At the annual Teacher Appreciation Breakfast on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, Richard Thielsen was named the 2017 Teacher of the Year by student government representatives. Additionally, Filip Cejovic was named Support Staff of the Year. In April, four nominees were identified by the Teacher of the Year committee, a sub-committee within Student Government. Murtaza Ukani has facilitated the Teacher of the Year committee for three years.

The process of selecting the Teacher of the Year involved a rigorous voting process via homerooms, a series of classroom visits by student leaders, and interviews with each of the nominees.

“We had had over 500 nominations submitted by students varying from teachers of all corners of the school. After looking at individual student responses, observation notes, and quantitative results, the committee came to a consensus on the 2017 Teacher of the Year,” Ukani said.

Thielsen, who teaches SIRS and Biology, has been nominated a number of times for Teacher of the Year. Thielsen has significantly impacted a number of students, and is definitely a worthwhile candidate.

“Mr. Thielsen should be teacher of the year not only because he’s been an extraordinary teacher to me the past four years, but he has acted as a mentor and somebody that I trust and have high regard for,” Angela Martin, senior, said.

Cejovic, Boys Soccer coach and Substitute Coordinator, works in the main office helping to manage the many substitute teachers that are needed in the building each day.

The list of nominees included Aaron Minkus, Sarah Stucky, and Nevin VanRoyen. Thielsen will deliver the annual Teacher of the Year acceptance speech at the Awards of Distinction Ceremony on Thursday, May 11, 2017.