His tried-and-true talent, leadership and initiative in implementing an effective math and science class targeted to struggling students -- while helping lead Romig in its transition to a STEM Academy -- make Matthew Elfstrom an elite educator.
A compelling educator and role model, both in his school and throughout the community, Elfstrom designed his current math/science course specifically to reach out to students in danger of heading to high school with a poor attitude or dropping out entirely. Elfstrom links instruction to the real world and keeps students engaged. Examples include building model airplanes and producing DVDs.
Elfstrom is credited with his students’ average 10 to 15 percent increase in state assessments and their newfound enthusiasm for school.
The district’s point-of-contact in the area of struggling math students, Elfstrom chairs the math department, co-teaches remedial math and is the wrestling coach. Practicum host to student teachers and a teacher mentor, he advises the district on math and science matters. Outside of the classroom, Elfstrom is involved in his community, particularly in educating people about the effects of domestic violence. He also achieved a grant for his school to involve students in his work.
2013 Distinguished Alumni Citation in Education, Gustavus Adolphus College
2010 Presidential Award for teaching Mathematics-Finalist
2010 Grand Canyon University, Masters in Education Leadership
2001 Gustavus Adolphus College, Bachelor of Arts K-8 Education