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MnAEYC Awards
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MnAEYC Awards

Nomination Forms:
Distinguished Service Award | Evelyn House Award | Kate Davidson Tanner Award

Annual State Conference Award Nomination FAQs

2019 Kate Davidson Tanner Award Recipient:
Laura Reuter, Preschool Teacher at Kinderberry Hill

Laura has been a preschool teacher for 25 years at Kinderberry Hill in Roseville. Laura began teaching there immediately after receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

A major asset of Laura's that stands out is her love and care for the environment and how she shares this with the children in her classroom. She started the recycling program at Kinderberry Hill Roseville. She also takes items used at the center and brings them to appropriate donation sites. She is always mindful of those in need.

Laura and her preschool class performed The Great Kapok Tree by author, Lynn Cherry, at the MnAEYC-MnSACA Annual State Conference in 2012. She and her class were also featured in a story on WCCO for their yearly study of the story and for teaching the importance of saving the world's rainforests. Her class does fundraisers along with the performance, and they donate the proceeds to "The Earth's Birthday Project" to help save the rainforests.

Laura stays involved and interested in the lives of her previous students. They often come back to visit her, and she attends many of their high school graduations. She is also a mentor for new teachers and often a supervising teacher for student teachers, sharing her knowledge and experience. She is a dedicated and loving teacher, and parents and co-workers alike have a great respect for her.


2019 MnAEYC Evelyn House Award Recipient:
Dean Wright, Early Educator

Once a Board Member, always a Board Member. That might be something you would hear Dean say. Dean gave eight years of service to MnAEYC-MnSACA on the Board of Directors. Her leadership inspired the board to do deeper work on becoming a high-performing, inclusive organization, and to reach out personally to emerging leaders in our field.

While Dean's Board term ended, her engagement certainly did not. She co-founded with fellow former Direct Angele Passe, a "circle" of Board alumni at the ready to help lead MnAEYC-MnSACA into the future. This group, which provides a variety of ways to support the organization and stay connected, launched its first gathering in 2018: For the Love of Educators.

Following a long career as lead teacher at the VA Neighborhood Child Care Center, she continues to support their program with expert part-time work.

Her passion for early childhood education is evident in her teaching of children, her leadership as a board member, and her vision for the future of our field. Dean is greatly deserving of the Evelyn House Award for her outstanding contributions of time, energy, wisdom and resources.


2019 MnAEYC Distinguished Service Award Recipient:
Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota

As Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton has shown steadfast commitment in prioritizing investments for our youngest citizens to have a strong start in life. He has increased the state's investment in early childhood education, including early learning scholarships, child care assistance, home visiting and voluntary pre-k. Thousands of Minnesota's youngest are now able to access high-quality early childhood experiences beginning at birth, thereby strengthening families, our economy and our communities.

Dayton was also instrumental in making all-day kindergarten a reality across the state. His commitment has kept early childhood education a policy priority during his eight years in office. The new Governor and the legislature is in an excellent position to build on his legacy.

In a recent interview in the Star Tribune, Dayton was quoted as saying, "I feel proudest of providing the resources that were lacking before."

The example of Teacher Dayton becoming Governor Dayton should inspire other Minnesota teachers to expand their influence from the classroom to the state.


Evelyn House Awardees

2019: Dean Wright
2003: Beverly WilsonMinden 1987: Kate Tanner
2018: Mike Huber 2002: Sharon Henry-Blythe 1986: Eldora Recksiedler
2017: Beth Menninga 2001: Eileen Nelson 1985: Tutti Sherlock
2016: Kyra Ostendorf 2000: Helen Carlson 1984: Dan Gartrell
2015: Barbara Murphy 1999: Barbara O'Sullivan 1983: Rhoda Redleaf
2014: No award was given 1998: Dr. Pamm 1982: Margaret Roth
2013: Deborah Hewitt 1997: Jean Peterson 1981: Gary Winget
2012: Angèle Passe 1996: Lynn Galle 1980: Estelle Griffin
2011: Sandy Myers 1995: Ruby Hughes 1979: Erna Fishhaut
2010: Claire Chang 1994: Linda Sisson 1978: Shirley Moore
2009: Dr. Betty Cook 1993: Barb Wilkinson 1977: Constance Richardson
2008: Beth Mork/Judy Lindman 1992: Katie Williams 1976: Sophie Riedel
2007: Sandra Heidemann 1991: Dr. Willard Hartup 1975: Pearl Hall
2005: Christine Bentley 1990: Dr. Marjorie Oelerich 1974: Dr. Winifred Northcott
2004: Kathy Kolb 1989: Diane McLinn 1972: Helen Remley
2004: Lois Engstrom 1988: Frances Oson 1970: Evelyn House


Kate Davidson Tanner Awardees

2019: Laura Reuter
2018: Sharon Rosenberg-Scholl
2017: Ross Thompson
2016: Karen Walburg
2015: Diane Sauer
2014: Joey (Joanne) Schoen
2013: Tom Bedard
2012: Mike Huber
2009: Rica Van
2007: Nancy Penn
2006: Pamella Willard
2005: Marilyn Doran


Distinguished Service Awardees

2019: Mark Dayton
2018: Jeremiah Program
2017: Greater Twin Cities United Way
2016: Tina Keeler
2015: Southside Family Nurturing Center
2014: Dr. Karen Cadigan, Bloomington-Richfield Public Schools
2013: Kathy Lentz, Greater Twin Cities United Way
2012: The Science Museum of Minnesota
2009: Ann Kaner-Roth
2007: Congregations Concerned for Children
2006: Jean Taylor, Taylor Corp.
2005: Calvin Rice & Jason Daniel, Lakeshore Learning
2004: Bob Bullard, FR Bigelow Foundation & Arthur Rolnick, Federal Reserve
2003: Minh Ta, Children's Defense Fund
2002: Rep. Mary Jo McGuire
2001: Bush & McKnight Foundations
1992: McKnight Foundation
1991: Sen. Linda Berglin
1990: Glen Taylor, Taylor Corp.
1989: Sen. Allen Spear
1988: The Bush Foundation
1987: Sen. Jerome Hughes


MnAEYC Award Winners through the Years

Regional/District Service Awards

Northwest - Jill Kremer

Metro - Katie Sewell
Southern - Fairmont Early Childhood Family Education
Midwest - Kathleen Ofstedal
Northwest - Sarah Berg Olson
Northeast - Diane Langlee

Metro - Heidi Malloy, Instructor - Metro State University, St. Paul
Southern - Sarah Van Niewaal, Program Officer - First Steps/Rochester Area Foundation
Midwest - Cindy Hickok, Caring and Sharing Association
Northwest - Gayle Nelson
Northeast - Becky Gamache, DAEYC

Region 1: PICA Head Start, Minneapolis
Region 2W: Southern MN Valley Association for Early Childhood
Region 2E: Southern MN Initiative Fund, Owatonna
Region 3: Linda Wilson
Region 4: Tamie Finn
Region 5: Pat Jaekel

Region 1: Barb Murphy
Region 2E: Kate Zabertini
Region 3: Joan Thompson
Region 5: Bernie & Julie Walker

Region 1: Lasting Impressions Child Care, St. Paul & St. John's Child Care & Nursery, Minneapolis
Region 2W: Dr. Francene Evans
Region 2E: Judy Lindman
Region 3: Rondi Wussow
Region 4: Leah Pigatti
Region 5: Dorothy Wolden

Region 1: Marilyn Wolkerstorfer, Anoka-Hennepin School Readiness Program
Region 2W: Gail Goltz, CCR&R, Marshall
Region 3: Pam Walz, Bright Beginnings, Cold Springs
Region 4: Cherry Brouwer, Instructor - Bemidji State University
Region 5: Duluth YWCA

Region 2W: Linda Jagielo

Region 5: Nancy Thomas, Teacher - Duluth/DAEYC

Region 2E: Judy Lindman, Instructor - Riverland Technical College, Rochester
Region 3: West Central MN Child Care Center Directors Association
Region 5: Sharon Soderberg, YWCA Preschool and Toddler Center, Duluth

Region 1: Ardis Kysar, St. David's School, Minnetonka
Region 2E: Joan Gravett, Civic League Day Nursery, Rochester
Region 3: Sarla Agarwal, Country Day Nursery School, Morris
Region 5: Vicki Vavra, Happy Time Day Care, Duluth

Region 1: Linda Reusch, North Como Preschool, St. Paul
Region 2W: Abby Draper, ECFE, Mankato
Region 5: Maureen Litman, Instructor - Duluth Technical College/U of M, Duluth

Region 1: Kris Berry, Wilder Child Development, St. Paul
Region 2W: LaVonne O'Brien, Child Care Center, Mapleton
Region 5: Bobbi Hoyt, Instructor - Duluth Secondary Vocational School

Region 1: Payne Phalen Family Center, St. Paul
Region 2E: Shawna Kishel
Region 2W: Geri Felstul
Region 5: Diane Langlee

Region 1: Ardis Kysar, St. David's School, Minnetonka
Region 2E: Children's House
Region 3: Marcia Elg
Region 5: C. Diane Schusta

Region 1/Metro: Roz Anderson, Adventure Club, Robbinsdale
Region 2E: Eliane Schmidt, Director - Children Home Society Nursery School & Daycare, Rochester
Region 2W: Alice DeMeglio, Kindergarten Teacher, Minnesota Lake/Mankato
Region 3: Karen Koenen, Koenen's County Preschool, Miltona
Region 4: Mary Ann Hodge, Director - Discovery Place, Penningont Co./Theif River Falls
Region 5: Rita Lefevre, YWCA Child Care Center, Duluth

North: Delores Anderson, Director - Happy Time Day Care Center, Duluth
Central: Young People's Place, Alexandria
South: Rachel Seeback (posthumous), ECFA, Mankato

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