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Education Minnesota on Thursday unveiled the 77 educators who are up for the annual teacher of the year award. 

Here are the nominees, listed in alphabetical order based on the school district they work for. 

  • Kayla Host, Aitkin Public Schools
  • Kevin Gentz, Albert Lea Area Schools
  • Mary Betland, Anoka-Hennepin School District
  • Megan Rafferty, Anoka-Hennepin School District
  • Stacy Bauer, Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis
  • Lauren Trovarello, Aspen Academy Charter School, Savage
  • Jenna Fitzgerald, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Public Schools
  • John Schneider, Austin Public Schools
  • Janelle Field, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Public Schools
  • Angela Fritzlar, Bloomington Public Schools
  • Niccole Goulet Jordan, Bloomington Public Schools
  • Beth McCoy, Bloomington Public Schools
  • Teri Roder, Bloomington Public Schools
  • Erin Karlgaard, Brainerd Public Schools
  • Jacki Kyllonen, Cedar Mountain Schools
  • Ariane Kokes, Columbia Heights Public Schools
  • Andrea Adrian, Crookston Public Schools
  • Debra Hannu, Duluth Public Schools
  • Nathan (Nate) Gabel, Eden Prairie Schools
  • Emily Larson, Eden Prairie Schools
  • Kassy Miller, Eden Prairie Schools
  • Leif Voltz, Elk River Area School District
  • Heather Stromberg, Fairmont Area Schools
  • Jennifer Hogan, Farmington Area Schools
  • Michael Bare, Fergus Falls Public Schools
  • Shelley Schoeneck, Fergus Falls Public Schools
  • Jessica Linman, Herman Norcross Community School
  • Karin Brinkhoff, Hopkins Public Schools
  • Sarah Gleason, Hopkins Public Schools
  • Scott Stillman, Hopkins Public Schools
  • Rachel Volkmann, Hopkins Public Schools
  • Jon Fila, Intermediate District 287
  • Ryan Rasmussen, Jordan Public Schools
  • Kristin Wishy, Kasson Mantorville Public Schools
  • Traci Raknerud, Lake Park Audubon Public Schools
  • Michelle Mitchell, Mahtomedi Public Schools
  • Pam Gabrielsen, Mankato Area Public Schools
  • Kevin Armbrust, Milaca Public Schools
  • Edward Barlow, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Aberdeen Rodriguez, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Diane Daniels, Minnetonka Public Schools
  • Stacy Schroeder, Moorhead Public Schools
  • Brad Hubred, Moose Lake Community School
  • Emily Dalen, Morris Area School District
  • Courtney Hess, Mounds View Public Schools
  • Ariana Lynch, Mounds View Public Schools
  • Tracy Wilk, Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District
  • Heather Olivier, Northfield Public Schools
  • Sarah Lancaster, Onamia Public Schools
  • Lauren Hoof, Osseo Area Schools
  • Mark Langlois, Owatonna Public Schools
  • Tyler Blom, Proctor Public Schools
  • Eric Zuccola, Robbinsdale Area Public Schools
  • Caroline Young, Rockford Area Schools
  • Ira Sanders, Roseville Area Schools
  • Amy Westland, Roseville Area Schools
  • Janice Bisch, Saint Paul Public Schools
  • Emily Manson, Saint Paul Public Schools
  • James Schreiner, Sauk Centre Public Schools
  • Trisha Bemboom, Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools
  • Tina Douvier, Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools
  • Jacci Lissick, Shakopee Public Schools
  • Claire Troxel, South St. Paul Public Schools
  • Younna Eiden-Giel, South Washington County Schools
  • MacKenzie Hildahl, South Washington County Schools
  • Kiersten Jaeger, South Washington County Schools
  • Andrea Welvaert, South Washington County Schools
  • Paul Houck, Southwest Metro Intermediate District 288
  • Maggie Lee, Spring Lake Park Schools
  • Tom Muschler, St. Charles Public Schools
  • Holly Becker, Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools
  • Anne Bolsem, West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools
  • Mara Drill, Westonka Public Schools
  • Lyndsay Geyen, Westonka Public Schools
  • Jodie Rasicot, Westonka Public Schools
  • Kendall Gonzalez, White Bear Lake Area Schools
  • Julie Hebb, Willow River Area Schools

A panel of independent leaders will review each candidate's portfolio and select semifinalists in the coming weeks, followed by a selection process that trims the list to a group of finalists. Last year there were nine finalists. 

"Because of safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet, set for May 1 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, could be postponed," Education Minnesota said. 

The 2021 teacher of the year was Natalia Benjamin, a high school English learner and ethnic studies teacher at Century High School in Rochester. 

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