Aaron Knodel, a Language Arts Teacher at West Fargo High School, was presented the 2013-14 West Fargo Public Schools' Teacher of the Year award by Assistant Superintendent Louise Dardis on Monday morning.
"I was actually thinking about calling in sick today," Knodel said laughing.
The Beulah, N.D., native has been teaching at West Fargo High School since the 2004-05 school year, spending two years a Shanley High School before that. He also coaches the Student Congress, as well as co-coaches the knowledge team.
"This is a great job," Knodel said. "Everyday when I come here, I'm a little torn because I know what challenges we face and how difficult this job can be, but at the same time, I work with awesome people who I love working with everyday, and the experiences I have had in this profession are unbelieveable."
"He has a way of getting to students that other teachers cannot," Principal Gary Clark said. "That's a very rare thing."
The award now makes him eligible to be named North Dakota Teacher of the Year.
"It's very exciting and humbling to be recognized in this way," Knodel said. "This isn't really an honor that validates anything necessarily, but it is a tremendous gift from my colleagues."
Upon winning the award, Knodel insisted that his co-workers are equally deserving of the title.
"Everyone in this building does what I do. I don't teach more hours in the day than they do. I don't have more students. We all do this together, and I think this is an honor that all of us can share."