As Blake Bodenburg sat at the State DECA Career Development Conference listening to a presenter describe Minnesota’s Marketing Teacher of the Year, he started to think “I do that,” and “that sounds familiar.”
“And then they said my name,” Bodenburg said. “I didn’t know how to react at first, but I had 28 students at the conference who were super pumped.
“I really appreciate receiving the award; it’s very humbling.”
The Coon Rapids High School (CRHS) teacher was honored March 4 at the state conference in Minneapolis.
The CRHS DECA adviser, Bodenburg was nominated for the award by CRHS DECA president Julia Wittrock.
DECA is a student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
A senior, Wittrock said she is thankful for Bodenburg’s leadership during her four years as a DECA member.
“He is deserving of this award because of his marketing skills, genuine interest in students and dedication to our chapter,” Wittrock wrote.
“I know that I, as well as our chapter as a whole, could not be successful without Mr. Bodenburg’s guidance and dedication.”
In his 13th year in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Bodenburg teaches classes ranging from business management to advertising and coordinates senior internships.
Bodenburg also oversees The Cardinal Image, the school’s store.
In her nomination, Wittrock wrote that Bodenburg excels at teaching, whether the students are learning in a classroom or through a DECA project or school store.
“I can count on him to have creative ideas that will successfully generate a profit,” Wittrock said.
“I know that I, as well as many other lucky students at Coon Rapids High School, have learned a lot about marketing from Mr. Bodenburg.”
A native of Elk Mound, Wis., and graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Stout with a degree in marketing education, Bodenburg said he loves everything about teaching.
“I wake up every morning thinking about what is going to happen that day,” Bodenburg said.
“I love to see students set goals and achieve more than they think they can. I love to see students gain confidence that they’ll have the rest of their lives.”
Bodenburg also enjoys being the DECA adviser. Through DECA students can compete in 51 different events.
The most popular with CRHS students are professional selling, advertising campaigns and sports marketing promotion plans.
A group of DECA students also manage The Cardinal Image.
Through DECA and the school store, Bodenburg said he sees students take leadership roles.
“I have a student who is a manager for me in the school store,” Bodenburg said.
“She told me that she wasn’t a ‘club’ or ‘school’ kind of person, but being a manager in the school store was the best thing she’s done in high school and is one of the reasons she gets up every day and comes to school.
“To me that means that our organization has reached out to someone and maybe helped her to understand what she wants to do in the future.”
With the DECA competition season coming to an end, it runs from November to March, Bodenburg is working to help five CRHS students prepare for national competition in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Pictures of past national competitors hang behind Bodenburg’s desk.
The father of two young children, Bodenburg is very thankful to the support he receives from his wife for the time he puts into teaching and advising the DECA students.
He also thanks his colleagues, Doug Orr from Anoka High School, Eric Feigum from Andover High School and Curt Wallrath from Champlin Park High School for being a “wonderful support system.”
For those thinking about going into teaching, Bodenburg’s advice is to do things because they want to see students achieve great things.
“Do things because you want to be a good teacher,” he said. “You’ll have a lot of pride when you see students get an idea or understand a topic.
“It might be more work, but at the end of the day it’s really rewarding.”