And the EDDY Award goes to…
The Performing Arts Center inside Blue Earth Area High School played host to BEA’s annual staff recognition ceremony on Monday, June 4.
Becky Anderson of Blue Earth Area Middle School presented K-7 special education associate Kandy Blondin with the BEA Education Association’s coveted EDDY Award for 2018.
This unique distinction is given to a non-certified staff member who has had a positive impact on students and has made a multitude of contributions to the Blue Earth Area community.
Blondin, an Elmore native, expresses gratitude for the support of the Blue Earth Area faculty who nominated her for the honor.
“It was very touching to accept the award,” Blondin says. “It’s been so much fun to work with everybody there because we all get along. I enjoy going to work everyday.”
In addition to her interactions with BEA faculty, Blondin believes the most rewarding part of her job is having the opportunity to watch the evolution of her students.
“Seeing them grow and helping instill confidence in them brings me great satisfaction,” Blondin shares. “When you see the lightbulb go off and the kids are able to succeed at something, that is the biggest reward for me.”
Blondin started her career in education back in 1987 and has worked at Blue Earth Area since 1997. Ironically, this year’s EDDY Award winner says she would have never imagined she would one day embark on a career as an educator.
“Back when I was in school, I was very shy and the whole experience was very intimidating to me,” Blondin says. “That’s why I can relate to students who may feel unsure about themselves. I’ve walked in those shoes before.”
In addition to the EDDY Award, a total of 22 teachers were honored with Years of Service Awards, ranging from 10 years of service, to over 40 years.
Also at the ceremony, five BEA retirees were recognized for their commitment and dedication as they received the Apple for Education Award.
These faculty members included teachers Al Cue, Sandy Hanson, Todd Schmidtke and Kate Warmka, and paraprofessional Peggy DeMarce. Collectively, this quintet has served within the school district for a total of 139 years.
Addressing the faculty in attendance, speaker and long-time former School Board chairman Frankie Bly commended the Blue Earth Area staff on ending the academic year on a positive note.
“Last fall was definitely a black eye for our school. However, because all of you have conducted yourselves with the utmost professionalism, that black eye has faded away,” Bly said. “I can’t emphasize that enough, so I thank each and every one of you.”