Minnesota Teacher of the Year

The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 55th 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.

Kelly D. Holstine, an English teacher at Tokata Learning Center in Shakopee, was named 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. 

Nominations are closed for the 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Watch for the recipient to be announced in May.

Selection process

A selection committee 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.

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 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 during the 2019-20 school year.

Once nominated, teachers will receive a packet in the mail containing instructions for moving forward in this process. Learn more about how to become a candidate for MN teacher of the year. Note: Nominees only can accept nominations in any two consecutive years.

For more information, call Sara Schumacher at 651-292-4864 or 800-652-9073.

News releases

Nov. 9, 2018: Less than a week left to nominate for 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year
Sept. 28, 2018: Nominations open for 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year
May 6, 2018: Shakopee alternative high school teacher is Teacher of the Year