Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 25 semifinalists


Doug Dooher
651-292-4820 (work)
651-245-6141 (cell)

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

ST. PAUL, Minnesota, March 10, 2021 – The field of possible candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor has been narrowed to 25. A selection panel of 25 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 75 candidates from across the state.

The panel will review the semifinalists’ portfolios again, along with semifinalist video submissions, in late March and will select up to 10 finalists from among the group. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Qorsho Hassan from Echo Park Elementary in District 196, will announce her successor at the Minnesota Teacher of the Year ceremony later this year. Because of safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Teacher of the Year ceremony, originally scheduled for May 2 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, will be postponed until further notice.

Education Minnesota, the statewide educators union, organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade, Early Childhood Family Education and Adult Basic Education teachers, from public or private schools. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program also receives support from the following organizations: Education Minnesota ESI, Educators Lifetime Solutions, EFS Advisors, Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, SMART Technologies and United Educators Credit Union.

Semifinalists for 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year are listed below, including the district, school, subject area and grade taught:

Layne Bell, Hopkins Public Schools, Hopkins High School, English language arts, grades 9-12
Natalia Benjamin, Rochester Public Schools, Century High School, English language and ethnic studies, grades 9-12
Wright Braudt, Southwest Metro Intermediate District 288, SW Metro Career and Technical Education, photography and graphic design, secondary
David Davis, Minnetonka Public Schools, Clear Springs Elementary, instrumental music, grades K-5
Christie Dunkley, Pine City Public Schools, Pine City High School, Spanish, grades 9-12
Kim Marty–Goblirsch, Medford Public Schools, Medford High School, language arts, grades 9-12
Jillian Goods, South Washington County Schools, Park High School, English, grade 9
Robyn Hassani, Stillwater Area Public Schools, Andersen Elementary School, elementary education, grade 1
Beth Hausladen, Westonka Public Schools, Shirley Hills Primary School, elementary education, Kindergarten
John Horton, Saint Paul Public Schools, J.J. Hill Montessori School, elementary education, grades 1-3
Todd Hunter, Anoka-Hennepin School District, Anoka High School, science, grades 10-12
Nicholas Hupton, Bloomington Public Schools, Bloomington Jefferson High School, English, grades 9-11
Stuart Darnell Keroff, Aspen Academy charter school (Savage, Minn.), social studies, grades 5-6
Robert Kohnert, Minneapolis Public Schools, Southwest High School, social studies, grades 10-11
Scott Kummrow, Fergus Falls Public Schools, Fergus Falls High School and Fergus Falls ALC, music, grades 5-12
Eugenia Popa, Saint Paul Public Schools, Harding Senior High School, ESL, grades 9-12
France Roberts, Wayzata Public Schools, Meadow Ridge Elementary School, elementary education, grade 1
Kathy Romero, Saint Paul Public Schools, Como Park Senior High School, English, grades 9-12
Lauren Scherer, Eden Prairie Schools, Central Middle School, math and science, grade 7
Sandra Stephens, South Washington County Schools, Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion, elementary education, kindergarten
Jessica Stewart, Osseo Area Schools, Osseo Senior High School, social studies, grades 9-12
Kathryn Tabke, Shakopee Public Schools, Shakopee High School, English, grades 11-12
Jamie Weisz, Anoka-Hennepin School District, Champlin Park High School, math, grades 9-11
Lauren Wheeler, Minneapolis Public Schools, Thomas Edison High School, fitness for life/health, grades 9-12
Shawna Wilson, Shakopee Public Schools, Shakopee High School, family and consumer science, grades 10-12