Stanley MEA teacher of the year

Award-winning teacher Melissa Stanley added another honor Monday when she was named Minot Education Association teacher of the year.

Stanley, a fourth-grade teacher at Edison Elementary, is also one of the top four finalists for the North Dakota Education Association teacher of the year.

The artsy Stanley once served as the arts in the schools coordinator, and was also on the team that wrote the state’s standards for dance education.

She holds degrees in elementary education and special education and has served on numerous committees, winning numerous awards over the years.

She wrote in her application for the award that when she walks into a classroom, she views each student as like a puzzle in a bright, shiny box. She helps put the puzzle together by getting to know her students and using differentiated instruction so each child can learn best.

One memorable class project she has her fourth-graders do is research on a state that also includes a poster presentation and a presentation to parents and other students.

Other teachers have praised her infectious attitude and called her the go-to person for their buildings.

Stanley said she is honored to receive the award, but also praised those she works with.

Last week, when a young first-grader overheard her discussing the teacher of the year award with another teacher, the child told Stanley she knows what the “teacher of the year” is. The child thought it meant the “class that you got.”

Stanley said that for every child starting school on Wednesday in the Minot Public Schools, their particular teacher will be the “teacher of the year.”

During the teacher assembly at Erik Ramstad Middle School on Monday morning, teachers also honored Lowell Latimer, who is retiring after a long second career with the Minot Public School Foundation. Latimer is also a retired Minot Public Schools administrator and teacher.