Feature Stories

District to Honor Teachers, Staff and Volunteers at 2022 Celebration of Excellence

Join Minnetonka Schools for a special 2022 Celebration of Excellence awards program, honoring several of the District’s outstanding teachers, staff and community volunteers. The event will take place on Thursday, May 12 at the Arts Center at Minnetonka High School. All are welcome. It is open to the public and will also be live-streamed. A reception begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Arts Center lobby, and the awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m. 

 The 2022 Celebration of Excellence Livestream is available here.

The program will include the live presentation of awards, recorded interviews and feature videos of award honorees. It will be hosted by Superintendent Dr. Dennis Peterson. Those honored during the evening include:

MINNETONKA AWARDS FOR CHILD-CENTERED EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING

  • Maddie Schinke, ECSE Teacher, Minnetonka Community Education
  • Kendria Chowdhury, Third Grade Teacher, Clear Springs Elementary
  • Courtney Loynachan, Fifth Grade Teacher, Deephaven Elementary
  • Abby Klass, First Grade Teacher, Excelsior Elementary
  • Gretchen Ruble, Fourth Teacher, Groveland Elementary
  • Kirsten Pederson, Fifth Grade Teacher, Minnewashta Elementary
  • Angie Elliott, Third Grade Teacher, Scenic Heights
  • Else Goll, Math Teacher, MME
  • James Malewig, Social Studies Teacher, MMW
  • Beth Gibbs, Language Arts Teacher, MHS
  • Juan Pablo Salcedo, Social Studies Teacher, MHS
  • Faith Kasper, Teacher, S.A.I.L.

AWARD FOR CHILD-CENTERED EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING E-LEARNERS

  • Timothy Ketel, K-5 Award
  • Heather Phillips, Grades 6-12 Award

MINNETONKA EMPLOYEE AWARDS FOR CHILD-CENTERED EXCELLENCE

  • Liz Barlow, Arts Center Marketing/Box Office Coordinator, Minnetonka Theatre
  • Nicole Bednark, Transportation Location Manager, First Student
  • Devan Branson, Explorers Staff Member, Minnewashta
  • Jody Eischens, Paraprofessional, MMW
  • Ashley Handahl, Payroll Coordinator, Districtwide
  • Mary Hauge, Nutrition Services, Groveland Elementary
  • Shelly Hughes, 504 Coordinator, MHS
  • Kari Mortensen, Paraprofessional, MME
  • Denise Nelson, Office/Clerical, MCEC
  • Lindsay Richins, Project SOAR Program Manager, MCEC
  • AJ Sammon, Nutrition Services, MHS
  • Lori Spencer, Paraprofessional, Groveland Elementary
  • Chris Weigel, Head Custodian, Deephaven Elementary

TEAM AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COLLABORATION

  • Clear Springs Elementary Homework Club
    (This group includes the following teachers: Kayla Anderson, Rachel Chase, Kendria Chowdhury, Heather Daldoul and Haley Reiser).

COMMUNITY EDUCATION VOLUNTEER/BUSINESS PARTNER AWARDS

  • Business Partner of Year Award – Chick-fil-a of Chanhassen
  • ECFE Award of the Year – Becky Wolf
  • Youth Programs Award of the Year – Ross Leuer
  • Adult Programs Award of the Year– Sharon Raskob

SPINNAKER AWARDS

  • Boyer Building Corporation
  • Jon Fahning
  • Kemerie & Patrick Foss
  • Jenny Zechmeister

VANTAGE GOLD PARTNERS

  • Maia Haag, VANTAGE Advisory Board Member, CEO of “I See Me!”
  • Jude and Ty Bricker, longtime supporters of VANTAGE through projects, mentorships and more

MOMENTUM GOLD PARTNERS

  • Suresh Krishna and Todd Allard, Northern Tool and Equipment
  • Ted Beckman and Marlee Gartner, RJM Construction

BRAD BOARD AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION

  • Jane Sladky Valley, Second Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher, Deephaven Elementary

JOYCE GUSTAFSON MEMORIAL AWARD

  • James Malewig, Social Studies Teacher, MMW

JUDY ERDAHL MEMORIAL AWARD

  • Ashley Manley, Teacher, Minnetonka Preschool

AWARDS ANNOUNCED MAY 12

  • Employee Service Awards honoring 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years
  • 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Nominees

If you have questions about the Celebration of Excellence program, please contact Dr. JacQui Getty, executive director of communications for Minnetonka Schools at jacqui.getty@minnetonkaschools.org

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