LSSD teacher is nominated for Teacher of the YearA teacher from the Lake Superior School District was among the 135 candidates for 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Luanne Ellingsen, who currently teaches at Two Harbors High School, has been a fixture in Lake County schools since 1982, except for a two year hiatus, she said, when she had her twins.
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
A teacher from the Lake Superior School District was among the 135 candidates for 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Luanne Ellingsen, who currently teaches at Two Harbors High School, has been a fixture in Lake County schools since 1982, except for a two year hiatus, she said, when she had her twins.
Ellingsen, like the other nominees for the honor, was recommended by a student, parent of a student or a fellow teacher. Once nominated, she accepted the nomination by completing and submitting application materials. According to Education Minnesota, an affiliate of the National Education Association, this year they received the highest number of nominations since 2005.
During the difficult process of selecting a single honoree from among dozens of candidates, there are a number of elimination rounds. Ellingsen received word last Friday that her nomination was not selected to go on to the next round, but she said she is pleased just to have been nominated
“The best part is knowing that the staff here supported me and encouraged me to do this. I work with great people,” she said.
Ellingsen teaches Family and Consumer Science, or what used to be called Home Economics. FACS, however, includes subjects like child care and development, career readiness, interior design and personal financial management, as well as food science, sewing and food preparation classes, and more. This would be a full plate for any teacher, but Ellingsen says she enjoys the variety.
“I think I’d be bored doing the same thing all the time. This is a lot of nights and weekends, but it’s fun,” she enthused.
Asked how she is able to get up each school day for 28 years and do what she does, Ellingsen said she is motivated by her students.
“I want to see kids succeed and do well. There’s so much they can learn here in school and I want to make sure that school is a safe place for them to learn and try new things, but mostly I want to see kids succeed,” she emphasized.
Ellingsen said she is okay with not having been selected as Teacher of the Year. Had she been selected, she said she would have been required to take time away from teaching for speaking engagements.
“I worried about what would happen to my students and my classes if I was away so often.”