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Zeidler named Pequot Lakes Teacher of the Year

2014 Pequot Lakes Teacher of the Year Michele Zeidler (center), pictured with this year’s nominees, Megan Zierden (left) and Molly Wiste (right). Photo by Chelsey Perkins1 / 2
Education Minnesota president Denise Specht presents Michele Zeidler the 2014 Pequot Lakes Teacher of the Year award at the Pequot Lakes teachers’ unity rally on Tuesday, June 3. Photo by Chelsey Perkins2 / 2

Eagle View Elementary School first-grade teacher Michele Zeidler was named the 2014 Pequot Lakes Teacher of the Year on Tuesday, June 3, at the Education Minnesota Pequot Lakes (EMPL) Unity Rally at Breezy Point Resort.

Looking over the list of past recipients, Zeidler said she felt honored to be a part of that group.

"I saw many names I recognized, like John Koch, who was one of my favorite teachers when I was in high school. Names like Kathie Harman and Jackie Duoos, who are two of my greatest mentors," she said by email June 9. "It is an honor to join that list, and an even greater honor to work among the fine educators of the Pequot Lakes School District."

Zeidler said the most important aspect about her job is that she enjoys the work.

"For me, teaching is, just everyday I go there, it's fun," she said. "The kids are fun, the people I work with are fun."

Zeidler has been teaching for 14 years, eight of those in Pequot Lakes in kindergarten-fourth grades. Next year, she will switch back to the kindergarten classroom.

She has been a part of the EMPL Positive School Climate Committee. According to her nomination by fellow teachers, she believes that every child who enters her classroom is an individual, and it is a teacher's job to meet them where they are. She also believes she should not only teach them but understand them, cherish them, encourage them and empower them to be creative thinkers, caring, respectful and responsible citizens, problem solvers and lifelong lovers of learning.

"Michele is a passionate teacher and goes above and beyond the 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. day. She is a deep thinker who is always creating, searching out and analyzing her students and the needed curriculum for each of them," said the nomination.

Zeidler serves as the children's ministry director at her church, where she is also chair of the Parish Education and Youth Board. She has helped with Grad Blast and both Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Zeidler is active in PTA and has raised money for the school book room, the Lakes Area Food Shelf and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

She was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2012. She and her husband, Scott, live in Breezy Point and have three children: Sierra, Shae and Sawyer.

Zeidler enjoys spending time with her family, supporting her children in their extracurricular activities, reading and creating scrapbooks.

Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.

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