Ashley Kracke, fifth grade teacher at R. F. Pettigrew Elementary was named the 2022 Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year at the event on March 14, 2022. She has been a teacher in the Sioux Falls School District for 17 years. Vern Eide Motorcars sponsors the Teacher of the Year Award, and Kracke received a $4,000 check. Colleagues noted that Kracke focuses on relationship-building with her students and their families.
In addition, and new this year, One American Bank established the Distinguished Educator Award. Nick Opdahl, carpentry instructor at CTE Academy, received this award and a $2,000 cash prize. Opdahl received the award because he has given his students hands-on learning opportunities. They build two Habitat for Humanity homes each year, construct cabinets and cupboards, and build multi-story playhouses for children.
This was the 34th annual Teacher of the Year event. There were 69 nominees and five finalists: Nathan Alfson, Diana Johnson, Ashley Kracke, Erin Larsen, and Nick Opdahl.
George and Kristen Lund provided dessert from Oh My Cupcakes for all of the nominees and guests.
A committee comprised of staff, Sioux Falls School Board members, parents, and individuals from the community chose the five finalists and from there named Ashley Kracke as Teacher of the Year and Nick Opdahl as the One American Bank Distinguished Educator.