EDUCATION: Hatton, N.D., math teacher receives prestigious nomination
Chalk up another honor for Fred Strand, North Dakota's teacher of the year in 2005. Strand, who has taught math in Hatton, N.D., schools for more than a quarter century, is North Dakota's nominee for the National Education Association's annual aw...
Chalk up another honor for Fred Strand, North Dakota's teacher of the year in 2005.
Strand, who has taught math in Hatton, N.D., schools for more than a quarter century, is North Dakota's nominee for the National Education Association's annual award for teaching excellence. He was nominated by the North Dakota Education Association.
The award recognizes teachers who "challenge students and encourage them to reach their full potential," NEA President Reg Weaver said in a news release.
Five teachers selected as finalists for the award will each receive $10,000, and the national finalist will receive an additional $25,000. All state nominees will be honored Feb. 8 in Washington, D.C.
"It doesn't come as any surprise to us that he would receive this award," said Hatton Superintendent Kevin Rodgers. "He works hard and is dedicated to his profession."
In connection with Strand's nomination, his school district received a $750 grant from the NEA Foundation. Rodgers said the grant will be used, at Strand's suggestion, for professional development of other teachers.
Strand grew up on a farm 10 miles from Hatton and planned to become a farmer himself. Good experiences with teachers nudged him toward a career in education.
"I honestly believe a teacher in a small town has a very serious job, setting what it means to live with morals and honesty," Strand said in a Herald interview two years ago.
"Most of the time, kids know us personally," he said. "They go to church with us, we go to their summer baseball games, we chaperone their buses. I really think we send a message, either positive or negative, about how we live our lives as we step out of the classroom."
Algebra, geometry and other subjects aren't often student favorites, Strand said in the 2005 interview.
"I know not all students like math," he said. "But you don't have to be a 'straight A' person to be an OK person in my room."