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2019 Lignite Energy Council Teacher of the Year

The Larks and Lignite Energy Council teamed up to honor seven teachers across seven counties for being outstanding in the classroom. Of those seven great teachers, one was awarded the overall Larks Teacher of the Year. 152 students nominated a teacher.



“Educating tomorrow’s work force is something that the Lignite Energy Council sees as a vital task and we want to reward local and area teachers for their outstanding efforts,” said Jason Bohrer, president and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council. “Through our partnership with the Bismarck Larks we recognize educators who have distinguished themselves in the classroom and let them know their efforts are appreciated.”

Vanessa Kemmer won the Larks overall Teacher of the Year. Kemmer is a fifth-grade teacher at Solheim Elementary in Bismarck. Her dedication in the classroom, commitment and impact on today’s youth earned her the award.

“She encourages people to [do] their work and helps when not asked,” one of her students said. “She always does fun activities with us to make learning cool. She also makes everything fair for everyone. She wants us to be respectful, responsible, safe and kind.”

Kemmer will receive $1,000 toward STEM technology for her school. She will also receive a $250 gift card for school supplies and free admission to the Lignite Energy Council teacher seminar.

Six other teachers will also be honored in winning The Lignite Energy Council Teachers of the Year. Each teacher will receive two tailgate tickets to one of the teacher appreciation nights at the ballpark. Along with on-field recognition and a Larks jersey.

Those six winning teachers include:

  • Lane Flagen, from Oliver County, who teaches fourth grade at Center Stanton Elementary.
  • Don Fry, from Morton County, who teaches marketing at Mandan High School.
  • Erin Huber, from Emmons County, who teaches fourth grade at Linton Public School.
  • Wendy Miller, from McLean County, who teaches math at Washburn High School.
  • Aimee Oyen, from Mercer County, who teaches third grade at Beulah Elementary.
  • Tristan Schipman, from Sheridan County, who teaches first and second grade at McClusky Elementary.

All teachers (nominated and not nominated) at participating school districts will receive a special ticket offer to teacher appreciation days at the ballpark. Tickets will cost $20 and will include, all-you-can-eat food and beverage for 90 minutes and a Clark the Lark bobblehead pencil holder.

Teacher Appreciation Days are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, May 29 @ 7:05 pm
  • Thursday, May 30 @ 7:05 pm
  • Friday, May 31 @ 7:35 pm