Austin’s top educator

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Aaron Stromlund stands with his family after being named Austin School District Teacher of the Year Tuesday afternoon at Ellis Middle School. From left is Molly, 10, David, 4, wife Katie, Isaac, 7, and Joel, 2. -- Eric Johnson/

Ellis Middle School’s Stromlund named Teacher of the Year

The Ellis Middle School staff could sense something was happening before its staff meeting on Tuesday, but the biggest surprise came for teacher Aaron Stromlund.

Stromlund, who has taught sixth through eighth grade special education for nine years at Ellis, received Austin Public School’s Teacher of the Year award. Among the criteria, staff member Dave Brown, who presented the award, said Stromlund is fair, compassionate and an exceptional advocate for students, teachers and education.

“It’s quite an honor,” Stromlund said. “It’s really quite a surprise with the amazing staff here at Ellis.”

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Stromlund’s wife, Katie, and his children, David, Molly, Isaac and Joel, met Stromlund has he received his plaque Tuesday. The staff, caught by surprise, stood in ovation for Stromlund’s achievement. Stromlund added when he started nine years ago, he was simply trying to keep up with the help around him.

“Something like that wouldn’t be possible without the paras and all of you,” Stromlund said about receiving the award, and he continuously gave credit to his co-workers, saying others are just as deserving of the award.

“It’s a great place to work, a great staff,” Stromlund added. “There’s a lot of energy. There’s never a dull moment. I’m part of a great team.”

Stromlund is now one of many educators across the state who are eligible to become the 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. That award will be announced May 5, 2013, at a ceremony. The winner of that will then become a candidate for National Teacher of the Year.