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Awards and honors

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Minnesota Teacher of the Year

The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 58th year, is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education.

Natalia Benjamin, an English language and ethnic studies teacher in Rochester Public Schools, is the 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

ESP of the Year

2021 ESP of the Year Tequila Laramee

Every year, Education Minnesota honors an education support professional (ESP) with our ESP of the Year Award.

This year’s ESP of the Year is Tequila Laramee, an associate educator in Minneapolis.

Other awards

Education Minnesota Human Rights Award

Help us recognize the work of members on civil and human rights issues by nominating them for the Education Minnesota Human Rights Award!

Peterson-Schaubach Outstanding Leadership Award

The Peterson-Schaubach Outstanding Leadership Award is given annually to an Education Minnesota leader (local or state) who has made outstanding contributions to Education Minnesota or its locals through demonstration of Education Minnesota’s Statements of Principle.

2022 nominations now open! Nominations must be made by a Governing Board member.

“We Are One” Solidarity Award

The “We Are One” Solidarity Award is given annually to an Education Minnesota local union or active member demonstrating outstanding or significant leadership in any of the following ways: 

  • Developing and implementing an organizing campaign.
  • Expanding relationships with other unions and the AFL-CIO. 
  • Developing and implementing a member engagement campaign. 
  • Working collectively for the common good. 
  • Protecting or advocating for workers’ rights. 
  • Extending the benefits of a union by organizing the unorganized.

NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence

The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize, reward and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.

NEA Social Justice Award

Help recognize the work of a member who has engaged educators, parents and the community on social justice issues by nominating them for the National Education Association Social Justice Award.