Three Area Teachers Nominated to be Minnesota Teacher of the Year
Three teachers, from Minnetonka and Hopkins, are in the running to be the 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.
108 Minnesota teachers are in the running to be the 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Among the candidates are three area teachers who nominators insist exemplify, “the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota.” They are: Minnetonka’s Jeremy Engebretson and Kim Hoehne and Hopkins’ Chris Johnstone. This year’s winner will be announced May 1.
- Jeremy Engebretson
Jeremy Engebretson is a fifth grade teacher at Minnetonka’s Groveland Elementary School.
Engebretson graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Iowa State University and then continued on to Hamline University where he received a Master of Arts degree in Education. He’s been a teacher at Groveland Elementary since 1999, in both the fifth grade and the third grade classrooms.
According to Janet Swiecichowski, spokesperson for Minnetonka Schools, Engebretson, “is an exemplary model of child-centered excellence in Minnetonka as he focuses daily on implementing best practices of instruction in the classroom.”
In 2007, Engebretson received his National Board Certification—an advanced teaching credential designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards.
Of this achievement, Groveland Principal Dave Parker said, “His Board Certification is evidence of his accomplished teacher-leader skill set and collaborative effectiveness with students, parents and colleagues.”
Previous awards include Minnetonka Elementary Teacher of the Year 2010 and Groveland Elementary Child Centered Excellence Award 2010.
Engebretson belongs to the Minnetonka Teachers Association, Education Minnesota, the National Education Association and the International Reading Association.
In his spare time Engebretson is a member of Christ Victorious Church, where he co-coordinates the vacation Bible school and co-directs the Christmas program.
- Kim Hoehne
Kim Hoehne has been a science teacher at Minnetonka High School since 1996. At MHS she has taught AP Physics, Energy in our Daily Lives, Algebra, and Pre-Algebra. Hoehne is also the Assistant Girl's Track and Field Coach.
Hoehne received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bethel University in Saint Paul, focusing on education and on physics.
Hoehne also recently received her National Board Certification and is a previous finalist of the Minnesota TEKNE Award, which recognizes educators who create exciting learning opportunities for students through the innovative use of technology.
Swiecichowski said about Hoehne: “As a technology innovator, Kim is willing to take risks with new technology. She is engaging and enthusiastic and keeps students actively learning with hands-on concepts. Kim does everything in her power to make sure students reach the highest level they are capable of achieving.”
Hoehne is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Minnesota Education Association, the National Science Teachers Association and the International Society for Technology in Education.
- Chris Johnstone
Hopkins’ Chris Johnstone teaches math to students who have chemical or mental issues that interfere with their learning. His job with the district’s Delta Place program requires him to teach everything from basic math to AP Calculus to students facing anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and other challenges.
Yet Johnstone handles his job with flexibility and patience, said Jan Ormasa, the Hopkins school district’s director of special services. He establishes a safe place for students who don’t trust their math skills, so that they feel comfortable learning.
Ormasa said Johnstone’s abilities as a teacher are clear: He builds strong relationships with a wide variety of students, who range from seventh grade to 12th grade. He has a very calm, easy presence that makes students feel safe taking risks. His work with them even helps in other parts of their lives.
“He engages them fully in their curiosity,” Ormasa said.
Engebretson and Hoehne both received Minnetonka Awards for Excellence in Child-Centered Teaching in 2010. Nominations are now open for the Minnetonka Awards for Excellence in Child-Centered Teaching in 2011. To nominate a Minnetonka teacher for that award click here.