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Aarin Galzki

Park Rapids announces its Teacher of the Year

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By a vote of her peers, Century Middle School phy ed teacher Aarin Galzki has been named Teacher of the Year.

Galzki introduces kindergartners, first and second graders as well middle school students to health and fitness.

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"I love what I do," she said. "When you let kids know you care, they return the favor. It's a pleasure to be a part of their lives and watch them grow."

Now in her eighth year as a Park Rapids teacher, she serves as advisor to the Student Council and coaches volleyball and softball.

Watching students' progression through the years - K-12, "I get to be a part of their lives, almost like a parent," she said.

She strives to impart the need for "respect, to treat others with kindness. It's crucial in everyday life," she said.

But Galzki also stresses individual self-worth. "I tell students there is no one more important than yourself. It's up to you to take care of yourself.

"Knowledge is a powerful thing," she advises her students.

Galzki sits on the board of the Minnesota Alliance for Physical Education, Health, Recreation and Dance "to see what other schools are doing."

"We're ahead of our time," she's ascertained. "Park Rapids has so much to offer. The staff is incredible to work with.

"Park Rapids has a very, very good phy ed program," Galzki has concluded.

"She is an exemplary role model for the students and enjoys spending time with them," Terry Zoller wrote in the letter of nomination. "The students like her and seek her approval...which is quite an accomplishment for a middle school teacher.

"She handles discipline issues with them fairly and respectfully," Zoller wrote. "She is constantly searching for new ways to keep our kids healthy and active. She is great at seeking both educational and entertaining ways of promoting school spirit, like through pep rallies or performers at school."

Galzki "is so enthusiastic about her profession," Zoller observed. "It just oozes from her! She goes above and beyond her job description every day!"

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