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The Rotary Club of Cambridge and Isanti and the North 65 Chamber of Commerce welcomed new teachers from seven schools and presented the 2021 Rotary Vocational Service Award during the new teacher luncheon held Aug. 27.

Rotary Club President Steve Hage hosted this year’s 23rd annual new teacher luncheon, where new teachers throughout seven schools were recognized.

“This special event is a great opportunity to welcome new teachers and to acknowledge their important work in our schools,” Hage said. “By recognizing and supporting teachers, we build friendships based on our common objective of educating our citizens.”

The luncheon costs were supported by the business community; excess proceeds are used to purchase school supplies for underprivileged students.

All teachers were gifted with a “welcome bag” that included items donated by members of the North 65 Chamber of Commerce.

Many teachers commented on how the luncheon experience has helped encourage, challenge and support them in their new assignment while shaping a positive and lasting introduction to the community.

At this year’s luncheon, many new teachers mentioned how excited they are to build new relationships with their students and their families.

Cambridge-Isanti Schools Superintendent Nate Rudolph mentioned the cohesiveness, collaborations and support that flows within the community.

“This is unique, this does not happen everywhere, where you get a community of a number of different organizations that come together and celebrate what you are about to do for our children and our community,” Rudolph said.

The seven schools that were recognized at the luncheon included the Anoka Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus; the Art and Science Academy; Cambridge Christian School; Cambridge-Isanti Public Schools; Braham Area Public Schools; Rum River Special Education Cooperative; and St. Scholastica HSC Academy.

The Rotary is a service organization whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all locations and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.

2021 Vocational Service Award

Rotary Club members Roger Anderson and Hage presented Mark Ziebarth with the Rotary Vocational Service Award during the luncheon. Ziebarth is principal of Isanti Intermediate School and School for All Seasons.

“Recipients of this award exemplify service and pursuit of high ethical standards,” Anderson said. “These individuals have made a considerable contribution of one vocational talents to the problems and needs of society and model exemplary vocational leadership consistent with Rotary’s four-way test.”

Ziebarth has a great amount of experience, participating in many clubs throughout his career and community life.

He graduated from Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a Bachelor of Science degree in social studies and secondary education. He furthered his education at St. Cloud State University, earning his master’s degree in education administration and a K-12 principal certification.

He has served as a high school social studies teacher, dean of students as well as a secondary principal. Since coming to Cambridge-Isanti Schools, Ziebarth has been a middle school principal and intermediate school principal in Isanti. Ziebarth is from Alexandria and came to Cambridge in 1997 after completing his education.

What earned Ziebarth this award was how he embraced the Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self,” and took on leadership roles in a variety of ways. His community involvement is extensive, serving as a Cambridge City Council member and being a member of the Rotary Club. Ziebarth was also on the board of directors for the Cambridge-Isanti hockey association.

“Principal, a wide variety of community involvement, husband, father — they all make Mark the perfect candidate for the Vocational Service Award for 2021,” Anderson said.

Ziebarth wanted to acknowledge how greatly the Rotary Club has impacted his life by thanking them.

“I don’t know if you know that, but this organization has influenced me. Their motto, ‘Service Above Self,’ was something that was instilled in me as a young lad in Alexandria, Minnesota, and when I moved to Cambridge the first thing I said was, ‘What can I do?’ Thank you, Rotarians, for all of your service to our community,” Ziebarth said.

Ziebarth not only gave thanks but he also shared his life’s mission and what this community can offer to new teachers.

“One of my greatest joys in life is to serve others, and so I have made it my mission to reach out and serve others. So for all of you that are here as new teachers, just know that this community has lots of opportunities for you to engage and help make it a better place,” Ziebarth said.

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