The Minnesota Rural Education Association has named Lake Park-Audubon teacher Kathrina O'Connell as one of its "Educators of Excellence" for 2020.

O'Connell, who teaches sixth grade students at LP-A Elementary School in Audubon, was among four Minnesota instructors to receive the honor. The other three Educators of Excellence chosen for this year were Jacqueline Stoffel, Bemidji Public Schools; Chad Powers, New London-Spicer Public Schools; and Andrew Hopkins, Waseca Public Schools.

MREA will share these teachers' stories and honor them at the organization's annual awards banquet on Sunday, Nov. 15. The banquet, which is held each year in conjunction with MREA's annual conference, will be live streamed this year via the conference website at

"These educators are passionate about serving students and are extraordinary examples of what can be achieved with creativity, collaboration and a commitment to excellence," MREA Executive Director Bob Indihar said. "We look forward to honoring them and sharing their inspirational work."

The MREA Board of Directors reviewed nominations from four geographic zones in Minnesota and selected the 2020 Educators of Excellence based on their impact, innovation, leadership and collaboration. The 2020 awards are sponsored by Baird, ICS and Sourcewell.