Home Press Release Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 25 semifinalists

Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 25 semifinalists

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. March 1, 2022 – The field of possible candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor has been narrowed to 25. An independent selection panel of 22 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 77 candidates from across the state.

The panel will review the semifinalists’ portfolios again and review semifinalist video submissions in early March and will select about 10 finalists from among the group. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Natalia Benjamin, will announce her successor at the Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet, tentatively scheduled for May 1 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

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, Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, SMART Technologies and United Educators Credit Union.

Semifinalists for 2022 Minnesota Teacher of the Year are listed below, including the district, school, subject area and grade taught:

Edward Barlow, Minneapolis Public Schools, Anwatin Middle School, music, 6th-8th
Mary Betland, Anoka-Hennepin Schools, Jackson Middle School, English/language Arts, 7th
Emily Dalen, Morris Area School District, Morris Area Elementary School, elementary education, 4th
Younna Eiden-Giel, South Washington County Schools, Park High School, social studies, 11th and 12th
Jon Fila, Intermediate District 287, Northern Star Online, English, 9th-12th
Angela Fritzlar, Bloomington Public Schools, Ridgeview Elementary School, social, emotional and behavioral skills, 3rd-5th
Kevin Gentz, Albert Lea Area Schools, Albert Lea High School, math, 11th and 12th
Kendall Gonzalez, White Bear Lake Area Schools, Matoska International School, elementary education, kindergarten
MacKenzie Hildahl, South Washington County Schools, East Ridge High School, English, 9th and 11th
Lauren Hoof, Osseo Area Schools, Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts, elementary education, kindergarten
Paul Houck, SouthWest Metro Intermediate District 288, SouthWest Metro High School, English, 9th-12th
Brad Hubred, Moose Lake Community School, science, 5th and 6th
Niccole Goulet Jordan, Bloomington Public Schools, Bloomington Kennedy High School, vocal music, 9th-12th
Erin Karlgaard, Brainerd Public Schools, Lowell Elementary School, elementary education, 3rd
Ariane Kokes, Columbia Heights Public Schools, North Park School for Innovation, art, pre-K – 5th
Sarah Lancaster, Onamia Public Schools, Onamia Elementary School, elementary education, 1st
Ariana Lynch, Mounds View Public Schools, Pinewood Elementary, elementary education, 1st
Megan Rafferty, Anoka-Hennepin Schools, Mississippi Elementary, ESL, K-5th
Aberdeen Rodriguez, Minneapolis Public Schools, Thomas Edison High School, English, 9th
Ira Sanders, Roseville Area Schools, Roseville Area High School, economics/government, 12th
John Schneider, Austin Public Schools, Banfield Elementary School, elementary education, 3rd
Rachel Volkmann, Hopkins Public Schools, Gatewood Elementary, all subjects/literacy, 4th and 5th
Andrea Welvaert, South Washington County Schools, Cottage Grove Middle School, ASD/SPED, 6th-8th
Caroline Young, Rockford Area School District, Rockford High School, social studies, 11th and 12th
Eric Zuccola, Robbinsdale Area Schools, Robbinsdale Cooper High School, English, 9th-12th

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