Nine selected as Teacher of the Year finalists

For more information, contact:
Doug Dooher
651-292-4820 (work)
651-245-6141 (cell)

Chris Williams
651-292-4816 (work)
651-247-5539 (cell)

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 8, 2019 – Nine teachers from across the state have been named finalists in the 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year program. An independent selection panel of 24 leaders in the areas of education, business, government and non-profits selected the finalists from a group of 40 semifinalists.

There were 168 Teacher of the Year candidates for this program year, the third most in the program’s history.

The selection panel meets again May 4 to conduct individual interviews with each of the nine finalists and to cast votes for the 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. For a look at how the selection process works, go to

The 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Kelly Holstine of Tokata Learning Center in Shakopee, will announce this year’s honoree at a banquet at the Saint Paul RiverCentre May 5. Banquet tickets can be purchased here

Education Minnesota, the 86,000-member statewide educators union, organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, ECFE and ABE 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 Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, United Educators Credit Union, McDonald’s Restaurants of Minnesota, Educators Lifetime Solutions, EFS Advisors and Education Minnesota ESI.

The 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year finalists (listed alphabetically, with school, district, subject and grade[s] taught) are:

Jeffrey Davies, Roseville Area High School, Roseville, industrial technology – woods and trades, grades 9-12
Jessica Davis, South St. Paul Secondary, South St. Paul, math, grades 11-12
Bernetta Green, Eastern Heights Elementary, Saint Paul, elementary, grade 5
Theresa Pearson, Winona Senior High School, Winona, English, grades 9, 11, 12
Eugenia Popa, Harding High School, Saint Paul, English as a second language, grades 9-12
Timothy Riordan, Blaine High School, Anoka-Hennepin, biology and environmental sciences, grades 11-12
Steve Schmitz, St. Louis Park Senior High School, St. Louis Park, instrumental music, grades 9-12
Cory Wade, Hillcrest Community School, Bloomington, elementary, grade 3
Wilbur Winkelman, Lakeview Elementary School, Robbinsdale, elementary, grade 5