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Published April 03 2012

Bennett second-grade teacher named Fargo’s teacher of year

FARGO – Kelly Welle, a second-grade teacher at Bennett Elementary School, was honored Tuesday as Fargo Public Schools’ 2012 Teacher of the Year.

At a surprise assembly in the school’s gymnasium, Principal Manix Zepeda read letters from parents and students highlighting Welle’s dedication to teaching and the connections she makes in her classroom.

Zepeda praised Welle’s humility as the woman tearfully embraced her family.

Her mother, Jeanne Beliveau, traveled from Austin, Minn., for the ceremony.

“Knowing Mrs. Welle, she doesn’t like to get credit like this,” Zepeda told the students in the gymnasium. “She’s a great team player, and she has great teammates. I know she works hard for all of them, and just as hard for all of you.”

Welle said she was surprised and honored to be recognized by the district.

“I don’t even know where to start,” she said to her students and co-workers. “I never thought it would go this far. I always wanted to be the best I could be for you, and for Fargo Public Schools.”

With degrees from Minnesota State University Moorhead and St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Welle started as a first-grade teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary in 1989 and moved to Bennett in 2000.

She will be a nominee for the North Dakota Teacher of the Year award this fall.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535

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