Brad Olson, sixth grade teacher at Milbank Middle School, is the 2016-2017 Milbank School District Teacher of the Year. He received the award today during a middle school assembly.
Olson is a native of Sisseton and a graduate of Moorhead State College. He has been serving the Milbank School District as a teacher and coach since 1987. He currently teaches social studies and coaches middle school basketball. In previous years, he taught language arts and math and was the head coach for volleyball and track and field.
“This is kind of embarrassing,” Olson said. “I appreciate the recognition, but that has never been a reason why I do the things I do. I have maroon and gold in my blood and love teaching in Milbank.”
A selection committee made up of parents and educators considered each candidate nominated by parents and students. A comment from a parent’s nomination for Olson said, “My daughter thinks the world of Mr. Olson. He is caring and concerned about all the kids in his class and the entire school.” Another one said, “Mr. Olson is not one to sit at his desk and preach to students. He routinely walks around the classroom and looks over their shoulders, asking if they need help. He is always well-prepared and always makes sure the student understands the material.”
Others wrote, “I found him extremely helpful when any concerns about homework or tough subjects came up.” Also, “Mr. Olson is continually looking for ways to improve. In coaching basketball, he has earned the players respect by leading by example.”
Kris Evje Middle School Principal said, “No one is more deserving of this honor than Brad Olson. He is passionate about his students and is unmatched in his ability to build meaningful relationships that have lasting influences well beyond the year he is with them. He is always looking for ways to better serve his students and is a go-to for staff and students for ideas or guidance. Brad is a true Milbank Bulldog.”
A student echoed that sentiment with, “There is not a teacher out there who is more genuine, knowledgeable, or well-respected than Mr. Olson.” Another student added, “I am grateful to have Mr. Olson as my teacher. He has taught me lessons that will help me for the rest of my life.”
Superintendent Tim Graf said, “Mr. Olson possesses the two most important attributes needed to be an outstanding teacher – being able to develop positive relationships with his students and having high expectations. We have many outstanding teachers in the district, so this is a real honor, but also a well deserved honor.”