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11 selected as finalists for 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. April 8, 2024 – The 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be chosen from a group of 11 teachers who have been named finalists in the program. An independent selection panel of 17 leaders in the areas of education, business, government and nonprofits selected the finalists from a group of 27 semifinalists. There were 159 candidates for this program year. 

2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year finalists

The selection panel meets again May 4 to conduct individual interviews with each of the 11 finalists and to cast votes for the 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. For a look at how the selection process works, go to https://educationminnesota.org/news/awards-and-honors/teacher-of-the-year/  

The 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Michael Houston of Harding High School in St. Paul, 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 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, Expedition Credit Union, Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation and SMART Technologies. 

The 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year finalists (listed alphabetically, with school, district, subject and grade[s] taught) are: 

  • Rachel Betterley, North Woods School, St. Louis County Schools, visual arts, 8-12. 
  • Rebecca Buck, Gideon Pond Elementary, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District, music, K-5.     
  • Tracy Byrd, Washburn High School, Minneapolis Public Schools, English language arts, 9. 
  • Susanne Collins, Edgerton Elementary School, Roseville Area Schools, 6. 
  • Sarah Dallum, Valley View Elementary School, Bloomington Public Schools, 5. 
  • Marie Hansen, Burnsville High School, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District, AVID/English, 10-11. 
  • Laura Jensen, Hopkins North Middle School, Hopkins Public Schools, language & literature, 7. 
  • Jason Jirsa, Washburn High School, Minneapolis Public Schools, social studies, 9-12. 
  • Michelle Morse-Wendt, Turtle Lake Elementary School, Mounds View Public Schools, 4. 
  • Jamie Williams, Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School, Saint Paul Public Schools, U.S. history, 7. 
  • Ellen Wu, Alice Smith Elementary, Hopkins Public Schools, kindergarten. 

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

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