Winona Education Association names La Crosse Logan High grad Teacher of the Year

WINONA, Min. (WKBT)- A graduate of Logan High School in La Crosse is taking big strides in the world of education.

This band director was named the Winona Education Association Teacher of the Year.

Everyone at Winona Senior High School kept it a big secret, and Tim Gleason couldn’t help but get emotional when he put the pieces together that he was winning such a special award.

Gleason, who has been a band teacher for 28 years and comes from a family of teachers, says it is a huge honor to be named teacher of the year.

“Some of the earliest memories that I have been in a band room in Arcadia Wisconsin with my dad who was a teacher,” Gleason said.

Gleason’s award comes after challenging times during the pandemic, and as a band director, he thinks music can make a big difference.

“We came back together, the importance of music I think was even greater than what I thought it was before that,” Gleason said.

He credits his students and says they are the reason he keeps going.

“They bring an energy that I wouldn’t have without them and kind of a bigger picture reason on what I feel like I’m here to serve,” said Gleason.

Other teachers in the district say the way he brings people together is something that can’t be matched.

“When I think of Tim, I think of community and that word unity. He unifies not only the staff and the students here at the high school but across the entire district and the community of Winona,” said Luke Merchlewitz, co-chair of the Teacher Selection Committee.

Merchlewitz says the way he connects with his students is something all teachers should take notes on.

“What Tim does is he jumps a little further, not only into what they need but into their heart. He builds and creates those relationships and he continues to foster them throughout their years,” said Merchlewitz.

Gleason says there’s no place he would rather be than right here in Winona.

“I love my job I love what I do on a daily basis and I feel very fortunate to do it with great colleagues and a lot of great students,” said Gleason.

Gleason will be celebrated during the education reception on Thursday, Nov. 18, at the American Legion building in Winona.

The reception is free and open to the public.

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