Colleagues say that Scott Halverson is a “teacher’s teacher.”
He is a leader. He is an organizer. He is a motivator.
And Friday morning, in front of the entire Winona Senior High School community, he was surprised as the winner of the 2023 Winona Education Association Teacher of the Year Award.
“I have never witnessed Scott do anything less than his best,” said friend and colleague Tim Gleason, a previous WEA Teacher of the Year winner. “He has put his whole heart into perfecting his craft with the students.”
Halverson has been a teacher for 35 years, spending four years at two schools in Iowa before coming to WSHS as a math teacher in the fall of 1993.
Halverson fell in love with Winona, and Winona fell in love with Halverson over the next three decades.
“Education has always been a rewarding and challenging profession,” said Halverson, whose wife, Amy, is a school psychologist with Winona Area Public Schools and whose daughters, Erin and Sarah, are WAPS graduates. “I cherish so many wonderful relationships and memories from the past 35 years.”
He was an assistant coach for basketball, softball and baseball before taking over for his friend and math department colleague Dave Heise as the head softball coach in 2015. Halverson led the Winhawks to three state tournament appearances in four seasons, including a state title in 2017.
Halverson served as W-Club advisor and served on the WAPS Athletic Advisory Committee in addition to the WAPS Curriculum Committee. He was a founding member of the WAPS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, making sure that the athletes and coaches from years past aren’t forgotten by the generations that follow.
“Scott is one of those teachers where you don’t know where to start,” said Dwayne Voegeli, also a former WEA Teacher of the Year. “Scott is a teacher’s teacher. He is a leader in so many ways. He has great relationships with his students. He both pushes them and supports them.”
He has been an active member of the WEA, serving as a Faculty Representative, Vice President and President. He has been a member of the Negotiations Team and serves on the Meet and Confer team.
He does it all in service of his students, his colleagues, his profession and his community.
“We have a tremendous opportunity as educators to nurture and challenge our students to become the best versions of themselves, whether that is in the classroom, on the athletic field or in the arts,” Halverson said. “While we may only work with them for a few years, the lessons in relationship building, perseverance and communication will have an ongoing positive impact on the rest of their personal and professional lives.”
Halverson is active in the community as well. He has served as a member of Thrive with other community members, was a board member for the Winstars softball program and was a Pacers basketball coach. He has also spent his time hosting, organizing and working directly with Winona State University Math Education Methods students.
He has always advocated for his students, his players and his colleagues — past, current and future.
“I am proud of Minnesota for stepping up its financial investment in education and I pray that it continues,” Halverson said. “We now need to also increase our investment in the professionals who make public education the foundation for a free and democratic society.”
Halverson will be honored at the WEA banquet to celebrate American Education Week at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the American Legion, 302 E. Sarnia St.