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About the Essence Awards

Waconia Public Schools is such a great district because of the people. We have talented students, dedicated teachers and a supportive community. We come together for the success of our students. It’s the commitment of everyone, in the classroom and outside of the classroom. 

ISD 110 has many incredible employees. The Essence Awards were created to celebrate those employees behind the scenes – people who may not otherwise receive much public recognition. These are the employees who work day after day to continue building the vibrant learning community we have here at Waconia Public Schools. 

Essence Award History

2023 Recipients: Brenda Buesgens (Community Education), Michelle Langer (Bayview), Jamie Mackenthun (WHS), Carol Miller (WMS), Jennifer Steinhagen (Laketown), Sara Wolter (Southview)

2022 Recipients: Dave Delaney (Technology); Britta DeVinny (WMS); Jocelyn Grant (Bayview); Josh Jevne (Southview); Lynn Nygaard (Activities); Kari Sell (WHS); Susie Watts (Laketown)

2021 Recipients: Dan Benham (WMS); Kerry Canfield (Bayview); Tracy Edsill (Educational Services Center); Laura Gingras (Laketown); Jake Hannes (Activities); Rachel Muchow (WHS); Whitney Thulin-Esler (Southview)

2020 Recipients: Ann Bohanon (Bayview); Andrew Fredericksen (Laketown); Sharlene Husfeldt (Educational Services Center); Heather Huskey (Southview); Ben Karnes (WHS); Kari Klein (Activities); Bonnie Wurzer (WMS)

2019 Recipients: Lisa Bock (Southview); Tracy Hart (WMS); Jan Johnson (Bayview); Kathleen Schultz (Laketown); Craig Stanton (WHS); Chris Steffen (Educational Services Center); Karen Whalen (Activities)

2018 Recipients: Mandi Bellm (WMS); Mary Jantz (Laketown); Lisa Kalthoff (Activities); Greg Kube (WHS); Tom Meuffels (Southview); LeAnn Millender (Educational Services Center); Colleen Reich (Bayview)

2017 Recipients: Dianne Breyer (WHS), Cindy Finke (Educational Services Center), Paula Held (Southview), Amy Johnson (Bayview), Kris Raether (Activities), Holli Richgels (Laketown), Ron Stacken (WMS)

2016 Recipients: Amber Bakken (Clearwater), Jodee Bass (Bayview), Kim Benson (WHS), Kristin Glander (Southview), Sue Ann Hayes (Activities), Heidi Wamre (Educational Services Center)

2015 Recipients: Lisa Christensen (Bayview), Mel Hasse (Activities), Sandy Haus (Southview), Kathy Hoese (WHS), Michele Melius (Clearwater), Becky Musich (Educational Services Center)

2014 Recipients: Julie Foust (Bayview), Jessica Kilian (Educational Services Center), John Laulainen (Activities), Lisa Sauer (Clearwater), Josh Sell (Southview), Cindy Van Kirk (WHS)

2013 Recipients: Gretchen Burandt (Bayview), Becca Hintz (SPED), Karen Maiser (Southview), Jean Masterson (Nutritional Services), Mary Beth Ostlie (Clearwater), Joanne Poppler (Custodial), Lori Schwirtz (WHS), Sandy Wasness (Activities)

2012 Recipients: Mel Berg (Activities), Amy Dettman (SPED), Lisa Goede (Educational Services Center), Lauren Hackbarth (CE), Georgian Hilgers (Nutritional Services), Liz Johnson (Southview), Leslie Kronk (Bayview), Jamie Langer (Clearwater), Shirley Minnick (WHS), Kris Raether (Custodial)

2011 Recipients: Tracy Braun (Nutritional Services), Polly Haselhorst (SPED), Mary Jo Hughes (Clearwater), Cheri Parkinson (ECFE), Joyce Poppe (Bayview), June Rolf (Southview) Larry Sanocki (Custodial), Mark Torborg (WHS), Lee Vanderlinde (Activities)

2010 Recipients: Lori Ittel (WHS), Jeanne Luebke (Southview), Lorae McKeever (SPED), Beth Ricke (Clearwater), Yanet Rosales (CE), Andrea Sanocki (Bayview), Andy Seltz (Custodial), Rosie Steinborn (Nutritional Services), Mary Ellen Timmers (Activities)

2009 Recipients: Karen Cardinal (Southview), John Kelzer (Clearwater), Susan Kranz (Bayview), Mary Ann Magnuson (Nutritional Services), Tom Maiser (Custodial), Jim Olsen (Activities), Mary Weber (CE), Glenn Zellmann (WHS)