Pipestone educator honoredPIPESTONE — Pipestone Area educator Nate Henry learned last week he had been named a recipient of the 2010 WEM Outstanding Educator Award for Academic Coach of the Year.
PIPESTONE — Pipestone Area educator Nate Henry learned last week he had been named a recipient of the 2010 WEM Outstanding Educator Award for Academic Coach of the Year.
“I found out that my wife had known for about six weeks; I was totally surprised when it happened,” said Henry, an English teacher at Pipestone Area High School and director of the school’s annual One-Act Play.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” he continued. “It’s a very humbling honor and I appreciate all the support from students and staff over the years.”
The honor is one of six sponsored annually by the WEM Foundation, which provides a $10,000 award to each recipient.
Henry is now in his 11th year teaching in the district, and was nominated by a group of community members, parents and former students.
“Nate Henry is a very effective teacher, coach and leader in education. Our country would do well to replicate his style, knowledge, caring attitude and high standards and spread it throughout our school systems,” said Raymond Staatz, Pipestone Area High School/Middle School principal.
He has directed the annual play for 10 years.
“In the One-Act Play, teams compete in subsection and section tournaments,” explains a news release.
“In the 49 years prior to Henry’s coaching, One-Act Play teams from his school advanced to state five times. Under Henry’s leadership, Pipestone Area High School has advanced to the state event six times in the past nine years, earning seven subsection championships, six section championships, one section runner-up, and two Wells Fargo State Champion Arts Out Front awards or ‘starred performances’ given at the state festival,” the highest honor for teams in Minnesota.
“I just think that each play that’s chosen should accomplish three main criteria: the first is it has to be a difficult play to perform; it has to be performed well; and the third is that it has to mean something,” Henry detailed.
Each team can have a maximum of 20 students involved in its crew, which includes actors and technical support positions. In the 10 shows Henry has directed, he has included the maximum number of participants every year.
“It is truly rare that a non-athletic activity receives such a show of encouragement, but in Pipestone, the One-Act Play does, year after year, said Andrea Hoyum, an English instructor at Pipestone Area Schools. “The reason that the program here enjoys such a show of support and respect is because Mr. Henry has built the program to deserve that level of support and respect,”
Educators are first nominated for the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Program by students, parents, colleagues or community members. Those who accept the nomination provide additional information for review by the Center for Academic Excellence and a blue ribbon selection panel, which reviews and ranks the nominees.
The CAE is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and recognizing high levels of academic achievement for students and teachers.