15:36 PM

Leading the Way

Local educators celebrated at special event

More than 50 educators from schools in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties were selected by school administration for outstanding dedication, hard work, and leadership. For their achievements, they were then celebrated as Educators of Excellence at a special event held Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts at Brainerd High School.

This event recognizes and awards local educators who positively impact students and colleagues. In addition to individual Educators of Excellence awards, leaders, paraprofessionals, a coach, team, support staff, and silver lining awards of excellence were also named and recognized.

A new addition to the program this year was the recognition of the 2023 Innovator of the Year, awarded by the Innovative Schools Project to Pequot Lakes elementary teacher Deanne Trottier.

Bertha-Hewitt first grade teacher Jared Hoemberg was among those honored at the event as an Educator of Excellence.

“It was amazing to be surrounded by educators who care so deeply about kids in our area,” Hoemberg says. “To be recognized with some of the very best was humbling and significant. The ultimate winner of the evening was the kids, knowing that they are receiving a top-notch education from people that love what they do.”

Hoemberg says he was also touched by the fact that the trophies given to the Educators of Excellence were created by students from his district in the NextGen Bears program.

“To see our kids innovate and create something meaningful to many is incredibly special. The NextGen Bears has grown tremendously the past few years, creating countless projects. A huge shoutout has to go to our Superintendent Eric Koep for playing a big part in starting the program. I am very proud to say I grew up, work, and am from Bertha-Hewitt.”

In addition to Bertha-Hewitt, educators from the following districts were honored: Brainerd, Cass Lake-Bena, Crosby-Ironton, Freshwater, Little Falls, Menahga, Mid-State, Northland Community, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Pillager, Pine River-Backus, Royalton, Sebeka, Staples-Motley, Swanville, Upsala, Verndale, Wadena-Deer Creek, and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

The Educators of Excellence celebration was broadcast live on Facebook for the general public and is available for viewing on Sourcewell’s Facebook page.


View event program