teachers of the year

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools named 11 teachers of the 2019-2020 school year this month.

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools has named its teachers of the year, it announced this week.

Staff members chose an exemplary teacher in each of the district’s buildings, according to a district news release. They’ll be honored at an event at Prior Lake High School on Monday, Feb. 17, at 7:15 a.m.

Here are the honorees and a little about them:

Beth Borchart, a third-grade teacher at Redtail Ridge Elementary School, has been teaching in the district for 15 years. She earned her master’s degree from St. Thomas University. Staff said her classroom is run with love, high standards and respect.

She is a point mentor to first-, second- and third-year teachers and is a member of the District Science Review and Development Committee and other committees.

Emma Breitenstein is a fourth-grade teacher at Jeffers Pond Elementary School. Staff members said she makes the school a better place; she pours herself into her students and works to improve her craft, meeting each student where they are academically, emotionally and socially. She also shares energy, positivity, ideas, creativity and enthusiasm for her students, support staff and teaching.

Karen Coronel is a school social worker at La ola del lago. She has taught for 10 years, including two at La ola del lago and also holds a master’s degree in Spanish and literature from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has taught English, science, Spanish and other subjects from grade school to college, according to the district.

Colleagues said Coronel works to build a sense of community and positive culture in her classroom. She also incorporates technology and her Colombian culture into lessons and activities. She serves on the Math Leadership Team and the Building Instructional Leadership Team.

Anne Dauer is a media specialist at Five Hawks Elementary School. She’s taught in the district for eight years and recently earned her master’s degree in information and library science. She serves on numerous committees and contributes to the success of these teams, staff members said.

Dauer’s love of reading and learning, sense of humor, curiosity and innovation carries through all of her student activities and lessons, according to the district. She keeps her book collection current by researching new authors and by asking students what interests them.

Kelly Floden teaches third grade at Grainwood Elementary School and embodies this year’s district theme, “Relationships Matter,” working tirelessly to connect with students, families and coworkers, the district said. She is in her 16th year of teaching and has also taught fifth, sixth and seventh grades.

Floden has her undergraduate degree from Bemidji State University and a master’s degree from Saint Mary’s University. She serves on the Social Studies Committee and leads the Grainwood Sunshine Committee.

Elizabeth Frye, a fifth-grade teacher at WestWood Elementary, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree from St. Catherine University. She taught in Minnetonka Public Schools for 13 years before joining WestWood in 2017. She has served on Math Leadership, the Problem-Solving Team and other committees.

Brenda Houck is a peer coach at Edgewood School and has been with the district for 13 years. She’s been the peer coach for Early Learning Programs and WestWood Elementary for three years and also taught first grade at Grainwood Elementary. She earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and master’s from Saint Mary’s University.

Houck embodies the district mission to support all learners, colleagues said, which she demonstrates by shadowing early intervention teachers on home visits and observing teachers in the nature-based preschool setting.

Mackenzie Madsen teaches English and other subjects at Prior Lake High School and is in her sixth year there. She also coaches Speech and is the adviser for the High School Interact Club. She has been a member of several professional committees, including the E-STEM and department Curriculum Review committees.

Madsen has been a leader in culturally-responsive curriculum at the high school, coworkers said. In her free time, she works with Scott County Young Life.

Paula Obrand, a special education teacher at Glendale Elementary School, has been with the district for 17 years. Paula earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and her master’s degree at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Staff members called Obrand an outstanding teacher who always goes above and beyond for her students. She has served on various committees, including the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Team. Paula is also active with youth activities at her church.

John Wabbe teaches eighth grade at Twin Oaks Middle School. Wabbe is warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring, according to the district; His passion for teaching can be seen (or heard three hallways down) in his willingness to try new approaches and implement technology into the classroom.

Adrienne Young teaches Spanish at Hidden Oaks Middle School and brings an exceptional love of language learning to her students every day. She also shows outrageous love to her students while still holding them accountable, the district said. Young employs this skill as a representative on the PBIS Committee advocating for both students and staff.

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