District 623 boasts two candidates for Teacher of the Year

Candidates for the 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year were announced Feb. 3 and two elementary school teachers from Roseville Area Schools District 623 were in the mix.

While the field is large — 114 candidates in all, including pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and Adult Basic Education teachers — Roseville's Maria Le and Cameron Radke both have a chance at the award, which is underwritten by Education Minnesota.

Le, a first-grade teacher at Central Park Elementary in Roseville, was included last year in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota's "2015 Rising Alumni," for her role in helping to pilot RAS' new literacy curriculum, called Literacy by Design.

Radke is a sixth-grade teacher at Emmet D. Williams Elementary in Shoreview. She was previously named as a candidate for 2012 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Candidate nominations were accepted in October and November last year. Nomination criteria included holding a bachelor's degree and a Minnesota teaching license, at least three years experience teaching and the intention to keep teaching through the 2016-2017 school year.

Beyond those specific details, nominees for the award, per an Education Minnesota release, were expected to be "someone who motivates and inspires students for a lifetime."

The winner of Minnesota's 2016 Teacher of the Year award will be named during a ceremony at the Radisson Blu Mall of America hotel on May 15. Minnesota's Teacher of the Year then becomes the state's candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

Minnesota has fared well nationally — Education Minnesota says the state is only second to California in national wins, having done so four times. 

As for Roseville Area Schools' success over the 52 years the state award has been presented, District 623 has won four times as well.

According to Education Minnesota's website, teacher Theodore Molitor won for Roseville in 1969; Denneth Dvergsten did it in 1975; Judy McCleery in 1986, and Roseville's most recent Minnesota Teacher of the Year was Maureen Sanger, named in 1988.

—Mike Munzenrider

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Comment Here