Spinnaker Awards

Spinnaker Award

The Minnetonka School District Spinnaker Award is presented annually to individuals or groups who exemplify volunteerism, community and serving the greater good. Like the spinnaker on a sailboat, the groups or individuals recognized with this award are out in front, full-sail, leading us toward the fulfillment of our dreams. These individuals are powered by the winds of passion, hope, confidence, and inspiration. Honorees may be individual volunteers, financial contributors, volunteer project or event groups, business partners.

2019 Recipients

  • Alerus Financial (watch video)
  • Dan Book, Owner, Maple Grove Cycle
  • Jana Budke, District Volunteer
  • John Groton, District Finance Advisory Committee
  • Heidi Nauman, District Volunteer
  • Ingrid Roberts, Excelsior Elementary and District Volunteer

Award criteria

  • Engaged in service that significantly impacts a student, groups of students, school or the district over time.
  • Displays personal and professional integrity.
  • Creates a positive, supportive, and respectful atmosphere in which others are excited to be involved.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to supporting our schools and community involvement.

Nomination process

  • Any Minnetonka staff member, administrator, student, parent, community member or alumnus may make the nomination. Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • Nomination shall include the nominator’s name, address and phone number; nominee’s name, address, phone number, approximate dates of service, and at least one letter of support.
  • Deadline is March 8.

Recipients are selected by the District Recognition Committee and shall be notified in late April. Up to ten awards may be presented each year at the gala event to be held in May.

The Awards

Past Spinnaker Recipients


  • Brian Larson, Financial Advisory Committee Member (watch video)
  • Brian Thorpe, Kindergarten Districtwide Volunteer
  • Kitty Croston, Groveland Elementary Volunteer
  • Lou Frank, Groveland Elementary Volunteer
  • John Sherman, Sun Sailor Sports Reporter
  • Belinda O'Connell, Minnetonka Schools Foundation, Volunteer
  • Yvonne Ring, Elementary School Districtwide Volunteer
  • Tim Schneeweis, Minnetonka High School Adapted Sports Volunteer


  • Kerr Dow and Todd Gusek from Cargill
  • Josh Elvig, Minnesota United FC
  • Rich Hirstein, Minnetonka Community Education
  • Paule Hocker, Scenic Heights
  • Bobbi Hoebelheinrich, Tonka United
  • Ruth Kloser, Great Harvest Bread Company
  • Liz Norton, Deephaven Elementary
  • Pete O’Keefe, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
  • Linda Roslansky, Minnetonka High School
  • Tanya Streifel, Deephaven Elementary
  • Donni Rice Torres, Minnetonka High School
  • Heidi Tuttle, Clear Springs Elementary
  • Ting-Hsien Wang-Mathur, Excelsior Elementary and Minnetonka Middle School West


  • Kim Beauchamp - MHS Volunteer
  • Kim Birdwell - Clear Springs and Foundation Volunteer
  • Eric Boal - Timber Bay, Partner
  • Gail Bollis - General Store, Business Partner
  • Chris and Bonnie Celichowski - Volunteers
  • Cheryl Holds - District Volunteer
  • Janet Maddalena - Clear Springs and MME Volunteer
  • Tad Shaw - Minnetonka Community Education Volunteer


  • Heidi Kluzak, Parent Volunteer District
  • Jen Greenwood, Parent Volunteer Minnewashta
  • Jen Heinzen, Parent Volunteer Minnewashta & MMW
  • Karen Zais, Parent Volunteer MMW
  • Nancy Fargo, Community Volunteer Minnetonka Theatre
  • Pat Schmidt, Community Volunteer District Finance and Audit Committee
  • Paul Barnard, Parent Volunteer Minnewashta
  • Ron Mask, Great Frame Up, Business Partner District
  • Sharon Morgan, Community Volunteer, District


  • Sandra Hibbard, Aquatics Volunteer
  • Jenny Mattiacci, Clear Springs, Diamond Club and High School Volunteer
  • Bonnie Niles, Minnetonka Alumni Association, Volunteer
  • Michelle Seets, Minnewashta, Excelsior and MMW Volunteer
  • Peggy and Paul Borowski, Vocal Support, Tonka Turkey Trot and District Volunteers
  • Mary and John Cheleen, Deephaven Volunteers
  • Kari and Dave Rotman, Touchdown Club Volunteers


  • Jan Battles, Minnetonka Theatre, Volunteer
  • Steve Bennett, Village Automotive Group, Business Partner
  • Bob Goodale, Family Friends Inc., Community Volunteer
  • Brian Kuhnly, Cub Foods Minnetonka, Business Partner
  • Roger Lenahan, Tonka Football Association, Community Partner
  • Ann Senn, Deloitte, VANTAGE Business Partner
  • Tom & Jack Stevens, Maynard’s, Business Partner
  • Denny Wollan, Tonka United Soccer, Community Partner
  • Steve Youngstedt, Youngstedt’s, Business Partner


  • Kristin Gerton, Minnewashta, MMW, MHS, Minnetonka Foundation and Tonka Pride
  • Lisa Koeppen, Deephaven Volunteer
  • Anne Groton, Groveland Volunteer and Dream Makers Dinner Chair
  • Cheryl Gaebel, MHS Volunteer
  • Julie Kahlmeyer, Excelsior Volunteer
  • Jennifer Hicks and Willow, Minnewashta Reading Volunteers


  • Bob and Diana Davis, Backpack Tutoring
  • Dan Sigurdson, Citizens Finance Audit and Advisory Committee
  • Joanne Olds, Dream Makers Chair
  • Rachel Benson, Groveland Classroom Volunteer
  • Sharon Garber, MME Volunteer
  • Steve London, Caribou Coffee (101 & Minnetonka Blvd)
  • Steve Pieh, Minnetonka Community Education Advisory Committee


  • Joanne Robinson, YMCA, Community Partner
  • Kenny Kraft, Timber Bay, Community Partner
  • Don Draayer, Volunteer
  • Susan Helmer, Volunteer
  • Lisa Davis and Paule Hocker, Volunteers
  • Ron Kamps, Volunteer
  • The Ben Hoyt Family (Dori Schlampp & Brad Hoyt), Volunteers


  • Brian Kuhnly, Cub Foods, Business Partner
  • Tammy Magney, ATS&R, Business Partner
  • Bud Boberg, Volunteer
  • Chris Stein, Volunteer
  • Jean Vanderploeg, Volunteer
  • Linda Murrell, Volunteer
  • Mary Jo Meyer, Volunteer
  • Tia Black, Volunteer, Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation Trustee
  • Janet Bauernfeind, Volunteer (awarded posthumously)


  • Liz Barlow, MHS Theatre Box Office Volunteer
  • Dick Glover, Strive Program Volunteer Coordinator
  • Charlie Hurd, Volunteer
  • Peg Keenan, Volunteer
  • Mary Nesbitt, Volunteer
  • Renee Noland, Volunteer
  • Kevin Olsen, Volunteer
  • Laurie Pohlad, Volunteer
  • Trish Tennyson, Volunteer
  • Beacon Bank, Business Partner


  • Kate Bryant, Volunteer
  • Sam Chase, Volunteer
  • Alice Everett, Volunteer
  • Kim Kelsey, Volunteer
  • Denise McGee, Volunteer
  • Bill Ewald, Cub Foods Minnetonka
  • Kemmetmueller Photography
  • Maynards
  • Minnetonka Diamond Club


  • Katie Dorn and Lindy McClure, Volunteers
  • Wendy Holdman, Volunteer
  • Greta Kiener, Volunteer
  • Maureen Kvam, Volunteer
  • Patricia Paul, Volunteer
  • Barb Sykora, Legislator
  • Kris Thayer, Volunteer
  • TJ Worrell, Volunteer
  • Caribou Coffee
  • Target Corporation


  • Heidi Kluzak, Cathy Maes, Debbie Zilverberg - Celebrate Groveland 150 Co-Chairs
  • Tammy Magney - Volunteer
  • Sandy Ryan - Photographer, Volunteer
  • Lisa Wagner
  • Sheri Wright
  • Joe Ryan - Volunteer, Advocate and Business Partner
  • The Great Frame Up – Owners Ron and Jill Mask - Business Partner
  • Maynard’s Restaurant, Manager Beth Maloney - Business Partner
  • Carl Zinn - Ambassador for our Schools