
  • Nafeesah Muhammad is a high school teacher at North High School in Minneapolis. Nafeesah has been teaching for 4 years.
  • Michael Durchslag is a high school teacher at P.E.A.S.E. Academy in Minneapolis. Michael has been teaching for 23 years.
 
Teacher Achievement Award: This award recognizes teachers who support, inspire and assist students to achieve despite barriers to learning.  
 
Statewide honorees:
  • Caroline Little is a high school French teacher at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights. Caroline has been teaching for 18 years. View Press Release.
  • Melanie Olson is an elementary teacher at Parkside Elementary School in Buffalo. Melanie has been teaching for 14 years. View Press Release.
 
Regional honorees:
  • Monica Steinmetz is an elementary teacher at St. Francis of Assisi Grade School in Rochester. Monica has been teaching for 29 years.
  • Billie Pace-Graczyk is a middle school teacher at Sandburg Middle School in Golden Valley. Billie has been teaching for 5 years.
Excellence in Education Award: This award celebrates and recognizes superior contributions of educators whose leadership and dedication inspire a spirit of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities outside the traditional education system and classroom.
  • Adrienne Diercks is the founder and Executive Director of Project Success. 
 
 
 

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