The 1872 one-room schoolhouse in Chaska.

The District 112 Foundation recently announced its 2021 Teacher of the Year finalists.

The Teacher of the Year award honors and recognizes outstanding teachers in the district who advance excellence and innovation in education.

This year, 51 outstanding teachers from schools across the district were nominated by students, parents, peers, and principals, representing a 45% increase in nominations compared to last year, according to a press release.

From these nominations, five finalists were chosen, and one will be selected as the 2021 Teacher of the Year for Eastern Carver County Schools. The Teacher of the Year, once announced, will then be eligible to compete for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year award.

The Teacher of the Year will be announced later this spring and will receive a grant from the District 112 Foundation to be used in the classroom. Remaining finalists will each receive grants from the foundation as well.

The finalists include:

  • Jen Carlson: 3rd grade teacher at Clover Ridge Elementary.
  • Margaret Cassett: ACE teacher at Chaska High School.
  • Leeann Sit: Kindergarten teacher at La Academia/Online Learning Academy.
  • Eric Songer: Music and Band teacher at Chaska Middle School West.
  • Andrew Waller: 6th and 7th grade Social Studies teacher at Chaska Middle School East.

The District 112 Foundation is a nonprofit organization that advances excellence and innovation in support of Eastern Carver County Schools. More info at or 952-556-6299.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.