In 1963, the Dunn County Excellence in Education program gave its first award for academic excellence. Since then, the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Awards have remained a solid foundation investing in the future of Dunn County.
April 17 marked the 50th year that students and educators have been honored for exceeding academic expectation. Forty-seven students and four educators from Boyceville, Colfax, Elk Mound and Menomonie High schools were recognized at a banquet held at Off Broadway Banquet Center in Menomonie.
One outstanding student from Chippewa Valley Technical College along with the CVTC-Menomonie educator of the year were honored, as well as an outstanding educator and 25 students from UW-Stout.
The top 25 graduate students from University of Wisconsin-Stout honored were: Jennifer Anagnos, George Andrews, Kay Buchanan, Brooke Cairns, Rachel Conner, Scott Deschler, Cassandra Dickow, Brian Evans, Anne Gilbertson, Cheyenne Gray, Craig Hubbard, Kristopher Ikeler, Logan Jacobson, Caroline Kroner, Lucas Lee, Cody Lewandowski, Mingge Lu, Amy Matheson, Kristine Meshak, Alyssa Quilling, Mary Rivard, William Seidler, Nicole Szymanski, Jonathan Wheeler and Elise Woik.
In addition, the Workforce & Education Committee of the Chamber presented the Dunn County Business Friend of Education Award. Earl Wildenberg, President of American Structures was honored this year. Wildenberg has a long history as a community leader regularly engaging in education. He also was the keynote speaker for the evening where he talked about education and love.
Noah Breneman from Menomonie High School was awarded the 2013 Chamber scholarship. This award is given annually to a Dunn County high school senior.
Educators of the Year honored from each school were as follows: Tim Engel of Boyceville High School, Jennifer Steinke of Colfax High School, Randi Stanley of Elk Mound High School and Deanna Suilmann of Menomonie High School. Chippewa Valley Technical College's Educator of the year Kristi Hagen, and University of Wisconsin-Stout's Dr. Michael Bessert was also honored as Educator of the Year.
"The Excellence in Education Banquet honors and acknowledges the outstanding accomplishments of students. Many of these students are involved in multiple activities, work, and some, especially at the college level, have families and are able to balance all of these things while excelling in academics," said Michelle Dingwall, CEO of the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce.
Sponsors of the event were: University of Wisconsin-Stout; Mayo Clinic Health System; RCU; Stout Ale House; Walmart Super Center; WESTconsin Credit Union; 3M Company; Big Dot of Happiness; Bremer Bank; NA; Chippewa Valley Technical College; Dairy State Bank; Andersen Corporation; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Cardinal Glass; Northtown Ford; Peoples State Bank; Big River Resources Boyceville, LLC; Bookends on Main; Insty-Prints; Leipnitz Dental Clinic, S.C.; Taco Johns; and Vets Plus, Inc.