Nina Kirkman was named the 2019 Teacher of the Year at the District 112 Foundation Excellence in Education Awards Banquet on April 28. Kirkman is a 7th grade science teacher at Pioneer Ridge Middle School. Although she’s a science teacher, she incorporates music, poetry, and other forms of learning to help bring the subject alive for her students. Kirkman also helps build a stronger school community through implementation and facilitation of the Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) program. This middle school transition program where 8th graders serve as mentors and work with 6th graders to help them feel comfortable in their new school environment. Her colleagues have identified her as a district-wide leader, helping other teachers while keeping a “kid lens” on curriculum writing and development. Her passion for science is infectious, and her students praise her ability to connect with them both in and out of the classroom, helping them achieve more than they think is possible.
The Excellence in Education Award is a program of the District 112 Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing innovation and excellence in education in Eastern Carver County Schools. In addition to Kirkman, the other finalists are: Bill Gilness, Chaska Middle School West; Virginia Jackson, Chanhassen Elementary School; Mary Mobeck, Carver Elementary School; and Justin Newman, Chaska Middle School East. This was a record breaking year; 54 nominations were received for a total of 44 teachers representing every building in the district.
As Teacher of the Year, Kirkman will receive $3,000 for use in her classroom. The four finalists will also receive $500 for use in their classrooms. These grants are made possible thanks to Foundation sponsors Bercom, The Chaska Mill, Qdoba, Rasmussen College, Lenzen Chevrolet Buick, and Wagner Press & Graphics.
Past award recipients include: Anna Edlund, Jake Jauert, Edie Stearns, Tim Beckler, Candice Galipo, Bob Downs, Michele Schnaare, Sara Rother, Mary Perrine, Julie Myhr, Arlene Borner, and Eric Songer. Learn more about how the District 112 Foundation supports schools and educators in your neighborhood.