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Bethel Student Receives Stan Hooper Award for Teaching Excellence

Each year, a handful of students receive the Stan Hooper Award for Teaching Excellence. This year, Meckenna Woetzel '18 was one of them.

By Jaimee Hood ’20

July 30, 2018 | 10 a.m.

Bethel University

Each year, a handful of students receive the Stan Hooper Award for Teaching Excellence. This year, Meckenna Woetzel ’18 was one of them.

The Stan Hooper Award for Teaching Excellence is issued by Minnesota’s Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the professional organization for principals and other school administrators. According to ASCD’s website, their mission is to “promote excellence in education for the success of all learners.” Nominees for this award are undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates who show dedication to learning, teaching, and leadership.

This year’s recipients had the opportunity to attend Minnesota ASCD’s statewide conference in the spring, where they were recognized for their outstanding achievement. The theme of this year’s conference was maintaining mental health in order to prevent burnout in the often all-consuming field of teaching.  

“With the busyness of a school schedule, standards, and testing demands, teachers often lose sight of the whole person, and instead become one-dimensional, career-driven people, which we aren't!” says Woetzel. “The conference helped me determine which steps I will take in the future to take care of myself both in and outside of the classroom.”

Woetzel graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and literature education (5-12) and a theatre arts minor. Department Chair and Professor of English Susan Brooks, who nominated Woetzel, says, “[Meckenna] takes advantage of every opportunity to work with kids doing theater, reading, and writing.”

Not only has she played an integral role in the English department, where she has served as a teaching assistant and studied abroad on England Term, but she also has participated in numerous theatre productions during her time at Bethel, including improv group. In terms of community involvement, Woetzel has volunteered at TreeHouse Ministries and taught at multiple after-school and summer theatre programs. 

Woetzel will be an English teacher at Blaine High School this fall, which fits with a long-term goal she has in mind. “High school English teacher and an after-school theatre department director,” she says. “We'll see what happens.” 

Learn more about the Department of Education or the Department of English and Journalism at Bethel.

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