Minnesota Teacher of the Year

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The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 53rd year, is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education. The program chooses one teacher to represent Minnesota's thousands of excellent educators.

Nominations for 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year are now closed.

Abdul Wright, who teaches language arts at Best Academy in Minneapolis, was named 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year on May 15, 2016.

Selection process

A selection committee representing Minnesota leaders in education, business and government chooses the Minnesota Teacher of the Year from individuals who are nominated and who then choose to become a candidate.

The Minnesota Teacher of the Year represents the profession as an advocate for education and spokesperson for teachers. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year makes presentations, meets with policymakers and attends frequent meetings.

Peers, school personnel, parents and students may nominate teachers. Many nominees come from school district-level Teacher of the Year programs throughout the state.

Eligibility 

Eligible nominees must meet these criteria:

  • Teach in a public or nonpublic Pre-K through 12th-grade school or ECFE or Adult Basic Education program, working at least 50 percent of the time directly with students.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree and a Minnesota teaching license.
  • Have completed three years of teaching by the nomination deadline.
  • Intend to teach during the 2017-18 school year.

Once nominated, teachers will receive a packet in the mail containing instructions for moving forward in this process. Learn more about how to become a candidate for MN teacher of the year.

For more information, call Megan McKeen at 651-292-4872 or 800-652-9073.

News releases


Sept. 29, 2016: 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year nominations open Oct. 1

May 11, 2016: Minneapolis language arts teacher is 2016 Teacher of the Year

April 5, 2016: 11 selected as Teacher of the Year finalists

March 1, 2016: Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 34 semifinalists

Feb. 3, 2016: 115 teachers are candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Oct. 1, 2015:  Nominations are open for 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

May 3, 2015: St. Paul teacher of English learners named 2015 Teacher of the Year

March 30, 2015: 10 selected as Teacher of the Year finalists

Feb. 24, 2015: Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 30 semifinalists

Feb. 3, 2015: 123 teachers are candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Oct. 1, 2014: Nominations open Oct. 1 for 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

May 4, 2014: FAIR School English teacher named Teacher of the Year