Educators of Excellence Award
MREA presents the Educator of Excellence Awards to recognize, reward, and promote excellence in education that achieves the highest outcomes for Greater Minnesota students. This award honors inspiring educators who demonstrate:
- Positive impact on students and student achievement
- Leadership in the school, district and community
- Innovative and creative instructional practice that impact all students
- Collaborative efforts with fellow educators, parents, families and the community
Nominate an Educator
Nominations are due Feb. 28, 2020. Honorees will be recognized at MREA’s Annual Conference Banquet in November.
Questions? Call the MREA Office at (320) 762-6574 or toll free at (833) MNVOICE.
Math Teacher, Win-E-Mac Schools
Jessica Strom has flipped her high school math classroom to allow her students to become the problem solvers and teach one another. It’s been a lightbulb moment for her students and other educators who have seen it in action.
Dragon Academy Instructor, Pine City Public Schools
Ryan Larson started a new academy inside his school district’s middle and high schools to provide a new approach to inter-disciplinary learning. The results have been life-changing for students.
Science Teacher, Plainview-Elgin-Milville Schools
Tony McGee teaches by walking around, asking good questions and engaging students in new, hands-on experiences once limited to schools in large metropolitan areas — like a mobile lab through a partnership with the Mayo Clinic.
Science Teacher, Westbrook-Walnut Grove Schools
Patrick Merrick helps students learn what they thought they couldn’t. He believes in them and constantly develops new science classes and community projects to engage students. He brings science to life with his humor and applications.
From Ada to Zumbrota, across Greater Minnesota, MREA wants to know about members’ programs that serve as examples of innovative educational opportunities for our rural students. What are the compelling practices or programs at your school or educational organization? Programs throughout MREA member districts are nominated and then selected by the MREA Board of Directors based on these core criteria:
- Innovation — What made this program unique?
- Benefit to Students — How did your students benefit from this program?
- Collaboration — Who worked on developing this program with your school?
- Ease of Adaptability — How can other districts replicate this program?
Nominate a Program
Nominations must be received by April 24, 2020. Honorees will be recognized at MREA’s Annual Conference Banquet in November.
Questions? Call the MREA Office at (320) 762-6574.
2019 Innovative Programs
Bemidji Public Schools
Students gain skills and credentials necessary to obtain local high-skilled employment without ever leaving the community. This is the only program like this in the state of Minnesota.
Find the Kind Challenge
Lake Superior School District
Students in the Two Harbors High School DECA program wanted to create awareness on the positive impact kindness can have on mental health. They took to social media and organized on-site efforts. The results were profound.
Distinguished Service Award
There are many leaders working behind the scenes and on the front lines to advocate for Greater Minnesota students and rural education. Each year, MREA recognizes one of these key leaders who has demonstrated contributions in one or more of the following areas:
- Development of leadership potential of rural youth and adults in a rural district or region
- Enhancement of rural community development
- Support and assist in furthering the effectiveness of communications between local school districts and business/industry, governmental agencies, and/or institutions of higher education
- Facilitation of sharing and partnerships among schools and between schools and the private sector
- Support of legislation to enhance rural school/education
- Recognition and support of exemplary practices and individuals
- Promotion and advocacy of rural education
- Leadership in the development of rural education-related conferences and workshops
Nominate an Individual
Deadline for entries is June 1, 2019. Honorees will be recognized at MREA’s Annual Conference Banquet in November.
Questions? Call the MREA Office at (320) 762-6574.
Jeremy Kovash & Dr. Boyd Bradbury
When the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) raised the credentialing standards for high school teachers to teach concurrent enrollment, Kovash and Bradbury collaborated to find a solution. They led a partnership between their two organizations Lakes Country Service Cooperative and Minnesota State University Moorhead along with the Northwest Service Cooperative.
The result is 18 Online, a graduate initiative for high school teachers in Minnesota to gain the 18 credits they need to teach concurrent enrollment under the new credentialing standards – for free. Since 2017, the program has served hundreds of teachers in all six economic regions in Minnesota and as of this fall, enabled teachers to earn nearly 1,700 credits.