Staff of the Year Program Overview

  • Since the 2016-17 school year, West Fargo Public Schools has recognized two district employees in the Staff of the Year Program. Nominees for the 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 his/her support, and wishes, for the nominee to be selected as the award’s recipient. The program’s selection committee, comprised of district administrators and staff, selects one nominee to receive the Professional/Licensed Staff of the Year Award and one nominee to receive the Classified 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. The Classified Staff of the Year Award recognizes district custodians, bus drivers, administrative assistants, technology support staff, paraprofessionals, and cooks. The Professional/Licensed Staff of the Year Award recognizes teachers, counselors, psychologists, and speech pathologists.

    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 will work with the recipient to ensure submission approval and completion. 

Staff of the Year: Professional/Licensed Recipients

Year Recipient Content Area School
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

Staff of the Year: Classified Recipients

Year Recipient Title School
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

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:

Year Recipient Content Area School
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:

Year Recipient Content Area School
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
1998 Vickie Boutiette Reading District
1996 Marcia Kenyon First Grade Eastwood Elementary School
Last Modified on January 9, 2020