Teachers & Staff

The 2018 recipients of the
Peter Hess Memorial Teacher Recognition Award

photo courtesy Thoele Photography



photo courtesy Thoele Photography

Cheri Benter

My name is Cheri Benter and I am beginning my 34th and final year of teaching in the Thief River Falls School District. I am a graduate of University of North Dakota with a double major in Elementary and
Special Education. I continued my education at UND and University of Minnesota receiving a certification in Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired and a Masters of Science degree in Early Childhood Special Education from UND.

I have one daughter Maiah who lives in St Paul, MN. Maiah is a graduate of the Thief River Falls School system.  In my freetime I enjoy reading, gardening, music, and spending time with family.

I have taught in the Thief River Falls School system for my entire career.  I have worked as the Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired in all of the Thief River Falls schools. I feel so blessed to have been able to work with so many highly qualified teachers and staff throughout my career. I am also grateful to all of the students and families I have worked with. Due to the nature of the job I have worked with students and their families for the student’s entire school career. It has been an honor to form relationships and bond with both the students and their families. In addition, I have worked with a group of students who recieve special education services moving from 7th grade to their current 12th grade.  I have also been able to form a close bond with these students and their families.

I am honored and grateful to have been nominated and chosen to receive the Peter Hess Memorial Award. Thank you to the Peter Hess family and
the Thief River Falls Education Foundation.


























Marcy Helling

My name is Marcy Helling and I am beginning my 32nd year of teaching.  I am a graduate of Karlstad High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Mayville State University   I began my teaching career in Finley-Sharon, North Dakota teaching elementary vocal music and Title One.  I then moved back, got married and began teaching in the Strandquist School district that later became Tri-County Schools of Karlstad.  I taught second through fourth grade during this time.  I am currently a third grade teacher at Challenger Elementary and have been in this district for 19 years. I believe that these job experiences have helped to make me the teacher that I am today.  I am so proud of this journey.  I have learned so much from all of the remarkable teachers that I have worked with, felt respected by parents in these districts, and have LOVED the many, many students that have and will continue to touch my life forever.
My husband, Ron and I have three children.  Ross (Kelsey) works at UPS and lives in Karlstad.  Allyson (Bjorn) is an RN at Altru Hospital and lives in East Grand Forks.  Reed (Michala) is a journeyman and works for RBB and lives in Euclid.  All three of our children are Lincoln High School graduates.  We have six amazing  grandchildren that keep us very busy.  We enjoy spending time with our family, hanging out at the hunting cabin, and teaching our little ones many of life's experiences.  We feel very fortunate to have them all so near.  It gives us the opportunity to share in their lives and support them throughout their endeavors.  
 I think that I have always wanted to be a teacher and continue to try to make an impact on students' lives.  Each year is new and exciting, filled with the opportunity of making learning fun, challenging, and intriguing for students.  My goal is to always build a community atmosphere where everyone is respected, loved, and feels successful when developing at their own pace.  I hope to inspire my students to always be and do their very best.  I couldn't imagine doing anything else.  Teaching...is a work of HEART.    
I feel very honored to be a recipient of the Peter Hess Memorial Teacher Recognition Award.  I sincerely thank the Hess family and the Thief River Falls Education Foundation for this wonderful honor.  



























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