On Monday afternoon, we celebrated the September Teacher of the Month from 96.7 The River and Mix 94.9. I visited Tech High School to surprise Michelle Mages. Ms. Mages is a Special Education Teacher at the school, and the letter that nominated her came not from a current student, but from a the mother of a former student who says her son still feels very connected to her, but also recalled the impact she made.  

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It was obvious from the students who were around our presentation that they knew nothing about what was going on, just how they truly felt about Ms. Mages, as they wanted to get to her and speak while she was still trying to figure out what was going on.  

Photo Credit- Dave Thomas Townsquare Media
Photo Credit- Dave Thomas Townsquare Media


Michelle Mages was taken aback by the presentation and asked me a few times if this was a joke. “Not a Joke” I said to her, “You are the Teacher of the Month”.  

I made Ms. Mages a copy of the letter that was sent in and she looked at it fondly while it began to sink in that this was really happening. The letter written from an appreciative mother talked about how Ms. Mages helped her son navigate high school even when she was not directly his teacher. Her impact kept him on track and helped him accomplish his goals.

There were a couple of things I will take from being able to make this presentation; First is how moved our winner was for being recognized by a former student and their family. Secondly, how excited the other teachers that gathered around were for Ms. Mages. They helped keep the secret and to watch it unfold seemed very fulfilling for them. Lastly what I took away is how much our teachers put into their job, not for awards or recognition but for the love of what they do and the difference they can make. 

If you know a teacher that has made a difference and should be recognized, enter their name at river967.com or mix949.com. We will choose a winner each month to win prizes from St. Cloud Floral, Coyote Moon Grille, Great Harvest Bread Company, and All-Star Trophy and Awards.  

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