Edie Stearns wanted to be a teacher since she was a young girl.  Twenty-five years ago her dream became reality when she started as an intern at Chanhassen Elementary School in a 1st grade classroom with teachers Carol Berg and Peggy Kaufhold. She has also spent time teaching elementary students at Bluff Creek and, for the past six years, at Chaska Elementary teaching multi-age (4th/5th) language arts, math and science.

“Edie is a gift to everyone she encounters!” says Chaska Elementary Principal June Johnson.  “Her intuitive sense of what students need and her passion to help them succeed is evident in all she does. Whether you’re a current or past student, family member or teammate, you’ll feel the deep caring and compassion Edie brings to education each and every day.”

As a leader among her peers, Stearns has been very involved in writing elementary language arts curriculum for the district and piloting innovative teaching tools like Chromebooks and Empower. The2016-17 school year will be her final year at Chaska Elementary School. The School Board recently approved a proposal to locate La Academia at Chaska Elementary effective in the fall of 2017.  Stearns is part of the Core Team that is preparing the new elementary school to open and she will join the teaching staff there in September 2017.

Stearns plans to use the $3,000 grant award to help celebrate Chaska Elementary’s history for its final year. In addition to Stearns, the Teacher of the Year finalists included Rebecca Janes of Victoria Elementary, Elizabeth Johnson of Chaska Middle School East, Jim Lund of Chaska High School, and George Peoples of Chaska Middle School West. Each finalist received a $500 grants for their schools.  The District 112 Foundation’s awards are provided with support from Community Insurance Advisors, IWCO Direct, KleinBank and Lundahl Financial Services.