LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Mike Besse

Position: Fifth Grade Teacher
School: Plainview-Elgin-Millville 4-6 Elementary School
School District: Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools
City, State: Elgin, MN

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Mike Besse was nominated by his principal, Clark Olstad

Mr. Besse is a passionate educator who gives an enormous amount of effort to his students every year. He has said that his students are his family for the school year. He deeply cares for each child, helps them reach their full potential, builds strong, trusting relationships, and holds them accountable for their academic requirements and behavior.

Mr. Besse has taught for many years. He's now at the stage of his career where he has students in his classroom whose parents were his students many years ago. Every parent supports, admires and appreciates Mr. Besse as a teacher.

"I believe the main reason for this is that Mr. Besse is extremely consistent from day to day about his expectations to all students," Olstad said. "Students and parents quickly realize that Mr. Besse believes they can succeed, and more importantly, he will hold them accountable to very high expectations because he knows the students can and will be successful." 

As principal, Olstad often places some of the most at-risk students in Mr. Besse’s classroom on purpose. His personality, calmness, professionalism, consistency and ability to interact well with all students makes him an educator that everyone can count on.

"When I compliment Mr. Besse on his unique ability to help challenging students succeed, he always downplays the compliments and acts like it's no big deal," Olstad said. "But, it is a big deal! Parents are extremely thrilled with the results he produces with their children year in and year out. Mr. Besse’s humbleness as an educator is another example of why he is an amazing teacher!"

Olstad recalled a quote from Margaret E. Sangster, "No one should teach who is not in love with teaching."

"I have had the privilege of working with many educators in my career as a teacher and now as a principal, and I have never met a teacher that I feel has definitely picked the correct profession of education more than Mr. Besse," Olstad said. "He is without a doubt, 100% in the right career. I have heard Mr. Besse many times over the years comment that he loves being a teacher. He is, and will continue to be, a LifeChanger to many students and families at Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools!” 

Comments (1)

Brenda Bennett Posted over a year ago

I worked in the classroom years ago as a para and can say that everything that Mr. Olsted said is true. Mike works well with his colleagues also. He is truly in the right profession! It was an honor to walk into his classroom daily and you always knew what to expect.