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Minnesota Teacher of the Year award

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The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 60th year, is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education.

The program chooses one teacher to represent Minnesota’s thousands of excellent educators.

Nominations open to the public each fall. A winner is chosen at a banquet in May.

2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Tracy Byrd

Tracy Byrd, an English teacher at Washburn High School in Minneapolis, was named the 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year at a May 5 recognition banquet.

Selection process

A selection panel representing Minnesota leaders in education, business and government chooses the Minnesota Teacher of the Year from individuals who are nominated and who then choose to become a candidate. Panelists review candidate portfolios, review video submissions of semifinalists and interview finalists in person. 

The Minnesota Teacher of the Year represents the profession as an advocate for education and spokesperson for teachers. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year makes presentations, meets with policymakers and attends frequent meetings.

Peers, school personnel, parents, community members and students may nominate teachers. Many nominees come from school district-level Teacher of the Year programs throughout the state.


Eligible nominees must meet these criteria:

  • Teach in a public or nonpublic Pre-K through 12th-grade school or ECFE or Adult Basic Education program, working at least 50 percent of the time directly with students.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree and a Minnesota teaching license.
  • Have completed five years of teaching by the nomination deadline.
  • Intend to teach for the full following school year after being named.

Once nominated, teachers will receive a packet in the mail containing instructions for moving forward in this process. Note: Nominees only can accept nominations in any two consecutive years.

For more information, contact mntoy@edmn.org or Doug Dooher at doug.dooher@edmn.org.

News releases:

May 5, 2024: Minneapolis teacher is 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year
April 8, 2024: 11 named as finalists for 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year
March 7, 2024:
2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year field narrowed to 27 semifinalists
Jan. 26, 2024: 158 are candidates for 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year
Oct. 2, 2023: Nominations open for 2024 Minnesota teacher of the Year