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Neugebauer, Fossum tie for local Teacher of the Year

Two Mitchell school teachers tied for this year's Teacher of the Year award, presented Wednesday night at the Dakota Wesleyan University Sherman Center.

Teachers of the Year
Lisa Neugebauer, left, and Sonya Fossum tied for this year's Mitchell School District Teacher of the Year award. (Candy DenOuden/Republic)

Two Mitchell school teachers tied for this year's Teacher of the Year award, presented Wednesday night at the Dakota Wesleyan University Sherman Center.

Sonya Fossum of Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary and Lisa Neugebauer of Second Chance High received the award. Other nominees were Kathy Kramer of Mitchell Middle School, Cathy VerSteeg of Longfellow Elementary and Patty VerSteeg of L.B. Williams Elementary.

Longfellow Elementary Principal Joe Childs presented the awards, saying the 12-person committee just could not choose one person this year from the candidates.

Childs said they are all teachers that "inspire, encourage and motivate."

"These teachers truly make a difference," he said. Neugebauer and Fossum offered brief remarks after being recognized, each thanking their families, fellow educators and communities.

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"It's been a roller coaster of fun," Neugebauer said. "I work with some great kids."

Fossum echoed those sentiments, saying she enjoys the kids and all the work that goes into preparing for them. "Thank you for blessing my life and giving me this honor," she said.

Numerous other school district employees were honored Wednesday night, including the following.

Retirees

Kathy Kramer, sixth grade, MMS; Tom Nelson, ECM instructor, Mitchell Technical Institute; Nancy Noess, kindergarten, Longfellow Elementary; Yvonne Palli, principal, MHS; Tony Russell, SCADA instructor, MTI; Roger DeRouchey, adult farm and ranch management, MTI; Don Fredericksen, custodian, LBW; Carol Gilman, fourth grade, GBR; Greg Girard, director of buildings and grounds; Corinne Hoffman, medical assistant instructor, MTI; and Hugh Holmes, math MHS.

Years of service

The following employees were honored for their years of service with the Mitchell district:

  • 40 years: Patricia Burnham.
  • 30 years: Joan Aughenbaugh, Carl Niehoff, Nancy Noess, Yvonne Palli, Lori Schmidt, John Solberg and Gerry Tatina.
  • 25 years: Debra Briggs, Cathy Horan, Mary Johnson, Dan Sonne.
  • 20 years: Stacy Morgan.
  • 15 years: Jane Butterfield, Travis Carpenter, Hugh Holmes, Teri Morgan, Jodi Norden, Gayle Norwick, Brooke Pejsa, Michael Puetz, Lorna Sonne, Jim Wagner and Doug Fuerst.

-- The Daily Republic's Ross Dolan contributed to this report.

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