Brainerd Public Schools Employees Receive Above & Beyond Award

Brainerd Public Schools Employees Receive Above & Beyond Award
Posted on 08/29/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Brainerd Public Schools Employees Receive Above & Beyond AwardBrainerd Public Schools are pleased to present the 2018 employee Above and Beyond Awards.   

Recipients of this award serve as inspirations not only to the school district community but also to the broader community because they are role models who strive to have a positive impact every day with our young people. 

The 2018 Above and Beyond awards went to Connie Christensen, Nicole Harmer, and Sandy Loney. The awards were presented on Monday, August 27 at the Brainerd Public Schools all staff meeting. 

Connie Christensen has worked for Brainerd Public Schools for 20 years, most recently as the building secretary at Brainerd Learning Center. According to Jessica Haapajoki, Brainerd Learning Center principal, “Students flock to her because of her non-judgemental attitude and caring demeanor.  She undoubtedly has a million other things to do; however, she drops those to make connections with our students.  She has helped students, staff and parents in ways that extend far beyond a typical secretarial role.”

Nicole Harmer is a science teacher at Brainerd High School. Andrea Rusk, Brainerd High School principal, quoting from the nominations Harmer received stated she has a, “phenomenal zest for the subject she teaches and complete adoration for her students.” Harmer was previously selected as the 2017 Brainerd Teacher of the Year.

Sandy Loney is a science teacher at Forestview Middle School. Tammy Stellmach, principal of Baxter Elementary, shared, Loney  “is an environmentalist, a humanitarian, but first and foremost, always an educator. She has a never ending devotion to and energy for helping 3rd world countries though efforts to improve freshwater situations by adding wells, and sanitation and hygiene education. She coordinates Water Week fundraising efforts that to date have raised over $57,000 and impacted over 30 schools in places such as Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico.”

The Above and Beyond Awards annually recognize employees who demonstrate a positive attitude that inspires others and consistently go above and beyond what is expected so that students can be successful.   

All school district employees are eligible for this award and anyone can nominate. Nominations are gathered every spring.  An announcement will be made when nomination forms are available at

In partnership with the community, Brainerd Public Schools will ensure all students achieve their individual potential by providing the highest quality programs and resources to prepare learners for an ever-changing global society. 

Above & Beyond Award
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