Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 36 semifinalists

For more information, contact:

Doug Dooher
651-245-6141 (cell)

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

Teacher of the Year candidate field narrowed to 36 semifinalists

ST. PAUL, Minnesota, Feb. 25, 2020 – The field of possible candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor has been narrowed to 36. A selection panel of 24 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 135 candidates from across the state.

The panel will review the semifinalists’ portfolios again and review semifinalist video submissions in late March and will select about 10 finalists from among the group. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Jessica Davis, will announce her successor at a banquet May 3 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul.

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 2020 Minnesota Teacher of the Year are listed below, including the district, school, subject area and grade taught:

  • Anna Bakker-Anderson, Farmington Area Public Schools, Levi P. Dodge Middle School, English, 8
  • Steve Ballard, Red Lake School District, Red Lake Schools, Developmental Disabilities, 6-12
  • Andrew Brigger, Saint Paul Public Schools, Saint Paul Central High School, Social Studies, 9-12
  • Kori Brown, Osseo Area Schools, Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts, Visual Arts, K-5
  • DeWayne Combs, Saint Paul Public Schools, Murray Middle School, Physical Education, 6-8
  • Matthew Corey, Inver Grove Heights Schools, Simley High School, Language Arts, 9-12
  • Jane Cornell, South St. Paul Public Schools, South St. Paul Secondary, Science, 10-11
  • Katie Coulson, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan District, Thomas Lake Elementary, Elementary Education, 4
  • Amber Delliger, Anoka-Hennepin School District, Metro North Adult Education, Mathematics, Adult Basic Education
  • Leif Eidsmoe, Roseau Community Schools, Roseau Community School, Biology, 10
  • Shannon Finnegan, Hopkins Public Schools, Hopkins High School (Hopkins Achievement Program), Social Studies, 10-12
  • Courtney Gbolo, Saint Paul Public Schools, Como Park Senior High School, FACS, 9-12
  • Patricia Halsey, Anoka-Hennepin School District, Anoka-Hennepin Technical High School, Work based-learning, Ages 18-21
  • Qorsho Hassan, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District, Gideon Pond Elementary School, Self-contained, Elementary Education, 5
  • Nicole Jensen, Duluth Public Schools, Lincoln Park Middle School, U.S. Studies, 7
  • Brian Jungman, Duluth Public Schools, Denfeld High School, English, 9-12
  • Maya Kruger, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District, St. Anthony Middle School, Language Arts, 6
  • Amanda Laden, Wayzata Public Schools, Wayzata High School, AP Biology, 10-12
  • Jon Larson, Moorhead Area Public Schools, Moorhead High School, Orchestra, High School
  • Ryan (Caleb) Larson, Pine City Public Schools, Pine City Junior/Senior High School, English, 8-9
  • Omar McMillan, Richfield Public Schools, Richfield STEM School, Elementary Education, 4
  • John Myszkowski, St. Louis Park Public Schools, St. Louis Park High School, Music, 6-12
  • Jennifer Noreault, Lakeville Area Schools, Eastview Elementary STEM, Gifted and Talented, 1-5 and 3-5
  • Jim Parry, Stewartville Public Schools, Stewartville High School and Middle School, REACH, 6-12
  • Anna Parvi, Saint Paul Public Schools, Harding Senior High School, ESL, 9-12
  • Jennifer Pilon, Minneapolis Public Schools, Sanford Middle School, Social Studies, Middle School
  • Jan Radder, Osseo Area Schools, Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts, Elementary Education, 2
  • Faye Sandy, Pierz Public Schools, Pioneer Elementary, Mathematics, 6
  • Leanne Smith, Minnetonka Public Schools, Deephaven Elementary School, Special Education, 1-8
  • Rachel Steil, Stillwater Area Public Schools, Stillwater Area High School, English/Journalism, 10-12
  • Nora Tycast, Spring Lake Park Schools, Spring Lake Park High School, Band, 9-12
  • Katrina Van Ruyven, Bloomington Public Schools, Valley View Middle School, English Learners, 7
  • Melanie Vickmark, Waubun-Ogema-White Earth Schools, Waubun High School, Math, 9-12
  • Maria Villavicencio, Eden Prairie Schools, Eden Lake Elementary, Elementary Education, 1
  • Katie  Watland, Lake Park Audubon School District, Lake Park Audubon High School, Science, 7-8
  • Mark Westpfahl, Saint Paul Public Schools, Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet, History, 7