We love honoring teachers here in Central Minnesota that make a difference in the lives of their students by shining the spotlight on them and recognizing their greatness with The Teacher of the Week Award. Making sure they know what they do makes a difference in the lives of others and that it doesn't go unnoticed.

The nominated teacher that gets selected receives a gift basket full of gift certificates from Harvest Bread Co., Coyote Moon Grille, Concrete Image Salon, Clutch Take and Bake Pizza and a beautiful trophy from All-Star Trophy and Awards.

This week's teacher of the week is Ryan Heitland, 6th, 7th and 8th grade AVID teacher at North Junior High in St. Cloud. David Black surprised him with this honor while he was teaching in his classroom this afternoon. He was pleasantly surprised.

Photo: David Black

Nomination Letter:

Ryan Heitland looks for unique ways to reach his students and engage them in his lessons in a way that each student benefits from. He has a fun loving approach and genuinely cares about all his students and their academic success. He tries to prepare them for not only high school, but also life. He deals with a variety of students from different cultures, and tries to implement items into his lessons that the students can relate. Ryan tries to bridge the gap between the diverse student body to create a comfortable environment that students can put aside barriers and learn together. He believes in treating kids with a an approach which allows them to feel valued and creates a way for them to openly talk to them about their problems inside and outside of school, so he can help them the best he can!

-Cory Grafft

Photo: David Black

Notes from the Principal:

• Ryan has been teaching at North Junior High since 2014.
• He teaches a class called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) to students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th.
• He is a member of the North Junior High Leadership Team – a body of administrators, teachers, and non-licensed staff that work to.

-Principal Brian Nutter

Ryan Heitland and his class at North Jr. High
Photo: David Black

Thank you Ryan Heitland for making a difference. We appreciate you here at 96.7 The River!