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Ostgarden Receives Air and Space Forces Association Accolade

News Release           

For Immediate Release

September 19, 2022

Ostgarden Receives Air and Space Forces Association Accolade

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Air and Space Forces Association (AFA) has selected Joseph Ostgarden, a science teacher at Red River High School, as the recipient of the 2022 AFA North Dakota Teacher of the Year award.

The purpose of the award program is to recognize classroom teachers for their accomplishments and achievements in exciting K-12 students about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and preparing students to use and contribute to tomorrow’s technologies.

In addition to teaching, Ostgarden also serves as an advisor at Red River High School for VEX Robotics (6th year), Science Olympiad (4th year), and SkillsUSA (3rd year).

“Prior to Mr. Ostgarden, we did not have a VEX Robotics club presence within the school system and he has built the club from the ground up, each year increasing the number of registered teams and students participating,” said Eric Ripley, executive director of career and technical education and technology. “Mr. Ostgarden's teams have demonstrated great success in the various tournaments, including Red River High School recently winning the 2022 North Dakota State VEX Robotics Tournament for the sixth consecutive year.”

This past spring, Ostgarden was named the AFA Chapter Teacher of the Year and was selected as the AFA State Teacher of the Year this past summer.

As the North Dakota State Teacher of the Year recipient, Ostgarden will receive a $500 check, pin, jacket, and certificate.

Ostgarden was one of 23 state Teacher of the Year award recipients.

“Mr. Ostgarden is a champion for STEM, not only in our school system but across the state,” said Ripley. “He has been instrumental in the development and growth of VEX Robotics within Grand Forks and North Dakota. His passion and energy for providing STEM-based opportunities for students both during and after school make him very deserving of this prestigious award.”

The AFA Teacher of the Year program dates back to the early 1990s, when the mission to recognize classroom teachers (K-12) for their innovative and successful instructional programs originally began.