Rain and straw bale gardens. A school vineyard. A DNR-approved school forest. Those are just a few of the interactive learning environments that Rockford Middle School students have the opportunity to explore thanks to the leadership and innovation of a teacher.
Jamie Madson believes learning doesn’t just happen inside the four walls of a traditional classroom and has made it his mission as the Curriculum Integration Coordinator to provide new and engaging experiences for students. It’s that creativity, commitment to students and community leadership that earned him the 2016 MREA Educator of Excellence Award. He will be recognized in November at an awards banquet held at the MREA Annual Conference: Making Teaching Matter.
“Mr. Madson is a leader, a collaborator and an amazing innovator who positively impacts students on a daily basis,” Rockford Superintendent of Schools Paul Durand said.
Mr. Madson first joined Rockford Schools as a fourth grade teacher and has spent the past 20 years in various roles at Rockford Middle School – Center for Environmental Studies.
In his time as curriculum integration coordinator, the school’s magnet program has been elevated as an example statewide and nationally, receiving the national Green Ribbon, MREA’s Profile of Excellence and the University of Minnesota’s Local Government Innovation Award.
“These prestigious awards speak greatly to Mr. Madson’s outstanding abilities, innovative thinking and commitment to making Rockford an amazing learning environment for students,” said Amy Denneson, principal of Rockford Middle School – Center for Environmental Studies.
Mr. Madson is also known for collaborating with students, parents, teachers and the community. He creates authentic learning opportunities for students by engaging community experts to serve as guest instructors.
In addition to his current role, Mr. Madson teaches Digital Skills to 5th and 6th graders, Project Lead the Way to 7th and 8th graders and helps guide 8th graders through college and career preparation for high school.
Mr. Madson has helped Rockford Schools innovate and find new and more effective ways to meet students where they are.
“When you ask students, staff and community about Mr. Madson, you’ll hear how lucky Rockford is to have him, how passionate he is about his job and how he’s made RMS-CES a better school,” MREA Executive Director Fred Nolan said. “It’s teachers like Mr. Madson who create a brighter future for students and our communities. It’s a privilege to honor him and the other 2016 Educators of Excellence.”
MREA presents the Educator of Excellence Awards to recognize, reward, and promote excellence in education that achieves the highest outcomes for Greater Minnesota students. Learn more about the award.