A near-record 168 teachers are candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year


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

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

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 18, 2019 – The 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be chosen from a field of 168 candidates. These candidates have accepted their nominations and completed the required materials to become eligible for the honor. The number of candidates this year is the third-most in the 55-year history of the award.

This year’s program will name the 55th Minnesota Teacher of the Year, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade and Adult Basic Education teachers, from public or private schools.

The 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced Sunday, May 5, at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. Over the coming weeks, a 25-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists and finalists.

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, McDonald’s Restaurants of Minnesota, SMART Technologies and United Educators Credit Union.

The candidates for 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, listed by their school districts, are:

Kristen Seeger, Albert Lea Area Schools
Ericka Ableiter, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Jessica Bomstad Young, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
David Christensen, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Lynn Florman, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Cindy Houle, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Stacy Johnson, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Adriann Kell, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Amy Kinney, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Taylor Melius-Polzin, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Jaclyn Mingo, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Chelsea Regan, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Timothy Riordan, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Brett Theisen, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Justine Wewers, Anoka-Hennepin Schools
Alisha Galle, Austin Public Schools
Karen Solum, Barnesville Public Schools
Carin Hagemeyer, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Public Schools
Kari Slindee, Blackduck Public Schools
Joshua Coval, Bloomington Public Schools
Kris Goodwin, Bloomington Public Schools
Katie Juul, Bloomington Public Schools
Lisa Leary, Bloomington Public Schools
Cory Wade, Bloomington Public Schools
June Dahlgren, Brainerd Public Schools
Nicole Meints, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools
Elizabeth Davidson, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District
Erin Huber, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District
Amy Smalley, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District
Tina Fruechte, Caledonia Area Public Schools
Megan Fritz, Centennial Schools
Rachel Sandquist, Central Public Schools
Jennifer Schneider, Central Public Schools
Julie Frawley, Chisago Lakes Schools
Pam Myers, Columbia Heights Public Schools
Kim Davidson, Crookston Public Schools
Marita Kendig, Crookston Public Schools
Erica Uttermark, Crookston Public Schools
John Fitzer, Delano Public Schools District
Kristin Bergerson, Duluth Public Schools
Jane Juten, Duluth Public Schools
Diane Mozol, Duluth Public Schools
Anna Edlund, Eastern Carver County Schools
Pat Benincasa, Performing Institute of MN Arts High School, Eden Prairie
Deanne Herz, Eden Prairie Schools
Penny Jeurissen, Eden Prairie Schools
Lindsay Klaverkamp, Eden Prairie Schools
Debra Larsson, Eden Prairie Schools
Stacy Marek, Eden Prairie Schools
Marcela Roos, Eden Prairie Schools
Kathy Vehmeier, Eden Prairie Schools
Geneva Fitzsimonds, Edina Public Schools
Jill Uecker, Edina Public Schools
Janel Weiland, Edina Public Schools
Chelsie Cabak, Elk River Schools ISD 728
Lauren Generous, Elk River Schools ISD 728
Katie Johnson, Elk River Schools ISD 728
Sara Klingelhofer, Elk River Schools ISD 728
Heather Mortinson, Elk River Schools ISD 728
Tony Wolverton, Elk River Schools ISD 728
Missy Aukes, Fairmont Area Schools
Jennifer Bartsch, Floodwood School District
Betsy Saurdiff, Goodridge School District
Stacy Dahl, Greenbush-Middle River School District
Robyn Creary,  DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science, Ham Lake
Joe Beattie, Hastings Public Schools
Jessica Hiedeman, Herman Norcross School District
Kathryn Enselein, Intermediate District 287
Kelly Darrow, Inver Grove Heights Schools
Deana Walsh, Inver Grove Heights Schools
Briana Novak, Isle Public Schools
Stephanie Olstad, Jordan Public Schools
Brent Stinson, Kingsland Public Schools
Tammy Teach, Lake Park-Audubon Schools
Phillip Lalim, Lakeview Public Schools
Chad Bieniek, Lakeville Area Schools
Ryan Rapacz, Lakeville Area Schools
Jodie Sheets, Lakeville Area Schools
Stephen Booth, Laporte Public School District
Katie Lieser, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Public Schools
Michlyn Newman, Mahtomedi Public Schools
Emily Seppmann, Mankato Area Public Schools
Laurie Jensen, Martin County West Schools
Michelle Breuer Vitt, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis
Emily Firkus, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis
Jessie Damsgard, Hiawatha Leadership Academy – Northrop, Minneapolis
L. Jenifer Bates, Minneapolis Public Schools
Donna Biggar, Minneapolis Public Schools
Michelle Cauley, Minneapolis Public Schools
Sharon DeLisle, Minneapolis Public Schools
Vicki Lambert, Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater 
Kelly Fisher, Minnetonka Public Schools
Brian Meyer, Moorhead Area Public Schools
Jacob Hairrell, Mounds View Public Schools
Bill Sucha, Mounds View Public Schools
Kirstin Perales, North Branch Area Public Schools
Peter Burnham, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District
Christa Edlund, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District
Jana Hedlund, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District
Dana Pederson, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District
Renee Holt, Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District
Betsy Eernisse, Osseo Area Schools
Lucas Staker, Osseo Area Schools
Noël Nivala, Kaleidoscope Charter School, Otsego
Lori Peglow, Owatonna Public Schools
Mary Schroepfer, Owatonna Public Schools
Jory Magel, Pine City Public Schools
Jaime Danks, Pipestone Area Schools
Jamie Fenicle, Pipestone Area Schools
Nancy Siebenahler, Pipestone Area Schools
Susan Meyer, Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools
Molly Kalina, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools
Jesse Smith, Proctor Public Schools
Jordan Snesrud, Randolph Public Schools
Colleen Crossley, Robbinsdale Area Schools
Wilbur Winkelman, Robbinsdale Area Schools
Deborah Roberge, Rochester Public Schools
Lynette Faber, ROCORI Area Schools
Julie Urness, Roseau School District
Laurie Herman, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools
Tamara Morett, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools
Myriam Castro-Franco, Roseville Area Schools
Jeffrey Davies, Roseville Area Schools
Markie Crosby, Saint Paul Public Schools
Eric Erickson, Saint Paul Public Schools
Bernetta Green, Saint Paul Public Schools
Sara Johnson, Saint Paul Public Schools
Molly Keenan, Saint Paul Public Schools
Benjamin Lathrop, Saint Paul Public Schools
Janet Manor, Saint Paul Public Schools
Paul Nelson, Saint Paul Public Schools
Shannon Pettipiece, Saint Paul Public Schools
Eugenia Popa, Saint Paul Public Schools
Shari Roach, Saint Paul Public Schools
Mark Westpfahl, Saint Paul Public Schools
Lori Uphoff, Sauk Centre Public Schools
Shelby Chollett, Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools
Nancy Davis, Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools
Tania Drexler-Gutierrez, Shakopee Public Schools
Jessica Davis, South St. Paul Public Schools
Luke Olson, South St. Paul Public Schools
Kristen Spanjers, South St. Paul Public Schools
Jessica Splittstoesser, South St. Paul Public Schools
Scott Alton, South Washington County Schools
Linnea Balderrama, South Washington County Schools
Karen Buckeye, South Washington County Schools
Linnea Gamache, South Washington County Schools
Tark Katzenmeyer, South Washington County Schools
Andrea Kleoppel, South Washington County Schools
Anna Ohlsen, South Washington County Schools
Kaarin Schumacher, South Washington County Schools
Nora Nutt, SouthWest Metro Intermediate District 288
Chris Ann Johnson, St. Cloud Area School District
Steve Schmitz, St. Louis Park Public Schools
Katie Macrafic, Triton Public Schools
Laura Nelson, AFSA High School, Vadnais Heights
Mandy Gallant, Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools
Julie Kirchner, Wayzata Public Schools
Pat Merrick, Westbrook Walnut Grove Schools
Annemarie Brockopp, Westonka Public Schools
Deb Castner, Westonka Public Schools
Laura Hensley, Westonka Public Schools
Scott Lhotka, Westonka Public Schools
Theresa Schmidt, Westonka Public Schools
Maggie Clark, White Bear Lake Area Schools
Mary Maloy, White Bear Lake Area Schools
Dawn Maple, White Bear Lake Area Schools
Theresa Pearson, Winona Area Public Schools