Distinguished Educators & National Board Certification

Distinguished Educator Program

Our Distinguished Educator Program provides outstanding veteran teachers an opportunity to develop innovative projects and enhance their instructional practices in alignment with the high expectations for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Minnetonka teachers interested in being candidates for the Distinguished Educator Program must be licensed teachers who have achieved tenure in the Minnetonka Public Schools, and have a minimum of five years of teaching experience, at least three of these years with Minnetonka.

This program is open to all members of the Minnetonka teacher unit, from early childhood through high school, and includes both classroom teachers and other specialists who work with children.

Candidates should be educators who have an exceptional performance record, and are viewed as strong educators by colleagues, students, parents, and administration. Candidates will participate in a rigorous three-year program that will give them opportunities to:

  • Help already strong educators to conform to best practices and standards from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
  • Participate in the national certification process or develop innovative projects that are aligned with the district’s strategic plan if an area of certification is not available for your area of expertise
  • Complete a portfolio and/or components that provide educators the opportunity to self-study their teaching practices.
  • Engage in meaningful cohort conversations about their craft

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National Board Certified Teachers

The National Board Certified Teacher program is a rigorous professional growth and evaluation program dedicated to identifying and recognizing highly accomplished teachers in America.

While state licensure sets minimum standards for novice teachers, the National Board Certification program sets high standards for excellence among experienced teachers. The extensive evaluation process requires a teacher to pass written exams, submit video examples of their class and their teaching, and present a portfolio of their work. The process often takes more than a year to complete.

Our district encourages experienced and highly qualified teachers to pursue this outstanding professional growth opportunity. We are proud to have 37 National Board Certified Teachers on staff.

National Board Certified Teachers
Jeffrey Beckstrom, Minnetonka Middle School West
Nicole Berwanger, Minnetonka Middle School East
Tarah Cummings, Excelsior Elementary
Joy Curran, Minnewashta Elementary
Mike Cutshall, Minnetonka High School
Suzanne Cutshall, Groveland Elementary
Diane Daniels, Scenic Heights Elementary
Niki Danou, Groveland Elementary
Cheryl Duncan, Minnetonka High School
Clinton Fenner, Minnetonka High School
Kim Folkers, Minnetonka Middle School East
Brent Frank, Groveland Elementary
Monica Hahn, Groveland Elementary
Kim Hoehne, Minnetonka High School
Sean Holmes, Minnetonka High School
Dawn Johnson, Clear Springs Elementary
Sonia Labs, Minnetonka High School
Kathryn Larson, Minnewashta Elementary
Andy Lundheim, Clear Springs Elementary
Melanie Mozingo, Minnetonka High School
Julie Jo Nawrocki, Scenic Heights Elementary
Dawn Norton, Minnetonka High School
Kelly Pederson, Minnetonka High School
Anelise Peterson, Groveland Elementary
Jessica Ronk, Minnetonka High School
Margaret Ruffino, Minnetonka Middle School West
Dr. Tim Sauer, Minnetonka High School
Colleen Small, Groveland Elementary
Kimberly Smith, Minnetonka Middle School East
Nicole Snedden, Clear Springs Elementary
Ursula Speedling, Clear Springs Elementary
David Surver, Minnetonka High School
Jenny VanAalsburg, Clear Springs Elementary
Nathan Van Dyke, Minnetonka High School
Gwynneth Wacker, Minnetonka High School
Kelli Whiteside, Deephaven Elementary
Merlin Zimmerman, Minnetonka High School


Sonia Labs
Nat'l Board Certified Teacher

Tim Alexander
Executive Director of Human Resources