TOP TEACHER: Stephen Boger, kindergarten teacher at Humphrey Elementary

Mr. Stephen Boger, a kindergarten teacher at Humphrey Elementary School in Waverly, Minnesota is one of Fox 9’s Top Teachers for the 2017-2018 school year. 

His nominator said Mr. Boger instills confidence in his students by creating a culture and environment of positive energy and a generally happy atmosphere in his classroom. 

Boger is a hands-on teacher in every sense. He and his father built a homemade reading fortress out of wood for students to explore their own love for books. The only way to enter is through a "secret passage" Boger created that's inspired by the Hardy Boys novels.

He doesn’t work with a specific curriculum, instead he uses many personalized plans. “Never say I can’t” is a well-known phrase in Mr. Boger’s classroom. As a result, students aren’t worried about spelling words wrong or coming to incorrect conclusions—he has taught his students to have fun learning. 

From the unique and fun science experiments in which he “dresses the part” to the interpersonal communication skills his students develop at the “Kindergarten Café,” Boger goes above and beyond to make sure all of his students feel like they have an integral role in each activity. 

“I just want to help the kids learn some life skills, some character skills and things that just help them be better human beings at the end of the year,” Boger said. 

He has a knack for creating critical thinkers out of kindergartners by designing activities that speak to their life skills, something his nominator said is far beyond the expectation of any teacher. 

Beyond specific state standards and levels of achievement, Mr. Boger has the goal of helping each student he has the privilege of teaching become a better citizen, a better friend, a better family member, a better teammate, a better learner and an overall better person than they were when they walked into their first day of kindergarten. 

“I just believe I haven’t worked a day in my life because I love these kids,” Boger said. “I love every kid I have ever had and I love every family I have ever had. It’s not a job, this is a family thing to me.” 

As a Fox 9 Top Teacher, Boger’s school received $900 from Royal Credit Union for classroom supplies. Boger will also receive a Subway sandwich party for 50 friends and Top Teacher award to place on his desk.