Employees of the Month 2023 - 2024

Teacher of the Year

Amy Gehling

Congratulations to Ms. Amy Gehling who was selected as the Le Mars Community Schools’ 2024 Teacher of the Year and awarded the annual Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell.


Ms. Gehling has served as a 4th grade teacher at Kluckhohn Elementary since joining the Le Mars Community School District twenty-one (21) years ago.  In addition, she has been active as a mentor teacher and a model teacher through the district’s Teacher Leadership program.   

Ms. Gehling was nominated for this award by Amber Christiansen, parent of one of Ms. Gehling’s students.  

April 2024

Stephanie Puhrmann

Congratulations to Stephanie Puhrmann, middle school Special Education teacher, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for April.

Ms. Puhrmann has been a special education teacher at the middle school since she joined the district in August 2021.

"Ms. Puhrmann consistently demonstrates an unwavering commitment to fostering a supportive environment within her classroom," reads Stephanie's nomination.  "Through her teaching methods and lessons, Ms. Puhrmann ensures that each student feels valued and capable of success."  

Thank you, Stephanie, for your impact upon your students and their families.  You are making a difference!

March 2024

Denise Spieler

Congratulations to Denise Spieler, K-5 Instructional Coach, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for March.

Denise began her career with Le Mars Community Schools in August 2002 teaching 1st grade at Kluckhohn Elementary.  Five years later, she transferred to Franklin Elementary where she taught kindergarten for the next seven years.  Thereafter, in August 2014, Denise became the K-5 Instructional Coach.

"Denise Spieler is such an asset to our district! Her passion for math education is always evident.  She approaches all work with the best interest of both students and teachers," reads Denise's nomination.  "She is always willing to help out and plans engaging activities for students.  Her Zero the Hero days are the best!" 

Denise, your passion for, and knowledge of, the math curriculum is unparalleled and has been an inspiration to many.  We are thankful for you.

February 2024

Brenda Baack

Congratulations to Brenda Baack, middle school teacher associate, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for February

This is Brenda's 5th school year as a teacher associate at the middle school.  She works with the ELL program.

"Brenda is a huge asset to the middle school staff.  She is hardworking, caring, and dedicated to the students she serves," reads Brenda's nomination.  "She is so helpful, thoughtful, and flexible.  I admire Brenda's extreme patience and grace with students.  She is a difference maker here at LCMS."

Thank you, Brenda, for the dedication and devotion you bring to the ELL program!

January 2024

Deb Anthony

Congratulations to Deb Anthony, Clark 5th grade teacher, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for January.

Deb joined Le Mars Community in 2002 and has been a 5th grade teacher at Clark her entire 22 school years with the district.  She has also served the district as a model teacher and as a member of the MTSS team.

"Mrs. Anthony is a caring and compassionate teacher who has committed herself to many years of reaching and supporting students to be successful," reads Deb's nomination.  "Mrs. Anthony is not only compassionate in her classroom but is a huge support to our staff and co-workers.  She has a sense of humor that is contagious to our entire school at Clark."

Mrs. Anthony, we are grateful for your many years of selfless service to your students and our staff.

December 2023

Darci Palsma

Congratulations to Darci Palsma, Kluckhohn 2nd grade teacher, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for December.

This is Darci's 8th school year teaching second grade at Kluckhohn Elementary.  She has also been active with the CIA team.

"Darci is the most patient person we know.  She is caring and always makes her students and aides feel welcome," reads Darci's nomination.  "She is very flexible with scheduling and exhibits a helpful and positive attitude towards her co-workers."

Darci, we appreciate you and your inspiring devotion to your students.

November 2023

Cortney Monillas

Congratulations to Cortney Monillas, high school science teacher, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for November.

This is Cortney's 3rd school year as a teacher with the district.

"Cortney is such a valuable teammate!!" reads one of Cortney's multiple nominations.  "She is reflective and strives to improve her practice daily."  "She cares about her students and supports them while maintaining high expectations."  "Cortney's students describe her as fun and kind-hearted."

Thank you, Cortney, for going above and beyond for your students and colleagues. 

October 2023

Linda Meis

Congratulations to Linda Meis, Kluckhohn library associate, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for October.

This is Linda's 10th school year as a library associate with the district.

"Linda gives 100% effort to her job, whether it's during library class, the Book Fair, Birthday Breakfast, or organizing and maintaining Kluckhohn's library" reads Linda's nomination.  "She is always willing to help both students and staff in any way she can."

Linda, your "kindness and dedication" is genuinely appreciated.

September 2023

Shannon Hanno Renken

Congratulations to Shannon Hanno Renken, Kluckhohn 5th grade teacher, who was awarded the LCS Foundation's Employee of the Month for September.

Shannon has been teaching 5th grade at Kluckhohn Elementary since she joined the Le Mars Community School District staff 21 years ago.

"Shannon clearly understands the needs of her fifth graders" reads Shannon's nomination.  "She is always researching ways to help meet her students' needs.  You can definitely tell how much she cares about her students."

Mrs. HR, we appreciate you and the "excitement of learning" that you give to your students.