Two Ridgewater College faculty members named 2022 Outstanding Educators by Minnesota State

Breann Wozniak and Kari Slinden were honored by the Minnesota State college system for their teaching excellence.

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Contributed / Ridgewater College
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WILLMAR — Two teachers at Ridgewater College were recently honored for teaching excellence by the Minnesota State board of trustees.

Kari Slinden and Breann Wozniak and were recognized as Outstanding Educators by Minnesota State at a celebration banquet April 20 in St. Paul, as well as on the Minnesota State awards webpage at .

According to a news release from the college, Slinden started her teaching career at Buffalo High School and has taught in seven different programs within Ridgewater’s Agriculture Department, which is based on the Willmar campus, for the last nine years.

Portrait of Kari Slinden, Ridgewater College instructor
Kari Slinden

The nomination of Slinden, who is from Grove City, highlighted the following related to her teaching: “Kari Slinden has forged partnerships that give students valuable field experience, and thanks to her ability to connect with students, faculty, and industry, she serves as a role model and informal leader in the college and community.”

Slinden holds an associate degree from Ridgewater College in Willmar, and a bachelor's in agricultural education from North Dakota State University in Fargo. She has also earned professional certificates in cattle artificial insemination, and pork and beef quality assurance.


Wozniak has been an educator at the college and secondary levels for 17 years. The Chaska resident began her teaching career at Battle Creek Central High School in Battle Creek, Michgan, but has spent the last 10 years teaching various biology courses at the Hutchinson campus of Ridgewater College.

Portrait of Breann Wozniak, Ridgewater College educator
Breann Wozniak

A highlight from her nomination reads: “Wozniak engages students through meaningful small group work and related assignments, lessons that are tailored to student backgrounds and interests, and applied work, always encouraging students to take ownership of their learning.”

Wozniak holds an associate degree from Alpena Community College in Alpena, Michigan, a bachelor's in education from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and a master's degree in biology education from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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