Minnesota Council 
for the Social Studies

Teacher of the Year Awards

2017 Teacher of the Year Awards


Lisa Wiener, Pat Bauer, MCSS President Jessica Ellison, Mandy Kraus, and Heather Loeschke at the 2017 Social Studies Social.

MCSS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Teacher of the Year awards!

Elementary: Lisa Wiener, Raven Stream Elementary School (New Prague)

Middle: Mandy Kraus, Wayzata West Middle School

High: Heather Loeschke, Cannon Falls High School

Lifetime Achievement: Patricia Bauer, Black Hawk Middle School (Eagan, retired)

Each year, MCSS honors three Teachers of the Year at the annual awards dinner. These three teachers, representing Elementary, Middle and High School, are nominated by colleagues, supervisors, parents and students. They exemplify the best of social studies teaching in Minnesota.

Nominees will be invited to apply by submitting a resume, lesson plan or classroom activity, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Nominees will be contacted by an MCSS representative who will provide more detail about the submission materials and process. Contact Valerie Walker with questions.

2016 Teacher of the Year Awards


Award-winners Jerry Benson, Matt Moore, Phyllis Haensel, and Bill Beckman, and board members Jessica Ellison and Valerie Walker at the 2016 Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner.

MCSS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Teacher of the Year awards!

Elementary: Phyllis Haensel, McKinley Elementary School (Ham Lake)

Middle: Bill Beckman, Maple Grove Middle School

High: Matt Moore, Mankato West High School

Lifetime Achievement: Jerry Benson, Luverne Public Schools

2015 Teacher of the Year Awards


Ron Hustvedt, Jr., MCSS President Brian Traxler, Laura Tessmer, Dennis Schreiber, and Tim McLean at the 2015 Awards Gala.

MCSS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Teacher of the Year awards!

Elementary: Laura Tessmer, Clover Ridge Elementary School, Chaska

Middle: Ron Hustvedt, Jr., Salk Middle School, Elk River

High: Tim McLean, St. Francis High School, St. Francis

In 2015, MCSS has created a new award to honor our teachers who have dedicated many years of their lives to teaching young people: the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Lifetime Achievement: Dennis Schreiber, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, Rochester


2014 Teacher of the Year Awards


MCSS President Brian Traxler, Molly Hickok, Huy Nguyen, and Tom Lachermeier at the awards gala on March 2, 2014.

Elementary: Molly Hickok, Convent of the Visitation School, Mendota Heights

Middle: Huy Nguyen, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake

High: Tom Lachermeier, North Community High School, Minneapolis


At the 2014 awards gala, MCSS also honored JoEllen Ambrose, who recently received the prestigious Isidore Starr Award from the American Bar Association, which honors excellence in law-related education. Ms. Ambrose teaches at Champlin Park High School.


Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Lillehaug, JoEllen Ambrose, and Learning Law and Democracy Executive Director Jennifer Bloom.


TOY Award-Winners

2017

  • Elementary: Lisa Wiener, Raven Stream Elementary School (New Prague)
  • Middle: Mandy Kraus, Wayzata West Middle School
  • High: Heather Loeschke, Cannon Falls High School
  • Lifetime Achievement: Pat Bauer, Black Hawk Middle School (Eagan, retired)

2016

  • Elementary: Phyllis Haensel, McKinley Elementary School, Ham Lake
  • Middle: Bill Beckman, Maple Grove Middle School
  • High: Matt Moore, Mankato West High School
  • Lifetime Achievement: Jerry Benson, Luverne Public Schools

2015

  • Elementary: Laura Tessmer, Clover Ridge Elementary School, Chaska
  • Middle: Ron Hustvedt, Jr., Salk Middle School, Elk River
  • High: Tim McLean, St. Francis High School, St. Francis
  • Lifetime Achievement: Dennis Schreiber, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, Rochester

2014

  • Elementary: Molly Hickok, Convent of the Visitation, Mendota Heights
  • Middle: Huy Nguyen, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake
  • High: Tom Lachermeier, North Community High School, Minneapolis

2013

  • Elementary: Maria Singh, Pillsbury Middle School, Minneapolis.
  • Middle: Jennifer Richason, Sartell Middle School
  • High: Alan Amdahl, Albany High School

2012

  • Elementary: Kellie Friend. Turtle Lake Elementary, Mounds View
  • Middle: Missy Klapperich. Cannon Falls Middle School
  • High: Mary Jo Merrick-Lockett. Anoka High School

2011

  • Elementary: Christopher Clifford. Orchard Lake Elementary, Lakeville
  • Middle: Carrie Newman. Murray Junior High, St. Paul
  • High: Shane Rose. Hill Murray School, Maplewood


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