Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 40 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., Feb. 25, 2019 – The field of possible candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor has been narrowed to 40. A selection panel of 23 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 168 candidates from across the state.

The panel will review the semifinalists’ portfolios again and review semifinalist video submissions in late March and will select about 10 finalists from among the group. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Kelly D. Holstine, will announce her successor at a banquet May 5 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul.

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, SMART Technologies and United Educators Credit Union.

Semifinalists for 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year are listed below, including the district, school, subject area and grade taught:

Joe Beattie, Hastings Public Schools, Hastings High School, Biology, 9-12 
Stephen Booth, Laporte Independent School District 306, Laporte School, Elementary, 4
Myriam Castro-Franco, Roseville Area Schools, Little Canada Elementary, Spanish immersion, 3-4
Joshua Coval, Bloomington Public Schools, John F. Kennedy High School, English/Language Arts, 9, 12       
Jeffrey Davies, Roseville Area Schools, Roseville Area High School, Industrial technology - Woods and Trades, 9-12
Jessica Davis, South St. Paul Public Schools, South St. Paul Secondary, Math, 11-12                                             
Sharon DeLisle, Minneapolis Public Schools, Anwatin Middle School, Math, 7-8                                                    
Anna Edlund, Eastern Carver County Schools, Bluff Creek Elementary, Gifted services and STEAM Lab, K-5
Eric Erickson, Saint Paul Public Schools, Como Park Senior High School, Social studies, 11-12
Emily Firkus, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Science, 6, 8
John Fitzer, Delano Public Schools District, Delano High School, Spanish, 10-12
Julie Frawley, Chisago Lakes Schools, Chisago Lakes Middle School, Math, 8
Mandy Gallant, Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools, Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary, Kindergarten
Bernetta Green, Saint Paul Public Schools, Eastern Heights Elementary, Elementary, 5 
Jana Hedlund, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, North High School, Special education, 9-12
Cindy Houle, Anoka-Hennepin Schools, University Avenue Elementary, Elementary, 3
Katie Johnson, Elk River Area Schools, Prairie View Elementary and Middle School, Elementary, 1
Katie Juul, Bloomington Public Schools, John F. Kennedy High School, English language arts and AP language and composition, 9, 11
Tark Katzenmeyer, South Washington County Schools, Woodbury High School, Instrumental music and band, 9-12
Molly Keenan, Saint Paul Public Schools, Harding High School, Social studies, 10-12
Julie Kirchner, Wayzata Public Schools, Meadow Ridge Elementary, Library media and information skills, Pre-K-5
Benjamin Lathrop, Saint Paul Public Schools, Harding High School, English, 10-12
Brian Meyer, Moorhead Area Public Schools, Horizon Middle School East, Health, 8
Heather Mortinson, Elk River Area Schools, Compass Transition Program, Special education, Ages 18-21
Nora Nutt, South West Metro Intermediate District 288, Reflections Day Treatment, Language arts, 9-12
Luke Olson, South St. Paul Public Schools, South St. Paul Secondary School, Math, 9-12
Stephanie Olstad, Jordan Public Schools, Jordan Elementary, Kindergarten
Theresa Pearson, Winona Area Public Schools, Winona Senior High School, English, 9, 11, 12
Eugenia Popa, Saint Paul Public Schools, Harding High School, English as a second language, 9-12
Ryan Rapacz, Lakeville Area Schools, Lakeville North High School, English, 10-12
Timothy Riordan, Anoka-Hennepin Schools, Blaine High School, Biology and environmental sciences, 11-12
Marcela Roos, Eden Prairie Schools, Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion, Elementary, 1
Steve Schmitz, St. Louis Park Public Schools, St. Louis Park Senior High School, Instrumental music, 9-12
Kaarin Schumacher, South Washington County Schools, Woodbury High School, AP Biology, 9-12
Kristen Seeger, Albert Lea Area Schools, Lakeview and Sibley Elementary Schools, Media literacy and technology, K-5
Emily Seppmann, Mankato Area Public Schools, Futures, Special education, 6-12 
Jesse Smith, Proctor Public School District, Proctor High School, Chemistry, 9-12
Lucas Staker, Osseo Area Schools, Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts, Elementary, 5
Cory Wade, Bloomington Public Schools, Hillcrest Community School, Elementary, 3
Wilbur Winkelman, Robbinsdale Area Schools, Lakeview Elementary, Elementary, 5