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Bertha-Hewitt School wins Innovation Award for NextGen Bears

The Bertha-Hewitt's NextGen Bears entrepreneur program won the 2021 Innovation Award from Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA), a statewide recognition, on November 14. Accepting the award on behalf of NextGen Bears was Karla Weishalla, program coordinator. Each year, MREA recognizes school programs that serve as an example of educational opportunities for rural students with the Innovation Award. Selected programs illustrate innovation, benefits for students, collaboration and ease of adaptability. Pictured are: Sharon Thiel, Bertha-Hewitt School Board Chair; Heather Mueller, MN Education Commissioner; Superintendent Eric Koep; Principal Darren Glynn; and Karla Weishalla, NextGen Bears Program Coordinator.

by Trinity Gruenberg

The Bertha-Hewitt School won an Innovation Award at the Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) conference on November 14.

MREA Executive Director Bob Indihar explained they ask their MREA districts to nominate programs based on four criteria: innovation, what makes the program unique; benefit to the students; collaboration, who worked on developing the program; and fourth is the ease of adaptability, how can other districts replicate this program.

The MREA board of directors had the difficult decision of evaluating these programs and choosing the recipients.

“I can tell you personally from traveling the state and visiting many districts that the education in Minnesota is strong. And each school I visited has innovative programs that make them unique,” said Indiahr during his speech. . .


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