By Jason Sethre
Fillmore County Journal
This is the seventh consecutive year in which the Fillmore County Journal has recognized a Teacher of the Year from our coverage area, and I am so grateful to everyone involved in this recognition.
When we initiated this idea, we wanted to show our appreciation for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. You’ll see an entire section in this week’s newspaper dedicated to our area teachers, acknowledging their years of service.
Our schools are at the heart of our community. After all, our kids are the future of our community. And, of course, our teachers play an important role in the growth of our children.
From the beginning, when we launched this concept, we had immediate community support for publishing a section dedicated to recognizing area teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. Businesses jumped on board, and said they wanted to show their support.
What amazed me then, and still to this day, is that we have three major sponsors who have committed every year without any hesitation to make a significant donation for the Teacher of the Year.
Drury’s Furniture of Fountain, Minn., has donated a leather La-Z-Boy recliner. Ody’s Country Meats & Catering of Spring Valley, Minn., has donated a Green Mountain Grill. And, Rushford Foods, Preston Foods and Harmony Foods has donated a $500 gift card to use at any of their stores. That’s an amazing combination gifts for our Teacher of the Year! The total value of all three of these donations each year is roughly $2,600.
I cannot thank these sponsors enough for making the Teacher of the Year presentation extra special. Thanks again to these family-owned businesses for being so supportive of the Teacher of the Year recognition.
Over the past seven years, here’s the all-star line-up of teachers recognized for their incredible work.
• 2017 – Mary Hoiland, Rushford-Peterson Public Schools
• 2018 – Maryellen Dean, Rushford-Peterson Public Schools
• 2019 – Jackie Whitacre, Fillmore Central Public Schools
• 2020 – Gerri Nielsen, Fillmore Central Public Schools
• 2021 – Stacy Fritz, Chatfield Public Schools
• 2022 – Stacey Schultz, Spring Grove Public Schools
• 2023 – Jordan Anderson, Lanesboro Public Schools
Every year, we receive a number of nominations submitted by our readers, with hopes that their favorite teacher will be selected for this honor. The voting process can be very challenging for our team at the newspaper, because there are so many great teachers to choose from each year.
During Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8 to May 12, please consider how you might be able to thank a teacher.
On a grander scale, I think it is important to show appreciation to people doing great things every day. If we look around and pay attention to the wonderful people in our lives, it’s really quite impressive.
A handwritten thank you card doesn’t cost a lot of money, but the value it brings to someone’s life can be immeasurable.
Positivity is a very inexpensive way to make the world a better place.