SAUK RAPIDS (WJON News) -- A teacher at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School is being honored with a statewide award.

Aaron Johnson has been awarded the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies High School Teacher of the Year winner for 2024.

Johnson teaches Minnesota history, general world history, and AP world history.

The reason I love it is because I really like the fact that the class can help my students better understand the world around them.  I really do believe that learning from the past can help us better understand the present.

Johnson says he also tells his students they are our future world leaders.

I'm trying to make passionate global citizens.  Not just within our community or our nation but also global citizens, because we are becoming an even more interconnected world.

Johnson is in his 11th year of teaching with his entire career at Sauk Rapids-Rice.

The awards dinner is this Sunday at the Minnesota Humanities Center.

Next year the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies will hold their awards and conference here in St. Cloud. Johnson says he will be leading one of the workshops at that event next year.

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The MCSS also named Autumn Heitzman of District 742 as its Middle School Teacher of the Year.

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