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West central Minnesota teachers among nominees for Teacher of the Year honors

Education Minnesota, the state's largest education union, sponsors the annual Teacher of the Year honor. Three area teachers are among the 131 candidates announced this week.

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ST. PAUL — Three teachers from west central Minnesota are candidates for 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Local candidates are Kelley Heimerman, a math teacher at Atwater-Cosmos Grove City Schools; Kristine Bents, a Title I teacher at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Public Schools; and Nichole Markworth, an elementary music teacher at Lac qui Parle Valley School District. They are part of a field of 131 teachers nominated for the honor.

The teachers listed in the news release from Education Minnesota have accepted their nominations and completed the process to be eligible for the honor. Education Minnesota is the largest education union in the state.

The winning candidate this year will be the 59th Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

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The field of candidates includes pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, Early Childhood Family Education and Adult Basic Education teachers from public or private schools.

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In the coming weeks an independent panel of leaders in education, business, government, nonprofits and philanthropy will read candidates’ portfolios and narrow the list to a group of semifinalists.

In March, the panel will review additional information from the semifinalists to choose a group of finalists.

The Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet is set for May 7 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

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The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.