St. Clair educator awarded Golden Apple

St. Clair educator awarded Golden Apple

ST. CLAIR, Minn. (KEYC) — A love and passion for history is what led this educator down years of historical teaching.

This month’s Golden Apple recipient is known to bring the past to life.

You may recognize Bryce Stenzel from various community events, portraying characters like Abraham Lincoln at memorials and ceremonies in the area for years.

“My dad was a World War II veteran and I identified with Lincoln for his passion for saving the union and equality for all,” explained Stenzel.

Or by the historical books he’s authored.

Currently a para-professional, over the last 30 years, Stenzel has also taught history in many schools.

“I guess you can say one building doesn’t hold me, I’ve been in many educational capacities,” said Stenzel.

A substitute teacher at St. Clair Schools, when the pandemic hit, Stenzel was asked to co-teach a good friend’s class full time.

“I’m teaching from home because of some health issues so from day one Mr. Stenzel has been in my classroom,” said St. Clair High social studies teacher David Makela.

The two work hand in hand to address students online and in the classroom.

“I really do appreciate the knowledge that he has and the engagement that he has with the students,” said Makela.

In class, Stenzel often turns his acting skills into lessons.

“Mr. Makela had me teaching the civil war. Not only did I lecture on using the slides with modern technology but I dressed up in one of my uniforms so they could see what a union general would look like,” said Stenzel.

Stenzel says he plans to continue to bring history alive for years to come.

“I think education is the best thing we can leave our children,” he added.

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