Meet Heidi Keller, a Kindergarten teacher and English Language Coordinator at BM Hanson Elementary School in Harvey. Keller has been teaching in the classroom for 26 years.

“The thing that is most important to me about teaching is to make kids passionate about learning and having them do anything that they set their mind to,” Keller said.

Keller wasn’t always a teacher. She worked as a social worker in Texas for 10 years before deciding to cross over to education. While in Texas, she participated in a teacher alternative certification program.

“I realized that I really loved and wanted to be a teacher,” Keller said.

Keller then relocated back to North Dakota, where she grew up as a child.

One unique thing about her current classroom is that it’s the same room she was in when she was a second-grade student.

“It was strange at first. My second-grade teacher was my favorite teacher. We actually have a lot of teachers in our community who are graduates of Harvey,” Keller said.

She believes in inspiring her students to have the best outcome both in and outside the classroom.

“I think it’s an opportunity for me, especially in kindergarten, is to just see the curiosity of the children and believe that they can do anything and help them become successful,” Keller said.

When she found out the news that she was the recipient of Wells County Teacher of the Year she said, “I was very humbled and surprised that I had been selected.”

She couldn’t have done it alone. She said thankfully, she has her administrators standing by right beside her.

“She’s awesome with the kids, she builds relationships with them. She gets to know their interests and their likes, and she takes that into consideration when she’s working with them,” BM Hanson Elementary Principal Dr. Teresa Harding said.

Keller also said she acts as a mentor to other teachers, giving them guidance on how to be the best in the classroom.