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108 teachers are candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Blackduck's Jesse Hickman is one of the 108 teachers who have accepted their nominations and completed the required candidate materials to become eligible for the honor of 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

This year's program will name the 47th Minnesota Teacher of the Year, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public or private schools.

The 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced May 1 at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park. Over the coming weeks, a 23-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists, and then narrow the field to finalists.

Education Minnesota organizes and underwrites the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program, which receives program and award support from the following organizations: the SMARTer Kids Foundation, the Northland Inn, the Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, United Educators Credit Union, McDonald's Restaurants of Minnesota, Teacher Federal Credit Union, Pearson Education and Education Minnesota ESI.