LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Monica Huntoon

Position: Fourth 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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Monica Huntoon was nominated by her principal, Clark Olstad.

Ms. Huntoon is a passionate educator that gives her heart and soul every year to her students. She has said that her students are her children for that school year, and she treats them like she would her own. This means she truly cares for each child, helping them reach their full potential, building strong, trusting relationships, and holding them accountable for their academic requirements and behavior.

“Every school year, multiple parents contact me and say that their child has had their best school year ever, and it is all Ms. Huntoon’s credit for being a fabulous educator,” Olstad said. “Parents continue to comment about her unique ability to help their children believe that they can accomplish anything academically and in life.”

Parents are impressed that Ms. Huntoon establishes a family atmosphere in which her students work together to make each other successful. With a smile on their faces, some parents will ask Mr. Olstad if Ms. Huntoon could teach their children for the rest of their years in education.

“Being an educator is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding careers that anyone could pursue. Monica Huntoon makes the profession of being a teacher look very elegant and satisfying because she is a high quality professional with parents, students, and colleagues, 100% of the time,” Olstad said.

Ms. Huntoon has many strengths as an educator, but one of her best strengths is her humbleness on her yearly accomplishments with her students. Her students always obtain very high scores on the annual MCA State Tests, have outstanding behavior in and out of the classroom, and believe that they can accomplish anything in life.

Mr. Olstad recalled a quote from Vince Lombardi that reminded him of Ms. Huntoon, "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."

As demanding as Ms. Huntoon is on her students, she is far more demanding of herself. She puts in countless hours of work before school, after school, on weekends, and during summer vacation so that she can give her best genuine effort to her students. All of Ms. Huntoon's educational success as a teacher is because she has earned it through an enormous amount of work.

“She is, and will continue to be, a LifeChanger to many students and families at Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools!” Olstad said.