Minnetonka Public Schools

MINNETONKA — Minnetonka Public Schools has announced the winners of the Excellence Award.

The Excellence Awards are designed to honor teachers and staff who do what's best for Minnetonka and its students. Each spring, people can submit a nomination for a Minnetonka School District employee.

The winners for this year's Excellence Award are: 

Awards for Child-Centered Excellence in Teaching:

  • Liz Leingang, Clear Springs Elementary
  • Emily Langan, Deephaven Elementary
  • Tarah Cummings, Excelsior Elementary
  • Jessica Stephens, Groveland Elementary
  • Carly Brown, Minnewashta Elementary
  • Allison Wachutka, Scenic Heights Elementary
  • Lisa Turner, Minnetonka Community Education Center
  • Anna Schoeneberger, Minnetonka Middle School East
  • Courtney Ziebarth, Minnetonka Middle School West
  • Beowulf Boswell, Minnetonka High School
  • Stephanie Lolich, Minnetonka High School

Awards for Child-Centered Excellence:

  • Pete Dymit, principal, Minnetonka Middle School East
  • Ann Foss, nurse
  • Lynda Hartmann, paraprofessional, Minnetonka Middle School East
  • Zina Hilgers, cook manager, Minnewashta Elementary
  • Debbie Kopischke, paraprofessional, Groveland Elementary
  • Kathryn Larsen, receptionist/communications assistant, District Service Center
  • Randy Phillips, head custodian, Minnetonka Community Education Center
  • Nicholas Pyzdrowski, assistant site leader for Explorers Club, Minnetonka Community Education Center

Team Award for Excellence in Child-Centered Collaboration

  • Minnetonka High School kitchen staff, which includes Patricia Brandt, Eleanor Brown, Lita Cantin, Sue Dubois, Laurie Dutton, Becky Gehrke, Katherine Hansen, Dana Ketts, Sui Kiang, Sharla Koski, Pamela Laland, Kimberly Lundgren, Patrick Murphy, Derek Nelson, Jennifer Niland, Douglas Reitan, Angela Sammon, Jacki Schelling, Darryl Schorle, Christie Schweiger, Julie Thompson, Deb Waldenmaier and Sheri Weisser

Spinnaker Awards:

  • Alerus
  • Dan Book/Maple Grove Cycle
  • Jana Budke
  • John Groton
  • Heidi Nauman
  • Ingrid Roberts

VANTAGE Gold Partner Awards

  • Jackie Gibney/Jacobs Marketing
  • Anne Spaeth/The Lynhall

Brad Board Award for Excellence in Elementary Education

  • Paul Johnson, kindergarten teacher at Groveland Elementary

The school district will be hosting a Celebration of Excellence on Thursday, May 16, to celebrate the awardees. The event will be at the Minnetonka High School Arts Center, with the reception starting at 6 p.m. and program from 7-8:30 p.m.

A few awards will be announced at the event. They are: Employee Service Awards honoring 20, 25, 30 and 35 years; 2020 Minnesota Teacher of the Year nominees; and the Ross McGlasson Award for Leadership in Community Service.


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