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Westonka Names 2022-23 Building Teachers of the Year
November 11, 2022 — Superintendent Kevin Borg and Westonka Education Minnesota (WEM) surprised five Westonka Public Schools educators Friday afternoon with their respective school’s top teaching award. Congratulations to Westonka’s 2022-23 building Teachers of the Year: Angela LaJoy from Westonka Early Learning, Melissa Bray from Shirley Hills Primary School, Lauren Singsank from Hilltop Primary School, Freya Klein from Grandview Middle School and Greg Sullivan from Mound Westonka High School.
WEM received a total of 503 Teacher of the Year nominations this fall from students, parents, staff and community members, and 111 individual teachers received nominations. Teachers in each building had the difficult task of selecting one teacher to represent their school as Teacher of the Year. Criteria for the annual award includes impact on student learning, both in and out of the classroom; contributions to and improvement of the school community; and years of service in the profession, district and/or building.
LaJoy, Bray, Singsank, Klein and Sullivan will have the opportunity to represent the district in the Westonka Teacher of the Year and Minnesota Teacher of the Year competitions. Both of these honors will be announced in May 2023.
Please read an excerpt from each candidate’s nominations below.
Angela LaJoy, preschool teacher
Staff nomination: Angela is the most gentle, kind, respectful, and warm human. She greets her students with warm affection daily and makes them feel safe. I love her calm demeanor and love for learning more. She is open to anything and everything to help her students. She works effortlessly to make learning fun and meaningful.
Melissa Bray, primary school music teacher
Staff nomination: Melissa makes magic in the music room. She fosters a love of music in her students. With her guidance and leadership, the students at Shirley Hills gain musical knowledge and skills. She has high expectations for students and offers amazing extra opportunities for students with Operettas and Drum Line. Watching the students grow through the Operetta rehearsal process is fantastic to see. Shirley Hills is so lucky to have Melissa.
Lauren Singsank, kindergarten teacher
Staff nomination: Incredibly patient, always positive, holds those kindergartners' attention with the utmost respect, her students want to work hard for her.
Freya Klein, middle school choir teacher
Student nomination: Mrs. Klein is like who I want to be when I grow up. She is the BEST teacher I have ever had. I am so happy to have her as my teacher and I can't tell you how thankful and grateful I am to have her as my choir teacher. I am so excited for the next 3 years of choir with Mrs. Klein!
Greg Sullivan, high school government and economics teacher
Student nomination: Mr. Sullivan is always a kind and understanding teacher. He understands that the respect between teacher and student goes both ways!