Three local teachers are among Teacher of the Year finalists
Education Minnesota has selected 10 finalists for the 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, and three hail from south-metro districts.
The three local finalists, selected from among 33 semifinalists and 128 candidates, are:
• Kim Jirik, an early childhood speech language pathologist at Crystal Lake Education Center in the Lakeville district.
• Billy Koenig, who teaches high school biology and ecology at Shakopee High School in the Shakopee district.
• Kathryn Kim Westra, a fourth and fifth-grade teacher at Salem Hills Elementary in Inver Grove Heights.
The finalists were selected by a panel of 25 leaders, including educators, business people and professionals in the government and nonprofit sectors. The panel meets again May 3 to interview the finalists and vote for the teacher of the year.
The winner will be announced and receive the award at a banquet on May 4.
Students excel at speech tournament
This year, students from the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district won 33 of the 39 qualifying spots at the Section 3AA speech tournament. Those students will compete at the state tournament April 11 at Blaine High School.
Eagan High School earned the team title and Eastview High School finished in second place at the Section 3AA tournament, held March 18 at South St. Paul High School.
Eagan High School had 16 students qualify for 14 spots at state, Apple Valley High School had 10 students qualify for 10 spots and Eastview High School had nine students qualify for nine spots.
The district has a long-standing tradition of strong speech competitors. Apple Valley and Eagan high schools rank first and second, respectively, in total medals won in the history of the state tournament.
Young students’ artwork is on display
Students from three elementary schools in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district will have their artwork on display at Savage City Hall (6000 McColl Drive, Savage) through the end of May. Each display will feature 25 works of art from various students at that school. City Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and during City Council meetings (first and third Mondays of the month.) For more information, call 952-882-2660.