By Blaze Fugina Community Editor
Mound Westonka High School teacher Corey Bulman was revealed as the winner of the best high school teacher award, on June 19, by Lake Minnetonka Magazine during a ceremony at the BayView Event Center in Excelsior.
The award was a part of the magazine’s annual Best of 2012 contest, and other finalists of the award included Minnetonka High School teacher Sonja Saunders and Orono High School teacher Lori Wooley.
Bulman, who has been teaching at MWHS for 12 years, said that he is honored to be elected the best high school teacher.
"It was very humbling," he said. "I have worked with so many people who put in so many hours teaching, so it is humbling to win this award."
With the smaller size of MWHS, Bulman said it is easier to develop a connection with students.
"I really like the relationships I have with the kids and families," he said. "You get to develop relationships with the kids. The size is really helpful."
Bulman said that in some larger schools you do not have the chance to get to know students. When teaching in a smaller school, teachers have the ability to know a student longer than just one class.
"I have been really lucky with my relationships with kids over the years," he said.
When Bulman was deciding on the school he wanted to teach at 12 years ago, he had two job offers to choose between – MWHS and Eagan High School.
"I was really drawn in for the chance to teach advanced placement classes," he said. "(At MWHS) I was offered the chance to teach honors and advanced placement classes."
When asked, Bulman said he does not have a favorite class to teach at MWHS, but he said advanced placement literature was one he enjoys teaching. He also said that American Literature is a class he has develop over his time teaching.
"I have put a lot of time and work into it," he said, "I have been the only American Literature teacher (at MWHS) for eight years."
MWHS Principal Keith Randklev said that Bulman is a model of a great teacher. Randklev joined Bulman at the Best of 2012 award ceremony on June 19.
"Corey models everything a great teacher should be: passionate, engaged, caring, approachable, interesting, and interested," he said. "His students’ success speaks volumes about his teaching style. Their praise and the respect of his fellow staff members are what won him this award against much larger school districts."
The editor of Lake Minnetonka Magazine said that Bulman had to overcome other teachers in votes just to make it to the nominated three teachers.
"Our Best of Lake Minnetonka awards are an annual readers’ survey we do in the beginning of each year," said Lake Minnetonka Magazine Editor Molly Broman. "By being a finalist, Corey was one of the top three vote-getters out of a total of 145 teachers who were nominated. That’s a huge honor."
Bulman earned both his Bachelor of Arts and his Master’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. He teaches ninth grade English, Honors American Literature and Advanced Placement Literature. Look for the entire Best of 2012 survey in the Lake Minnetonka Magazine, which is now out on newsstands, or check the magazine’s website lakeminnetonkamag.com.