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Montevideo instructor semifinalist for teacher of year honors

MONTEVIDEO -- Richard "Butch" Halterman is among 32 semifinalists for this year's Minnesota Teacher of the Year award, Minnesota Education announced Wednesday.

Halterman is a science teacher at Montevideo High School. He has gained attention for involving students in "hands-on'' science.

A selection panel of 25 community leaders meeting in St. Paul chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 107 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, Amber Damm of Minneapolis, will announce her successor May 2 at a banquet at The Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park.

Along with his classroom work, Halterman is known for leading his students on science projects in the outdoors.

He leads the Minnesota River School each summer. The project started with students who canoed the entire 335-mile length of the river, camping and performing science along the way.

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.