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Hamilton teacher selected for university’s outstanding science teacher award

The University of Minnesota has presented Hamilton High School science teacher Kimberly Leannais with its 2009 Outstanding Science Teacher Award. Leannais was one of eight recipients who was honored with the recognition after being nominated by a former student.

Hamilton High School 2009 graduate Zach Emberts nominated Leannais for the award because she instilled a passion for biology in him as a result of the Advanced Placement biology class that she taught.

“(Mrs. Leannais) spent many extra hours outside of the classroom to ensure that everyone of her students was prepared for both the placement exam and further education,” Emberts wrote in his nomination.

“The time she spent outside of school to prepare for the labs just amazed me,” Emberts wrote. “She did all this because of her passion for biology and teaching. Her passion passed on to me, which is why I am pursuing a major in biology today.”

In announcing the selection of Leannais as a 2009 Outstanding Science Teacher, Robert Elde, dean of the College of Biological Sciences, noted the impact that high school teachers have on the academic and personal success of their students.

“This award recognizes individuals whose teaching, mentoring and creativity have had significant impacts on their lives,” Elde stated.

Leannais has been invited to attend the annual College of Biological Sciences Recognition and Appreciation Dinner Oct. 15 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis Campus. She will be recognized and presented with a certificate from the college.