STAPLES - Gene Mattila, a Staples-Motley High School math teacher, was recently named Teacher of the Year by the Wadena VFW, Elmer Goche Post No. 3922. Mattila was presented with the award by Jim White, senior vice commander, during a program at Staples-Motley High School on Wednesday.
Charles Venzke, post commander; Janice Venzke, auxiliary president; and Sandy White, auxiliary senior vice president, were also in attendance for the presentation.
Mattila was nominated and selected for his work in organizing a special send-off for veterans and chaperones traveling to Washington, D.C. The trip was sponsored by the Staples Host Lions in April. Students in sixth grade through high school were a part of the send-off celebration.
In addition to the post level, Mattila was selected as Teacher of the Year for both the district and department (state) levels. Mattila received the department award on Saturday during the state VFW convention in Minneapolis. He will receive the district award on Feb. 7 in Sauk Rapids.
"Gene Mattila is a great example of the quality educational staff we have here at Staples-Motley High School," said Dean Ogg, Staples-Motley High School principal. "Our teachers are able to identify life's teachable moments and bring them into the classroom. Gene encourages students to connect with our community and to make a difference. This award was well-deserved and we are proud of Gene's work with our veterans."
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