Meet Our Superior Educators.

Below you’ll meet an amazing group of educators. New educators are recognized on the 1st and 15th of every month of the school year. If you know an excellent educator, nominate them today!

Nina Fiorucci

May 2022 - Ewen-Trout Creek School District

Nina is an outstanding educator who is truly a caring teacher and is very dedicated not only to her students, but the Ewen-Trout Creek School community. Nina has done so much to promote Art in the school. Through this hard work and dedication, Nina has developed a very positive relationships with her students, colleagues, parents and the community at large.

Carrie Meneguzzo

May 2022 - Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools

Carrie Meneguzzo is willing to go above and beyond communicating with teachers, administration, and parents to ensure that children are getting their needs met both academically and socially. She brings energy to the classroom, while instilling a need for personal responsibility and accountability.

Jill Protzel

April 2022 - Copper Harbor School

Jill is an amazing educator. She teaches children from pre-K to 7th grade all in one building. This is not an easy task. She is the principal, teacher, counselor, friend, and a mother to her own first grader. These kids have so many different learning opportunities that it is unbelievable. Not only are all the children successfully taught above their grade levels, she makes sure that they learn life skills needed to become productive young adults.

Sister Carolee Vanness

April 2022 - Sacred Heart Catholic School - L’Anse

Sister Carolee is a warm and generous person with 46 years of teaching experience. She is always the first person at school in the morning and many times the last to leave at night. Her hands are always ready to help if there is a need and many times she helps before a need is known. She pours her life and love into her vocation and work and is a true example of selfless devotion to others.

Jessica Hendrickson

March 2022 - Stanton Township Public Schools

Jessica is the glue that keeps our school together! Her cheerful energy can be felt through emails and heard over the phone and in person. She is quick to respond to questions or concerns from parents. She is very welcoming to all, and especially to new students who benefit from seeing her friendly face.

Monica Markham

March 2022 - Baraga Area Schools

Her leadership among her colleagues and peers makes her very well respected and a "go-to" person when seeking advice. The relationships that Monica creates, both with students and adults, are curated with thoughtfulness and positive-intentions. Monica's ability to seek out the best possibility in each person sets forth an example that others admire and aim to achieve. She deserves a standing ovation for being a Superior Educator.

Shelby Turnquist

February 2022 - Houghton-Portage Township Schools

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Shelby has worked endlessly to provide food for all of the students. She has fought shortages and a high demand for food and still has managed to have food on every plate every day. She deserves far more recognition and reward for her efforts than we could reasonably offer.

Sara Nordstrom

Sara Nordstrom

February 2022 - South Range Elementary

Sara sets high expectations for her students that greatly affect their achievement as she strives to "close the reading gap." You will often see her fast walking down the hallway with her students so she can utilize every minute of her instructional time wisely. Sara is always willing to lend a hand and help students, other staff members, and anyone who she crosses paths with in the hallway. I could not say enough positive things about her. Our school is truly so grateful to have Sara on our team!

Brooke Peterson

January 2022 - Calumet Elementary School

Brooke had a special something that cannot be taught in college. The students love and respect her, and she learns the best ways for each student to learn. My child went into 1st grade slightly lower than expected in areas of math and reading. Brooke was able to mold my daughter and teach her so much that by the end of the year; she was above expectations.

Mike Moore

January 2022 - Public Schools of CLK

"Mr. Mike" (as the kids call him) truly goes above and beyond his job description! He does so much more than provide a safe ride to and from school. Any child who gets to ride Mike's bus will tell you, he's the BEST! Always armed with treats and extra smiles, Mike continuously brings joy to the kids who are lucky enough to ride with him.

Valerie Dobson

December 2021 - South Range Elementary School

The students all love Mrs. Dobson. She is always kind and makes them feel so special. Val has made connections with the students and they know this. At our sporting events, Val is always surrounded by the kids. They love to sit by her and help her cheer on the Jets. I don't know what our school would do without Valerie Dobson. She is a really special person!

Amy Pellizzaro

December 2021 - Washington Middle School

“The students are always engaged and actively learning the writing lessons, reading, figurative language, grammar... Amy knows the curriculum like no other. She is a strong, educated woman who speaks her mind and heart. She loves teaching, and doesn’t just think of it as a job. Even after 30+ years of teaching, the passion and creativity still shows through.”

Janet Gerzetich

November 2021 - L’Anse Elementary School

“I have seen the countless hours she spends at school on weekends, holidays, and even summer vacation!”

“She is more than dedicated to the students. She is so thoughtful about her interactions with each individual, whether it’s with students or other teachers. She goes beyond her role supporting the entire school with her literacy knowledge and supports.”

Ben Johnston

November 2021 - Baraga High School

“Mr. Johnston always knew how to making learning fun! He made all science lab fun and a great experience. Without his anatomy class I would not be going to college and following my dreams!”

“He has been an amazing teacher and a wonderful role model for not only my kids, but all the kids at school. He takes his time to make sure the kids have what they need to excel. He's serious about learning, but also jokes with them and makes their days more fun. He's always willing to help and to put in the extra time. I am so thankful that he teaches at our school.”

Colleen Lajimodiere

October 2021 - Lake Linden-Hubbell Elementary

“Mrs. Lajimodiere has been working at Lake Linden Hubbell Elementary school for 19 years. In those years, she has dedicated herself not only to the entire Elementary staff but most importantly, to the children. She is the first smiling face they see when they enter the school building, the one who offers hugs and Band-Aids when they have an ouchie from the playground, or the one who has the extra pair of mittens or snow pants when yours are too wet. Mrs. Lajimodiere tirelessly works to make sure the school runs smoothly. If that means staying late or coming in early, it is no problem. Hands down, the school would not run as smoothly without her.”

Jacky Besonen

October 2021 - Ewen-Trout Creek Elementary

“It is Jacky’s passion to teach students in the same school district she grew up attending. She will do anything she can to not only help students meet their fullest potential but drop everything to help in the community. She is an active member serving the community. Jacky coaches Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Junior High Girls basketball along with our elementary basketball teams. She wears so many hats to help ensure our school is able to provide the best for our students. I feel the list could go and on as I am sure I am missing a couple more hats within committees she is involved in.”

J.R. Repp

September 2021 - Houghton Elementary

“Houghton Elementary School is excited to celebrate the great work of J.R. Repp. Mrs. Repp brings great energy, passion and care to her students and our school. She is a leader among her peers and serves on the school's MTSS team. Mrs. Repp consistently makes a difference in students’ lives, and we are proud to have her on our team!”

Theresa Amos

September 2021 - Ontonagon Area Schools

“Theresa Amos is unequivocally the embodiment of an exemplary educator. Through a classroom that combines a love of learning with a culture of caring and support, she provides students with an experience that they will carry with them not only for the rest of their academic careers, but the rest of their lives. For everyone who has had a tough day - not just students but staff as well - Theresa is always there with a word of encouragement and the hope of a brighter tomorrow.”

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Celebrating Superior Education

Thank you for being here and supporting our educators. Superior Educators is a program of Portage Health Foundation with the guidance of educators from our four-county community of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties.

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