St. Paul, Minnesota (KROC-AM News) - Six area teachers are in the field of 77 nominees for the 2022 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. The nominee selected will succeed a Rochester teacher.

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The six area teachers nominated this year include:

Kevin Gentz, Albert Lea Area Schools
John Schneider, Austin Public Schools
Kristin Wishy, Kasson Mantorville Public Schools
Mark Langlois, Owatonna Public Schools
Tom Muschler, St. Charles Public Schools

Natalia Benjamin received the prestigious honor in 2021. The Rochester Century teacher has been teaching English language and ethnic studies since 2015, and was the first Latino to win the state honor.

Natalia Benjamin
Natalia Benjamin

This year, it will be the 58th Minnesota Teacher of the Year, and an independent panel of leaders in the fields of education, business, government, nonprofit, and philanthropy will narrow the list to a group of semifinalists. In March, that group of semifinalists will be narrowed to a group of finalists. The winner will be announced at the Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet, tentatively scheduled for May 1st.

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