MREA Announces 2022 Award Honorees

October 25, 2022

Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) has announced the award honorees to be celebrated Sunday, November 13 at its 2022 MREA Awards Ceremony. The banquet kicks off MREA’s 2022 Greater Education Summit at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd. Register to attend.

The awards were created to celebrate and showcase the incredible work happening in Greater Minnesota school districts. Each spring, MREA solicits and reviews nominations for Educators of Excellence, Innovation Program, and Distinguished Service Awards.


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, leadership in the school and community, and innovative instruction.

The 2022 MREA Educators of Excellence are:

  • Jenny Maras // Morris Area School District // South Central Zone
  • Jacob Johnson // Windom Area School District // South Zone
  • Dave Perry // Cloquet School District // North Central Zone
  • Courtney Skjerven // Thief River Falls School District // North Zone


MREA celebrates innovative programs in rural districts with the Innovation Program Awards. Programs throughout MREA member districts are nominated and then selected by the MREA Board of Directors based on core criteria of innovation, benefit to students, collaboration, and ease of adaptability.

The 2022 Innovation Program Award honorees are:

  • Mesabi East Environmental Education Center  //  Mesabi East School District
  • Freshwater Produce and Décor  //  Freshwater Education District


MREA’s Distinguished Service Award celebrates a leader working behind the scenes and on the front lines to advocate for Greater Minnesota students and rural education.

In 2022, MREA is honored to recognize and celebrate the career-long efforts of Representative Paul Marquart.

MREA will share the stories and celebrate the work of award honorees at the 2022 MREA Awards Ceremony on November 13 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd. The Awards Ceremony kicks off the MREA Greater Education Summit, a conference for rural education leaders to come together to learn, celebrate, and network.

Awards are made possible by incredible sponsors – Baird, ICS, Ingensa, and Northland.

The Awards Ceremony will be live-streamed for family and colleagues who are unable to attend the banquet in person. To watch the ceremony, visit on November 13 at 6 pm.

Honoree feature videos and stories will be showcased at after the Awards Ceremony.