For more information, contact:
Doug Dooher
651-292-4820 (work)
651-245-6141 (cell)

Chris Williams
651-292-4816 (work)
651-247-5539 (cell)

Teacher of the Year logoST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 24, 2015 – The field of possible candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor has been narrowed to 30. A selection panel of 24 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 123 candidates from across the state.

The panel will meet again in late March to select about 10 finalists from among the group of semifinalists. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Tom Rademacher, will announce his successor at a banquet May 3 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

Education Minnesota, the 70,000-member statewide educators union, organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public or private schools. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program also receives support from the following organizations: The SMARTer Kids Foundation, the Radisson Blu Mall of America, the Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, United Educators Credit Union, McDonald’s Restaurants of Minnesota, TruStone Financial and Education Minnesota ESI.

Semifinalists for 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year are listed below by district, including the subject area and grade taught:
Albert Lea, Paula Buendorf, special education, 6-7
Anoka-Hennepin, Susan Zemlin, vocal music, 9-12
Cloquet, Cynthia Welsh, life science and independent research projects, 7, 9-12
Duluth, Jill Lofald, English, public speaking and interpersonal communications, 9, 11-12
Edina, Meggie Trenda, Spanish, 10-12
Elk River, Kathryn Oberg, elementary, 1
Mahtomedi, Cindy Morreim, math, 5
Marshall County Central, Joshua Tharaldson, science, 7-8, 12
Minneapolis, Mary Macaulay, math, 7
Minneapolis, Teri Primm Ricks, social studies and humanities, 6-7
Minneapolis, Kristin Shanley, science, 5
North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, Stephen Dombrosk, world history, 10
North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, Julie Swanson, elementary, 3
Northfield, Tina Dokken, math, 6-8
Owatonna, Wendy Stephani, special education and reading, 9-12
Red Wing, Tammy Mikkelson, math, 9-12
Robbinsdale, Ann St. Clair, ELL, kindergarten-2
Roseville, Patricia Stigen, elementary, 1
Roseville, Kelly Tennison, ELL, 9-12
South Washington County, Lanka Liyanapathiranage, language arts, 7
South Washington County, Diane Munson, elementary, 5
St. Paul, Erik Brandt, English and IB program coordinator, 9-12
St. Paul, Amy Hewett-Olatunde, ESL, 9-12
St. Paul, Corrin Kupka, elementary, 1
St. Paul, Thanh Tran, elementary, 5
Stillwater, Rachel Steil, English, 10-12
The Mastery School, Minneapolis, Terrence Price, elementary, 3
Triton, Allison Horejsi, science, 9-12
Underwood, Melinda Christianson, English, 10-12
Wayzata, Ashley Cardona, English, 10-12