MREA announces the 2020 Educators of Excellence and recognizes them for their passion, innovation and collaboration in achieving results for students across Greater Minnesota.


  • North: Jacqueline Stoffel, Bemidji Public Schools

  • North Central:  Kathrina O’Connell, Lake Park Audubon Public Schools

  • South Central: Chad Powers, New London-Spicer Public Schools

  • South: Andrew Hopkins, Waseca Public Schools

MREA will share their stories and honor them at the Annual Awards Banquet on Nov. 15. The banquet will be live-streamed and held in conjunction with MREA’s 2020 Annual Conference: Rural Proud.

“These educators are passionate about serving students and are extraordinary examples of what can be achieved with creativity, collaboration and a commitment to excellence,” MREA Executive Director Bob Indihar said. “We look forward to honoring them and sharing their inspirational work.”

The MREA Board of Directors reviewed nominations from four geographic zones in Minnesota and selected the 2020 Educators of Excellence based on their impact, innovation, leadership and collaboration. The 2020 awards are sponsored by Baird, ICS and Sourcewell. Learn more about the award. Watch videos of past honorees and the impact they’re having.

MREA is the only advocate exclusively for Greater Minnesota schools. Under the leadership of school board members, administrators, teachers and community members, MREA focuses on what puts first the education, growth, and development of learners to bring about our best possible future. MREA’s membership represents about 230 school districts in Minnesota. Learn more.