Many of us know someone who is a teacher. My sister was a teacher and moved into the role of Librarian and worked 30 plus years in North Carolina before she retired. Because there is such a shortage of teachers and librarian’s she still works on a scaled back basis part time because the school can’t fill all of their needs.  

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The last two years my sister worked something like 20 hours or so per week, or at least that is what she was paid for, but spent many more hours at home working on projects so the school would stay on schedule.  

Just like my sister, many teachers here in Minnesota do the same thing. It is well documented that teachers spend their own money to make sure their classroom and the students they teach have the essentials they need. And sometimes, it goes beyond essentials to more expensive tools that would make a difference in the students being able to learn.  

Our radio stations, 96.7 The River and Mix 94.9, are once again hosting the “Teacher of the Month”, and the last two months I’ve been the one to make the presentation to the winning teacher.  

The joy that teacher gets from being named the “Teacher of the Month” is instant. But they don’t teach hoping to win an award or the prizes, which are awesome. They do it because there is a desire to help children learn, which will hopefully lead to a happier and better life.  

They do it, because it’s a calling and they are ready to answer that call. Teachers are having to do more and more outside the classroom around the school because again it’s got to be done, and they answer the call. Sometimes taking time and money away from their own families.  

Our September Winner: Michelle Mages from Tech High School

Photo Credit- Dave Thomas Townsquare Media
Photo Credit- Dave Thomas Townsquare Media


Our October Winner: Natalie Utsch from Paynesville High School

Photo Credit-
Photo Credit-


After making the presentations that last two months and seeing how the teachers around them in their school beam with pride that one of their own has been acknowledged, I felt compelled to offer a reminder of just a few of the challenges they face and the chance you have to honor a teacher you know that is making a difference, not just today, but for the future too. 

To nominate a teacher, go to or The prizes include: 


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