School > Paulson
named finalist for Teacher of the Year
named finalist for Teacher of the Year
Among the four finalists is Grafton High School English teacher Linda Paulson.
Paulson has been an educator within the Grafton Public School district for 22 years.
Of those 22 years, 13 were spent at the middle school level.
According to Paulson, she was notified by the NDEA in July that she was a finalist for the award, which is given out annually to a teacher who is brought forth by a selection committee.
"I am so humbled by the whole process," she
"This honor would not have become possible without my administration, fellow teachers, and the support of my husband, Lynn
, and my three children.
Our building principal, Darren Albrecht
, has continually encouraged me both professionally and personally.
has allowed me to explore new options in and outside of my classroom even though sometimes the ideas seemed a bit outside the norm.
has supported all the extra activities I've had the kids do and is very supportive of the theater program."
According to Paulson
, Grafton is very fortunate to have a great set of teachers, who work miracles with the students every day.
"I have learned from watching these teachers," she
"Teaching is teamwork, and the staff of Grafton Public Schools
is a great team.
Above all else, my family has always encouraged me to follow my heart and do whatever it takes to be successful in the classroom and to help my students."
"I felt it was important to teach my own kids, by example, that it was important to address someone else's needs instead of always our own," she
"I would not have been able to do everything I have without the support of my family.
This honor belongs to them as much as me.
According to the NDEA website, nominations for North Dakota Teacher of the Year must come from a teacher, school administrator, school district trustee, local education association, student or parent.
According to Albrecht, Paulson's
time and dedication to the school system is what sets her
apart from some teachers.
"When I need something done, she's
the person I go to," he
does something with the students, she
makes sure it's for the betterment of the school."
was at Central Middle School
was the director of a grant funded by federal Carl Perkins monies.
The grant brought to the students career education, character education, workplace skills education, and equity education.
"I and four other teachers implemented this grant for four years until the funds changed to something else," she
"Our project at Central was chosen as North Dakota's Outstanding Equity and Work Education program and submitted for national review."
Also, Paulson had been an equity and career education trainer for Academic Innovations, an educational company based in Santa Barbara, Calif.
For three years at a time with the job at Academic Innovations
would travel throughout the United States, presenting workshops to high school and junior college educators.
"I had a sabbatical for one year and then traveled during my free time for the other two years," she
"I also worked with the company in planning and writing new curriculum, which has been published.
So I have been able to reach a wide audience."
The application for nomination to become a finalist for the teacher of the year was approximately 20 pages, Linda
In addition to teaching English, Paulson is the homecoming advisor, and is involved with the Grafton High School drama department.
One of her longtime co-directors with the drama department and fellow teachers, Peggy Bartunek, said Linda
is an admirable person.
"I've always respected and admired Linda
both as a teacher and as a drama coach," she
is creative, imaginative, and a teacher who challenges all students to do their best.
Most of all, Linda
clearly cares about her
students as individuals."
According to Bill Jahraus, who has taught with Paulson
for several years, the fact that Paulson
was nominated for this award is long overdue.
"Linda is an advocate for young people and has a special gift for communicating with them.
especially works well with young adolescents who are at all levels of maturity and are sometimes difficult to motivate.
brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom."
According to Jahraus, Linda
is not afraid to try new ideas and occasionally challenges the faculty to get out of their "comfort zones" and perform for the students.
organizes many activities at the school," he
gets a special welcome program the first day of school that involves students as well as the teachers.
handles homecoming week and all the activities that go with it."
In short, he
extends herself beyond the classroom and makes an excellent role model to kids.
When asked to address her
philosophy on the application, Paulson
chose the following quotes to expand on:
, "All the world is a stage and all the men and women are merely players,"(Shakespeare) , Paulson
: "I want my kids to know that they will be involved in many different environments and arenas and they must be ready to work and play with all different types of people and expectations."
, "Think outside the box " - Paulson
: "These kids need to realize that the world is ever changing and they must be ready to step outside their comfort zone and greet each goal and obstacle as a challenge.
They can't rest on their laurels.
They'll have to be inventive, eager, and ready to problem-solve."
, "Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?"
: "I had this painted on my classroom wall.
The kids have to decide what character represents them.
Do they go into things looking for excitement, wanting to play an active role, and wanting to learn?
Or do they just sit back waiting for the world to come to them?
It is a great concept and one all the kids relate to as they are so familiar with these characters."
, "The choices you make, dictate the life that you lead".
, live in Grafton.
Lynn is the Chief Executive Officer of Choice Financial Group in Grafton.