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Chamber Honors Woodbury Citizen, Business, Educators Of The Year

Dick Hanson, Tropical Ballroom, group from Middleton Elementary among this year’s honorees.

The recently announced its citizen, business and educators of the year.

The 2011 Citizen of the Year is Dick Hanson, a retired 3M employee who heavily involved with the and other civic groups. He is also a Woodbury Patch blogger. Hanson is currently traveling to Antarctica.

The 2011 Business of the Year is , a dance studio in the . Tricia Wood, who owns Tropical Ballroom with her husband James, is a recent addition to the Patch blog roll.

Tropical Ballroom is currently in the Valley Creek Mall. (Check out a video on Tropical Ballroom that Patch published around its three-year anniversary that appears with this story.)

The Educator of the Year is actually a team of local teachers, ’s Fourth Grade Team: Nicole Filler, Nora Jankowski, Sara Koehnen (currently on leave), Sarah March and Lisa Peterson.

“The fourth grade team is passionate about their work and truly own the learning of each student in the entire grade level,” Middleton Principal Julie Nielsen’s said in a release from District 833. “It comes down to their teaching and the changes they need to make to assure that student learning occurs. They are attentive to parent questions and e-mails while balancing the need to prepare quality lessons in all content areas for students.”

The five educators continuously rotate classes to have the opportunity to teach every student in the course of the school year, the release says. “The rotation allows them to personally connect to and create a wonderful learning environment.”

Outside of school they are tutors, Sunday school teachers, coaches and supporters of Woodbury sports and the arts, according to the District 833 release, and they have been involved in raising money for charities, blankets for hospitals, nursing home cards, food drives and more.

The honorees will be recognized at the Woodbury Chamber’s annual gala on Friday, Jan. 20, at the Prom Center in Oakdale.

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