Feature Stories

Celebration of Excellence 2023

Minnetonka Schools has announced the award honorees for the 2023 Celebration of Excellence awards, an annual districtwide awards program that honors several outstanding teachers, staff and community volunteers.

This year’s event is Thursday, May 11 from 6-8:30PM at the Arts Center at Minnetonka High School. It is open to the public and will also be livestreamed on YouTube

Here are this year’s Celebration of Excellence award recipients:

MINNETONKA AWARDS FOR CHILD-CENTERED EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING

  • CLEAR SPRINGS: Christie Nugent
  • DEEPHAVEN: Lizzy Maus
  • EXCELSIOR: Hsin-Yi Liu
  • GROVELAND: Linda Ruelle
  • MINNEWASHTA: Savannah Meza
  • SCENIC HEIGHTS: Xuechen (Fei) Wang 
  • SAIL: Sara Prafke
  • MHS: Kelly Bunte
  • MHS: Tracy Ivy
  • MME: Karin Firkus
  • MMW: Heidi Bunde
  • MCEC: Ann Renner
     

AWARD FOR CHILD-CENTERED EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING E-LEARNERS

  • TONKA ONLINE (K-8): Tara Raisanen  

MINNETONKA EMPLOYEE AWARDS FOR CHILD-CENTERED EXCELLENCE

  • Ron Mehus- Buildings and Grounds
  • Mary Hermansen (CS)- Nutrition Services
  • Mandy Stillman (DSC)- Clerical/Office Assistant
  • Reno Gurley (MHS)- Professional Staff
  • Shania Castillo (MHS)- Professional Staff
  • Christy Snede- Paraprofessional
  • Linsey Moe- Paraprofessional
  • Jamie Reoh (MCEC) - Explorers Staff
  • Josh Benesh (MCEC) - Program Manager 

TEAM AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COLLABORATION

  • Community Night Planning Team: Anna Bjork, Paula Erbisch, Katie Klemme, Cari Lindberg, Jayna Rafferty, Tara Raisanen and Reilly Woodruff  

COMMUNITY EDUCATION VOLUNTEER/BUSINESS PARTNER AWARDS

  • ECFE/Preschool Volunteer of the Year: Dustin Tauer
  • Youth Programs Volunteer of the Year: Wilbert Go 
  • Adult Programs Volunteer of the Year: Yvonne (Bunny) Litfin
  • Community Education Business Partner of the Year: High Tech Kids  

SPINNAKER AWARD

  • Heather Burnett (MMW volunteer, PTO leader) 
  • Troon Dowds (Foundation Board, volunteer) 
  • Eleyo 
  • Deirdre Keller (Finance Committee, Foundation Board, volunteer) 
  • Janyce Newman (MMW volunteer) 
  • SCHEELS
  • Tonka Pride Executive Committee: Amber Battin, Katie Becker, Matt Englund, Joni Schimke and Stacy Vitale 
  • Sabrina Wixo (Foundation Board, volunteer) 

VANTAGE GOLD PARTNERS

  • Kim Insley
  • Kelly Spiess

MOMENTUM GOLD PARTNERS

  • Automotive Unlimited, Inc.
  • Bonfe Plumbing, Heating and Air Service, Inc.

BRAD BOARD AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION

  • Brent Frank, Fifth Grade Teacher, Groveland Elementary

JOYCE GUSTAFSON MEMORIAL AWARD

  • Emily Westlund, School Office Assistant, Groveland Elementary

JUDY ERDAHL MEMORIAL AWARD

  • Linda Morantez, MCEC

AWARDS ANNOUNCED MAY 11

  • Employee Service Awards honoring 20, 25, 30 and 35 years
  • 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Nominees

 
If you have questions about the Celebration of Excellence program, please contact Dr. JacQui Getty, executive director of communications for Minnetonka Schools at jacqui.getty@minnetonkaschools.org 

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