FREEPORT -- A central Minnesota teacher is being recognized for his commitment to helping students learn during the pandemic.

Jesse Kuechle is a third grade teacher at Sacred Heart School in Freeport. He was recently named to IXL Learning's Elite 100 list. 

The list recognizes teachers for their extraordinary efforts to recover unfinished learning, close achievement gaps and help students grow despite disruptions in education.

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Kuechle says the IXL Learning program helped created a positive learning environment for his students when not in the classroom.

To me it's a positive way to take advantage of a system that can work for the students benefit as well as they teachers. You do progress monitoring on a daily basis, I can message kids when they are working at home. I even get students messaging me over the weekend excited for me to see their work.

IXL is an integrated learning platform that supports personalized learning in math, English language arts, science, social studies and Spanish.

Kuechle was one of 800,000 teachers from around the world being considered for this honor. He says the announcement he made the list caught him by surprise.

I thought it was a joke at first. They contacted me about getting a plaque and I was like this isn't real. They said no and it's because of what your kids are doing to succeed.

Kuechle says while he is honored by the achievement, he credits his students for their willingness to learn and remain engaged during an abnormal school year.

Kuechle has been teaching at Sacred Heart for six years.


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