2019 Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Michael Miller. He was drawn as the 2019 Detroit Lakes Teacher of the Year!


Michael Miller

Mr. Miller has the ability to engage students and help them build the confidence they need to be successful both in and outside of the classroom. Students will often start their first day at the ALC saying that Math is their hardest subject for them. After being in Mr. Miller classroom their attitude towards math changes and often they will say that understand math for the first time. Mr. Miller is always willing to put in the extra time to help and support any student before or after school. He pushes students to become better individuals.

He has really stepped up this year, providing staff with insights using data.

High School

Gail Kotschevar

Gail Kotschevar is one of the pillars of our high school! She has so much energy and enthusiasm for life, and seeks to instill that into the courses that she teaches. Gail is a servant leader, and someone who I aspire to model my own career after. She steps up to the plate when asked to do so. For example, she took on the job of being our EMDL President after Denise Kettner retired. She did that by herself for four years. In addition, she has moved her Psychology class to the next level by offering it through our partnership with M-State as a Concurrent Enrollment class. This has helped many students fulfill a gen ed credit at the collegiate level.

Gail offers many elective courses here at our high school that students flock to take. She has become beloved in our building. I have never heard a student or parent ever say one bad thing about her as a teacher or person. That is quite amazing as we often hear quite a bit in our office! Gail has a way of letting people know that she cares about them. For example, she was invited by one of her students to an open microphone night that the student was performing at. Even though it was a school night, she attended and cheered on this aspiring musician! She is thoughtful, committed, and determined.

I believe she is highly respected by her peers as well! Gail is an advocate for those who seek her out. She understands the system in which we work and strives to right wrongs, and stands up for those who are not strong enough to voice their opinion. I have personally witnessed her confronting a situation that was unfair in our building in a professional, insightful way. You always know where you stand with Gail, and her opinion is one that matters to me and most of the staff members at Detroit Lakes High School.

I am happy to nominate this outstanding lady for teacher of the year. It goes without saying that she makes a difference in our building. Her dedication to this profession is second to none!

Gail has an amazing rapport with both students and staff. Her passion for teaching is evident in how her students feel about her. She is fair and consistent in her classroom. Gail is very active professionally outside of her classroom as well. Over the years, she has been on countless committees. Most recently she took on the task of being our Union President and did a fantastic job. Being president takes up and enormous amount of time. Thanks, Gail, for all you do for both students and staff!

Gail is an amazing teacher. She has the ability to make learning fun and relevant. She is always looking out for the best interest of her students. When talking to the students they get very excited when they say they have Mrs. Kotschevar as a teacher. She works very hard in our district trying to make sure what we are doing is always in the best interest of our students.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention all the stuff she does for teachers. Most of which teachers do not even know she does. For example, when teachers do not fill out their ERMAs Gail is contacted via email and she is the one that must notify the teachers. Many tasks are thrust upon her as the union president and she does all of them amazing well.


Terese Ladue

Terese has served the DL school district for many years. She genuinely cares about her students and families. She is kind and patient and provides a lot insight for the early childhood team when planning for students and families. Terese is efficient and competent in providing speech and language services to young children in multiple school and home care settings.

Terese is a wonderful speech pathologist for our students and co-workers. She has affected many lives throughout her reign at DLPS! Terese is knowledgable in all areas of speech pathology, due process and a true team player!

Middle School

Darcie Ewert

Darcie is passionate about teaching math and reaching each and every student. She continues to produce excellent thinkers and students who desire to be good at math. Students stay after school and seek her out during the day because they say she is "so good at explaining this stuff!" Darcie has always been a promoter of a true middle school and what is best for kids.

Darcie is deserving of the TOY award this year because she gives everything she has to her students. She works from the time she arrives to the time she leaves with students and making sure they understand the math concepts taught. Her career has always been about the students and wanting them to succeed. I have had the pleasure of having my daughters in her Advanced Algebra class last year and they have never shined more in math then when they were with her. Darcie is able to teach to each student in a unique way that allows the students to understand. If she sees a student struggling, she works with them, until they feel confident, and thats what she gives the students- confidence! Her door is always open, and if you pop in to see her, she is always working with students. She gives endlessly to her students, and expects nothing in return but students who gain a better understanding of math. I also have had to opportunity to work across the hall from her this year and she is always willing to help me with any issues that may arise. She is a great colleague, friend and teacher, and we are lucky to have her in our building.

Darcie has a positive impact on students and our building. She is a role model to middle schools and new faculty. She is constantly going above and beyond what students expect a teacher to do. She cares about them. She reaches out to them. She connects with them. She never gives up on them or lets them slip by. And it shows in the work ethic they produce for her.

Working alongside Darcie for 6 years, I saw first hand her passion for helping kids succeed. She works countless hours and is always improving herself through professional reading or professional development. Her organization and leadership helped our team function and succeed.

In retirement, she will be missed more than she will ever know. I'm sad for the kids that will not have her as a teacher some day, and that the middle school will not have her leadership. Darcie is always a teacher of the year.


Maggie Campbell

She has worked extremely hard this year as the Severe/Profound Special Education Teacher at Rossman! When faced with challenges, she handles them with a positive attitude like the true professional she is. Maggie is highly deserving of this award and should be recognized for her amazing work ethic this year!

Maggie teaches children with moderate to severe mental and physical disabilities. This job entails much more than the normal teaching position: health plans/concerns, fragile students, equipment, behavioral issues, additional paperwork, etc. Maggie goes above and beyond (1,000%). This year, especially, she has had to deal with several obstacles. She has a large caseload for the population she serves. Maggie manages several paraprofessionals and has been short two positions since the beginning of the year, posing extreme challenges. She has complicated paperwork to complete and several related-services providers to coordinate. DESPITE ALL OF THIS, Maggie still develops individual, meaningful teaching lessons for each and everyone of her students,. She regularly collects data and changes her instruction to better meet the needs of her students and help them show progress. Maggie challenges her students and they have shown growth. She is a great advocate for the population of students she works with. All of this is done with the utmost professionalism, behind the scenes. I am sure that most all of the staff at Rossman have no idea how difficult her position is and what an extraordinary job Maggie does; each and every day. Maggie always does what is best for her students, no matter how challenging and difficult it is for her. Maggie is most certainly deserving of the Teacher of the Year award.

Maggie has a very challenging job on the best of days! Maggie works with those students who are medically fragile, and those that are cognitively challenged and often display violent aggressive behaviors. She is responsible for some intrusive medical procedures and intense behavior plans as well as trying to provide a functional learning environment for her students. Maggie rises to the challenge everyday. She sincerely cares about her students and their well being-she visits them when they are in the hospital and has cried with the parents when they have lost their child. Maggie, at times, is emotionally and physically exhausted but she is committed to her students and her program. I think she exemplifies the best of us!

Maggie is a teacher that continues to use best practices and look for ideas even when she is short staffed and times are difficult. She manages many paraprofessionals throughout the day and there is a feeling of respect and friendship between her and them.

Maggie deserves to be TOY because she goes ABOVE and beyond meeting the needs of her challenging students, while also being a wife and busy mom of two boys. Maggie isn't just good at her job, she is amazing and always finds the positives in difficult situations and can still smile and laugh with us. She spends countless hours outside of working hours working to improve the education of her students (and baking her TEAM treats). Maggie has great relationships and is well respected by the parents of her students, special education staff and paraprofessionals. We are SO lucky to have Maggie on our team here at Rossman and I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award.


Susan Jordan

Her teaching is rich and she inspires pride and intrinsic motivation within her students.

She has innovative ideas and takes ownership of the learning for all the students in her class. She goes the extra mile to make sure they succeed.

She is hardworking, dedicated, loves her job, and the students love her.