When Steve Frazier taught social studies, his philosophy was that he didn't teach social studies to students, he taught students social studies. The class was more than just "political stuff" – it was about life and you had to be involved in the world around you. Getting involved in city issues was especially important.
His students listened and when the City of Shorewood needed a new mayor, they convinced him to run for office. So from 1976-82, Steve Frazier was the Mayor of Shorewood. "It was a lot of fun," Steve reflected. "The students really encouraged me to practice what I preached."
Being engaged in the community is a theme Steve has carried with him throughout his life – both in and out of the classroom.
In the classroom, Steve is proud to have started the annual Washington D.C. trip. Initially the school board did not approve the trip, so Steve started it using his own money. "The students were so well behaved and fun. We would walk down the national mall and they would be reciting the Preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence along the way," he said.
Eventually the school board did approve the annual trip, which has been going strong ever since. Steve personally organized and chaperoned 30 years of Washington D.C. trips.
Outside of the classroom, Steve demonstrated his commitment to being involved by becoming chair of the counseling department (Steve was a Counselor for the last ten years of his career in Minnetonka) and President of the teacher's union. "I had some great feuds with the Superintendent and Board Chair during teacher negotiations," Steve chuckled, "but we never took it personally because we treated it as problem solving. We're all in the Rotary Club together now and still great friends!"
Steve is heavily involved in the Excelsior Rotary Club serving as Club President last year and is taking on the role of PR and Communication Director this year. He is also the President of the Lone Lake Association. These groups keep him involved in community issues like the spread of zebra mussels, road clean up and youth development.
Steve is particularly proud of his work with the STRIVE Program at MHS, which is sponsored by the Excelsior Rotary Club. "We work with high school seniors who have not yet embraced their potential," he explained. "We mentor them and help them to set their goals and aspirations higher. We have had some students with Cs and Ds make the A honor role in one quarter after joining the program. All of the students are up at least one grade level, some even more."
While he retired from Minnetonka Public Schools in 1998, after at 37-year career, Steve said, "I've never quit. I keep doing what I love, but in a different venue. I have tried retiring three times now but apparently it's not in my nature."
When reflecting on being inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame, Steve said, "It is fantastic. What a great compliment it is to be recognized by the Alumni Association and former students at this stage of my life, and to be recognized for what I love doing in life makes it even more special. Thank you for this great honor."