BURNSVILLE — Gideon Pond Elementary teacher Qorsho Hassan has been recognized as a leader in equity and inclusion, according to a news release from the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District. 

Hassan was selected from candidates across the country by Kinect Education Group as a Topnotch Equity Leader. The award is given monthly to recognize outstanding educators working on equity and inclusion.

Kinect Education Group is a national organization that provides inclusion and diversity training, studies and training tools for educational, corporate and nonprofit organizations. 

Hassan is a fifth-grade teacher at Gideon Pond Elementary and curator of “Urur Dhex-Dhexaad Ah: Community In-Between,” an exhibit and book that presents color portraits, first-person video stories and written narratives detailing the experiences of young Somali-Americans from Columbus, Ohio.

Hassan has helped create several groups within the school district for students and staff of color, including Amplify One91, which aims to provide community, professional development and recruitment for staff. 

“Imagine one person in your district who makes sure to speak and create change on behalf of those who are not in a position to speak or create change ... that is Qorsho!” District music teacher Becca Buck said in a news release. “She is an endless inspiration to me.”

Hassan and Buck are co-authoring a book about Somali songs and stories and presented their work on culturally relevant teaching at the Minnesota Music Educators Association conference. In March 2020, they'll speak at the National Organization of American Kodaly Educators conference in Oregon.

“There is no limit to the positive impact Qorsho will have on students and our entire community,” Gideon Pond Elementary Principal Chris Bellmont said in a statement.

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