A pair of educators from Richland County, North Dakota, are receiving recognition on the state and national levels.
Noel Eckroth, a social studies teacher at Wahpeton High School, was recently named the district’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year. Eckroth has also been named Richland County’s Teacher of the Year by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Becoming a County Teacher of the Year gives Eckroth the opportunity to apply for and possibly be chosen as the 2022 North Dakota Teacher of the Year.
Carol Braunberger, who teaches family and consumer science at Richland 44 High School in Colfax, North Dakota, is also a Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) adviser. She has been recognized as a 2021 National Spirit of Advising Award recipient. A total of 6,000 chapter leaders nationwide are eligible for the Spirit of Advising Award and 73 individuals are being recognized this year.
“The Spirit of Advising Award was created in 1998 to recognize chapter advisers who are constantly faithful, often quietly working behind the scenes to ensure the success of their students,” FCCLA stated. “They are advisers whose good humor, flexibility and skill form the foundation of FCCLA at the local and state levels.”
Braunberger’s award will be formally announced during the Recognition Session of the Hybrid National Leadership Conference, to be held June 30, 2021.
A virtual ceremony honoring all of Richland County’s top teachers for 2021, as recognized by DPI, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11.
“The 40 County Teachers of the Year are now eligible to apply for the North Dakota Teacher of the Year honor,” DPI stated. “The winner will be notified in August. The North Dakota Teacher of the Year will become a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award, which is selected by the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, D.C.”
North Dakota law requires the state superintendent of public instruction and the governor to jointly host a ceremony and reception to honor the Teacher of the Year. It must be held before Sept. 30, either at the state Capitol or the community where the recipient lives or works.
“Our North Dakota teachers have done exceptional and heroic work to meet the learning demands brought about by the pandemic,” State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said. “It is especially appropriate that we step up our efforts across the state to honor and celebrate them.”
Wahpeton Public Schools and the Richland 44 School District each have less than one month left of classes. The 2020-2021 education year concludes Wednesday, May 26 for Wahpeton and Thursday, May 27 for Richland 44. Both high schools’ graduation ceremonies are expected for Sunday, May 30.