Joyce Gustafson Award

Joyce Gustafson Memorial Award

Sponsored by the Lake Minnetonka/Excelsior Rotary Club this award is an ongoing tribute in memory of Joyce Gustafson, a long time Minnetonka music teacher who died in April 1999, after a five-year battle with cancer. This annual award provides recognition to a Minnetonka employee who demonstrates the special commitment to students, creativity in teaching, support for colleagues, and the high level of professionalism shown by Joyce Gustafson during her teaching career in the Minnetonka Schools.

Award criteria

  • Demonstration of a commitment to students and their learning, a caring compassion that includes all students.
  • Demonstrated creativity in teaching or supporting the teaching process.
  • Evidence of support and encouragement to colleagues.
  • Evidence of a life commitment to helping students learn and achieve success.

This is an opportunity to recognize the work of colleagues – teachers, support staff or administrators, who have demonstrated these characteristics in their work with students and colleagues. Those who have been nominated the past three years and teachers nominated for the Child-Centered Excellence Awards during the current year will automatically be considered.

Nomination process

  • Any Minnetonka employee may make the nomination. Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • The nomination shall include:
    • Nominator’s name, address and phone number and and their relationship to the nominee
    • Nominee’s name and affiliated school
    • Include a confidential memorandum of no more than two pages in length explaining how the nominee meets the criteria.
  • The selection will be made by a small committee of our colleagues who are familiar with the influence that Joyce had on our system.

Past recipients

  • 2024 - Anna Bjork, Multilingual Learners Teacher, Minnetonka Middle School East (watch video)
  • 2023 - Emily Westlund, School Office Assistant, Groveland Elementary (watch video)
  • 2022 - James Malewig, MMW, Teacher (watch video)
  • 2021 - Ali Alowonle, Clear Springs Elementary, Teacher (watch video)
  • 2020 - Jeff Renlund, Excelsior Elementary Physical Education Teacher
  • 2019 - Angie Kallman (posthumously), MME math teacher (watch video)
  • 2018 - Amber Larsen, District-wide Special Education Teacher (watch video)
  • 2017 - Tim Felty, Minnetonka High School, Spanish Teacher
  • 2016 - Margaret Gaumond, Minnetonka High School
  • 2015 - Tom Condon, Minnetonka Middle School West, Teacher
  • 2014 - Jerry McNeal, Scenic Heights
  • 2013 - Mary Beth Wiig, Minnetonka High School, Guidance Counselor
  • 2012 - Anne Redfern, Groveland Elementary, Reading Specialist
  • 2011 - Bev Ginther, Interim Director of Teaching and Learning
  • 2010 - Jerry Bartow, MME, Language Arts teacher
  • 2009 - Delette Lemon, Clear Springs Elementary, Special Education Teacher
  • 2008 - Rachel Polanski, Deephaven Elementary, Kindergarten Teacher
  • 2007 - Melanie (Casiday) Mozingo, Minnewashta Elementary, Art Teacher
  • 2006 - Jan Nelson, MHS, Art Teacher
  • 2005 - Randy Nelson, MHS, Work Experience Teacher
  • 2004 - Colleen Faber, Scenic Heights, Social Worker
  • 2003 - Jim Moon, MHS, Technology Education Teacher
  • 2002 - Kathy Kirkegaard, Minnewashta, Music Teacher
  • 2001 - Allie Cronk, Clear Springs, Physical Education Teacher
  • 2000 - Mary Skoy, MHS, Language Arts Teacher

Nominations are currently closed.