Follow AAE on:

Press Release



August 4, 2021
Contact: Christina Mazzanti

AAE Announces First Winner of Darrell and Suzanne Holmquist Student Teacher of the Year Award


Mission Viejo, CA – The Association of American Educators (AAE), a national non-union, professional association serving educators in all fifty states, is pleased to announce the first winner of its newest award program which is dedicated exclusively to student educators – the Darrell and Suzanne Holmquist Student Teacher of the Year Award. This national award’s first recipient is Boise, Idaho educator, Ms. Kristine Dalmas. The Darrell and Suzanne Holmquist Award recognizes excellence in student teaching, and is made possible through a generous gift by long-time educator and AAE member Darrell Holmquist and his wife Suzanne.


“As Ms. Dalmas commences what we hope is a long and productive career, she gives every evidence of possessing the skills, knowledge, and heart that all successful teachers must have. Ms. Dalmas is a credit to her college, community and the family who raised her,” noted Darrell Holmquist.


The purpose of the award is to celebrate student teachers who excel in this critical phase of education training and acknowledges the many challenges and unknowns student teachers face as they apply their years of coursework, preparation, and theoretical knowledge in a classroom setting for the first time.


“I am honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Ms. Dalmas when she heard the news of her selection. “I am grateful to have had amazing teachers and mentors who gave me constant guidance and inspiration. This is an exciting way to complete my student teaching experience as I begin my teaching career here in Idaho.”


This new award marks an important permanent expansion in the AAE grant and scholarship program. “Every educator remembers their student teaching days as a milestone learning experience,” noted AAE’s senior professional programs manager Melissa Pratt, who launched the award program. “The opportunity to acknowledge the challenges student teachers face and celebrate their incredible contributions to every school setting made this an extremely fulfilling program to develop.”


The Darrell and Suzanne Holmquist Student Teacher of the Year Award includes $500 toward setting up a new classroom and a one-year professional membership in AAE. The competition was open to all education students who completed their student teaching in the 2020-2021 school year and are entering the classroom for the first time in fall 2021. For further information and questions regarding the program, email



The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, nonunion, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration, and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month and includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources, and many other benefits. Classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, student teachers, university professors, and supporters can learn more at