Fifty-nine educators from 21 school districts and two education districts in Region Five were recognized at the 2019 Educators of Excellence Event, May 8 at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.

Nominated by their respective schools for their commitment to excellence, these educators demonstrate best practices, leadership, and innovation in education, which leads to increased student success, according to a Sourcewell news release.

In addition to recognizing Educators of Excellence, Sourcewell also honored Jeannie Mayer of Menahga Elementary as a Leader of Excellence; Wendy Neugebauer of Brainerd Public Schools, and Ruth Brueland of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Elementary as Paraprofessionals of Excellence; Leo Pohlkamp of Pierz School District as a Coach of Excellence; and the Special Education Team at Crosby-Ironton High School as a Team of Excellence.

"It truly is an honor to have this opportunity to publicly recognize the people in our communities making a big impact on the lives of children," says Sourcewell Manager of Education Solutions Kassidy Rice. "While we recognize this is only a small sampling of the outstanding educators throughout our area, we are grateful for the contributions they make day in and day out to help our schools thrive."

Katy Smith, 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, was the event's keynote speaker.

Local educators recognized

Steve Pauly, Bertha-Hewitt School District

Shawn McAllister, Freshwater Education District

Carol Lindroos , Sebeka Elementary

Becca Pulju, Sebeka High School

Heather Arroyo, Verndale Elementary

Rachel Bounds, Verndale High School

Robby Grendahl ,Wadena-Deer Creek Senior High

Carol Tornquist ,Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary