Turtle Mountain’s Agnes named outstanding teacher

Dave Agnes, a biology teacher at Turtle Mountain Community High School in Belcourt, is the winner of the 2013 Warren Kress Outstanding Geography Teacher Award.

The award is given by the North Dakota Geographic Alliance.

Agnes has taught biology for 28 years, teaching at Rolette, Finley-Sharon and Dakota College at Bottineau as well as at Turtle Mountain Community High School. He is a graduate of Mayville State University.

“Living in a wide-open state like North Dakota, one cannot go a day without seeing or applying some sort of geographical knowledge. When we are studying ecology, it is extremely important to include all the geographical aspects of the different biomes. Where are they? What do they look like? All plant and animal diversity is dependent on the differences in location, latitude, altitude and topography of the biome in which they live,” Agnes said in a press release, explaining the importance of understanding geographical concepts in the biology field. “By including these geographical features it helps the students better understand life within ecosystems.”

“Dave exemplifies lifelong learning and participates in professional development that provides opportunities to see how other people live and do things in ways affected by habitat and resources available to them,” said Marilyn Weiser, North Dakota Geographic Alliance director, in a press release. “He uses this knowledge and experience with students so they develop world-mindedness and become productive citizens and learn to care about the planet on which they and all living creatures live.”

Agnes is chair of St. Andrew’s Health Center board of directors, Grand Knight for the Bottineau Knights of Columbus and seventh- and eighth-grade religion instructor at St. Mark’s Catholic Church of Bottineau. In 2004, he received the N.D. State Amateur Basketball Hall of Fame Award.

Agnes’ involvement with youth is extensive. He volunteers for after-school activities and tutors students. He has coached high school and college basketball and baseball as well as assisted with Bottineau Hoopsters, seventh- and eighth-grade basketball, and basketball camps.

As a basketball, baseball and football official, he teaches on the court and in the field by educating kids about rules while he officiates. He is a member of many coaching associations and assisted with North Dakota Special Olympics as a Team Handball Official’s Coordinator.

The Warren Kress Outstanding Geography Teacher Award honors the life of Warren Kress, a long-time North Dakota State University faculty member. The award was established with contributions from the Kress family and NDGA members.

North Dakota Geographic Alliance is located on Minot State University’s campus.