Minnesota Teacher of the Year Announces 2021 Finalists

The winner will be announced by 2020 Teacher of the Year Qorsho Hassan later this year
Top row (left to right): Layne Bell, Natalia Benjamin, Kim Marty-Goblirsch; middle row (left to right): Todd Hunter, Eugenia Popa, France Roberts; bottom row (left to right): Sandra Stephens, Jessica Stewart, Lauren Wheeler.

Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year program has announced nine finalists for 2021. The finalists come from a field of 75 candidates teaching kindergarten up to high school.

This winner will represent educators across the state through meeting with policymakers and attending meetings the year they win the award. Peers, school faculty, parents, students and community members nominated their candidates October 1, 2020. 

This year’s honoree will be announced by the 2020 honoree, Qorsho Hassan, at the Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet. It was rescheduled from May 2 to an undetermined date due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

Read more: Champions of Change in Minnesota: Qorsho Hassan

The 2021 finalists are:

Layne Bell, Hopkins Public Schools, Hopkins High School – Hopkins Achievement Program alternative program, language arts, 9th-12th.
Natalia Benjamin, Rochester Public Schools, Century High School, EL and ethnic studies, 9th – 12th.
Kim Marty–Goblirsch, Medford Public Schools, Medford High School, language arts, 9th-12th.
Todd Hunter, Anoka-Hennepin School District, Anoka High School, science, 10th-12th.
Eugenia Popa, Saint Paul Public Schools, Harding Senior High School, ESL, 9th-12th.
France Roberts, Wayzata Public Schools, Meadow Ridge Elementary School, elementary education, 1st.
Sandra Stephens, South Washington County Schools, Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion, elementary education, kindergarten.
Jessica Stewart, Osseo Area Schools, Osseo Senior High School, social studies, 9th-12th.
Lauren Wheeler, Minneapolis Public Schools, Thomas Edison High School, fitness for life/health, 9th-12th.

The winner of those nine candidates is chosen by this year’s selection panel. It is an independent committee made up of 24 individuals in education, business, nonprofit and government agencies in Minnesota.