Making the grade: 2 locals nominated for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

22 Feb 2018

In 25 years of teaching, 24 of which have been spent at Apollo High School, Jean Michael has felt gratification and joy.

She loves the little rewards of her work, whether it's the look on a student's face when they crack a difficult math concept or the quiet pride of selflessly offering her students as much support as they need.

But in her quarter-century of teaching, she has never received an honor quite like being a nominee for the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

"I was pretty speechless," she said. "I don't do this for recognition. I do this so I can help my students understand the math in their world." 

Michael is one of two local teachers in the running to be the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Adam Johnson is nominated for his work as an industrial technology teacher at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

They're among 167 teachers statewide competing for the honor, the most nominees for the award in more than 35 years, according to Education Minnesota. 

Upon accepting their nominations, the teachers submitted myriad materials to the judging panel, including several essays, five letters of recommendation, and a year-by-year account of everything they've taught since the beginning of their careers.

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