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School Board honors teachers, support staff

The Somerset School Board recognized five school employees at its meeting Monday, Nov. 17. The principals each introduced their respective teachers of the year. Principal Rick Lange introduced the Special Eduction Teacher of the Year. Robert Avery, business manager, introduced the Support Staff Employee of the Year.

Elementary Teacher of the Year: Stacey


Stacey Helders-Pevan started in Somerset in August of 2003 as a kindergarten teacher before transferring to first grade. Along with teaching, Stacey also has coached both seventh and ninth grade students, is on the building character education committee, the district-wide math committee, is an elementary union representative, and is on the district-wide negotiations team.

Helders-Pevan demonstrates a love of learning in her actions as well as her words. She regularly attends workshops and seminars and, during these past five years, she has also completed her Masters of Education Degree.

Helders-Pevan contributes to students and the profession through her writing. Through her efforts, the first grade has received three successful competitive grants from the parent-teacher organization which provided additional materials to enrich instruction. She also wrote a successful grant to the Bell Museum, which brought additional resources to our students, and paid for fieldtrip buses for the 1st grade. Stacey has been published in The Mailbox Magazine for educators. She is an excellent teacher whose efforts go beyond the classroom. Her love of learning, continuing education, willingness to share and positive attitude make her a role model for students and staff alike.

Helders-Pevan and her husband, Matt, have two children, Maxwell, 3 and Owen, 1. They reside in Hudson. In her spare time, Helders-Pevan enjoys playing volleyball and scrapbooking.

Middle School Teacher of the Year: Carol Zinter

Carol Zinter, SMS eighth grade language arts and seventh and eighth grade Spanish teacher, has been selected as the Somerset Middle School Teacher of the Year. Zinter earned a Bachelors degree from the UW Eau Claire in 1989 and a Master's degree from UW River Falls in 1994.

Before coming to Somerset in 2003, Zinter taught language arts and Spanish at Prescott Middle School for 14 years. In addition to her teaching duties she has served on a number of district committees, most notably on the Language Arts committee and the Mentoring committee.

Zinter has been instrumental in developing the holocaust unit for the eighth grade students. She has toured the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and arranged for several Holocaust survivors to come to speak to the middle school students.

Zinter and her husband, Jim, have a daughter Addie, 7, and a son, Jim, 10. Zinter enjoys spending time with her family and says her favorite part of teaching is helping students to succeed and enjoy school.

High School Teacher of the Year:

Dean Hoff

Dean Hoff began his teaching career in the Somerset School District in 1999 and has been an active member of the district and community since that time.

Hoff came to the district from Superior. He attended the University of Wisconsin - Superior, earning a B.S. in Secondary Math Education. After graduating from UW-Superior, Hoff taught math for five years at an alternative high school in the community. He coached at the high school level while attending college and while teaching in Superior--football from 1989 to 1999, track & field from 1990 to 1994, and basketball from 1990 to 1992.

Hoff has guided students in the area of athletics for several years at Somerset High School, providing support as head C-team coach and assistant varsity coach for football. In addition, he was assistant coach for the track & field team from 2000 to 2004.

Hoff's dedication to motivating students and staff has extended into providing support for the "Green and Healthy" Committee and the Character Education Committee. His work on the "Green and Healthy" committee has lead to activity-based action plans in several areas, including energy use, water use, waste and recycling. As a member of the Character Education Committee since 2002, Hoff has encouraged students to reflect upon civic responsibilities and gave them tools to develop character qualities for the present and future.

Hoff resides in the Somerset area with his family--his wife, Erin, and children, Liv, 7, Rory, 5, and Avery, 11 months. He enjoys many activities with his family, as well as golfing, hunting, and fishing.

Mr. Hoff has shown his dedication in going above and beyond for students, staff and the community during his time here at Somerset High School. His accomplishments as an educator are commendable, and he truly cares about what is best for our Somerset students.

Special Education Teacher of the Year:

Nancy Klaas

Nancy Klaas works as a teacher of emotionally and/or behaviorally disabled kids at Somerset Middle School. Klaas has been in this position since 1987. She earned her bachelor's degree from U.W. Stout and her Master's degree from the University of St. Thomas. Klaas is simply an outstanding teacher. In addition to her outstanding service to kids at school, Klaas volunteers her time after school and in the community in many different ways. Klaas is known to help families in need and who are hungry by preparing meals, finding clothes and more. Klaas volunteers her time at many evening school functions and gets more out of it than those she volunteers for. Klaas is the kind of person that puts everyone else ahead of herself and she is admired and respected for that.

Support Staff Person of the Year: Mary Timm

Mary Timm serves in the district office as the purchasing/accounts payable clerk, one of the "behind the scenes" people whose position does not involve a lot of contact with children and families, but whose role is critical to our daily operations.

Timm works to ensure that students and staff have the resources necessary by processing purchase orders so we can acquire supplies as well as making sure that our vendors are properly paid for the items we receive. In this role, Timm is a consummate professional, giving superior customer service to every staff member needing help getting their orders in. Additionally, Timm is committed to making sure that the District receives everything it orders and does not pay for things that have not arrived. She is the gatekeeper of millions of dollars, a trust she lives up to daily. Timm is also the district's open enrollment coordinator, maintaining the records of all students coming into or leaving Somerset through this state program.

A native of Clayton, Timm is married to Dave and has two grown daughters, Erin and Shannon. When not in the office, she likes to spend her time at their cabin, gardening, cheering on the Badgers and Packers and is very involved in her church. Now that she and Dave are "empty nesters," they want to do more traveling and are planning a trip to the Great Northwest and Alaska for the spring 2010. Prior to joining the District in 2003, Timm worked in the accounting department of Friday Canning and she has an associates' degree in accounting from WITC-New Richmond.

Timm makes the office a great place to work with a warm smile and a great laugh. She cares about the District and her co-workers greatly.