Mitchell kindergarten teacher honored
Nancy Osterloo never envisioned doing anything else as a profession. The L.B. Williams kindergarten teacher was named teacher of the year for the Mitchell School District in 2013-14, the district announced Wednesday. Osterloo, in her 32nd year in education, has spent her whole career with the Mitchell School District. “I was delighted and very happy,” Osterloo said. “It’s a prestigious award and I’m just very honored. Osterloo said she’s always desired to teach. She believes that comes from growing up with nine siblings who also loved children.
“She’s a fantastic choice for the award,” Mitchell Superintendent Joe Graves said. “The students really love her and she has a great working relationship with parents.”
Osterloo, who will now be considered for the regional teacher of the year award, has also taught at the preschool, first-, second- and third-grade levels in Mitchell. She particularly enjoys teaching kindergarteners because of how much the students grow in one year’s time.
“They amaze you and delight you every day,” Osterloo said. “Every day is different.”
Osterloo lives in Mitchell with her husband, Jon, and has two adult children, Laura and Nick.
Each school in the district earns one teacher of the year. In addition to Osterloo, second-grade teacher Tammy Fuerst represented Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary. Fuerst, in her 25th year, has taught her whole career in Mitchell. First-year teacher Amanda Christensen was selected as teacher of the year at Longfellow Elementary. She teaches fourth-grade students.
Mitchell Middle School recognized Mass Customized Learning teacher Kate Kramer as teacher of the year, who has taught 13 of her 29 years in education at Mitchell. At Mitchell High School, the annual honors went to physical education teacher Arend Kuyper, who has spent 27 of his 31 years in education with the district.
Graves said all five honorees exemplify skills that set a good example for both students and colleagues in the district.
“We had a great slate of candidates once again this year,” Graves said.
“They’re all great classroom managers, they all really specialize in student engagement and they’re all well recognized by their peers as being leaders.”