Minnesota

Sharon Borgert

Position: Curriculum and Assessment Director

School: Eden Valley-Watkins ISD

School District: Eden Valley-Watkins ISD #0463

City, State: Eden Valley, Minnesota

About the Nominee: Sharon Borgert was nominated by her superintendent, Mark Messman. Ms. Borgert is not your typical curriculum and assessment director. She is the heart and soul of the Eden Valley-Watkins School District, serving the school-community in various roles and capacities. Ms. Borgert serves as the unofficial administrator in greeting students and staff, coordinating last minute details and solving problems. She continues to extend support and professional resources to veteran staff and new hires alike.

Ms. Borgert provides staff and students with updated, current curriculum options and resources, as well as research-based instructional strategies and trends. She continually monitors and uploads intervention data to support student learning and staff success. Ms. Borgert also provides the administrative team and staff with monthly testing/assessment updates and required compliance and training opportunities. Additionally, she monitors test security throughout the entire assessment process.

Ms. Borgert was inspirational in the district's development of a mentorship program for its Certified and Classified employees. The administrative team recognized the need to provide additional training resources and support to new staff, so Ms. Borgert stepped up to the plate and now serves as the mentorship coordinator. She coordinates and monitors the monthly meetings, agendas and topics to be discussed among mentors/mentees. Additionally, she coordinates the staff and substitute schedules in order to provide mentees with opportunities to conduct peer reviews and self-assessments. On top of the various coordinator roles assigned to her, Ms. Borgert still manages to effectively serve her district on the Staff Development Committee, Superintendent's Cabinet and Chair the World's Best Workforce committee.

While serving on these district-level leadership roles, Ms. Borgert never loses sight of her mission and vision to adhering to high moral and ethical educational standards, sustaining a nurturing and supportive school system and making a positive impact on student learning. She holds a high degree of responsibility and continuously delivers a high level of honesty, integrity, and loyalty to her colleagues, employer and school-community. Ms. Borgert maintains a positive attitude and work ethic, even when faced with adversity and challenge. She is "one-of-a-kind" and serves as a role-model educator for students, staff and administrators. She continues to serve as a LifeChanger in her school and community!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="sborgert@evw.k12.mn.us"]

Fred Slettom

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Position: Custodian

School: Little Falls Community High School

School District:Little Falls Community Schools

City, State: Little Falls, Minnesota

About the Nominee: Fred Slettom was nominated by his superintendent, Stephen Jones.

Mr. Slettom is more than just a custodian; he is the heart and soul of Little Falls Community High School. He serves as the unofficial ambassador for all who enter the school's doors. He greets friends and visitors alike, always extending a hearty "Hello" or a handshake to welcome people into the school. His appeal with people extends from toddlers to senior citizens, from freshmen to seniors. All who meet and know Mr. Slettom have incredible respect for the person he is. He continues to teach students about life each and every day, but no lesson he teaches is more important than these two:

1) You get what you give. Mr. Slettom gives respect, and in return, he receives respect. He enjoys wonderful relationships with students because he gives them respect, first and foremost. Therefore, he receives the reciprocal respect from students.

2) Take pride in all that you do. Through the efforts of Mr. Slettom and his equally superb colleagues, Little Falls Community High School defies its age. Even though it was built in 1972, the facility is maintained at an incredibly high level and appears much younger than it actually is. Mr. Slettom models the value of pride in the work that you do, regardless of what it is. He literally glows when visitors to Little Falls Community High comment how clean and spotless the building is, even though it hosts 800 students and 125 adults on a daily basis.

For these reasons, and many others, Mr. Slettom is a LifeChanger in his community!

Shelly Yoder

Position: Special Needs Teacher

School: North High School

School District: North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale ISD 622

City, State: North St. Paul, Minnesota

About the Nominee: Shelly Yoder is a LifeChanger, not only because she always helps people, but because she's an awesome teacher!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="syoder@isd622.org"]

Sara Olson

Position: Technology Assistant School: Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools

School District: Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools

City, State: Elgin, Minnesota

About the Nominee: Sara Olson was nominated by her principal, Clark Olstad.

Ms. Olson is a Technology Assistant who is a very special, caring, hard-working individual. She is dedicated to making sure that technology always works effectively for staff and students in order to enrich the curriculum and improve student learning. Principal Olstad says this is the first time he has nominated a staff member that wasn't a teacher for an award, which demonstrates how important Ms. Olson is to the district. As technology continues to play more of a role in the district so does Ms. Olson and her ability to keep technology working properly while simultaneously maintaining a friendly and professional relationship with students and staff. Many school personnel have commented that Ms. Olson is the most important worker at PEMCS. Her dedication to helping children use technology means she has a great impact on students.

Ms. Olson has always been a very positive, energetic and bubbly individual to be around. Her energy and attitude are contagious and contribute to a great atmosphere. Ms. Olson is known as a “Giver,” meaning that she wants to help other people be happy and successful at all times. In the 2015-2016 school year, she experienced many extremely difficult personal challenges, including having multiple family members pass away. This is another example of the type of strength and character Ms. Olson possesses ,as she continued to maintain her passionate and caring personality towards everyone despite the loss she experienced. She is the type of person who makes anyone in her presence immediately feel better and instantly happy!

One of Ms. Olson’s famous quotes is, "Be Sure To Hug Those You Love Because You Can!" Principal Olstad states that he’s never been a person to hug other people, but has started hugging both of his grown-up daughters every time he sees them because Ms. Olson told him to do so. She is a LifeChanger in many ways within her school and the entire community. Ms. Olson is a one of a kind person with a gigantic heart and an infectious, positive personality!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="saolson@isd2899.k12.mn.us"]

Marc Melcher

Position: Special Education Teacher, Grades 4-8 School: Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools

School District: Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools

City, State: Elgin, Minnesota

About the Nominee: Marc Melcher was nominated by his principal, Clark Olstad.

Mr. Melcher works with students struggling with emotional/behavioral issues, and he is definitely a LifeChanger to all of them. Principal Olstad says he has had many personal conversations with parents of Mr. Melcher's students, who often say that Mr. Melcher has been the most positive influence on their child in their entire life.

Although Mr. Melcher has many teaching talents, his level of professionalism and calmness in difficult situations is truly outstanding. He advocates for all his students, but at the same time, he demands that they hold themselves accountable in terms of academics and behavior. Principal Olstad says that he's known Mr. Melcher for many years, and not once has he heard him complain about the students he works with. Instead, Mr. Melcher is passionate about helping each student improve their personal social skills and the level of respect they demonstrate toward other students and adults they interact with on a daily basis. He also helps them have more self-respect. Principal Olstad is extremely confident that Mr. Melcher will continue to be a LifeChanger for the students and families he works with!

[nominee_videos nominee_email="mmelcher@isd2899.k12.mn.us"]