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Laporte teacher honored

Six educators from Minnesota each received an unrestricted $10,000 award from the WEM Foundation at the 11th Annual WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Brunch held Oct. 17 at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska, Minn.

Stephen Booth, a third-grade teacher at Laporte Elementary School, won the 2009 WEM Foundation Outstanding Educator Award in Teacher Achievement.

The Teacher Achievement Award recognizes exemplary teachers who support, inspire and assist students to attain greater learning as evidenced by student achievement.

Booth has taught for 16 years. He was awarded the Fulbright Teacher Exchange and taught in Birmingham, England from 2004-05.

"From the moment that you meet Steve, you will very quickly realize that he is a truly gifted master teacher, parent, leader, coworker and citizen," said Gregg Parks, Laporte Elementary School principal in a press release.

Booth has brought global connections to his profession, sharing his knowledge and experience of a much wider world with his students. His students learn songs in Spanish, greetings in other languages, taste foods from around the world and write pen pal letters to students overseas.

Booth also organizes, promotes and leads a student recognition assembly every Friday afternoon. Through his efforts, students are recognized for the contributions they make to the school and their education.

"Steve is a quality teacher whose leadership, passion and commitment to kids are qualities that he lives every single day," Parks said.

Teachers and academic coaches from Laporte, Win-E-Mac, Murray County Central, Inver Grove Heights and Tracy Area school districts were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to student achievement.

The WEM Educator Awards program was created by the WEM Foundation, and is administered by the Center for Academic Excellence in partnership with The Minnesota Service Cooperatives.

The WEM Foundation supports teachers and their important role in helping all children achieve academically.

Educators are nominated by students, students' parents, colleagues or community members. Those who accept the nomination provide additional information for review and consideration by the Center for Academic Excellence and a blue ribbon selection panel, which reviews and ranks the nominees.

Nominations are currently underway for the 2010 WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Program.

To nominate a deserving educator or learn more about the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards, visit