Nine teachers have been named as finalists for the 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award.

The finalists, selected from a field of 75 nominees, were announced Tuesday.

They are Layne Bell, a language arts teacher at Hopkins High School's Hopkins Achievement Program alternative program; Natalia Benjamin, an English-language and ethnic studies teacher at Century High School in Rochester; Kim Marty-Goblirsch, a language arts teacher at Medford High School; Todd Hunter, a science teacher at Anoka High School; Eugenia Popa, an English-language teacher at Harding Senior High School in St. Paul; France Roberts, a first-grade teacher at Meadow Ridge Elementary School in Plymouth; Sandra Stephens, a kindergarten teacher at Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion School in St. Paul Park; Jessica Stewart, a social studies teacher at Osseo Senior High School; and Lauren Wheeler, a health and fitness teacher at Thomas Edison High School in Minneapolis.

A selection panel will interview the finalists in June and the winner will be named at a ceremony later this year. The award will be presented by last year's winner, Qorsho Hassan, who teaches at Echo Park Elementary School in Burnsville.

The Teacher of the Year program is run by Education Minnesota, the state teachers union. All public and private school teachers working in prekindergarten through high school, adult basic education and early childhood family education programs are eligible to be nominated.

Erin Golden • 612-673-4790