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Teacher of the Year logoST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 3, 2016 – The 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be chosen from a field of 115 candidates. These candidates have accepted their nominations and completed the required materials to become eligible for the honor.

This year’s program will name the 52nd Minnesota Teacher of the Year, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade and Adult Basic Education teachers, from public or private schools.

The 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced Sunday, May 15, at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. Over the coming weeks, a 25-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists and finalists.

Organized and underwritten by Education Minnesota, the Minnesota Teacher of the Year program receives support from Education Minnesota ESI, Educators Lifetime Solutions, EFS Advisors, Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, McDonald’s Restaurants of Minnesota, Radisson Blu Mall of America, SMART Technologies, TruStone Financial and United Educators Credit Union.

The candidates for 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, listed by their school districts, are:
Steve Drewlo, Anoka-Hennepin
Nathan Elliott, Anoka-Hennepin
Donna Escobedo, Anoka-Hennepin
Anthony Hirte, Anoka-Hennepin
Cori McRae, Austin
Becky Ylitalo, Badger
Eric Olson, Battle Lake
Brittany Wedlund, Big Lake
David Johnson, Jr., Bloomington
Pamela Hopp, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart
Patty Herkenhoff, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage
Julie Cross, Centennial
Lori Beard, Clearbrook-Gonvick
Melissa Steele, Cook County
Michelle Kom, Crown of Life, West St. Paul
Joe Lawrence, Delano
Michelle Bowker, Duluth
Michael Emerson, Duluth
Joseph Schingen, Duluth
Laura McCaghy, Eastern Carver County Schools
Julie Beaver, Elk River
Erin Rehnblom, Elk River
Catherine Kallenbach, Fairmont
John Bertucci, Farmington
Brittany Cahoy, Forest Lake
Amy Dougherty, Hancock
Abdul Wright, Best Academy, Minneapolis
Sara Bremer, Hastings
Kari Jaeger, Hastings
Lana Arro, Hermantown
Janet Borash, Hermantown
Jill Hansen, Hermantown
Dale Mundle, Hermantown
Whitney McKinley, Hiawatha College Prep, Minneapolis
Nicholas Fabeck, Hmong College Prep Academy, St. Paul
Pamela Beatty, Intermediate School District 287
Jamie Super, Intermediate School District 916
Rachel McLaughlin, Inver Grove Heights
Jordana Runck, Jackson County Central
Laura Peck, Kasson-Mantorville
Anna Bauer, Kenyon-Wanamingo
Jan Strand, Kenyon-Wanamingo
Cole Wixo, Lake Park Audubon
Janet Ryan, Lakeville
Becky Rahm, Luverne
John Taylor, Mahtomedi
Melissa Tellinghuisen, Milaca
Kara Cisco, Minneapolis
Lisa Lewis, Minneapolis
Deborah Martel, Minneapolis
Elizabeth Neilson, Minneapolis
Hayley Wender, Minneapolis
Melanie DeWitt, Minnetonka
David Surver, Minnetonka
Lisa Lund, Minnetonka
Mary Flesberg, Moorhead
Austen Miller, Morris
David Wicklund, Mounds View
Sean DuBè, New Prague
Andrew Spofford, North Branch
Julie Swanson, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale
Lauren Craton, Northeast College Prep, Minneapolis
Jennifer Lompart, Northfield
Raina Boucher, Northland Community Schools
Michelle Swenson, Orono
Dennis Loeks, Osseo
Kristin Pengra-Anderson, Osseo
Lisa Wisti Schutte, Osseo
Lori Holm, Owatonna
Jennifer Wirz, Paynesville
Gabrielle Schmidt, Pillager
Jennifer Hansmann, Pine City
Jill Selchow, Prior Lake-Savage
Londa Swenson, Renville County West
Christine Dohrmann, Robbinsdale
Katie Hedlund, Roseau
Heather Walseth, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan
Maria Le, Roseville
Cameron Radke, Roseville
Carol Mead, Sauk Rapids-Rice
Kelly Bahrke, Shakopee
Sara Connell, Shakopee
Sarah Hartman, Shakopee
Megan Henke, Shakopee
Kristen Wilking, Shakopee
Wes Bolin, South Washington County
Andrea Kleoppel, South Washington County
Linda Pieper, South Washington County
Kaarin Schumacher, South Washington County
Kurt Remick, Spectrum High School, Elk River
Mindy Daugherty, Spring Lake Park
Sada Ganske, Spring Lake Park
Tatiana O'Donnell, Spring Lake Park
Robert Schneider, Spring Lake Park
John Mitsch, St. Anthony-New Brighton
Jamie Studnicka, St. Francis
Yvonne Litfin, St. Joseph School, Waconia
Joseph Osowski, St. Michael-Albertville
Juanita Ortiz, St. Paul
Mary Schmidt, St. Paul
Laura Weghorst, St. Paul
Mark Westpfahl, St. Paul
Koua Yang, St. Paul
Jessica Hovland, Upsala
Aaron Olson, Waconia
Anna Philp, Waconia
Melinda Barrett, Westonka
Susan Simonson, Westonka
Dena Spanjers, Westonka
Julie Thomas, Westonka
Nancy Laines, Wheaton
Amanda Olsen, Wheaton
Pamela Johnstone, White Bear Lake
Mary Cappel, Winona
Nichole Rowland, Wrenshall

Education Minnesota organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public or private schools. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program also receives support from the following organizations: The SMARTer Kids Foundation, the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South, the Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, United Educators Credit Union, McDonald’s Restaurants of Minnesota, TruStone Financial, Pearson Education and Education Minnesota ESI.