Principal’s Corner: Teachers are important

Published 7:51 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

Principal’s Corner by Johanna Thomas

Johanna Thomas


This past Wednesday was the annual Teacher of the Year reception for Albert Lea Area Schools.  The reception honors not just one teacher but all teachers. It celebrates the teaching profession and what teachers do each day for the students of our community.   

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A huge congratulations to all teachers in the district and in particular to Kris Burnett, kindergarten teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School, for the honor of being chosen the 2019 Albert Lea Area Schools Teacher of the Year. There is no greater compliment than when a student takes the time to express how a teacher has impacted their life.

I would like to share quotes from students at the Area Learning Center and what they have to say about their teachers. Each one of these teachers was nominated for Teacher of the Year by students who took the time to let a teacher know they make a difference.   

“Kids come first. Mrs. Bidne cares so much. She is nice and wears her heart on her sleeve. She never complains and loves her job. She is funny, caring and an all around great person.” — submitted for the nomination of Wendy Bidne, special education teacher.

“Mr. Green is very helpful and interacts with the students well. This is my first year at the ALC and I look forward to his class every day. He makes me believe that learning is something you need in life. We should have more teachers like Mr. Green.” — submitted for the nomination of Ben Green, social studies teacher.

“Mr. Gustafson is such a good teacher. Math has always been my worst subject since, like, third grade, and he is the only teacher that can explain it to me. He is one of the best teachers I have had. His commitment to helping his students learn is phenomenal.” — submitted for the nomination of Andrew Gustafson, math teacher.

“Mrs. Olson is so honest and she won’t stop until you do your best. She is great at teaching. She is big hearted and does anything she can to help you or anyone around her. You can talk to her about anything and she gives amazing help with all problems. She is respectful and you can trust her. She makes sure that her ALC students are recognized, cared for and challenged. Mrs Olson believes in me.” — submitted for the nomination of Paula Olson, English teacher. 

Teachers, by nature, do not strive for recognition.  However, when a student takes the time to let you know you make a difference, it is a significant recognition because what you do matters in the life of a student. Thank you to all teachers for doing what matters each and every day. Thank you to all students who take the time to nominate a teacher.

Johanna Thomas is principal of the Albert Lea Area Learning Center.