HOPKINS — A Hopkins High School teacher is among the 10 Minnesota Teacher of the Year finalists, according to Education Minnesota

Shannon Finnegan teaches social studies for grades 10-12 in the Hopkins Achievement Program.

A selection panel selected Finnegan and the nine other finalists from a group of 36 semifinalists, which were chosen from the 135 Teacher of the Year candidates.

The other finalists for Teacher of the Year are: 

  • DeWayne Combs, a physical education teacher for grades 6-8 at St. Paul Public Schools' Murray Middle School
  • Katie Coulson, a fourth-grade teacher at Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District's Thomas Lake Elementary School
  • Qorsho Hassan, a fifth-grade teacher at Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District's Gideon Pond Elementary School
  • Maya Kruger, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at St. Anthony-New Brighton School District's St. Anthony Middle School
  • Ryan (Caleb) Larson, an English teacher for grades 8-9 at Pine City Junior/Senior High School
  • Omar McMillan, a fourth-grade teacher at Richfield STEM School
  • Rachel Steil, an English and journalism teacher for grades 10-12 at Stillwater Area High School
  • Maria Villavicencio, a first-grade teacher at Eden Prairie Schools' Eden Lake Elementary School
  • Katie Watland, a science teacher for grades 7-8 at Lake Park Audubon High School

The winner of Minnesota Teacher of the Year was initially going to be celebrated at a banquet on May 3, but that has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Education Minnesota, which organizes and underwrites the Minnesota Teacher of the Year program.

The selection panel is tentatively scheduled to meet June 13 to conduct interviews with the 10 finalists.

Education Minnesota is still working on a time and location to announce the 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.


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