"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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Teacher of the Year award

Recently the Sioux Falls School District announced the 2024 nominees for the Teacher of the Year award, with 11 of the teachers representing LHS. 

Photo used with permission by Sioux Falls School District
Recently the Sioux Falls School District announced the 2024 nominees for the Teacher of the Year award, with 11 of the teachers representing LHS. Photo used with permission by Sioux Falls School District

This Feb. 6, the Sioux Falls School District announced the 2024 nominees for the Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year award. In collaboration with Vern Eide Motorcars 70 teachers from various schools throughout the district have been selected as nominees for this award. Since then they have narrowed the race down to seven remaining teachers who are finalists. On Feb. 26 the official teacher of the year will be announced over live-stream at 7 p.m. Other than the pride of winning this amazing accomplishment, this teacher will win $4,000 donated by Vern Eide Motorcars. 

The award is named after former Sioux Falls School District superintendent Dr. John Harris, known for being a caring and compassionate leader; he had both a school named after him as well as inspired this award. The hope is to honor teachers who make an impact on student’s lives and have shown true passion for their jobs. 

Of the 70 teachers originally up for selection 11 of them are teachers at LHS. LHS had more teachers nominated than from any other school in the district, nominating teachers from a wide variety of subjects as well, with a standout being our math department, having four teachers selected. These teachers included Mary Alexander, Steve Blankenship, Dan Carlson, Jared Jansen, Brian Kocer, Janet Kolb, Emily McConkey, Xavier Pastrano, Kali Sloup, Taylor Stacey and Anthony Welter.

LHS is full of remarkable teachers, these 11 being specific standouts over the past year, teaching a wide variety of subjects and reaching many different students. With over 1,800 teachers in the school district being nominated is an amazing accomplishment. However, even bigger than just being nominated is becoming a finalist. One of LHS’s band directors Dan Carlson is also one of the seven finalists up for the award. Carlson’s achievement is specifically noteworthy not only being the only LHS teacher to be a finalist this year, Carlson is also the only high school teacher competing against all elementary school teachers. 

Since 1989 three LHS teachers have received the official award, the last being Latin teacher Lynn Thomason in 2019. As we wait for the official announcement of Teacher of the year, it is also important to acknowledge the effort all of our teachers put in and be grateful for the impact they make on students’ lives.

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About the Contributor
Stella Sonnichsen
Stella Sonnichsen, Staff Writer
Stella Sonnichsen is a junior and first-year staff writer for the Statesman. She is a member of the LHS colorguard and participates in competitive dance. Sonnichsen is also a social media coordinator for the LHS Young Progressives Club. When she is not busy studying she can be found reading, doing yoga and getting Qdoba or Icee’s with friends.
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