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Wadena VFW honors WDC social studies teacher

Wadena-Deer Creek High School social studies teacher, Robby Grendahl, was selected by Wadena VFW to receive the Citizen Education Teacher award. Grendahl's nomination will be forwarded to the VFW District competition in February.

The Wadena VFW Post 3922 recently honored Wadena-Deer Creek High School social studies teacher Robby Grendahl with its Citizenship Education Teacher award.

Wadena VFW Citizen Education Teacher award chairman Jim White surprised Grendahl with the award at the school's annual Veteran's Day program. The award recognized Grendahl for his efforts in educating students about the importance of citizenship in the classroom.

WDC High School Principal Tyler Church nominated Grendahl for the award. In his nomination, Church praised Grendahl for stressing the importance of civic responsibility to his students throughout his 16 years as a teacher at WDC.

"Mr. Grendahl's social studies classroom focus has always been to encourage his students to understand what it means to be a responsible citizen," Church said. "His greatest attribute as an educator is his ability to lead by example. He does not simply tell his students to do something - he goes out there and shows them how to do it."

Grendahl's time and dedication to the Wadena-Deer Creek School District and community this past summer is a prime example of why he is deserving of this award. When Wadena was devastated by an EF-4 tornado on June 17th, more than 200 homes and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged, including WDC High School and the Grendahl family's home.

"Mr. Grendahl's reaction to the tornado was to get out in the community and help those in need," Church said. "He did not worry about his home in the beginning. He focused on his neighbors and making sure our students had a place to attend school. He did not complain about what happened. Instead, he simply volunteered his help wherever it was needed."

Since 1994, Grendahl has taught social studies to WDC high school students. Grendahl grew up in Wadena, graduating from Wadena High School in 1989. Grendahl credits his teachers for their positive influence on his decision to be an educator.

"My influences were all the great teachers I had here in Wadena when I was in school," Grendahl said. "They seemed to enjoy their role as teachers, making learning fun for students."

Grendahl said what he enjoys most about teaching is "working with the students and getting to know them and their families."

Grendahl said he is honored and humbled to receive the VFW Citizenship Education award from the local Wadena VFW. "It makes me feel very proud of our school system with all the great kids we get to work with every day and to teach them the importance of citizenship," said Grendahl, adding, "Thank you to the Wadena VFW for this wonderful award."