Staff of the Year Program Overview
Nominees for a Staff of the Year Award are nominated by colleagues, students, parents, and/or community members through a letter of support highlighting the nominee’s commitment to education, professional development, and dedication to the West Fargo community. Each nominee’s supervisor is then asked to submit an evaluation indicating their support, and wishes, for the nominee to be selected as the award’s recipient. The program’s selection committee, comprised of community leaders, School Board members, past award recipients, retired and current administrators, selects one nominee to receive the Professional/Licensed Staff of the Year Award, one nominee to receive the Classified Staff of the Year Award, and one nominee to receive the Administrative Staff of the Year Award.
The nomination process is open to the entire community, allowing parents, students, alumni, or any stakeholder to nominate an employee for a Staff of the Year Award.
To be considered for this award, an individual must be a valuable asset to the West Fargo Public Schools community, but also to the West Fargo community as a whole. We ask that those who are nominated have the drive to continue growing in their professional life and be engaged in the broader community of West Fargo through volunteer work, civic responsibilities, or other leadership opportunities. All nominees must be employed with the district for a minimum of 2 ½ years at the time of nomination.
When applicable, the Public Relations Department submits the award recipients for consideration in their respective state or national award category. Prior to final submission of this material, the Public Relations Department works with the recipient to ensure submission approval and completion.
CLASSIFIED STAFF OF THE YEAR AWARD
Staff with the following titles may be nominated for the Classified Staff of the Year Award: food service worker, custodian, paraprofessional (office, classroom, transportation, special education, etc.), bus driver, pool manager, cook manager, executive assistant, administrative assistant, food service coordinator, food service operations supervisor, central maintenance worker, assistant mechanic, transportation route supervisor, technology support assistant, interpreter, building engineer, mechanic, transportation operations supervisor, facilities supervisor, accounting technician, English learner liaison, human resources specialist, public relations specialist, human resources generalist, payroll specialist, purchasing specialist, technology support technician, custodial services manager, theater technician, electrician, grounds services & athletic fields coordinator, payroll supervisor, webmaster, social worker, data analyst, systems analyst, database specialist, school nurse, accountant, human resources manager, network engineer, technical support services coordinator, certified occupational therapy assistant, behavior technician, and lead behavior technicians.
PROFESSIONAL/LICENSED STAFF OF THE YEAR AWARD
Staff with the following titles may be nominated for the Professional/Licensed Staff of the Year Award: dean of students, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, physical therapist, instructional coach, library media specialist, psychologist, counselor, teacher (all grades, all subjects).
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF OF THE YEAR AWARD
Staff with the following titles may be nominated for the Administrative Staff of the Year Award: high school principal; middle school principal; elementary principal; high school assistant principal; middle school assistant principal; elementary school assistant principal; business manager; director of special education; assistant director of special education; director of transportation; director of food service; director of health, safety, and public relations; director of accounting; director of curriculum and instruction; director of buildings and grounds; director of career and technical education; director of human resources; director of technology; special programs principal; activities director; aquatics director; special education coordinator; educational equity coordinator; curriculum coordinator; technology integration specialist; behavior specialist; theater technology specialist; elementary assistant superintendent; secondary assistant superintendent; and director of behavior health and wellness.
Staff of the Year: Classified Recipients
|2016 - 2017||Frances Lindseth||Special Education Paraprofessional||Sheyenne High School|
|2017 - 2018||Tonya Vetter||Administrative Assistant to the Activities Department||West Fargo High School|
|2018 - 2019||Shannon Jantzi||Administrative Assistant to the Counseling Office||West Fargo High School|
|2019 - 2020||Lynda Krueger||Paraprofessional||Eastwood Elementary School|
|2020 - 2021||Carolie Farkas||Administrative Assistant||Harwood Elementary School|
|2021 - 2022||Lisa Vasichek||Lead School Nurse||West Fargo Public Schools|
|2022 - 2023||Suzanne McTiver||Special Education Paraprofessional||West Fargo High School|
Staff of the Year: Professional/Licensed Recipients
|2016 - 2017||Nanci Dauwen||Math||Sheyenne High School|
|2017 - 2018||Sandra Evenson||Science||Cheney Middle School|
|2018 - 2019||Nicole Peterson||Physical Education & Health||West Fargo High School|
|2019 - 2020||Kristina Lindemann||Reading||Legacy Elementary School|
|2020 - 2021||Bethany Karnik||Language Arts||Sheyenne High School|
|2021 - 2022||Jessica Camacho||Reading||Deer Creek Elementary School|
|2022 - 2023||Amy Braddock||Special Education||Harwood Elementary School|
Staff of the Year: Administrative Recipients
|2022 - 2023||Rachel Bachmeier||Assistant Principal||West Fargo High School|
Teacher of the Year
Until the 2016-17 award, the program was previously referred to as the West Fargo Public Schools Teacher of the Year. The program recognized teachers for their exceptional work and dedication to the district. The inaugural year for West Fargo Public Schools Teacher of the Year was 1979-80. No recipients were selected for 1984-86; but since 1986-87, one teacher has been selected every year for the award after being nominated by a district colleague. Previous West Fargo Public Schools Teacher of the Year recipients include:
|2015-2016||Heath Rydell||Physical Education||South Elementary School|
|2014-2015||Randy Holzkamm||Math||West Fargo High School|
|2013-2014||Aaron Knodel||Language Arts||West Fargo High School|
|2012-2013||Andrea Noonan||Language Arts||Cheney Middle School|
|2011-2012||Sue Jordahl||Music||Sheyenne 9th Grade Center|
|2010-2011||Jean Melicher||First Grade||Harwood Elementary School|
|2009-2010||Judith Riley||ELL||South Elementary School|
|2008-2009||Drue Haarsager||Social Studies||Cheney Middle School|
|2007-2008||Susan Morken||Music||Cheney Middle School|
|2006-2007||Karen Paulson||First Grade||Westside Elementary School|
North Dakota Teacher of the Year
There have also been West Fargo Public School Teachers who have won the North Dakota State Teacher of the Year Award. Those district recipients include:
|2017||Nanci Dauwen||Math||Sheyenne High school|
|2014||Aaron Knodel||Language Arts||West Fargo High School|
|2013||Andrea Noonan||Language Arts||Cheney Middle School|
|2008||Verna Rasmussen||First Grade||Westside Elementary School|
|1996||Marcia Kenyon||First Grade||Eastwood Elementary School|