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He’s the top!

Part way through Monday’s Goodhue County Board meeting, a surprised Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel watched as family members and coworkers at Kenyon-Wanamingo School District shuffled into the room.

They were there to congratulate Rechtzigel for being named the Minnesota City/County Managers Association’s Teacher of the Year for 2013.

“I was hook-line-and-sinker surprised,” said Rechtzigel, an honors American government teacher at Kenyon-Wanamingo High School.

Goodhue County Administrator Scott Arneson, who nominated Rechtzigel for the award, worked with county staff to prepare Monday’s celebration without the commissioner knowing.

The item was included on the meeting agenda as simply, “Minnesota City/County Management Award.”

“Over the years I’ve been extremely impressed with how he pushes his students and integrates them into local government,” Arneson said.

Mark Nagel, assistant city administrator with Elko New Market, Minnesota, delivered the award on behalf of the MCMA’s education outreach committee. He said Rechtzigel was chosen from a list of candidates that reached double digits.

“It really was an easy decision for us to give the award this year to Mr. Rechtzigel,” Nagel said. It recognizes his work “inspiring citizenship and promoting an understanding of local government on Minnesota Youths.”

Rechtzigel has used his County Board seat to enhance lesson plans, including inviting the board to Kenyon City Hall every year so students can view local government in action.

One purpose of the non-profit MCMA is to set state standards for civic education in K-12 schools, Nagel said. This is the 15th year the group has named a teacher of the year as part of its annual award program.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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