75 teachers are candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota, Feb. 5, 2021 – The 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be chosen from a field of 75 candidates. These candidates have accepted their nominations and completed the required materials to become eligible for the honor.  
This year’s program will name the 57th Minnesota Teacher of the Year. The program celebrates the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. Eligible candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade, Early Childhood Family Education and Adult Basic Education teachers, from public or private schools. 
An independent panel of leaders in the fields of education, business, government, nonprofit and philanthropy will read candidates’ portfolios over the next few weeks and narrow the list to a group of semifinalists. In March, the panel will convene again and review additional materials from the semifinalists to choose a group of finalists. Because of safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet, set for May 2 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, may be postponed.
Organized and underwritten by Education Minnesota, the Minnesota Teacher of the Year program receives support from Education Minnesota ESI, Educators Lifetime Solutions, EFS Advisors, Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, SMART Technologies and United Educators Credit Union. 
The candidates for 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, listed by their school districts, are: 
Katherine Zuehlke, Annandale Public Schools 
Paul Heida, Anoka-Hennepin School District
Todd Hunter, Anoka-Hennepin School District
Joleen Lundin, Anoka-Hennepin School District
Jamie Weisz, Anoka-Hennepin School District
Stuart Darnell Keroff, Aspen Academy, Savage
Nicholas Hupton, Bloomington Public Schools
Whitney Bennett, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools
Cassandra Taylor, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools
Jill Magnuson, Dover-Eyota Public Schools
Tami Rhea, Dover-Eyota Public Schools
Suzette Ehlke Rowen, Dover-Eyota Public Schools
Ashley Kruger, Eagle Ridge Academy, Minnetonka
Courtney Heinz, Eden Prairie Schools
Casey Ostdiek, Eden Prairie Schools
Lauren Scherer, Eden Prairie Schools
Emily Izen–Labes, Fairmont Area Schools
Jacqueline Jarvis, Faribault Public Schools
Emily Holley, Farmington Area Public Schools
Michelle Thompson, Farmington Area Public Schools
Scott Kummrow, Fergus Falls Public Schools
Layne Bell, Hopkins Public Schools
Autumn Schacht, Hopkins Public Schools
Brittany Rogers, Jackson County Central School District
Kristen Frank, Lake Park Audubon School District
Christine Carlson-Kelm, Mahtomedi Public Schools
Brady Krusemark, Mankato Area Public Schools
Eric Meyer, Maple Lake Public Schools
Kim Marty-Goblirsch, Medford Public Schools
Sara Markham, Medford Public Schools
Robert Kohnert, Minneapolis Public Schools
Lauren Wheeler, Minneapolis Public Schools
David Davis, Minnetonka Public Schools
Teresa Ketelsen, Montevideo Public Schools
Jeff Offutt, Moorhead Area Public Schools
James Greenwaldt, Morris Area Schools
Jodi Sandmeyer, Nevis Public School District
Peter Pearson, Osseo Area Schools
Jessica Stewart, Osseo Area Schools
Kristin Holsen, Osseo Area Schools
Jess Wagner, Owatonna Public Schools
Alice Nevins, Pierz Public Schools
Ann Hutchison, Pillager School District
Christie Dunkley, Pine City Public Schools
Renee Pedersen, Proctor Public Schools
Kathryn Kneeland, Robbinsdale Area Schools
Natalia Benjamin, Rochester Public Schools
Kim Czeh, Roseau Community Schools
Lisa Langenhahn-Heil, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan District
Kaela Jo Sacquitne, Roseville Area Schools
Katherine Green, Saint Cloud Area School District
Eugenia Popa, Saint Paul Public Schools
John Horton, Saint Paul Public Schools
Kathy Romero, Saint Paul Public Schools
Louise Ziegler, Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools
Michael Sundblad, Shakopee Public Schools
Kathryn Tabke, Shakopee Public Schools
Shawna Wilson, Shakopee Public Schools
Jillian Goods, South Washington County Schools
Kristine Iturrino, South Washington County Schools
Sandra Stephens, South Washington County Schools
Wright Braudt, Southwest Metro Intermediate District 288
Lisa Cartwright, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District
Kristine Friesen, St. James Public Schools
Alicia Farmer, Stillwater Area Public Schools
Robyn Hassani, Stillwater Area Public Schools
Hannah Reyes, Stillwater Area Public Schools
Monica Maloney, Triton Public Schools
France Roberts, Wayzata Public Schools
Calleigh Forcier, Westonka Public Schools
Beth Hausladen, Westonka Public Schools
Aaron Thorpe, Westonka Public Schools
Kristin Wallace, Westonka Public Schools
Jayne Oachs, Wheaton Area Schools
Shannon Helgeson, Winona Area Public Schools

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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