teacher of the year nominees

In the heart of our community, where education shapes the lives of our students, Harrisburg School District annually celebrates the exceptional dedication and accomplishments of its educators through the esteemed Teacher of the Year awards. Sponsored by Architecture Inc., this program not only recognizes the excellence within our schools but also underscores the pivotal role teachers play in shaping a bright future for our students.

We are thrilled to announce the nominees for the Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year awards. Each nominee has demonstrated outstanding commitment to education, expertise, leadership, and a profound impact on our school culture. Their stories are not just of teaching but of inspiring, challenging, and connecting with students on a level that transcends the conventional classroom environment.

Elementary Teacher of the Year Nominees

  • Adventure Elementary
    • Kali Denman, a powerhouse in Physical Education, has shaped the way students view health and wellness, making every class an adventure in itself.
  • Endeavor Elementary
    • Katie Fesler brings Art to life for her students, encouraging creativity and expression that paints a brighter future.
  • Explorer Elementary
    • Megan Schneider, a 1st Grade teacher, crafts learning experiences that ignite curiosity and a love for learning in her young students.
  • Freedom Elementary
    • Dawn Reichelt, a dedicated Special Education teacher, creates an inclusive environment where every child finds their path to success.
  • Horizon Elementary
    • Amy Christensen, teaching 2nd Grade, builds a foundation of empathy and knowledge, preparing her students for the journey ahead.
  • Journey Elementary
    • Rachel Ruffinott, another exceptional Special Education teacher, stands out for her innovative approaches to meet each student's unique needs.
  • Liberty Elementary
    • Hallie Ruden, a 1st Grade teacher, transforms everyday learning into extraordinary discoveries.

Secondary Teacher of the Year Nominees

  • High School
    • Kaye DesLauriers, an English Teacher, challenges her students to explore the depths of written communication and find their own voice.
  • East Middle School
    • Paige Wright, a Social Science Teacher, opens the world to her students, connecting lessons with global awareness and civic responsibility.
  • North Middle School
    • Breanna Rehurek, teaching English Learners, bridges languages and cultures, fostering a community of inclusivity and learning.
  • South Middle School
    • Jason Donnelly, a Math Teacher, demystifies numbers, showing students the power and beauty of mathematics in solving real-world problems.

These remarkable educators have not only met the criteria of education, expertise, leadership, and accolades but have also shared defining moments that reflect their teaching philosophies, connected students to the global stage, addressed critical challenges in public education, and initiated impactful projects that shape our school culture.

As we celebrate these nominees, we recognize their unwavering dedication and hard work. They are not just teachers; they are mentors, innovators, and, most importantly, leaders who have made an indelible mark on the lives of their students. Harrisburg School District is proud to have such exceptional individuals as part of our educational family. Join us in congratulating them for their achievements and for being a voice for teachers and students alike. We are #TigerProud!

One winner will be announced at a future date, and they will go on to represent Harrisburg as a nominee for the South Dakota Teacher of the Year. Thank you to Architecture Inc. for their generous support, making it possible to celebrate and reward our outstanding teachers. Together, we continue to build an exceptional educational environment for all our students.