Meet the Ward County Teacher of the Year

Meet the Ward County Teacher of the Year

MINOT, N.D. – Teachers are often called heroes without capes and the pandemic has shown us more than ever the work that goes into educating children.

On this National Teacher’s Day, Your News Leader headed to the classroom to speak with Ward County’s teacher of the year on her experiences as a teacher and the obstacles she has overcome during a pandemic.

Heather Ell has taught first grade at John Hoeven Elementary for more than five years.

“The kids, absolutely. They are number one, building those relationships that are meaningful and last a life time,” said Ell, when asked her favorite part of the job.

With every hand raised and paper turned in, students have shown appreciation for their teacher with treats and gifts, but Ell said it’s the little things that matter most.

“More than anything, it’s those special little hugs we get every day, the smiles that come down the hallway, and the little cards they make,” said Ell.

Her hard work inside the classroom is not going unnoticed. Ell is among 40 teachers in the state recognized for their dedication to their students and education.

“This year more than ever, I think we’ve recognized how important those teachers are for expanding knowledge and increasing learning in all of our students, but also the extra steps that they’ve taken for kindness and empathy,” said Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Showing what it takes to further students’ education, even during a pandemic.

Ell was also named the Minot Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

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