The 1872 one-room school house in Chaska.

The District 112 Foundation Excellence in Education Award Program has announced this year's Teacher of the Year finalists.

They include:

  • Bill Gilness, Chaska Middle School West
  • Nina Kirkman, Pioneer Ridge Middle School
  • Mary Mobeck, Carver Elementary School
  • Virginia Jackson, Chanhassen Elementary
  • Justin Newman, Chaska Middle School East

The program celebrates innovative teachers in pursuit of the best possible public education for students in Eastern Carver County Schools.

Each year the foundation recognizes teachers by awarding them grants to support continued innovation in the classroom and holds a banquet in their honor. The banquet is Sunday, April 28. (Register at

Members of the local high school student councils (alternating between Chaska and Chanhassen) also host a reception the week of the banquet to honor the finalists. This event is free and open to the public, and allows an opportunity to congratulate the teachers.

This year's reception is hosted by the Chaska High School Student Council and is 3-5 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at the Chaska High School Media Center, 545 Pioneer Trail, Chaska.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


Recommended for you