The crop of Teacher of the Year candidates has been whitted down to 33, according to Education Minnesota.
The semifinalists hail from across the state - from Minneapolis to Milaca. There are media specialists, band instructors, and special education teachers who made the cut.
A selection panel of 25 community leaders recently chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 128 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, Megan Olivia Hall, will announce her successor at a banquet May 4 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South in Bloomington.
Here's the list of the 33 semifinalists.
The executive board of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers has recommended that union members approve a new two-year contract negotiated with the school district last week.
Details of the agreement are to be released at a news conference set for 3 p.m. Monday.
The board's vote came Sunday night, in advance of a membership meeting set for 4:30 p.m. Monday, according to a tweet by union president Mary Cathryn Ricker.
She could not be reached to comment.
Two weeks ago, the executive board had raised the stakes on the current round of bargaining by setting a strike authorization vote for Feb. 24.
The school district then held a news conference warning of potential strike impacts and the union organized a rally outside school district headquarters last Tuesday during which parents and students joined scores of teachers in backing the federation's contract goals.
On Friday morning, after a mediation session that lasted nearly 24 hours, the two sides announced they had reached a tentative deal. The agreement, which is to run through the 2014-15 school year, is expected to include provisions relating to class sizes, standardized student testing and early learning, as well as wages and benefits.
The two sides began negotiations nine months ago.
An assistant superintendent at nearby White Bear Area Schools with deep roots in Anoka-Hennepin Schools has been chosen to lead the state’s largest school district.
The Anoka-Hennepin School Board chose David Law to take over as superintendent when Dennis Carlson retires at the end of June. Law has a long history with Anoka-Hennepin. He attended school there as a child, taught there, and now his three children are enrolled there.
“We are pleased to have selected a new superintendent who is talented, passionate about doing what’s best for students, and excited to return to Anoka-Hennepin School District,” said School Board Chair Tom Heidemann, in a written statement. "We believe David Law will do a great job for our schools and our community and we are eager to work with him.”
Law attended Anoka-Hennepin Schools. He attended Sorteberg Elementary School and Northdale Middle School, both in Coon Rapids, and graduated from Coon Rapids High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hamline University and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He completed his superintendent’s licensure at the University of Minnesota.
Law taught for a year in California before returning to teach math at Coon Rapids High School. He then served as an assistant principal at Sandburg Middle School in Anoka for seven years before being selected as principal at Sunrise Park Middle School in the White Bear Lake School District. He has been assistant superintendent there for the last four years. He has also taught as an adjunct professor with the University of Minnesota and Bethel University.
Law was selected Thursday night after a lengthy search process that included soliciting student, staff and community input.
Law is a district resident with three children attending district schools.
If you are a fifth-grader already thinking about college, the St. Paul Public Schools has an event for you -- and for older kids, too.
Johnson Aerospace & Engineering High School, 1349 Arcade St., will host the 10th annual Thinking College Early Fair from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.
The event is open to parents and students in grades 5-12, and will offer opportunities to meet with representatives of state, community and private colleges, among them historically black colleges and universities, event organizers say.
Students also will be provided information about admission requirements, financial aid, scholarships and careers. Breakout sessions are planned for parents and students.
The event is sponsored by Progressive Baptist Church Education Ministries.
For additional information, contact Jo Ann Clark at 651-774-5503 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dana Abrams at 651-767-8394 or email@example.com.
The graduation rate for Minnesota students is the highest it's been in a decade, according to new data released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Education
About 79 percent of Minnesota students graduated in 2013, up from 75 percent in 2010. Last year, black and Hispanic students had the biggest year-to-year increase, though they still lag behind white students.
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said that while there is clearly more work that needs to be done, the new graduation rates suggest the state will be able to meet its goal of cutting the achievement gap in half by 2017.
"We are not only seeing a higher graduation rate for all students, but increases in the number of students graduating in every single group," Cassellius said. "These increases are the result of targeted investments by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature, as well as greater accountability for schools through our waiver, and the incredible work being done each and every day by Minnesota's educators."
Cassellius chalked up the statewide improvement to a couple of factors. Among them is the state's waiver from No Child Left Behind which was granted in early 2012. Under the waiver, the state instituted a new accountability system that is less punitive than the old one.
Some Republican leaders questioned whether the increase in graduation rates were a product of the GRAD test, the exam seniors were required to pass in order to graduate. Legislators voted last year to repeal that requirement and institute a test that assessed whether a student was ready for college. That new exam will be in place for the 2015-2016 school year.
"I think this is an indication that it (the GRAD test) was working," said Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton.