Benson Teacher Roger Ebnet, a 2017 MREA Educator of Excellence, is in the running for National Rural Teacher of the Year Award. A tireless advocate for students and his community, Ebnet has led a series of initiatives and developed programs to enhance opportunities for learning and community connections.

“If there’s a need to be met for Benson students, you’ll likely find Roger working to meet it,” MREA Executive Director Fred Nolan said.

A second grade teacher at Northside Elementary in Benson, Ebnet invests in the individual success of each of his students and the community they all live in. That has included everything from developing the concept and curriculum for a “County School” experience and school store that rewards student behavior to raising funds to bring a series of celebrities to his small town and leading the communication campaign for the district’s recent bond referendum that passed with overwhelming support.

“Roger has selflessly worked to improve his school and community,” Benson Public Schools Superintendent Dennis Laumeyer said. “He truly embodies the positive characteristics of a rural educator of excellence.”

In addition to national recognition, the selected honoree will speak at the National Rural Education Convention and Research Seminar in October and will receive $2,000 for professional development and classroom supplies.

MREA nominated Ebnet for this national honor.

“Teachers play many roles today and so often those go beyond the classroom,” Nolan said. “Few embody the community spirit as much as Roger Ebnet at Benson Public Schools. On a path to soaring achievement, he desires to give his second graders meaningful experiences that engage and equip them.”