Winona State University alumnus Dan Vrieze was given the 2012 Outstanding Educator Award by the Rochester Area Math and Science Partnership.

Vrieze received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees from WSU, and currently works at Dover-Eyota High School teaching Advanced Algebra, Probability, Statistics and Trigonometry, and Technical Math. In addition to carefully tracking and monitoring improvement among his students, Vrieze has developed many innovative ways to keep students engaged in the classroom through the use of a Smart Board, document camera, LEGO kits, graphing calculators, and software and web-based learning programs.

His successful approach is evident from the test scores in math at Dover-Eyota High School. The school ranked first in math out of 15 schools in the Hiawatha Education District on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in 2012, and has consistently had ACT mathematics scores higher than the state and national average.

This year Vrieze presented on professional learning communities at the state math conference in Duluth and the Southeast Minnesota Learner Achievement Collaborative Conference. He also piloted advanced algebra curriculum materials for a major non-profit consortium that services 35 states.

The Rochester Area Math and Science Partnership was created more than 20 years ago by local leaders from the Rochester School District, Mayo Clinic and IBM to encourage and support math and science in the district. It has now grown to include three institutions of higher education, workforce development, and 13 area school districts, including more than 31,000 students and 1,900 teachers. Vrieze was one of two teachers to receive the Outstanding Educator Award this year.

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Eric Hawkins

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