Brainerd High Teacher Named Teacher Of The Year
It was a celebratory day at Brainerd High School today as one of its own was named the 2017 Brainerd Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
Nicole Harmer, a science teacher at the school, was bestowed the honor on Thursday in a surprise announcement.
“It’s an honor that I’ve looked at other people who’ve won the award in the past and just saw them as role models,” Harmer said. “So to be considered part of that group is exciting and I’m honored to be considered a Teacher of the Year.”
Harmer always knew she wanted to be of service to people and originally considered the medical field.
“But there’s some other experiences,” Harmer said. “I realized I really loved this love of learning, this lifelong learning. So, to inspire people through education was a way I knew I could have an impact that was positive to their future.”
Harmer introduced a new class to the school this year, AP Seminar, which according to the AP website site is an introduction to conducting independent analysis of complex ideas across various disciplines. And what makes this all special for Harmer is that she’s doing it all at her alma mater. She’s a 1991 graduate of Brainerd High.
“This is somewhere where I’ve always wanted to give back to my community,” Harmer said. “So to be a student who benefited from what they offered here at Brainerd High School, I know that’s what’s given me success for a long time. Then to be considered that I might be doing some of those same types of things for students and with such an elite staff that’s here, it’s just incredible to think that my school supports me, not only as a student, but as a teacher.”
With students, staff, and school and district administration on hand, it is evident that Harmer’s impact goes beyond the classroom and the students.
“Ms. Harmer brings a great deal to Brainerd High School,” Brainerd High School Principal Andrea Rusk said. “She has a tremendous passion for teaching and also for the area of science. So she’s been pretty instrumental in the advances in the area of chemistry and biology.”