ISD 181 Announces Their Above and Beyond Award

The Brainerd Public School District announced their winners today for the “Above and Beyond Award”.  The purpose of the award is to recognize role models that are leaving a positive impact with their “Above and Beyond” mentality.  Here’s an excerpt from the press release from District 181.

The 2019 Above and Beyond awards went to Sue Headlee, Trudi Storbakken, and Deb Thorkelson. The awards were presented on Monday, August 26 at the Brainerd Public Schools all staff meeting.

Sue Headlee is has worked for Brainerd Public Schools for 23 years  and is a 2nd grade teacher at NIsswa Elementary. Reading from Sue’s nomination, Andrea Raske, principal of Brainerd High School said, “She radiates such care, compassion, and warmth. She communicates with her students respectfully and so they feel heard…She is student driven, passionate, and a strong advocate according to a colleague. She never gives up on a student, no matter the barriers.”

Trudi Storbakken is a counselor at Forestview Middle School and has served students at Brainerd Public Schools for 20 years. Tammy Stellmach, principal of Baxter Elementary, shared, “Trudi has made a lasting impact on countless students and colleagues….She works around the clock, regardless of the school day schedule, to make sure her students are first and foremost, safe, and have all of the tools they need to be successful.”

Deb Thorkelson is an educational assistant at Garfield Elementary and has worked for the District for 20 years.. Nancy Anderson, assistant director at Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative, quoting from the nomination Deb received, stated,“She has such a gift for making everyone she meets feel special. She goes out of her way to make people smile and laugh. I always say she is such a day brightener because so many times I have seen her turn kids’ frowns to smiles in an instant as they are walking in to school or getting on the bus. She always sees the good in everyone and every situation. Her consistently positive attitude is a breath of fresh air and truly inspiring.”

As the community gets back to school it’s good to know that we have great team members across our region that help our students see a vision of the future that’s bright!

(Content Credit to District 181 Press Release)

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