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Central High School educators receive 'teacher of the year' honors

Missy Miedema, an English teacher at Grand Forks Central High School, has been named the 2017 Teacher of the Year by the North Dakota Council of Teachers of English.

Missy Miedema, an English teacher at Grand Forks Central High School, has been named the 2017 Teacher of the Year by the North Dakota Council of Teachers of English.

Miedema was selected by members of the NDCTE board to receive the award, which is given annually to a teacher of English or language arts who has demonstrated excellence in teaching.

The award recognizes the recipient's special contributions to students, colleagues and the profession. Selection is based on nominations by colleagues and letters of reference.

The award was presented at the group's summer conference in Mandan, N.D.

Katie Hatt, a health sciences teacher at Grand Forks Central High School and the Grand Forks Area Career and Technology Center, has been selected as the 2017 New Teacher of the Year by the North Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education.


The Teacher of the Year award recognizes a teacher who is providing an exceptional career and technology program for youth in his or her community and respective field.

Hatt also was recognized as the Health Sciences Education Outstanding New CTE Teacher.

The recognition is given to teachers with three to five years of experience at any teaching level who have made significant contributions toward career and technical education programs and shown a professional commitment early in their careers.

Hatt has been recognized by the North Dakota Department of Health for her work in developing a curriculum for the certified nursing assistant training program.

She is "providing career development opportunities for students interested in the medical field, while ... helping to prepare a future workforce for the many communities her program serves," said Eric Ripley, CTE director at Grand Forks Public Schools, in a news release.

In other news, three career and technical programs, offered in Grand Forks public schools, have received the 2017 Director's Awards of Excellence by the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education.

They are the Career Development program, the Information Technology Education program, and the Special Populations program.

The award presented to the Career Development program recognizes the work of staff members Peggy Anderson, Darrel Casperson, Joyce Larson, Melissa Mickelson, Kevin Phelps and Marilyn Ripplinger for their continuing efforts to encourage students to base career choices on interests, not gender or background.


The program also provides occupational experience opportunities through a job-shadowing program, career forums and paid internships. During the 2015-16 school year, 380 students participated in a job-shadow experience.

The Information Technology Education program at Red River High School, led by Paul Zettler, was commended for educating students in a summer school networking academy for nine consecutive years.

The program also was lauded for its commitment to communication between instructors of both Grand Forks high schools.

The Special Populations program at Grand Forks Central High School, led by Audrey Kasprowicz, was honored for using literacy strategies across the curriculum to help students gain a better understanding of the material and take advantage of technology devices to access additional learning resources.

By incorporating character education as a core component, the program encourages students to lead productive lives.

The recognition is "a testament to the quality of the CTE program, staff and opportunities available to our students," said Ripley, in a news release.

The awards were presented at the 47th Annual North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education Professional Development Conference in Bismarck.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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