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11 selected as Teacher of the Year finalists

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota, April 11, 2022 – The 2022 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be chosen from a group of 11 teachers from across the state who have been named finalists in the program. An independent selection panel of 22 leaders in the areas of education, business, government and nonprofits selected the finalists from a group of 25 semifinalists. There were 77 candidates for this program year.

Top row (left to right): Edward T. Barlow, Younna Eiden-Giel, Jon Fila, Kendall Gonzalez. Middle row (left to right): Paul Houck, Bradley Hubred, Erin Karlgaard. Bottom row (left to right): Sarah Lancaster, Rachel Volkmann, Andrea Welvaert, Eric Zuccola.

The selection panel meets again April 30 to conduct individual interviews with each of the nine finalists and to cast votes for the 2022 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. For a look at how the selection process works, go to https://www.educationminnesota.org/news/awards-and-honors/teacher-of-the-year/.

The 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Natalia Benjamin of Century High School in Rochester, will announce this year’s honoree at a banquet at the Saint Paul RiverCentre May 1. 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 2022 Minnesota Teacher of the Year finalists (listed alphabetically, with school, district, subject and grade[s] taught) are:

  • Edward T. Barlow, Anwatin Middle School, Minneapolis Public Schools, music, grades 6-8.
  • Younna Eiden-Giel, Park High School, South Washington County Schools, social studies, grades 11 & 12.
  • Jon Fila, Northern Star Online, Intermediate District 287, English, grades 9-12.
  • Kendall Gonzalez, Matoska International School, White Bear Lake Area Schools, elementary education, Kindergarten.
  • Paul Houck, Southwest Metro High School, Southwest Metro Intermediate District 288, English and math, grades 9-12.
  • Bradley Hubred, Moose Lake Community Schools, Moose Lake Community Schools, science, grades 5& 6.
  • Erin Karlgaard, Lowell Elementary School, Brainerd Public Schools, elementary education, grade 3.
  • Sarah Lancaster, Onamia Elementary School, Onamia Public Schools, elementary education, grade 1.
  • Rachel Volkmann, Gatewood Elementary, Hopkins Public Schools, all subjects/literacy, grade 5.
  • Andrea Welvaert, Cottage Grove Middle School, South Washington County Schools, ASD/SPED, grades 6-8.
  • Eric Zuccola, Robbinsdale Cooper High School, Robbinsdale Area Public Schools, English, grades 9-12.

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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