2020 Lignite Energy Council Teacher of the Year

Recognizing Six Outstanding Teachers Throughout All of North Dakota

The Larks and Lignite Energy Council have searched far and wide for stand-out teachers who are making a difference one student at a time.

This season, the Larks and Lignite Energy Council will be honoring FIVE outstanding ND teachers as the Lignite Energy Council Teachers of the Year. The winning teachers were selected based on their dedication, commitment, and impact on today’s youth.

See below the 2020 Teachers of the Year!


Overall 2020 Teacher of the Year:

Alicia Marsh

Alicia Marsh teaches all grades at Legacy High School in Computer Programming, Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science, and Enriched Algebra 2. At Legacy High School, the students tell us they refer to Ms. Marsh as “Marsh”. “Marsh” was nominated by students for her desire for students to succeed. They recognize this and are motivated to do well academically. Not only that, but her energy in the classroom and kind disposition has allowed students to have a positive relationship with her. Janessa Metz, one of her students, said, “She’s always there to talk with you. You can email her at midnight and she’ll still be awake ready to help you. Even after graduation I’ve seen past students come in and visit her. That shows she is still there for you even after you’ve graduated.”

2020 Teacher of the Year Winners

Josh Standing Elk

Mr. Standing Elk teaches 4th grade at Dorothy Moses Elementary School in Bismarck. Mr. Standing Elk is in tune to his students. Since schools in North Dakota have had to move to online learning, Mr. Standing Elk has met with students through video chats everyday. At first, the whole class was meeting together, but Mr. Standing Elk adjusted it to meet with other classmates that have similar personalities. When all of the students were together, the shy students would often get over powered by the loud students. Mr. Standing Elk made sure to care for the emotional needs of his students as well as their educational needs.

Justin Boles

Justin Boles was a 1st Grade substitute teacher at Solheim this past year. Mr. Boles was a substitute teacher in Nora’s class while her permanent teacher, who is also phenomenal, was on maternity leave. When the coronavirus lockdown hit, Mr. Boles went above and beyond to help continue teaching the students from afar, even with distance learning making it more difficult. Mr. Boles has met with the students individually, once a week, and also had an optional time for the class to get together. He went above and beyond, especially for not being their permanent teacher. He has taken the time to create videos of him teaching each lesson and putting the lessons into a format that is friendly for the kids to do themselves.

Shawn Feiring

Shawn Feiring teaches Agricultural Education at New Salem – Almont High School. Not only is Mr. Feiring a teacher, but he has been a bus driver and coach as well. He spends most of his time preparing students to succeed in the classroom, as well as outside of school. He’s the first teacher to arrive at school everyday and is often the last teacher to leave. He is always willing to help any student with homework as well as any personal issues. He never fails to put a smile on the faces of students. Mr. Feiring has helped many students, as well as many community members. He helps students if they are having troubles with their car after school, or attempts to help with homework from another subject.

Trisha Elliot

Trisha Elliot teaches 1st Grade at Hankinson Public School. Ms. Elliot has been extremely helpful and creative for her class. One of her students was diagnosed with ADHD early on in the school year. Ms. Elliot helped navigate different options on how his parents could better improve his environment, give him different options, understand his needs, and care about how he is feeling. Without Ms. Elliot’s support to parents and understanding students’ needs, the students would have been in a much more difficult place. With her constant interaction, parents are able  to understand how their child is doing in the classroom versus at home, giving them a better understanding of their child’s needs.


The first 100 teachers who were nominated for Teacher of the Year receive (1) FREE ticket to Teacher Appreciation Day at the ballpark, time and day TBD.

Teachers who attend the game will also receive a limited edition Clark the Lark bobblehead pencil holder (while supplies last).

Each Teacher of the Year winner will receive:

  • A VIRTUAL assembly/classroom chat with their classroom recognizing their accomplishments
  • (2) Tailgate tickets to Teacher Appreciation Night on Friday, August 14th
  • On-field recognition during Teacher Appreciation Night
  • A Larks jersey with their name on the back
  • Story in the Larks game day program
  • An exclusive Clark the Lark pencil holder

From these teachers, one teacher will be awarded the Overall Larks Teacher of the Year and will receive all of the above perks plus:

  • A $1,000 STEM Technology grant for their school
  • A $250 gift card for school supplies
  • A FREE ticket to the Lignite Energy Council Teacher of the Year seminar

We are proud of all of our teachers, especially those who taught during the coronavirus pandemic, which had altered the classroom drastically. We recognize the sacrifices teachers have had to make in order to maintain learning for their students. We want to give huge a THANK YOU to every teacher who has made learning possible throughout the state of North Dakota. Your efforts will have an impact for years to come!