Center News /
June 23, 2023

2023 TCOE Award Recipients Announced

Each year the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence (TCOE) is proud to sponsor awards
to educators, advocates, supporters, and industry partners, for their outstanding contributions to the
field of transportation-related education. Award winners are nominated by their peers, and recipients
of these awards are selected by a Committee made up of members from our Executive Board.

Please join us in congratulating the outstanding individuals below!

Hall of Fame

David Johnson
Anoka Technical College

This award commemorates lifetime contributions to transportation education in Minnesota.

Learn more about David

David is an accomplished educator who began his teaching career after graduating from Mankato State University in 1967. Armed with a BA teaching degree in Secondary Education, with a specialization in Industrial Arts, David joined the Anoka-Hennepin School District. He became an integral part of the innovative Work Adjustment Center (WAC) program located within the Technical Education Center (TEC). In his role as a Work Evaluator, David focused on assessing the vocational skills of students with special needs aged 15 and older within the Auto Mechanics Program. For 12 years, he dedicated himself to this important task until the WAC Program transitioned into the Area Learning Center due to relocation.

David’s passion for automotive education led him to acquire the necessary credentials, licensure, and ASE Certification to become an Automotive Service Technician educator. For the next 22 years, he shared his expertise and knowledge as a dedicated instructor at the Technical Education Center. His commitment to excellence in automotive education led him to a unique opportunity in 1985 when he became a contract instructor for General Motors. During this period, David taught a specialized Electronics Training program to GM automotive service technicians, solidifying his reputation as an industry expert. This partnership continued for an additional three years, further enhancing his skills and understanding of the field.

Throughout David’s career, he witnessed the evolution of Minnesota’s vocational system and area technical schools to meet the changing demands of industry and education. In recognition of his exceptional abilities, he was selected to chair the Automotive Service Technology program at Anoka/Hennepin Technical College. In this leadership role, David led a massive program update, achieving significant objectives. He oversaw the conversion of instruction from hour-based to the college credit system, updated the curriculum and facilities to meet NATEF/ASE certification, offered flexible entry and exit points for students, incorporated general education with certificate and AAS degree options, fostered articulation with area high schools for Advanced Placement opportunities, and encouraged student participation in SkillsUSA.

David’s expertise extended beyond the classroom, as he actively contributed to the development of collaborative programs and initiatives. His experience in both vocational and collegiate systems played a pivotal role in the success of state curriculum teams and college accreditation initiatives. As a NATEF team leader, he assisted automotive service programs and schools in achieving ASE certification. David’s commitment to professional growth and technical updating remained evident as a continuing member of the planning committee for the annual conference of the Midwest Teachers of Transportation and Industrial Areas (MTTIA). David was also a supporter of the Anoka Technical College foundation where he served on foundation committees and was a contributor.

Although David formally retired from Anoka Technical College in 2000, his dedication to education continues. He currently teaches Driver Discount Program classes for the Minnesota Highway Safety Research Center, further contributing to the promotion of safe driving practices. During his free time, David pursues his interests in amateur radio, vintage radio restoration, and woodworking projects. Through his illustrious career, David has left an indelible mark on vocational and industrial education, shaping the lives of students and inspiring fellow educators with his passion and expertise.

Drew Headshot

Outstanding Educator of the Year

Drew Goddard
Hennepin Technical College

This award celebrates educational and instructional excellence in the field of transportation teaching and learning.

Learn more about Drew

Goddard is a highly experienced Ford ASSET instructor at Hennepin Technical College located in Brooklyn Park, MN. With a remarkable tenure spanning from 1997 to the present, he has dedicated his career to educating and shaping the next generation of automotive technicians.

Goddard’s journey in the automotive industry began in 1987 when he joined the Ford ASSET program. He gained valuable hands-on experience as a drivability/electrical technician for ten years at two Lincoln/Mercury dealerships. His extensive expertise and passion for the field led him to become a Ford Senior Master certified and ASE Master certified professional.

In 1997, Goddard achieved a significant milestone in his career by becoming the first Ford ASSET graduate to transition into an instructor role within the program. Over the course of the past 26 years, he has taught a wide range of subjects in the Ford service curriculum, including electric and diesel technology. His comprehensive knowledge and dedication to staying updated with the latest advancements have made him an invaluable asset to the students he mentors.

Goddard’s commitment to excellence and outstanding contributions to education have not gone unnoticed. He was honored with nominations for the Board of Trustees Outstanding Educators in both 2008 and 2010, further cementing his reputation as an exceptional instructor.

With his combination of real-world experience, extensive certifications, and decades of teaching experience, Goddard continues to inspire and educate aspiring automotive technicians at Hennepin Technical College, ensuring they are well-equipped for successful careers in the automotive industry

Beyond his professional pursuits, Goddard finds joy and relaxation in various activities. He enjoys ice fishing, motorcycling, and the company of his beloved dogs and friends.

With his wealth of real-world experience, extensive certifications, and decades of teaching expertise, Goddard continues to inspire and educate aspiring automotive technicians at Hennepin Technical College. Through his guidance and mentorship, he ensures that his students are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge for successful careers in the dynamic automotive industry.

Tyler headshot

Outstanding New Educator of the Year

Tyler Kunstleben
St. Cloud Technical and Community College

This award recognizes early-career educators who demonstrate a deep commitment to, and potential for, excellence in the field of transportation teaching and learning.

Learn more about Tyler

Tyler is an accomplished professional with extensive experience in the Auto Body industry, a passion that began at the age of 16 as he restored his own 1998 Chevy truck. While still in high school, Tyler worked part-time, refining his skills and expanding his knowledge. Following his graduation, he made the decision to pursue his education at SCTCC and after earning his degree he continued to work full-time as a Body Tech and a Painter, gaining more experience in the field.

In the fall of 2022, Tyler was presented with an opportunity to teach. Intrigued by the challenge, he embraced the role and discovered that teaching has its fair share of rewards and challenges. However, Tyler has found teaching to be very rewarding and he enjoys working alongside the team of dedicated individuals at SCTCC, admiring their passion, dedication, and drive to create a great learning environment.

Outside of his teaching responsibilities, Tyler is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and undertook the ambitious project of constructing his own house. Amidst all of this, he enjoys hunting, the outdoors, and spending time with his family.

Theron headshot


Anoka-Hennepin STEP Automotive Program
Instructor, Theron Busse

This award showcases secondary level transportation programs that serve as exemplary models of institutional support, instructional leadership, and program-wide excellence.

Learn more about Theron

Theron is an experienced automotive teacher with a passion for empowering students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the automotive industry. He graduated from St. Cloud Technical and Community College in 2005 with an Automotive Repair diploma and spent the next 12 years working at Eich Motors as a Mazda Master Technician and as a senior Volkswagen technician. With time spent at the post-secondary level teaching and now completing his 6th year of teaching at the Secondary Technical Education Program in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Theron has developed a comprehensive understanding of automotive technology and a talent for effectively communicating complex concepts to students of all levels. His expertise spans various areas, including engine diagnostics, electrical systems, and vehicle maintenance. Theron’s dynamic teaching style incorporates hands-on learning, theory, and uses his own industry experience to ensure students gain practical experience and problem-solving abilities. He is committed to fostering a collaborative and inclusive learning environment where students feel motivated to explore their potential and pursue rewarding careers in the automotive field.

Throughout his career, Theron has consistently demonstrated a dedication to staying current on the latest advancements in the automotive industry. He participates in professional development, earned his work-based learning endorsement, collaborates with his college partners at Anoka Technical College, and partners with his advisory board to ensure that his students are getting the best exposure possible. His commitment to the industry is evident as he runs the Nitro-X Camp for middle school students each summer to get youth exposed to the transportation industry. Theron’s colleagues recognize his work and dedication to student success and utilize him regularly as a mentor and professional colleague, often asking him to lead staff in professional development and courageous conversation. Theron’s strong work ethic, commitment to equity, and passion for the industry help to equip students with the necessary tools to be successful in the evolving automotive industry.

Travis' Headshot


Travis Hetteen
Knife River

This award applauds the efforts of individuals and/or industry partners across Minnesota who have demonstrated exemplary support, through gifts of their time, talent, or resources, of transportation-related educational programs.

Learn more about Travis

Travis, a native of Roseau, MN, began his journey in the Diesel Repair industry after graduating from high school. Eager to expand his knowledge, he enrolled at Central Lakes College in Staples, where he completed his degree in Diesel Equipment Technology in 2001. Travis’ education provided a solid foundation for his career, propelling him to pursue opportunities in St. Cloud. Joining Bauerly Brothers, now known as Knife River, he held several different positions ranging from technician to lead technician and ultimately becoming a shop supervisor. In 2016, Travis embraced a new chapter in Bemidji, MN, where he assumed the role of Equipment Manager for Knife River’s Northern MN division.

Travis’ extensive experience collaborating with technicians and witnessing the evolution of the industry sparked a deep passion for technical education. In alignment with Knife River’s dedication to promoting the Diesel Repair Industry, he eagerly joined four advisory boards throughout the state. Additionally, Travis’ enthusiasm for advancing technical skills led him to actively engage with SkillsUSA. Over the course of 15 years, he served as a contest judge, chaired the Diesel Technology Contest, the Auto Service and Auto Body Technology contests, supervised the Power Equipment, Snowmobile, Marine, and Motorcycle contests, and held the esteemed position of Chairman of the Board for MN SkillsUSA.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Travis loves riding ATVs and snowmobiles, camping, attending dirt track car races, and sharing his knowledge by teaching youth ATV and snowmobile safety. His wife Vicky works for Beltrami County, and they have three wonderful kids, Kenzie, Emma, and Treyton.


Roseanne Anderson
St. Cloud Technical and Community College

This award recognizes the efforts of an academic professional from Minnesota who has demonstrated exemplary job performance through their high quality work and steadfast support of transportation-related educational programs.

Learn more about Roseanne

Roseanne graduated from St. Cloud Area Vocational Technical Institute with a degree in Word Processing in 1981 and has been employed by the State of Minnesota since 1987, accumulating over 36 years of dedicated service. In 1997, she joined St. Cloud Technical & Community College, where she has been an integral part of the team for over two decades. Through her extensive experience, Roseanne has acquired valuable skills in accommodating people’s needs and ensuring the smooth functioning of operations. She genuinely enjoys her job and the relationships she has formed with her colleagues.

Roseanne is a devoted Catholic who finds joy in her roles as a wife, mother, and grandmother. With three children and seven grandchildren, she cherishes spending quality time with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys, reading, setting puzzles, road trips, and motorcycle rides with her husband.