Osseo Area Schools Honor Students, Teachers and Volunteers for 'Good Work'

An educational award sits atop a pile of books.
District 279’s 2020 Investment in Youth Awards program honors outstanding achievements.

By Nina Raemont

District 279’s Investment in Youth Awards (chartered in 1991) program has an admirable history of granting students, staff and volunteers awards for their outstanding achievements. This year, more than 60 individuals are celebrated for their achievements in talent development, overcoming adversity, betterment of education, community improvement, learning and youth modeling.

Susan Wineland, development director of District 279, says the awards “aim to enhance Osseo area schools by funding projects and programs created within the schools,” as well as “recognizing students, teachers and volunteers for their good work.”

Join us in celebrating the winners, who’ve contributed to the community with “confidence, courage and competence.”  

  • Amanda Teachout-Emerson of Achieve, education support professional
  • Bernard Nico of Adult Basic Education, student, volunteer
  • Sharon Young of Adult Basic Education, student, volunteer
  • Mona Parmar of Arbor View Early Childhood Center, volunteer
  • Bertie Williams of Arbor View Early Childhood Center, education support professional
  • Olivia Hautala of Basswood Elementary, student
  • Lillie Vail of Basswood Elementary, educator 
  • Laurie Johnson of Birch Grove Elementary, education support professional
  • Jo’siah Seivers of Birch Grove Elementary, student
  • Bemi Joseph of Brooklyn Elementary, educator 
  • Savanna Yang of Brooklyn Elementary, student
  • Savannah LaCroix of Cedar Island Elementary, student
  • Angie Muñoz of Cedar Island Elementary, volunteer 
  • Kaitlyn Leininger of Crest View Elementary, educator 
  • Andrea Vaquera-Chavez of Crest View Elementary, student 
  • Sasha Ramnath of Edinbrook Elementary, student 
  • Ben Waldhauser of Edinbrook Elementary, education support professional 
  • Deanne Carlson of Educational Service, confidential support specialist 
  • Louise Smith of Elm Creek Elementary, volunteer 
  • Anja Smith of Elm Creek Elementary, student 
  • Mackenna Sutkowski of Elm Creek Elementary, student 
  • Krissy Simba of Enrollment Center, district homeless liaison
  • Cheryl Piotraschke of Fair Oaks Elementary, educator 
  • Txujci Thao of Fair Oaks Elementary, student 
  • James Oelke of Fernbrook Elementary, educator 
  • Eldar and Alina Sayfullaeva of Fernbrook Elementary, students 
  • Ethel Cooper of Garden City Elementary, students
  • Donna Peavey of Garden City Elementary, secretary 
  • Kendra Grand of Maple Grove Middle School, volunteer 
  • Heather Sheedy of Maple Grove Middle School, student 
  • Darwin Keft of Maple Grove Senior High, educator 
  • Howard Ramaley of Maple Grove Senior High, student 
  • E’Marey Lee of North View Middle School, student 
  • Arlene Strum of North View Middle School, nutrition services
  • Patricia Ellingson of Oak View Elementary, volunteer coordinator 
  • Kelechukwu (KC) Nwosu of Oak View Elementary, student
  • Emily Bollinger of Osseo Area Learning Center, educator
  • Adrian Sanchez of Osseo Area Learning Center, student 
  • Betty and Don Skoglund of Osseo Area Retired Educators, educators
  • Alex Herrald of Osseo Middle School, student
  • Dan Miller of Osseo Middle School, custodian 
  • Lynda Yeah of Osseo Secondary Transition Center, student
  • Kurtis Banks of Osseo Senior High, student 
  • Ronnie King of Osseo Senior High, educator 
  • Kayden Simone Cochran of Palmer Lake Elementary, student
  • Amy Oelkers of Palmer Lake Elementary, volunteer 
  • Wendy Schulte of Park Brook Elementary, volunteer
  • Emily Vue of Park Brook Elementary, student
  • Bryan Hovde of Park Center Senior High, educator 
  • Bai Jassy of Park Center Senior High, student 
  • Jessie Hanson of Rice Lake Elementary, educator 
  • Candice Kararu of Rice Lake Elementary, student 
  • Gwen Krutzig of Rush Creek Elementary, educator 
  • Jack Kuhn of Rush Creek Elementary, student 
  • Nola Heruth of Weaver Lake Elementary, student 
  • Jiasheah Vue of Weaver Lake Elementary, student 
  • Mary Pat Smith of Willow Lane Early Childhood Center, nurse
  • Jeanne Heer of Woodland Elementary, educator 
  • Nathan Hunter of Woodland Elementary, student 
  • Nichol McGill of Zanewood Community School, education support professional
  • Regina Xiong of Zanewood Community School, student