Over 500 employees, students, friends, family and community members were at Minnetonka School District's Celebration of Excellence on May 10 to honor the commitment of teachers, staff, administrators, volunteers and business partners.

“I look forward to the Celebration of Excellence as a joyful time,” said Superintendent Dr. Dennis Peterson. “The individuals who crossed the stage tonight embody what we value most: collaboration, creativity, innovation and the desire to help each child achieve personal excellence.”

This year’s winners included:

Minnetonka Awards for Child-centered Excellence in Teaching

-Lynn Bleeker, Kindergarten Teacher, Clear Springs Elementary

-Kristi Bruckschen, Special Education Teacher, Deephaven Elementary

-Maria Chopite, First Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher, Minnewashta Elementary

-Clinton Fenner, Science Teacher, Minnetonka High School

-Kelly Fisher, Reading Teacher, Excelsior Elementary

-Paul Johnson, Kindergarten Teacher, Groveland Elementary

-Meghan Mullen, Sixth Grade Teacher, Minnetonka Middle School West

-Julie Jo Nawrocki, Fifth Grade Teacher, Scenic Heights Elementary

-Dawn Norton, Science Teacher, Minnetonka High School

-Ann Ricketts, ECFE Teacher, Minnetonka Community Education

-Leah Thorson, Math Teacher, Minnetonka Middle School East

Minnetonka Employee Awards for Child-centered Excellence

-Alexis Beckman, Office Assistant, Minnetonka Community Education

-Lyssa Campbell, Communications Coordinator, Districtwide

-Curt Carpenter, Principal, Clear Springs Elementary

-Zach Fremder, Field Technician, Districtwide

-Al Harris, Paraprofessional, Minnetonka Middle School East

-Jeremy Johnson, Explorer’s Club Site Supervisor, Minnetonka Community Education

-Jeff Luedloff, Head Custodian, Scenic Heights Elementary

-Aimee Sinkler, Recreational Program Coordinator, Minnetonka Aquatics

-Lindsay Stashek, School Counselor, Minnetonka Middle School East

-Christine Svihel, Paraprofessional, Districtwide

-Deneen Vanek, Cook Manager, Minnetonka Middle School West

Team Award for Excellence in Collaboration

-Christine Breen, Director of Special Services

-Rogene Meriwether, Nurse

-Anne Schulenberg, Special Education Teacher

-Beth Baker, Special Education Paraprofessional

-Kathleen Leisman, Social Worker

-Rhonda Kullman, Licensed Practical Nurse

Community Education Volunteer/Business Partner Awards

-Nikkole Zierden, Early Childhood Award

-Kolt Ringer, Youth Award

-Tammy Kottke, Adult Award

-Ken Sutherland, Dunn Brothers in Excelsior, Organization/Business Partner Award

Spinnaker Awards

-Brian Larson, Financial Advisory Committee Member

-Brian Thorpe, Kindergarten Districtwide Volunteer

-Kitty Croston, Groveland Elementary Volunteer

-Lou Frank, Groveland Elementary Volunteer

-John Sherman, Sun Sailor Sports Reporter

-Belinda O’Connell, Minnetonka Schools Foundation, Volunteer

-Yvonne Ring, Elementary School Districtwide Volunteer

-Tim Schneeweis, Minnetonka High School Adapted Sports Volunteer

Vantage Gold Partners

-Michael Dion, Pepsico/Frito-Lay

-Jim Gratzek (SunOpta)

-HockeyStop

-Tim Meester, Best Buy

-Sholom

Other Awards

-Nick Ruehl, Ross McGlasson Award for Leadership in Community Service

-Susan Walker, Special Education Teacher at Minnetonka High School, Charlie Parnell Award for Excellence in Special Education

-Andreas Lundheim, Clear Springs First Grade Teacher, Brad Board Award for Excellence in Elementary Education

-Amber Larsen, District-wide Special Education Teacher, Joyce Gustafson Memorial Award

2019 Teacher of the Year Nominees

-Dawn Norton, Minnetonka High School Science Teacher

-Kelly Fisher, Excelsior Elementary Reading Teacher

Employee Service Awards

-For 20 years of service: Jeannine Adair, Mona Anderson, Mary Beth Bloom, Jenifer Breidenbach, Curt Carpenter, Jerry Christenson, Meredith Dommer, Molly Dumalag, Cheryl Duncan, Stacey Eastman, Kathryn Fox, Kathleen Frazier, Keri Freienmuth, Jody Hansen, Paula Ikola-Erbisch, Doris Jettenberger, Dan Kaufmann, Mary Kenealy-Bredice, Peggy Markham, Natasha Martin, Margaret McDonald, Kimberly Olsen, Renee Olsson, James Nunn, Kelly Pederson, Gregory Reinhiller, Beth Shandley, Rimma Star, Nicole Steinkraus, Heather Stowman, Karin Tellekson, Jenny Van Aalsburg, Lisa Wermerskirchen and Patrick Wood.

-For 25 years of service: Amy Altenburg, Jacqueline Basile, Kaari Cox, Jill Erickson-Buresh, Lynn Flaherty, Bart Inniger, Geraldine Johnson, Jennifer King, Cindy Kohman, Heather Kohnen, Sarah Kyllo Becher, Joan Larson, Lisa Loeding, Dan Marek, Brendan McCashin, Cynthia McGlasson, Rachel Norton, Cheryl Pikal, Heidi Roehl, Renee Roels, Dawn Sorenson, Colleen Small, Thomas Tomashek, Deneen Vanek, Colleen Von Ruden, Gwynneth Wacker, James Williams and Jane Zins.

-For 30 years of service: Edward Boberg, Richard Buchholz, Christopher Cohen, Joy Curran, Deanne Hoppe, Sara Lovelace, Linda Morantez and Craig Owen.

-For 40 years of service: Sandra Gosen and Anne Redfern.

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