Champlin Park Teacher up for Minnesota Book Award
Earning college credit while you’re in high school is no easy task, but a group of high school seniors in Nicole Kronzer’s International Baccalaureate (IB) English class are trying to do just that.
Kronzer has taught at Champlin Park since 2006, and it’s her goal to help those seniors achieve the college credit they’re seeking.
“If they do well on those exams, they can get college credit,” Kronzer said. “But regardless of whether or not they get college credit, the skills that we’re developing all along in both years of IB, 11 and 12, really prepares students for college.”
During a Tuesday morning class, Kronzer taught the students various literary themes. It’s fitting considering that Kronzer happens to have some firsthand experience with the literary world.
“A lot of times, kids will be like, ‘wait a minute, I was in the library and there’s a book with your name on it,’” Kronzer said. “Yes, that’s because I wrote that book. And they’re like, ‘why are you teaching here?’”
Part Teacher, Part Author
Kronzer only spends half of the day teaching at Champlin Park. When she’s not in class, she’s busy writing novels.
“My first book came out in April of 2020, that was during the pandemic, and that was bananas,” Kronzer said. “But the second book came out just last January, and so it was so fun to show the cover to my students.”
That second book, “The Roof Over Our Heads,” is now up for a prestigious honor. It’s one of four novels to be nominated in the Young Adult Literature category for this year’s Minnesota Book Awards.
Once books are submitted for award consideration, a panel of judges then reads all of the books in that category and narrows the list down to four finalists.
“The fact that it’s a finalist is just as an enormous deal, and I’m just so honored because there’s so much talent in this state,” Kronzer said.
Kronzer can count herself among that group of talented authors, and she’s using those talents not just for book writing, but to help prepare her students for the next stage of their lives.
“I’m just trying to help students develop the skills that they need when they leave here and also just to like find their bliss, right? Like to find joy,” she said.
Kronzer will find out if she wins a Minnesota Book Award during a live ceremony at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul on May 7.