Teacher and Para of the Year named

Written by Kraig Hunter on . Posted in News

WCA Honors Colleagues at Education Banquet

The WCA staff, administration, and school board gathered for the WCA Education Banquet to recognize excellence in education.  All WCAers were given the opportunity to nominate their colleagues for the WCA Support Staff of the Year and WCA Teacher of the Year.

 The staff selection committee chose Shirley Sivertson as the WCA Support Staff of the Year from the field which included Megan Holmes, Mark Olson, Tim Buchite, Cody Buchite, and Kaleigh Odegaard.  Shirley, WCA North cook, was honored for all the extras she does to make WCA better.

Shirley hosts monthly birthday club for kids which includes a special treat for every student.   On other special occasions she has been known to serve special features that go with the theme like dirt cake with worms for Earth day and a cake for Dr. Seuss’ birthday.   She has accompanied numerous Elementary Music Programs over the years.  She decorates the cafeteria every month with the kids and staff names on unique decoration that match the month.   The students love finding their name on snowflakes, raindrops and flowers, knowing she cares about them.  As the school year ends she honors “graduating” fourth graders with a special lunch and special decorations.

John VanKempen, veteran high school science teacher in Barrett, was chosen as WCA Teacher of the Year.  Other teachers honored with nominations include;  Angela Paulson, Jon Moore, Kraig Hunter, Teri Christenson, Julie Shultz, Chelle Dewey, John Zdrazil, John Kreft, Breanna Peper, Melissa Anderson, Steph Schei, and David Drexler.

Mr. VanKempen was recognized for teaching life lessons.  His words have an impact on the choices students make in and out of the classroom.  His simple wisdoms are understandable, meaningful and universal.  He is a role model of integrity.  He has a passion for children and education and knows how to prioritize what needs to be learned and shared, whether it be in the classroom, on the court, or on a track.  John makes it a point to help all students and help them learn, no matter the skill set. Making learning enjoyable and interactive is the norm. The grade is not the main focus - the lesson is.

Congratulations to Ms. Sivertson, Mr. VanKempen, and all those nominated.  Mr. VanKempen’s nomination will be forwarded for enrollment in the 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.


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West Central Area Schools

District # 2342

301 County Road #2 - Barrett, MN 56311

District Office Phone - 320-528-7300 --  High School Office Phone - 320-528-7400  --  Fax - 320-528-2609


WCA North Elementary: Phone - 218-685-7500 - Fax - 218-685-4149
411 First St SE -- Elbow Lake, MN 56531

WCA South Elementary: Phone - 320-965-7600  - Fax - 320-965-2264
31 N Central Ave -- Kensington, MN 56343

WCA Bus Garage -- Al Larson -- 320-528-2670