Ellen Knudson is a second-grade teacher at Victor Solheim Elementary School in Bismarck. In order to give her students a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom, Mrs. Knudson has transformed her classroom into a "Zooseum," with a vivid array of flora and fauna. Fascinating as it is to explore the metamorphosis of crickets and monarch butterflies, her second-graders - prairie-dwellers all - are given the opportunity to investigate secrets of the sea when she invites live lobsters to visit the class. A firm believer in the importance of professional development, Mrs. Knudson co-initiated the first state teacher forum to provide opportunities for teachers to share their knowledge and experience with each other, as well as to inform and guide district and state policymakers in educational decision making. In 1995, Mrs. Knudson was named Teacher of the Year by the North Dakota State Department of Public Instruction.
1995 University of North Dakota, M.A.