Celebrating the 2023 Above & Beyond Awards recipients
(03/30/2023) At a ceremony held March 29, 13 outstanding district employees were honored as Anoka-Hennepin School District’s 2022-23 Above & Beyond Award recipients.
- Billie Davis-Fehr, Monroe Elementary, teacher, special education (ASD).
- Lana Johnson, Ramsey Elementary, teacher, grade 3.
- Rachel Jorgensen, Anoka High School, teacher, work-based learning.
- Sarah Kisiah, Northdale Middle School, teacher, English, AVID support teacher.
- Dominic Krebsbach, Monroe Elementary, teacher, grade 4.
- Sarah Lindbo, Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy, teacher, grade 2.
- Jennifer Peña, Blaine High School, licensed school nurse.
- John Peña, Coon Rapids High School, principal.
- Molly Schuster, Oxbow Creek Elementary, paraeducator, elementary.
- Jacob Southmayd, Dayton Elementary, teacher, special education (ABS).
- Minh Strusz, Hoover Elementary, principal.
- Bill Underwood, Educational Service Center, teaching and learning specialist, special education technology.
- Jacque Weidner, Lincoln Elementary, teacher, special education (SLD).
The 2023 Above & Beyond Awards ceremony was held at the Educational Service Center (ESC) in Anoka and was attended by 150 people. Watch a replay of the event.
“This event, every year, just fills my heart,” said Nicole Hayes, Anoka-Hennepin School Board Vice Chair. “I know what amazing staff we have here at Anoka-Hennepin, but I'm just blown away by this group and the past honorees. On behalf of the school board and foundation board, congratulations and thank you. We are deeply appreciative of what you do for your students first, but also what you do for your colleagues.”
Anoka-Hennepin recognizes that over 7,000 staff members across the district do amazing work each day in supporting the students, schools and the communities. This year, over 150 staff members were nominated for the honor.
The Above & Beyond Awards involve students, staff, parents and community members in recognizing and rewarding Anoka-Hennepin employees — teachers, secretaries, cooks, paras, custodians and others — who consistently go that extra mile so students can be successful. More than 150 staff members were nominated for the 2023 awards, the 26th year of a recognition program in the school district’s history.
The Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation (AHEF) and Anoka-Hennepin Schools sponsor the Above & Beyond Awards program jointly. Its mission is to recognize outstanding employees for innovation, creativity, caring and commitment. Award recipients were nominated by parents, students and colleagues and were selected by a panel of community representatives, staff and principals.
Award criteria considered included: going the extra mile or exceeding expectations in job duties; making an extra effort to support students’ learning and well being; developing positive relationships with students, families, and/or community; demonstrating exceptional care and concern for students; developing new ideas to enhance learning, solve problems and/or meet district needs; bringing together ideas and/or resources and/or people to overcome difficulties or challenges; inspiring others to do and be their best; collaborating with outside resources; and working effectively with people of different races, religions, values, attitudes, experiences and customs.