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2014-15 Highlights
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2014-15 Highlights
Exceptional Staff




  • Laney's Check & Connect team started a Walking School Bus as an attendance intervention.


  • Director of Culinary and Nutrition Services Bertrand Weber represented school districts from across the country at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship. The forum brought together key human and animal health groups involved in antibiotic stewardship, which is the development, promotion and implementation of activities to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics.
  • Lead counselor Jim Bierma was a guest at the National School Counselor of the Year celebration hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Ali Kofiro, School Counselor at Wellstone International High School was named the Outstanding Recent Alumnus of University of Wisconsin, River Falls’ College of Education and Professional Studies in recognition of his contributions to his profession and the community.
  • Math specialist Sarah Cox Currier from Elizabeth Hall International Elementary School published a feature article in Teaching Children Mathematics, a widely read national publication, sharing how she uses origami to teach mathematical concepts, to reinforce vocabulary and as a problem-solving model.
  • Four MPS teachers achieve National Board Certification in 2014:


  • Elia Brugemman received the Othli Award from the Mexican Consulate.
  • Southwest High School English teacher Megan Marsnik’s writing was featured in the Star Tribune this summer. Her first novel, "Underground," was published in daily installments over the course of the summer of 2015.
  • ‚ÄčIda Downwind named National Elder of the Year by the National Indian Education Association for her lifelong contributions to Indian education.
  • Kelly O'Brien from Jenny Lind was named KS95 Teacher of the Week.
  • Principal Carla Steinbach of Edison High School received the Book of Golden Deeds Award from the Northeast Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and the East Minneapolis Exchange Club at the sixth annual Northeast Celebration on Oct. 30. Honorees were recognized for their support of and service to the northeast Minneapolis community.
  • Jack Tamble, Director of Minneapolis Community Education, was awarded the Regional Community Educator of Excellence Award.
  • The Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) recognized Cheryl Martin with the 2015 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award. Cheryl is the principal of Kenwood Community School. This leadership award honors principals whose exemplary leadership and sustained efforts have made noteworthy contributions to the operation of effective school learning programs improving education, their communities and their profession.
  • 3M Innovative Economic Educator Award winner: 1st Place, Secondary Level awarded to Tatiana Stoll from Stadium View.
  • Thrivent Financial Personal Finance Educator Award winner: 2nd Place, Elementary Level awarded to Anna Cunningham from Andersen United Community School.
  • Cheryl Urbaniak Peterson, girls soccer coach at Washburn High School, was one of 25 winners of the Positive Coaching Alliance's Double-Goal Coach Award. Winners were chosen from more than 2,100 nominations from throughout the country.
  • Chris Fisher, arts teacher at North, and Nancy Lee, musical theater teacher at Washburn, were nominated for the Theater Teacher Excellence Award at the Tony Awards this year. 
  • Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl, teacher at Ramsey Middle School, won a WEM Foundation Outstanding Educator award.
  • Eva Nelson, a science teacher at Edison High School, was awarded a summer fellowship with 3M and will be spending six weeks doing research and development with a 3M scientist and his or her team through the 3M TWIST program.
  • Carissa Tobin, teacher at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, and Sarah Currier, teacher at Elizabeth Hall International Elementary School, were Minnesota’s two finalists for the 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching - the Oscars of mathematics teaching.
  • Patrick Henry High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher and coordinator David Sylvestre was selected as one of nine winners of Fox 9’s STEM Teacher Awards.
  • Rob Lindberg, Minneapolis Kids site coordinator at Ramsey, was honored with the 2015 MnSACA Distinguished Member Award from the Minnesota SchoolAge Care Alliance (MnSACA).
  • Joan Demeter, teacher at Dowling Urban Environmental Learning Center, was honored with WCCO’s Excellent Educator Award.
  • Tonyus Chavers, teacher at Richard Green Central Park Community School, was honored with Fox 9’s Top Teacher Award.
  • Cheryl Flugaur-Leavitt, social worker at Folwell Performing Arts Magnet, was named the 2014 School Social Worker of the Year.
  • Sara Etzel, STEM strategies and career readiness coordinator, has been selected for the America Achieves Fellowship.
  • Larry McKenzie, North High School’s basketball coach, was among four inductees to the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Hall of Fame on Nov. 1.
  • Tom Neiman, Community Education coordinator at Southwest High School, was honored by the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council for his 30 years of leading the Southwest High School Super Summer Program.
  • The second annual Celebration of Teachers honored 105 MPS educators for making a significant impact on students and student achievement.
  • Nine nominees for MN Teacher of the Year
    • Three semifinalists:
      • Teri Primm Ricks, Anthony
      • Kristin Shanley, Bethune
      • Mary Macaulay, Folwell