I think it’s safe to say that without great teachers, none of us would be where we are today. There’s at least one teacher who made a positive impact on your life and because of their hard work, they may have been nominated for Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year award.

Your painting is beautiful, well done!
Drazen Zigic
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Plenty of well-deserving teachers are nominated for this award each year. For 2024’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year, there are a total of 159 teachers who are candidates for the award.

And 10 of those teachers are from a school in southeast Minnesota!

10 Southeast Minnesota Teachers Up for Teacher of the Year 2024

Out of these 10 teachers up for the award, 8 school districts are represented. Those school districts are Albert Lea Area Schools, Austin Public Schools, Kasson-Mantorville Schools, Kenyon-Wanamingo Schools, Northfield Public Schools, Owatonna Public Schools, Rochester Public Schools, and Winona Area Public Schools.

Teacher With Male Pupils Building Robotic Vehicle In Science Lesson

A big congratulations to all of the teachers who are candidates but an especially big congrats to the ones from our neck of the woods!


Here are the southeast Minnesota teachers who could win 2024’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. Some of them I couldn’t find what they teach so if you know, let me know so I can update this post.

Mary Bissen, Albert Lea Area Schools - middle school vocal teacher

Starr Kloskin, Albert Lea Area Schools

Lars Johnson, Austin Public Schools - art teacher at Ellis Middle School

Sara Bailey, Kasson-Mantorville Schools - elementary special education teacher

Valerie Ashland, Kenyon-Wanamingo Schools

Tony Donkers, Kenyon-Wanamingo Schools - first-grade teacher

Amy Dorey, Northfield Public Schools - early childhood special education teacher

Tiffany Walerius, Owatonna Public Schools - fourth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary 

Kim Hill, Rochester Public Schools 

Abigail Mooney, Winona Area Public Schools - language arts teacher at Winona Middle School

20 Best Public Schools in Minnesota

Niche.com has rankings of the best schools around the country. You can see rankings based on school districts, public and private schools. This list breaks down the 20 best public schools in Minnesota.

Gallery Credit: Carly Ross

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