Stephani moves onto Teacher of Year semi-finalist

Mrs.+Stephani+teaches+in+the+Academy.++She+was+selected+as+ISD+761+Teacher+of+Year+last+May.

Andrew Abbas

Mrs. Stephani teaches in the Academy. She was selected as ISD 761 Teacher of Year last May.

Celebrating the 50th year of its recognition program, the Minnesota Teacher of the Year program is currently in the process of selecting this year’s winner. The Teacher of the Year will be representing the great work that our entire Minnesota teaching staff is doing. The recipient has to make presentations, meet with policymakers and attend frequent meetings from school to school throughout the year. Wendy Stephani, a Special Education teacher at the Owatonna High School, has been nominated for the award. With the selection process currently in the semifinalist stage, Stephani is in the Top 30 candidates out of a starting 123.

The original nominees were nominated their by co workers around the district. One of her current co workers Mrs. Georgia Brenden said, “Mrs. Stephani is a person who gives, and gives and gives. So she deserves this honor because she is one of the best teacher in the state of Minnesota.” After being nominated, Stephani felt that her nomination was “exciting but overwhelming. I really couldn’t believe it at first. It is nice when people that you work with recognize you for what you do.” Stephani impacts students every day at the OHS. One of her current students Tyler Schmidt said, “Mrs. Stephani is a nice person to work with. She helps you the best she can when she works with you. She knows what she is talking about and is very good at getting to know her students.”

Mrs. Stephani is a nice person to work with. She helps you the best she can when she works with you. She knows what she is talking about and is very good at getting to know her students”

— Tyler Schmidt, Freshman

Stephani has been working with the Owatonna School District for 20 years. Learning from her years of experience Stephani gave some advice to teachers everywhere, “Sometimes things can start to feel crazy. A person can get caught up in the politics of the job. I try to keep my focus on why I’m here. When I start feeling frustrated, all I need to do is walk into my classroom and it all fades away.” Already being a semi-finalist, having to wait for the selection committee to narrow down their choices will be nerve wrecking. The candidate pool will be dwindled down to just ten finalists later this month, followed by the announcement of the