Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 37 semifinalists


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., March 1, 2017 – The field of possible candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor has been narrowed to 37. A selection panel of 23 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 132 candidates from across the state.

The panel will review the semifinalists’ portfolios again in late March and will select about 10 finalists from among the group. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Abdul Wright, will announce his successor at a banquet May 7 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

Education Minnesota, the statewide educators union, organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade 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, McDonald’s Restaurants of Minnesota, Radisson Blu Mall of America, SMART Technologies and United Educators Credit Union.

Semifinalists for 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year are listed below, including the district, school, subject area and grade taught:

Hinda Abdi, Minneapolis, Whittier International Elementary, elementary, 1
Alison Alowonle, Minnetonka, Excelsior Elementary, elementary, 4-5
Maria Amundson, Lake Park-Audubon, Lake Park-Audubon Elementary, elementary, kindergarten
Alex Berry, Minneapolis, Folwell Performing Arts Magnet, visual art, 5-8
Jeffrey Boyle, Blessed Trinity Catholic School, Richfield, English, 7-8
Pam Brolsma, Fairmont, Fairmont Elementary, elementary, 1
Corey Bulman, Westonka, Mound Westonka High School, English, 9, 11- 12
Greta Callahan, Minneapolis, Bethune Community School, elementary, kindergarten
Adrian Davis, Minneapolis, Roosevelt High School, music, 9-12
Sigrid Espe, Minneapolis, Marcy Open School, math, 5
Erin Gillespie, Morris, Morris Area High School, special education, 7-12
John Glas, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage, Nicollet Middle School, math, 6
Stephanee Goeken, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, North High School, special education, 9-12
Daniel Haley, Big Lake, Liberty Elementary, elementary, 1
Shauna Heggem, Battle Lake, Battle Lake Public School, English, 8, 10-12
John Horton, St. Paul, J.J. Hill Montessori, elementary, 1-3
Michael Houston, St. Paul, Harding High School, math, 9-12
Alison Humpal, Columbia Heights, Columbia Academy, English, 6-8
Karla Johnson, Brainerd, Brainerd High School, English, 9
Holly Johnston, St. Paul, Phalen Lake Hmong Studies, elementary, kindergarten
Stacy Kelzer, Cambridge-Isanti, Cambridge Intermediate School, math and science, 5
Kristen Kilpo, Proctor, A.I. Jedlicka Middle School, math, 7
Wade Laughlin, Shakopee, Shakopee High School, language arts, 11-12
Glenn Morehouse Olson, St. Francis, St. Francis High School, English, journalism and theater, 9-12
Elizabeth Neilson, Twin Cities Academy, St. Paul, English, 9-10
Scott Noet, Owatonna, Owatonna Junior High, social studies, 7
Linda Pfeilsticker, Winona, Winona High School, social studies, 9, 11-12
Charity Przepiora, Roseville, Roseville Area High School, language arts, 10-12
Teresa Stadem, Richfield, Richfield College Experience Program, English, 9-12
Sarah Swan McDonald, Northfield, Northfield High School, social studies, 9-12
Charlene Warne, Delano, Delano Elementary, elementary, 3
Mark Westpfahl, St. Paul, Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet, American and Minnesota history, 6-7
Carole Whitney, St. Paul, Como Park Senior High School, vocal music, 9-12
Marsha Wilson, Austin, Banfield Elementary, elementary, 4
Ong Xiong, St. Paul, Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet, elementary, kindergarten
Eileen Zachman, St. Paul, JJ Hill Montessori, elementary, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten
Mary Zilge, Lakeville, Cherry View Elementary, vocal music, kindergarten-5