Abdul Wright - photo from Education Minnesota

Bloomington, MN (KROC AM News) - The 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year was selected Sunday during the annual banquet in St. Paul.  

Named the winner was Abdul Wright, who teaches eighth-grade language arts at The Best Academy in Minneapolis.

The award is given out annually by Education Minnesota, the 86,000 member statewide educators union.The organization says Wright is the 52nd recipient of the prestigious award, and the first-ever charter school teacher. There were ten other finalists from a group of 115 candidates.

The announcement of the winner was made by Amy Hewett-Olatunde, the St. Paul teacher who won last year. Next up for Wright is the opportunity to be named National Teacher of the Year. Minnesota has produced four National Teachers of the Year, more than any state except California.

“ Mr. Wright embodies what it means to be a transformational teacher,” said Meghan Roegge, in her nomination letter for Wright. “He impacts and changes lives every day that he comes to work.”

Abdul Wright - photo from Education Minnesota

Wright has taught at Best Academy since 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in St. Paul and will receive his master’s degree in education from Hamline University this spring.

“Respect is at the center of my values and beliefs as an educator,” Wright said. “I try to teach my students that we have to be a model of excellence for the community we want, not the community we see.”

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