Outstanding Citizen Award


Outstanding Citizen Award

Do you know of someone making a positive impact in your community? Someone who's gone unrecognized for all the great things they have done and continue to do to make the City a better place? Every year Columbia Heights seeks nominations for Outstanding Citizen (formally Humanitarian of the Year), and the City needs your help finding the best nominees. The City will award the title to both an adult and youth resident, so please consider residents for ages 14-18, and ages 18+  for your nominations.

Nomination forms are available here or at the City Hall reception window. Nominations for 2019 are due by May 1. Nomination forms from previous years are not retained and therefore cannot be considered.  Please contact the Communications Coordinator at 763-706-3615 with questions.

Congratulations to the 2019 Outstanding Citizen Catherine Miske
Cathy_MiskeThe kind of people who get nominated for Columbia Heights’ Outstanding Citizen Award tend to have a healthy dose of humility. So when Catherine Miske received a call from Columbia Heights City Hall, she assumed she was in trouble.

“At first I thought, ‘why is the City calling me, is my yard not up to standard? Are there too many toys out front?’” Miske said. The City was actually calling to inform her she had been selected as the 2019 Outstanding Citizen winner.

Miske was nominated by Katherine Hosch and Cheri Fischer, who highlighted Miske’s work as a Cub Scout volunteer at Immaculate Conception Church and liturgy coordinator at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, where she works with Deaf and hard-of-hearing youth. She hosts Boy Scout programs out of her house, and regularly arranges to bring kids to area nursing homes to sing songs, play games, and do projects with the residents.

Miske moved to Columbia Heights in 1986 and raised three children here. She has been a volunteer for the Columbia Heights Public Schools reading and theater programs. She has also stepped in to help with youth programs at the Columbia Heights Public Library when the library was short-staffed.
“I think part of the responsibility of living in a community is to support it and try to give back as much as you can,” Miske said. 
Miske was selected from a group of nominees by Mayor Donna Schmitt and last year’s Outstanding Citizen winner Tanya Moore.

Miske will be formally recognized for the award at the June 10 Columbia Heights City Council meeting.

Nominations can be submitted by anyone. The only requirement is that those who are nominated live in Columbia Heights. The selection process gives extra consideration to people who have not otherwise been publicly recognized.

Congratulations to the 2018 Outstanding Citizen Winner Tanya Moore


Ever since she was a kid volunteering to help at her neighborhood park in South Minneapolis, Tanya Moore has stayed true to her philosophy: if you want to change your world for the better, you have to get involved.

It was this enthusiasm for community engagement that helped Moore earn the City of Columbia Heights’ 2018 Outstanding Citizen Award this spring. The thought of winning never occurred to her—it’s an achievement that recognizes residents for going above and beyond in their community, but Moore said she doesn’t think of what she does as going above and beyond.

“I just do what I do,” Moore said. “It’s shocking that (the nominator) would think that I deserved this, but then to win it. I was really surprised.”

She was nominated by Nick Novitsky, City Council member and president of the Lions Club.

“I’ve known her for five years and every time I see her she’s doing something that will benefit the community,” Novitsky said. “She’s always willing to do what she can to help out anybody, and she does it without hesitation or complaint.”

Moore moved to Columbia Heights 17 years ago and quickly got involved in a number of community organizations. She is currently on the board of directors for the Columbia Heights Athletic Boosters and has been a longtime member of the Lions Club where she volunteers for a range of activities and events, including the annual Jamboree.

She works as a paraprofessional with the Columbia Heights School District, where three of her five children are enrolled, and frequently volunteers to coach youth sports and assist with extracurricular events. She’ll soon be joining the Multicultural Advisory Committee, a group of volunteers who help the Columbia Heights Police Department better respond to and work with the community’s diverse populations. Moore is often joined in her volunteer work by her husband Nelson and the rest of her family. 

She said she hopes the Outstanding Citizen Award inspires more people to get involved in their community.

“There are so many different organizations in our community looking for people to volunteer,” Moore said. “I’d love to see new faces out there.”

Moore was selected from a group of nominees by Mayor Donna Schmitt and last year’s Outstanding Citizen winner Amada Màrquez Simula.