Marc Reynolds has received this year's Teacher of the Year award from the Wadena VFW Post 3922.
Reynolds is a special education teacher for students in grades 5-8 at Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools, where he has worked for the past eight years.
The Teacher of the Year award (formerly known as the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award) is given out by the Wadena VFW every year to honor local teachers who educate students on the importance of integrity, character and becoming good citizens.
Reynolds officially received the award at a recent VFW meeting. He was publically recognized on Nov. 13 during the school district's Veterans Day program.
"I feel good; it's a big honor," Reynolds said of winning the award. "I work with a lot of really good people, so just to get nominated was a surprise. I didn't think I was going to win, but... the recognition really feels nice."
Reynolds found out in early November that he had been nominated for the award. He was nominated by Kent Schmidt, chair of the Wadena-Deer Creek School Board.
In his nomination, Schmidt described Reynolds as "an amazing special education teacher" who "will not only work with the students, but will keep parents informed and up-to-date on their progress. He constantly works with numerous teachers to ensure that the students' priorities and scholastic learning are being fulfilled. He also instills his passion for studying and learning
amongst these students, and helps them to accomplish their goals."
In addition to teaching, Reynolds is involved in the school district's athletic program as the head track coach and a football coach. Schmidt referred to him as "a difference maker."
"Marc has impressed me with his dedication to our school and is an integral part of our faculty," stated Schmidt in his nomination. "He is positive, hard working, a 'go-getter,' always willing to work with others, and makes our WDC faculty team better."
Before being hired in Wadena, Reynolds worked in special education at a day treatment facility in White Bear Lake, Minn., an experience that he said inspired him to become a special education teacher. He later received his special education teaching license through the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
"I really enjoy that I get to work with kids one-on-one or in small groups," he said. "You get a little more interaction with kids in special ed. And it's always something new. Every day can be very different. It keeps me on my toes, keeps me engaged."
Reynolds will be attending a district-level awards ceremony with the VFW in St. Cloud on Dec. 2. He thanked Schmidt for the nomination, as well as Louis Rutten and Tyler Church, the school principals who hired him back in 2010.
"Marc's as good as they come," said high school Principal Church. "He's definitely deserving of this award."