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Perham teacher wins state award

Sandra Wieser-Matthews

Perham High School communications teacher Sandra Wieser-Matthews recently received the Minnesota Outstanding Individual in Communication and Theater award from the state Communication and Theater Association.

This award is given to individuals who have made contributions to communication or theater education and the arts. It also recognizes those who have used the arts of communication and theater to contribute to their professions or society.

"It was pretty humbling and cool," Wieser-Matthews said in an email about winning the award, adding that it's, "an honor and responsibility."

Perham-Dent School District Activities Director Fred Sailer said, "Sandra runs an outstanding program. Her energy, experience and passion for students have made our speech program one of the top five programs in the state of Minnesota."

Sailer works closely with Wieser-Matthews and has seen the benefits of her experience to the school.

"All a person has to do to fully understand the impact Sandra has on our student body is to listen to them speak at graduation, during competition or while being interviewed," Sailer said.

Roxie Janke of Fairmount High School nominated Wieser-Matthews.

"Fairmount has a fantastic speech team, and last year, Perham beat them," with a higher number of state champions, Wieser-Matthews stated.

Wieser-Matthews used her acceptance speech to encourage the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota to "not get caught up on the rules, but to get caught up on the kid."

"It was great to have my family there, and to also have my coach Tricia Irvine and M-State Professor and friend Roberta Freeman, along with Roxie, introduce me," Wieser-Matthews said.